Location: Purola tehsil, Uttarakashi district of Garhwal in the state of Uttaranchal
Area: Approximately 960 square kilometers
Nearest Airport: Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun
Nearest Town: Dharkadhi
Nearest Railway Station: Dehradun, Haridwar and Rishkesh
Entry Fee: Minimal entry fee
Number of Species: 15 species of mammals and 150 species of birds
The Govind Wildlife Sanctuary is located between 35*55 and 31*17 30 latitudes and 77*47 30 and 78*37 30 longitudes at Purola tehsil, Uttarakashi district of Garhwal in the state of Uttaranchal. It was established on 1st of March 1955. The sanctuary has a rich forest cover and the neighboring forest divisions help in maintaining genetic diversity in the forest. The area is very rich source of some of the medicinal plants, many of which are the important life saving drugs. The area provides a natural habitat for a lot of endangered animals.
The Snow Leopard inhabits the inner Himalayas above the altitude of 3500 m. The Government of India launched the Snow Leopard Project in its Eighth Plan. The Govind Wildlife Sanctuary was identified as one of the sites of the Snow Leopard in the Himalayas. The upper reaches of the sanctuary are the natural habitat of the Snow Leopard and were intentionally notified as a National Park.
The Govind Wildlife Sanctuary is spread over an area of 957,969 square kilometers. The sanctuary forms the upper catchment of the Tons River in the upper reaches of its area. Thus the area has a significant value as a major watershed for river Yamuna.
The park is home to more than 15 species of mammals and 150 species of birds. The important mammals are Bharal, Black Bear, Brown Bear, Common Leopard, Himalayan Thar, Musk Deer, Serow and Snow Leopard. The endangered birds found in the area are Bearded Vulture, Black Eagle, Himalayan Snow Cock, Golden Eagle, Monal Pheasant, Koklas Pheasant, Steppe Eagle and Western Tragopan. Other important birds found here are Buntings, Bulbuls, Cuckoos, Finches, Minivets, Owls, Pigeons, Parakeets, Thrushes, Tits and Warblers.
The region experiences pleasant weather during the summers while winters are harsh. The temperature ranges between 15 °C during the night to 25 °C during the day. The entire belt of the sanctuary experiences light to heavy snowfall during the winters. The average annual rainfall is between 1000 mm to 1500 mm. Most of the rain occurs during the months of July to September.
The best to visit this sanctuary is from April to June and September to November. The weather is pleasant during these months having little or no rain.
The entry fee is very minimal and visitors have to pay some additional charges for video recording and camera. Visitors can seek any information from the Govind Wildlife Sanctuary Information Center.
You should always carry light woolen clothes during the summer months and heavy woolens for the winters.
While on a visit to the Govind Wildlife Sanctuary, one can explore the neighboring areas. This belt is particularly famous for trekking and mountaineering activities. The tourists can go on the treks, namely, Sankri-Talika-Osla-Har ki Doon 38 km Trek Sankri-Taluka-Osla-Ruinsara Tal 40 km Trek Naitwar-Himri-Droni-Rupin Pass-Sangla 60 km Trek Ruinsara Tal-Yamunotri 20 km Trek.
Har-ki-Doon, Ruinsara Tal, Deokyara, Kedarkantha and Bhratsar are the beautiful places of tourist attraction. Swargarohini, Black Peak and Banderpunch are the important peaks in the area.
By Air: The nearest airport to the Govind Wildlife sanctuary is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun.
By Rail: The nearest railway Stations to the Govind Wildlife Sanctuary are at Dehradun, Haridwar and Rishkesh.
By Road: Naitwar is the entrance and starting point of the sanctuary. The approach to Naitwar is by a metalled all weather roads. Naitwar is at a distance of 200 km from Dehradun. Daily bus service exists between Dehradun and Naitwar.
The most popular accommodation options around Govind Wildlife Sanctuary are the resorts. Visitors can also stay in different hotels available at Dehradun that ranges from luxury to budget.