Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Govind National Park

Govind Pashu Vihar National Park UPSC

Govind Pashu Vihar National Park, also known as Govind Wildlife Sanctuary, is a protected area located in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, India.


It is situated in the western part of the Garhwal Himalayas and is known for its diverse flora, fauna, and scenic beauty. The park spans an area of approximately 957 square kilometers (369 square miles).


Table of Contents

  • Govind National Park Location
  • Govind National Park History
  • Govind National Park Area
  • Govind National Park Hills
    • Swargarohini
    • Black Peak
    • Bandarpunch
  • Govind National Park Valley
    • Tons Valley
    • Har Ki Dun Valley
  • Govind National Park River
    • Tons River
  • Govind National Park Lake
    • Ruinsara Lake
  • Govind National Park Flora
    • Deciduous Tree Species
    • Rhododendrons
    • Coniferous Trees
    • Alpine Flowers
    • Medicinal Plants
    • Mosses and Lichens
  • Govind National Park Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptiles
  • Project Snow Leopard
  • Top Things to do in Govind National Park
  • Govind National Park UPSC Questions


Govind National Park Location

Govind Pashu Vihar National Park is located in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, India. The park is situated in the higher reaches of the Garhwal Himalayas.


The exact location of Govind Pashu Vihar National Park is in the western part of the Uttarkashi district. It is bordered by the Tons River in the west, the Yamuna River in the east, and Himachal Pradesh in the north. 


The park encompasses a significant portion of the upper Tons Valley and extends into the remote regions of the Garhwal Himalayas.


Govind National Park Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport is Jolly Grant in Dehradun, about 230 km away.


Govind National Park Nearest Railway Station:

The nearest railhead is Dehradun, 207 km.




Govind National Park History (Govind National Park Established)

Wildlife Sanctuary: In 1955, the park was established as a Wildlife Sanctuary and named Govind Wildlife Sanctuary. 


National Park Status: In 1990, it was declared as a National Park.


Govind Ballabh Pant: The Govind National Park is named after a prominent Indian freedom fighter and politician Govind Ballabh Pant, who became Home Minister in 1955 and is remembered for his achievement in establishing Hindi as an official language of India.




Govind National Park Area

Govind Pashu Vihar National Park covers an approximate area of 958 km2 (370 sq mi). The altitude in the Govind National Park ranges from 1,400 to 6,323 metres (4,593 to 20,745 ft) above sea level.


The national park encompasses parts of the upper Tons Valley and is situated at higher elevations. It is characterized by the presence of rolling hills, deep valleys, steep slopes, and rugged mountain landscapes.




Govind National Park Hills

Govind Pashu Vihar National Park is located in the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand, India. 


The national park is known for its hilly terrain and is surrounded by several prominent peaks of the Himalayan range includes mountains like Swargarohini, Black Peak, and Bandarpunch.


(1) Swargarohini:

Swargarohini is a prominent peak located in the Garhwal region of the Uttarkashi district in Uttarakhand, India. It is part of the Bandarpunch mountain massif and lies within close proximity to Govind Pashu Vihar National Park (also known as Govind Wildlife Sanctuary).


Swargarohini is known for its majestic beauty and challenging trekking routes. The name "Swargarohini" translates to "the path to heaven" in Hindi. It is believed to be associated with Hindu mythology, specifically with the story of the epic Mahabharata.


According to the Mahabharata, Swargarohini is said to be the path taken by the Pandavas, the heroes of the Mahabharata, to ascend to heaven. The peak has historical and religious significance, attracting trekkers, mountaineers, and pilgrims from around the world.


Swargarohini consists of multiple peaks, including Swargarohini I (6252 meters), Swargarohini II (6247 meters), and Swargarohini III (6204 meters). The snow-covered slopes and rugged terrain of Swargarohini present a challenging and rewarding experience for adventure enthusiasts.


Trekking to Swargarohini often involves traversing through the Govind Pashu Vihar National Park, offering trekkers stunning views of the surrounding Himalayan landscapes, alpine meadows, and diverse flora and fauna.


(2) Black Peak:

Black Peak, also known as Kala Nag, is a prominent mountain peak located in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, India. It is part of the Bandarpunch mountain range in the western part of the Uttarkashi district.


Black Peak stands at an elevation of approximately 6,387 meters (20,955 feet) above sea level. The name "Black Peak" refers to its dark and rocky appearance, distinguishing it from the surrounding peaks.


The mountain is known for its challenging climbing routes, and it attracts experienced mountaineers and adventure enthusiasts. Ascending Black Peak requires technical mountaineering skills, including glacier travel, ice climbing, and high-altitude techniques.


Black Peak offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks and valleys. The area around the peak is characterized by rugged terrain, glaciers, and alpine meadows, adding to the natural beauty and adventure of the region.


(3) Bandarpunch:

Bandarpunch, also spelled as Bandarpoonch, is a mountain massif located in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, India. It lies in the western part of the Uttarkashi district and is part of the larger Himalayan range.


