The Great Himalayan National Park in Tirthan Valley

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The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) is located in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh covering an area of 754.4 square km. The The Great Himalayan National Park is naturally surrounded by snow covered mountains and steep ridges on the northern, eastern and southern boundaries. The Park is contiguous with the Rupi Bhaba Wildlife sanctuary in the south-east, Pin Valley National Park in the north-east and Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary in the north.

These areas form the Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area. The initial notification of 620 km2 of the Park was issued in the year 1984. The area was declared as National Park under Wildlife Protection Act 1972 by the Himachal Pradesh Government in 1999. This pristine area of temperate forests and alpine meadows surrounded by high mountains has remained without any human interference since 1999.

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The Great Himalayan National Park was declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO on June 23, 2014. The request for its inclusion was submitted in 2009 by Himachal Pradesh Forest Department.

Video by http://greathimalayannationalpark.com/

The second change was the creation of the Sainj Wildlife Sanctuary (90 sq km) around the three villages of Shagwar, Shakti, and Marore. On the southern edge of the GHNP, another Protected Area (PA) was declared, known as Tirthan Wildlife Sanctuary. This covers 65 sq km and is without habitation. More recently, in 2010, both the Sainj and Tirthan Wildlife Sanctuaries were added to GHNP, but will not be formally incorporated until a process known as settlement of rights has occurred. Thus the initiated merger of Sainj and Tirthan Wildlife Sanctuaries with GHNP will be followed by a process of settlement to relocate inhabitants and make the area free of traditional pressures, which may take some time. The total area under Park administration (National Park, Wildlife Sanctuaries and Ecozone) is 1171 sq km, which is together referred to as the Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area (GHNPCA).

In 2010, an area of 710 sq km of the Parvati river catchment contiguous to the northern boundary of GHNP was initially notified as the Khirganga National Park, adding significant biological diversity, conservation value, and physical protection to GHNP. The boundaries of GHNP are also contiguous with the Pin Valley National Park (675 sq km) in Trans-Himalaya, the Rupi Bhabha Wildlife Sanctuary (503 sq km) in Sutlej watershed and the Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary (61 sq km), adding additional protection and conservation value and opening up extended wildlife corridors.

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