Pin Valley National Park is located within the Lahaul and Spiti district, in the state of Himachal Pradesh in far Northern India. With its snow laden unexplored higher reaches and slopes, the Park forms a natural habitat for a number of endangered animals including the snow leopard and Siberian ibex.
Bharal – Blue sheep
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 meters (11,500 feet) near Ka Dogri to more than 6,000 meters (20,000 feet) at its highest point.
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 on 9th January 1987.
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 snow-cock, chukar partridge, snow partridge and snow-finch 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, Hyoscyamus niger are the threatened but medicinally important plants occur in this national park.