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Great Himalayan National Park

Overview

Location: Kullu Region, Himachal Pradesh

Area: 1,171 km 2  (452 sq mi)

Nearest Railhead: Joginder Nagar near Mandi, 143 km away

Nearest Airport: Bhuntar, 60 km away

How to reach: route from Ropa to Shangarh

Famous for: Flora and Fauna

Months open: All year

Best time to visit: March- June and Mid-September-November



Introduction

Located in the Kullu region of Himachal Pradesh the Great Himalayan National Park or GHNP is one of the more recent additions to the wildlife and biodiversity hubs of the Himalayas. Recognized by UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014 the park is home to a large variety of flora and fauna species, some of which are endangered.




What to see

Snow leopard, blue sheep, Himalayan brown bear, Himalayan tahr, musk deer, goral




Details

History and Geography

Established in 1984 the park is spread over an area of 1171 sq km. The unique geology and biogeography of the Himalayas, coupled with the tectonic movements as well the unification of the Gondwanaland and Asian landmasses, the region is home to a wonderful display and variety of differing plant and animal species. At an elevation of 4100 m the park has an enviable diversity of different zones, each with their particular flora and fauna types. The GHNP is spread across four valleys, the Jiwa Nal Valley, Parvati valley, Tirthan valley and Sainj valley, each of which offers a biodiversity of endemic as well as endangered flora and fauna species.

How to reach

Air: The nearest airport is Bhuntar in Kullu about 60km away.

Rail: Joginder Nagar near the town of Mandi is the nearest railway station 143km away. Trains from Chandigarh frequently ply to Joginder Nagar.

Road: The Park is connected by gravel roads from Kullu.

Things to do

A national park is where the animals and plants flourish and to catch a glimpse of the magnificent creatures strolling in their natural environments is priceless. The various animals that call the national park their home include the Himalayan brown bear, Himalayanblack bear, mongoose, rhesus monkey, Indian Pika, Himalayan Tahr, musk deer and more. There are more than 375 fauna species that flourish within the park, amongst which 181 species belong to the avian category. The large number of birding delights include the blue fronted redstart, bulbuls of the Himalayas, black chinned babbler, grey wooded warbler, plum headed parakeet, flycatcher and more. The park is also home to a large variety of insects and butterflies. The GHNP is also a wonderful repository of fauna species that range from pines and spruces in the higher valley to the junipers and alpine herbs in the lower valley areas. Besides the wildlife, the park is also a great trekking terrain. Various treks can be undertaken from here, such as, the Tirthan valley-Morahani trek, Rakhundi Trek, Sainj valley to Raktisar trek and more, each enabling one to encounter splendid views of the surrounding majestic Himalayas. The Women’s Saving and Credit Groups are an organization that brings together the locals of the region and helps in sustainable development of the people along with preservation of the ecosystem. Different handicraft and skills are carried out and organized by the group, such as, basket making, vermicomposting, eco-tourism, souvenir making and so on.

Nearby attractions

There are many wonderful natural as well as wildlife hubs around the GHNP. Some of these include, the Mantalia Lake, Tirthan Wildlife Sanctuary, Pin Valley National Park, Kullu, Manali and more. The Great Himalayan National Park combines the natural beauty with the geology and climate of the region giving rise to a fantastic range and variety of flora and fauna. Combine that with the trekking experiences and nearby attractions, and the GHNP becomes hard to resist for natural and wildlife lovers.




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