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Himachal pradesh study tour

  1. 1. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour AGR-493 Submitted By: Ankush Moran Section- H1319 Regd. No. : 11308049 Supervised by: Mr.P. Rajasekaran Lovely professional university, Phagwara-144411
  2. 2. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour CERTIFICATE This is to certify that Mr. Ankush Moran has attended the study tour to Himachal Pradesh. The tour has been carried out in Forest Department of Himachal Pradesh under the guidance of Mr. P.Rajasekaran, Assistant Professor at LovelyProfessional University, Phagwara. Mr.P.Rajasekaran Dr. Shailesh Tour Supervisor HOD in Forest Department
  3. 3. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I acknowledge a very special thanks to the Conservator, scientist, forest officers, officials and guides of GHNP, Sainj & Tirthan wildlife sanctuary and GB Pant Institute for providing the detailed information about the various aspects of their respective departments and area for their support during the entire tour. We deem it a great privilege to meet Conservator …., Scientist-F, programme coordinator, for sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience and giving us his valuable advice. I express my deep sense of gratitude to Mr.P. Rajasekaran, our professor, for making this trip possible and Miss Apoorva Maria, our mentor for taking the pain in acquiring all the permissions. I would also like to express my sincere thanks to our HOD, Dr. Shailesh for providing me opportunity to undergo such wonderful tour, which helps us in getting practical knowledge about our field work. I wish to pay high regards to my loving parents and grandparents for their sincereencouragement and motivation throughout my career and lifting me uphill in this phase of life. I owe everything to them and Iam grateful to my Grandfather, Dad and Mom for their overallsupport, which gave me immense strength to face real life confrontation.
  4. 4. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour Table of Contents Certificate………………………………………………………………………2 Acknowledgement……………………………………...………………………3 Table of Contents………………………………………………………………4 I. INTRODUCTION...………………………………………………...5-8 II. OBJECTIVES…………………..………………………....................9 III. PLACES OF VISIT…………………………………………………10-41 I. Great Himalayan National Park II. Water falls III. Jalori Pass IV. Nursery Ghnp V. Sainj Wildlife Sanctuary VI. Ropa nursery VII. Sainj Hydroelectric Project Unit 2 VIII. G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development IV. LEARNING FROM STUDY TOUR………………………………….42 V. CONCLUSION………………………………………………………...43 VI. REFRENCES…………………………………………………………..44
  5. 5. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour INTRODUCTION Himachal Pradesh is a part of the Indian Himalayas. It has wide valleys imposing snow mountains, limpid lakes, rivers and gushing streams. After India became free in 1947, a number of princely hilly states were integrated into a single unit to be administered by the Government of India. Himachal Pradesh came into being as a state of the India Union on April 15, 1948, by integrating 31 big and small hill states of the region. In 1956, it was converted into a Union Territory. Subsequently, some more hill areas of the Punjab state were added to this Union Territory and it was made into a full-fledged state, the status that it continues to have now. Himachal Pradesh today is one of the most important tourist destinations in India. The high hills of Himalayas welcome the trekkers from all over the world. Himachal Pradesh is famous for its Himalayan landscapes and hill stations. There are many perennial rivers flowing in the state with hydroelectric projects set up. Covering an area of 55,673 square kilometers (21,495 sq mi), it is a mountainous state. Most of the state lies on the foothills of the Dhauladhar Range. At 6,816 m Reo Purgyil is the highest mountain peak in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Its area is 55,673 km2 (21,495 sq mi), and is bordered by Jammu and Kashmir on the north, Punjab on the west, Haryana on the south-west, Uttarakhand on the south- east and by the Tibet Autonomous Region on the east. Figure 1 Scenic View of Jalori Pass
  6. 6. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour FLORA Along with the diversity, comes a vast range of flora and fauna. The complete vegetation of this region relies on two factors - height and rainfall. The variations in altitude have given rise to varied vegetation and this has emerged as the house for numerous varieties of flora as well as fauna. The flora of Himalayas is very distinctive as it consists of diverse forests. The southernmost tracts are dominated by sal (Shorearobusta), sisham, chir pine, dry deciduous and moist broad-leafed forests. You’ll mostly find alders, birches, rhododendrons and moist alpine scrubs in the name of vegetation. The tough rhododendron, by the way, is an amazing plant and of terrific importance in the ecological chain. By attracting insects, which in turn attract birds, it forms a major link in high altitude ecosystems. The rhododendrons you see along the hillsides around Shimla from March to May are breathtakingly beautiful.Himachal is the fruit bowl of the country with orchards scattered all over the place. Wild flowers, a variety of ferns and grasses and rare medicinal herbs from the groundcover occur along the hills. While vast meadows just under the sky, are lined up by juniper and lichens. Figure 2 Dactylorhiza hatagirea (Salam Panja) Figure 3 Rhododendron companulatum
  7. 7. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour Figure 4 Homogeneous Forest of Deodar FAUNA For countless centuries Himachal has been home to a variety of birds and animals. From thick sub-tropical forests to the dry alpine vegetation, they are an abode to diverse range of fauna. The state is house for numerous species of habitat. The state is the resting place for approximately 1200 birds along with 359 animal species. This includes the leopard, which is the most widely distributed mammal in the entire state, ghoral (goat-like stout animal), musk deer and monal (a pretty bird in nine iridescent colours), the state bird. There are pheasants whose colors can place rainbows in the shade; then there are partridges and patient kites, ibex, antelopes, bears, the rare bharal and thar – and the elusive snow leopard.
