Pin Valley National Park – Widely known as the land of Ibex and Snow Leopards, Pin Valley National Park is stretched in Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh forming a natural interface between both the districts.
The park is embedded in the Valley of Pin River that’s why it is named Pin Valley National Park. Being set in the midst of the semi-frozen Rivers and due to its sub-zero temperature, it is the only cold desert National Park in India.
Pin Valley National Park
Pin Valley National Park allocates the boundaries with Rupi Bhabha Sanctuary in South and Great Himalayan National Park in the southwest.
Covering the total area of 1150 km2 as a buffer zone and 675 km2 as a core zone, Pin Valley National Park is perched in the high elevation of Himalayan peaks ranging from 3500 to 6000.
This mountainous region was constituted as Pin Valley National Park in 1987.
History and Significance of Pin Valley National Park
The history of Pin Valley National Park shows the influence of Buddhism. There are many Stupas, Monasteries, and shrines.
Here Buddhism is to the extent that the present residents of this place follow Buddhist culture only. This region was autonomous until 1846 when East India Company brought it under its control.
After the independence, Indian government took over the control and declared it as a National Park in 1987. Pin Valley National Park is a place where human and wild animals exist together.
Around 17 villages with the population of 1600 are sited in the lower altitudes of the park.
Pin Valley National Park best time to visit, timings, and entry fees
Best time to visit
The park remains open all year long but going there in winters is impossible. From December to February, there is only snow and snow and all paths are blocked.
If you’re an animal and wildlife lover, March to May is the best season for you because during these months, animals are found on the lower side of the park.
And if you want to explore the natural beauty of this place, go there in between July to October. As these are the rainy months, entire Pin Valley National Park is adorned with lush greenery.
6:00 am to 6:00 pm each day.
What else can you ask for? The entry to nature’s courtyard is absolutely free. Visit as many times as you can. You don’t have to spend even a single dime to relish the surreal fascination of nature. Unfortunately, foreign tourists are not allowed to visit Pin Valley National Park. Even Indian visitors need to take permission from administration prior to their visit.
How to reach Pin Valley National Park
This is a hill station so reaching there is somewhat time-consuming. Pin Valley National Park is approachable via two routes, Manali route and Shimla route.
Manali route remains open from July to October while Shimla route is accessible from March to December. To reach Pin Valley National Park, your first destination is Kaza,
Route-1 (summer route)
- Manali to Kaza by bus -260 km
- Kaza to Mikkim by Jeep or bus – 32 km
- Mikkim to National Park on foot – 10km
Route-2 (winter route)
- Shimla to Tapari to Kaza by bus- 850km
- Kaza to National Park on foot – 32+10 km
The nearest railhead to Pin Valley National Park is Shimla and Bhuntar Airport is the nearest airport. After reaching there, the park can be explored only by trekking.
Special Attraction of Pin Valley National Park
After taking so many halts, finally, we’re in the courtyard of nature. So let’s explore every bit of it. If you’re an adventurous enthusiast, this place is for you because here camping and trekking are the main activities.
I think, the place, where nature blooms at its best, doesn’t need any other tourist spots to attract the visitors. The magnificence of nature is enough to spellbind the people. So is with Pin Valley National Park.
The park is filled with assorted riveting floral and faunal beauty that will not allow you to take your eyes off even for a moment.
The astonishing landscapes, the sky-touching altitude of lakes, glorious monasteries and culture of Buddhists, grassy slopes, multi-colored vegetation, soothing breeze, blustery waves of rivers, enchanting streams, snow-capped mountains, and glaciers are the catchments of the eye in Pin Valley National Park.
In between exploring the nature, spend some time in local villages of Pin Valley National Park to experience a different culture, their unforgettable hospitality, and picturesque scenery. The Park is graced with many splendid monasteries too, don’t forget to visit them else you’ll miss the gist of Pin Valley National Park.
Flora and Fauna of Pin Valley National Park
Pin Valley National Park is bestowed with extremely rich and diverse flora and fauna and the reason behind such abundance is that 12 perpetual streams flow through the Park.
Even after being a cold desert, Pin Valley National Park consists of more than 400 species of flora of which Alpine Trees and Himalayan Cedar are the prominent ones. Furthermore, many medicinal herbs are also found in this park.
Besides the scenic beauty, the widespread ranges of Himalaya offer a shelter to many animals too. The park is enriched with 20 species of animals including Siberian Ibex, Snow Leopard, Bharal, Red Fox, Pika, Golden Eagle, Griffon, Himalayan Cough, and Marten.
Pin Valley National Park is especially known for the protection of vanishing Snow Leopards. It is also home to many species of beautiful birds which can’t be sighted elsewhere.
Nearby Places of Interest
- Kungri Monastery
- Tabo Gompa
- Dhankar Gompa
- Kyil Khor
Accommodation and Food Availability
As Pin Valley National Park is a mountainous region, it doesn’t offer any royal or luxurious stay opportunity. Carry your own sleeping bags & tents and spent the night wherever you want. The second option is bunkers, built within the park.
You can spend a night there but don’t expect too much facility. Staying in monasteries and local villages is another good option. Here, villagers are very generous. They can even provide you food. If you can’t stay like this, there is only one option left.
Book lodges in Kaza, 42 km away from the park, and walk daily such a long distance. In Pin Valley National Park, you will not find any eateries. So carry your own food and water. Water can be refilled from the rivers.
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