Renuka Sanctuary, Himachal

     State : Himachal Pradesh

     Best Time to Visit : May to October
Renuka Sanctuary, Himachal

The Renuka Sanctuary named after the town of Manali, is a major tourist junction for nature lovers. The Renuka sanctuary is located in Sirmour district in Himachal Pradesh. The total area of the sanctuary is about 402.80 hectares and is comprised of the Renuka Reserve Forest and has been declared as Abhayaranya. Also, an area of roughly about 300 hectare outside the sanctuary has been declared as a buffer belt. The vegetation inside the sanctuary comprises mainlyof Anogeissus, Lucinea, Terminalia, Khair, Shisham, Carrie, Cordia and a number of climbers in moist depressions.

The fauna includes Leopard, Samber, Spotted Deer, Barking deer, Jackal, Hare, Jungle cat, Plam Civet, Porcupine, Blue jay, Black Partridge, Drongos, Hill Crow, Scarlet Minivet, Bulbul, Common Coots, Greenm Pigeons. The Renukaji Zoo is the oldest zoo in Himachal Pradesh, and was initially started during 1957 with rescued, stray and deserted wild animals from the forests. The first animal brought here was a male spotted deer named Moti. To accommodate the increasing number of animals, the concept of an open park was conceived and the park was established in 1983. At present the Lion Safari, zoo, Aviary and Sanctuary is under control of the administrative control of Shimla Wildlife Division.