  8. 8. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour The state also has the distinction of hosting maximum number of sanctuaries in Himalayan region. The Kullu district hosts The Great Himalayan National Park, which was established with the main aim to protect endangered fauna and flora of main Himalayan Mountains. Similarly Pin Valley National Park conserves the flora and fauna of popular cold desert. Figure 5 Blue Sheep Figure 6 Snow Leopard Figure 7 Western Tragopan Figure 8 Himalayan Brown Bear
  9. 9. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour OBJECTIVES  Acquire an in-depth knowledge about the forests and wildlife.  To study different species of wildlife, their habitats, niche and their interaction with various ecosystem.  To gain conceptual knowledge with a forest experience and enlighten about the advances in the field of forestry.
  10. 10. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour Places of Visit Great Himalayan National Park The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) is located in the Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh, India. Initially constituted in 1984, GHNP was formally declared a National Park in 1999, covering an area of 754.4 sqkms. In 1994, two major changes were made in land use around the Park. A buffer zone of 5 km from the Park’s western boundary, covering 265.6 sq km. and including 2,300 households in 160 villages, was delineated as an Ecozone. Most of the population (about 15,000 to 16,000 people) in the Ecozone is poor and dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods. The second change was the creation of the Sainj Wildlife Sanctuary (90 sq km) around the three villages of Shagwar, Shakti, and Marore. On the southern edge of the GHNP, another Protected Area (PA) was declared, known as Tirthan Wildlife Sanctuary. This covers 65 sq km and is without habitation. More recently, in 2010, both the Sainj and Tirthan Wildlife Sanctuaries were added to GHNP. The total area under Park administration (National Park, Wildlife Sanctuaries and Ecozone) is 1171 sq km, which is together referred to as the Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area (GHNPCA). In 2010, an area of 710 sq km of the Parvati river catchment contiguous to the northern boundary of GHNP was initially notified as the Khirganga National Park, adding significant biological diversity, conservation value, and physical protection to GHNP. The boundaries of GHNP are also contiguous with the Pin Valley National Park (675 sq km) in Trans-Himalaya, the RupiBhabha Wildlife Sanctuary (503 sq km) in Sutlej watershed and the Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary (61 sq km), adding additional protection and conservation value and opening up extended wildlife corridors.
  11. 11. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour Creation It took twenty years from inception to inauguration for Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) to be realized as part of the Indian National Park system. The period from 2000 through 2011 saw many changes in the Park and the Ecozone, primarily focusing on a mix of community response upon being excluded from GHNP (and thus loosing a historical and important livelihood resource), efforts of the Park Administration to address these issues, the development of local, statewide, and foreign NGOs to work with the villagers, and the gradual recovery of habitat and biodiversity—the main rationale for the Park’s creation. BIOGEOGRAPHY Biogeographically, the location of GHNP and adjacent protected areas is at the junction of world’s two major faunal realms, i.e. the Indomalayan to the south and Palaearctic to the north. The temperate forest flora-fauna of GHNPCA represents the western-most extenuation of the Sino-Japanese Region. The high altitude ecosystem of Northwest Himalaya has floral affinities with the adjacent Western and Central Asiatic region. The flora of GHNPCA shows affinities with the Mediterranean and Tibetan as well as cis- Himalayan regions. For example, Valerianajatamansi, Dactylorhizahatagirea, Taxus baccata, Leycesteriaformosa are typical taxa that extend up to Afghanistan and west China. Other affinities that are met with here are in the form of Hippophae, of the Palaearctic region; Cedrus deodara, Viola biflora, and Poaalpina, of the Mediterranean region; and Euphorbia, of Peninsular India. In addition, the Himalaya have evolved a high proportion of their own endemic flora and fauna taxa, for example several species of balsams Impetience, Androsaceprimuloides, Hedysarumcachemirianum, Drabalasiophylla, etc. and Himalayan tahr Hemitragusjemlahicus which are well represented in GHNP.
