Nanda devi biosphere reserve
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Nanda devi biosphere reserve

  • Location : Chamoli (Uttar Pradesh)

  • Coverage area : 630 sq. Kms

  • Main attraction : Bharal, Himalayan Tahr

  • Nearby excursions : Josimath

  • Nearby cities : Chamoli

The second highest peak in India – Nanda Devi nests in the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. The NDBR got its name for being home to the 7817 m high peak. NDBR, located in the Himalayas, is one of the least disturbed protected areas globally. The region has always been in the news because of the many international adventures, political and socio-economic events that revolve around the region. The area is famous for having rich biodiversity which is supported by its unique natural landscape, distinct topography, climate, and soil.

In the year 1982, it was termed as a national park. It got the status of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 1988. The 6407.03 square kilometres wide area is divided into three zones - Core zones, Buffer Zone and Transition zone. The Valley of Flowers National Park and the Nanda Devi National Park are among the two core zones of the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. These zones are highly protected for they have been declared as a World Network of Biosphere Reserves by UNESCO, in 2004. These regions don't have any human habitation. Tourists and research activists are allowed in the Valley of Flowers National Park, around 6500 tourists visit this region every year. While the Nanda Devi National Park is open to the public, although only 500 tourists are allowed to enter the outer parts of the NDNP. The buffer zone is the area that surrounds the core zones from all the sides. The transitions zones are regions lying to the south of the buffer zone. The buffer zone and transition zone acts as a buffer area for human habitation to keep the core zones as a haven only for the animals and birds.


Location

The NDBR is situated in the state of Uttarakhand. It spreads over the three districts of Chamoli, Pithoragarh and Bageshwar. It lies between 79o 13’ E to 80o17’ E longitudes and 31o04’ N to 30o06’ N latitude. The altitude ranges from 1800 meters to 7817 meters. The Lata village has the entrance to the park. The park is surrounded by peaks from every side except the west where the Rishi Ganga Gorge is located.


Geographical landscape

The topography of this region is varying. The gentle and flat slopes of the Tibetan Plateau are towards the north of the Reserve. Most of the region is like a typical Himalayan terrain and slope. The main characteristics of this region are a very steep slope, ridges, deep gorges, and high peaks. The NDBR is a part of the Great Himalaya, Zaskar range and the Trans-Himalayan region.


Climate conditions

The climate is the main reason why the vegetation and wildlife flourish in the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. The climate is dry most of the year, while in monsoon; the region experiences heavy rainfall from June end to the beginning of September. The region is covered with snow in October to March. It snows heavily in the southern region of the valley compared to the northern side. In the summers the temperature is between 10oC to 23oC, while in the winters the temperature can stoop lower than 0oC and can go into negative.


Best time to visit

Since the winters have an extreme temperature, the ideal time to visit NDBR would be in April to June. The weather is pleasant, with the sun showing its grace and warming up the place just right. This is the time when you'll get to see most of the animals. Even the month of October is a good month to travel to the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve.


Nearby wildlife sanctuaries

  • Jim Corbett National Park

  • Pilibhit Tiger Reserve

  • Govind Pashu Vihar National Park and Sanctuary

  • Pin Valley National Park

  • Kishtwar National Park

  • Deosai National Park

  • Gangotri National Park

  • Rajaji National Park


The Flora

There are around 800 species of plants and five vegetation zones in the NDBR. The five types of forests are the Temperate Forests, the Sub Alpine Forests, Alpine Scrubland, Alpine Meadows, and the Moraines. There are around 17 rare floral species found in this region. The common trees found here are Birch, Juniper, Rhododendron, Fir, etc. You will also find grasses, mosses, lichen, and juniper scrubs dominate this area. Flowers like the orchids, poppies, primulas, marigold, daisies and anemones carpet the ground.


