Musk Deer, Nanda Devi National Park, Uttaranchal
Three hundred kilometres north east of Delhi is Nanda Devi National Park. It lies in the vicinity of Nanda Devi Peak which is the second highest peak in India and very tough to climb. Nanda Devi National Park lies in the Upper Himalayas in the Chamoli district in the Garhwal division of Uttaranchal.
Best time To Visit
Nanda Devi is at a very high altitude and for a major part of the year is under the cover of snow. The best time to be here is from April to October. In the months of June to August, there is heavy rainfall in the area.
About Nanda Devi National Park
You have to enter the park from Lata Village which is 23 kms from
Joshimath. The park is surrounded by peaks from three sides and on the
fourth side there is a gorge (this route is virtually inaccessible).
Spreading over an area of 630 kilometres, Nanda Devi was established
in 1980 and declared a National park in 1982 to protect from excessive
The park has a long history. Because of its tough route it laid protected and untouched by humans for long. W.W. Garden was the first person to be here in 1883. However, the place caught people's fancy only after 1936 when Tilamen and N.E. Odell made a trip here. After that, organised trips began to be conducted here and people started frequenting this place a lot. Then to protect and preserve the place, Nanda Devi National Park was set up here in 1982 and later on was given this special status of Biosphere Reserve. It is this richness of biosphere that makes the park extremely special. Nanda Devi also offers some of the most picturesque views you will get in the world and that's what makes it a world heritage site preserved by UNESCO.
Attractions of Nanda Devi National Park
Nanda Devi has remained inaccessible for mankind and that's the reason why it has been so well preserved for last so many years. However vegetation is very thin in the inner regions of sanctuary and almost none around the glacier. Whatever little vegetation is there is limited to Rishi gorge. All one sees here are some trees of fir, birch, rhododendron and juniper. Gradually moving towards Ramani, there is a change in vegetation as well. Alpines and Juniper scrubs are found largely and then slowly grasses, prone mosses and lichens start appearing. Nanda Devi has one of the richest preserves of flora in the world. There are some 312 floral species here of which 17 are rare ones.
The park has some 14 species of mammals according to a survey conducted by UNEP of which 6 are nationally endangered. Blue Sheep is very common and so are Musk Deer, Serow and Himalayan Tahr. One might not be able to spot White Leopards here that easily but the park has fairly large numbers of them. Other animals here are black and brown Bear and Yellow Leopards.
The survey by UNEP says that there are some 114 species of birds here. Number of birds increases here around May to June (may be because of the pleasant weather). Some of those present in large numbers are crested Black Tit, yellow-bellied Fantail Flycatcher, orange-flanked Bush Robin, blue fronted Redstart, Indian Tree Pipit, Vinaceous Breasted Pipit , Common Rosefinch and Nutcracker. Because of the presence of large numbers of flowers, butterflies are also here in large numbers. There are some 28 varieties of butterflies here.
Things to do
Trekking is a great experience in Nanda valley largely due to the pleasant weather here. Summers are pleasant but winters are tough. If you have the stamina then there are better chances of spotting wildlife in winters.
Plan a Tour
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