  12. 12. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour Fauna Mammals The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) is host to a wide variety of vertebrate fauna, reflecting its diversity of habitats and climatic zones and including 31 species of mammal, belonging to six orders ‒ primates, carnivore’s, cloven-hoofed mammals, insectivores, rodents and lagomorphs (hares, rabbits and pikas). Most Himalayan fauna are protected under the Indian Wildlife Act 1972, including the bharal (blue sheep), common leopard, snow leopard, Himalayan brown bear, Himalayan tahr (wild goat), musk deer and serow (goat-like antelope). The Himalayan musk deer and snow leopard are endangered species, whilst the Himalayan tahr is endemic to the western Himalaya. The herbivorous Himalayan goral (antelope), Himalayan tahr and bharal are prey to common leopards in the forest zone and snow leopards above the tree line. Black bears also inhabit the forests, whilst brown bears are found in the alpine meadows. Autumn (September to November) is the best season for sighting mammals at high altitude, after which they begin their migration to lower altitudes. Birds The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) is home to 209 confirmed bird species. These include the endangered western tragopan and four other pheasant species. Raptors (birds of prey) are also a major attraction of the park, including lammergeiers, Himalayan griffon vultures and golden eagles.
  13. 13. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour Figure 9 Musk Deer Figure 10 Goral Figure 11 Asian Paradise Flycatcher Figure 12 Monal Figure 13 Himalayan Tahr FLORA Around one third of the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) supports closed-canopy forest, rising from the valley bottoms to altitudes, between 3,300m and 3,600m, depending on aspect. A little over half of the park lies above 4,000m, which is approximately the upper boundary of subalpine and alpine scrub vegetation in this part of the Himalaya. GHNP has relatively high plant-species diversity because of its range of habitats, from subtropical to high alpine, the park is one of the few areas of the western Himalayas where forests and alpine meadows can be seen in something approaching their original state.
  14. 14. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour Threatened Medicinal Plants GHNP is home to 34 of the 47 medicinal plants categorized as threatened in Himachal Pradesh. The wonderful variety of these plants has been a mixed blessing ‒ on the one hand adding colour to the landscape, but on the other, drawing herb hunters who threaten their very survival. Having long been a source of traditional medicine, the plants are now used in modern pharmacology. Figure 14 Meconopsis aculeate Figure 15 Podophyllum hexandrum Figure 16 Saussurea obvallata Figure 17 Hath Panja Figure 18 Anemone Figure 19 Nardostachys grandiflora
  15. 15. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour DAY 1 Sai Ropa is an Ecozone Community Center 5 km from Banjar and 5 km before the Gushaini entrance to the Park. Nestled in the pine forest, the Tourist Center spreads over 3 ha area. It is also the headquarters of Tirthan Wildlife Range Office. BIODIVERSITY TRAIL The tourist center gave away for a narrow path towards one side, leading to a biodiversity trail. All along the way, various tree species were lined up and labeled. Some of the trees we found were rhododendron arboreum, pyruspashia, quercus leucotricophora,betula, alnusglutinosa, bombaxceiba, robinapseudoacacia etc. The trail extended up to 520 meters, holding up beauty in every corner and diverse set of flora. Further along the trail was the site of vermicomposting and butterfly enclosure. Trail ended at a solar energy demonstration site. Along with the tree species there were many medicinal plants that are endemic to the Himalayan region. The entire national park has been home to a large number of medicinal plants. They are extracted and sold by the villagers from deep open forests along the hills and sell them, thus generating income for sustaining livelihood. These medicinal plants are popular for their properties of curing many diseases. They once, before the formation of the national park, were extracted in large quantities driving theexistence of some of the species to the verge of extinction. Most of the species found here are endangered and hence are used in a sustainable way, under the supervision of GHNP authorities. Figure 20 Banj Oak Figure 21 Rhododendron arboreum
  16. 16. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour FOREST FIRE CONTROL At the sight of the thick black smoke, we instantly knew that there is a forest fire. So we went up the hill to the place where forest guards were clearing the path uphill by removing all the pine needles that had fallen on ground. We cleared up pine needles along the fire line. we took long branches and began to beat the fire to extinguish the flames, it died eventually leaving behind black, char coated boles of all trees. As we came down the hill, we saw resin tappings on the trees. Tappings were done, down up with markings in the shape of ‘V’. they were fitted with a cup like container to collect the resin. Cuts were made gradually one above the other for collecting resin from one cut at a time. Figure 22 Forest Fire Control Figure 23 Forest fire spreading spontaneously Figure 24 Rill Method for Resin Tapping