The Fauna

The topography of the region makes the region habitable for a variety of animal species. The best part about a Wildlife Reserve is the Wildlife, the animals, the birds and the rare species of plants and trees found there. Multiple surveys conducted in the reserves have revealed that there are around 18 important wildlife species dwelling here.

Mammals found in NDBR – Himalayan Black bear, Himalayan Musk Deer, Himalayan Tahr, Serow, Leopards, Bharal (blue sheep), Common Langur, Goral, Brown Bear, Rhesus Macaque, Red fox, Snow Leopard, etc.

Birds spotted in NDBR – Grosbeaks, Rosefinches, Crested Black Tit, Ruby Throat, Blue-fronted Redstart, Indian Tree Pipit, Common Rosefinch, Nutcracker, Yellow-bellied Fantail Flycatcher, Warblers, Orange Flanked Bush Robin, Vinaceous Breasted Pipit, etc.


Distance from major cities

  • Joshimath , 19 km

  • Srinagar ,163 km

  • Dehradun ,310 km

  • Rishikesh ,271 km

  • Chandigarh ,483 km

  • Delhi, 503 km

  • Indore ,1,250 km

  • Ahmedabad ,1,465 km

  • Mumbai ,1,944 km

  • Kolkata ,1,658 km

  • Hyderabad ,2,605 km

  • Bangalore,2,540 km

  • Chennai ,2,571 km


How to reach the National park ?

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Since it is located in an area which is surrounded by hills and valleys, commuting to NDBR will take you a long journey.

Nearest airport

The nearest airport is the Dehradun (Jolly Grant) airport which is around 295 km away from the Park. From the airport, it is best to take a bus or book a car service, as the roads are well connected.

Nearest railway station

The nearest railway station is Rishikesh Railway station which is around 300 km away from the park. It is advisable to take a bus or book a car service from Rishikesh.

Nearest bus station

The nearest bus station is the Lata Village Bus Station, Joshimath. The entrance to the Park is from Joshimath itself.

By road

The place is well connected to all the main roads. You can’t travel further than Joshimath by road.

Where to Stay ?

  • You can look up for a place on Airbnb in Joshimath as it is the closest city to NDBR. There are multiple resorts and hotels around the National Park. Some of these resorts are:-

  • The Tattva, 0.6 km away from the NDBR

  • The Royal Village - Auli Resort, 2 km away from NDBR

  • Clifftop Club, 2.9 km away from NDBR

  • The Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Guesthouse

The Youth Hostel Association of India provides accommodation facilities as and when they organise treks and trips to NDBR.

Things to do in and around nanda devi

Apart from visiting the national park and experiencing the wildlife at its best, there is a lot NDBR has to offer for the tourists, apart from the beautiful wildlife and biodiversity it nurtures, Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve has a lot of activities for the tourists. One of the most popular activities is the Trek from Lata to Dharasi. There are other extreme sports like Paragliding that this place offers. You can do some wildlife photography as well.

Places to visit around nanda devi

There are a lot of places to visit around Nanda Devi, if you are a mountaineer, then there are bunch of other peaks around the area Hanuman (6,075 m), Dunagiri (7,066 m), Changabang (6,864 m), Rishi Pahar (6,992 m), Trisul I (7,120 m), etc. You can also visit Auli and some small towns around Nanda Devi. Even the famous Badrinath Temple is not too far away from NDBR. You can also visit the beautiful Dehradun, which is around 200-300 km away from NDBR. The famous Chena Lake is also another tourist site near NDBR.

Travel tips

Visitors must get permission from the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam office which they will find in Joshimath. One registered guide is necessary, and people are expected to travel in a group of a maximum of five people. Only two groups per day are allowed, while in a week four groups are permitted. It is recommended to carry a first aid kit with you while you go for trekking since the climb is too steep. Average charges for the trek through NDBR are Rs. 2500 per person.


Map

Related Wildlife Species Founds in India

Tour Booking

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  • iato
  • ministry of tourism
  • fieo
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