Gangotri National Park – A Mesmerizing Journey

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Gangotri National Park

Gangotri National Park – Nestled in the stunning mountains of Uttarkashi district, Gangotri National Park is a remarkable natural sanctuary. Established in 1989, this park offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore some of India’s most beautiful alpine meadows, coniferous forests and glacial lakes. For those looking for an adventure-filled holiday, there are plenty of activities on offer such as trekking, sightseeing, bird watching and more. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing stay at one of the many accommodation options or an exciting journey through nature’s wonders- Gangotri National Park has something for everyone! In this article we will take a look at the best time to visit Gangotri National Park, what activities are available and how to make the most out of your trip.

Gangotri National Park

Gangotri National Park is truly a hidden gem located in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, India. Established in 1989, this breathtaking park covers an area of 2390 sq km and offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore its stunning alpine meadows, coniferous forests, and glacial lakes. This natural paradise has become a haven for endangered animals such as snow leopards, Asiatic black bears, and musk deer. It also provides shelter for over 200 species of birds. This park includes snow-clad Himalayan peaks and is in the banks of the Bhagirathi river.. The park’s diverse ecosystem makes it perfect for activities like trekking, sightseeing, bird watching and more!  

Himalayan Monal

The ecosystem is influenced by the high-altitude Himalayas. The maximum temperature is 20 to -5 degree centigrade. Animals and plants have adapted to its high-altitude climate and Himalayan terrain. The park is home to enchanting conifers forests, snow-topped Himalayan peaks, glaciers, lush-green meadows and sparkling springs, overall a sight to behold. Gangotri National Park is significant as it is home to rare and endangered species like the snow leopard and the Blue sheep.

Gangotri National Park Flora

On the western side of the park there are conifer forest, Himalayan shrubs and meadows. Fir, Chripine deodar, Rhododendron, spruce, and oaks are some type of the trees found here.

Gangotri National Park Wildlife

Some very rare and endangered species like snow leopard, Ibex, Himalayan barbet, serow, pheasants, doves and pigeons, black bear, Himalayan monal, Koklass, blue sheep called bharal, musk deer, Himalayan snow cock and Himalayan Tahr are found here.  Approximately 15 mammal and bird species are found in Gangotri national park.

Gangotri national park entrance

How to Reach

Gangotri National Park is very near Dehradun, which is connected by air, rail or road to major cities of India.  The nearest airport to this park is the Jolly Grant airport, Dehradun.  

From Dehradun airport you can take a cab or taxi to reach Uttarkashi a mere 220 kms away.  This park is 206 kms from Dehradun City, 189 kms from Haridwar and 402 kms from the India’s Capital – New Delhi.

Tourism

Trekking and pilgrimage go hand in Hand in this park. Many tourists visit this park in the period between April to October. Some places near Gangotri National Park are Bhoj Kharak, Kedar Kharak, Chirbasa, Kedartal, Bhojbasa, Gangotri temple, Gaumukh and Gangotri glaciers. You can also visit Nelong Valley situated 11,000 feet above the sea level.  

This valley is a cold desert and close to border our country shares with China It is some 315 kms from Dehradun.  The government has opened up this area to general public after a long time. Bhoj Kharak is a camping site at an height of 3780 ft on the way to Kedar Tal.  You can view the misty conifer thickets on the way to this site.  

Gaumukh is the second largest glacier in India. The Himalayan peaks visible here are the Shivling, Sudarshan, Meru and Bhagirathi sisters. Gangotri temple is dedicated to Goddess Ganga and is one among the four Chota Dham pilgrimage circuit. Due to reduction in glacier area, the government is taking steps to reduce the number of trekkers per day to this area.

Leopard at Gangotri National Park

International Importance

The biggest tourist attractions are the Gaumukh glacier and the “Gangotri glacier.  Glaciers are important physical attributes of the earth influencing and being influenced by global warming hence very significant.

Also this park protects endangered species like the snow leopard, black brown, high altitude butterflies, Blue sheep etc.  Population explosion and deforestation has been the reason for extinction of various species of plants and animals.  

A clarion call has been sounded by International bodies against global warming and loss of biodiversity and hence setting up of National parks with Government protection is of International importance.

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