Great Himalayan National Park
Location: Situated in the Seraj Tehsil of Kullu district, the Great Himalayan National Park is 50 Km from Kullu.
Distance: 500 Km North of Delhi, 270 Km North of Chandigarh
Road Route From Delhi: NH 1 to Chandigarh via Panipat and Ambala; NH 21 to Aut via Bilaspur and Mandi, state road to Gushaini via Larji and Banjar.
Getting There: The nearest airport is in Bhuntar which would be 50 Km away from Gushaini. The nearest railway station is in Chandigarh about 270 Km from the gate of the park.
Best Time to Visit: Great Himalayan National Park is open throughout the year. The best time to visit would be in April-May as the winter snow burns away excess grass, makes trekking easy. If you want to increase your chances of spotting winter animals like Snow Leopard and Tahr then you should visit the park during September till Mid November.
About The Park
Great Himalayan National Park, a hidden jewel of unparalleled beauty, comes enjoy it with Go Adventure Sports. Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) located in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh is the latest addition to India’s National Parks. GHNP was created in 1984 and it covers an area of 1170 Sq Km with elevation ranging from 1500 Meters to 5800 Meters. The park is unique; it offers a wonderful insight into both the ways of the wild and the culture of the wonderful hill folks who reside in villages adjacent to it.
Green coniferous forests, luxuriant Oak and Rhododendron trees, lush meadows showcasing a plethora of colourful flora, deep valleys promising mysterious discoveries, snow clad Himalayan peaks in the background, sparkling streams with crystal clear glacial water running alongside, calls of jungle folk resounding around, is what the Great Himalayan National Park is all about. It is a must visit place for all, be one with nature in its element, experience true nirvana.
Go Adventure Sports has been researching and opening new trekking routes in Great Himalayan National Park year on year. Our team of naturalist and mountain guides have in-depth knowledge about the parks flora & fauna and its unique ever changing climatic conditions. It has been a very pleasurable journey so far and it will be an honour to showcase the beauty and diversity of Great Himalayan National Park to you all, come one come all.
Flora of Great Himalayan National Park
Due to the multifaceted topography and enormous variations in altitude, the area of the Park encompasses a huge range of species from the subtropical to the alpine and includes traits of Asian forests as well as those found in Siberia and the higher steppes. Only a very few national parks offer such a vast range of biological diversity. You will find forests of Pine, green and silver oaks, horse chestnuts from 1800 meter till 2500 meter. Above this you will find forests of Fir, Spruce and Brown Oaks. Above 3000 meter these forests change into sub alpine shrubs of birches and rhododendrons. After this you will find alpine meadows full of variety of flowers and colourful shrubs. For sure it will leave you astound as to what all it has to offer, as it left me.
Fauna of Great Himalayan National Park
Birds of the park, what do I say except, the king of birds “Western Himalayan Tragopan” has chosen to reside in this beautiful park. Truly, spotting the Western Himalayan Tragopan and Monal Pheasant in its environs is a magnificent sight. Other feathery creatures which reside in the park are the Kokalass Pheasant, Cheer Pheasant, Lammergeiers, Himalayan Griffon Vultures, Golden Eagles, Snow Cock and a large array of other birds.
Among the larger mammals that you may encounter in the Great Himalayan National Park are; Goral, Himalayan Tahr, Bharal, Blue Sheep, Himalayan Black Bear, Asiatic Brown Bear, Leopards and Snow Leopard.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit the park is in spring from April to May. The climate is quite temperate and the ground vegetation is sparse, hence increasing the chances of sighting animals/birds. The next best season is fall (September-October); chances of spotting animals staying at high altitudes are greater because of them migrating down to lower altitudes to escape the harsh winter season.
Great Himalayan National Park Trekking Routes
Crossing the Pin Parvati Pass
(5319 meters altitude). Total Distance: 90 kms. Approximate days: 10
Chief attractions: Village dwelling design; tree deities; old Forest Rest House at Pulga; panoramic views; alpine and sub-alpine pastures; glacial structures at Man-Talai onwards, about 7 to 8 kms. Long stretch of snow fields on the Pass; changing vegetation and distinct bird, mammal, butterfly life.
Day one: Shamshi (1100 m) to Barsheni (2150 m): by road
Trek from Barsheni to Khirganga (2960 m) Distance: 10 kms. A busy trekking route. The sulphur springs at Khirganga are very famous in the area. A number of Sadhus (holy men, hermits) can be seen camping in the vicinity of the springs.
