Situated in the Spiti sub division of the Lahaul and Spiti district in Himachal Pradesh, the Pin Valley National Park came into being in January 1987. The landscape of the park is desert like and the altitudinal variation, which ranges from 3500 to 6000 mts make it a place ideal for flora and fauna typical of mountainous regions. The park offers its visitors opportunities to spot the rare snow leopard and other highly endangered animal and bird species.
Most of the areas in the park remain inaccessible during winters and the temperature may plummet to as low as minus 32 degrees in Jan-Feb. July and August are the hot months when temperatures may climb to around 30 degrees. The months of April and May are best for observing wildlife when the animals come down to the lower regions of the park.
Flora and Fauna:
The habitat of Nameri is made up of tropical evergreen, Semi-evergreen, moist deciduous forests with cane and bamboo brakes and narrow strips of open grassland along rivers. Grassland comprise of less than 10% of the total area of the park while the semi-evergreen and moist deciduous species dominate the area. Some notable species are Gamari, Titachopa, Amari, Bogipoma, Ajar, Urium poma, Bhelou, Agaru, Rudraksha, Bonjolokia, Hatipolia akhakan, ahollock, Nahor, Siya Nahar, Simul, Bonsum etc. Orchoids include Dendrobium, Cymbidium, Ladies Sleeper etc. Tree Fern,Lianas, creepers are some of the specialties of this forests.
The most prized and most significant finding is the White Winged Wood Duck which has a flourishing population in Nameri confirmed officially in 1995. Till now 315 avian species have been recorded in the Park.
Major Wildlife Attractions:
Because of the harsh climatic conditions, the park has sparse vegetation with Herbaceous and shrub growth dominating the flora. More than 400 species of plants are believed to be found in the area which also include some rare medicinal plants. The amazing view of white flower covered valleys in summer is a spectacle worth watching.
The park presents excellent opportunities for bird lovers owing to the thin vegetation and the sparse forest cover. Some of the commonly seen birds in and around the area include goldfinch, gold-fronted finch, brahminy myna, grey wagtail, yellow headed wagtail, yellow billed chough, horned lark and Himalayan griffon.
The park is home to mammals like the Ibex, Bharal, Snow Leopard, Red Fox, Tibetan Wolf, Marmot and Woolly Hare.
The park has several trekking routes while there are no motorable roads. The only way to explore the park is on foot. Take a trek to the pastures where you may be rewarded with a rare sighting of the Ibex or the Blue Sheep. There are various trekking routes available ranging from the difficult ones to the easy for the ‘not so fit’ people. The Mikim-Debsa walk is a moderate rated trek while the Pin Parvati trek is a difficult one suited for trained trekkers.
Best Time to Visit:
Late March to June (Most of the areas in the park are inaccessible during winters)
How to Get there:
Air: Jubbarhatti airport near Shimla is the nearest airport.
Rail: Kalka is the nearest railhead with a broad gauge rail line, well connected by daily trains.
Road: The route from Shimla is NH22 to Sumdo via Narkanda, Rampur Bushehr, Wangtu, Karchham, Spello, Pooh, Yangthang and Chango. From there, follow the state highway to Atargu via Tabo and Poh, from where a link road leads to Mudh village via Mikim. The route from Manali is through the state highway to Atargu via Kothi, Rohtang Pass, Gramphoo, Batal, Losar, Rangrik and Kaza. From here, take the link road to Mudh village.
General Info / Tips:
Indian nationals do not need a permit for visiting the area while foreign tourists can easily obtain a permit
from Kaza or Rekong Peo.
Entry to the park is free.
All the trekking routes in the park are at high altitudes of over 3600 mts. Choose the one that suits your physical condition.
To acclimatise to the conditions, it is advisable to break journey at towns like Shimla.
Himachal Pradesh, India
Lahaul and Spiti, Kaza
Ibex, Snow Leopard, Blue Sheep, Tibetan Wolf