For countless, weary city folks, Inderkilla National Park ( INP ) serves as the perfect escape route into the rejuvenating lap of nature. Located in the picturesque Kullu Valley (often called the End of the Habitable Word), INP is a hidden treasure — with pristine pristine wilderness near the famous hill station of Manali, and crystal clear waterfalls — not too far from the maddening crowds.
It was created by the Government of Himachal Pradesh in 2010.
Surrounded by mountains and the river Beas flowing on one side, a trek most delightful in my memory and the view from the top — “the place where the earth meets the sky” - barren mountains, clear blue sky, the wind and the quietness. Once I reached there, it seemed like I had entered a primitive era -- as if time stood frozen in those mountains.
Home to rare mammals like brown and black bear, common leopard, Ibex and a variety of mountain deers and goats, the National park has over 250 species of birds including rare pheasants like Monal , Kaleej etc. Biologically it has a western mixed coniferous forest, moist temperate deciduous forest which gives way to kharshu, sub alpine fir and rolling alpine pastures spanning an altitude of 2000 meters to 6221 meters.
The approach of the Park is through an all weather road of Hampta Valley. Hamta Valley area is located in the upper area of Kullu and the villages of Prini, Sethan, Hamtagarh and Chalet fall in the bufferzone. The area is approached via left bank of Beas starting from Manali about 4 km the 2 kms road a diversion from the Left Bank main road ends at Prini Village. Another road continues from there under the Allan Dhuangan Project to end at the reservoir for Allan Nala where the trekking trail to Hamta starts.
The park offers amazing products like Igloo stays, winter sports especially heli skiing, snow boarding , camping, wild life, birdwatching and mountaineering. A haven for bird watchers and winter tourism, this park is also harbours Hampta la a connection between the remote valley of Spiti and Kullu. Having amazing treks like the world famous Hampta Valley Trek, the park is home to unique water bodies like Bhrigu Lake and is a popular destination amongst trekkers from India. Mountaineering is one of the prime adventure sports offered by the park having mighty peaks like Indrasan ( the seat of Lord Indra ) , Deo Tibba and some amazing unexplored peaks.
The wildlife wing of the Government of Himachal Pradesh with the help of GIZ Germany has developed a micro plan for the development of responsible nature based tourism in the area through the help of Sunshine Himalayan Adventures.
The plan which through result areas spread in primary research, carrying capacity analysis, awareness building, institution building, life skills and tourism skill trainings, policy framework and marketing will be implemented through GIZ supported HPFES project in the next two years! This will empower the locals and train them to harness the wealth of the national park through sustainable tourism practices!
(The author is an ecotourism planner, Himachal Pradesh and can be contacted at email@example.com...