Uttarakhand, a northern state in India is home to some of the most beautiful national parks in the country. Ranging from the high altitude Gangotri National Park to the lower lying Jim Corbett National Park, there is something for everyone. Each park has its own unique charm and offers visitors a chance to experience nature at its finest.
National Park in Uttarakhand
Six National Parks, seven Wildlife Sanctuaries, and four Community Reserves comprise the State’s Protected Area network, which covers 3.24 per cent of the total land area. The state is home to the Corbett National Park.
Uttarakhand is a largely mountainous state, with a land area of 53,483 square kilometres, accounting for 1.63 per cent of the country’s total land area. The state is located between 28°43′ N and 31°28′ N latitude and 77°34′ E and 81°03′ E longitude, bordering Himachal Pradesh to the north and Uttar Pradesh to the south. Its international boundaries are shared with Nepal and China.
Because the state is located in the Himalayan range, the temperature and flora change dramatically with elevation, ranging from glaciers at the highest altitudes to subtropical jungles at lower levels. The upper heights are covered with ice and bare rocks.
Physiographically, the state is divided into three regions:
- the Himalayas,
- the Shiwalik,
- the Terai area.
Here are the six national parks in Uttarakhand.
National park in Uttarakhand
|National park in Uttarakhand||Area (Sq. Km.)|
|1||Gangotri National Park||2390|
|2||Rajaji National Park||820|
|3||Nanda Devi National Park||624|
|4||Jim Corbett National Park||520|
|5||Govind National Park||472|
|6||Valley of Flowers National Park||87|
Download National Park in Uttarakhand MAP
Gangotri National Park
GNP is situated in Uttarakhand, in the upper catchment of the Bhagirathi River. The park is known for its scenic beauty and religious importance. Hindu pilgrims visit the park to bathe in the sacred waters of the Bhagirathi River. The park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including Himalayan black bears, leopards, and deer.
- Area: 2390 Sq. Km.
- Gangotri National Park formed in 1989
- Gangotri National Park (GNP) is situated in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand in the upper catchment of Bhagirathi River
- Elevation ranges from 1800 mt. to 7083 mt. which formes diverse biomes, from subtropical vegetation to alpine meadows.
- The Gangotri National Park (GNP) area forms a continuity between Govind National Park and Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary.
- The Gangotri glacier, the origin of river Ganga, is located within GNP.
- The GNP landscape major vegetation is alpine scrub, also forests of kharsu oak and betula are found in patches in the lower and higher elevation areas of the park respectively.
- Major geographical features of the Gangotri National Park (GNP) are:
- High ridges
- Deep gorges
- Precipitous cliffs
- Rocky craggy glaciers
- Narrow valleys
- In the lower elevation of the park we see Subalpine Conifer Forest
- On the higher elevation Alpine Shrub and Meadows.
Common vegetation in Gangotri National Park
Various rare and endangered species are found in Gangotri National Park
|Snow leopard||Black bear & Brown bear||Himalayan Thar|
|Tiger||Himalayan Monal||musk deer|
|Bharal or blue sheep||Himalayan Snowcock||Ibex|
Some of the birds and found in Gangotri National Park are
Jim Corbett National Park
Jim Corbett National Park is one of the most popular National Park in India. It was established in 1936 as the first national park in the country. The park is named after Jim Corbett, who played a major role in its establishment. The park is home to a large variety of wildlife, including elephants, tigers, leopards, deer, and birds.
- Area: 520.80 Sq. Km.
- It is the oldest national park in India
- Formed in 1936 as Hailey National Park to protect the endangered Bengal tiger.
- It is located in Nainital district of Uttarakhand, Corbett National Park, got its name in 1957 after Jim Corbett, the famous naturalist and photographer, who played a key role in its establishment.
- It is part of the larger Corbett Tiger Reserve which was first to come under the Project Tiger initiative launched in 1973.
- Patli Dun valley formed by the Ramganga river lies inside the park.
- Park consists of hills, riverine belts, marshy depressions, grasslands and a large lake.
