While you trek towards Gaumukh from Gangotri, you will pass by the very famous high altitude Gangotri National Park, named after the glacial source of Ganga- Gangotri. It is located in the upper catchment area of the Bhagirathi river in Uttarakashi district, Uttarakhand. Sprawled over an area of about 2390 sqkm, this national park was established in the year 1989. Perched at an elevation of 1800 m – 7083 m, this bio-geographical zone is home to diverse flora and fauna. Apart from these, you will be enchanted by the mesmerizing vies of snow-clad mountain peaks and glaciers.
The northeastern boundary of this park runs along China’s international border. Between Govind National Park and Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, the parking area provides a feasible continuity. The area is characterized by high peaks, steep gorges, precipitous cliffs, rough jagged glaciers, and narrow valleys.
FLORA YOU CAN SEE IN GANGOTRI NATIONAL PARK
As you move into the Gangotri National Park, you will witness Western Himalayan subalpine conifer forests at lower elevations, whereas at higher elevations, it is home to Western Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows. Apart from these, Chirpine deodar, fir, spruce, oak, and rhododendrons also make up the vegetation of this park.
FAUNA YOU CAN SEE IN GANGOTRI NATIONAL PARK
Gangotri National Park has been home to 15 mammal species and 150 bird species, including Asian black bears, brown bears, musk deer, blue sheep, Himalayan tahrs, Himalayan monals. That’s not all, you will also get a chance to witness snow leopard, over here.
WHEN CAN YOU VISIT GANGOTRI NATIONAL PARK?
As the temperature drops down much in the winter season and the region is covered with a thick layer of snowfall, the park is closed for 5 months in Winter. It reopens during the Summer season in the month of April. And it remains open till October for the general public.
Basically, April- October is the peak time for a visit to this national park.
GANGOTRI NATIONAL PARK ENTRY PERMIT
To visit Gangotri National Park, one needs to have an entry permit. As there are limited entries allowed in the park, Only 150 people get access per day.
You can get the permit from the office above the Gangotri Bus stand or you can do it online by visiting: https://uttarkashi.nic.in/service/online-single-window-system/
STAY AT GANGOTRI NATIONAL PARK
There are various options for lodges and hotels in Uttarkashi, which are well equipped with all the basic amenities and are pocket-friendly. After a tiring trek, you can enjoy your stay at these hotels.
HOW TO REACH GANGOTRI NATIONAL PARK
By Air: Jolly Grant Airport, which is only 26 kilometers from Rishikesh, is the closest airport to Gangotri. To get to Gangotri, use the route from the airport.
By Rail: The nearest railway station is located at Rishikesh, about 249 km away. Regular trains are available from Delhi and other states to this station. Then you can opt for a bus or book a cab to reach Gangotri.
By Road: Gangotri is well connected with motorable roads across the major cities of this state. You can reach Gangotri by taking a bus or booking a cab.
WHAT IS GANGOTRI NATIONAL PARK FAMOUS FOR?
Being perched at higher elevations and having adverse flora & fauna, Gangotri National park is famous for Mountaineering, treks, expeditions, Bird watching, Gaumukh Trek, Animal Spotting, and wildlife tourism.