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Nanda Devi National Park

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Nanda Devi National Park is one of the most impressive wilderness areas in Garhwal Himalayas. It is situated in the Chamoli district of Garhwal Uttarakhand and spread over 630 sq km areas, dominated by the Nanda Devi Peak (the second-highest mountain in India). The park was established in 1980 to protect the high attitude Himalayan flora & fauna, and ids a world heritage site under UNESCO’s World’s Network of Biosphere Reserves.

The Sanctuary can be divided into two parts, Inner and Outer. Together, they are surrounded by the main Sanctuary Wall, which forms a roughly square outline, with high, continuous ridges on the north, east, and south sides. On the west side, less high but still imposing ridges drop from the north and south toward the Rishi Ganga Gorge, which drains the Sanctuary towards the west.

The Inner Sanctuary occupies roughly the eastern two-thirds of the total area and contains Nanda Devi itself and the two major glaciers flanking the peak, the Uttari (north) Rishi Glacier and the Dakkhni (south) Rishi Glacier. These are fed by the smaller Uttari Nanda Devi and Dakkhni Nanda Devi Glaciers respectively The Outer Sanctuary occupies the western third of the total Sanctuary, and is separated from the Inner Sanctuary by high ridges, through which flows the Rishi Ganga. It is split in two by the Rishi Ganga; on the north side lies the Ramani Glacier, flowing down from the slopes of Dunagiri and Changabang, and on the south lies the Trisul Glacier, flowing from the peak of the same name. This portion of the Sanctuary is accessible to the outside (though requiring the crossing of a 4,000 m (13,000 ft) pass).

The first men on record to have reached this park, while yet in its pristine form, were the British Mountaineers Eric Shipton and Bill Tilman.

Vegetation

In total, 312 floral species have been found here of which around 17 are considered rare. The main vegetation here is of Fir, Birch, Rhododendron, and Juniper. In the inner sanctuary, conditions are drier and near the Nanda Devi Glacier, the vegetation is almost nil. Starting from Ramani, the vegetation changes to alpine and the place is dominated by the Juniper scrubs, which gradually leads to the area with grasses, Prone mosses, and Lichens.

Animals

There are many rare and endangered species of animals in this area including Bharal, Himalayan Tahir, Serow, Goral, Snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, Brown bear, Leopard, Common langur, Musk deer, Brown dear, Pheasant and others wild animals. There are also 80 spices of birds in this area. The main attraction in bird watching is Warblers, Gres breaks, Rosefinches, Rubythroat to name a few!

Visiting Season

The park remains open for a period of six months from 1st May and closes on 31st October.

Accommodation

The nearest accommodation is available at Joshimath. There are several hotels and lodges for the tourist rests.

How To Reach There

Airport: Nearest Airport is Jolly Grant, Dehradun, 221 km.

Railways: The nearest railways station is Rishikesh.

Road: Well connected to Hardwar, Dehradun, Rishikesh, Nainital, Almora, and other destinations.

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