- Geographical and ecological characteristics of the park has sub-Himalayan charecterstics.
Flora & Fauna
- Jim Corbett National Park has about 110 tree species, 50 mammals species, 580 bird species and 25 reptile species.
- The Corbett park is well known for its tiger richness.
Other important species in Jim Corbett National Parks are
|Himalayan black bears||Indian pangolins||barking deer|
|Indian grey mongoose||crocodiles and gharials||sambar deer|
- Vegetation: Dense moist deciduous forest mainly consists of Sal, Haldu, Peepal, Rohini, mango trees. etc.
- Forest covers 73% area of the park and 10% of the area consists of grasslands.
Challenges faced by Jim Corbett National Park in current time: increase in tourist activities present a serious challenge to the park’s ecological balance.
Rajaji National Park
The Rajaji National Park is a beautiful park located in the state of Uttarakhand, in northern India. The park is named after C. Rajagopalachari, who was the last governor-general of India. The park is home to a variety of animals, including elephants, tigers, leopards, and deer. The park is also home to a variety of birds, including eagles and vultures. The park is a popular tourist destination.
- Area: 820 Sq. Km.
- Rajaji is second tiger reserve in the Uttarakhand after the Corbett Tiger Reserve.
- The Rajaji National Park forms the core area of the Rajaji Tiger Reserve.
- Situated to the east of Haridwar in three districts of Uttarakhand: Haridwar, Dehradun and Pauri Garhwal.
- Lies in Shivalik ranges of Uttarakhand endowed with Sal forest and bamboo shoots.
Recent News Dec 2022: The Central Empowered Committee of the Supreme Court has prescribed against blacktopping a 4.7-kilometer stretch of an important forest road in the buffer zone of the Uttarakhand’s Rajaji tiger reserve, citing that “conservation focus of the forest area far supersedes the commercial transport needs of the state government.”
Flora & Fauna
It is famous as an elephant habitat
|Barking deer||elephant habitat||Sloth bear|
|Sambhar||Bengal tiger||Himalayan black bear|
|Wild boar||Indian Leopard||Jackal|
|Rhesus macaque||mountain goat, Goral.||Indian langur|
- Major Vegetation is broadleaved deciduous forests, scrubland, grasslands and pine forests.
- Example Sal, Palash, Rohini, Arjun khair. etc.
Nanda Devi National Park
The Nanda Devi National Park is situated near the peak of Nanda Devi, India’s second highest mountain. The park is known for its alpine meadows, glaciers, and rugged mountains. It was established in 1982 and covers an area of 624 square kilometres.
- Area: 624.60 Sq. Km.
- established in 1982.
- The Nanda Devi National Park is situated near to the peak of Nanda Devi India’s second highest mountain (7816 meters) in Uttarakhand
- Nanda Devi National Park together with nearby Valley of Flowers National Park to the northwest, was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988.
- Nanda Devi National Park covers an area of 624 Sq. Km. and along with Valley of Flowers National Park it forms the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve totalling a protected area of 2,236.74 Sq. Km. which is surrounded by the buffer zone of area 5,148.57 Sq. Km.
- Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve is part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves since 2004
- Within the Nanda Devi National Park lies the Nanda Devi Sanctuary which is a glacial basin surrounded by peaks of height between 6,000 metres and 7,500 metres
- This Park is drained by the river Rishi Ganga through the Rishi Ganga gorge, one of the deepest in the world.
Flora & Fauna
|Himalayan musk deer||Himalayan tahr|
|mainland serow||snow leopard|
|Himalayan black bear.|
Meadows of alpine flowers, Fir, Birch, rhododendron, juniper. Etc.
Govind National Park
The Govind National Park is located in the Uttarakashi district of Uttarakhand. It is a beautiful park that is home to a variety of animals and plants. The park is a great place for hiking and enjoying the natural beauty of the area.
- Area: 472 Sq. Km.
- The Govind National Park lies in Uttarakashi district in Uttarakhand
- It was established on 1st March 1955.
- The park creates an upper water catchment of River Tons which is an important tributary of the Yamuna.
