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Overview of Nanda Devi
The beautiful and scenic Nanda Devi Mountain is situated in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand state. It is a part of the Garhwal Himalayas Mountain Range. This is India’s second tallest mountain range in the country. Till the 18th century, this peak was considered to be the tallest in the world too. Even professional mountain climbers who are experienced in climbing some of the toughest mountain ranges all over the world, agree that the ascent to the Nanda Devi mountain peak is one of the most complex paths ever. There is also a sanctuary here known as Nanda Devi sanctuary. This, along with the Nanda Devi National Park was given the state of World Heritage site by UNESCO during 1988. When it was open to the public during the 1970s, this site experienced huge threat in the form of tree-cutting, garbage accumulation etc. As a result, this is now closed for public in order to protect the environment. Only once, during 1993, this park was open to a 40-member special Indian Army team, who were given special permission to get into the park and do an environmental study and clean up the litter collected there. There is only one route, through which tourists can trek to reach the National Park, currently.
Nanda Devi Mountain is considered to the abode of Goddess Nanda and Goddess Sunanda, twin daughters of King Himalaya, according to Hindu mythology. Nanda Devi Mountain is split into two main parts, the East and West summits. The Eastern Summit is replete with many tall peaks and it is very difficult to climb this area. The shortest peak here itself is 6400m above sea level. The districts of Bhageshwar, Chamoli and Pithoragarh have the Nanda Devi East shrine as a reliable guard in their borders. Right from time immemorial, the area that leads to the Nanda Devi peak has been considered to be very dangerous and complex. Many mountaineers who attempted to climb this peak have lost their lives. The last successful ascent to the top of this peak was done during the 1990s. This place is replete with many glaciers that turn into ice due to the spine-chilling winter climate that prevails here.
Nanda Devi Mountain is located in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand and is the second tallest mountain range of India. It stands at 7434m above sea level. It is the most critical part of the Garhwal Himalayan mountain range and is located at 30.22 degrees towards the North and 79.58 degrees towards the East.
How to reach and local transport
Air – Jolly Grant Airport at Dehradun, at a distance of 221km, is the closest to Chamoli district, close to Nanda Devi Mountain.
Rail – Rishikesh railway station is the nearest to Chamoli.
Road- Buses ply frequently from main places like Haridwar, Chamoli, Bhageshwar, Nainital, Almora and others in Uttarakhand and neighbouring states to Chamoli, regularly on an everyday basis.
Local transport – Trekking is the only option to get to the top of the Nanda Devi Mountain Peak, though it is considered to be a very difficult route.
Tourist Attractions and things to do
There are many pilgrimage and tourist spots in and around Chamoli district where Nanda Devi Mountain is situated. Some of the sight-seeing places are Joshimath (one of the 4 Peeths established by renowned saint, Adi Sankara), Badrinath, Auli (scenic hill station), Chopta (Origin point of many trekking trails in Uttarakhand), Gopeshwar (temple dedicated to Lord Shiva) and Valley of Flowers National Park. The trekking trails here are pure delights for the adventure loving tourists. Apart from trekking, tourists can also walk through the national park and sanctuaries and absorb the beauty of the exotic species of flora and fauna there.
Places to eat /stay and local cuisine
There are no exclusive eating joints in Chamoli district or near the Nanda Devi Mountain. The hotels that provide accommodation have restaurants in them, where tourists can have food. Cliff Top Club is a 3-star accommodation that is available in Chamoli district. Sarovar Portico Badrinath and Hotel Le Meadows are some of the other premium hotels here. Char Dham Camp and Narayan Palace are some of the nice budget hotels available here.
STD, PIN code and Emergency Contact Numbers
The STD and PIN codes of Nanda Devi are 01389 and 246449 respectively. The emergency helpline numbers that are available to tourists 24/7 are 100, 101 and 102 for Police, Fire and Ambulance services respectively.
Banks, Hospitals and Tourist Office
Nanda Devi Branch, Close to Nanda Devi Temple, Almora – 263601, Ph: 09411113159
Gopeshwar, Chamoli Head Office, Chamoli district – 246424, Ph: 01372 252245
District Tourism Development Office, Gopeshwar, Chamoli
Contact person - Mr. Sobat Singh Rana (District Sports Adventure officer), Ph: 01372 253185