Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks


About

The Nanda Devi National Park, established in 1982, is located at a height of more than 11,500 feet around the apex of Nanda Devi mountain range in Uttarakhand, India. It houses the Nanda Devi Sanctuary, a glacial bed encircled in a ring of peaks that range from 19,700 feet to 24,600 feet, with the Rishi Ganga River flowing through the steep Rishi Ganga gorge.

The wilderness of the rugged mountains of Nanda Devi complements the gentle and beautiful Valley of Flowers, also located in Uttrakhand to the east. The Valley of Flowers, a west Himalayan national park, is renowned for its pasture of indigenous alpine flowers, apart from its rich diversity of flora and fauna. Rare and endangered species like snow leopard, brown bear, Asiatic black bear, red fox, blue sheep and musk deer are the inhabitants of the place. Pheasant, Himalayan Monal and several other high-altitude birds are found here.

The Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve encloses the two parks. In 1988 the Nanda Devi National Park and the Valley of Flowers were jointly inscribed by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. From 2004, the Reserve falls under World Network of Biosphere Reserves, mentioned by the UNESCO.

Location

The Valley of Flowers and the Nandadevi National Park are sheltered in the Chamoli District of Uttrakhand in the Gharwal region. The Valley of Flowers is situated near Joshimath in the Pushpawati Valley, which is about 23 km northwest of the Nanda Devi National Park. The Valley of Flowers and Hemkund are the two hanging valleys of Bhyundar Valley, lying at its tip. It lies in the area of Zanskar range of the Himalayas, with Gauri Prabat being the highest point of the park at a height of 6,719 meters.

When to Visit

The Valley of Flowers remains open from June to September end. The rest of the year the valley gets covered by snow. Snow starts to melt in May, followed by rainfall in June. Once the first monsoon is over, the park comes to life with blossoming of diverse flora including the endemic Alpine from mid July, and remains at its mesmerizing best till mid August. The flowering season comes to an end after mid-August when the dramatic change of colour of the valley from a greener to a more yellowish shade is quite visible. The ideal time to visit the place is from mid July to mid August to enjoy the abundance of colourful nature in the midst of the Himalayan Mountains. The Nanda Devi National Park remains open from beginning of May to the end of October. However the best time to visit this park is from 15th June to 15th September. Only two groups of visitors, with a count of five visitors in each, are permitted to enter the park in one day and a maximum of four groups are allowed in a week. Each group is accompanied by a registered guide and children below 14 years of age are not allowed inside the park.

Opening Timings

The Valley of Flowers remains open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. 3 p.m. is the last entry time of the park. Camping is prohibited, hence one needs to visit the park and come back to Ghangaria the same day.

The time to visit Nanda Devi National Park is from 4 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Entrance Fees
  • Valley of Flowers National Park: A three-day pass can be made for the Valley of Flowers, the entry fee for which is Rs. 150 for Indian citizens and Rs. 600 or $12 for foreign nationals. The charge per additional day is Rs. 50 for Indians and Rs. 250 or $5 for foreigners. The entry passes and permit can be obtained from the checkpoint of the Forest Department, which is about a kilometre from Ghangaria. A porter can be hired at a cost of Rs. 450 plus food and a mule for Rs. 500. Plastic raincoats at a meager price of Rs. 20 (50 cents) can be availed.

  • Nanda Devi National Park: The three-day entry fee is Rs. 40 for Indian citizens and Rs. 150 for foreign nationals. Additional days are charged at Rs. 25 for an Indian citizen and Rs. 150 for a foreign national on a per-day basis. Non-professional still and video cameras are not chargeable while professional ones are charged Rs. 100.
How to Reach

Dehradun is the nearest airport (about 295 km away) and Rishikesh is the nearest railway station (276 km). Govind Ghat is the closest point by road to the Valley of Flowers. A ten-hour drive takes you to Joshimath and from Joshimath it takes an hour to reach Govind Ghat. A 13-km trek from Govind Ghat, along the narrow and steep mountain trail, takes you to Ghangaria. The main spot of the valley is about three kilometers from here.

The Nanda Devi National Park can be reached from Joshimath by road (25 km) that leads to the trekking point at Lata village.



Last Updated on : April 22, 2014

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