Nestled in the midst of the Garhwal Himalayan ranges spanning the Nanda Devi basin dominated by the Nanda Devi peak in the vicinity, the National Park is a gem in the land of Uttarakhand, district Chamoli near the Garhwal & Kumaon Border – home to an abundance of thriving exotic flora & fauna throughout.
Every inch of the soil comes as a surprise – enchanting & heavenly, as the traveller ventures through the nature trails & dense wilderness, having been declared as a UNESCO world heritage site (1988) what with its ability to support multiple-eco systems & diverse habitats with a plethora of animal, bird & plant species all supported by a unique climate & topography for their very sustenance – now recognized as a world network of Biosphere Reserves.
It stretches along the river basin, of valleys & meadows renowned for a range of alpine flora & many rare & endangered species of mammals lying within a bio-geographical transition zone between the Zanskar & the Great Himalayas coupled with the Valley of flowers beneath. As divided into the inner & outer sanctuary it is a treasure for all nature lovers & adventure souls with ample of opportunity to capture the expanse of the snow-capped peaks & glaciers – the Rishi glacier, Nanda Devi glacier, Trishul & Ramani glaciers to name a few, & of streaming rivers, valleys and meadows in all their magnificent glory.
This highly protected & well-conserved bio-sphere reserve is home to the Himalayan musk, Himalayan Thar, Indian leopard and Serow, Himalayan black bear along with a range of over 114 species of birds both native & migratory & about 312 species of plants of which 17 are counted as the rare ones in the midst of alpine vegetation & mountainous wilderness, attracting botanists, geographers, geologists, photographers, bird-watchers, adventure and nature lovers who seek their own sanctuary in the glory of the Himalayas & all that that the picturesque landscapes & wildlife has to offer, flourishing in the realms of nature.
HOW TO GET THERE
Dehradun Airport is in close proximity to the Nadna Devi National Park of about 290 kms or more, (well connected by road network) with regular flights to & from Delhi, making it easily accessible by air.
Nearest railway station is Rishikesh, of over 276 kms from the National Park, while there is efficient rail-road connectivity between the two.
Nearest road-head is Lata of about 30 kms from Joshimath, connected by bus services to other significant centers in the vicinity where one can take up government and privately operated vehicles that go to Nanda Devi National Park followed by a trek to the destination.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
While the park remains closed due to extreme climates for 6 months, the rest half of the year is open to tourists i.e. from 1st May to 31stOctober, of which the ideal time to plan your travel would be around 15th June to 15th September, wherein these summer months prove to be a treat to the eyes while one trails along the forests with lush greens all around. One can also plan a trip around October to relish in the abundance of alpine vegetation & wilderness along with a wide variety of animal species.
Apart from the Nanda Devi National Park itself, other major attractions in the vicinity include the Valley of Flowers, adjacent to the National park itself, Joshimath – which forms the ultimate destination for trekking expeditions & the major route to Hindu pilgrimage centres of one of the Char Dhams – Badrinath. There is also the Gopeshwar temple of about 10 kms from Chamoli which is another significant centre of worship dedicated to Lord Shiva. Some other places worth a visit in close proximity to the National Park are – Dronagiri Village, Kuari Pass, Auli & Nanda Devi Temple. A little farther are popular tourist destinations like Nainital, Kullu Manali & Kangra Valley.
In the vast expanse of the sanctuary & neighbouring locations one can indulge in things like sight-seeing, pay visits to pilgrimage centres, bird watching, nature walks, hitch hiking, camping & trekking & also take to adventure sports like skiing, river rafting, snow-boarding & have a taste of the local culture, livelihood & lifestyle of the people – their customs, traditions, cuisine & crafts among others, of which travelling by foot to most places along with the private & public transport facilities available is most feasible.
So while you take up your trip to one of the richest ecosystems on the planet, make sure you plan ahead & explore the area as much as possible – the local culture, breath-taking views, the lush greens of mountainous vegetation & the abundance of wildlife all quite evident of the hard effort of conservation & preservation put to the place. Wish you a happy holiday!