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  R E L A T E D   T O P I C S:   F O R   W I L D L I F E   O F  H I M A L A Y A S
  Dachigam National Park, J&K   Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve, J&K
  Overa Wildlife Sanctuary, J&K   Kishtwar Altitude National Park ,J&K 
  Hemis High Altitude National Park, J&K   The Great Himalayan National Park, H.P.
  Pin Valley National Park, H.P.   Dudhwa National Park, U.P.
  Wildlife in Sikkim   Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary, Darjeeling
  Royal Chitwan Park, Nepal   Royal Bardia National Park, Nepal

<< Indian Himalayas >> << Wildlife and Animals >> << Flora & Fauna >> << Great Himalayan National Park, Himachal Pradesh >>

Great Himalayan National Park, Himachal Pradesh

 Location  60 km southwest of Kullu town, Himachal Pradesh
 Wildlife Attractions  Snow leopard, Tibetan kiang, ibex, serow and Tibetan antelope
 Coverage Area  600, Square Kilometers.
 Altitude  15,00-5805 meters.
 Climate  MIN. - -5C Max. - 30C
 Best Time to Visit  April to June, September to October

About this Park

The park is located in the Seraj Forest Division of Kullu District in Himachal Pradesh some 60 km southwest of Kullu town. It is the southeast it is bounded by Rupi Bhaba Sanctuary in, Pin Valley National Park in the east, and Kanwar Wildlife Sanctuary in the North. On the geographical map, the park extends from the latitudes 3138 - 3155 North and 7720' - 7746 in the East.

Great Himalayan National Park is located in the upper ranges of Himalaya It is a kaleidoscope of alpine flora and fauna. A major part of the national park is permanently under glaciers and ice. It is one of the last undisturbed Western Himalayan ecosystems giving shelters to a diverse variety of wildlife and forests. The bewitching beauty of the park is a compliment to its biological richness. The park is home to rare "Western Tragopan" and 200 species of birds and over 30 species of mammals.

Also known as Jawahar Lal Nehru National Park, the region was notified as a national park in the year 1984 to save the endangered wildlife species of this Himalayan Ecosystem.

Himachal Pradesh's Great Himalayan National Park is undoubtedly the place to go for a rendezvous with the wildlife of these mountains. Here, amidst dense forests of blue pine and cedar, in high alpine meadows and mountain slopes which remain covered with snow throughout the year, lives one of the densest and most impressive populations of Himalayan wildlife.

Created in 1984, the Great Himalayan National Park (officially known as the Jawaharlal Nehru Great Himalayan National Park) includes, in a wide swathe of land covering 765 sq km, the previously-established Tirthan Sanctuary.

Adjacent to the park are two more important protected areas- the Pin Valley National Park and the Rupi Bhabha Sanctuary- a vast expanse of land sheltering many of the species, both animal and plant, endemic to the Himalayas. The Great Himalayan National Park lies in Seraj Forest Division (in Kullu District), in the upper catchment areas of the Jiwa, Sainj and Tirthan rivers. A park where the altitude varies from 1,500 mt to about 6,000 mt, encompassing within it snowcapped mountains, river valleys, and steep cliffs. The diversity of terrain and altitude is reflected in a corresponding diversity of vegetation. Deciduous broadleaved forests of oak and bamboo alternate with pine and deodar woods, while grasses and colourful wildflowers crowd alpine meadows in the upper reaches.

Inhabiting this stretch of land is a dazzling array of animals and birds. Among the most prominent mammals are leopards, Himalayan black bears, brown bears, langurs, rhesus macaques, and wild sheep such as the Himalayan thar, bharal and the ibex. Rarer animals like the highly endangered musk deer are also found in the park, and there have been reports of snow leopard sightings. The Great Himalayan National Park is unsurpassed in its bird life, with almost 68 resident species and close to 50 migrant species being sighted here. Pheasants, such as the gloriously beautiful monal, the kaleej and the Western tragopan, are among its many attractions.

Flora & Fauna of this Park

Flora - The park vegetation is a diverse mix of Ban Oak Forest, Moist Deodar Forest, Western Mixed Coniferous Forest, Moist Temperate Deciduous Forest, Himalayan Alpine Pastures, and Rhododendron Scrub Forest. The area below 2,000 metres is dominated by blue pine (pinus wallichiana), and higher up by a broad broadleaved forest on sloping areas and fir (Abies pindrow) on the steep areas. Other vegetations are oak, blue pine, cedar (Cedrus).

Fauna - The park has good wild population, especially of avifauna. The park has largest remaining population of Himalayan Tahr in Himachal Pradesh. Major wildlife species found in the park are Snow Leopard, musk Deer, Blue Sheep, Ibex, Wolf, Leopard, Rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta), common langur (Presbytis entellus), Himalayan black bear, goral, muntjac, and serow.

Nearest Access

From Kullu, National Highway # 21 (to Manali) leads to Aut, from where a motorable road leads part-way to the park. A vehicle can be hired at Kullu to do the trip to Gushaini or Neuli, the end of the road. From here onwards, visitors need to go on foot, as no motor transport or horses are allowed.

Within the Great Himalayan National Park, the only form of transport is your own two legs- so make sure you're physically fit and wearing a sturdy pair of boots. A qualified guide is mandatory for everybody visiting the park; you'll be able to hire one at the park's office. A trek through the park is definitely the best way to see the beauty of this area, and with some luck you should be rewarded with some great sightings of birds, bharal, langurs, and even a leopard or bear.

Visiting Season

The best seasons for visiting the park are summer from April to June and autumn from September to November. The relatively high density of wildlife in the area assures the visitors of sighting the Monal, Western Tragopan, Musk Deer, Goral, Bharal, and the Himalayan Thar. The rainy season from July to August and the winter season from December to March are not advisable periods to visit the park, as excessive damage to the road network and other inconveniences to the visitor are unavoidable.

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