Great Himalayan National Park: Kullu
The National Park with an area of 620 sq. km. is located in Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh India and has the representative area of temperate and alpine forests of Himachal. It has some the virgin coniferous forests of the State. This area has many important wildlife species of Western Himalayas, like Musk deer, Brown bear, Goral, Thar, Leopard, Snow leopard, Bharal, Serow, Monal, Kalij, Koklas, Cheer, Tragopan, Snow cock etc.
The Great Himalayan National Park offers the causal hiker and serious trekker a wide range of experiences in the natural wonders of the Park. Trails range from relatively easy day walks in the Ecozone to challenging week or longer treks through arduous and spectacular terrain. GHNP ranks as one of the best national parks in the world and reveals its beauty, diversity, and depth through time spent in exploration.
The Ecozone is an area adjacent to the Park which contains villages that have historically had some economic dependence on the resources of the land incorporated into the Park. The formal designation of the Park boundaries and the resulting loss of these resources has economically impacted these villages. In recognition of this adverse economic impact, various programs have, and are being, developed by the state government of Himachal Pradesh, NGO’s (non-government organizations), and the villagers themselves to create alternative sources of economic well-being. EcoTourism, one such program, offers rewards to both the visitor and the villagers and helps protect GHNP.
At GHNP, there are numerous habitats for exploration: from lush forests of oak, conifer, and bamboo, to gentle alpine meadows; from swift flowing rivers to high elevation glaciers. The terrain and geology are diverse. If one is lucky there are opportunities to observe endangered species of the Western Himalayas in their natural habitat.
The general climate of the Park is quite temperate and the best time for visiting is in Spring (April-May) and Fall (September-October). Summer brings monsoon rains and winter brings colder temperatures and the possibility of dangerous snow storms, especially at higher elevations. Being remote and insulated within the Kullu valley, the Park has its own microclimate. At higher elevations, unexpected thunderstorms can soak the unprepared trekker. Just as quickly, the storm can pass, leaving the sky saturated with azure blue.
Getting there by road from Delhi
Approximately 500 kms by road (14+ hours trip). Come from Delhi to Chandigarh by National Highway 1, then to Aut in Mandi district by NH 21. Road journey in the mountain terrain of Himachal provides good views of Gobind Sagar Lake near Bilaspur, followed by lush and wide Bahl Valley. The drive continues through the outskirts of Mandi which leads into the Pandoh gorge. After Pandoh comes the small town of Aut from where a link road goes across the bridge over Beas River into the Banjar valley, where the Park is located. This trip can be made by private vehicle. Private and state run buses to the region are also available.
Getting there by Air
Bhuntar airport at Kullu is 50 Kilometers from this place. There are daily flights from new Delhi to this place.
There are fees for entering the Park and additional fees for cameras, video, and filming. Rates for Indian nationals are lower than foreigners. Check with Park officials for the latest entrance fees and requirements.
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