4.5 / 5

Nanda Devi National Park

📍 Nanda Devi National Park, UttarakhandView map ›

🗓 Best Time To Visit:May to October, avoid monsoon season (July to August) due to heavy rainfall.

⏰ Open Hours:24 hours, but overnight stay requires permission from Forest Department.

🎒 Things To Do:Trekking, Bird watching, Flora and Fauna exploration, Photography.

💰 Budget:Free entry, but treks and tours have varying costs.

🧳 Traveller Types:Nature Lovers, Adventure Seekers, Photographers, Wildlife Enthusiasts.

🔍 Known For:Home to rare and endangered fauna, part of UNESCO World Heritage Site, second highest mountain in India - Nanda Devi.

🚄 Distances:Nearest railway station is Rishikesh (276 km), Nearest airport is Dehradun (295 km), Joshimath town is 23 km away.

🚧 Rules/Regulations:Do not litter, No harm to wildlife, No collection of flora, Mandatory guide for treks.

🏕️ Facilities:Camping allowed with prior permission, No food or water facilities, Carry your own supplies.

🐾 Wildlife:Snow Leopard, Himalayan Black Bear, Brown Bear, Musk Deer, and numerous bird species.

🏞️ Landscape:Diverse ecosystem with high-altitude meadows, rhododendron forests, and snow-clad peaks.

Have questions about Nanda Devi National Park?Ask the Tripoto Community ›
Nanda Devi National Park: A Trekker’s Paradise in the Himalayas

Have you ever dreamed of trekking in the Himalayas, surrounded by snow-capped peaks, glaciers, rivers, and gorges? Do you want to witness the rich and diverse flora and fauna of one of the most pristine and protected areas in the world? If yes, then you should definitely visit Nanda Devi National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Biosphere Reserve in Uttarakhand, India.

Nanda Devi National Park is located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, in the upper reaches of the Garhwal Himalayas. It covers an area of 630.33 sq km and has an elevation range of 2,100 to 7,817 meters above sea level. It is named after Nanda Devi, the highest peak in India (excluding Kashmir) and the second highest in the world (after Mount Everest). Nanda Devi means “Bliss-Giving Goddess” in Sanskrit and is revered by the local people as a manifestation of Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva.

Nanda Devi National Park is one of the most spectacular and remote wilderness areas in the world. It is home to a rich and diverse biodiversity, including many globally threatened and uncommon species of plants and animals. It is also a trekker’s paradise, offering a thrilling and scenic trekking experience in the Himalayan wilderness.

In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about Nanda Devi National Park, its history, its flora and fauna, its trekking routes, its best time to visit, its how to reach, and its tips for a safe and enjoyable visit.

History of Nanda Devi National Park

Nanda Devi National Park has a long and fascinating history. It was first explored by British mountaineers and hunters in the early 20th century, who were attracted by its beauty and mystery. The first successful ascent of Nanda Devi was made by Hugh Ruttledge and Tilman in 1936. The park was declared as a sanctuary in 1939 by the British government to protect its wildlife from poaching.

After India’s independence in 1947, the park remained largely inaccessible and unexplored until 1974, when an Indo-American expedition led by Willi Unsoeld and Eric Shipton entered the inner sanctuary of the park. They climbed Nanda Devi from a new route and named a subsidiary peak after Unsoeld’s daughter Nanda Devi Unsoeld, who died during the expedition.

In 1982, the park was declared as a national park by the Indian government to conserve its natural resources and biodiversity. In 1988, it was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the adjacent Valley of Flowers National Park under the name “Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks”. In 2004, it was designated as a Biosphere Reserve under the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Programme.

The park has faced many challenges and threats over the years due to human interference, natural disasters, and climate change. It has been closed to tourists several times due to security reasons, environmental concerns, or political unrest. However, it has also witnessed many achievements and initiatives for its management and preservation. For example, in 2005, a joint expedition by Indian and American scientists discovered a new species of bird called Himalayan Forest Thrush (Zoothera salimalii) in the park. In 2019, a team of Indian mountaineers retrieved four bodies of climbers who went missing on Nanda Devi East peak in 2019.

Flora and Fauna of Nanda Devi National Park

Nanda Devi National Park is one of the richest and most diverse biosphere reserves in the world. It has a wide variety of flora and fauna that reflect its varied topography, climate, soil, habitat, species, communities, and ecosystems.

