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Location : Chamoli, Uttarakhand
Area covered : 630 sq kilometers
Known for : Rich flora and fauna
Establishing year : 1982
Best Timings : Monsoon season and months between April and October
One of the most spectacular places of wilderness, Nanda Devi National Park is endowed with immense natural splendor and a plethora of exotic wild life. The pristine beauty and splendid backdrop have made it a popular holiday destination for nature lovers. The virgin mountains that frame the park offer several opportunities for trekking and other expeditions.
The place was first accessed by Shipton and Tilman who made painstaking efforts to find a route going up to the Ganga Gorge. In the year 1936, Tilman along with Odell made attempts to ascend Nanda Devi peak and were successful in it. In the early forties, the place came to be known as Nanda Devi National Park.
Attractions of the place :
Flora : More than 300 floral species are known to exist here. As many as 17 of them are categorized as rare. Before entering the park premises, one has to take permission from the authorities. Joshimath is one of the important points of the place from where one can start his trip. The lavish surroundings of the park abound in rich vegetation. Nanda Devi National Park is mostly dominated by trees of fir and rhododendron. Varieties of birds are found at an altitude of about 3300 meters. These dense forests are interspersed with alpine vegetation that support species like juniper. As the altitude increases, one can find grasses, lichens, and mosses thriving successfully. Local residents depend heavily on forest vegetation. Some of them are used in food products, while others are utilized as medicinal purpose. Some of the floral vegetation is also used for religious purpose.
Fauna : A plethora of wild animals are known to thrive in the dense forests of the park. One of the most elusive species that exists here is the snow leopard which is found in abundance.Apart from it, a huge population of animals belong to the Bear-family including yellow leopard and Himalayan bear that can be sighted in the jungle premises. Other most common animals are blue sheep, serow, musk deer, langur, goral, leopard, and Himalayan tahr. Langur is the only primate that exists here.
Avifauna : There are about 114 species of birds that inhabitate the forests of Nanda Devi National Park. During summer season, one can hope to find the black tit, flycatcher, and fantail. Robin, Indian pipit, and breasted pipit, nutcracker, and rose finch are among the other varieties that can be fluttering in jungle premises. In addition, around 28 butterfly species that exist here.
Cultural association :
The park is named after the goddess Nanda Devi who is considered a manifestation of Parvati. Since ancient times, the goddess has been revered by the devotees. The pilgrims come to the place to pay their homage to their sacred deity.
Nearby attractions :
One can extend his trip by visiting the nearby places like the Valley of Flowers, Nainital, and Garhwal that offer tranquil surroundings and are a haven for the tourists. Joshimath is an important place for trekking and mountaineering. Nanda Devi peak that is quite tough to climb is the major attraction. In fact, Nanda Devi National Park is accessible only by trekking and the visit to the interior of this UNESCO World Heritage Site is banned.
Comfortable facilities are available at Joshimath. A number of hotels, lodges, and guest houses are provided by GMVN.
Conservation area :
The park is one of the most important conservation areas that are meant to protect nature and natural life in their best preservation form. Accommodating a number of threatened species, the park is largely unspoilt due to restriction on human interference and difficulty in accessibility.