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Flora & Fauna

Uttarakhand is endowed with a unique and diverse range of biodiversity. From the snowbound peaks of the Himalayas to the moist Alpine scrub, sub Alpine forests, dry - temperate and moist- temperate forests to moist deciduous forests, the state possesses a wide biodiversity that in return nurtures a large multiplicity of floral and faunal forms.

The state is home to nearly 4048 species of Angiosperms and Gymnosperms belonging to 1198 genera under 192 families. Of these nearly 116 species are specific to Uttarakhand i.e. their geographical distribution is limited to the boundaries of the state. 161 species of flora found in Uttarakhand are recognized as rare or threatened under the categorization of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Out of the 223 species of Orchids reported from the North Western Himalayas, over 150 have been reported from the State.

This great floral diversity supports a wide variety of faunal forms too. It includes about 102 species of mammals, 623 species of birds, 124 species of fish, 69 species of reptiles and 19 species of amphibians. Highly endangered species like the Snow Leopard, Musk Deer, Tiger, Asian Elephant, Bharal, Himalayan Monal, Cheer Pheasant, King Cobra etc. find suitable habitat in the forests of Uttarakhand.

This precious natural wealth is our common heritage. In order to conserve this heritage, the state has declared twelve areas as ‘Protected’ including 6 National Parks and six Wildlife Sanctuaries. Nearly 65% of the geographical area of the State is under forest cover, of which over 12% comes under the Protected Area network. This exceeds the national average by a fair margin and is a reflection of the state’s commitment to conservation. The Corbett National Park, established in 1936 is the first National Park of the Asian mainland. The Nandadevi Biosphere Reserve, established under the “Man and biosphere” programme of UNESCO has the honour of being Uttarakhand’s only and the country’s second Biosphere Reserve. This biodiversity wealth is the pride of Uttarakhand.

The natural vegetation of forests may be divided into:

Trans- Himalayan zone
Sub- Alpine and Alpine zone
Montane or temperate region
Sub- Montane and sub-tropical region
Tropical wet Evergreen and semi Evergreen region

Protected areas like Nanda Devi Biosphere, Corbett National Park, Rajaji National Park, Valley of Flower, Govind Pashu Vihar are well - explored area while the under - explored protected areas include Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary, Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary.

Floristic Distribution in Uttarakhand

Group Species General Families
Angiosperm 3320 950 160
Dicot 780 240 28
Monocot 48 8 4
Gymnosperm 4048 1198 192

More than 350 species of Plants are threatened and endangered in the state. Most of these threatened plant species are to be found on the hills and have been over-exploited for medicinal, aromatic or commercial ends. The most threatened among the tree species are members of the family Aceraceae. All members of the family Orchidaceae are indeterminate, rare or endangered. Species of the family Woodsiaceae such as Wooddia Andersonii and Woodsia Cyaloba are believed to be extinct or extremely highly endangered. The status of more that 80% of plants is either indeterminate or there id hardly any information about them, necessitating long-term research for area-wise profiling of plant species of the state.

STATE FLOWER: BRAHM KAMAL (Saussurea Obvallata)

Brahm Kamal or Saussurea obvallata is a species of flowering plant native to the Himalayas and , Northern Burma and South-West China. In the Himalayas, it is found at an altitude of around 4500 m. It is considered to be the state flower of Uttarakhand. Brahm Kamal is a Perennial growing to 0.3 m (1ft). The flowers are essentially hermaphrodite and are pollinated by Insects.
The Brahm Kamal holds a special sacred status among the tribal groups living at high altitudes like the Shaukas and Bhotiyas. Most of their religious rites are incomplete without the offerings of Brahm Kamal to the native deities.

STATE TREE: BURANS (Rhododendron Arboreum)

Buransh is an all-season medium-height tree found at altitudes ranging from 1500 to 3600 meters in the Himalayan region. The leaves of the tree are thick and it flowers are bell shaped and blood red, white, pink and purple. The flowers bloom in bunches and a rhododendron tree in full blossom presents a striking visual. The extract from the flowers has vital medicinal values.
The Beautiful Bugyals

The high-altitude grasslands, locally called 'Bugyals' render a uniqueness to the natural spendour of Uttarakhand. These are expansive pasture lands found generally above heights of 2700 m, presenting a breath-taking picture of lush green grass-covered soft slopes, generally set against a relief of snow-crested mountains. Some of the best known Bugyals of the state are listed below.

