Great Himalayan National Park is the latest addition to India’s National Parks System. The area comprising of the watersheds of Jiwa, Sainj, and Tirthan rivers became the Great Himalayan National Park in 1984. It is spread over an area of 1,171 sq kms with altitudes varying from 1500 to 6000m.
We arranged a 5 day trek into GHNP through Raju’s Guest House. They took care of everything including food, tents, hiring porters etc.
Route : Gushaini – Rolla – Chalocha – Nada Thach – Waterfall – Gushaini
Nada Thach 3300m
Waterfall Rolla 2100m
Day 1 : Gushaini (1500 m) to Rolla (2100 m)
All the villages have been relocated out of the park except for one hut, near Rolla campsite, owned by an elderly man and his wife. They have refused to move and are battling it out in the courts.
The GHNP is habitat to more than 375 fauna species including 31 mammals, 181 birds, 3 reptiles, 9 amphibians, 11 annelids, 17 mollusks and 127 insects. The park is a birding paradise. We met a couple of avid birders from Bhopal who were raving about the abundance of birds within the park.
Tirthan river flowing right next to the campsite
We spotted a Himalayan Goral across the river while filling our water bottles. It is one of the four species in the Nemorhaedus genus, and has a goat-like appearance.
Day 2 : Rolla (2100m) to Chalocha (2450m)
Supratim, Sanjay, and Pavel (fellow guests from Raju’s GH) had left for GHNP a day earlier on a 3 day trek (Gushaini – Rolla – Shilt – Gushaini). It was nice to meet them on their way back to Gushaini.
After bidding goodbyes, we proceeded towards Chalocha.
Day 3 : Trek towards Nada Thach (3300 m)
The 5 Km trek up to Nada is a very steep one, gaining about 1000 m in altitude. Someday (hope, hope, hope), I’d like to trek all the way to Tirthan and back.
Day 4 : Chalocha (2450m) to Waterfall (Near Rolla, 2100 m)
We started early so that we could reach the Waterfall before lunchtime. The rains over the past few days had washed away some of the bridges, making certain sections of the trek a tad dangerous.
Post lunch, a herd of goats decided to pay us a visit and took over the rock Savi and I were sitting on.
Unfortunately since this campsite did not have a hut for the porters, they had to sleep under the stars – luckily the weather had cleared up and the sky was clear.
They needed a lot of firewood since they planned to keep the bonfire burning all night long. Two leopards had been spotted in the area three nights ago.