Pin valley National Park- a cold desert sanctuary
Located amidst the terrain of Spiti and Parvati valley is the Pin valley National Park in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The valley beautifies itself with ice as well as greeneries in winter and summer seasons accordingly. It is one of the coldest valleys in the whole country where the temperature rises to -30 degrees in winter months. Lying within the Valley of Pin River, it is the only national park that is a cold desert forest. It spreads along the Spiti district in south Dhankar keeping aside the border of Tibet. The endangered and unique species of Himalayan plants and animals are being protected here. The valley covers a vast area and is very sparsely populated due to the chilled weather but this type of environment is perfect for the snow leopard. So the ‘grey ghost of the Himalayas’ or the snow leopards are found here along with its prey, ibex. These ghost cats can be easily spotted unless extreme winter arrives.
Other than the snow leopards there are twelve other species of the cat family. Moreover, other animals such as the Red fox, woolly Hare, blue sheep, Marten, and the Himalayan Black bear can be spotted easily in this national park. Among the birds, this place is home to the exotic Golden eagle, Raven, Snow cock, and Blue rock pigeon. Other than this flora and fauna, the region of the national park features an alpine forest that attracts tourists.
Best time to visit
The place receives minimal rainfall but there is frequent snowfall during the winter season which starts from November to March. This time it may be risky to visit there. In the summer season which lasts from May to September, the maximum reachable temperature is 25 degrees centigrade. So the best time to visit the place is from July to September, among which August is the friendliest month.
How to reach Pin Valley National Park
The nearest city is Gulling which is situated at an altitude of 3700 meters above sea level. You can reach Pin Valley National Park by road either from Shimla via Kaza or from Manali via Rohtang Pass. There are two trekking routes too that would be an awesome experience all over that starts from Kulu in the west or from Kinnaur in the south. Every day public transport buses are available from Kaza to Mikkim. And then from there, you need to reach the national park on foot. Spiti valley is full of rope-hanging bridges. Local guides, chhurmutri horses, donkeys, porters, and pack mules are available to help you reach your destination.
Activities to do
- Camping at the Chardratal lake
- Viewing the magical sunrise
- Exploring nature in the park region
- Spot a few snow leopards ( if you manage to be there in winter then you would be lucky enough to spot it)
- Camping at the lake of Mantalai
- Trekking through Bhaba pass
- Trekking to Dhankar Gompa
- Exploring the Tab caves
- Rafting in the Spiti river
- Visiting the Flea market in Kaza
Accommodation facility in Pin valley National Park
The people of Spiti and Lahaul are very hearty which makes the tourists spend a night in the region without any hesitation. Kaza and Mud village are the prominent places to find a suitable homestay with enough options. Online booking may not be available with these hotels but you can ask your driver to or tour operator to help find one such hotel for you. Names of a few homestays around Pin Valley National Park are:
- Tar house homestay
- Pin valley homestay
- Banjara retreat in Kaza
- Sagnam Public works department rest house
- Tourist lodge in Kaza
The place is very remote and it should be explored only by a physically fit person and an adventurous spirit. There is a strong influence of the Buddhist Monasteries residing in the region for a long time. But they are very helpful towards the tourists who go there to visit the place. Most of the parts of the year the valley is covered with snow and trekking at that time is truly fascinating. The park is very near to Tibet which is just a 45 minutes drive from here.
Tourists Attractions In Pin Valley National Park
Here are some of the popular tourist attractions in Pin Valley National Park:
- Mud Village: A traditional village located within the park, known for its unique architecture and scenic beauty.
- Kibber Village: A high-altitude village is known for its historic monasteries and panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
- Pin River: A scenic river flowing through the park, offering opportunities for rafting and fishing.
- Pin Valley Wildlife Sanctuary: A protected area within the park, home to several endangered species, including the snow leopard and Himalayan blue sheep.
- Dhankar Monastery: An ancient monastery located in the Spiti Valley, known for its spiritual significance and stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
- Attargo Pass: A high-altitude pass offering scenic views of the valley and surrounding peaks.
- Trekking: The park offers several trekking routes, including the popular Pin Parvati Pass Trek, which takes trekkers through rugged mountains and pristine wilderness.
These are some of the top tourist attractions in Pin Valley National Park. Visitors can experience the park’s natural beauty, wildlife, and cultural heritage, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.
Popular Things to do
Here are some of the popular things to do in Pin Valley National Park:
- Trekking: The park offers several trekking routes for both beginner and experienced trekkers, including the Pin Parvati Pass Trek and the Pin Bhabha Pass Trek.
- Wildlife watching: Visitors can go on wildlife safaris and try to spot some of the park’s endangered species, including the snow leopard, Himalayan blue sheep, and Himalayan ibex.
- Photography: The park’s scenic landscapes and wildlife provide ample opportunities for photography and capturing stunning memories.
- Rafting and fishing: The Pin River offers opportunities for rafting and fishing, providing a fun and adventurous way to explore the park.
- Exploring ancient monasteries: The park is home to several ancient monasteries, including the Dhankar Monastery and Tabo Monastery, which are rich in spiritual and cultural significance.
- Camping: Visitors can set up camp in the park and spend a night under the stars, surrounded by the stunning natural beauty of the valley.
- Village visits: The park is home to several traditional villages, including Mud Village and Kibber Village, offering a glimpse into the local culture and way of life.
These are some of the popular activities that visitors can enjoy in Pin Valley National Park, making it a well-rounded destination for adventure, culture, and nature.
Here are some of the frequently asked questions about Pin Valley National Park:
What is Pin Valley National Park?
Pin Valley National Park is a protected area located in the Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, India. It covers an area of about 675 square km and is home to several endangered species, including the snow leopard, Himalayan blue sheep, and Himalayan ibex.
When is the best time to visit?
The best time to visit Pin Valley National Park is from June to September, during the summer months, when the weather is mild and suitable for trekking and other outdoor activities.
How can I get to National Park?
The nearest airport to Pin Valley National Park is Kullu Manali Airport, which is located about 200 km from the park. Visitors can also reach the park by road, either by hiring a taxi or by taking a local bus from nearby cities such as Kullu and Manali.
What kind of wildlife can I see in The National Park?
Pin Valley National Park is home to several endangered species, including the snow leopard, Himalayan blue sheep, and Himalayan ibex, as well as a variety of other wildlife such as marmots, bharal, and Himalayan tahr.
Is there any accommodation available within National Park?
Yes, there are several guesthouses and homestays available within Pin Valley National Park, as well as camping facilities for those who prefer to spend a night under the stars.
Are there any trekking routes within?
Yes, Pin Valley National Park offers several trekking routes, including the Pin Parvati Pass Trek and the Pin Bhabha Pass Trek, both of which take trekkers through stunning mountain landscapes and pristine wilderness.
These are some of the frequently asked questions about The National Park. Visitors are advised to check with local authorities and tour operators for the latest information and updates on the park and its facilities.