Ascot Musk Deer Sanctuary, also known as Ascot wildlife Sanctuary is located 54 km from Pithoragarh near Ascot in Uttarakhand state of India at a height of 5412 ft (1650 m). It was established in 1987 covering an area of 600 sq. km near Indo-Nepal border. The primary objective was to protect and conserve the rare species of musk deer (Moschus moschiferus) that was available in the region. Today the sanctuary houses a good number of this species.
The sanctuary has a great variety of flora and fauna along with a great number of shrubs, trees and herbs. The most commonly found trees in the sanctuary are Teak, Grevelia, and Eucalyptus. Darkunja, Kail, Khersu, Kunj, Fir, Bhoj Patra, Raijal and Grevelia are the main vegetation of the region.
The major species include turtles, spectacled cobras, deer, gaur, horns, antlers, monkeys, lemurs, kraits, darters, vipers, bison, little cormorants, and black eagles. It is also home to leopards, jungle cats, brown bears, barking dears and serows along with many species of birds that are found at high altitudes.
The River Kali forms the international boundary and separates sanctuary from Nepal in the east. The Dhauli and Ikli rivers originate from the sanctuary and Gori Ganga River passes through the Sanctuary.
Panchchuli, Neodhura, Naukana, Chhiplakot, Najirikot are the famous peaks and Lipu lekh, Lumpiya lekh and Mankshang lekh are the famous passes located in the sanctuary.
Best time to visit Ascot wildlife Sanctuary:
The best time to visit Askot is between the months of April and September.
How to reach Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary
By Air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant, Dehradun.
By Rail: The nearest railhead is Tanakpur, 151 km.
By Road: The sanctuary is around 55 km from the Pithoragarh and 150 km from Almora. Askot is accessible by road via Tanakpur – Pithoragarh or via Haldwani – Almora