Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) is a major source of water for the rural and urban centres of the region with four major rivers of the area originating from the glaciers in the Park. It is also a source of sustenance and livelihood for the local community living close to GHNP. In addition to lumber, the forest environment provides local people with Non- Timber Forest Produce (NTFP) such as honey, fruit nuts, bark of birch and yew, flowers and fuel wood.
In 1980, the Himachal Wildlife Project (HWP) surveyed the upper Beas region to help establish the boundaries of the park. An area comprising the watersheds of Jiwa, Sainj, and Tirthan rivers became the Great Himalayan National Park in ...view middle of the document...
From 1994 to 1999, Conservation of Biodiversity Project (CoB), the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun conducted research to assist in the management of the Park. In 1999, Declaration of Award upon Completion of Settlement Proceedings was announced along with monetary compensation for individuals who had rights of forest produce in the park area, including a package for providing alternative income generation activities to everybody living in the Eco-development Project Area or Eco-zone. The Conservation of Biodiversity (CoB) Project was completed on 31st December, 1999.
Be it Eco-Tourism, eco-development, or participatory forest management, ecologically sustained activities are of supreme importance to the local communities. Eco-Tourism is nature friendly, sustainable, involves environmental education, and provides an alternative source of income for communities living close to the Park. Visitors coming to GHNP have the rare opportunity to experience the Park's pristine beauty and at the same time help villagers to improve their livelihood options
The Great Himalayan National Park offers the casual hiker and serious trekker a wide range of experiences in the natural wonders of the Park. Trails range from relatively easy day walks in the Eco-zone to challenging week or longer treks through arduous and spectacular terrain. GHNP ranks as one of the best national parks in the world and reveals its beauty, diversity, and depth through time spent in exploration.
The Eco-zone is an area adjacent to the Park which contains villages that have historically had some economic dependence on the resources of the land incorporated into the Park. The formal designation of the Park boundaries and the resulting loss of these resources has economically impacted these villages. In recognition of this adverse economic impact, various programs have, and are being, developed by the state government of Himachal Pradesh, NGO's (non-government organizations), and the villagers themselves to create alternative sources of economic well-being. Eco-Tourism, one such program, offers rewards to both the visitor and the villagers and helps protect GHNP.
At GHNP, there are numerous habitats for exploration: from lush forests of oak, conifer, and bamboo, to gentle alpine meadows; from swift flowing rivers to high elevation glaciers. The terrain and geology are diverse. If one is lucky there are opportunities to observe endangered species of the Western Himalayas in their natural habitat.
The general climate of the Park is quite temperate and the best time for visiting is in Spring (April-May) and Fall (September-October). Summer brings monsoon rains and winter brings colder temperatures and the possibility of dangerous snow storms, especially at higher elevations. Being remote and insulated within the Kullu valley, the Park has its own microclimate. At higher elevations, unexpected thunderstorms can soak the unprepared...