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Himachal Pradesh Rupi Bhaba Wildlife Sanctuary
|Nearest access||Rampur Bushahr|
|Main wildlife found||blue sheep, snow leopard, nutcracker and Himalayan Black Bear|
|Coverage area||269 square kilometers|
|Temperature||-10 to 30degC|
|Languages||Hindi, English and Kinnauri|
Kinnaur in Himachal Pradesh is a heavenly place and what fills most of its green portion is a sanctuary by the name of Rupi Bhaba. Rupi Bhaba is located on the right hand side banks of the river Sutlej and the popular Srikhand range can be viewed at the back of the sanctuary. Amongst other things Rupi Bhaba is also well known for being the sanctuary with the highest altitude which is between 1200 to 1600 meters when compared to the other three sanctuaries in Kinnaur. This sanctuary and its surrounding regions display a wide variety of fauna plus many kind of vegetation ranging from sub-tropical till the alpine.
There are many kinds of trees that can be encountered in the area and among them are large leafed muttered trees of Melotus and ficus trees can also be seen covering a considerably smaller area. Closer to the ficus trees lie the chir pine trees and the visitors can also spot banana trees at some places in the area. As the tourists move in the upward direction they will lay eyes on spruce and fir trees and at last they will encounter high altitude oak as well as birch trees in the sanctuary. The green pastures are found in abundance in the area which is successful in drawing the attention of many flocks from far away places.
The visitors to this sanctuary will usually sight an antelope and a goral near the Sutlej River and moving further upward they will encounter the clumsy Serow and the gallant Tahr along with musk deer and lastly the blue sheep near the Spiti border. The carnivores’ animals that are found in Rupi Bhaba belong to the feline family and among them leopards are sighted the most often and along with them lynx and leopard cats can also be seen at some times. In the lower portions of the sanctuary the black bears are the ones that raise the fear level while in the upper portions the brown bear is seen lurching and on few occasions the snow leopard makes a guest appearance.
Apart from the trees and the Carnivores population the Rupi Bhaba sanctuary is also home to various species of birds and some of them are monals, Western Himalayan horned tragopan and Koklash. Rupi Bhaba is not well connected by a road network hence it becomes mandatory for the visitors to explore the sanctuary by walking. This is a great opportunity for the people who like to get a close experience with nature and the wildlife. The entire road remains close to the river Sutlej and it also covers the structure of each tributary in the way which begins from the Rupi and ends with Wangar and Shorang and Salaring appear in the middle in the east direction. The visitors can enjoy trekking for five to ten days as the total time relies on the availability of making forays in the various valleys in Rupi Bhaba.
Weather and Best Time to Visit:
Rupi Bhaba enjoys the winter season almost the entire year and it is advisable for the visitors to carry winter clothes along with them. The summers in the sanctuary are cool and enjoyable and the temperature might get low even during summer nights. Winters in the area are very cold with extremely low temperature and rains remain prominent in the lower portions of Kinnaur.
The summers visit the area for a very short period and the summer temperatures are lower as compared to other regions and the reason is the high altitude. Summers begin in June and end in September and the noted average during day time is around 20°C and the temperature can drop and reach up to 10°C. The rains generally visit the lower regions of Kinnaur and the portions on higher elevation only experience a little amount of rainfall in the season.
Most of the year Rupi Bhaba enjoys the winters as they begin in October and gets over by May and the winter temperatures can go below the freezing level plus the highest temperature recorded in winters is around 13°C.
How to Reach:
The NH 22 links Shimla with Wangtu and the closest airport and railway station to Rupi Bhaba happens to be Shimla. Once the visitors reach Shimla they can either rent a cab or take a bus to Rupi Bhaba sanctuary.
Flora: Rupi Bhaba has alpine pastures, dry broad leafed coniferous lower western Himalayan temperate and dry temperate coniferous.
Fauna: brown bear, Himalayan Tahr, snow leopard, blue sheep, fox, musk deer, nutcracker, streaked laughing thrush, orange-flanked bush robin, black tit, wagtail and wall creeper.
Where to Stay:
The visitors can book their stay in the sanctuary at either of the two field hostels managed by Himachal Pradesh state electricity board or they can stay at FRH in Rupi and a hut accommodation in Salaring.
- The visitors must not trouble the animals in the sanctuary as many of the night animals are sleeping in the day.
- Picnicking or camping is prohibited in the sanctuary plus the visitors are advised to carry lots of water along with them.
- The tourists must not tease the wildlife in any circumstances and it is advisable to hire a professional guide.
- It will be a good idea on the part of the visitors to opt for simple and loose fitting clothing.