  17. 17. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour WATERFALL Later in the day, we were scheduled to trek up to a waterfall close by. It was a typical mountainous trek of 3 km along a narrow path. As we walked up, the view was breathtakingly beautiful. As we trekked further uphill, the path seemed never ending. After a walk of 3 km uphill, the trek ended into the most amazingly awe-striking waterfall. The height of fall was huge and water had a frightening force. Having enjoyed the view and the chill of the water, we trekked down the hill passing through a village. Along the way we witnessed bench terrace cultivation, usually practiced in the hilly areas. We have also noticed the stark contrast in the architecture of the houses there and back home. Most of the houses we built at a height with wooden roofs and floors. As we came down the village, there were multiple boxes placed intricately in a small field. We came to know that they were hives for bee keeping. Apiculture is another practice carried out extensively and is a major source of income to the local people. We walked back to the tourist centre, identifying trees along the way and acquainting ourselves to the world of temperate forests. Figure 25 Waterfall near Sairopa Figure 26 Apiculture
  18. 18. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour DAY 2 Jalori Pass and Sirolsar lake On our second day in the national park, we set out for jalori pass located ahead of banjar. We got our trekking shoes on and left for the expedition. We boarded a bus to Banjar. On getting down at Banjar, we booked a traveller to Jalori pass. It was a rough path and a 2 hour long travel up the hill.. On our way up, we had witnessed how the distribution of flora changed with the elevations. The species at lower elevations showed a stark difference to the ones at higher elevations. We sighted a few wildlife movements as well. Along the way up, we collected specimens for herbarium. After travelling for 2 hours we reached jalori pass.Jalori pass is situated at a height of 10280 feet MSL. It is far-off from the urban haphazard life, in the silent wilderness of the Himalayas where every flower truly enjoys the air it breathes. The area of Jalori Pass was a natural paradise to find the seasonal blossoms along with bountiful of flora and fauna amidst the pristine solitude of the highlands. The fragrance of variety of flowers with rare herbs and medicinal plants pleased all the sense while heading on to this region and above all experiencing all such impressive wilderness at a stretch could best be experienced only through the Jalori Pass trekking. During the trekking, nature trails all across the Jalori region the myriad species of flora and fauna that infest the slopes of Jalori send you into a state of awe. On the other end, the unassuming hamlets dotting the forests unfold a warm and unique rural culture. Figure 27 Bhudi Naagin Mata Temple
  19. 19. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour From there on we set out to trek up to our next destination that is Sirolsar Lake. It was a 7km long trek down the mountain. The forests of Rhododendron were alluring with red brightly shining flowers. However,The path was rough and rocky. Along the way, we met many travelers, tourists and local people trekking down. Most of them had come to visit the BhudiNagin Temple, situated next to the lake. It is believed to be a very powerful local deity. People believe that all their wishes will be fulfilled on offering prayers at the temple. The trek was very exhausting as we ran short of water. But later, as went deep into the trail we were spell-bind by the sheer beauty of the deep moist temperate forests of Rhododendron and Oak. The change in the composition of forests and distribution of species with the elevation was striking and enchanting. We were enthralled at the varying compositions ofthe forest with the elevations. Lower elevations had temperate and sub-tropical mixed heterogeneousforest, the upper reaches had temperate forests with very little diversity. We returned back and the path back to Jalori pass was up the hill. We sighted few animals like the Himalayan Langoor and birds like Alpine chough, bearded Vulture and Himalayan kite. As we slowly climbed up and reached Jalori pass, we were completely exhausted and had sore feet. We climbed onto the traveler and slept our way back to Sairopa. Figure 28 Sirolsar Lake
  20. 20. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour DAY 3 Daribihal nursery On our third day in the national park, we woke up to the sound of the heavy down pour. The breeze made the tress go rustling and bustling. The wind had by then brought down few trees. Later, as the rain seized we set out to visit the Daribihal Nursery. The park maintained its own nursery and grew seedlings, saplings, cuttings and medicinal plants. We have been told that plantation programs are carried out at regular intervals which involves interfiling and under filing inside the forests of the national park. This ensured sustainable management and regeneration of forests. We were accompanied by a guide, who was a worker at the nursery. He briefed us about the work being carried out at the nursery, the maintenance of the seedlings and about the medicinal plants being grown. Figure 29 Dy. Ranger giving a brief demonstration of Deodar Nursery
