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Askot Sanctuary, Pithoragarh: A Paradise for Wildlife Enthusiasts

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If you are a wildlife enthusiast and looking for an offbeat destination in India, then Askot Sanctuary in Pithoragarh is definitely worth exploring. This wildlife sanctuary is nestled in the lap of the Himalayas and is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. In this article, we will take you through a detailed tour of Askot Sanctuary, from its history to the wildlife that can be spotted here.

History of Askot Sanctuary

The Askot Sanctuary was established in the year 1986 and covers an area of about 600 sq. km. The sanctuary was established with the aim of preserving the unique biodiversity of the region. The sanctuary is located in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand, and is situated at an altitude of 5412 feet above sea level.

Flora and Fauna

Askot Sanctuary is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna, with a mix of both Himalayan and subtropical species. The sanctuary is covered with dense forests of oak, pine, rhododendron, and deodar. The sanctuary is also home to some rare species of plants like the Himalayan yew and the Himalayan blue poppy.

The sanctuary is also home to a diverse range of wildlife including leopard, snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, musk deer, bharal, serow, and ghoral. Birdwatchers will also be delighted to spot a variety of avian species such as Himalayan monal, kalij pheasant, and koklass pheasant.

Trekking and Camping

Askot Sanctuary is a popular destination for trekking and camping enthusiasts. The sanctuary offers some great trekking trails, which are both challenging and scenic. The Khatiyan-Rameshwar Trek, Askot-Arjuneshwar Trek, and Askot-Munsiyari Trek are some of the popular trekking routes in the sanctuary.

Camping is also a great way to explore the beauty of the sanctuary. There are several camping sites in the sanctuary, which offer beautiful views of the Himalayas.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Askot Sanctuary is from April to June and from September to November. During these months, the weather is pleasant and the chances of spotting wildlife are higher. The sanctuary is closed during the monsoon season, from July to August.

How to Reach

Askot Sanctuary is well connected by road and can be easily reached from Pithoragarh, which is about 54 km away. The nearest railway station is at Kathgodam, which is about 200 km away. The nearest airport is at Pantnagar, which is about 250 km away.

Accommodation

There are several options for accommodation near Askot Sanctuary. Pithoragarh has several hotels and resorts that cater to all budgets. If you are looking for a more adventurous stay, then camping is a great option.

Conclusion

Askot Sanctuary is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. The sanctuary is a great place to explore the beauty of the Himalayas and spot some rare species of flora and fauna. So, if you are planning a trip to Uttarakhand, make sure to include Askot Sanctuary in your itinerary.

FAQs

  1. Is it safe to visit Askot Sanctuary? Ans: Yes, it is safe to visit Askot Sanctuary. However, it is always advisable to take precautions while trekking or camping in the sanctuary.
  2. What is the entry fee for Askot Sanctuary? Ans: The entry fee for Askot Sanctuary is Rs. 150 for Indians and Rs. 600 for foreigners.
  1. Are there any restrictions on photography in Askot Sanctuary? Ans: Yes, photography is allowed in the sanctuary, but you need to take permission from the authorities before taking photographs or filming.
  2. Can I hire a guide for trekking in Askot Sanctuary? Ans: Yes, you can hire a guide for trekking in Askot Sanctuary. It is always advisable to take a guide along as they are familiar with the terrain and can help you spot wildlife more easily.
  3. What kind of clothing should I carry while visiting Askot Sanctuary? Ans: Since the sanctuary is located at an altitude, the temperature can drop significantly, especially during the night. It is advisable to carry warm clothing, including a jacket, gloves, and a hat.
  4. Can I stay inside the sanctuary overnight? Ans: Camping is allowed inside the sanctuary, but you need to take permission from the authorities before setting up camp. There are several camping sites in the sanctuary, which offer beautiful views of the Himalayas.
  5. What are some other nearby attractions to visit along with Askot Sanctuary? Ans: Some other nearby attractions to visit include Pithoragarh Fort, Kapileshwar Mahadev Temple, and the scenic town of Munsiyari, which is known for its trekking trails and beautiful vistas.
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Upendra Yadav is a seasoned Data Analyst with a passion for exploring new places and immersing himself in different cultures. With a curious mind and an eye for detail, Upendra delves deep into the history, people, and cuisine of the places he visits, and brings his experiences to life through his writing.. His work has been featured in various travel blogs, where he shares his insights and recommendations for fellow explorers. Through his writing, Upendra aims to inspire others to venture beyond their comfort zones and discover the hidden gems of the world. When he's not analyzing data or traveling to new destinations, Upendra can be found indulging in his other hobbies, such as photography and trying out new recipes. He is currently working on his next travelogue, where he hopes to take his readers on a journey to even more exciting and lesser-known destinations.
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