The English poet, Johan Donne has said that no man is an island entirely of himself; that everybody is a part of the main. Every living being is a part of the one whole invisible life. This brings out the interdependence of all forms of life. Thus, human beings and the flora and fauna are supplementary and complementary to each other. Human life would be insipid, colorless and almost impossible in absence of wild life, trees, plants and other vegetation.
The dumb denizens of forests like lions, tigers, stag deer, rhinoceros, elephants, wild asses, goats and pigs, the wide variety of birds and a host of other wild animals are immensely beneficial to mankind. They maintain the ecological balance of nature without which, the sustainability of human beings would be challenged. Hence, preservation of wildlife has been drawing attention of people at the international as well as at the national level.
The Nanda Devi National Park, situated around the peak of Nanda Devi in the Chamoli district in state of Uttarakhand, in the Northern India was established in the year 1982. It is at an altitude of 25, 646 or 7.82 km above sea level. This, along with the adjoining Valley of Flowers National Park has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the year 1988 and is known as Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. Since, 2004, it is declared as a part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserve.
Sir Edmund Hillary, the first to put human foot on Mt Everest has described Nanda Devi Sanctuary as a god-gifted wilderness and a training ground of adventure.
The park has two divisions, namely the Inner and the Outer division. The Upper Rishi Valley is referred to as the Inner Sanctuary and is fed by Changbang, North Rishi and North Nanda Devi Glacier. The Outer Sanctuary is featured by the Trishuli, and Ramani Glaciers.
In addition to the heights and depths, the Himalayan ranges of mountains and valleys, visitors can witness rare varieties of wild animals such as Snow Leopards, Black bear, Musk Deer Himalayan Tahr, langurs, brown bear, and rhesus macaque.
Bird watchers can have the exclusive opportunity of witnessing 114 species of birds, including the orange-flanked bush robin, Indian tree pipit and blue-fronted red start. Added to all these, visitors can have views of several varieties of butterfly and 312 species of flowers, including Brahma Kamal.
Visitors above the age of 14 only are permitted, in group of five visitors; two groups in a day and four groups in a week.
The best time to visit Nanda Devi National Park is during April to October, because the park is not covered with snow, then.
A number of mountain peaks add to the panoramic view of the park. These peaks are Devistan, Kalanka, Changbang, Mangraon, Deo Damla, Bamchu, Sakram, Malkotli, Devtoli, Mrigthuni, Latu Dhura, Mrigthuni and Panwali Doar.
Wild life is as essential to mankind as air and water. This basic human need has been met with to a great extent by the Nanda Devi National Park and can be observed closely by visiting this UNESCO Heritage site.