Bandarpunch consists of several peaks, with the two main summits being Bandarpunch I and Bandarpunch II. Bandarpunch I, also known as White Peak, stands at an elevation of approximately 6,316 meters (20,719 feet), while Bandarpunch II reaches a height of about 6,102 meters (20,020 feet).


The name "Bandarpunch" translates to "monkey's tail" in Hindi, which is believed to be inspired by the shape of the mountain resembling the tail of a monkey. The massif is a prominent feature in the region and is visible from various parts of Uttarakhand.


Bandarpunch is popular among trekkers and mountaineers, offering both challenging routes and stunning natural beauty. The region around Bandarpunch is characterized by snow-covered peaks, glaciers, alpine meadows, and deep valleys, providing a picturesque backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts.


Trekking and climbing expeditions to Bandarpunch typically involve traversing through the Govind Pashu Vihar National Park (also known as Govind Wildlife Sanctuary). The routes to the summit of Bandarpunch require mountaineering skills, including glacier travel, ice climbing, and high-altitude techniques.




Govind National Park Valley

Govind Pashu Vihar National Park, also known as Govind Wildlife Sanctuary, encompasses several valleys within its boundaries. 


(1) Tons Valley:

The Tons Valley is located in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, India, and it falls within the Govind Pashu Vihar National Park. The valley is known for its scenic beauty, diverse flora and fauna, and pristine natural surroundings.


The Tons River, a major tributary of the Yamuna River, flows through the valley, adding to its charm. The valley is characterized by rolling hills, deep gorges, dense forests, alpine meadows, and glacial landscapes.


The Tons Valley within Govind Pashu Vihar National Park serves as a crucial habitat for various wildlife species.


The valley offers opportunities for trekking and exploration, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty and tranquility of the region. Trekking routes in the Tons Valley often lead to scenic spots and viewpoints, providing breathtaking views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks.



(2) Har Ki Dun Valley:

Har Ki Dun Valley is a picturesque valley located in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, India. It is part of the Govind Pashu Vihar National Park and is surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Garhwal Himalayas.


The name "Har Ki Dun" translates to "Valley of Gods" in Hindi. It is believed to be a place of immense natural beauty and spiritual significance. The valley is nestled at an altitude of around 3,566 meters (11,712 feet) above sea level.


Har Ki Dun Valley is known for its stunning landscapes, alpine meadows, dense forests, and gushing rivers. The valley offers a breathtaking view of snow-capped peaks, including Swargarohini, Bandarpunch, and Black Peak.


The valley is popular among trekkers and adventure enthusiasts, as it provides a relatively moderate trekking route compared to other high-altitude treks in the region. The trek to Har Ki Dun usually starts from a village called Sankri and takes you through beautiful forests, charming villages, and picturesque meadows.




Govind National Park River

The Tons River is a significant river that flows through Govind Pashu Vihar National Park. It meanders through the park, adding to the beauty and biodiversity of the region. 


The Govind National Park creates an upper water catchment of River Tons. It flows through deep valleys, creating picturesque gorges and providing water to the diverse flora and fauna within the park.


Tons River:

  • The Tons River is a major tributary of the Yamuna River, which it meets below Kalsi near Dehradun, Uttarakhand. 
  • Its source lies in the 20,722 feet (6,316 m) high Bandarpunch mountain range, which is part of the Garhwal Himalayas. 
  • The Tons river is fed by melting glaciers, snowmelt, and rainfall from the surrounding mountains. 
  • The Pabbar River and Asan River is a tributary of the Tons River




Govind National Park Lake

The park is located in the higher reaches of the Garhwal Himalayas, and the region is known for its numerous glacial lakes.


Ruinsara Lake is located within the boundaries of Govind Pashu Vihar National Park (Govind Wildlife Sanctuary) and a renowned tourist attraction.


Ruinsara Lake:

Ruinsara Lake is a beautiful high-altitude lake located in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, India. It is not directly within the boundaries of Govind Pashu Vihar National Park (Govind Wildlife Sanctuary), but it is situated in close proximity to the park and is often visited by trekkers exploring the region.


Ruinsara Lake is nestled amidst the Garhwal Himalayas at an altitude of approximately 3,600 meters (11,811 feet) above sea level. It is known for its serene and tranquil atmosphere, surrounded by snow-capped peaks, lush meadows, and dense forests.


The lake is fed by the melting snow and glaciers from the surrounding mountains, and it is known for its crystal-clear blue waters. It offers a picturesque setting, reflecting the towering peaks and the surrounding natural beauty.


The trek to Ruinsara Lake usually begins from the village of Sankri and involves traversing through Govind Pashu Vihar National Park. The trek takes you through dense forests, charming villages, alpine meadows, and breathtaking landscapes.




Govind National Park Flora

Govind Pashu Vihar National Park is characterized by its diverse flora, thanks to the varied ecosystems within the park. The sanctuary is located in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, India, which boasts rich vegetation due to its favorable climatic conditions and altitude.


The park encompasses a wide range of plant species, including alpine meadows, temperate forests, and subalpine and alpine zones. 


