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Great Himalayan National Park – complete detail – updated

Great Himalayan National Park – complete detail – updated. Dominant flora and fauna of Great Himalayan National Park. Geography of Great Himalayan National Park. How to reach Great Himalayan National Park. The park was established in 1984. The park forms a part of the protected area that also includes Rupi Bhaba Sanctuary and Pin Valley National Park. A buffer area of 316 sq. km. laces the western periphery. The park was re-named Jawaharlal Nehru Great Himalayan National Park in mid-1989, though it continues to be known by its original name………….
The Great Himalayan National Park is a beautiful place, located in Banjaar Sub-Division of Kullu District of the state of Himachal Pradesh. Total area of the National park is about 754.4 Km2. In June 2014, the Great Himalayan National Park was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
The park protects over 350 species of fauna and more than 800 species of flora, including many medicinal herbs. The fauna of the park includes some of the most exotic species of animals like snow leopard, blue sheep, Himalayan brown bear, Himalayan tahr, musk deer, goral and many others. Four mammal species and three of its bird species are globally threatened, including………….
National park is an area which is strictly reserved for the betterment of the wildlife & biodiversity, and where activities like developmental, forestry, poaching, hunting and grazing on cultivation are not permitted. Their boundaries are well marked and circumscribed.

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Great Himalayan National Park

The Great Himalayan National Park is a beautiful place, located in Banjaar Sub-Division of Kullu District of the state of Himachal Pradesh.

The park was established in 1984 and is spread over an area of 1,171 km2. The park was declared as a National Park in the year of 1999. Total area of the National park is about 754.4 Km2.

In June 2014, the Great Himalayan National Park was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. The UNESCO World Heritage Site Committee granted the status to the park under the criteria of “outstanding significance for biodiversity conservation”.

Click here to view state wise list of Indian national parks – updated

The Himalaya as a whole is listed as one of Conservation International’s 34 major biodiversity hotspots. The Himalaya Hotspot contains, not only the world’s highest mountains and associated alpine ecosystems, but also large expanses of lower-elevation temperate and subtropical forests and grasslands.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has listed parts of the Himalaya in its Global 200 analysis of critical ecosystems (since 2001), and Great Himalayan National Park is within one of them.

The park protects over 350 species of fauna and more than 800 species of flora, including many medicinal herbs. The park has some the virgin coniferous forests of the State. Vast areas of alpine pastures and glaciers cap this park.

The fauna of the park includes some of the most exotic species of animals like snow leopard, blue sheep, Himalayan brown bear, Himalayan tahr, musk deer, goral and many others.

Four mammal species and three of its bird species are globally threatened, including the musk deer and the western horned tragopan.

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History

The park was established in 1984 and is spread over an area of 1,171 km2. The park was declared as a National Park in the year of 1999. Total area of the park is about 754.4 Km2.

The park forms a part of the protected area that also includes Rupi Bhaba Sanctuary and Pin Valley National Park. A buffer area of 316 sq. km. laces the western periphery. The park was re-named Jawaharlal Nehru Great Himalayan National Park in mid-1989, though it continues to be known by its original name.

In 1994, two major changes were made to land use around Great Himalayan National Park. A buffer zone, extending 5kms from the park’s western boundary, was reclassified as an ecozone. 265.6km² in area, this zone includes approximately 2,300 households in about 160 villages.

The second change was the creation of the Sainj Wildlife Sanctuary (90km²) to include the three villages of Shagwar, Shakti and Maror. Another protected area, known as Tirthan Wildlife Sanctuary, was also established on the southern edge of Great Himalayan National Park. This is uninhabited and covers 61km².

In 2010, both the Sainj and Tirthan Wildlife Sanctuaries were added to Great Himalayan National Park, but will not be formally incorporated until a process known as settlement of rights has occurred. Thus the initiated merger of Sainj and Tirthan Wildlife Sanctuaries with Great Himalayan National Park will be followed by a process of settlement to relocate inhabitants and make the area free of traditional pressures, which may take some time.

In 2010, 710 km² of the Parvati River catchment, contiguous to the northern boundary of Great Himalayan National Park, was instated as Khirganga National Park ‒ adding further biological diversity, conservation value and physical protection to the Park.

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1980 to 1984 – International team of scientists, under the banner of the Himachal Wildlife Project, surveys Kullu District and recommends creation of GHNP in Banjaar area. Himachal Government expresses intention to create Great Himalayan National Park.

1994 to 1999 – World Bank funds the Conservation of Biodiversity Project, 16 village eco-development committees are founded to involve local communities in biodiversity conservation; Wildlife Institute of India conducts research project at Great Himalayan National Park.

1996 – Biodiversity Conservation Society registered to share responsibility for Great Himalayan National Park management.

1999 – The park was declared as a National Park. Total area of the park is about 754.4 Km2.

2000 – WSCG organizers form SAHARA (Society for Advancement of Hill and Rural Areas) to work with Great Himalayan National Park management.

2008 – Research on Western horned tragopan population in Great Himalayan National Park, in collaboration with Wildlife Institute of India.

2010 – Proposal to declare 710 Km2 Parvati Watershed as Khirganga National Park in the north of Great Himalayan National Park to strengthen the conservation efforts.  Two Wildlife Sanctuaries of Sainj and Tirthan proposed to be merged into GHNP for a higher protection status.

2011 – Application to nominate Great Himalayan National Park as UNESCO World Heritage Site, submitted.

2014 – The Great Himalayan National Park was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage

Sites.

2015: Great Himalayan National Park logo registered by Government of Himachal Pradesh, Confirmed sighting of rare and elusive “serow” made in Great Himalayan National Park.

