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Machiara National Park/Pakistan

Introducing Machiara National Park

The forested Ganga Mountains, a branch of the Himalayan foothills, separate the Neelam and Kaghan Valleys and provide a fragile home to brown bear, ibex, Himalayan griffon vulture, western tragopan, lammergeier and, allegedly, snow leopard. In 1996 the southern slopes were brought within a new protected area management plan, and a small game reserve there grew into the 135-sq-km Machiara National Park.

The park is reached via Patikha. Treks run from the park over high passes to Shogran on the Kaghan side (at least two nights out) and to the Bichla-Manur Valley. Check with the AJ&K Tourism office (058810-34623; fax 32625; Bank Sq, Chattar) in Muzaffarabad before considering this trip.