The Park

Panoramic view of GHNP

Great Himalayan National Park

The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) is located in the Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh, India.

Location of GHNP in India

GHNP was formally declared a National Park in 1999.and has been inscribed on the list of UNESO World Heritage Sites in June 2014.

Unlike National Parks in other Himalayan countries, National Parks of India are strictly protected areas.

There is not a single resident inside the park. Even the villagers living at the border of the Park are not allowed inside. There is no infrastructure, no road, nor any other facilities. Only some selected trekking trails are maintained by the Park management.

That makes GHNP a very special Himalayan Park. It is the realm of Nature.

Geography of the Park

There are three major rivers flowing from the Park, Tirthan in the South, Sainj and Parvati in the North. These rivers join the Beas river in the Kullu-Manali valley. Landscapes and ecosystems of these valleys are quite similar. So how to make a choice?

Tirthan valley

Tirthan valley has the most well-developed ecotourism infrastructure and facilities. There are many options for accommodation: Sai Ropa Tourist Complex, guest houses, homestays, cottages and camping sites. The rural and traditional character of the valley and its villages has been preserved. The tourism remains a family activity; we are far from the mass-tourism of Manali, for instance.

In the Tirthan Valley outside the Park

The Park gate of the Tirthan valley is at 3 hours walking distance from the road. It is a pleasant hike going along with the Tirthan River and crossing a couple of villages of the ecozone.

Sainj valley

The Sainj valley has a larger catchment area and the sources of Sainj River are at a slightly higher altitude, with higher surrounding peaks.

Unfortunately, the lower part of Sainj valley (before reaching the Park) suffers from huge construction works for Hydroelectric projects which have disfigured the landscape.

The only accommodation available close to the trekking route is the Rest House of the Forest Department, though there is also a homestay in the village Shangarh (one and half hour walking distance from the road.

On the way to Raktisar (very beautiful trek that we organize), you will cross three small villages which are still there because the local deity has refused to be shifted to another place, and he likes the company of his villagers who worship him. In National Parks of India, there is no permanent habitation allowed. Hence the administration had no other choice and could not take this area within the Great Himalayan National Park.

Parvati valley

It is more difficult to access the Park from Parvati valley. It will take you at least two days trek to enter the Park. But if you have time (at least 8 days) and if you like high altitude trek with walk on glaciers, you may consider starting from Parvati. One of the most famous trek from Parvati is the Pin-Parvati trek which cross the GHNP, the Pin Valley National Park and ends in the Spiti Valley.

There are a lot of accommodation facilities in Manikaran or Tosh. The valley has built a bad reputation because of the marijuana trafficking and its related crimes.

Tirthan valley is the best place to reach GHNP because it has well developed tourist infrastructure.

Only go to Sainj or Parvati valley if there is a particular trek there that you are interested in.