Formally established in 1976 with an area of 1,710 sq. km., Langtang National Park is the nearest national park to Kathmandu. There is a great altitude variation, starting at 1,500m and ascending to the top of Mt. Langtang Lirung at 7,234m. As a result, the park has immense ecological diversity. Some of the most attractive areas of the park include the Langtang Valley, the holy lakes at Gosainkunda, and the forested hillsides above the villages of Helambu.
Langtang National Park encloses two major river systems: one draining west into the Trisuli River and the other east to the Sun Koshi River. The park extends from 32 km. north of Kathmandu to the Nepal-Tibet border. The complex topography and geography together with the varied climatic patterns have enabled a wide spectrum of vegetation types to be established. These include small areas of subtropical forest (below 1000m.), temperate oak and pine forests at mid-elevations, with alpine shrub and grasses giving way to bare rocks and snow.
The deep gorges of Bhote Koshi and Langtang Khola are thickly forested with rhododendron, oak, maple and alder. Larch, a rare deciduous conifer, is also found in the forest of lower Langtang Valley.
The variations in altitude and topography along with the existing forest cover (approx. 25% of the total area) provide habitat for a wide range of animals including wild boar, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan tahr, ghoral, snow leopard, musk deer and common langur. Red pandas, a rare and threatened symbol of a healthy Himalayan ecosystem, inhabit the forests of lower Langtang Valley and hillsides below Gosainkunda.
The upper Langtang Valley is one of the few known breeding grounds of the ibis bills besides the Tibetan snow cock and snow partridge. The park is also home to the Impeyan, Tragopan and Kalij pheasants among others.
The Trisuli - Bhote Koshi forms an important route for birds on spring and autumn migration between India and Tibet.
7472 De La Farge Drive, Cupertino, CA 95014
Tel: (408) 255-1155
Home page designed by Charles Lin ©1996
All photographs by Charles Lin ©1996