  21. 21. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour Daribihal nursery is located in an area of 0.35 hectares. It was primarily established to raise the seedlings as the growth rate of conifers is very low. Seedlings were grown until they reached to the sapling stage and then transplanted to the field.. Before sowing, seed treatment is done to remove dormancy. In this process seeds are soaked in water, where the good and viable seeds settle at bottom and the non-viable seeds float up. They are planted in rows with spacing of 5m x 3m. Deodar cones take 1.5 years to grow into seedlings.Sprouting occurs in 24 days.They are raised in polythene bags and carried in these polythene to the field for transplanting. The soil mixture constitutes sand, manure and soil in ratio of 1:1:1. Sand is added to ensure soil remains wet and increase its absorption. Some of the important tree species seedlings being raised are: 1) Taxus baccata: The bark of the tree is collected and is said to have medicinal properties. Hence, the excessive collection and extraction has reduced the population of this species. It has now obtained the status of endangered species. In order to conserve the species, seedlings are raised in Daribehal nursery. The shoot cuttings are planted in winter. Prior to planting the shoot cuttings are dipped into root hormone solutions. Shoots come out in April and rooting starts after 6 months. Later knots develop on the shoots. The soil mixer consists of 1 inch layer of sand to increase water holding capacity. They are planted in field after 2 years. 2) Cedrus deodar: Cedrus has very low reproduction rate and thus needs to be propagated in the nursery. The pits are spaced 30 x 30 x 30cm and while planting the spacing 3m x 3m. 3) Pyrus spacea: The seedlings are raised in polythene bags. And the plants must be planted at proper depth. Too low or too high a depth will cause death.
  22. 22. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour Figure 30 Group Photograph with Dy. Ranger of Tirthan Range Some of the other species being raised include :Juglansregia, Meliaazadirachta, koish, aam look, tharimbal, paaja, Populu spp., Prunusarmeniaca, Prunuspersica, alanth, Shegul, Dioscorea, van kakri, Salix tetrasperma. Medicinal plants such as Mushbala, safedmusli etc. There is a greenhouse maintained on one side to raise seedlings that are sensitive to temperature variants. Temperature, humidity and light conditions are controlled as per the requirement. Compost is prepared at the other corner of the nursery. It include a lower layer of grass and multiple layers of waste and litter along with worms. As we walked back to the center, we collected leaf specimens of trees that we were new to, for storing it in the herbarium. This trek up and down the hill had evidently given us an idea of the occurrence of tree species at different elevations.
  23. 23. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour Figure 31 Seedlings of various Medicinal plants and tree species Figure 32 Leaf Cuttings of Aamluch stored inside polyhouse Figure 33 Deodar Nursery Interaction with Locals Figure 34 Preparing a Questionnaire by interacting with the locals
  24. 24. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour After we came back to our rooms, we had been told that the women of the local villages have visited the center for a meeting. Seizing the opportunity to interact with local people and know more about the park, we rushed down to talk to them. We were in for a surprise as the locals were warm and welcoming. They had enthusiastically answered to all our questions. Through the interaction we learnt that:They have come here to attend the meeting with the officials of GHNP, for the promotion of government’s initiative for saving girl child i.e, BatiBachao and Batipadao. These locals usually obtain fuel wood from the plantation area of the park as they are not allowed for grazing and cutting in the ecozone. They earn money by extraction of products from medicinal plants like mushkbala, chordu, lasoon, patish, mehendi etc. and sell it in the market. They face human- animal conflict rarely and though incidents of livestock falling prey to leopards is more, the compensation offered is very low ranging anywhere between from 600-700 per cow. Women of the village stand by each other and work together to send out a clear message of women empowerment. Agriculture crops grown on the higher reaches of the park include Cauliflower, Potato, and Tomato etc. Interestingly; tourism has had a positive impact on their lives as it generates a lot of employment to the men in the villages. Many of the women remarked that they enjoy meeting tourists and having them in their homes and villages and that it is a good experience.
