Gangotri national park
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Gangotri national park

  • Location : Uttarkashi District in the Garhwalregion ofUttarakhand

  • Coverage area : 2390.02 square km

  • Main attraction : Black Bear, Brown Bear, Himalayan Tahr

  • Best time to visit : April and October

  • Nearby excursions : Tapovan and Gaumukh

  • Nearby cities : Uttarkashi


For the wildlife lovers, India offers a large platter of awe-inspiringly beautiful national parks and wildlife sanctuaries to visit and quench the desire of nature viewing. The mountainous state of Uttarakhand is the home to dense forests, rich vegetation, diverse fauna, babbling brooks, rocky hills, and green valleys. The snow-covered mountain zeniths allure you to visit this state and immerse your weary mind and soul in the bountiful nature.


A brief of gangotri national park

In the year 1989, GangotriNational Park got established and it serves as a connection between other two national parks – Kedarnath National Park and GovindPashuVihar. The park got its name from one of the four holiest Hindu pilgrim sites – Gangotri. The most sacred river of India, Ganga, flows through this national park, making it even more special and giving life and vitality to the flora and fauna of the wildlife park.


Learn about the location

Located in the Uttarkashi District in the Garhwalregion ofUttarakhand, GangotriNational Park is a dense reserve woodland placed amidst the highland valley covered in coniferous forests and green meadows and surrounded by the snow-clad mountains. If you don’t visit this national park, you would definitely miss the utmost beauty of nature, which gets reflected in every corner of this reserve forest.


Enticing beauty of the landscape

The park is an enchantress when it comes to the splendor of its geographical landscape. You will find many gabbling springs, cascading waterfalls, tall trees, and plentiful greenery in the national park and the glacial beauty of the surrounding mountains adds more color to this picturesque scenery of the park. The unparalleled magnificence of the landscape lies in its profound ravines, high elevations, and steep glaciers. The natural vegetation is mainly of coniferous type and many other species of trees are also found here. The Gomukh Glacier, where the holy Ganges originates, is present inside the park and if you want to reach the glacier, you have to pass through rocky terrains. The park spreads to an extensive area of 2390.02 square km. and the high-altitude ecosystem and the trans-Himalayan features of this national park make it different from the others.However, landslides frequently occur in this area making it very difficult to access this heavenly beautiful national park in certain seasons.


The weather condition – is it tour-friendly ?

Due to the northern winds and the mountainous landscape, the national park experiences cold and dry climate for the most part of the year. The winter months here are excessively cold and during the monsoons, a regular shower is experienced resulting in frequent landslides. However, the summer months bring pleasant weather conditions in the park, making tourism favorable.


The seasons when the national park can be visited

Since the park is located at a high altitude, the winter here is bitterly cold making it difficult for exploration of the park. The park remains closed during the five months of winter starting from mid-November and re-opens from around the middle of April. So, the best time to plan a trip to the park is between April and October. This time of the year, the park enjoys long sunny days with a clear sky and warm breeze making it very pleasant for jungle safaris and trekking. The summer temperature ranges from 10 degrees to 25 degrees and the winter temperature from 0 degree to 15 degrees.


Are there any wildlife sanctuaries present close-by ?

Yes, there are a number of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries present close to this national park in the state of Uttarakhand. They are – GovindPashuVihar, Nanda Devi National Park, Jim Corbett National Park, Rajaji National Park, Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary, Askot Wildlife Sanctuary, Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, and Valley of Flowers National Park. So, if you have enough time in hand, you can visit these wildlife parks as well.


Versatile animal species found in the gangotri national park

Animals are the main attraction in any wildlife reserve forest and GangotriNational Park is no exception. Different varieties of animal species can be spotted in this national park making the jungle safaris exciting and gratifying for the tourists. 15 species of mammals and 150 species of avifauna are found here. The wild inhabitants of this national park comprise of Snow Leopard, Tahr, Serows, Alpine Ibex, and many more. Many rare and endangered species are also housed in this national park, such as Black Bear, Brown Bear, Himalayan Tahr, Musk Deer, Koklass, Blue Sheep (Bharal), etc.

Birds like Partridges, Pigeons, Doves, Parakeets,Bulbul, Pheasants, Himalayan Monal, Himalayan Snowcock,Himalayan Barbet, etc. are nested in this national park making it rich in avifauna population.


