Introduction – Jigme Dorji National Park

Gazetted in 1974 as a wildlife sanctuary, Jigme Dorji National Park (JDNP) is one of the oldest protected areas in Bhutan. Following the revision of protected areas nationwide, the park was officially upgraded to a national park in 1993 following which staffs were deputed to functionally operate it in 1995. Until the establishment of Wangchuck Centennial Park, JDNP used to be the largest national park with a revised area of 4,319 km2.

Endowed with high number of endangered plants and animals supported by huge range of vegetation types and climatic regimes, JDNP is undoubtedly the conservation jewel in the Eastern Himalayas. It is also the treasure trove of medicinal plants, natural hot springs, medicinal waters, and jaw-dropping sceneries, highly unparalleled in the country. JDNP is the only park in the country that has all the four national symbols: blue poppy, takin, raven, and cypress. It is also the only park where the Royal Bengal Tiger meets the Snow Leopard.

Every year, majority of the international tourists visit the park to relish its wealth of astounding biodiversity and scenic beauties. Major trekking routes and majestic mountain peaks, such as Jhomolhari, Masangang, Jichudrakey, Tsherimgang, and Gangarpuentsum, Ganchentag, Ganglakarchung, are found in the park.

The park is very significant from the strongpoint of national economy, because four major rivers, namely, Pachhu, Wangchhu, Pochhu, and Mochhu, originate from the park, and major hydropower dams are built on these rivers.

Administratively, the park covers five Dzongkhags, viz., Gasa (entirely), Paro, Punakha, Thimphu, and Wangduephodrang, and 15 geogs. Currently, the park is being administered by five park range offices, and one sub-park range office.

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