The Great Himalayan National Park is India’s latest entrant into UNESCO’s prestigious list of world heritage sites. It was formally declared a national park in 1999 and inducted into the list in 2014. It falls under the Kullu district of Himachal and is spread over a total area of 754sq.km. The park boasts of an astounding array of flora and fauna, being home to more than 180 species of birds and 6 different types of vegetations. The Tirthan valley spans the southwestern portion of the park; the parts that lie outside the demarcated park boundaries are sparsely inhabited, and at least so far, haven’t fallen prey to any unscrupulous forms of tourism. To get to the national park, the roadhead is the village of Gushaini, which is about a couple of hours from Kullu. From here it’s an  8km trek till the gate of the park, and from there a further 2km to a Rolla, where the camps are laid out for the night. Thereon, one can choose to trek further into the park. Treks of varying lengths and difficulties are available.

Indranil Datta
One the way to the Great Himalayan National Park, you will find villages like these, organic and pretty, gracing the sides of the hills and overlooking the picturesque Tirthan Valley
One the way to the Great Himalayan National Park, you will find villages like these, organic and pretty, gracing the sides of the hills and overlooking the picturesque Tirthan Valley
Indranil Datta
A woman grazes her cows on a meadow while another walks her flock of sheep up the grassy gradients of the hill
A woman grazes her cows on a meadow while another walks her flock of sheep up the grassy gradients of the hill


Indranil Datta
The bridge across the Tirthan River is the access point to the forests of Khorli Poli which is off-limits to tourists open to only researchers and forest officials
Indranil Datta
Forests of spruce and fir cloak the Khorli Poli range of the Great Himalayan National Park
Forests of spruce and fir cloak the Khorli Poli range of the Great Himalayan National Park
Indranil Datta
Snow-capped peaks as can be seen from the interiors of a hut on Shilt meadow. A fire burns inside as preparations for dinner get underway
Snow-capped peaks as can be seen from the interiors of a hut on Shilt meadow. A fire burns inside as preparations for dinner get underway
Indranil Datta
A yellow-billed blue magpie
Indranil Datta
A refreshing glass of rhododendron juice extracted from many rhododendron flowers
A refreshing glass of rhododendron juice extracted from many rhododendron flowers
Indranil Datta
A Himalayan ground skink
A Himalayan ground skink
Indranil Datta
In the upper Tirthan valley, the hills bear decreasingly less signs of human habitation as one starts to move away from the village of Gushaini
In the upper Tirthan valley, the hills bear decreasingly less signs of human habitation as one starts to move away from the village of Gushaini
Indranil Datta
A mighty waterfall bursts into sight when you’re less than a kilometer from the park’s gate. The water rushes down with massive force and when viewed from the wooden bridge spanning the river, it makes for quite a captivating sight