VISITING THE PARK
The information given below is based on the experiences of many Friends of GHNP in the Great Himalayan National Park. This may be checked with the Park authorities for latest updates.
The annual number of Indian and foreign tourists who actually enter the Park is about 700 to 1,000, and about 6,000 to 8,000 in the Ecozone. Considering the fragile nature of Park ecosystems, the Park management is not in favour of developing roads or paved trails in GHNP. Hence, only those who love adventure are allowed to go into the Park. The 90% area of Ecozone is forest with easy walks. In general, the Park management encourages most of the tourists to go into the Ecozone forests and more experienced trekkers into the Park.
A list of GHNP facilities
|Forest Rest House Sairopa||1 (3 rooms)|
|Community Training & Tourist Center, Sairopa||Dormitory (40 beds)
Conference hall (1)
Recreation room (1)
Biodiversity trail (1)
Arboretum (under preparation)
|Inspection huts||2 (4 rooms)|
|Toilets at the entry gate||2|
REST HOUSES/TRANSIT ACCOMMODATION
Other Rest houses/transit accommodations are available in the vicinity of the Park. Home-stays are also available for a more intimate experience of village life.
• Forest Rest House,
Aut. c/o Divisional Forest Officer, Mandi, Himachal Pradesh
• Public Works Department Rest House (PWD RH), Larji. c/o Executive Engineer, Kullu Division No II, Kullu, Himachal Pradesh.
• PWD RH Banjar – Larji. c/o Executive Engineer, Kullu Division No II, Kullu, Himachal Pradesh.
• Forest Rest House, Sainj c/o Divisional Forest Officer, Seraj, Banjar, Dist. Kullu, Himachal Pradesh.
• Forest Rest House, Bandal c/o Divisional Forest Officer, Seraj, Banjar, Dist. Kullu, Himachal Pradesh.
• Transit Accommodation, Sairopa c/o Director, GHNP, Shamshi, Dist. Kullu, Himachal Pradesh.
• One room accommodation at Lapah village in Sainj valley c/o Director, GHNP, Shamshi, Dist. Kullu, Himachal Pradesh.
• PWD Rest House Bathad. – Assistant Engineer, Banjar (Kullu), Himachal Pradesh.
• Village level private guest houses are being developed at Shangarh and Gushaini.
Gears and Preparation
A trekker to the GHNP should be in good physical condition and the choice of the trekking route should match the levels of one’s physical fitness. A trekker in good health can easily go up to 4000 m. Some trekking routes are strenuous to very strenuous and are indicated as such. For example, crossing of the Pin Parvati Pass (5319 m.) demands excellent physical health and stamina, basic mountaineering skills, serious trekking experience, snow-walking, and orientation (see Personal Impressions, Dr. G.S. Rawat).
The trekker is expected to respect both the mountain environment and local village customs. As you trek, it is important to do one thing at a time. When you’re going up and down the steep trails, your attention has to be on the next step (see Personal Impressions, Arnold Lippin). Periodic rest stops provide opportunities to appreciate the environment. It is essential to find the next overnight camping site well before the sunsets. There are a few designated camping sites in high altitude pastures. Your local guide will be of help in selecting a place to camp, which is close to water and safe for the night rest. Failure to set careful limits for oneself can result in tragedy. Know your limits–don’t endanger yourself or others!
Wear appropriate dress for each season and dress in layers for maximum comfort. Your trekking will be as comfortable as your boots. Make sure they are sturdy (with good ankle support and sturdy soles) and broken-in (new boots can often cause hot spots or blisters). Rain gear and sunscreen are essential. A warm hat, scarf, and gloves must also be part of your dress.
Additional clothing items should include:
(1) down or insulated vest/jacket,
(2) rain-proof parka,
(3) socks and sock liners,
(4) sun hat,
(6) slippers or sandals for inside tent,
(7) thermal under-wear,
(9) down sleeping bag.
(1) adjustable walking stick,
(2) water bottle,
(3) high-grade water filter,
(4) Multi-blade knife.
Over-night stays have additional requirements, including, tents, sleeping bags, insulated mats, cooking utensils, food, etc. GHNP requires entry permits for treks. BTCA is a non-governmental group organized by local village people and provides full logistic trek support. BTCA offers guides, porters, tents, cooks, and coordinates different trek tours with GHNP staff. This is not a fully comprehensive gear list and you should consult with knowledgeable individuals or appropriate trekking books (e.g., Trekking in the Indian Himalayas, Lonely Planet) if you are planning a multi-day trek to ensure you are properly equipped and informed.