The park has four distinct vegetation zones: alpine, sub-alpine, temperate, and sub-temperate. The alpine zone covers the highest altitudes above 5,500 meters, where only lichens, mosses, and some hardy herbs can survive. The sub-alpine zone ranges from 4,000 to 5,500 meters, where grasslands, shrubs, and dwarf rhododendrons dominate. The temperate zone extends from 3,000 to 4,000 meters, where mixed forests of oak, maple, birch, and fir are found. The sub-temperate zone covers the lowest altitudes below 3,000 meters, where broad-leaved forests of pine, cedar, walnut, and rhododendron are prevalent.

The park has more than 312 species of flowering plants, including many endemic and rare species. Some of the most notable ones are brahmkamal (Saussurea obvallata), blue poppy (Meconopsis aculeata), rhododendron (Rhododendron arboreum), juniper (Juniperus communis), and primrose (Primula denticulata).

The park has more than 200 species of animals, including 18 species of mammals, 100 species of birds, and 31 species of butterflies. Some of the most remarkable ones are snow leopard (Panthera uncia), Himalayan black bear (Ursus thibetanus), brown bear (Ursus arctos), leopard (Panthera pardus), common langur (Semnopithecus entellus), Himalayan musk deer (Moschus chrysogaster), bharal (Pseudois nayaur), Himalayan tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus), serow (Capricornis sumatraensis), goral (Naemorhedus goral), Himalayan monal (Lophophorus impejanus), cheer pheasant (Catreus wallichii), snow partridge (Lerwa lerwa), and golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos).

Trekking in Nanda Devi National Park

Nanda Devi National Park is a dream destination for trekkers who love adventure and nature. It offers a challenging and rewarding trekking experience in the Himalayan wilderness. The trekking route passes through dense forests, alpine meadows, rocky slopes, glacial moraines, and snow-covered peaks. The trekking route also offers stunning views of Nanda Devi and other majestic mountains, such as Trishul, Dunagiri, Changabang, and Nanda Kot.

The trekking route starts from Lata village, which is the entry point to the park. The trekking route follows the Dhauli Ganga river valley and then ascends to Lata Kharak, a high-altitude meadow and campsite. The trekking route then crosses the Dharansi Pass, which is the gateway to the inner sanctuary of the park. The trekking route then descends to Debrugheta, another meadow and campsite. The trekking route then climbs to Satkula, a glacial basin and the base camp for Nanda Devi. The trekking route then returns to Lata village via the same route.

The trekking route is about 50 km long and takes about 8 to 10 days to complete. The trekking route has an altitude gain of about 2,500 meters and a difficulty level of moderate to difficult. The trekking route requires permits and permissions from the forest department and the army. The trekking route is open from May to October, which is the best time to visit the park for trekking purposes.

The trekking route is not for beginners or faint-hearted. It requires physical fitness, mental stamina, proper equipment, and guidance. The trekking route is also prone to landslides, avalanches, rockfalls, and weather changes. Therefore, trekkers should follow some tips and precautions for trekking in the park safely and responsibly:

- Hire a local guide or join a reputed tour operator who knows the terrain and the rules of the park.

- Carry adequate food, water, clothing, footwear, sleeping bags, tents, first-aid kits, and other essentials for camping and survival.

- Respect the wildlife and do not disturb or feed them. Keep a safe distance from them and avoid their habitats.

- Respect the local culture and customs and do not litter or damage their property or resources.

- Follow the instructions and regulations of the forest department and the army and do not venture into restricted or dangerous areas.


Nanda Devi National Park is a unique and amazing destination that offers a rare opportunity to explore and appreciate the Himalayan wilderness. It is a place where nature’s beauty, diversity, and mystery are at their best. It is also a place where human’s courage, curiosity, and creativity are tested and rewarded.

If you are looking for an unforgettable adventure and a lifetime experience, then you should definitely visit Nanda Devi National Park.

However, you should also be prepared for the challenges and risks that come with it. You should also be responsible for your actions and their impacts on the environment and the people.

