Great Himalyan National Park

When in Tirthan valley, the one thing that calls out to you is the vast expanse of Great Himalyan National Park. Spread over an area greater than 1100 sq kilometer, this is a park rich in flora and fauna. It is a paradise for bird lovers and many bird-watchers spend days camping into the hearts of this park. We merely spent a night in this rich land.

The access to the forest is only on foot. We started our walk from Gushain, which is a village 2-3 kms from Nagni where we were staying. The walk is pleasant and gentle and follows along the Tirthan river. The view is highlighted by snow-capped Himalyan peaks and pine trees. As we started the walk, we could feel the habitation thinning and it felt like we were leaving behind the known world. After 20-30 minutes of walking, we came by a small clearing which had a few houses typical of the area – criss-crossed with wood and stones. There, perched on the edge stands a small shop which is the last place to buy any provisions before you completely detach yourself from the modern world. We made a small halt for tea, sipping in the warm drink as we also soaked in the vivid green.

After the shop, there are few human creations that we saw  (you hardly notice winding paths running through forests as human creations, although they are always formed by people who went before). We walked through the pines, often distracted by beautiful butterflies that added more color to the green. Tirthan seemed to be continuously flirting with us – sometimes coming very close in form of waterfalls, at other times hiding far below in the valley.

As we came close to the park gate, about 9 kms from our starting point, we saw an astounding waterfall. Not knowing how far it was to our campsite, and also allowing some time for our crew to set up the tents, we went down the waterfall and spent a long time enjoying the view. A few birds were frolicking in the water, and it was a delight to follow their games. One family was trying hard to teach its young one to fly and look for food – they jumped from one rock to another.

We soon entered the park, and went into the forest for a walk. Even in early May, the temperatures were freezing.

We stayed the night in the forest in tents. Time seemed to expand in that place, and it felt like night took a long time in coming. When it came, it brought along numerous stars, but also a little bit of unease. Our little party around the camp fire felt the calming silence turn spooky, and we retreated into the tents much sooner than our usual bed times.

The park was evacuated of all dwellers in 2000. One old man, Nanu, unhappy with the compensation, decided to stay on and not part with his land. He now stays alone with his wife in this vast area, kilometers away from the nearest neighbor. His two dogs keep him company. One of the dogs found its way to our camp in the evening and refused to leave. He was very excited to have people to meet and play with. Solitude is not everyone’s favorite state.

Next day, we went deeper into the forest, watched birds of varied variety, saw Nanu’s house, deserted but for his two dogs. Old age and the maladies that come with it force him now to stay away from this land and spend time in hospitals or recovering with one of his sons.

The walk back to Gushain was incredibly easy. We ambled back without a lunch break this time, stopping only at the last shop (Shopper’s stop it is called by the guides there) for tea and (yes!) Maggi.

The evening was spent trout fishing in the Tirthan, and we did catch some, and then it was already time to move to Naggar.

Advertisements

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Homer says:

    Hi,

    My name is Homer and I’m writing from Travel News (http://tra.velne.ws/) a real time travel community of travel bloggers, travelers and people who like traveling in general. It’s a free and open community for anyone to participate, think of it as digg but dedicated to traveling.

    We would really like your opinion on it and we would love if you could join the community. It is completely free and you can submit as many links as you want there is no limit and they show up in real time.

    Some more info on Travel News; We started travel news as an application for our friends to share interesting links about traveling but became apparent that a lot of people liked the idea and started to share their links. After requests from users we have added lots of functionality like voting/commenting/mark as favorite/read later, many more will follow. Since August 2012 TN has done a great progress, grew 400% since when it started and we expect that growth to continue, more than 200.000 unique visitors every month with 550.000 page views.

    Already a lot of bloggers are submitting their great articles to Travel News, more than 9000 travel articles covering nearly 25.000 destinations.

    All in all we hope to make it a point of reference of finding the most relevant information about destinations and the experiences travelers have in those destination (removing all the noise).

    I hope you join us.

    Best,

    Homer from Travel News Team

  2. tirthan says:

    Madhuri wonderfully described blog on Ghnp . It was great to host you all in the my valley . Looking forward to see you back in the valley for a nice long trek .
    Regards
    Panki (09418204666) (www.tirthanvalley.com )

  3. Ankit says:

    Dear Madhuri,

    Thanks for writing such a beautiful write up both on GHNP and Tirthan. These valleys are really beautiful and hopefully will retain their beauty in the years to come !

    Regards

    Ankit

    1. Madhuri says:

      Dear Ankit, it was great to visit Tirthan – I am sure I will return some day. Meanwhile, thank you for making this place accessible to travelers.

  4. thank u for coming in our GHNP Banjar distt kullu himalchal pradesh

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s