Wildlife of Garhwal
Nanda Devi National
Wildlife of Garhwal
the vicinity of Nanda Devi (7817 m), the second highest peak in India, is situated
the Nanda Devi National Park, which has some of the most unique high altitude
flora and fauna in the world. The spectacular views, sylvan environment, and
richness of biosphere make it quite different from the other wildlife sanctuaries
of India. The park has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and In
its vicinity are the Valley of Flowers, Badrinath Temple, and Hemkund Sahib.
Though the park was notified only in 1982, it has a long history. W.W. Garden
was the first person to reach this region in 1883, but his expedition to the
Nanda Devi Peak failed to create any impact. In 1936, Tilman and N.E. Odell
scaled the Nanda Devi and opened its vista for others to follow. This led to
the region becoming a game sanctuary in 1939. The area of the park remained
undisturbed until 1950's when organized expeditions for Nanda Devi started.
To save the park from these disturbances, the Government of India declared the
region a National Park in 1982 and later it was given the special status of
a Biosphere Reserve.
The Nanda Devi National Park is located in the Indian state of Uttaranchal
in the upper Himalayan ranges. A part of the Garhwal Himalayas, the park extends
from the latitude 30°24' in the North to the longitude 79°53' in the
East. The entry to the park is from Lata village around 23 km from Joshimath.
Mountain peaks surround it from all sides except the west where it is bounded
by an inaccessible gorge.
Best Time to Visit
Being in the high altitudes, Nanda Devi National Park has a distinct climate.
For six months of the year, the region remains under a snow cover. For the
rest of the year, the region has a dry climate with heavy rainfall from June
to August. April to June are the months when the temperature increases a bit
and they are the months when one can visit this place.
The forest cover in this park is mainly restricted to the Rishi Gorge and
the main vegetation is of fir, birch, rhododendron, and juniper. In the inner
sanctuary, conditions are drier and near the Nanda Devi Glacier, there is
almost no vegetation. From Ramani, the vegetation changes to alpine and only
juniper scrubs are the dominating vegetation. The Juniper scrubs gradually
give way to grasses, prone mosses, and lichens. In total, 312 floral species
have been found here of which around 17 are considered rare.
Animal population of species like bharal, Himalayan tahr, serow, goral, snow
leopard, Himalayan black bear, brown bear, leopard, common langur, Himalayan
musk deer, and brown beer dominate the park area.
Warblers, gresbreaks, rose finches, and ruby throat represent avifauna here.
Approximately 80 species have been spotted in this park.
Around Nanda Devi National Park
Joshimath, at a distance of around 23 km from the Nanda Devi National Park,
is an important place in any expedition to the higher altitudes of the Garhwal
Himalayas. Badrinath, Valley of Flowers, and Hemkund Sahib are all wonderful
destinations in this region and all can be approached from the Nanda Devi
National Park. The Nanda Devi peak is considered to be one of the toughest
peaks to climb in the world and a favorite destination of mountaineers from
across the globe.
How to Reach
BY AIR - The nearest airport is at Jolly Grant at Dehradun at a distance of
around 295 km from the Nanda Devi National Park. There are regular flights
to Delhi from this airport.
BY RAIL - The nearest railhead is Rishikesh at a distance of 276 km. Rishikesh
is approachable by a metalled road from Joshimath.
BY ROAD - Metalled roads are there till Joshimath from where one has to trek
to reach this place. The place is inaccessible for six months of the year
and it is only in summers that treks to this region can be organised.
We offer excellent accommodation facilities in and around Nanda Devi National
TOUR ENDS WITH SWEET MEMORIES TAKE HOME
Wildlife of Garhwal, Wildlife in Uttaranchal