Great Himalayan National Park in the state of Himachal Pradesh is situated in the beautiful district of Kullu with snowcapped mountains, river valleys, and steep cliffs. It is concentrated more towards the upper ranges of Himalayas. The Himalayas offering the most eye landscapes in the world is supposed to be the highest mountain ranges in the world and geologically the youngest. The Great Himalayan National Park is situated among the high altitude wildlife reserves of the Himalayas. This National Park sheltering different species of wildlife along with more of alpine flora is one of the best example of Himalayan ecosystems which remains undisturbed. However most of the time the national park is under glaciers and ice. This park is also popularly known as Jawaharlal Nehru National Park and was established in the year 1984 mainly to preserve the endangered wildlife
species of this Himalayan Ecosystem. Apart from the wildlife reserves the bewitching beauty of the park draws lot of tourist attention to this area. There are nearly four major rivers originating from the glaciers in the park. Apart from water source from the park it also helps in the livelihood for the local community. The "Western Tragopan" which is a rare wildlife is seen in this National Park along with 200 species of birds and over 30 species of mammals.
The Great Himalayan National Park lies in Seraj Forest Division (in Kullu District), in the upper catchment areas of the Jiwa, Saint and Tertian rivers.
It is flanked by Rupi Bhaba Sanctuary in the southeast, Pin Valley National Park in the east, and Kanwar Wildlife Sanctuary in the North.
It is oriented towards latitudes 31�38 - 31�55 North and 77�20' - 77�46 in the East.
TIME TO VISIT
The ideal time to visit this park in summer is between April to June and during the autumn season it is between from September to November.
The common trees of the Great Himalayan National Park are oak, blue pine, cedar (Cedrus), deodar, bamboo Arundaria spathiflora, Iris, Frittilaria, Gagea, Primula, and Taxus Baccata.The area above 2,000 metres is dominated by a mix of Ban Oak Forest, Moist Deodar Forest, Western Mixed Coniferous Forest, Moist Temperate Deciduous Forest, Himalayan Alpine Pastures, and Rhododendron Scrub Forest.The area below 2,000 metres is dominated by blue pine (pinus wallichiana), and higher up by a broad broadleaved forest on sloping areas and fir (Abies pindrow) on the steep areas.
The fauna of the Himalayan National Park includes Rhesus macaque
, Macaca mulatta, common langur Presbytis entellus, Panthera pardus, Himalayan black bear, Selenarctos thibetanus, Brown bear, Ursus arctos, Himalayan tahr, Hemitragus jemlahicus, Nemorhaedus, Indian muntjac, Muntiacus muntjak, Serow Capricornis, Sumatraensis, Himalayan musk deer, Moschus chrysogaster, Bharal Pseudois nayaur, Ibex Capra along with several mammas are seen.
Avifaunal diversity includes both the resident and the immigrants. Of the 152 species of birds recorded in the area, 68 are residents and 49 summer visitors. They are Western tragopan,Tragopan melanocephalus,Cheer Catreus wallichii,koklass Pucrasia macrolopha and Himalayan monal Lophophorus impejanus
and kalij Lophura leucomelana.
SAI RAPO TOURIST CENTRE
This is located at a distance of about 5kms from Banjar spreading over an area of 3 hectares, where it provides facilities such as a forest rest house, two dormitories, a photo exhibition, a conference room etc.
THE LARJI INFORMATION CENTRE
The Larji Information Centre is more for educative purpose where it provides important information related to the park. A conference room has also been provided that is equipped with projection facilities to help educate rural people and school children about nature and wildlife.
Not many facilities are there to stay inside the park region. Even though there is good number of rest houses in the vicinity and on the outskirts of the park. Expect only simple services to be provided and it is always welcome if somebody has brought snacks with himself.
Nearest airport to Great Himalayan National Park is Bhuntar near Kullu at a distance of around 60 km. There are regular flights to Delhi operated by Indian Airlines.
Joginder Nagar near Mandi is the nearest railhead for Great Himalayan National Park. There are regular trains from Joginder Nagar Railway Station to other parts of the country.
There are no direct roads that can make the access to the park easy. Two gravel roads from Ropa to Shangarh in Sainj Valley and from Gushaini to Ropa in Tirthan Valley that makes life easier for the visitors by taking them closer to the park.
The main shopping items which is of tourists attraction in Gandhinagar includes Wall hangings, Embroidered footwear, Patola Silk sarees, Bandhnis,traditional Gagra-Cholis, Lacquer furniture, Marriage costumes, Embroidered, appliquéd quilts, Cradle clothes, Curios and Cloth toys.People coming here never leave the city without buying Khadi clothes.
HOW TO REACH
Most of the training passing the western part of the country runs througgh Gandhinagar. Gandhinagar is well connected to the metropolitans of the western India. Most of the train going to Mumbai passes through Gandhinagar.
Gandhinagar is not provided with an airport but however it can be reached from the nearest airport in Ahmadabad.Domestic Airlines like the Jet Airways, Air Sahara, Indian Airlines and Spice Jet operates regular flights to Ahmadabad from other parts of the country.
Gandhinagar is very well connected by road from the rest of the state. There are regular government and private bus services that connects Gandhinagar to the neighboring cities.