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Factfile
Location : Seraj Tehsil of Kullu District, Himachal Pradesh.
Area : 754 sq kms.
Major Attractions : Tragopan, Tahr, Snow Leopard, Himalayan Black Bear etc.
Best Time to Visit : March to May & September to mid-November.
Timings : From sunrise to sunset.
Entry Fee : No entry fee, but you have to take special permits which can be collected from the office of the Park Director. Permit rates are Rs. 2 for Indians and Rs. 4 for foreigners, guide and camera charges are extra.

Introducing Great Himalayan National Park
TahrFlanked on its three sides by the lofty peaks of the majestic Himalayas, the Great Himalayan National Park is undoubtedly a perfect place to go for a rendezvous with the wildlife. Although, Great Himalayan National Park remains snow-covered almost all through the year, but here lives one of the most interesting wildlife populations of Himalayas.

The 1980's Himachal Wildlife Project (HWP) survey of the Upper Beas region, including the wathersheds of Tirthan, Sainj and Jiwanal in the Banjar area of Kullu district, eventually led to establishment of the Great Himalayan National Park in 1984. With the notification of the park, the villagers were banned from collecting morel mushrooms, medicinal plants and gazing their cattle within the park boundaries.

The park with the altitudes ranging from 1,700-5,800 m, encompasses beautiful snow-capped mountains, shimmering rivers, verdant valleys and thrilling steep cliffs. The vast range of altitude supports a variety of wild animals and deciduous broadleaved forests of oak, pine and deodar, while grasses and colourful wildflowers crowd alpine meadows in the high altitudes.

Flora of the National Park
Due to diversity of terrain and altitude, Great Himalayan National Park reflects a corresponding diversity in its vegetation. Great Himalayan National Park is covered with a wide variety of forests that vary from sub-tropical to alpine. About one third of the park area is dotted with canopy forests which stretch from the bottom of the valley to a height of 3,330 to 3,600 metre. While you move further to a height above 4,000 metre, you will find sub-alpine and alpine scrub vegetation. In addition to these, the alpine flowers of varied colours, from deep red to blue, add more to the beauty of the park.
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Fauna of the National Park
Great Himalayan National Park provides shelter to a 375 faunal species including 31 mammals, 203 birds, 9 amphibians, 3 reptiles and 127 insects. Among the variety of mammals which you can see, the largest are the Himalayan Tahr, Ghoral, Bharal or Blue Sheep, Leopards, Snow Leopards, Himalayan Black Bear and Asiatic Brown Bear. Besides, you can also spot several smaller mammals like the Great Indian Flying Squirrel and the Indian Pika.

Great Himalayan National Park also houses large number of bird species like Monal, Koklass, Western Tragopan etc.

Activities You Can Take Part In
Trekking : Great Himalayan National Park is home to massive tracts of virgin and unexplored forests, which offers excellent opportunity of wildlife spotting. Trekking is the only way to explore the park and spotting the varied wildlife. While you trek in the park area, you will be rewarded with some spectacular views of birds or other wild animals. Popular trekking routes in the Great Himalayan Park are Sainj Valley Trek, Sainj-Tirthan Valley Trek, Jiwa Nala to Parvati River Valley, Tirath/Tirthan Valley Trek and Raktisar.

Bird Watching HimachalBird Watching : Apart from trekkers, Greath Himalayan National Park is also a favorite haunt for bird watcher's. Here, at GHNP you will find a wide variety of birds, the most popular being the Monal, the Koklass and the Endangered Western Tragopan.

Nearby Attractions
Shoja : 25 kms away from Gushaini, Shoja is a small, but amazingly beautiful village at a height of 8,000 ft. To reach this village, you have to take an hour of slightly challenging drive via Banjar and Jibi (5 km). While you are on the way to Shoja, the route takes you through dense forests, pass small waterfalls and lush green fields.

Seruvalsar Lake : This picturesque lake is situated at a distance of 36 kms from Gushaini. A 6-km long walk from the Jalori Pass, brings you to this lake. On the way forests of oak, blue pine, spruce and fir and lovely surrounding views add more to the charm of your journey.

Kullu : This popular hill station is located at a distance of 50 kms from Gushaini. It takes 1.5 hrs from Gushaini to reach Kullu.

Where to Stay
Within the Great Himalayan National Park, the choice of accommodation is limited and where available it is essentially transit accommodation for trekkers. Within the park, you can stay either in tents or in the rudimentary patrolling huts built by the Forest Department. All the huts are located close to streams and they can accommodate six to eight people. Staying in these huts is free of cost, but don't forget to carry your own tents during the peak trekking season between May and June.

Outside the park, you can stay at rest houses but they are not too different from those inside the park. Choose any of the forest rest houses situated at Aut, Sainj, Sai Ropa and Shangarh. Some of the popular accommodation options are the Range Office Complex (Sai Ropa), Inspection Hut (Lapah), Raju Guest House (Gushaini), Apple Valley Resort (Kullu), Hotel Span Resorts (Katrain) etc.
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How to Reach
Kullu (60 kms) is the nearest town from the Great Himalayan National Park. One of the most popular tourist destinations in Himachal Pradesh, Kullu is well-connected to the rest of the country by air, rail and road. Kullu's airport, at Bhuntar has flights from across the country. Chandigarh is the nearest major railhead from Kullu, which is linked by several trains with Delhi and other cities of the country.

National Highway and state roads connect Kullu with many major cities in northern India like Shimla, Delhi, Chandigarh and Ambala. From Kullu, take the National Highway - 21 which leads to Aut, from where a motorable road takes you to the park. You can hire a vehicle at Kullu to do the trip to Gushaini or Neuli, from where onwards, you need to go on foot, as no vehicle are allowed further.


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