Nanda Devi National Park Reviews

I opened my eyes to the most beautiful morning of my time lived. It was spell-binding to watch the panoramic view of Nanda Devi and her sister ranges open up to the eye of the sky, in orderly succession, each wanting a slice more of the empyreal beams. I rushed out with my camera to capture the magnum opus- Nanda Devi, in her unmatched ebullient self, basking in the glory of the morn. The snow in the slopes had melted a fortnight back we were told. The slopes there provide unsurpassed thrills to professional skiers and novices as well and have been voted to be one of the best in the world. That GMVNL has imported snow beater to maintain slopes is quite laudable a fact. With the oxygen level dropping drastically, the ascent on foot to the reserve seemed next to impossible. Therefore, the sanest decision was to pillion ride. We resumed the ascent with three jockeys at our disposal, to guide us in a land of which they may claim to have seen upto the last gravel and I would be generous enough not to refute. The day was unfolding into a magical one with the greenly spirits of trees and the blue dream of sky. I introspected- everything which is natural has to be infinite and it is often in wilderness that the miracle of life is sensed. Mid-way of the ascent, we were interrupted by two non-descript natives who had with them the entry passes to the reserve. They were stupefied to learn that we were from Assamand if their chalk and slate statistics are to be believed, we were the first to be there from the far (far!) east! Unlike the tailored reserves in the mainland, NDBR does not languish within a fortification and bears no bruises of mortal ravage. I stepped down from my pony, walked up to the blunt edge of the slope and opened my arms wide open… I never felt so liberated to the core yet at the same time so powerless. One of the shepherds pointed out to a conspicuous depression in the mountain range. As a legendary percolation, Hanuman had journeyed to the Himalayas to retrieve the ‘Sanjeevani ‘herb. And if the jockey hadn’t fabricated, we were actually feasting our eyes upon the lacuna created by Hanuman after having uprooted an entire mountain! Finally, at a height of 4,900 meters (16,076 ft) we got our due-pristine white snow! After having done some frolicking and photography, I walked up to an inviting parcel of grassland and reclined with my eyes affixed on the enchantress, Nanda Devi. I pondered on Nature and her modus operandi- the way she unfolds her treasures to our search, unseals our eyes, illumes our minds, and purifies our hearts. I had never felt so paper-thin before.
Nanda Deviis the second highest peak in India and also one of the most revered peaks of the country. The Daharansi Pass trek is one of the few treks that bring you to a close proximity to the Nanda Devi peak. The surrounding Nanda Devi National Park is also declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Situated in the lap of Garhwal Himalayas, the region showcases the absolute beauty of the Himalayas. The Nanda Devi and Dunagiri peaks get deliciously close and look larger than life while on this trek. Very recently, the Nanda Devi Sanctuary has been opened for a limited number of visitors every year (Earlier entry to the sanctuary was banned). The Nanda Devi Sanctuary is situated in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. The spectacular panoramas of peaks encircling the Nanda Devi National Park are Trishul (7120 m) Dunagiri (7066 m) Nanda Devi (7817 m) Nanda Devi East (7430 m) Bethartoli (6352 m). The exclusivity of this trek makes it all the more endearing and exciting. With the magnificent Himalayan views and the flora and fauna of the Sanctuary, the trek makes for one of the best Himalayan experiences.
➡️Part 6 Jogini Falls Just few km before joshimath i saw this amazing place on the highway.A very calm fall at the side of the mountain.The sparkling water was something amazing i liked about it .A great place to enjoy nature's presence amidst Nanda Devi National Park. So i didn't resist to capture a memory of here. I had a deep wish to explore where the water was coming from top. It always made me anxious when I see the picture of this place. There was a little trail through which you can climb up and get a beautiful view. I wasn't lucky to trek above, as had to reach Auli on time .So just said a sweet good-bye to this little amazing place and promised myself to visit this Nature's Trail next time.
As the trek starts, with every step I take it keeps on getting steeper and steeper as you approach towards the Tungnath temple (3680 metres). The trek stretch gives you a chance to soak in the serene beauty of Nandadevi national park. With eateries on the trek side, you get time to grab a bite be it maggi, some biscuits, a hot cup of pahadi chai or may be a glass of Rhododendron juice (all must try this, it’s quite soothing). As you see the tip of the temple it gives you a sense of fulfillment, a feeling that just can’t be penned down… you need to breathe that air and soak in it to feel beautiful.
The National Park is a protected biosphere reserve and has just been opened for a small group of tourists. The magnificent view of the Nanda Devi peakand glaciers is visible, and covered in thick layers of snow! You can plan a trek with the local tour operators and explore the wildlife of the region. The Badrinath, Joshimathand the Nanda Devi Templeare also very close by and you can visit these too. This destination is quite and serene, and best for an off-season getaway. The nearest airport is Jolly Grant in Dehradun (285 km) and the nearest railway station is Rishikesh (270 km).
Photos of Nanda Devi National Park
View Image/video
Planning a trip soon?
Unlock the Perfect Getaway with us
See Packages for Chamoli

Places To Visit In Uttarakhand