Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary in the Garhwal Himalaya

This sanctuary was included in the wildlife protection act in 1972 and is situated at a staggering elevation of 1,160 meters above sea level in the Himalayan highlands of Uttarakhand. The Himalayan Musk deer, which is threatened, is what this area is there to safeguard. The sanctuary, which spans 975 square kilometers and includes the Uttarakhand districts of Chamoli and Rudraprayag, is named after the well-known Hindu temple of Kedarnath due to its vicinity. On your Kedarnath Yatra, you have the choice of visiting this adventurous option. The Western Himalayas’ largest protected region, this wildlife sanctuary has a healthy forest cover, peaceful alpine meadows, and the rest of the territory is either rocky or still covered in snow throughout the year.


There are numerous temples located on the grounds of the Kedarnath Wildlife sanctuary Uttarakhand. Among these temples, the Kedarnath Temple has the highest historical significance. Also the most significant yatra of Kedarnath ji dham is about to begin and the Kedarnath temple open and close date are briefly explained in. Several worshippers come to this temple annually. The history of this temple dates back to the 8th century. Several temples also have compelling legends attached to them. These legends all originate from the time of the Mahabharata. Ansuya Devi, Mandani, Tungnath, Rudranath, and Madhyamaheshwar are some of the nearby temples. The Bhotiya incorporate Tibetan influences as well as the local Hindu culture. These individuals make up a significant portion of the valley populations and are primarily pastoral workers. Wildlife is abundant in the area.


Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the districts of Chamoli and Rudraprayag in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The upper elevations of this sanctuary are marked by glaciers. Through time and glacial activity, these glaciers have transformed into deep V-shaped valleys. River valleys are created by the rivers Mandakini, Biera, Menan, and Kali in a north-south direction.


The location of the animal sanctuary consistently experiences a temperate to subarctic climate. Heavy rainfall is experienced throughout the entire region, and from June to September, the Tungnath region is inundated with rain. While the nice months can be found in May or June, the record temperature increases to 25 degrees Celsius throughout the summer. The month of mid-January has the lowest recorded temperature, with lows as low as -10 degrees Celsius and significant snowfall. The entire wildlife refuge is covered with snow during the coldest months. The months of May and June are the ideal times to explore Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary Uttarakhand.

Flora and Fauna


When it comes to bio variety, this sanctuary is known for being one of the richest hot places in the entire planet. It is covered in temperate forests at mid-altitudes. Forests of conifers, including subalpine and alpine, can be found in the higher or upper regions. Alpine grasslands and high-altitude Bugyals cover the area as the altitude raises more. The Kedarnath Sanctuary’s diverse geography and climate have allowed for the growth of dense oak, chir pine, rhododendron, and birch forests, as well as alpine meadows and a wide variety of lovely Himalayan blooming species. Sedges Carex Lacta & C. Munda has been found to flourish in the Tungnath region. Before this, it was only known that these two sedges grew in the western part of Nepal.


Fauna  There are a number of carnivorous animals that can be found in this area, including the fox (Vulpes vulpes), yellow-throated marten (Martes flavigula), common leopard (Panthera pardus), jackal (Canis aureus), snow leopard (Uncia uncia), Himalayan black bear (Selenarctos thibetanus), and leopard cat (Felis bengalensis). The Indian muntjac, wild boar (Sus scrofa), and Himalayan musk deer are a few of the larger mammals or ungulates found here (Moschus leucogaster). Moreover, primates including the rhesus macaque and common langur (Presbytis entellus) reside in this area (Macaca mulatta). Some of the smaller mammals that reside here include the red giant flying squirrel (Petaurista petaurista), Hodgsons’s Brown-toothed Shrew (Soriculus sp.), and Royle’s Mountain Vole (Alticola roylei). Amphiesma parallelum, a kind of Boulenger’s keelback, and the Himalayan pit viper are among the reptile species that can be found here (Gloydius himalayanus syn. Ancistrodon himalayanus).


The Nepal Tree-creeper (Certhia nipalensis), the Kalij Pheasant (Lophura leucomelanos), the Little Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula westermanni), the Koklass Pheasant (Pucrasia macrolopha), and the Grey-cheeked Warbler are among notable species that may be seen here (Seicercus poliogenys). In addition to these species, you can also find the Himalayan Monal (Lophophorus impejanus), which is the state bird of Uttarakhand. This species is critically endangered.


Several different species of aquatic animals call the Madakini River, which flows through the Kedarnath Wild Life Sanctuary, home. There are a number of fish that may be found in this area, including the Gara spp., Schizothorax sp., Nemacheilus sp. Nov., Balitora brucei, mahseer Tor tor, Glyptothorax spp., Labeo spp., & Barilius spp.


At the Kedarnath Sanctuary, one of the most important wildlife species is the musk deer. The sanctuary is sometimes referred to as the Kedarnath Musk Deer Sanctuary in honor of this animal. Almost 40% of the Musk deer population has been lost in the previous 21 years due to widespread poaching of this species for financial and commercial gain. As a result, the government was forced to proclaim it an endangered species in 1973. (Halloway, 1973). In 1972, the IUCN classified the Musk deer as vulnerable in its red data book.