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Geography

The Great Himalayan National Park is located in Banjaar Sub-Division of Kullu District of the state of Himachal Pradesh. Total area of the park is about 754.4 Km2. The park lies in the Seraj Forest Division.

It is naturally protected on the northern, eastern and southern boundaries by steep ridges and mountain ranges. The boundaries of the Great Himalayan National Park are contiguous with the Pin Valley National Park, the Rupi-Bhaba Wildlife Sanctuary and the Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary.

The park has largest, tallest and geologically youngest mountains. The Himalaya are also one of the most fragile mountain regions of the world and hold an enormous repository of biological diversity which is increasingly under pressure from human activities.

The park is nestled between mountain ridges ranging from 1,700 m. to 5, 800 m. high which stand guard on all sides except the west. The park comprises the catchments of Jiwa, Sainj and Tirthan rivulets and is located at the junction of the Palearctic faunal realm to the north and the Oriental pattern to the south. The Sainj and Tirthan valleys are narrow and steep-sided, so without much glaciation.

The eastern part of the Park is permanently covered with snow and ice. One-third of the park, from the foot-hills to about 3,600 m. and then again, above 4000m., is covered with closed canopy forests. Coniferous forests of blue pine and deodhar, the West Himalayan silver fir and spruce and the Himalayan cedar along with patches of bamboo Arundinaria spathiflora comprise the dense undergrowth.

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Latitude – 31°38′ – 31°54’N

Longitude – 77°20′ – 77°45′ E

Altitude – 1700 – 5800 metres above mean sea level

Rainfall – 1100-1300 mm, Snow persists above 3000m from November to March.

Seasons

Spring – April to June

Summer / Monsoon – July to September

Autumn – October to November

Winter – December to March

Temperature:       Maximum: 40o C

                             Minimum: -10o C

Dominant flora

The flora of the national park includes trees, shrubs, herbs and medicinal plants. Rare species of spurge, buckthorn, yew, valerians, leycesteria, balsams etc. are found here.

Dominant fauna

MammalsMusk Deer, Goral, Serow, Leopard, Himalayan Black Bear, Himalayan Tahr, Blue Sheep, Snow leopard, Himalayan Brown Bear, Red Fox, Giant Indian Flying Squirrel, Porcupine, Himalayan Palm Civet, Himalayan Weasel, Yellow throated Marten etc.

State wise list of Wildlife Sanctuaries of India – updated 

BirdsWestern Tragopan, Cinereous Vulture, Himalayan Griffon, Golden Eagle, Oriental Hobby, Yellow billed Chough, Himalayan Whistling Thrush, Variegated Laughing Thrush, Little Forktail, The Brown Dipper, White capped Redstart, Great Hill Barbet, Mrs. Gould’s Sunbird, Brown and Redheaded Bullfinches, Verditer Flycatcher, Red-tailed Minla, Striated Laughing Thrush, Black/ White cheeked/Red vented and Red whiskered Bulbuls, Alpine Swift, Brown fronted Pied Woodpecker, Himalayan griffon vultures, Slaty-headed Parakeets, Great Himalayan Barbets, thrushes, White-browed Short wing, Brown-fronted woodpeckers, Tawny Wood-Owl etc.

ButterfliesCommon Mormon, Blue Peacock, Common Emigrant, Dark Clouded Yellow, Indian tortoiseshell, Indian Cabbage White, Yellow Swallowtail, Queen of Spain Fritillary, Large Silver strips etc.

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Other Attractions

Neuli- Sarangarh loop

Neuli- Sainj valley

Sainj- Tirthan valley

Gushaini-Tinder village

Gushaini- Shilt Hut

Neuli-Manu temple

Siund- Pashi villages

Jiwa Nala- Parvati River valley

Gushaini- Tirthan valley

Shamshi- Kaza

Best time to visit

The best time of the year to visit the Great Himalayan National Park is between the months of April to June and September to November.

How to Reach

By AirNearest airport is Bhuntar airport, about 50 Km from the Great Himalayan National Park. Bhuntar airport is well connected by road to Great Himalayan National Park.

By Rail Nearest railway station is Joginder Nagar railway station, about 100 Km from the Great Himalayan National Park. Joginder Nagar railway station is well connected by road to Great Himalayan National Park.

By Road Great Himalayan National Park is well connected to Major Cities and Places by road network. There are a number of government and privately operated vehicles that go to Great Himalayan National Park at frequent intervals.

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Accommodation

The forest rest houses at Sai Ropa and Sainj, outside the Park which provide spartan accommodation. These add up to about 50 beds.

Other options are restricted to basic inspection huts with no amenities. Emergency halts at villages are possible as the villagers are generally hospitable.

Useful Contact

Director, Great Himalayan National Park, District Kulu, Shamshi – 175125. Telephone and Fax: 01902-65320 Email address: dirchnp@nde.vsnl.net.in

Range Officer (Wildlife), Tirthan Wildlife Range, District Kulu, Banjar – 175123.

India Range Officer: Jiwa nal at Larjee, Jiwa nal Wildlife Range, Larjee, Tehsil Banjar, Distt. Kullu, H.P., India

Fax and Phone: 01902-65320 Email: dirchnp@nde.vsnl.net.in

Other  National Parks in Himachal Pradesh, Year of Notification and Total area is as follows…
S.No. National Park State

 
Established Area (in km²)
1 Pin Valley National Park Himachal Pradesh 1987 675
2 Inderkilla  National Park Himachal Pradesh 2010 104
3 Khirganga  National Park Himachal Pradesh 2010 710
4 Simbalbara  National Park Himachal Pradesh 2010 27.88

About Vijay Choudhary

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