INTRODUCTIONThe Nanda Devi National Park which is characterized by a unique mix of flora and fauna is a noted spectacular wilderness areas in the Himalayas. Situated in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand the entire park is overshadowed by the peak of Nanda Devi which rises to over 7,800 m.In 1883 W.W. Garden takes the credit of reaching this area first and followed by Tilman and N.E. Odell in 1936.
It was only after them it led to the region becoming a game sanctuary in 1939.The area of the park remained undisturbed until 1950's when organized expeditions for Nanda Devi started. To save the park from these disturbances, the Government of India declared the region a National Park in 1982 and later it was given the special status of a Biosphere Reserve. The Nanda Devi National Park was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.Apart from the flora and fauna of this region the Nanda Devi National Park is also a great site of birding.
The Nanda Devi National Park is located in the upper Himalayan ranges of the Chamoli district in the Garhwal division in the state of Uttaranchal. The park extends from the latitude 30°24' in the North to the longitude 79°53' in the East.
On all three sides the Nanda Devi National park is surrounded by mountain peaks except in the West.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The ideal time to visit the Nanda Devi National Park is from April to October. In the months of June to August, there is heavy rainfall in the area.
FLORAThe Flora of the Nanda Devi National Park is supposed to be one of the richest preserves of the world with atleast 312 floral species of which atleast 17 are very rare one. It is also famous for the 'valley of flower'. The geography of the flora is divided into two circles the inner and the outer circles respectively. There is a major differentiation in the vegetation as we move from the outer to inner regions.
As we move into the inner circle the vegetation is quite dry and there is almost nil vegetation near the Nanda Devi glacier. Vegetation changes from alpine to junipers scrubs that dominate the vegetal growth of inner circle. Apart from juniper vegetation, grasses, prone mosses and lichens are also give way to other type of vegetation.
The fauna of Nanda Devi National Park is rich in some of the Himalayan species like serow, snow leopard, Himalayan tahr, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan musk deer, bharal, goral, brown bear, leopard, common langur.
According to the latest stastics report there are atleast some 114 species of birds in Nanda Devi National Park which includes both the native and the migratory birds. Warblers, grosbeaks, rose finches, and ruby throat represent the majority of the avifauna here. The species of birds seen here 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. However the number increases during the months of May to June. There are at least 28 different varieties of butterflies seen here.
Apart from the wildlife the other places of interests in vicinity are Nainital, Valley of Flowers, Garhwal, Kullu, Manali, Kangra and Shimla where you can refreshen and revitalize yourself.
Joshimath is a famous pilgrimage centre from where you can trek to the Valley of Flowers.Joshimath has a tourist bungalow, hotels and dharamshalas.The ideal time to visit this place is from July to August.
There are number of tourist accommodation in and around this area and the nearest accommodation is available at Joshimath.There is a Tourist Rest House and a P.W.D. Inspection House for the tourists.
1.GMVN Tourist Bungalow Joshimath, Joshimath, Uttaranchal
Uttaranchal - 246443
Near Ropeway, Upper Road
Beside Market, Joshimath
The nearest airport to reach Nanda Devi National Park in Uttaranchal is Jolly Grant, near Dehradun (295 kms). Regular flights from Delhi and other metros ply between these terminals.
To come to Nanda Devi wildlife sanctuary, the nearest railhead is at Rishikesh. This town is merely 276 kms from this park and well linked rail tracks connect these areas to the rest of the world.
Metalled roads are there till Joshimath from where one has to trek to reach this place. The place is inaccessible for six months of the year and it is only in summers that treks to this region can be organised.