Salim Ali National Park, also called the City Forest Park, is located in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir state, India.
National parks are created to protect Flora and Fauna of fragile ecosystems. In India National parks are IUCN category II protected areas.
Salim Ali National Park
Poaching, hunting and cultivation is strictly prohibited in the Park area. The boundaries are protected and illegal actions are liable for punishment.
Various legislations were introduced in 1980s. By July 2015, India had 103 protected national parks with an area of 40,5000km. But this is a mere 1.23% of total surface are of India. Jim Corbett National Park was the first park opened in India.
Salim Ali national park is one among the smaller national parks. Bird-watching is one the prime attractions of this park. People also come to watch endangered animals like in action.
The park encompassing about 9.07 kms was officially named after the famous ornithologist Salim Ali in 1986. Between the years 1998 to 2000, the then chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Farook Abdullah, converted this park into a gold course named Royal Spring Gold course
Significance of Salim Ali National Park
The Mughal emperor Jahangir once said that “If there I heaven on earth, it is here, it is here”. Kashmir is called heaven on earth because of its natural beauty.
Being a part of Kashmir, Salim Ali National Park is also breathtaking and awe-inspiring. Scenic beauty and perfect weather are two features that go hand and attract both the domestic and Global traveler’s. This park is an endeavor to retain endangered species in their natural environment.
A great tourist attraction, Salim Ali National Park is blessed with endangered diverse Fauna and Government is making all efforts to prevent animals like Kashmiri Stag which are on the brink of extinction.
The predominant Flora of Salim Ali National Park is Mangrove Shrubbery.
The Salim Ali National Park is home to many endangered animal species. Some of the animals are Kashmiri Stag, Chakkar, Snow Cock, Flying fox Serow, Himalayan black bear, Leopard, Hangul and Musk deer.
The Mangrove Shrubbery attracts 70 species of birds to this park.
These include Monal, Himalayan snowcock, Coot, Paradise flycatcher, Imperial Eagle, Bengal Florican, Pintail, Kingfisher, Eastern Imperial Eagle, White-tailed Eagle, Pallas’s Fish eagle, Grey-headed eagle, Baya weaver, Ring Dove, slender-billed vulture, Great spotted eagle, the lesser Kestrel, Swamp Francolin and the Wreathed Hornbill.
No doubt, this park is named after the famous Indian Bird-watcher ,Salim Ali. Migratory birds roost in this park during the winter months.
How to reach?
The airport nearest to this park is Sonmarg in Srinagar about 80 kms away. Metropolitan cities of India like Delhi and Mumbai are well-connected to Srinagar.
You can also take the railway route from major Indian cities to Srinagar.
Road transport is the third option; State buses and taxis frequent in this route. Jammu and Kashmir are 370 kms and 80 kms away from Sonmarg. .
From Srinagar you can take taxis to this national park.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Salim Ali National Park for bird watching is April to November. Winter and the off season are characterized by blizzards and minus degree temperatures. The entrance fee for Indians is Rs.10. and for foreigners is Rs.100/-.
Bhoothathankettu and edamalayar is a very near this park. The picturesque dam, Children’s park, Deer Park, and Taxi-dermic museum attract lot of visitors here. There is also an Animal rehab centre to treat wounded and stray animals in the Park.
So, stay in one of the best lodges that are economical and enjoy the scenic views, perfect climate and flora and fauna of Salim Ali National Park.
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