Kugti & Tundah WildLife Sanctuary
Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary
(BEST PERIOD - MAY TO OCTOBER)
Kugti wild life sanctuary is located at an altitude of 2250 meter and lies between Latitudinal range 32°22´ to 32°35´ N; Longitudinal range 76°44´ to 76°53´E; in Bharmour of Chamba District of Himachal Pradesh. This sanctuary has an area of 37,886.68 hectare (378.87 sq. km). It has also Pir Panjal Himalayan range. The topography of the area is mountainous having altitudinal range of 2000 meter to 5000 meters from sea level, and includes different zones like temperate (2000-2800m), upper temperate (2800-3300m), subalpine (3300-3600m) and alpine zone >3600m.
From December to March, temperature remains less than 10º C and comes down to 0º C because of heavy snowfall. The change over from winter to summer is gradual. During March and April, weather is cool and bright, and the temperature begins to rise rapidly after the middle of April and continue till end of the rainy season in July. The months of October and November are comparatively dry and cold weather usually starts by the middle of November. The annual rainfall in the Kugti wildlife sanctuary is recorded 1400mm.
As a whole, the climate is temperate with well-marked seasons. The south facing physical environment in the Kugti wildlife sanctuary can be described as rocky terrain with frequent outcrops of huge boulders, slate and rock faces while north facing part of sanctuary are having dense mixed forests, rich in high-altitude Himalayan wildlife, and is one of the last homes of Himalayan tahr in Himachal Pradesh. It is also well-known as a source of many medicinal plants, abundant water resources, many originating from glaciers and a diverse topography add to the attraction of the area. To the west it is connected with Tundah Sanctuary by a forest corridor. The main occupation is farming and they grow more than two crops in a year followed by crop rotation.
Wheat (Triticum aestivum), Maize (Zea mays), barley (Hordum vulgare), rajma (Phaseolus sativus), potato (Solan
um tuberosum) etc are the main crops. The mammalian fauna comprised brown bear (Ursus arctos), Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus), Leopard (Panthera pardus), Himalayan Tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus), Himalayan ibex (Capra ibex), Goral (Nemorhaedus goral), Common Langur (Presbytus entellus), porcupine (Hystrix indica) and the area also supports a small population of musk deer (Moschus chrysogaster)etc.
The best periods for visiting the sanctuary are May-October, when the weather is good. Kugti is snow bond area and bonded with snow for four to five months in year. Hence provide good time for researcher to research the snow habitats like Snow leopard, Goral, Himalayan Thar, Serow, Brown and black Bear, musk deer, birdlife, hidden flora and many more which are main habitats and vegetation of Kugti sanct
uary. Forests are dense and mountains provides many medicinal plants and herbs like Aconitum heterophyllum (Potish
), Podophylum hexandrum (Bankakudi
), Angelica glauca (Chaora
), Jurinea macrocephala (Dhoop
), and Morchella esculenta (Guchhi
) etc. are also extracted from the forest. There is an annual pilgrimage by lacks of people to the Mani Mahesh Lake; few people choose the path through the Kugti sanctuary. Kugti is famous for Kartik Temple and a way to Lauhal and Spiti through Kugti Pass. When Kugti pass is opened for local Gaddi shepherd to cross with their flocks to Lauhal valley, providing a rare occasion to see and study the customs
and rituals of the local people.
Tundah Wildlife Sanctuary
(BEST PERIOD - APRIL TO OCTOBER)
A high altitude sanctuary in Bharmour of District Chamba (H.P.) at the Latitudinal range of 32°27´ to 32°40´ N; Longitudinal range of 76°27´ to 76°37´E; an area of 6422.08 hectare. (64.22sqkm). with good, though disturbed, habitat for Himalayan Thar, Ibex and pheasants. The area also supports a small population of Musk deer. It is connected to Kugti Sanctuary by a forest corridor to the east. Forest type includes Moist Deodar Forest Western Mixed Coniferous Forest and Alpine Pastures. Kail and Deodar were planted for commercial timber. A way goes through Tundah sanctuary to Lauhal valley over Kalicho Pass via Banni Mata. This sanctuary is almost same as Kugti sanctuary but differ by climate temperature and topography. The sanctuary is rich of birds, medicinal plant and herbs. Tundah sanctuary is easily approachable from road and can be visited through dense forest of sanctuary with experienced guide.