Day two: Khirganga-Tunda Bhuj (3285 m) to Thakur Kuan:
Trek is less disturbed, goes through conifer forests, open meadows and birch forests. The journey may be broken in two days, up to Tunda Bhuj (area with high altitude birch forests) in one day and then from there to Thakur Kuan, the next day. Distance: 19 kms
Day three: Thakur Kuan to Pandupul (3700 m) to Mantalai (4200 m):
This part of trek is above tree line in high altitude meadows full of medicinal herbs, alpine grasses, bees and butterflies during summer season. It should be done in two days: up to Pandupul in one day and next day to Mantalai. Distance: 20 kms.
Day four: Rest day at Mantalai.
Day five: Mantalai to Pin Parvati Pass (5319 m) to base of the snow field in Pin Valley (4075 m):
This is the most strenuous part of the Pin Parvati Pass trek. It involves a steep ascent from Mantalai to the Pass and then a descent into the Pin valley. About six to seven kms trek is on snow fields filled with potentially dangerous crevices. Weather may change any time at the Pass. Distance: 14 kms
Day six: Rest day at the base of Pass in Pin Valley.
Day seven: Base of the snow field in Pin Valley to Tariya or near Mud:
Trek through arid zone of the cold desert in Pin Valley. The arduous part of the trek is over, but watch out for crossing of streams on the way. This part of trek can be done in two days with a stopover in between. Distance: 11 kms.
Day eight: Tariya/Mud to Maling road head onwards by road to Kaza (3600 m):
Mud is the first village to come by. The trekker may hire a pony or one of the famous Chamurti bred Tibetan horses to ride up to the road head. Distance: 15 kms.
Day ninth: Overnight stay in Kaza.
Day tenth: Drive back to Manali, approximately 230 Km. It would take about 10-12 hours.
Note: A trained mountain guide is required to cross the pass. Technical equipment is also needed.
Raktisar in Sainj Valley. Total Distance: 92 kms.
Main Attractions of this trek: Beautiful meadows; trek along the beautiful Sainj River; great trek for bird lovers. This trek to the head waters of Sainj River offers a good chance to see the endangered Western Himalayan Tragopan.
Day one: Neuli (1500 m) to Shakti (2100 m) village. Overnight in Forest hut. Moderate ascent. Distance: 22 Km
Day two: Shakti to Parkachi Thach (3000 Meter). Trek along the Sainj River. Gradual ascent. Distance: 10 kms. Overnight in tents.
Day three: Parkachi Thatch to Rakti Sar (4500 m): Along the river, quite a strenuous ascent through rocky portions. Crossing of streams along the route is tricky. Distance: 14 kms. Overnight in tents
Day four: Trek from Rakti Sar to Parkachi thatch. Strenuous descent. Distance: 14 kms. Overnight in tents.
Day five: Rest day at Parkachi. Bird watching. This area is famous for Medicinal herbs. Overnight in tents.
Day six: Parkachi Thatch to Shakti village. Gradual descent. Distance: 10 kms. Overnight in tents.
Day seven: Shakti village to Neuli. Distance: 22 kms.
Sainj-Tirthan Valleys. Distance from Neuli to Gushaini: About 85 kms.
Main attraction: An eight-day trek crossing two valleys. Moderate to strenuous. Experience the transitions between two magnificent valleys. This area is Bear country; chances of sighting are very high. Good Probability of Sighting Himalayan Tahr and Musk Deer. This trek is probably the best for spotting wildlife; it takes you through the valleys of Sainj and Tirthan rivers, through a varying range of altitudes and forests, right from dense oak and chestnut to high altitude birch and rhododendron forest.
Day one: Neuli (1500 m) to Shakti (2100 m). Overnight in FRH. Moderate ascent.
Distance: 22 km
Day two: Shakti to Dhel (3737 m). Heavy-moderate ascent through dense forest, walnut trees, bushes of medicinal herbs etc.
Distance: 11 kms.
Day three and four: Rest days at Dehl. Day hikes to Jogni (outdoor prayer sites). Fabulous sunrises and sunsets. Early morning hikes with opportunities to observe wildlife (Red Fox, Himalayan Tahrs)
Distance: 4 to 6 kms.
