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Home –» Garhwal National Park –» Nanda Devi National Park

Nanda Devi National Park

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At an altitude ranging from 3,350 m to the peak of Gauri Parbat at 6,719 m, the Valley of Flowers is essentially the catchment area of the Pushpawati River, which is known as the Bhyundar Ganga, downstream of Ghangria. It consists of a glacial corridor, 7 km long and 2 km wide, with it's source in the Tipra Glacier which descends from Gauri Parbat. A wall of steep cliffs rises 2,000 m from the valley floor on the north side, while the terrain slopes less precipitously to the south. Being protected from the cold, dry winds from Tibet to the north and partly shielded from the full effects of the monsoon to the south, it has a distinctive climate. In the monsoon, mornings are often clear, but as the day progresses, clouds gather. The valley is snowbound from November to May.

The northern slopes are thickly forested with birch, rowan and rhododendron up to an elevation of 3,800 m with lichens carpeting the ground. The southern slopes at the base of the rock wall consist largely of meadows or bugyals, with a variety of alpine flowers, including anemones, asters, fritillarias, gentians, geraniums, larkspurs, lilies, orchids, poppies including the Himalayan blue poppy, potentillas and primulas, marsh marigolds. T Medicinal herbs, such as rhubarb and aconite, are also found in the valley and Brahma Kamal, the celestial flower which is offered to the gods, grows on the higher reaches.

Spread over an area of 630 sq. kms., just next to the Nanda Devi Peak (which is the second highest mountain in India -7816 mts.), is the Nanda Devi National Park. It was established in 1980. The first men on record to have reached this Sanctuary, while yet in its pristine form, were the the British Mountaineers Eric Shipton and Bill Tilman. The area had largely remained undisturbed till then, except for Tilman's successful attempt on Nanda Devi in 1936. However, from 1950 onwards the increasing number of treks & climbing expeditions to the area has somewhat affected the virgin character of this place.

A unique mix of flora and fauna is characteristic of this park. The fauna includes the brown and Himalayan black bears, Himalayan thar, snow leopards, serow and chir pheasants.

General Information :
Area : 630 sq. Kms.
Altitude : Between 2,400 mts. and 6,817 mts.

Accessibility :
Road : Nearest r.oad head is Lata, 30 kms. from Joshimath which is also connected by bus services. Joshimath is linked by road to Rishikesh and other centres in the region.
Air : Nearest airport is Jolly Grant, Dehradun, 315 kms.

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