  25. 25. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour Figure 35 Group Photograph with the Locals Interaction with BTCA BTCA is an NGO that works with the people in the villages located inside the park, to help the authorities of GHNP in conserving and protecting the integrity of the National Park. They not only provide them with an alternate source of income to reduce the dependence on forests for livelihood, but also provide social and structural support to change their way of thinking. Over the years, they trained men of these villages as tourist guides and play a paramount role in organizing tourist treks involving villagers and thus generating income for them. There are apparently 2000 households in the 600 wards with 13 panchayats and 55 self-help groups. These self help groups are formed mainly to empower women through various entrepreneurial initiatives such as agrofarming, apiculture, NTFP’s, wild spices collection. Presently these selfhelp groups together saved 12 million rupees.
  26. 26. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour Figure 36 BTCA head giving information about the National Park Figure 37 Group Photograph with BTCA Head
  27. 27. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour DAY 4 Next day we were to trek up hill to Gushaini to enter into the National park. We set out early in the morning at 7 am. We taxied to Gushaini which was 2 km away from Sai Ropa. It began drizzling as we moved towards Gushaini.. We got down at Gushaini and began our trek up the hill. It was a 9km long trek. In the initial way up, we had identified few species that we and no knowledge of and collected their leaves for herbarium. As we collected specimens and moved ahead, it began to pour heavily. We had no umbrellas or rain coats. We walked for a distance and took periodic breaks to take shelter under trees from the intense down pour. Canopy of the forest was clearly visible. It was evidently heterogeneous sub tropical at lower elevation and temperate at higher elevation. As we moved on, the sight of river along the rocky oath was alluring and enthralling. After heating up our hands and feet we trekked up further in the national park. We sighted many bird like Grey bush chat, Yellow billed magpie, Ultramarine flycatcher,Grey headedParakeet, Russet Sparrow, Himalayan Woodpecker, Blythis Reed Warbler, Himalayan black bulbul and few faunal species like Wild lizards, insects and butterflies. Figure 38 Grey Headed Parakeet Figure 39 A pair of Yellow billed magpie Figure 40 Blythis reed warbler Figure 41 Ultramarine Flycatcher
  28. 28. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour Having spent considerate amount of time inside the initial reach of the park, we set out to move back and trek down to Gushaini. We were drained and exhausted by the time we got half way downhill. The terrain was very rough and uneven going up and steep down. All through the trek down we were trying to identify the birds through their calls and collected specimens. The trek had been an exhilarating learning experience, we had learnt about the various species of flora occurring at that altitude and terrain. Figure 42 Flock of lambs Figure 43 Rhesus monkey DAY 5 Sainj Wildlife Sanctuary After spending 4 days in GHNP, it was time for us to move to our next destination which was the Sainj wildlife sanctuary. We packed our bags and left for Aut. From Aut, we boarded a bus to Sainj. We reached Sainj at 9am. After walking up the road, we reached our place of stay. It was a beautiful two-storied building with rooms on both the floors. We entered our rooms and refreshed. As we came out, we were awe-struck when we saw a colossal group of birds of different species chirping and flying round from branch to branch. The first thing that caught our
  29. 29. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour attention was the paradise flycatcher. There was a large group of paradise flycatchers and we were ecstatic for having seen them up so close. Other birds included Drongo, Babbler and sparrow. We then set out to move to Sainj Wildlife Sanctuary. We boarded a taxi, to go up the hill. On reaching, we were welcome by range officer who briefed us about the details of sanctuary. Then we volunteered in the mechanical removal of seed dormancy. Later, we moved to Ropa Nursery. It is located inside the sanctuary and is maintained in order to supplement seedlings of trees and medicinal plants required for forest management of the regeneration. The nursery covers an area of 0.8 hectare. Species being raised there included:  Paja – wild cherry is an evergreen tree. It has flowering during the winters (off season). In May seeds are shed. They are collected, dried and kept in water for 1 week in order to break down the dormancy. The seed coat is then removed. After this they are sowed and take 2 weeks to germinate. Use: Serves as feed for birds and wild animals, used as fuel wood.  Picrorhizakurroa –Karro is a perennial herb that grows optimally at greater heights. Raised through cuttings. Use: roots have medicinal properties  Valerianawallichii - Muskbalais a shrub. The cuttings are raised through root development at nodes. They are marketed at a price of 40-50 ₹ per kilogram. Use: Used in perfumery and has medicinal properties.  Prunusarmeniaca – Apricot is the most commonly cultivated species. The seeds are treated in a similar way asRathi. Use: oil is used for back/ joint pain.  Taxus baccata –Thuner is a high altitude tree sparsely distributed in the cool climate of western Himalayas. As the germination rate is extremely low as it requires biological breakdown of dormancy. This occurs when the seeds are eaten by birds, and when the seeds pass through the stomach the dormancy breaks down. Hence, they are raised through cuttings.  Sapindusmakorossi- Ritha is a small tree commonly called as washnut. Seeds are treated for 27 days in compost prior to planting. The heat of the dung breaks the dormancy.
