Chail Wildlife Sanctuary

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Chail Sanctuary is located in Chail, a hill station that is home to sambar, goral, and cheer pheasants in Blossom and Jhaja. Barking deer and kalijin can be seen at dark and dawn. The ideal time to visit is from March to October.

Chail Wildlife Sanctuary was found in 1976 and declared as a protected area under government consideration.

A brief history of Chail Wildlife Sanctuary

Chail Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1976 to protect the endangered species. There are several other species found here such as rhesus macaque, leopards, Indian muntjac and crested porcupine. Apart from being a haven for these rare big cats, this place is also rich in flora and fauna presenting great opportunities for ecotourism.

What to do in Chail Wildlife Sanctuary?

  • Trek
  • Hike
  • Bird watching
  • Sand Boarding and Snowshoeing
  • Visit a Monastery or a Village
  • Wildlife Photography and Video Watching

How to reach Chail Wildlife Sanctuary?

The best time to visit this place is between mid-October and mid-April as the snow leopards are more active during this time.

Chail is located at a distance of about 160 km from Shimla and 74 km from Mcleodganj.

You can take a train from New Delhi to Katra, which is the last station before Himachal Pradesh. You can hire a taxi from Katra to Chail. The taxi fare is around Rs. 2700-3500. From McLeodganj, you can hire a taxi to Chail. You can also hire a taxi to Chail from Shimla. To avoid long queues, you can hire a private taxi from Shimla or McLeodganj to Chail.

Wildlife species found in Chail Sanctuary

There are many species of Large mammals include rhesus macaque, leopards, Indian muntjac and crested porcupine. Some of the other species found in the area include Himalayan black bear, wild boar, common langur, sambar and black naped hare.

Trekking routes in Chail Wildlife Sanctuary

There are several trekking routes through the Chail Wildlife Sanctuary. The best time for trekking is during the winter season when there is snowfall in the mountains. You can choose from two different routes for trekking. One route starts from Parvati Valley, which is around 2200 m above sea level. The other route starts from Dragontop Chail, which is at an altitude of 3750 m above sea level.

The Parvati Valley route is a 7-day trekking route which takes you from the lower regions to the upper region of the Chail Wildlife Sanctuary. You can visit the Takthakung, a Buddhist monastery, on your way. The Takthakung is at an elevation of 2450 m above sea level.

The Dragontop Chail route is a moderate route and takes around 11 days to complete. The best time for trekking on this route is from November to February. The best time for trekking on the Parvati Valley route is from January to March.

Some Tips for a Safe and Enjoyable Safari at Chail Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Choose a reliable operator
  • Choose a day when there are no heavy clouds
  • Wear comfortable shoes while trekking
  • Carry enough water while trekking
  • Take food that is easy to digest and light in weight
  • Keep a safe distance while interacting with the animals
  • Avoid consuming liquor and tobacco while staying in the forest
  • Always carry a cell phone while trekking
  • Wear a helmet while snowboarding in the Sanctuary

Conclusion

Chail Wildlife Sanctuary is a small sanctuary located in the Chail district of Himachal Pradesh. It is home to various species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. This sanctuary is also famous for its snow leopards which are one of the 14 big cats in the world. It has an area of 110 square kilometers and covers parts of three tehsils – Kullu, Chail, and Hamirpur. The name ‘Chail’ is derived from the local word ‘chaila’ meaning blue water or blue stream. These small streams run through this area and give it its unique colouring and charm.

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