Day five: Dehl to Guntrao (3500 m): Strenuous. Moving to higher elevations (4120 meters). Difficult trail for more than one hour through very narrow path with sheer drops of 200 meters. Good chance of seeing Himalayan Tahr. A long day on the trail. Must be in very good shape, but worth the effort.
Distance: 15 kms.
Day six: Rest Day at Guntrao: Early morning opportunities for observing Himalayan Tahr and Musk deer.
Day seven: Guntrao to Shilt (3100 m). Moderate up and down. Lush bamboo forests, streams and waterfalls. Shilt campsite offers opportunities for evening wildlife.
Distance: 16 kms.
Day eight: Shilt to Gushaini. Steep descent through dense forests. Exiting GHNP into Eco zone.
Distance: 15 kms.
Note: A reverse route of the above trek is also popular.
Jiwa Nala to Parvarti River Valley. Total Distance: 110 kms.
Main Attraction: A seven-day, very strenuous, dramatic hike crossing the mountain passes at Kandi Galu (3627m), and Phangchi Galu (4636m). Incredible vistas. Must be in excellent physical condition as very demanding with elevation ascent of 2000 meters and 1500 meters descent in one day (total up-down, 3,500 m in one day).It takes you through everything from birch forests along the Jiwanal River to high altitude glacial ponds.
Day one: Neuli (1650m) to Bhagi Kashahri (2600m). Morning visit to Manu Temple(2200 m). Evening at village school site. Moderate ascent. Distance: 23 kms.
Day two: Bhagi Kashahri to Subli (3300m). Strenuous ascent in early morning (3600 m). Pass through Kandi Galu notch (3627m). Distance 17 kms.
Day three: Subli to Dwada (3150m). Relatively easy hike passing through birch forests and meadows. Distance 6 kms.
Day four: Rest Day at Dwada: Beautiful meadow surrounded by steep mountain valleys and flowing Jiwanal River. Peaceful and good place to rest after long hike from Subli.
Day five: Rest Day Dwada: Day hike up to Surtu Glacial Pond in Khandedhar with dramatic mountain backdrops. Opportunities for wildlife observation including Brown Bear, Snow Leopard etc. Distance: 20 kms round trip.
Day six: Dwada to Chippi (3550m): Very strenuous day. Crossing Phangchi Galu Pass (4636 m) below Khandedhar into Parvarti Valley. Continuous steep ascent over rock scree, boulders, and very narrow paths into high alpine meadows, then higher lichen environments. Can be cold and windy. Descent from Phangchi Galu can have deep snow pack and should be done with great care as steep drops and potentially very dangerous. Sublime peace at the higher elevations. Stressful on knees coming down! Distance: 23 kms.
Day seven: Chippi to Pulga: Easier descent back into forests and meadows, ending at village of Pulga. Distance: 18 kms
Up To Tirath/Tirthan Valley. Total Distance: 76 kms.
Main attraction: This 8 day trek takes you along the Tirthan Valley to the source of the river. Nada Thach is a good place for bird watching, while at high altitudes; there are good chances of seeing the Serow and Tahr.
Day one: Gushaini (1500m) to Rolla (2100m): Walk through Ecozone of GHNP. Gentle gradient at the beginning of trek. Distance: 10 kms
Day two: Rolla to Nada (3300m) Thach: Moderate to strenuous climb through oak and conifer forests. A prominent tree god near Chalocha (2450 m) from where the climb starts. Possible sightings of Himalayan Tahr or Black Bear. Nada thatch (meadow) very good for bird watching. Distance: 12 kms.
Day three: Nada Thach to Majhoni (3800m): Gradual to steep descent through forests. Distance: 12 kms.
Day four: Majhoni to Tirath (4000m) and back Majhoni: Moderate gradient leading into the vast meadow of Tirath Offering views of magnificent mountain panoramas. Tirath, the origin of Tirthan River has a glacial lake which is sacred to the villagers of Tirthan valley. Vegetation is stunted showing influence of extreme cold temperatures. Distance: 8 kms.
Day five: Trek from Majhoni to Nada Thach. Distance: 12 kms.
Day six: Rest day at Nada. Bird watching.
Day seven: Nada Thatch to Rolla-descent. Distance: 12 km.
Day eight: Rolla to Gushaini. Distance: 10 km.
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