Known for its rich floral species, Kedarnath Sanctuary is situated in Chamoli and Rudraprayag district of Garhwal region in the state of Uttarakhand. The sanctuary covers the area of 975 km sq and was founded in the year 1972. It is named after the famous Kedarnath Temple, which is situated just outside its northern border. The entire 14 km trekking route from Gauri Kund to Kedarnath Temple ( passes through this wildlife sanctuary in Uttarakhand. This wildlife sanctuary in Uttarakhand is also the largest protected area in the western Himalayas and is also known as Kedarnath Musk Deer Sanctuary as it protects this endangered species. Moreover, the sanctuary also offers astonishing views of valleys, glaciers, forests, grasslands, butterflies, and a plethora of flowers. The sanctuary has a number of Hindu temples located within its vicinity, along with Kedarnath Temple, Mandani, Madhyamaheshwar, Tungnath, Ansuya Devi and Rudranath are some important Hindu shrines that are visited in wildlife reserve’s precincts.
Flora in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary
Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary has the richest flora and is considered a few of the reputed bio-reserves. The attraction hosts temperate, coniferous, and alpine forests along with the alpine grasslands and bugyals. Not limited to that, the sanctuary has a diverse climate and topography which created the dense forests of Pine, Rhododendrons, Birch, and Oak. The flora of the sanctuary is not limited to these, alpine meadows and numbers of Himalayan flowering plants are also the part of the rich flora of Kedarnath Sanctuary.
One can also find numbers of medical and aromatic plants in the sanctuary. Amongst these, 22 species of plants are rare and endangered. Angelica glauca, Artemisia maritima, Aconitum balfourii, Arnebia benthamii, Dactylorhiza hatagirea, and Bergenia stracheyi are some of the endangered species of the plants that can be found in Kedarnath wildlife sanctuary.
Fauna in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary
The sanctuary of Kedarnath is known for its rich fauna. Here, one can get to see numerous mammals. Indian Jackal, snow leopard, Indian leopard, yellow-throated marten, Himalayan black bear, red fox, and leopard cat. Other mammals like; Indian boar, Himalayan musk deer, Hodgson’s brown-toothed shrew, rhesus macaque, red giant flying squirrel, langur, Indian muntjac, and Royle's pika are also the part of the sanctuary.
Some of the crucial bird species are also found in Kedarnath wildlife sanctuary. Snow Partridge, kalij pheasant, Himalayan Monal, little-pied flycatcher, Koklass peasant, West Himalayan bush warbler, grey-cheeked warbler, and Rusty-flanked treecreeper are the species of birds in the sanctuary.
Above mammals and birds, the wildlife sanctuary also hosts reptile species like; Himalayan pit viper and Boulenger’s keelback. When it comes to fishes, Mandakini River that flows through the sanctuary consists Schizothorax, mahseer tor, Barilius, Gara, and more.
Best Time to Visit Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary
May to June is the ideal time to visit the attraction. However, people also find the weather along with flora and fauna of the sanctuary idyllic in the months of September to November.