Visit Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve for a unique and extraordinary collection of flora, fauna and avi-fauna (birds). The biosphere is a dreamland for nature lovers, adventure lovers, ornithologists and all the travellers. Located at a distance of 48 km from Srinagar, the Gulmarg Biosphere covers an area of about 180 sq. km. The biosphere not only has the rarest and endangered species of animals and plants, but is also honoured for preserving and nurturing them. Musk Deer, Hangul, Brown Bear, Leopard and Black Bear are some of them. The major portion of the Gulmarg Biosphere is covered with dense greens.
Flora And Fauna
Gulmarg is well known for its rich vegetation. Out of this dominant forest, conifers account for over 90%. Other principal species of flora are Cedrus Deodara, Pinus Griffithii, Abies Pindrow, Aesculus Indica, etc. Shrubs like Indigofera Heterantha, and Sorbaria Tomentosa along with rich and Di-cotyledonus herbs can be seen here.
Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve is gifted with rare and endangered species of Hangul, Musk Deer, Serow, Brown Bear, Leopard, Black Bear and Red Fox, etc.
In the Avi-fauna/birds section, the area supports a good population of pheasants and uplandbirds such as crimson tagopan, monal pheasant, blood pheasant and koklass pheasant, golden eagles and bearded vultures, out of which a few are migratory. Other engaging birds are Griffon Vulture, Monal, Snow Cock, Koklas, Blue Rock Pigeon, Kashmir Roller, and European Hoopoe.
Best Time To Visit
Natural beauty and flora species blossom throughout the year. But if you wish to see the rarest species of animals and birds, the ideal time is September to March and March to May, respectively.
How To Get There
By air: The nearest airport is at Srinagar. By rail: The nearest railhead is at Jammu which counts about 342 km. By road: One can avail regular and frequent buses that ply from Srinagar (48 km).
There are a few tourist and private accommodation units near the biosphere reserve. But, you are at an altitudinal range of 2400 to 4300 meters above sea level, staying at the Camping sites can be an interesting and adventurous option.