The Nanda Devi National Park is a national park situated around the peak of Nanda Devi, in the state of Uttarakhand in northern India that was established in 1982. Along with the adjoining Valley of Flowers National Park to the northwest, it was inscribed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988.
Nanda Devi National Park covers an area of and together with Valley of Flowers National Park is encompassed in the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve totaling a protected area of , which is surrounded by a buffer zone of . This Reserve is part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves since 2004.
The park encompasses the Nanda Devi Sanctuary, a glacial basin surrounded by a ring of peaks between and high, and drained by the Rishi Ganga through the Rishi Ganga Gorge, a steep, almost impassable defile. The entire park lies at an elevation of more than above mean sea level.
Layout of the Sanctuary
The Sanctuary can be divided into two parts, Inner and Outer. Together, they are surrounded by the main Sanctuary Wall, which forms a roughly square outline, with high, continuous ridges on the north, east, and south sides. On the west side, less high but still imposing ridges drop from the north and south toward the Rishi Ganga Gorge, which drains the Sanctuary towards the west.
Contour map of the Sanctuary
The Inner Sanctuary occupies roughly the eastern two-thirds of the total area, and contains Nanda Devi itself and the two major glaciers flanking the peak, the Uttari (north) Rishi Glacier and the Dakshni (south) Rishi Glacier. These are fed by the smaller Uttari Nanda Devi and Dakshni Nanda Devi Glaciers respectively. The first recorded entry of humans into the Inner Sanctuary was by Eric Shipton and H. W. Tilman in 1934, via the Rishi Gorge.
The Outer Sanctuary occupies the western third of the total Sanctuary, and is separated from the Inner Sanctuary by high ridges, through which flows the Rishi Ganga. It is split in two by the Rishi Ganga; on the north side lies the Ramani Glacier, flowing down from the slopes of Dunagiri and Changabang, and on the south lies the Trisul Glacier, flowing from the peak of the same name. This portion of the Sanctuary is accessible to the outside (though requiring the crossing of a pass). The first serious climbing expedition to pass through the Outer Sanctuary was that of T. G. Longstaff, who climbed Trisul I in 1907 via the eponymous glacier.
Named peaks of the Park and environs
Within the Sanctuary
Nanda Devi peak Apart from Nanda Devi, the following peaks lie on ridges dividing the Inner and Outer Sanctuary areas.
On the Sanctuary Wall
These peaks are listed in clockwise order, starting from just north of the Rishi Gorge. Some of them are relatively minor summits and have small topographic prominence, while others are independent peaks.
Just outside the Wall
The following are the most notable peaks which are adjacent to the wall; they are all connected to the Wall by high passes. They lie just outside the boundaries of the Park.
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