  30. 30. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour Thus, when sown they give 80-90% germination. They are transplanted after 2 years. Use: they are used as fuel wood and seed coat is used in soaps and shampoos.  Arundinaria spp.: Planted to provide canes & bamboo for people’s daily use. Mostly found in these plantations.  Others:Syzygiumcumini, Hercleum spp., Tal pesque, Salix alba, Popular spp., Depending on the need the seedlings are raised in polythene bags or on raised beds. The plants raised here are usually used by the forest department or BTCA. Figure 44 Putting Seedling inside Polybags
  31. 31. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour Interaction with the director Later in the day, we met the director of GHNP, who had taken a session briefing with us about the Sainj wildlife sanctuary. We had come to know through the session that Sainj wildlife sanctuary is divided into two blocks that is Shangharh and Maror. Each block is further consists of 3 beats each. Shangarh beat include Suchain, Shangarh and Barishangarh which fall under the region of ecozone. While the beats of Maror include Lapah that falls in the Eco zone, Homkhani and Shakthi that are located in the National park and the sanctuary respectively. Sainj has one range officer and each beat has one forest guard to supervise the activities in the area and manage the forest cover of the beat. There are 3 wildlife watchers in Shangarh and 5 in Maror. They ensure protection of wildlife and check hunting, deforestation and inform the guards. The objectives of the formation include Protection, conservation & preservation of universal value of GHNP and its resource, ensure sustainable livelihood, local upliftment etc. major valleys in GHNP include Tirthan, Sainj, Jeevanal and Parvathi. Park is bestowed with the combination of western Himalayas and Trans Himalayan biodiversity. In order to make the villagers a major stakeholder in the conservation and protection of the park and the forests a management council is formed which involves all the Panchayat heads. All the decisions regarding the management of the park are taken by them.
  32. 32. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour Figure 45 Group Photograph with Director of GHNP DAY 6 SainjHydroelectricProjectUnit2 Sainj HEP has been contemplated as a run of the river development on river Sainj – a tributary of River Beas in Kullu Dist. of HP. The project comprises: a diversion barrage on the river Sainj near village Niharni, intake arrangement on right site of barrage for drawing 35.88 cumecs of water, an underground de-silting arrangement, with two chambers of 145 m x 15 m x 7 m size each, to eject all silt particles down to 0.2 mm, a 6300 m long 3.76 m diameter modified horse
  33. 33. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour shoe shaped Head Race Tunnel, an underground restricted orifice type 9 m diameter, 87 m high surge shaft and one 2.75 m diameter 550 m long steel lined pressure shaft taking off from surge shaft, further bifurcating to feed two Pelton vertical axis turbines, each generating 50 MW power located in an underground power house on right bank of river Sainj near village Suind. Figure 46 Group Photograph at Sambha Project Figure 47 Sambha Dam
  34. 34. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour DAY 7 G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development The G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development was setup in 1980’s as an autonomous Institute of Ministry of Environment and Forests(now known as Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change) Government of India. The institute has emerged as focal agency to advance scientific knowledge; to evolve integrated management strategies; demonstrate their efficacy for the conservation of natural resources; and to ensure environmentally sound development in the entire Indian Himalayan Region (IHR). The Himachal unit of the Institute was established in July 01, 1992. It has an Administrative Block (includes Laboratories including tissue culture, GIS and Remote Sensing, Library, Conference room and Seminar hall), Environmental Observatory, Video Conferencing and Internet Facilities, Hostel, Residential Complex, Green House, Arboretum, Herbal gardens, Demonstration sites for the Solid Waste Management, Medicinal Plants and Multipurpose Trees Nurseries, Agroforestry Models, Air Quality Monitoring Stations including Surface Ozone, Weather Tower, Weather Station, Vermicomposting, Weed composting, etc. The unit has completed 17 externally and in house funded projects under different core groups/themes. At present, 25 projects (08 in house and 18 externally funded) are in progress under watershed processes and management; Biodiversity Conservation and Management; Ecosystem Services, Environmental Assessment and Management; Environmental Governance and Policy; Biotechnological Applications; Knowledge Products and Capacity Building; Socio- Economic Development; and Climate Change Themes.
