There are around 104 national parks in India but the crown of biggest national park in India goes to Hemis National Park in Ladakh. The park was established in 1981 and it covered an area of 600 square ki;omteers back then. Later on in 1988 the neighbouring lands were captured and the total area grew to 3350 square kilometers. The park is situated at an elevation of 3,000 to 6,000 meter which makes it the biggest national park in India and the second biggest contagious protected area after Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve in Uttarakhand.
Hemis National Park is famous for its high population of white leopard, endangered species and various bird species. Hemis national park is the only park situated in the northern region of the Himalayas. The Indus river flows from the northern outskirts and the watersheds of the lower Zanskar valley including the areas of Markha, Sumdah and Rumbak are covered under this park. The park is best suited for wildlife enthusiasts and people who love taking beautiful photographs and trekking activities.
Flora & Fauna in Hemis National Park
The national park is located in the rain shadow region of the Himalayas and it does not receive much precipitation.The flora of hemis national park has a high population of juniper, dry birch, and fir forests at the lower altitudes. Upper mountain slopes which are mostly moist contain alpine vegetation like Lloydia, Veronica, Delphinium, Carex and many more. According to experts, there are more than 15 endangered medicinal plants or shrubs prospering in the park.
The park is home to almost 16 mammal species and 73 bird species. The park is very famous for the population of its apex predator which is snow leopards. So far 200 snow leopards are recorded in the park in the high altitude region along with the Tibetan wolf, the Eurasian brown bear and the red fox. The golden eagle, lammergeier vulture, Himalayan griffon vulture, red-billed chough, Himalayan snowcock, and many other bird species are found here.
Things to do in Hemis National Park
If you are planning to visit the biggest national park in India then you must consider some places and activities to make your trip memorable and enjoyable.
Visit the Hemis Monastery
It is believed that the Monastery existed here even before the 11th century and people from all over the world come here to see the old-aged statue of Lord Buddha. Along with that you can see the golf and solver stupas inside the monastery. The atmosphere feels divine and fills you with positive vibes. You can find around 1000 monks in the monastery and if you are interested in exploring culture, then this place is made for you only.
If you are a bird watcher then you can visit the Hemis National Park and watch the various varieties if birds like the brown accentor, robin accentor, Tickell’s leaf warbler, streaked rosefinch, black-winged snowfinch, chukar, Blyth’s swift, red-billed chough, Himalayan snowcock and many more species. There are around 73 bird species protected in the park.
Trek to Gotsang Gumpa
You can take a short trek to the Gotsang Gumpa and spend some nights there. Living and breathing here will feel relaxing. You cannot reach here by car and hence you have to trek towards the actual location and while trekking you are going to see some scenic views. You should take a solo trek here and live in the Gotsang Gumpa to relieve your mind.
Jungle Safari in Hemis National Park
If you want to go inside the park and explore the inside beauty of the park, you can go on your feet as the park promotes healthy living by not allowing vehicles to enter the premises. This makes the animals feel safe in their surroundings. However, you can take the jeep safari if you want to explore it from the outside.
Accommodation Near Hemis National Park
You can find many beautiful homestays and Hotels near hemis national park that are reasonable, helping staff, good food and some exotioc views from your balcony.
- The Verda Driftwood: The Verda Driftwood hotel offers mesmerizing views from the hotel room with some cool activities like hiking, bicycle tours, and horse riding. Property shuttle runs from the airport to tht hotel to offer easy transit and the hotel even offers free wifi, library, gaming room, laundry, free parking and many more facilities.
- Saboo Resorts: Saboo Resorts is a 3 star property where you can avail some facilities like free wifi, free phone, free parking, coffee shop, airport shuttle, bar or lounge, laundry and many more things. The hotel offers good views along with comfy and cozy bedrooms to make your stay relaxing and memorable.
- The Silk Route Ladakh: The silk route is one of the most charming properties that you will come across in Leh. The hotel rooms offer great scenic views, along with free parking, free wifi, soundproofed rooms, 24 hours room service, and dedicated smoking areas for people.
How to reach Hemis National Park?
To reach this beautiful place you have the most basic options that can lead you as near as possible to your destination.
- By Air: The Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport is the nearest airport to hemis national park situated in the Leh district. From the airport you can avail a cab till your destination.
- By Train: Kalka and Jammu Tawi railway station are nearest to the national park and from the station you can hire a cab to complete the rest of your journey.
- By Road: There are two routes to reach hemis by road, first is from Srinagar via kargil taking the Srinagar-Leh highway and second is from Manali via Sarchu taking the Manali-Leh highway. Regular bus and taxis are available till Leh and after that you can hire a cab till Hemis.
Best time to visit Hemis National Park
Although you can take a trip to this beautiful national park any time of the year, the most suitable time for everyone lies between May to October where you can witness the enchanting beauty of this place. After October you may face roadblocks due to rain. However, if you want to see the famous snow leopard, you should come here in the winters.
Frequently Asked Questions about Biggest National Park in India
Q1: Hemis national park is located in which place?
Hemis national park is situated in the eastern region of Ladakh in the state of Jammu & Kashmir.
Q2: What are the entry fees for Hemis National Park?
For an Indian tourist the entry fee is 20 INR per person, and for any foreign tourist the charges are 100 INR per person.
Q3: How far is Hemis National Park from the airport?
The total distance between Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport and Hemis National Park is 47.9 km.