Nanda Devi National Park

Nanda Devi National Park is located at the base of the Nanda Devi peak, in the Chamoli and Himalayan district of Uttarakhand. Nestled among the snow capped mountain ranges, the Nanda Devi National Park is a traveller’s paradise – the entire area is encircled by snow-white mountain peaks - The Trishul, The Nanda Devi, Dunagiri, Bethartoli etc. Complete with magical vistas and awe-inspiring landscapes, the sanctuary creates a perfect balance of natural beauty and ragged wilderness. A UNESCO world heritage site, sprawled over an area of 632 sqkms, the Nanda Devi National Park has only recently been opened up to the tourists after the ban on trekkers in order to protect the indigenous biodiversity of the Park. The Park is divided into two parts - Inner and Outer regions. The Upper Rishi Valley, often referred to as the Inner Sanctuary is fed by Changbang, North Rishi and North Nanda Devi glaciers, while the Trisuli and Ramani glaciers are features of the Outer Sanctuary. Open from 1st May to 31st October, the Nanda Devi Park is one of the absolute must visit holiday destinations in India.

The Nanda Devi (7817m) peak is the second highest in India. For a long time, its inaccessibility gave it the aura of a forbidden territory. The first explorers of the inner sanctuary were Eric Shipton and Bill Tilman, who discovered a route to the Upper Rishi Ganga George in 1934.

In 2004, the government partially opened the park to trekkers, who were permitted to go upto the meadows of Dharansi and Debrugheta. The National Park is encircled by a spectacular range of mountains, such as Trishul (7120m), Dunagiri (7006m) and Changabang (6864m). Lata and Tolma villaes are the two entry points to the Nanda Devi National Park. However, the climb form Tolma is much easier than from Lata.

Travel Tips

April to October is the best time to visit Nanda Devi, since for most parts of the rest of the year, the Park is snowed in. Remember to carry winter clothes no matter what time of the year you are going. A word of caution for people with breathing trouble - the high altitudes and cold might cause breathlessness. Carrying a walking stick is a good idea, when trekking since the terrain is highly irregular. Carry a good camera if you can, to capture all the postcard perfect views that this jewel of a place has to offer. Also, book ahead. The Park authorities only allow two groups of 5 persons each, to enter the park at a time. Only 4 groups get to enter the park in one day. So if you just turn up, hoping to get lucky, you might be disappointed.

When to visit

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • July
  • Aug
  • Sept
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
sprinkles Very Cold
  • 8.1° Max
  • 1.1° Min
  • 15.0 mm
  • Carry Heavy woollen.
Things to do

Nanda Devi National Park is a veritable milieu of rare and exotic plants and flowers, in keeping with its terrain and climate. The Park has remained outside the purview of human interference for a long time and fair parts of it are still pristine and untouched. There are over 300 types of flora that can be found in the Park. Alongside it is also filled with a plethora of wild animals such as the Bharal, Himalayan tahr, serow, goral, snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, brown bear, leopard, common langur, Himalayan musk deer, and brown bear. But more than its wildlife, Nanda Devi is famous for its natural beauty and charm - the rows of firs and birches, its array of vibrant flowers and panoramic vistas of snow clad peaks towering in the horizon. ‘Come to Nanda Devi and drink the absolute beauty nature has to offer’ - this is exactly why Sir Edmund Hillary commentedreferring to the sanctuary as a god gifted wilderness. Eric Shipton was also quite overwhelmed on seeing the Nanda Devi National Park and remarked‘All around us was mountain architecture more magnificent even than the great southern battlements of Everest.’

This hill station is situated at an altitude of 6,000 ft in the mountain slopes above Alaknanda and Dhauliganga rivers and is a paradise for nature lovers, offering panoramic view of the snow-clad mountains, verdant surroundings and magnanimous views. Trekking up to the Park is a popular tourist activity - the base camp for the trek being Joshimath. Joshimath, also known as Jyotirmath, is one of the four maths established in the 8th century AD by Adi Guru ShriShankaracharya. This place is also the base for trekking to the Valley of Flowers which in itself is another fantasticspot that attracts a lot of crowd thanks to its magnificent collection of rare and exotic flowers.

Dharansi and Debrugheta are located to the northwest of the park. The former is the last point for camping. To enter the park, you have to first get a permit from the Divisional Forest Officer at Joshimath. For treks up to Dharanasi, there is one-time eco-tourism fee for seven days. Only groups of five persons per day, excluding accompanying staff, are allowed into the park.

Getting Around

Being a remote location that is almost cut off from the rest of the country, there isn’t much reliable local transportation available in Nanda Devi. Though buses and tourist taxis are available from Joshimath, local transport services are not very well developed. Travellers mostly prefer to cover the distances on foot, though ponies are also available. Since several shrines are located on mountain-tops many pilgrims also visit the Nanda Devi peaks. However, it is not a very easy climb and if you are not used to trekking it is advisable to hire porters to carry your luggage. Trekking is the only means by which one can reach the park from Joshimath and the vehicle-able roads lead only till Joshimath and not beyond.

Places to Stay

Mountain Shepherds is an offshoot of the Nanda Devi Campaign that had begun for cultural survival and livelihoods. It had been spreaheaded by the Marcha Bhotia community of this valley.

As part of homestays, you get to stay in small but very comfortable traditional village homes, and enjoy delicious local cuisine.

How to Reach

  • The Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, is the nearest airport, situated at a distance of about 295 km from the National Park. There are regular flights that connect Dehradun to Delhi and most other parts of the country.
  • The railway station closest to the Nanda Devi National Park is at Rishikesh. Located at a distance of 276 km, it is the only railway station in the area, from where one has to book a taxi or a bus service to reach Joshimath.
  • There are well maintained roads that connect Joshimath to other towns in Uttrakhand such as Dehradun, Rishikesh and Haridwar. To reach Nanda Devi National Park on foot, one has to trek from Joshimath.

Surrounding Attractions

Joshimath, though mostly used as the base camp for travelling upward to Nanda Devi, is a beautiful town in itself. It has many pretty views of the Himalayan range and is a true blue quaint old town, with its own old-world charm.

Cradled in the Nar-Narayan mountain ranges with the grand Neelkanth peak forming an enchanting backdrop, Badrinath is yet another nearby attraction. It is believed to be among the holiest of the Hindu pilgrimages and is located on the left bank of river Alaknanda in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. Badrinath along with Yamunotri, Gangotri and Kedarnath form the Chota Char Dham, one of the pilgrimages of prime importance for the Hindus.

Another nearby must-see location is the Valley of Flowers National Park, known for its extraordinarily picturesque vistas and of course, gorgeous, rare and vibrant flowers.

The starting point of several treks in Uttarakhand, Chopta, is a beautiful village located in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand and is yet another location frequented by travellers visiting the area. Situated at an elevation about 2680 meters above sea level, the village is known for its virgin beauty and mesmerizing landscape. The village is also popular for its green grasslands, locally known as ‘bugyals’.

Lata the most well-known village around the park, it houses Nanda Devi's idol in an ancient, beautiful temple.

Emergency No.

Police Control Room-100

Fire Brigade-101 Emergency Medical-102
Disaster Control Room, Police Headquarter

Helpline Number - Telephone -0135-2717300, Mobile -9411112985