- Within the park is the Har-ki-dun valley which is a famous tourist spot.
- Snow Leopard Project first started here by the Government of India
- Govind National Park is one of the remaining strongholds in the Himalayas of the bearded vulture
Flora & Fauna
The animals and bird species of the Park are
|Himalayan snow leopard,||Himalayan tahr||golden eagle,|
|Himalayan black bear,||serow||western tragopan|
|brown bear,||monal pheasant||steppe eagle|
|musk deer,||bearded vulture||black eagle|
- Govind National Park have western Himalayan broadleaf forests at its lowest elevations, which transit to western Himalayan subalpine conifer forests and western Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows at its higher elevations within the Park, examples are:
- Conifers species as:- blue pine, silver fir, Spruce, yew
- Deciduous species such as:- oak, maple, walnut, horse chestnut, hazel and rhododendron
Valley of Flowers National Park
Valley of Flowers National Park is a Himalayan valley located in the state of Uttarakhand, India. The valley is known for its meadows of alpine flowers and the variety of flora and fauna present in the park. The park is home to over 500 species of plants and animals, including over 100 species of birds.
- Area: 87 Sq. Km.
- Located in Chamoli District of Uttarakhand
- Valley of Flowers National Park is set in the backdrop of the mighty Himalayan Ranges.
- Valley of Flowers National Park is a world heritage site, the valley is situated at a very remarkable area, that is the conjunction point of Western and Eastern Himalayas.
- The National Park lies completely in the temperate alpine zone
Flora & Fauna
- The density of wild animals in the valley is not very high but most of the animals found are rare or endangered, example are:
|Red giant flying squirrel||Himalayan weasel||Himalayan goral,|
|Himalayan black bear||Himalayan yellow-throated marten||musk deer|
|red fox||Goral||Himalayan tahr|
|Serow||Bharal blue sheep|
Flowers found in the National Park are mostly
- Sub-alpine forests consisting of birch and rhododendron covers parts of Valley of Flowers National Park’s area
Quick revision Video
Rivers in Uttarakhand
Many important rivers, including the Ganga, Yamuna, Ramganga, and Sharda, as well as their tributaries, drain the state. The state is divided into 13 districts, all of which are hill districts. There are no tribal districts in the state.
The annual rainfall averages 1,500 mm, and the temperature ranges from 0°C to 43°C.
Population of Uttarakhand
According to the 2011 census, Uttarakhand has a population of 10.09 million people, accounting for 0.83 per cent of India’s total population. The state’s rural and urban populations are 69.77 per cent and 30.23 per cent, respectively. The tribal population is 2.89 per cent of the total. The state’s population density is 189 people per square kilometre, which is lower than the national average.
According to the 19th Livestock Census 2012, the overall livestock population was 4.79 million.
Forest in Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand has an abundance of forest resources. According to the Champion and Seth Classification of Forest Types (1968), Uttarakhand’s forests are classified into nine Forest Type Groups, which are further subdivided into 43 Forest Types.
Because of the agricultural economy and pastoralism, the human and livestock populations rely heavily on trees.
Van Panchayats, which were established in Uttarakhand in 1921, are unique organisations of community forest management. The state now has 12,167 Van Panchayats that administer a total of 7,32,688 hectares of forest. Forest fires that occur at regular intervals are a significant issue in the state.
According to the Indian State of Forests Report (ISFR) 2021, the forest cover in the state is 24,305 square kilometres, accounting for 45.44 per cent of the state’s geographical area. In terms of forest canopy density classifications, the state contains 5,055 square kilometres of Very Dense Forest (VDF), 12,768 square kilometres of Moderately Dense Forest (MDF) and 6,482 square kilometres of Open Forest (OF).
In conclusion, the national parks in Uttarakhand are of vital importance for the state and its residents. They provide a haven for wildlife, a place for recreation and tourism, and help to maintain the delicate ecological balance of the region. It is important that these parks are well-funded and protected so that they can continue to serve these functions and benefit the people of Uttarakhand.