Bedni Bugyal

Bedni is at a height of almost 3354 meters and one is captivated by the beauty of the landscape. The trek to Roopkund goes via Bedni Bugyal. The base for Bedni Bugyal is Lohajang or Wan, which can be reached from Karanprayag or Nainital via Tharali-Dewal.

Auli and Gorson Bugyals

These two bugyals are situated at heights of 2591 meters to 3049 meters and are situated near Joshimath.


This bugyal is located on the old Gangotri- Kedarnath bridle route near a place called Belak and can be approached from Ghuttu, a motor head in district Tehri. Another bugyal, the Panwali bugyal is also approachable from here.

Dayara Bugyal

Dayara is another heaven for nature lovers. This beautiful landscape is to be found in the Uttarkashi District and can be approached from Bhatwari. It is ideal for Skiing. Roads has been constructed up to Barsu and Raithal. Jeeps are the best vehicles to reach these places, further from where walking distances remain 6 to 8 Kms respectively.

Pawali Bugyal

It is located between the Gangotri and Kedarnath axes at heights ranging from 2745 meters to 3709 meters. Hence is can easily be reached both from both the Gangotri and the Kedarnath Sides. From Gangotri side the trek starts from Mala, 2 Km from Bhatwari and from Kedarnath side it starts from Triyuginarain.

Some other Bugyals in Uttarakhand and their specialty are as follows:-

Sl. No. Name of Bugyal/ Place Heights in Mts. Speciality of Bugyal
1 Chiya Lake 3300-3400 Propose and NPCA, religious site, 2 endemic species
2 Nabi Dhang 4000-4600 Religious site
3 Napalchu Nala 3600-3700 WL Habitat
4 Nampa Nala 3900-4000 WL Habitat
5 Kuti 3700-3900 Village Pasture
6 Jyolingkong 4000-4400 WL Habitat, Religious site
7 Bedang 4000-4400 WL Habitat
8 Dugtu 3700-3800 Lady’s slipper orchid
9 Mahadev Khola 3500-3600 Religious site
10 Lisar Ghati 3700-3800 Ratanjot
11 Nipchikang 4500-4800 WL Habitat
12 Sikalpa (Ralam) 3500-3600 Village Pasture
13 Raj Thaud 4200-4500 Cordyceps Sinensis
14 Shalang Gwar 4200-4400 WL Habitat, Brahmakamal
15 Mapa 3400-3500 Salampanja
16 Barfu Gwar (North slop) 3800-4000 Multipurpose, Eco-tourism
17 Ganghar Ghati 3400-3500 Village Pasture
18 Milam 3400-3500 Hippoohac tibetana
19 Dung 3900-4000 WL Habitat[ Aris, Kutki
20 Topi Dunga 4500-4700 WL Habitat
21 Lapthal 4500-4700 WL Habitat
22 Rimkhim 4300-4500 Arnebia euchroma
23 Niti (Lang Payar) 3800-4000 WL Habitat
24 Dhaman Payar 3800-3900 Village Pasture
25 Satopanth 4000-4200 Brahmakamal
26 Tungnath 3200-3300 Religious site
27 Khatling 3600-3800 Atis, Arnebia euchroma
28 Kush Kalayani 3400-3600 Ecotourism Potential
29 Kyarki 3800-4000 Religious site
30 Gidara 3600-3800 Proposed MPCA
31 Nilang 4400-4500 WL Habitat
32 Changsil 3700-3800 Eco-tourism Potential

Uttarakhand is possibly one of the few regions in the world where all the life zones from sub-tropical hot to Arctic cold exist within a telescopic distance of 100 Km, thus providing an astoundingly rich floral and faunal diversity. The State has 12 National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries that cover 13.8% of the total area of the state. The various parks and sanctuaries are located at different altitudes varying from 800 meters to the high altitude protected areas at 5400 meters. Apart from these, there are two Conservation Reserves– The Asan Barrage and Jhilmil Tal conservation Reserves, two World Heritage sites - the Nanda Devi Biosphere reserve and Valley of Flowers National Park. The state boasts of the first national park of the Indian Sub-continent - the Corbett National Park, with its major attractions being tiger, elephant and leopard. It also homes an extensive variety of birds and shares its boundary with the Rajaji National Park.

Almost 300 species of wild flowers bloom here and attract nature lovers, botanists, ecologists, zoologists, ornithologists and trekkers. Other National Parks and Sanctuaries include Binog Wildlifie Sanctuary near Mussoorie, Govind Pashu Vihar and National Park, Askot Wildlife Sanctuary, Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary, Binsar Wild Life Sanctuary near Almora and Gangotri National Park.