Here are some notable flora found in Govind Pashu Vihar National Park:


(1) Deciduous Tree Species:

Here is a revised list of deciduous tree species that can be found in the park:


Oak (Quercus species): Several species of oak trees are present in the park, including the Himalayan oak (Quercus leucotrichophora) and the Banj oak (Quercus leucotrichophora). These trees provide important habitat and food sources for wildlife.


Maple (Acer species): Maple trees, such as the Himalayan maple (Acer caesium) and the Indian maple (Acer oblongum), can be found in the park. They add aesthetic value with their beautiful autumn foliage.


Walnut (Juglans regia): The English walnut, or commonly known as the walnut tree, is found in the region. It bears edible nuts and its timber is highly valued.


Horse Chestnut (Aesculus species): The horse chestnut tree, particularly the Indian horse chestnut (Aesculus indica), can be found in the park. It is known for its large, showy flowers and distinctive chestnut fruits.


Hazel (Corylus species): Hazel trees, such as the Himalayan hazel (Corylus colurna) and the Indian hazel (Corylus jacquemontii), are present in the park. They produce edible nuts and contribute to the park's biodiversity.


Rhododendron (Rhododendron species): Various species of rhododendron, including deciduous rhododendrons, can be found in the park. These flowering shrubs add color and beauty to the landscape.


(2) Rhododendrons:

The park is known for its vibrant rhododendron forests, showcasing a wide variety of species. These flowering plants add a burst of color to the landscape, especially during the spring season.


(3) Coniferous Trees:

Various coniferous tree species are found in the park, such as deodar (Cedrus deodara), blue pine (Pinus wallichiana), and spruce (Picea smithiana). These evergreen trees dominate the higher altitude areas and contribute to the lush greenery.


(4) Alpine Flowers:

The alpine meadows of Govind Pashu Vihar National Park are adorned with a diverse range of wildflowers. Primulas, saxifrages, anemones, and many other species thrive in this region, adding splashes of color to the landscape.


(5) Medicinal Plants: 

The park is home to several medicinal plant species. Traditional communities in the region have utilized these plants for their healing properties. Some commonly found medicinal plants include brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), bhringraj (Eclipta prostrata), and jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi).


(6) Mosses and Lichens:

The moist areas within the park support the growth of mosses and lichens. These non-flowering plants play an important ecological role in maintaining moisture levels and providing habitat for various organisms.




Govind National Park Fauna (Govind National Park Animals)

What animals are in Govind National Park?

Govind Pashu Vihar National Park is home to a diverse range of fauna due to its varied habitats and elevation gradients. The park is located in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, India, which is known for its rich biodiversity. 


Here are some notable fauna species found in Govind Pashu Vihar National Park:


Mammals:

  • Snow Leopard
  • Himalayan Black Bear
  • Himalayan Brown Bear
  • Himalayan Tahr
  • Serow
  • Musk Deer
  • Bharal  
  • Indian Crested Porcupine
  • European Otter
  • Goral
  • Civet
  • Hedgehog
  • Himalayan Field Rat
  • Hodgson's Giant Flying Squirrel
  • Wild Boar
  • Masked Palm Civet
  • Sikkim Mountain Vole


Birds:

  • Golden Eagle
  • Steppe Eagle
  • Black Eagle 
  • Bearded Vulture
  • Himalayan Snowcock
  • Himalayan Monal Pheasant
  • Cheer Pheasant 
  • Western Tragopan


Note- Govind National Park is one of the remaining strongholds in the Himalayas of the bearded vulture.


Reptiles:

  • Common Indian Monitor (Varanus bengalensis)
  • Himalayan Pit Viper (Gloydius himalayanus)
  • Himalayan Keelback (Amphiesma himalayanum)
  • Common Bronzeback (Dendrelaphis tristis)
  • Himalayan Skink (Eutropis himalayensis)
  • Indian Rock Gecko (Hemidactylus flaviviridis)




Project Snow Leopard 

Project Snow Leopard is the Government of India's flagship program launched in 2009. Govind National Park is the place from which the Indian Government has inaugurated the Snow Leopard Project.


The Government of India initiated Project Snow Leopard as a dedicated conservation program specifically targeting the conservation of snow leopards and their habitats in the country. The project aims to address the key threats faced by snow leopards, such as habitat degradation, poaching, and human-wildlife conflict.


Snow leopards are poached for their skin and body parts, and they are also sometimes killed by farmers to protect their livestock. These threats pose significant challenges to the conservation of snow leopards and their populations




Top Things to do in Govind National Park

Exploring Govind National Park offers a range of exciting activities and experiences for nature enthusiasts. Here are some top things to do in Govind National Park:


  • Trekking
  • Wildlife Spotting
  • Birdwatching
  • Photography
  • Camping
  • Nature Walks
  • Visit Ruinsara Lake
  • Visit Ancient Temples




Govind National Park UPSC Questions

Q. What is Govind National Park famous for?

A. Govind National Park is famous for Biodiversity, Scenic Landscapes, Trekking Trails, High-Altitude Lakes, Eco-Tourism etc.


Q. What is the origin of Govind National Park?

A. It was declared as a national park in 1990.


Q. Govind National Park includes source of which river?

A. Tons river flow through Govind National Park.

Govind National Park

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