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Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks World Heritage Site

Parcs nationaux de Nanda Devi et de la Vallée des fleurs, India

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Description

The Nanda Devi National Park is a national park situated around the peak of Nanda Devi, 7,817 m (25,646 ft) in the state of Uttarakhand in northern India that was established in 1982. Along with the adjoining Valley of Flowers National Park to the northwest, it was inscribed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988.

Nanda Devi National Park covers an area of 630.33 km2 (243.37 sq mi) and together with Valley of Flowers National Park is encompassed in the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve totaling a protected area of 2,236.74 km2 (863.61 sq mi), which is surrounded by a buffer zone of 5,148.57 km2 (1,987.87 sq mi).This Reserve is part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves since 2004.

The park encompasses the Nanda Devi Sanctuary, a glacial basin surrounded by a ring of peaks between 6,000 metres (19,700 ft) and 7,500 m (24,600 ft) high, and drained by the Rishi Ganga through the Rishi Ganga Gorge, a steep, almost impassable defile. The entire park lies at an elevation of more than 3,500 m (11,500 ft) above mean sea level.

The first recorded attempt to explore the sanctuary was in 1883 by W. W. Graham, who could proceed only upto Rishi Ganga.Other attempts by explorers in 1870, (T. G. Longstaff) 1926, 1927 and 1932 (Hugh Ruttledge) did not fetch fruitful results. Eric Shipton and H. W. Tilman entered the inner sanctuary through Rishi Ganga in 1934, thus opening the extensive exploration in the sanctuary. In 1939, the area was declared as a game sanctuary.

' The Sanctuary can be divided into two parts, Inner and Outer. Together, they are surrounded by the main Sanctuary Wall, which forms a roughly square outline, with high, continuous ridges on the north, east, and south sides. On the west side, less high but still imposing ridges drop from the north and south toward the Rishi Ganga Gorge, which drains the Sanctuary towards the west.

The Inner Sanctuary occupies roughly the eastern two-thirds of the total area, and contains Nanda Devi itself and the two major glaciers flanking the peak, the Uttari (north) Rishi Glacier and the Dakshni (south) Rishi Glacier. These are fed by the smaller Uttari Nanda Devi and Dakshni Nanda Devi Glaciers respectively. The first recorded entry of humans into the Inner Sanctuary was by Eric Shipton and H. W. Tilman in 1934, via the Rishi Gorge.

The Outer Sanctuary occupies the western third of the total Sanctuary, and is separated from the Inner Sanctuary by high ridges, through which flows the Rishi Ganga. It is split in two by the Rishi Ganga; on the north side lies the Ramani Glacier, flowing down from the slopes of Dunagiri and Changabang, and on the south lies the Trisul Glacier, flowing from the peak of the same name. This portion of the Sanctuary is accessible to the outside (though requiring the crossing of a 4,000 m (13,000 ft) pass). The first serious climbing expedition to pass through the Outer Sanctuary was that of T. G. Longstaff, who climbed Trisul I in 1907 via the eponymous glacier.

Common larger mammals are Himalayan musk deer, Mainland serow and Himalayan tahr. Gorals are not found within, but in the vicinity of the Park. Carnivores are represented by common leopards, Himalayan black bear and perhaps also brown bear. Langurs are found within the park, whereas rhesus macaque are known to occur in the neighboring areas of the park. In a scientific Expedition in 1993, a total of 114 bird species was recognized.

Apart from Nanda Devi, the following peaks lie on ridges dividing the Inner and Outer Sanctuary areas.

These peaks are listed in clockwise order, starting from just north of the Rishi Gorge. Some of them are relatively minor summits and have small topographic prominence, while others are independent peaks.

The following are the most notable peaks which are adjacent to the Wall; they are all connected to the Wall by high passes. They lie just outside the boundaries of the Park.

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Official Record

  • WDPA ID16793
  • NameNanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks
  • Original NameParcs nationaux de Nanda Devi et de la Vallée des fleurs
  • Country / TerritoryIND
  • Sub locationIN-UP
  • IUCN CategoryNot ApplicableWhat is this?
  • English DesignationWorld Heritage Site
  • Designation TypeInternational
  • StatusInscribed
  • Status Year1988
  • Reported Area km2712.1
  • Marinefalse
  • Governance TypeNot Reported
  • International Criteria(vii)(x)
  • Management AuthorityNot Reported
  • Management Plan URLNot Reported

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Official Data Provider

Ministry of Environment and Forests, India (2004)

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