Timings - Opening & Closing:
Summer: 6.30 AM - 5.30 PM ,
Winter: 6.30 AM - 5.30 PM
Hemis High Altitude Wildlife Sanctuary, established in 1981, sprawls over an area of around 3,350 sq. km. With an altitude ranging from 3,300 m to 6,000 m above sea level, this sanctuary has renowned the status of being the largest park in South Asia. At present, the Hemis High-Altitude Wildlife Sanctuary has also acquired the status of being the highest park in entire world. The major attractions of the sanctuary are snow leopards, Ibex, shapu, bharal and others.
This sanctuary was named after the Hemis Gompa, which was established in 1630 by Lama Tagstang Raspa. In addition, the Hemis Gompa was built under the patronage of King Sengge by Palden Sara. Today, this sanctuary is abode to more than 16 mammals and 73 bird species, most of which are considered as endangered.
Tourists visiting the sanctuary can see several alpine and steppe trees along with shrubs spreading over the valley bottoms. Owing to the moist present in the upper mountain area, alpine vegetation including anemone, gentiana, lloydia and others can be found in plenty. In addition, tourists can also find a rich steppe vegetation in the lower area, which includes caragana, artemisia, stachys and ephedra.
The wildlife which tourists can spot in this sanctuary includes snow leopards and Ibex. The ideal place to spot the snow leopards in this sanctuary is the Shang Valley. Apart from these two animals, the sanctuary is also home to bharal, wolf, pallas' cat and others.
This sanctuary is a paradise for bird lovers, with around 73 varieties of registered birds residing in this place. Snow cock, chukor, magpie, Himalayan whistling thrush are some of the species of birds that tourists can spot in this sanctuary.
Great grey shrike, red mantled rose finch are some of the rare species of birds found in this sanctuary. Apart from these, spotted flycatcher, red flanked blue tail and great nose finch are the other rare species of birds that are inhabitant in this sanctuary.
The best time to visit the sanctuary for spotting wildlife is from the month of September to March, while the months from March to May are ideal for bird viewing. The months of June to October are best for trekking and forest walks.
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