6 Amazing Places to See and Things to do Around Dachigam in J&K (2024)
Dachigam is located in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is located at a distance of 22 km from Sri Nagar city and is easily accessible via all modes of transport. It is a protected area since developed in 1910 and it was declared as a national park in 1981. The park is best known as the home of the endangered hangul, or Kashmir stag. Dachigam was initially established to ensure the supply of clean drinking water to Srinagar city. It is spread over an area of 141 sq km, the park is divided into two sections namely Upper Dachigam and Lower Dachigam. The name ‘Dachigam’ stands for ‘ten villages’ because ten villages were relocated to make space for the park. You can opt for Forest Department accommodation that is available, and you can make reservations from the office of Srinagar’s Tourist Reception Centre through the Chief Wildlife Warden. It is a beautiful place and will not disappoint the tourists vising the place and has something to offer to all cadres of tourists. One must plan to visit this park once in a lifetime as this is the place you will feel relaxed, and you will be able to rejuvenate your soul.
6 Amazing Places to See and Things to do Around Dachigam
1. Dachigam National Park
Dachigam National Park is one of the renowned national parks in India. It is situated at a distance of 22km from the main town of Srinagar. The park was initially developed to supply clean drinking water to Srinagar. Later it was converted to a protected area in 1910. The national park is India’s most elevated forest reserve at an altitude of 1700m to 4300m above sea level. Dachigam National Park is spread over an area of 141 square km. The word Dachigam stands for ‘ten villages, which is named in memory of the ten village communities that had to be relocated to create the catchment area and the park. This park has a wide variety of flora and fauna. It derives its name from the fact that it is surrounded by snow-capped mountains of three sides which makes it one of the most unique and beautiful national parks in the country. The view in this park is mesmerizing. The park has a multitude of species of flora, variety of mammals including big cats and birds. It is home to the Kashmiri stag famously known as Hangul. You can spot them in winters in the lower valleys. Other species that can be spotted in the national park are Musk deer, Brown bears, Leopards, Jungle Cats, the Himalayan black bear, and a few species of wild goat-like the markhor and ibex. You can also spot some rare birds like Black Bulbuls, Cinnamon sparrows, Himalayan Monals, Kashmir Flycatcher, and Colourful pheasants including the crimson tragopan. It is a unique experience to be here in this national park.
Another fact that makes Dachigam national park more attractive is that there are several villages situated on the premises of the national park. The local architecture of the houses in the village is very attractive and is not disturbed to preserve their culture. Dachigam National Park in two regions- the upper region and the lower region. There is a 10 km long road that runs through the lower Dachigam area but the only way to visit most of the park is on foot. Some accommodation facilities are available inside the park that you can avail or prebooking is ideal. The best time to visit the upper Dachigam is May to August, while for the lower Dachigam it is September to December.
The best part about Dachigam National Park is that the entire landscape of this park changes with the season. During winters, the park is covered in snow and during Spring, the park is covered in greenery and the blossoming flowers and fruit trees are the major attractions during this season. You will see waterfalls and streams during the spring season. As autumn approaches, the leaves of trees turn to bright shades of red, gold, yellow, and orange. Dachigam National Park stays unpolluted and colorful throughout the year.
2. Sri Nagar
The beautiful city of Sri Nagar is located at a distance of 22 km from Dachigam National Park. It is a good idea to visit the national park and Sri Nagar during your visit. Sri Nagar is also known as the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. It is a beautiful destination situated at a height of 1730 meters above sea level. It is a unique and amazing holiday destination for all age groups. The tourist places in Srinagar offer breathtaking views and mesmerizing locations to die for. Sri Nagar is also famously known as “Heaven on Earth” and is as stunning as living in a beautiful painting.
Sri Nagar is situated in the Kashmir Valley on the banks of the Jhelum River. Jhelum River is a tributary of the Indus, and Dal and Anchar lakes. The city is known for its natural environment, gardens, waterfronts, and houseboats. One of the major attractions is the stationary houseboats and shikaras on Dal Lake which add to the beauty of the place. Shikaras are gondola-type rowboats that are used by locals in their day-to-day life and by the tourists equally. Tourists enjoy Shikaras to see attractions like the Floating vegetable market on the lake and to see Mir Bahris which a local community is living on the lake.
Sonamarg is located at a distance of 29 km from Dachigam National park. The best thing about Dachigam is that you can enjoy staying at the park to enjoy your solitude away from the hustle and bustle of the cities. While you can go for a day out and enjoy the cities and the city life during the day.
