About Nanda Devi Sanctuary Trek
Location: Garhwal Himalayas (Uttarakhand)
Altitude: 4152 m above Sea Level
Best Time: May To October.
Duration: 10 Days
The Nanda Devi Sanctuary Trek is one of the popular treks in the Garhwal Himalayan region that takes you to the abode of the sacred Goddess Nanda Devi, idolizing to India's highest peak Nanda Devi, rising and shining at an altitude of 7,816 meters. The hulking high pyramid peak, rising from the gigantic ring of high mountains and with the sacred Garhwal at its backdrop, is the major attraction in this trek. The vicinity offers high mountaineering routes and trekking opportunities for all. The Nanda Devi trek passes through the opulent Nanda Devi Sanctuary, an amphitheater of seventy miles in perimeter and stretching to an altitude of 6,000 meters lies adjacent to the Rishi Ganga valley.
The Nanda Devi trek commences from Lata, a small village that is approximately 2 hours drive from Joshimath. From Lata village, the trek commences towards Lata Kharak at an elevation of 3,689 meters and thereafter turns towards Dharansi Pass, which is set an altitude of 4,250 meters. At this point one can capture the rewarding view of the snow clad peaks of Dronagiri, Nanda Gunthi and many more. The Nanda Devi trek from Lata Kharak to Dharansi Pass follows a steep climb that crosses Jhandi Dhar and Bagfyana Pass. Thereafter, from Dharansi Pass, the journey follows a steep descend to Debrugheta and follows back to Dharansi Pass. The downhill trek continues towards Hitoli at 2,900 meters and finally ends at Joshimath.
Nanda Devi Sanctuary Trek Highlights
- Visit the legendary villages of Rainee and Lata, which were the birthplace of the Chipko movement in the Himalayas
- Witness the rare and endangered mammals of the Indian Himalaya like the musk deer, blue sheep, serow, Himalayan black bear, Thar and snow leopard.
- Opportunity to witness the flights of varied bird species as the entire trail is blessed with 100 species of high altitude birds
- Avail the exclusive opportunity of interaction with locals and villagers and get a sneak peek in to their simple lives.
- Behold the sacred confluence of holy rivers at Devprayag, Rudraprayag and Nandprayag
Best Time to Visit
Best time to travel to Nanda Devi Sanctuary is in summers (April – June) and springs (September - October) as during these months the weather remains pleasant.
In summers: The weather of Nanda Devi Sanctuary remains salubrious during summers. The Himalayas are distinctly visible. Carrying woolens is advised.
In monsoons: The greenery of Nanda Devi welcomes the tourist to lose oneself amidst the beauty of nature. There are chances of roads block for a couple of hours due to landslides but the scenic beauty of Nanda Devi Sanctuary during monsoons is worth taking the risk for. Carrying raincoats is adviced.
In springs: Serenity and solitude are at its best during springs at Gomukh Tapovan. You can see the best of Nanda Devi Sanctuary during the spring time.
Where is the Nanda Devi Sanctuary?
Nanda Devi National Park is located in the Indian state of Uttarakhand in the upper Himalayan ranges. A part of the Garhwal Himalayas, the park can be entered from Lata village, which is around 23 km from Joshimath. Mountain peaks surround it from all sides except the west where it is bounded by an inaccessible gorge.
How to Reach
By air: Jolly Grant airport Dehradun is the nearest airport Km from Joshimath. Dehradun is 295Km from Nanda Devi National Park. Jolly Grant airport is well connected with Delhi and Mumbai.
By rail: Haridwar/Rishikesh Railway Stations are the nearest railheads from Joshimath. Rishikesh is 276kms away from Nanda Devi National Park. You can find taxi or bus to Joshimath from Rishikesh Railway Station which is connected to Haridwar, Dehradun and other parts of Uttarakhand state.
By road: Joshimath is 254Km from Rishikesh, 274Km from Haridwar and 293Km from Dehradun. These four places are well connected through roadways to other parts of Uttarakhand state. Raini is 22.8Km from Joshimath and a few meters away from Lata village.
Route to Nanda Devi National Park: Dehradun - Rishikesh – Devprayag – Rudraprayag – Karnprayag – Nandprayag – Joshimath – Lata Village - Nanda Devi National Park
situated in the Garhwal Himalaya, is also known as the Nanda Devi Sanctuary to mountaineers by virtue of its almost inaccessible terrain which kept the mountain inviolable till 1934, when Shipton and Tilman pioneered a trail up the Rishi gorge to reach the base of the mountain. In doing so, they were the first men to ever put foot into a remarkable mountain basin with rich pastures and a veritable Garden of Eden where herds of Himalayan ungulates grazed which knew no fear of man.
Following their first entry and BilTilman's successful attempt on the Nanda Devi itself in 1936, there was little further human intrusion into the Basin as a result of the moratorium on mountaineering during the Second World War. Immediately after the war independence and the years thereafter saw this area closed to expeditions. The unique Himalayan wilderness therefore remained largely untouched by Man right into the 1950s.
The last two decades, however, have seen a tremendous change all along the Himalayan range with roads penetrating remotest valleys and men with arms living at high altitudes throughout the year. With both civilian and military mountaineering being actively encouraged, several large and well-planned expeditions have operated within the Sanctuary and reports of indiscriminate shooting of wildlife have been causing considerable uneasiness among conservationists.
With restrictions being raised on foreign expeditions to the Nanda Devi area, there has been a spate of expeditions and summits within and around the Sanctuary have been reserved for several years in advance. This large-scale entry of Man into what was, till only a couple of decades ago, a wilderness rivaling such places as the Galapagos Islands and the Antarctic Continent, has given to rise to anxiety over the possible damage to the delicate ecosystem.
The investigator was invited to join the 1977 British Nanda Devi expedition as a naturalist, and his participation was considered a good opportunity for an inquiry into the damage already sustained by the area. World Wildlife Fund, India, sponsored a two- month study during May and June 1977. This report attempts to evaluate the impact of Man's activities in the Sanctuary and suggests some remedial action to conserve the magnificent natural heritage for future generations. The investigator was rendered valuable assistance by Kt. Hon. Capt. Jonathan Forbes of the British Army Team which was associated with the expedition.