Hemis National Park is located in the eastern Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. The park is extremely popular for being home to the snow leopard as it houses the highest density of this beautiful animal. Sprawling over an area of 4400 sq kms, this wildlife heaven was founded in 1981.
Here you can find about 200 snow leopards, with higher density in the Rumbak catchment area. Visitors can also spot Tibetan wolf, the Eurasian brown bear (endangered in India), and the red fox which remain rare sights otherwise. For the lovers of bird watching, Hemis National Park is a heaven. Spot Himalayan and Trans-Himalayan birds here apart from the golden eagle, the lammergeier vulture, and the Himalayan griffon vulture.
Some of the birds found here like brown accentor, robin accentor, Tickell's leaf warbler, streaked rosefinch and black-winged snowfinch are rare and cannot be found anywhere else in India. Till date, over 16 mammal species and 73 bird species have been recorded in the park.
Hemis National Park looks beautiful with some unseen sights of nature. The region does not experience much rainfall and thus, houses dry forests of juniper, Populus - Salix forests, subalpine dry birch ? fir.
The park houses beautiful Tibetan gompas and holy chortens. Within the park you can find a 400-year old Hemis Buddhist Monastery where hundreds of pilgrims visit. At present over 1,600 people dwell here.
Best Time to Visit: Though Hemis National Park remains open throughout the year, winter months are best to spot the highly endangered snow leopard.
Air: The nearest airport to the park is the Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport.
Rail: The nearest railway station is Jammu Tavi Railway Station and Kalka.