G H N P
Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) – A World Heritage Site:
The Himalayas have been a source of awe and inspiration for millennia to countless individuals. They are the largest, tallest and geologically youngest mountains on our planet. In India, they are the Dehvbumi–the home of the gods. The Himalaya are also one of the most fragile mountain regions of the world and hold an enormous repository of biological diversity which is increasingly under pressure from human activities.
The unique ecological aspects of the Western Himalaya led to the creation of the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) in the Kullu district of India’s mountain state of Himachal Pradesh. These features include biodiversity, sparse human populations, inaccessibility, little tourism, and a local economy based on traditional livelihoods.
The rare and endemic nature of many animal and plant communities at GHNP is of interest not only to scientists, but to lovers of nature worldwide. The World Conservation Monitoring Center has identified GHNP as one of the five Centers of Plant Diversity and Endemism in India
GHNP an Overview
The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP), is one of India‘s national parks, is located in Kullu region in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The park was established in 1984 and is spread over an area of 1,171 km2 at an altitude of between 1500 to 6000m. The Great Himalayan National Park is a habitat to numerous flora and more than 375 fauna species, including approximately 31 mammals, 181 birds, 3 reptiles, 9 amphibians, 11 annelids, 17 mollusks and 127 insects. They are protected under the strict guidelines of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972; hence any sort of hunting is not permitted.
In 23rd June 2014, the Great Himalayan National Park was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. The UNESCO World Heritage Site Committee granted the status to the park under the criteria of “exceptional natural beauty and conservation of biological diversity”.
If there is one wilderness intact in the North West Himalaya, with its full array of reprehensive plants and animals, it is undoubtedly the Great Himalayan National Park. In a world where nature silently retreats and is relentlessly vanquished by the juggernaut of insatiable human greed, the great Himalayan National Park stands as the last hope for the continuance of its unique biological diversity born through aeons of evolutionary processes .What will happen to this and in this conversation area will in a sense define the future of life as we have known it in this part of the world.
The GHNP is the home of magnificent life forms like the elusive Western Tragopan, critically endangered globally, along with other spectacular pheasants and the mystic snow leopard or the mighty brown bear. Here one finds resonance of silence in dark fir forests and cool alpine meadows resplendent with precious medicinal herbs and tiny blossoms, along with musical little brooks rivers and various waterfall and little streams ever eager to merge in main stream and roaring torrents, rarefied air riveting mountain scenery. Here the smell of resin from pinewood joins the verdant explosions of spring or the magical alchemy of autumn. And if one track the steep climbs on treacherous goat trails, the heart will pound with exertion and the mind will be enveloped will be meditative tranquility.
The yearning to experience nature and be with it is active in varying degrees within all of us. Perhaps we seek Nature in flower pots or home garden; in caged birds or beloved pets. So much of the varied rhythm of our lives and personal spiritual quest is linked to the timeless ways of nature. As the poet Iqbal writes,” Shorish se bgagta hoon, dil dhundta hai mera, Aisa saqoon jis par takreer bhi fida ho” (Running from the din of the word, my heart seeks such tranquility as cannot be described).
A night shot of camping inside GHNP