Less Explored - Kedarnath Muskdeer Sanctuary in UttarakhandKedarnath Musk Deer Sanctuary The Kedarnath Musk Deer Sanctuary is the most blissful chime of Nature’s bounty and magnanimity. Consisting of an area more than 376 sq mi, it was established in the year 1972. Named after the famous shrine of God Kedarnath, located just outside the Sanctuary, it sprawls across the districts of Chamoli & Rudraprayag in the state of Uttarakhand.The pristine forests and bugyals, in their captivating wilderness, along with their keenly preserved and managed rich floral and faunal biodiversity transcend one to a different world of truly idyllic existence. The call of the wild is mesmerizing and captures Garhwal in its true spirit.
The globally dwindling population of the endangered Himalayan Musk Deer (Moschus Chrysogaster) is the cynosure, the flagship species of the sanctuary. It was formed with a primary goal of conserving the globally significant and endangered Himalayan musk deer. However, the rich mixed forests and beautiful terrain of the Garhwal Himalayas, coupled with the presence of the famous Kedarnath temple, has made the area just as famous for its biodiversity and cultural heritage. The sanctuary has some of the richest mixed forests of the Western Himalayas. Sub-tropical, temperate, sub-alpine and alpine forests are all found on the slopes of the innumerable mountains and valleys of the sanctuary, stretching across altitudes from 1160m to 7068m above sea level.
There are as many as 23 mammal species in the Sanctuary, 11 of which are threatened. The high number of endangered animals, including the Snow leopard, Himalayan musk deer, Himalayan thar, Serow, Himalayan black bears, Himalayan brown bears, and Pheasants, make the Kedarnath Sanctuary an area of immense significance. Over 230 species of birds are found in the sanctuary. A Musk Deer Breeding Centre was established in 1982, at Kanchulakharak within the sanctuary, where Musk deer are bred in captivity and then released into the wild.
The surrounding areas of the sanctuary are popularly called Kedar Khand, and are home to the temples of Triyginarayan, Guptkashi, Ukhimath, Kalimath, and Gopeshwar. Access to the temples and the Sanctuary is possible through the Rudraprayag-Gaurikund road, which passes through the western sector, and the Chamoli-Kund road that runs approximately along the south-western boundary of the sanctuary from Mandal to Tala.
Best time to Visit: April & June & September to November.
Nearest Railway Station: Rishikesh, Dist. Dehradun.
Nearest Airport: Jollygrant Airport, District. Dehradun (17km. from Rishikesh)
How to reach: The two main approaches leading to the sanctuary area are – from Gopeshwar (about 20km. away) and from Guptkashi (about 15km. away)
Kedarnath Wildlife Division
Ph no & Fax: 01372 -252149, +919412029627