Sonamarg is a town in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in India. The word Sonamarg translates into ‘the land of gold’. It is one of the most beautiful places in the entire country and specifically in the state. This small town is situated 9,000 km above sea level at the bank of the gushing Sindh river. From Sonamarg, you will be able to see beautiful snowy mountains as its backdrop. Sonamarg valley is the connecting point of several Himalayan peaks like Kolhoi peak, Amarnath peak, Sirbal Peak, and others. The beautiful view of the place is even more attractive with the wide varieties of flowers and alpine trees covering the entire beautiful town. You also have the option to hire ponies to trip up to the Thajiwas Glacier. The Thajiwas glacier is situated at an altitude of 9,186 feet and is one of the top tourist attractions in the area. Sonamarg is a picturesque landscape covered in emerald meadows and blue sky and is an all-time favorite place among the community of mountain photographers. Sonamarg is the base of a major trek that passes along several mountain lakes Vishansar, Kishansar, Gadsar, Satsar, and Gangabal. It is also a base for the holy Amarnath Yatra. It is a good place to enjoy skiing in winter as the place is covered in snow. During winters Sonamerg valley is covered with snow and offers an opportunity for the tourists to enjoy sledding or skiing. Many tourists come to Sonamarg during winters especially to practice Skiing.
Pahalgam is located at a distance of 28 km from Dachigam National Park. The best thing is all the beautiful cities are located very close to Dachigam national park and is an easy day out to be. It is famous for its pristine beauty and amazing weather throughout the year. The weather in Pahalgam is alpine which means the Summers are mild while winters are extremely cold. Pahalgam is situated at the junction of the Aru and Sheshnag Rivers and surrounded by tall fir-covered mountains and snow-clad peaks forming a spectacular sight. It is believed that Pahalgam was once a humble shepherd’s village. Pahalgam serves as the base of one of the most important pilgrimages in India which is theAmarnathYatra. Chandanwari is a small village located around 16 km from Pahalgam is the actual base camp of the Amarnath. It is a destination of valleys and streams and the places are more beautiful than the other. Many glacier treks are famous in the area. Many tourists and adventure seekers visit the place to go for these adventure treks and enjoy their time in the area.
The holy cave of Amarnath is located at a distance of 43 km from the Dachigam National Park. The fact that you can club your spiritual journey with a chilled-out holiday is the best deal. Amarnath is considered one of the holiest pilgrimages for Hindus and is visited by thousands of tourists every year. The door of the Amarnath temple or the cave opens in the Shravan month in the Hindu calendar that is in July-August. The place has a unique significance for Hindus especially people who worship Lord Shiva. One of the biggest Lingam formed with Ice is located inside the cave which resembles Lord Shiva. Amarnath is well connected to Pahalgam and Batal that are the base camps to start Amarnath Yatra with all the nearby major cities. Amarnath cave is visited by thousands of tourists every year. The holy cave is situated at an altitude of 3,888 m that is about 141 km from Srinagar. It is also respectfully known as the Sri Amarnath Cave temple by the devotees. The Amarnath temple is one of the 51Shakti Peethas. Shakti peethas are the temples located throughoutSouth Asiathat commemorate the location of fallen body parts of the Hindu deitySati. The cave is surrounded by mountains covered in snow. The cave is also covered with snow most of the year. The cave has a large stalagmite formed because of the freezing of water droplets in the entire height of the cave that is around 41 m.
Gulmarg is located at a short distance of 62 km from Dachigam National Park. It is one of the most beautiful destinations in the country. It is visited by thousands of tourists every year. The town is situated in the Pir Paranjal Range in the Western Himalayas and lies within the boundaries of Gulmarg Wildlife Sanctuary. Gulmarg sits high on Mount Apharwat that is a ski and snowboard resort with over 1,330 vertical meters of skiable terrain. The resort claims to have the famous Gulmarg Gondola that is considered to be the highest ski lift in the world, ascending to an elevation of 3,980 meters. It is ranked among the best 7 ski destinations in Asia by CNN International. Gulmarg was established as a ski resort in 1927 by two British Army officers. The town is a place to be for adventure seekers and people who want to spend their time in the lap of nature and enjoy being alone or spend time with their friends and family. It was originally a hill station for wealthy tourists who would visit Gulmarg during the summers to get rid of the brazen hot during Indian summers.
