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Pin Valley National Park

Pin Valley National Park

Nestled in the cold desert region of Lahaul and Spiti district in Himachal Pradesh, Pin Valley National Park is a habitat for more than 20 species of animals and birds, including the endangered species like Snow leopard. The park is also known as the ‘land of ibex and snow leopards’.

The park was accorded with the status of national park in 1987; Pin Valley is located at an altitude ranging from 11,500 feet to 20,000 feet in Spiti division of the district. Pin River gushes through the foot of the valley. The park’s core zone is sprawled over 675 sq km and the defense zone spreads over 1150 sq km.

In the Pin Valley Park, snow leopard is the most important resident. There are about 12 species of the big cat in the park. Apart from snow leopard, there are species from the cat family like Siberian ibex, bharal, weasel, red fox, marten are other animals that are the highlight of the park. It is home to birds like pika, snow cock, bearded vulture, chukor, golden eagle, griffon, Himalayan chough and raven.

Winter is the best time to witness the animals when they migrate themselves to the lower regions because of the cold weather. Pin Valley is also a reservoir of floral wealth. The park possesses over 400 plant species including medicinal herbs. It is well-known for two rare species of plants called Juniper and Birch. The park’s alpine pasturelands are other highlights. The park is popular among the trekkers for providing great opportunities to them.

The holy and cultural beliefs of the locals have helped in protecting the wildlife of Pin Valley. Pin Valley is also famed for its Chhumurti horses, a native breed. In addition, horseracing and archery competitions are popular pastimes of the locals. Buses run daily from Kaza to Mud, stops at Gulling and Sagnam. Taxis in Kaza to Sagnam and Mud are also available.

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