National Parks Date of Formation Area in Sq. km Wildlife Contact
Corbett National Park 11th May 1936 521 Home to around 600 species of birds, 50 mammals and at least 25 species of reptiles in the Ramganga. Known as the land of trupet, roar and songs! Director, Corbett Tiger Reserve
Ph: (05947) 251376, 251489
Gangotri National Park 16th September 1989 2390 The source of the Ganga-‘Goumukh’ is situated here. Bharal population is remarkable. Musk deer, snow leopard and Himalayan tahr are also found. Divisional Forest Officer, Uttarkashi
Ph: (01374) 222444
Govind National Park 26th February 1990 472 Famous for trekking destination of Har-ki-dun. Preferred habitat of Snow Leopard and Western Tragopan are also found. Deputy Director Govind National Park, Purola
Ph: (013732) 23438
Director Rajaji National Park
Ph: (0135) 2621669
Nanda Devi National Park 18th August 1980 630 Core zone of the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. Home to 800 identified species of herbs, shrubs and trees and 29 species of mammals. Division Forest Officer, Joshimath
Ph: (01389) 222179
Rajaji National Park 12th August 1983 820.42 Nestled in the Shiwalik opening out to the vast Indo- Gangetic plains, blessed with 315 species of mammals with the elephants as the flagship species. Director Rajaji National Park
Ph: (0135) 2621669
Valley of Flowers National Park 6th September 1982 87.50 A natural botanical park with over 300 species of wild flowers. Division Forest Officer, Joshimath
Ph: (01389) 222179


Sanctuaries Date of Formation Area in Sq. km Wildlife Contact
Askot Wildlife Sancturay 30th July 1986 600 Fomous for musk deer,  Snow Leopard and manal pheasant. Division Forest Officer, Pithoragarh
Ph: (05964) 225234
Binsar Wildlife Sancturay 25th May 1988 45.59 Offers stunning panorama of the Himalayas, rich in oak forest probably the largest in Kumaon hills and a rich diversity of several endangered species. Director, Corbett Tiger Reserve
Ph: (05947) 251376, 251489
Govind Wildlife Sancturay 22nd March 1955 485.56 Forms the upper catchment of Swarga- Rohini, Black peak and Bandar Punch lie north of the Sanctuary. Deputy Director Govind National Park, Purola
Ph: (013732) 23438
Director Rajaji National Park
Ph: (0135) 2621669
Kedarnath Wildlife Sancturay 21th January 1972 975.24 Lush green oak forest, temples of Kedarnath, Tungnath, Rudranath and Madmaheshwar popularly called Kedarnath. Divisional Forest Officer, Kedarnath Wildlife Division, Gopeshwar
Ph: (01372) 252149
Mussoorie Wildlife Sancturay 2nd September 1993 10.82 Mountain Quail will someday return to this sanctuary where it was once occurred. It has pristine oak forests. Director Rajaji National Park
Ph: (0135) 2621669
Sonanadi Wildlife Sancturay 9th January 1987 301.76 It is a protected area between Rajaji and Corbett National Parks and hence has the biodiversity similar to both. Director, Corbett Tiger Reserve
Ph: (05947) 251376, 251489


Conservation Reserve Date of Formation Area in Sq. km Wildlife Contact
Jhilmil Tal 14th August 2005 37.83 Falls under subtropical climatic zone and probably the only Swamp deer habitat in Uttarakhand. Divisional Forest Officer, Haridwar
Ph: (01334) 226271
Asan Wetland 14th August 2005 4.44 A paradise for migratory birds. Divisional Forest Officer, Kalsi Forest Division
Ph: (01360) 275052

D- High Altitude Zoo

Name & Place Date of Formation Area in Heq. Wildlife Contact
Bharat Ratan Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant High Altitude Zoo Nanital 01st June 1965 4.699 Siberian Tiger, Panther, Wild Cat, Hill Fox, Hill Black Bear, Deer, Sambhar, Monal Pageant Director, Bharat Ratan Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant High Altitude Zoo, Nainital
Ph. No.  05942-236469

Uttarakhand Simply Heaven...

About UTDB

Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board is the highest body to advise Government on all matters relating to tourism in the State. The statutory board is chaired by the Tourism Minister Govt. of Uttarakhand and Chief Secretary of Uttarakhand is it's vice chairman. The Principal Secretary/ Secretary tourism acts as Chief Executive Officer. It also have five non- official members from the private sector and experts in tourism related matters. Learn more

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