Complete Guide of Kedarnth Wildlife Sanctury – Perched in the Chamoli and Rudraprayag districts of Uttarakhand, the Kedarnth Wildlife Sanctuary was primarily established to protect the Himalayan musk deer. Hence, it is also known as Kedarnath Musk Deer Sanctuary.
Kedarnth Wildlife Sanctuary is the largest protected area in the Western Himalayas, which covers 975 sq km area. The sanctuary, popular for its great biodiversity, was formally founded in 1972.
Spectcular panaromic views of snow-covered mountain ranges, lakes and glaciers, beautiful valleys and the shimmering holy rivers Mandakini and Alaknanda, make it one of the most beautiful sanctuaries in the country.
The density of the flora varies with the altitude which starts from sub-alpine forests to alpine shrubs and Himalayan flowers to permanent ice and snow lines where little or no vegetation is to be found. Apart from Himalayan musk deer, jackals, Himalayan black bears, leopards and snow leopards langurs and vipers are found here.
The sanctuary is also popular for the Kedarnath Dham, one of the jyotirlingas out of 12, located within the premises. The temple was built in the 8th century AD and is home to one of the 12 jyotirlingas
Among the world ‘ s richest bio – reserves , the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary spreads across 957 sq km . Set up in 1972 to protect the forests of the Panch Kedar belt , which straddle north Rudraprayag District and part of Chamoli , the sanctuary is host to temperate forests in the middle altitudes . Higher up , you find coniferous , sub – alpine and alpine forests , and further up alpine grasslands and high – altitude bugyals . These are followed by scrublands , which lead up to the permanent snowline . _ Mountain peaks , lakes and waterfalls abound in this forest belt , as do age – old Hindu pilgrimage sites – Kedarnath , Madhyamaheshwar , Tungnath , Rudra nath , Triyuginarayan and Kalpeshwar all fall within or on the periphery of the sanctuary .
The nearest airport is at Joily Grant, near Dehradun (approx 250 km) and nearest railhead is Rishikesh (approx 230 km). By road the sanctuary is connected to the town of Chamoli.
Best Time to Visit
May to November