Hemis National Park Snow Leopard Expedition

Hemis National Park is a stunning outdoor landscape in the Ladakh region of Northern India, the only national park north of the Himalayan range. The park boasts mountainous vistas and rare wildlife native to the locality. It is the second-largest contiguous protected area in all of India and has up to 29 peaks. The rugged landscape is bounded by the Indus and the Zanskar river. The alpine meadows and shrublands bring colour to the snowy setting and provide cover for some local herbivores. Recreational areas are common in this region: the nearby wildlife sanctuaries and national parks attract tourists in hordes every year. 

Good To Know

Jammu And Kashmir
Nearest Airport
Leh Airport
Wildlife Sighting Index
7/10 for Snow Leapord
Beauty of Forest Index
9/10 Beauty of Forest
Standard of Infrastructure Index
6/10 for Stay & Amenities
Bookings Open
60 Days in Advance
Consider Securing
30 Days in Advance
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Flora of Hemis National Park

Hemis National Park is famous for its variety of exotic fauna, but that’s not all! The park also harbours a list of exotic floral species. The high-altitude, secluded fringes and vast lands allow the park to cultivate a plethora of plants, trees and vegetation. The varying flower species thrive in varying habitats, mostly divided into species of the lower reaches and upper reaches. The greenery spread around the low altitude plains and meadows is freckled with species like dry birch, juniper and fir. Meanwhile, the higher meadows stationed on mountain slopes receive higher precipitation leading to the growth of verdant alpine forests. Species like Anemone, Gentiana and Veronica dot the steep grasslands.

  • Juniper
  • Dry birch
  • For
  • Anemone
  • Gentiana
  • Thalictrum
  • Lloydia
  • Veronica
  • Delphinium
  • Acantholimon lycopodiodes
  • Arnebia euchroma
  • Artimisia Maritima
  • Bergenia stracheyi
  • Ephedra gerardiana
  • Ferula jaeschkeana
  • Hyoscyamus niger
  • Kobresia

Fauna of Hemis National Park

The rich forestation breeds an assortment of mammals. The rugged landscape and cool temperatures make Hemis an ideal home for mountainous species to thrive. The Great Tibetan sheep, Blue sheep, and Shapu are just some of the livestock you can find in these frigid mountains. These vast lands are also home to exotic predators like the Tibetan wolf, Eurasian brown bear and red fox.  While the aforementioned list of mammals is certainly attractive, the real reason why wildlife enthusiasts yearn to tour Hemis National Park is that they house two animal species you can’t find anywhere else, at least not in as much abundance as in Hemis. These two species are the Shapu sheep and the elusive snow leopard. Hemis National Park is known for being a perfect location for a snow leopard expedition. A whopping 200 snow leopards roam the icy mountains of Hemis. Furthermore, avifauna is also plentiful. The alpine and other forests shelter a variety of majestic birds like the golden eagle, Himalayan griffon, vulture and many others.

  • Argali
  • Shapu
  • Bharal
  • Asiatic ibex
  • Tibetan wolf
  • Eurasian brown bear
  • Red fox
  • Himalayan marmot
  • Himalayan weasel
  • Himalayan mouse hare
  • Golden eagle
  • Lammergeier vulture
  • Robin accentor
  • Tickell’s leaf warbler
  • Streaked rosefinch
  • Black-winged snow finch
  • Chukar
  • Blyth’s swift
  • Red-billed chough
  • Himalayan snowcock
  • Fire-fronted serin
  • Himalayan griffon
  • Brown accentor

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Explore The Known and Unknown of Hemis National Park

This 4,400 square kilometres wide park is celebrated for having the highest density of snow leopards amidst its protected lands. The catchments of Markha, Sumdha, Rumbak and parts of Zanskar Range come under the folds of Hemis National Park. In 1981, an area of 600 square kilometres consisting of the catchments of Rumbak and Markha was allotted to the park. In 1988, the newly found park grew to almost 3350 square kilometres in size by incorporating the neighbouring lands. Finally, in 1990, the park grew to its current size of 4400 square kilometres. 

Things to Enjoy near Hemis National Park

Hemis National Park, located in the region of Ladakh has tons of adventures hidden in its lap of wonders. From exciting activities to visiting nearby lakes and monasteries and even shopping! Travellers can be assured that there will not be even a moment of boredom on this thrilling trip. Firstly, the park offers Jeep Safari to Leg through the passes. This Safari cruises you through motorable passes to the beautiful landscapes of Ladakh. Snow-capped mountains, lakes, monasteries, clear skies and a lot more are awaiting you in this cold destination. There are also camel safaris offered in Nubra valley along with the option to explore the park via mountain biking in the steep ranges.

You can even take a bike to Tso Moriri Lake and enjoy a serene day by the lakeside. Tourists can also resort to trekking to explore the surrounding magnificent area, like treks to Ripchar valley. Moreover, the beautiful river of Zanskar provides an enthralling experience of River rafting. Extreme sports like paragliding, ice hockey, and skiing are also available in Ladakh. Last but not the least, tourists can spend their time chasing and tracking the artful snow leopards through the tricky terrain of the mountains.

If you’re an avid wildlife lover and enjoy taking pictures, be sure to bring your best camera along as Hemis is also a spectacular location for not just wildlife photography, but also individual photoshoots. For bird lovers, a visit to the tranquil waters of Pangong lake is a must. This breathtaking beauty is at an elevation of 14,270 feet and stretches between India and China for 12 kilometres. The surreal clean blue waters are salty, despite which the lake freezes into thick icy sheets due to low temperatures. The lake even changes colours from blue to green and even grey and attracts a myriad of migratory birds into its lap. Other attractions near the Ladakh region include the Hall of Fame, Alchi Monastery, Diskit Monastery, Royal Leh Palace, Shanti Stupa and a lot more.  

How to reach Hemis National Park

Hemis National Park is most easily accessed through Leh. You can reach Leh from Srinagar, Chandigarh or Manali. Leh is well-connected to all major cities of India and offers good connectivity with nearby areas. You can traverse the journey from your desired city to Leh in by road; several state-run buses, ordinary and deluxe, are available for road travel. Moreover, rental cars by a travel agency or taking the adventurous path of driving your vehicle yourself is also an option. The nearest airport is Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport which has connecting flights from cities like Delhi, Srinagar, Jammu and more. Although there is no direct train connectivity to Leh, the Jammu Tawi station is the nearest railhead. Once in Leh, travellers can hire taxis, rental cars or drive their vehicles to Hemis National Park. 

Resorts at Hemis National Park

There are no accommodations inside Hemis National Park itself or even very nearby. However, there are six villages in the park where homestay facilities are available. Homestays are usually cheaper, authentic and offer an intimate experience with the native people. The villages are Rumbak, Kaya, Sku, Shingo, Urutse and Chilling. In addition, Hemis Monastery also offers rooms for visitors to stay in. Moreover, the nearby region of Ladakh offers a varied spectrum of hotels and resorts to stay at. From pocket-friendly to more luxurious hotels. Even the cheap hotels have spacious rooms, balconies and basic amenities while more expensive suites offer decked out paraphernalia like WiFi, satellite TV, high-quality linen, excellent room service, opulent views and more.  

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