What about the dominant flora species in the national park ?

As mentioned earlier, the primary vegetation of this national park comprises of Western Himalayan Subalpine Conifer Forests and if you move higher up the valley, you will find lush green Western Himalayan Alpine Shrubs and Grasslands providing ample green space in the otherwise rugged valley. Species of trees, such asDeodar, Oak, Chirpine, Spruce, Fir, Rhododendrons, etc. are commonly found in the national park.


Distance has to cover to reach gangotri national park from major indian cities

Mentioned below are the distances from the important Indian cities to the national park –

  • Uttarkashi , 97 km

  • Dehradun , 128 km

  • Haridwar , 146 km

  • Mussoorie , 117 km

  • Nainital , 176 km

  • Rishikesh , 127 km

  • Chandigarh , 232 km

  • New Delhi , 320 km

  • Agra , 433 km

  • Jammu , 452 km

  • Jaipur , 555 km

  • Mumbai , 1462 km

  • Kolkata , 1303 km

  • Hyderabad , 1508 km

  • Bengaluru , 2003 km

  • Chennai , 1988 km

Please note that these cities are accessible till airports and railway stations. After that, one has to avail the waterway by boat to reach Galathea National Park.


How to reach the national park ?

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No matter where you live in India, you can easily reach this national park by availing of the decent transport facilities. There is a good network of railways, roadways, as well as, airways to reach the national park and you can choose any of the options as per your suitability. Let’s take a look at the amazing transport facilities available:

Air transport services

The nearest airport to GangotriNational Park is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, a domestic airport, from where you can easily reach Uttarkashi, which is 220 km away. You can board flights to various major Indian cities from this airport.

Rail transport services

The railway station of Dehradun is the closest one to Uttarkashi. This rail stationis situated at a distance of about 210 km from the national park. Daily trains are available from this station, which take you to Delhi and many other major cities in India.

Road transport services

The road network to the district of Uttarkashi from the important cities in the country is impressive. You can reach the national park by both public and private vehicles, which are available at regular intervals.

Assured accommodation facilities making your tour convenient

You can book the Forest Rest Houses located at Gangotri, Harsil, and BhaironGhati. Also, there are a large number of hotels in Uttarkashi, which offer quality accommodation at reasonable rates. You can enjoy your stay in these hotels, relax, and go for long treks conveniently. Some of these hotels and resorts are – Shivlinga Tourist Complex, Bhagirathi Residency, ShikharNature Resort, Shivparivar Resort, Pavani Resort, Kuflon Basics, the Chardham Camp Maneri, Hotel Apex Heritage, Hotel Ganga View, BhandariAnnexe Hotel, Hotel the Great Ganga, Hotel Hariom, Assi Ganga Hotel, Hotel Hill View, and several others are there. However, there are no accommodation facilities available inside the national park.

How can you make the trip more exciting and fulfilling ?

While touring the GangotriNational Park, you can indulge yourself in a large variety of thrilling activities that are the dreams of every adventure lover – jeep safari, bird watching, river rafting, paragliding, hang gliding, mountaineering, hiking, trekking, skiing, etc. The rugged landscape, hilly terrains, glaciers, and the mighty water bodies surrounding the national park make it an ideal place for all such adventure activities.

Are there any other places nearby that you can explore ?

You can take a stroll in the beautiful Nelong Valley and explore the Tapovan and Gaumukh. You can also extend your trip a little bit and visit the places like Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath, Badrinath, KedarKharak, Kedartal, GangotriGlacier, Chirbasa, Bhojbasa, JanakiChatti, Ranachatti, Syanachatti, Hanuman Chatti, Surya Kund, GauriKund, Nandanvan, Harshil, Lakhamandal, DivyaShila, Ukhimath, BhaironGhati, Pandava Cave, etc.

The surrounding areas of the GangotriNational Park are wrapped in a fine blanket of spirituality and mythology. Being close to the holy Hindu pilgrim sites or the ‘Chardham’, this national park is one of the most visited wildlife parks in the country. For the nature lovers, adventure enthusiasts, as well as for the pious populaces, this is a must-visit site to witness the splendor of nature and the Almighty.


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