The Himalayan range from Jammu & Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh is home to many exotic species of flora and fauna. One of these present in the wild is of snow leopards. Snow leopards naturally have habitat in Indian states Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.
1. GREAT HIMALAYAN NATIONAL PARK
Great Himalayan National Park is located in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. It was established in 1984 and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in June 2014. Other than snow leopard expedition, you can see the great diversity of flora and fauna here. It is home to 375 mammals, 181 birds and a wide range of other creatures and wildlife. The park is also rich in diverse flora and many forests can be found in their original state.
2. DACHIGAM NATIONAL PARK
Dachigam National Park is located only 22 kilometers away from Srinagar, the capital of Jammu & Kashmir. Though being a protected area since 1910, it has been declared a National Park in 1981. Snow leopard expedition can be done along with spotting other wild creatures like jungle cat, jackal, leopard cat, and Kashmir stag. The picturesque landscape of this place is a sight to behold.
3. GANGOTRI NATIONAL PARK
Located in Uttarkashi district of Uttrakhand, the Gangotri National Park is best known as the home of snow leopard. Other than that it is also home to Asian black bear, brown bear, musk deer and more than hundred & fifty bird species. It also has natural vegetation consisting of deodar, fir, spruce, oak, etc.
4. HEMIS NATIONAL PARK
Situated in Ladakh, Hemis National Park is the largest in the country and is only one located in the north of Himalayas. As the vehicles are not allowed inside the park, trekking can be done while on snow leopard expedition. There are almost two hundred snow leopards living in the area along with the Himalayan marmot, red fox, and Tibetan wolf.
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5. NANDA DEVI NATIONAL PARK
Nanda Devi National Park is located in Chamoli district of Uttrakhand as a part of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. Other than snow leopard expedition, you can also see 312 floral species including the 17 rare ones. It is accredited as a World Heritage Site in 1988 by UNESCO. Trekking is the best way to access the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve.
6. PIN VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
Located in Lahaul and Spiti district in Himachal Pradesh, it is a cold desert within Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve. It is a natural habitat for snow leopard and Siberian ibex. Vegetation due to high altitude only consists of alpine trees and Himalayan cedar. Apart from snow leopard expedition, in summer rare species of birds such as chukar partridge and Himalayan snowcock can be seen.
7. KHANGCHENDZONGA NATIONAL PARK
Also called as Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve, Khangchendzonga National Park is located in the Indian state of Sikkim. It was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in July 2016, making it the first Mixed Heritage Site in India. Along with snow leopard, it is home to animals like red panda, civet, takin, serow, and others. Asiatic wild dog, a rare species can be seen in this area.