The State of Himachal Pradesh has declared two areas of very high ecological, geo-morphological and biodiversity significance as National Parks with the objective to accord its wildlife resources the highest legal protection status available to wildlife in the country.
A National Park is an area established under section 35 (4) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and no right is allowed within the National Park. Once constituted, boundaries of the National Park can be altered only on a resolution of the State Legislature. Grazing is prohibited in these areas and the general public is legally restrained from destroying, exploiting, or removing any wildlife from the National Park, or destroying or damaging the habitat of any wild animal, or depriving any wild animal of its habitat in the Park. National Parks have a clearly defined core and buffer zones. Whereas, the core zone is free from any local rights and acts as sanctum sanctorum to allow wildlife to enjoy protected natural habitat, the buffer zone absorbs most of the impact of human activities. Process to settle rights in the two National Parks in the State is in progress.
There are 5 National Parks in Himachal Pradesh. The details of the National Parks in the State of H.P. are as under:
- The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP), is one of India’s national parks, is located in Kullu region in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The park was established in 1984 and is spread over an area of 754 km square km2 at an altitude of between 1500 and 6000 m. The Great Himalayan National Park is a habitat to numerous flora and more than 375 fauna species, including approximately 31 mammals, 181 birds, 3 reptiles, 9 amphibians, 11 annelids, 17 mollusks and 127 insects. They are protected under the strict guidelines of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972; hence any sort of hunting is not permitted. Read more about The Great Himalayan National Park HERE
- Inderkilla National Park in Himachal Pradesh was established in 2010. It is spread across an area of 104 square kilometers (40 square miles). The national park is located in the Kullu district and 46.1 kilometers away from the Kullu Manali Airport. Located in the Himalayan region, the Inderkilla National Park preserves a wide variety of flora and fauna.
- Khirganga National Park is located 50.5 kilometers away from the Kullu Manali Airport in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh. The national park is situated at a height of around 5,500 meters and is spread across an area of about 710 square kilometers (270 square miles) of the Parvati Watershed. Khirganga National Park was established in the year 2010. The park shares boundary to the North of the Great Himalayan National Park and was going to be merged with it to make the supervision easier. It protects a wide biological diversity.
- Pin Valley National Park is a National park of India located within the Lahaul and Spiti district, in the state of Himachal Pradesh, in far northern India. Steeped in historical and present day Buddhist Tibetan culture, the area has many Tibetan Buddhist influences, evident architecturally in monasteries and stupas, and in the daily living of its residents and lamas. Pin Valley National Park was established by India on 9 January 1987.
- Simbalbara National Park is a national park in India, located in the Paonta Valley of Sirmour District, Himachal Pradesh, along its border with Haryana. The protected area was created in 1958 as the Simbalbara Wildlife Sanctuary with 19.03 km². In 2010, 8.88 km² were added to it and it was made into a National Park. Goral, Sambhar and Chittal are the common animals found here.
External References : Himachal Pradesh Forest Department