Himachal Pradesh is the state of beautiful hill stations of India. Hill Stations of Himachal Pradesh - Shimla, Kullu, Manali, Khajjiar etc have always attracted lots of tourists all over the world. Himachal Pradesh with its varied topography, climate and forest cover is rich in flora and fauna. From times immemorial, Himachal Pradesh is known for its beautiful forests, landscapes and wilderness. The wildlife of Himachal Pradesh has gained more popularity because of its attractive safari and wildlife tours. At present there are 32 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 2 National Parks in Himachal Pradesh.
With over 68 per cent of its area covered with forests, Himachal Pradesh is one of the greenest states of India. With such a large area under natural conditions Himachal Pradesh is home to a large plethora of Flora and Fauna, in terms of sheer number of species and varieties.
Oak, Deodar, Blue Pine, Fir, Adlers, Birch and Spruce are the main variety of trees spread in the mountains. The beautiful Rhododendrons can be viewed along the hill sides around the wonderful hill station of Shimla from March to May. Himachal Pradesh is often called the fruit bowl of the country. Apples, Pomegrenade, Peaches, Cheery and Lichi are few of the major fruit produces of the state. Lately, the Flower orchards have come up all over the state to take the spring blooms of the state to the world over. The state government is on an ambitious plan to make Himachal the flower basket of the whole world.
The forests of Himachal are home to several wild animals too. Last estimated, there are over 1500 bird and 350 animal species in the state. This includes the leopards, the rare snow Leopards, Ghoral, Musk Deer and Monal. The state boasts of largest number of wildlife sanctuaries in Northern India. It has 11 major national parks and sanctuaries.
Chail Wildlife Sanctuary
Chail is a beautiful and famous hill station near Shimla in Himachal Pradesh. One of the main tourist attractions of Chail is its wildlife sanctuary. The Chail Sanctuary is located amidst the forests of Pine and Oak trees. The wildlife Chail Sanctuary comprises of mammals mainly which includes rhesus macaque, leopard, Indian Muntjac (Barking Deer) and goral crested porcupine. Other animals found at Chail sanctuary in Himachal are Himalayan black bear, wild boar, common langur, sambar etc. There are trekking provisions in this wildlife sanctuary of Himachal Pradesh to make the trip more adventurous and interesting. Chir Pheasant breeding farm is another tourist attraction of the Chail Sanctuary.
Surrounded by Deodar and Oak forests, Chail Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in Solan valley of Himachal Pradesh. Established in the year 1976, the sanctuary is spread over a sprawling area of 10,854.36 hectares, barking deer and kalijin being the major attractions of the sanctuary.
It is also home to rare orchids and several endangered species of wildlife. Ranging from large mammals like Rhesus Macaque, Leopard, Indian Muntjac, Goral and Crested Porcupine, one can also find Himalayan Black Bear, Wild Boar and common Langur here. People visiting this place must also come to the Chir Pheasant Breeding and Rehabilitation Center, which was set up in 1988 at Bossom and Jhajja.
The best time to visit Chail Wildlife Sanctuary is from March to October. Accessibility to this Wildlife Sanctuary is possible via Kalka-Shimla route. About 40 kms from Shimla, the sanctuary is well-connected by road to all the nearby places.
Himalayan National Park
Located in the serene and pleasant region of Kullu in Himachal Pradesh, this park occupies a total area of 1,171 sq. kms. Established in 1984, the park lies at an altitude of 1500-1600metres. A wide variety of wild species can be found in this one of the most beautiful parks of in India.
The park houses 375 species of fauna constituting 31 mammals, 181 birds, 3 reptiles, 9 amphibians, 11 annelids, 17 mollusks and 127 insects. Protected under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, multiple variety of plant life is also present here.
Some of the major rivers, which form part of this park, are Jiwa, Sainj and Tirthan. Mammals, ranging from mountain goats like Bharal, Goral and Serrow to Brown Bear, all can be found here. One can not afford to miss the rare Snow Leopard here.
Varieties of Pheasants like Monal, Khalij, Cheer and Tragopan are also available here. With huge Alpine trees and Coniferous forests, the Park is a rich source of honey, fruit nuts, and plenty of fuel wood for the locals. Many medicinal herbs can also be obtained from here. Occupying a total area of 765 kms, the park is about 60 kms from Kullu and can be visited both in summers and winters.