Pin Valley National Park
Steeped in historical and present day Buddhist Tibetan culture, the area has many Tibetan Buddhist influences, evident architecturally in monasteries and stupas, and in the daily living of its residents and lamas.
Pin Valley National Park was established by India in 1987.
The park is located in the desert habitat of the Spiti Valley, within the Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, in the Himalayas region. Spreading south of Dhankar Gompa near the Tibetan border, the park marks the border between the formerly separate districts of Lahaul and Spiti. The elevation of the park ranges from about 3,500 metres (11,500 ft) near Ka Dogri to more than 6,000 metres (20,000 ft) at its highest point.
Flora and fauna
Because of the park's high altitude and extreme temperatures, the vegetation density is sparse, consisting mostly of alpine trees and groves of Himalayan cedar (Cedrus deodara). In summer, rare birds such as the Himalayan Snowcock, Chukar Partridge, Snow partridge and Snowfinch flourish in the park.
Some plants within the park's alpine habitats have significant medicinal properties. Twenty-two rare and endangered medicinal plant species, have been discovered in and around Pin Valley National Park, which are distributed over 10 different habitat types. Aconitum rotundifolium, Arnebia euchroma, Ephedra gerardiana, Ferula jaeschkeana, Hyoscymus niger are the threatened but medicinally important plants occur in this national park.
- Tourism, Lahaul & Spiti District, Himachal Pradesh, India
- Kala, Chandra Prakash 2000. Status and conservation of rare and endangered medicinal plants in the Indian trans-Himalaya. Biological Conservation, 93: 371-379.
- Kala, Chandra Prakash 2005; Indigenous uses, population density, and conservation of threatened medicinal plants in protected areas of the Indian Himalayas. Conservation Biology, 19 (2): 368-378.
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