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Birding in North
Birding in North: (14 nights/ 15 days)
Natural Highlights: Dal Lake, Hokersar Lake, Sat Tal, Pangot, Corbett National Park, Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary, Keoladev Ghana National Park (Bharatpur).
Cultural Sights: Srinagar, Agra (Taj Mahal)
Options Possible: Mughal Gardens (Srinagar)
Recommended Period: (Best / Regular / Off )
Dal Lake, Srinagar:
Dal Lake much visited and less understood provides us with classic example of how little we appreciate the good things provided to us by Nature. Thousands of residents of Srinagar and millions of tourists are depandent upon the lake either for livelihood or for enjoyment. The lake of course is popular for its Houseboats ,Shikaras and promenades and it is undoubtedly a bird watchers paradise.
Slowly as the Shikara (low boats) passes through the channels in Srinagar the houseboats pass by which are handled by even the children with great dexterity, the kingfishers sit on the tops of houseboats nonchalantly almost within the touching distance of humans. The kingfishers apparently use walls, steps and piles as fixed perches from which they directly dive into water to catch little. There are open lotus flowers around which the bees are humming collecting honey. Wagtails active and eager can be seen dashing from leaf to leaf sometimes leaping into air to catch that elusive creature for its morsel. The dipping motion of their longtails and their undulating flight is fascinating to watch. The little grebe is fairly common in the vale.
The lake is in the foothill formations of the catchment of the Zabarwan mountain valley, a subsidiary of the Himalayan range, which surrounds it on three sides. It lies to the east and north of Srinagar city and is integral to the city. The catchment area drained by the basin is 316 square kilometres. The surface area of the lake is around 18 square kilometers. The average elevation of the lake is 1,583 metres (5,194 ft).
Dachigam National Park:
Dachigam National Park is located 22 kilometers from Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. It covers an area of 141 square kilometers. The name of the park literally stands for "ten villages" which could be in memory of the ten villages that were relocated for its formation.
The park has been a protected area since 1910, first under the care of the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir and later under the observation of the concerned government authorities. It was initially created to ensure clean drinking water supply for the city of Srinagar. It was finally upgraded and declared a National Park in the year 1981.
Dachigam National park is located among the high mountains of the mighty western Himalayas. The variation in altitude is vast, ranging from 5500 ft to 14000 ft above mean sea level. Due to this vast variation, the park is very clearly demarcated into an upper and lower region. The terrain ranges from gently sloping grasslands to sharp rocky outcrops and cliffs. Part of the park lies above the tree line and this area displays its own kind of natural beauty with bare rock mountains and crevices.
Flora at Dachigam National Park:
The mountainsides below the tree line are heavily wooded. Most of this coniferous forest consists of broad leaf species. Interspersed between these are alpine pastures, meadows, waterfalls and scrub vegetation with deep gullies, locally known as Nars, running down the mountain face. Most of the grasslands and meadows, except in the harsh winters, are covered with brightly coloured flowers. Located high among its interiors is the Marsar lake from which flows the Dagwan river. This river flows all the way down to, and past, the lower region where it runs along the only proper road in the park and is also famous for its fish population, the trout.
The wild trees of the park consist of Wild Cherry, Pear, Plum, Peach, Apple, Apricot, Walnut, Chestnut, Oak, Willow, Poplar, Chinar, Birch, Pine and Elm.ab king
Fauna at Dachigam National Park:
The main animal species that Dachigam is most famous for is the Hangul, or the Kashmir Stag.
Animal Species:
Musk Deer
Himalayan Gray Langur
Leopard Cat
Himalayan Black Bear
Himalayan Brown Bear
Hill Fox
Himalayan Weasel
Yellow-throated Marten
Jungle Cat
Long-tailed Marmot

Bird Species:
Cinnamon Sparrow
Black Bulbul
Himalayan Monal
Golden Oriole
Pygmy Owlet
Koklass Pheasant
Orange Bullfinch
Kashmir Flycatcher
Tytler's Leaf Warbler
Streaked Laughingthrush
Himalayan Rubythroat
Black-and-Yellow Grosbeak
Himalayan Griffon
Bearded Vulture
Red-billed Blue Magpie

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