Best Time to Visit Dachigam
Dachigam and its different seasons welcome you with a different landscape. The best time to visit Dachigam is between April and October. However, there is no ideal time to visit this place as this is the heaven on earth in any season and any month of the year. However, a perfect time for you to visit Dachigam could depend on your reason to visit.
If you live in the Northern part of India and want to visit a cold hill station all around the year but a little less during summers, Dachigam is the place to be. You can visit Dachigam between March and June if you want to beat the summer heat and enjoy the beautiful flowers in this meadow of flowers in their full bloom. The scenic view of the flora and fauna mesmerizes you with its beauty. Adventure seekers who love to hike would prefer to come to visit Dachigam during this time as all trekking routes and hiking trails are adorned with lush greenery and beautiful flowers that will bewitch your heart in no time.
However, if you like winter sports and enjoy the snow in this beautiful place, the months between December to March are ideal to visit. You can visit the nearby cities like Gulmarg and Pahalgam or Sonamarg and enjoy skiing and have the pleasure of staying at the most beautiful ski resorts in the county. You can enjoy skiing and other snow sports during your winter visit to this beautiful place.
How to Reach Dachigam?
Dachigam is well connected to the plains and all the nearby major cities. There are several means of transport available to travel to Dachigam. You can choose from air travel, trains, buses, or taxis to reach this heavenly town in this beautiful valley.
Air Travel to Dachigam: The Nearest railway station is Sri Nagar International airport which is connected to most of the major cities in India. The local airlines and carriers like Air India, Jet Airways, Indigo, Spice Jet, and others have direct flights from Delhi. You can take a taxi to Dachigam which is 22 km from Sri Nagar airport. To teach Sri Nagar, you can also take connecting flights from other local airports in India. You can hire a taxi from the airport to reach go to your destination in Dachigam or the nearby cities if you are planning to go anywhere else.
Rail Travel to Dachigam:The Nearest railway station is Dachigam is the very famous Jammu Tawi. The railhead is connected to most of the major cities in India. Despite being the nearest railway station from Dachigam, it is still around 310 km from Dachigam, and you need to hire a taxi or take a pool taxi running from here to reach Dachigam. Jammu Tawi or Udhampur railway station is directly connected to prime cities of the country, including Delhi, Bhatinda, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, and Jodhpur via several superfast, express, and mail trains. You can take a taxi or take a shared cab from outside the railway station to reach Dachigam.
Road Travel to Dachigam: This is the best way to reach Dachigam as you will be able to enjoy the views on your way to the city while traveling by road. Dachigam is Srinagar is connected by a network of roads to Chandigarh, Dachigam, Jammu, Sonamarg, Delhi, and Pahalgam. Bus service is also available from all the nearby major cities in the north that connect to Dachigam. You can also choose to hire a taxi if you want to travel at your own pace to this magnificent place.
Places to Stay in Dachigam
The place has many inhouse guest houses and a guest house provided by the Forest Department which is pre-booked in most seasons and difficult to reserve if not booked months back. The best part is these guest houses are located in the middle of the national park amid the flora and fauna. You can feel the cool breeze and the sound of animals and birds during your stay. The animals and birds could come to visit you if you are lucky. It is always better to stay inside the national park if you enjoy solitude and want to stay in with close friends and family and want to enjoy away from the hustle-bustle of the city life. The national park is located amidst the scented forests of maple and apple orchards or the ones offering a view of the scenic and serene landscapes that increase the beauty and sophistication of the place tenfold. You can also find many homestays around the area which are quite famous among families as well as young people and adventure seekers as you can have the entire area to yourself and enjoy there as per your comfort. And if you are staying with a landlord at your homestay, you get to enjoy the local and homecooked state food in addition to getting to know the local folk stories and hidden spots for you to see.
Food To Eat In Dachigam
You will not find many food joints in Dachigam but the place has many guest houses that cook local home-cooked delicious meals that you can indulge yourself in. If you are staying in the dorms or guest houses of Dachigam do not forget to carry food and snacks for yourself. You can go and eat the food in the nearby cities. Sri Nagar is located close to Dachigam and you can enjoy the food there. The Mughlai and North Indian, mainly Punjabi cuisines are easily available in the city. The local Kashmiri food is the local delicacy that can be enjoyed here. Some of the famous dishes in the area are Qabargaah which is the fried rack of Lamb. It is also known as Tabakh maaz among the Muslim locals, Modur Pulaav which is Sweet Pulao, usually eaten as a dessert, and Muj Gaad which is Fish with Raddish.