  • The lush woodlands that let you get close to nature are the main attractions.
  • The area’s rare and threatened animal species.
  • The Himalayan peaks that surround the area are beautiful to look at.

Information for guests:

Indians make up the majority of visitors to the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary Uttarakhand. Most of the time, they are pilgrims who are visiting the local temples. The only way to get to the Kedarnath Temple is via the path that goes through this sanctuary. April through June and again from September through November is the best times to visit this refuge. Over 5, 57,923 people visited the Kedarnath temple in 2007; in contrast, 87,629 pilgrims came to this sanctuary in 1987. This is a significant growth after a 20-year gap. The closest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, the state capital of Uttarakhand. The entry point for this sanctuary is Chopta.

The state route that connects Chopta to Chamoli is National Highway NH 58, which starts in Delhi and travels through that region via Meerut, Rishikesh, Rudraprayag, Okhimath, and ultimately Chamoli. Visitors visiting the refuge are provided with lodging and resting spaces. To book a reservation at the Madhyamaheshwar forest hut, contact the DFO’s Kedarnath Wildlife Division at Gopeshwar in advance. Various temple committees in the area maintain Dharamshalas. At Kedarnath, Mandal, Gaurikund, Dougalbitta, and Trijuginarayan, these are available for use by tourists and pilgrims. Additionally, a guest house is located at Sonprayag.

Listed below are some visitor tips:

  • Please try not to aggravate the animals in any way.
  • Because most animals sleep during the day because they are nocturnal, take care not to disturb them.
  • Smoking is not permitted in the sanctuary.
  • Avoid using flashes or taking invasive pictures.
  • Avoid picking up flowers or insects.
  • Not for picnics, though. Camping and picnicking are not permitted within the sanctuary.
  • Bring plenty of water with you.
  • Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing, and make an effort to blend in with your surroundings.
  • Take authorized tour guides with you while you travel through the refuge.

How to Reach:

  • Air:

The closest airport is in Dehradun at Jolly Grant.

  • Rail:

The nearest railhead is 227 kilometers away at Rishikesh.

  • Road:

The state highway to Chopta is taken by road NH 58 from Delhi in order to get to Kedarnath Sanctuary by car.

For guests and travelers, there are accommodation options both inside the park’s boundaries and nearby. Prior reservations must be made with the assistance of the DFO at the Kedarnath wildlife division in Gopeshwar in order to stay at the forest hut in Madhyamaheshwar. For the use of pilgrims and tourists, the Kedarnath temple committee maintains stay and rest areas (Dharamshalas) at a number of nearby locations, including Trijuginarayan, Duggalbitta, Mandal, Gaurikund, as well as Kedarnath and Sonprayag.

Religious and Social Importance: 

Due to the belief that Lord Vishnu is said to have meditated here among the “Kedar” (a type of berry) fields, Kedarnath Mandir is regarded as being extremely sacred by devoted Hindus. The sanctuary contains a number of exceedingly revered temples, including Mandani, Madhyamaheshwar, Tungnath, Ansuya Devi, and Rudranath. Hindu culture has been ingrained in the locals of the area by the “Bhotiyas,” who subsist off of herding livestock and are a very important component of the valley.

Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary Uttarakhand sightseeing:

The sanctuary has a total of 23 places for sightseeing where visitors can go and get up close to the unadulterated forms of nature. Here, one has the choice of seeing some of the most stunning tourist attractions, including Gandhi Sarovar, Vasuki Tal, Sonprayag, Chopta, Shankaracharya Samadhi, Chandrashila, Tungnath, and Devariyatal, among others.

FAQs related to Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary

1. What are the top things to do at the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary?

The best things to do in the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary include bird watching, camping, hiking, and wildlife watching. The adjacent villages can be explored by visitors who want to learn more about the customs and culture of the area.

2. Is a permit required to enter Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary Uttarakhand?

You do need a permit to enter Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary. The Rudraprayag office of the forest department, as well as online, both offer visitor permits.

3. What accommodation choices are there in the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary?

There are a significant number of accommodations in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary Uttarakhand, such as guesthouses, hotels, & campsites. Depending on their needs and tastes, guests can choose from a variety of affordable and upscale solutions.

4. How can I find out the most recent details regarding Kedarnath temple open and close dates?

Every year, the priests and local officials declare the Kedarnath Temple’s opening and closing dates. For the most recent information, you can visit the Kedarnath Temple’s official website, get in touch with the neighborhood government, or use a travel agency. It is always advisable to schedule your visit far in advance and to confirm the dates before making any travel plans.

5. Is taking heli service to Kedarnath ji Dham safe?

Indeed, it is generally agreed with that heli services to Kedarnath ji Dham are secure. Choosing a trustworthy and professional helicopter operator is crucial, as is adhering to all safety rules and guidelines while riding.