Hemis National Park also has the distinction of being among the largest contiguous protected region, second only to Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. Spread over 4400 sq km, the park is home to 16 species of mammals and 73 of birds. The park is protected home for endangered mammals like leopards, Asiatic ibex, Tibetan wolf, the Eurasian brown bear and the red fox. The park boasts of 200 leopards and is the only habitat of Shapu or the Ladakhi Urial in India. It is also home to small mammals like Himalayan marmot, mountain weasel and Himalayan mouse hare.
Located in the eastern part of Ladakh district in Jammu and Kashmir in north India, Hemis National Park has the distinction of being the largest national park in South Asia. For bird watchers, it’s a dream destination. Besides golden eagle, Lammergeier vulture and the Himalayan griffon vulture, the park is home to Brown Accentor, Robin Accentor, Tickell’s Leaf Warbler, Streaked Rosefinch, Tibetan Snowfinch, Chukar, Fork-tailed Swift, Red-billed Chough, Himalayan Snowcock, and the Fire-fronted Serin. Pollution free environment and noise free surroundings make birding a joyful experience. Six villages exist within the confines of the park. The villages –Rumbak, Kaya, Sku, Shingo, Urutse and Chilling – are home to about 16oo people. Several gompas and chortens are also located within the park.
History Of Park:
The 400-year-old Hemis Monastery is also located within the park. Revered as the largest monastic institution in Ladakh, a trip to the monastery is a thrilling experience. Camping and trekking are other popular activities that can be indulged in the park. The national park is also known for its scenic beauty. Lofty mountains and alpine forests of juniper and subalpine dry birch make it a treat for the eyes. The Stok Kangri peak is situated withing the park. The confluence of Indus and Zanskar rivers acts as the park’s boundary and is a treat for the eyes. It also includes the catchment area of Markha, Sumdah and Rumbak, and some portion of the Zanskar Range. No hotels are available in or near Hemis National Park. There are six villages in the Hemis National Park where homestay facilities are available. The villages are Rumbak, Kaya, Sku, Shingo, Urutse and Chilling. In addition, Hemis Monastery also offers rooms for visitors to stay.
Options to eat are limited. It is advisable to carry food. Hemis Monastery does provide food to visitors. It also follows the tradition of offering butter tea to the visitors. Locals do also provide meals.The best time to visit Hemis is between May and September, when the weather is pleasant. Most of the trekking routes and passage to jeep safari are closed after November due to heavy snowfall.
THINGS TO DO IN HEMIS
Losar in Hemis
The New Year of Tibetan Buddhists, the festival is celebrated with lot of enthusiasm and fervor. Festivities last for two weeks during December or January, depending on the lunar calendar.
Hemis Festival is held in the month of June or sometimes in July with a vivid display of music, blaring trumpets, masked dances, dragon dances, and a plenty of cultural events.
Opening hours of Hemis national park:
Open all days
Entry fee for Visiting Hemis national park:
The entry fees for Hemis national park is mentioned below. We have listed the entry fees for Indians, the entry fees for foreigners, camera fees and other charges if applicable.
- Domestic Adult: 20
- Foreigner: 100
- Address: Hemis, Jammu and Kashmir
SPEND TIMES IN HEMIS
Hemis National Park is a high altitude park located in the eastern part of Ladakh district in Jammu and Kashmir in north India. It is known to be the largest notified protected area in India (and thus the largest national park of India), and is the second largest contiguous protected area after the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve and surrounding protected areas. The park is protected home for endangered mammals like leopards, Asiatic ibex, Tibetan wolf, the Eurasian brown bear and the red fox. The park boasts of 200 leopards and is the only habitat of Shapu or the Ladakhi Urial in India. It is also home to small mammals like Himalayan marmot, mountain weasel and Himalayan mouse hare. If you are a wildlife enthusiast who is planning a visit to Hemis National Park, here’s help with how you can reach it.
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HOW TO REACH HEMIS
Kushok Bakula Rimpochhe Airport, Leh airport the closest international airport.
Nearest railway station is Jammu Tawi Railway Station.
Hemis can be reached by road via Leh by two popular routes – from Srinagar via Kargil on the Srinagar-Leh highway and from Manali via Sarchu and Dharchu on the Manali-Leh highway. Both roads traverse tricky mountain routes and high passes and are at times blocked due to landslides. The routes are only open from June to October. The Srinagar-Leh highway runs close to the border with Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and is often blocked by the army. There are regular bus and taxi services to Leh. Taxis can be extended to Hemis.