Kanwar Wildlife SanctuaryWildlife preservation has been given lots of importance throughout the world and Indian Government has taken many steps in this regard. Few years after India’s independence, many forest areas have been declared as wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. The geographical position of Himachal Pradesh has made a large part of it the natural habitat of varieties of birds and animals. The climatic condition of Himachal Pradesh has helped in growth of varieties of coniferous trees as well. Kanwar Wildlife Sanctuary in Kullu District is one of the high altitude sanctuaries of India where visitors could enjoy nature watch and other adventure activities along with wide varieties of birds and animals.
About Kanwar Wildlife SanctuaryKanwar Sanctuary is located about 2 km away from Manikaran. Travelers can approach here through Kullu to Kasol and then walk down. From Kasol, one has to walk down along the Garahan Nala. The total area of this wildlife sanctuary is about 6,157 hectares and the range of altitude varies between 1,800m-4833m. Kanwar Wildlife Sanctuary is surrounded by the mountain peaks- Satupurna and Shacha. The sanctuary is known for being the house of endangered species as well as religious spots and many lakes and springs. This wildlife sanctuary is connected to the Great Himalayan National Park that is located on the south-east of Kanwar Wildlife Sanctuary. This forest area has been declared as a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1954.
Flora and Fauna of Kanwar Wildlife SanctuaryThe bio-geographic zone to which this wildlife sanctuary belongs to is the northwest Himalayas. The forest types of Kanwar Sanctuary are:
- Temperate deciduous
- West Himalayan Sub-Alpine
- Alpine Dry Scrub
- Mixed coniferous
- Alpine Moist pasture
Himalayan Thar was an endangered species when Kanwar Wildlife Sanctuary was notified as a sanctuary and that is why it was mainly kept as a protected place for this species. Now their population has increased and they are found everywhere within this sanctuary area. Visitors get to see Yellow Throated Marten, Flying Squirrel, Barking Deer, Snow Leopard, Brown Bear, Tibetan Wolf, Goral, Golden Jackal, Ibex and Himalayan Weasel within this sanctuary area. The birds that are seen in this sanctuary are Cheer Pheasant, Tragopan and White Cheecked Tit.
Main Attraction of Kanwar Wildlife SanctuaryKanwar Wildlife Sanctuary has amazing location. It is surrounded by picturesque landscapes thus making it a unique place for activities like trekking and nature trails. Visitors can enjoy watching rare birds and animals and more adventure enthusiasts can go uphill starting from Kasol Village taking the route along the Garahan Nala. Trekkers will enjoy dense forest of Fir and Deodar and will definitely enjoy varieties of mammals and birds during the trek.
Apart from doing trekking, local sightseeing can be enjoyed as nearby places have many place of great religious and historical significance. Tourists can enjoy visiting Manikaran, a place only 2 km from Kanwar Sanctuary. Visit to Mantalai and Khirganga can also be arranged.
How to Reach Kanwar Wildlife SanctuaryThe best time to visit this wildlife sanctuary is during summer months as the weather remains pleasant with temperature about 25'C. During winter the temperature becomes -100C and the area receives snowfall. The monsoon months should also be avoided for sanctuary visit.
Roadway is the best means to reach the sanctuary. By road, Kullu is about 42 km away from Kullu. The nearest airport of this sanctuary is Bhuntar, which is about 10 km away. The nearest railhead of this wildlife sanctuary is Jogindernagar about 100-110 km away from Kullu Town. Enough numbers of buses and taxis are available from outside railway station and airport. Kullu is well connected through bus services to almost all major cities of north India. Kasol village, a nearby place to this sanctuary has forest rest house and camp sites for the travelers and trekkers. Private accommodations are also available in Kasol and Manikaran both.