Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary located in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand, India. It’s known for its rich biodiversity and, as the name suggests, is particularly important for the conservation of the Himalayan musk deer.
Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary In Pithoragarh
The Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary, established in 1986, is dedicated to the conservation of the endangered Musk Deer and its habitat. Situated at an elevation of 1600 meters, the sanctuary covers a vast area of 600 square kilometers and is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. This sanctuary is located in Askot, a small hamlet about 54 kilometers away from Pithoragarh town in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand, India.The landscape is characterized by dense forests, alpine meadows, and rugged terrains, making it an ideal habitat for these unique and endangered species. The sanctuary not only serves as a protected area for wildlife but also offers breathtaking views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks.
Primary Objective Of The Sanctuary
The primary objective of the sanctuary is to provide a protected environment for the Musk Deer, which is known for its musk gland secretion. Musk, extracted from these glands, has been historically used in perfumes and traditional medicine, leading to over-exploitation and a decline in Musk Deer populations.
In addition to the Musk Deer, the sanctuary supports a rich biodiversity with various species of plants and animals. The diverse ecosystem contributes to the overall health of the region and provides a habitat for numerous wildlife species.Preservation efforts in sanctuaries like Askot are crucial for maintaining ecological balance, protecting endangered species, and promoting sustainable practices. Conservation initiatives often involve habitat preservation, anti-poaching measures, and community involvement to ensure the long-term survival of the Musk Deer and other wildlife in the area.
Activities In Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary
Wildlife Safari:Explore the sanctuary through organized wildlife safaris. These can be either by foot or in authorized vehicles. The sanctuary is home to various species of flora and fauna, and a safari offers an opportunity to observe them in their natural habitat.
Bird Watching: The sanctuary is a haven for bird watchers. Bring your binoculars and observe the rich avian life that includes a variety of Himalayan and alpine bird species.
Trekking: Take advantage of the scenic trails and go trekking in and around the sanctuary. There are various trekking routes that offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains and landscapes.
Photography: Capture the breathtaking landscapes, diverse plant life, and the elusive musk deer through your lens. The sanctuary provides excellent opportunities for nature and wildlife photography.
Flora Exploration: Study the diverse flora that the sanctuary harbors. The region is rich in alpine vegetation, and you can find a variety of medicinal plants, herbs, and trees.
Nature Walks: Take leisurely walks within the sanctuary premises to appreciate the natural beauty and serenity of the surroundings.
Near Place to Visit
How To Reach
By Air: The nearest airport is Pantnagar Airport (PGH), which is approximately 220 kilometers away. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or use public transportation to reach Askot.
By Train: The nearest railway station is Tanakpur Railway Station, around 150 kilometers away. Once you reach Tanakpur, you can hire a taxi or use local transport to get to Askot.
By Road: Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary is well-connected by road. You can take a bus or hire a taxi from nearby towns like Pithoragarh or Tanakpur. The sanctuary is accessible via motorable roads.