A giant Himalayan Condor or Griffon perched on top of a man.
The Pin Valley National Park is located in the north-eastern region of the state of Himachal Pradesh in India. It is nestled within the Spiti Valley, which is a cold desert area, and stretches close to the border of Nepal. For this reason, Tibetan culture is clearly evident in the shrines and monasteries surrounding the park as well as in the cultures and customs of the people that tourists will likely encounter. Pin Valley experiences a high altitude, which ranges from 3500 metres above sea level to over 6000 metres above sea level.
Pin Valley was declared a national park in January of 1987. It covers a total area of 675 square kilometres.
Its changes in altitude imply different types and combinations of fauna and flora, each of which is best suited to different climates and conditions. Pin Valley experiences some severe and extreme temperatures, which make for difficult living conditions for some living organisms, but which are ideal for other plant- and animal species. Winters may see temperatures of below -30 degrees Celsius during January and February, while the summer months (July and August) can soar to over 30 degrees. For this reason, visitors are advised to visit Pin Valley during April and May, when the climate is more temperate and pleasant, and when the majority of the animals start moving down from the cooler peaks into the warmth of the lower-lying areas. As with much of India, the Pin Valley National Park is home to a host of exquisite and fascinating animals. These include the Siberian Ibex, Snow Leopard, Red Fox, Marmot, Woolly Hare, Tibetan Wolf and Blue Sheep. Some of the exciting birds that can be spotted (particularly in summer) are the Snowfinch, Snow Partridge, Grey Wagtail, Goldfinch, Yellow-billed Chough, Horned Lark, Himalayan Griffon, Yellow-headed Wagtail, Himalayan Snowcock and Chukar. Many of the animals that find their habitat within the borders of this park are endangered and / or rare, providing a valuable spectacle for guests.
In addition to these animals, the vegetation itself is intriguing. Although much of the area is defined by its desert appearance, over 400 species of plants can be found here. Most of these are herbaceous and shrub plants, and there are several medicinal plant species, some of which are very rare.
There are paths throughout the park that allow guests to travel through its grounds, looking out for wondrous sights of rare and elusive species. All safaris are conducted on foot, granting the guests the opportunity to experience natural India at a slow pace and within natural surrounds. The routes are designed to accommodate both the fit and those that do not walk often, the young and the old.
The nearest airport to the Pin Valley National Park is the Jubbarhatti Airport near Shimla (390 kilometres from the park). There is also access to the park via road and rail. Other nearby cities include Manali (248 kilometres) and Kalka (480 kilometres).
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