Govind Wildlife Sanctuary, situated in the Uttarkashi district of Uttararanchal, was established on 1st March, 1955. It spreads over an area of 957.969 sq. kms. and the altitude varies from 1300 mts. to 6323 mts. The average annual precipitation varies from 1000 to 1500 mm., most of which occurs as monsoon rains (July to Sept.). The entire area of the sanctuary is subjected to light to heavy snowfall. The sanctuary forms the upper catchment of the Tons river, which is the most important tributory of River Yamuna in its upper reaches. Thus the area has a significant value as a major watershed for River Yamuna, which is a very important river for the Indo Gangetic plains.
The area is home for a lot of endangered animals and its large area along with the contiguous forests of the neighbouring forest divisions helps in maintaining genetic diversity. The area is very rich in medicinal plants, many of which form the basis for certain life saving drugs. The scenic beauty of the area is unmatched. The Snow Leopard inhabits the inner Himalayas above the altitude of 3500 mts. With the onslaught on the habitat by man its number has dwindled considerably making it a highly endangered species. In the Eighth Plan, the Govt. of India launched the Snow Leopard Project for the long term conservation of this elusive cat. An expert team indentified sites throughout the Himalayas to implement this project and Govind Wildlife Sanctuary was indentified as one of such sites. To further improve the protection of this rare animal, the upper reaches (the Snow Leopard habitat) of the sanctuary were intentionally notified as a National Park, which covers an area of 472.08 sq. kms.
Flora and Fauna: Among the lush surroundings of the Uttarkashi district is the Govind Wildlife Sanctuary. Uttarkashi, with its magnificent snowclad peaks and glaciers, is believed to be one of the most beautiful towns in the Garhwal region. The sanctuary was established in 1955 and sprawls over an area of 953 sq. kms. including mountains like Swarg Rohini, Black Peak and Bandarpunch. The Har-ki-Dun is famous for its emerald greenery and is a popular destination for trekkers. The wildlife population includes the snow leopard, brown and Himalayan black bears, tahr, bharal, musk deer, serow, monal, trogopan chir, koklas and khaleej pheasants and chukor.
Major Wildlife Attractions: Over 15 species of mammals and 150 species of birds exists in the sanctuary. The important mammals are Snow leopard, Black bear, Brown bear, Musk deer, Bharal, Himalayan Thar, Serow and Common leopard.
The endangered birds found in the area are Monal pheasant, Koklas pheasant, Western Tragopan, Himalayan Snow cock, Golden eagle, Steppe eagle, Black eagle and Bearded vulture. Other important bird groups are pigeons, parakeets, cuckoos, owls, minivets, bulbuls, tits, warblers, thrushes, finches, buntings, etc.
As in other areas of the Himalayas, owing to low density and rugged terrain, the animal sightings are very poor. The Ruinsara catchment has been an important area for high altitude expeditions to peaks like Black Peak and Banderpunch.
Other Attractions: The sanctuary has a rich forest cover and the neighboring forest divisions help in maintaining genetic diversity in the forest. The area is very rich source of some of the medicinal plants, many of which are the important life saving drugs. The area provides a natural habitat to a lot of endangered animals.
The Snow Leopard inhabits the inner Himalayas above the altitude of 3500 m. The Government of India launched the Snow Leopard Project in its Eighth Plan. The Govind Wildlife Sanctuary was identified as one of sites of the Snow Leopard in the Himalayas. The upper reaches of the sanctuary are the natural habitat of the Snow Leopard and were intentionally notified as a National Park.
The park is home to more than 15 species of mammals and 150 species of birds. The important mammals are Bharal, Black Bear, Brown Bear, Common Leopard, Himalayan Thar, Musk Deer, Serow and Snow Leopard. The endangered birds found in the area are Bearded Vulture, Black Eagle, Himalayan Snow Cock, Golden Eagle, Monal Pheasant, Koklas Pheasant, Steppe Eagle and Western Tragopan. Other important bird found here are Buntings, Bulbuls, Cuckoos, Finches, Minivets, Owls, Pigeons, Parakeets, Thrushes, Tits and Warblers.
Best Time to Visit: the Govind Wildlife Sanctuary is between April to June and September to November.
How to Get there:
Air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant, Dehradun, 231kms.
Rail: The nearest railhead is Dehradun, 207 kms.
Road: Accessible by road via Rishikesh-Uttarkashi or via Mussoorie- Purola- Saur. Bus services are available from Uttarkashi, Barkot Dehradun, Naitwar to Saur-Sankri.
General Info / Tips:
For More Information about the Govind Wildlife Sanctuary Please contact to:
The Wildlife Warden
Govind Wildlife sanctury
Uttarkashi, District – Uttarkashi (Uttaranchal)
Tiger, Snow Leopard