One of the best places to visit in Gulmarg for wildlife enthusiasts, the Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve gives you ample opportunities to observe biodiversity in its richest form, the exquisite species of flora, fauna and avifauna. Capture the animals, including both common and rare species, in their different moods and moments in this reserve located at an altitude that ranges between 2,400 and 4,300 metres above sea level.
Spanning across an area of 180 sq km, this biosphere reserve is home to myriad species of flora, fauna and birds, including some very rare species. It lies at a distance of about 48 km from Srinagar and the main attraction here is the musk deer. You can however, also spot brown bear, leopard, hangul, serow, black bear and red fox as you venture into the deeper ends of the forest apart from a rich array of avifauna like upland birds and pheasants. You may also spot an occasional griffon, monal, vulture, European hoopoe, jungle crow, Kashmir roller, blue rock pigeon, koklas and snow cock among others, making it a veritable haven for ornithologists.
The vegetation here is largely dominated by towering conifers apart from green herbs that lend a verdant scenic appearance to the place. It remains open for tourists and visitors every day from 10am to 4pm and adventure seekers can also opt to stay in close proximity to the reserve in camps provided in its vicinity. The beauty and appeal of the reserve grows many fold around the months of March through May when the flowers are in full bloom and it becomes a birdwatcher’s paradise.
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• The best time to visit is from September to March if you want to spot mammals and in March, April and May if you want to do birdwatching.
• Located 48 km south west of Srinagar, Kashmir region and covers an area of 180 sq km
• The reserve is famous for housing myriad rare and common species of flora, fauna and birds including the endangered musk deer
• Vegetation is predominantly conifers, the main species being Pinus Griffithii, Cedrus Deodara, Abies Pindrow, Aesculus Indica, etc.
• Shrubbery mainly comprises species like Indigofera Heterantha, Sorbaria Tomentosa, etc. Species like Rumex Patientia and Dicotyledonous herbs dominate the area forming most of the ground cover.
• Fauna here comprises rare and protected groups of animals like Serow, Brown Bear, Leopard, Hangul, Red fox, etc.
• Avifauna here includes large groups of pheasants apart from other upland bird species including both resident and migratory varieties.