With a lush bio-diversity, India is not just seen as a culturally rich destination but has also increasingly become popular for its wildlife. Tiger saving initiatives in particular have highlighted attention on India’s national parks in recent years.
Latest on the list of hot-spots for wildlife, is the Great Himalayan National Park.
About The Great Himalayan National Park
Located in Kullu in Himachal Pradesh, the park is spread over an impressive 1171 sq km. It has about 375 fauna species and a wide array of mammals, birds, reptiles and insects, including snow leopards.
Cradled in the foothills of the Himalayas, the Great Himalayan National Park is replete with rivers, camping spots, trekking trails and wildlife watching locations.
How to Get There
The Park is accessible by over-night buses from Delhi or flights that land in Bhuntar in Himachal Pradesh. Make Kullu your base and then enter the park for wildlife spotting.
There are separate fees for Indian and Foreign Nationals for the park entry at Rs 10 and Rs 200 per head, respectively. You also have to pay charges for carrying still and video camera. Students can get discounted prices.
The best weather conditions for wildlife spotting are summers. This is the time when the animals step out of their verdant surroundings in search for water. If visiting Kullu, it is best to use this as a gateway for other places in Himachal and also Ladakh. Avoid the monsoon season due to road blocks and landslides.
Things to do
Apart from the key activity of wildlife spotting, the Great Himalayan National Park allows for some more interesting activities as the park lies in the heart of Himachal and there are plenty of opportunities to mingle with the locals. Some of the things that you may want to include:
1. Treks – There are 7 serious treks that you can do in addition to numerous smaller hikes. Sainj Valley, Tirthan, Gushaini, Jiwi Nala, Rakistar and Pin Parvati are some of the names that many adventure lovers reckon with. Book ahead to get a place on the treks with experts from the region.
2. Local Architecture – There has been a huge effort to retain and preserve the old Himachali architecture in the region. See the old wooden, mud and stone houses preserved by the Ecozone of GHNP, which blend in seamlessly with the environment.
3. Festivals – The Eco Tourism wing of the park gives you the opportunity to mix with the locals, especially at the times of the festivals. It is a great way of adding a unique experience to your visit and to get an understanding of the local lifestyle. Be a part of Fagli in winter, village fairs in April and the much celebrated Dusherra in October.
4. There are a number of pilgrimage sites close to the park. Local deities and Gods command great reverence. Raktisar, Hanskund and the Sirikhand Mahadev Lake are three places that one can visit.
5. Watch educational films and documentaries at the Larji Information Centre built for the benefit of the tourists. This is a great place to engage children with some knowledge based activities.
Explore the region
There are many reasons to visit this part of Himachal Pradesh and a variety of experiences for travellers. Make your base in the non touristy areas, and explore the hills and the frothy rivers. Camping, rafting, climbing, fishing and getting up close to village life should all be part of the itinerary.
Great destinations to explore in Himachal Pradesh include Manali which is just 32km from Kulla and a good place to base yourself for a few days.
If you are interested in visiting The Great Himalayan National Park then our reservations team can help you plan a trip based on your interests.