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National Parks are unlike the sanctuaries as they come with specified boundaries but the natural habitat of flora and fauna of different types remain protected within this limited area. India has many natural parks and Himachal Pradesh State prides itself in housing some of the important ones. Nature Parks have minimal human intervention. Though visitors could enter these specified areas of National Parks with permission, specific roads and tracks should be used to roam around within the national parks.
Shimla has been blessed with loft Mountain ranges, lush green valleys, stretches of dense forests, glistening waterfalls and hordes of animal and plant species. Shimla Nature Parks help in conservation of wildlife and allow visitors to watch flora and fauna in their natural habitat. Kurfi National Park, the Himalayan Bird Park etc. are some of the nature parks that have been described here.
The Himalayan Bird Park
This nature park of Shimla, The Himlayan Bird Park is located in the close proximity of Vice regal Lodge. The park is located about a height of 2000 m and offers a charming and peaceful environment for the nature lovers. The lush green pastures of this nature park are full of rare floral species. Many types of birds like the Himalayan Monal, Pheasants, peacock, peahen etc. can also be seen here. The best time to visit this park to enjoy the environment and the flora and fauna is during the summer months.
During winter months, the park gets covered with snow. The park is open from 10 am to 5 pm on all days of the week.
The Nature Park Summer Hill
Located about 5 km away from Shimla City Center the Nature Park Summer Hill is located on Kalka-Shimla Highway. The park is located at an elevation of 6,500 ft. The Summer Hill is also known by the name Potter’s Hill. This hill is one of the seven hills that make Shimla Hill Station. The Potter’s Hill is spread over 100 hectares of area mainly having dense Himalayan forest making the place an ideal site for varieties of activities like camping, trekking, picnics, bird watching and for a weekend getaway. The ecological park located on this hill area, is the prime attraction for the holidaymakers. There is also the provision of horse riding through the dense Oak and Cedar Forests on the hill.
It is easy to reach this place as it is easily accessible through road. The nearest railway station is the Shimla Rail Station and the nearest airport is the Jubbarhatti Airport. Summer Hill can be reached by walking through the Mall in Shimla along the place Chaura Maidan.
Kurfi National Park
Kurfi near Shimla is famous for its skiing retreat and thousands of tourists visit this place to enjoy watching wild life in their natural habitat. Kurfi is located about 19 km away from the center of Shimla City. This Kurfi National Park, also known as the Himalayan Nature Park is located at an elevation of about 2600 m and in the middle of 90 hectares of land having temperate vegetation. This stretch of temperate vegetation is inhabited by numerous wild species of Western Himalayas.
Fauna that people could see here are:
Some rare species of Monal
White Crested Kalij
The best months to visit Kurfi National Park are from April to June and also from November to February.