  35. 35. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour Figure 48 Dr. Samanth giving a brief information about the Theme Programmes Herbal Garden There were many medicinal and aromatic plant species in the herbal garden of G.B. Pant Institute. These plant species were of immense importance and were utilized for treating various diseases and also used in pharmaceutical industries. Some of the medicinal and aromatic plant species which we identified were as following : Valeriana jatamansi (Nihanu), Artemisia annua (Sesaki), Inula racemosa (Mannu), Hedychium spicatum (Ban haldi), Hypericum perforatum (Basant), Thymus linearis (Ban ajwain), Plantago lanceolata (Isbagol), Bergenia ligulata (Pashan bhed), Podophyllum herandrum (Ban kakri), Paris polyphylla (Satva), Humulus lupulus (Hops), Origanum vulgari (Ban tulsi), Angelica glauca (Chora).
  36. 36. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour Figure 49 Scientist giving information about the medicinal and aromatic plants Figure 50 Angelica glauca Figure 51 Paris polyphylla Figure 52 Valeriana jatamansi Arboretum Arboretum is the collection of trees for scientific study. We identified a lot many species in the arboretum, present in G.B. Pant Institute. Species identified included : Ginkgo biloba, Kiwi plant, Platinus orientalis (Maple tree), Quercus floribunda (Moru), Q. leucotrichophora (Banj Oak), Ritosporus aleocarpum (Tira), Fraxinus micrantha, Moras alba,
  37. 37. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour Olive plant, Cornus mycrophylla, Banthmedia capitata, Pinus gerardiana, Ashwagandha, Rubber tree, Unimous hedges. Figure 53 Scientist giving information related to the arboretum Figure 54 Group Photograph with Junior Scientist Apiculture It refers to the rearing of honey bees. A research scholar gave a brief demonstration about the Fixed mud hive which are only found in kullu region and he also told about the various species of honey bees and the difference between wasp and honey bee.
  38. 38. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour Honey bee species includes : Apis cerana (Indian honey bee), Apis melifera (Wesstern honey bee), Apis dorsata & Apis floria (Wild honey bees). Figure 55 Fixed mud hive Figure 56 Mr. Kishore Kumar giving a demonstration about fixed mud hive Figure 57 Honey bee spp.
  39. 39. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour Microbial bio-composting (MBC) A majority of wastes belong to biodegradable (RBW+BW). More than 76.5% of the total waste in hill towns (i.e. RBW 50.4%, BW 26.1%) is compostable. For the management of this waste, the microbial bio-composting technique (MBCT) using solid waste as raw material can be practiced at different levels- home, community and municipal. Microbial bio-composting is an aerobic process of biodegradation of the biodegradable waste (RBW and BW). MBC is one of the sustainable solutions without using any of the inoculants in composting. Increasing load of waste in the towns can be used as a raw material for composting. The compost produced can be a source of energy in the kitchen gardens, parks and surrounding villages to promote organic farming. One way this approach will reduce the pollution load in the towns, and other way it will supplement the requirement of energy in the form of compost for the crops and orchards in the rural environment. The brief technical requirements for MBC are as under:  Site selection: Sun facing site and receive maximum sunshine hours in a day; should be away from the residential areas; there should not be any kind of water bodies near the mass scale composting side to avoid water contamination; should be in a plain or a gentle sloppy areas to avoid land hazards.  Size and structure of a compost pit: Depending upon the amount of waste generation, the compost pit could be of any size. But it is also fact that larger the pit size with high amount of raw material, faster would be waste decomposition. Standard size is 3m in length, 1m in width and 1m in depth (i.e., 3*1*1).  Aeration in compost pit: In case the pit is full of raw material for compost, it requires one or two aeration polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes across the pit from its base to the top walls for aeration.  Roof of compost pit: The MBC pit needs to be covered with multi-layered ultra-violet resistant polyethylene sheet that can be fixed with a frame structure of roof made up of iron pipes and strips.
  40. 40. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour  Waste items as raw material: All RBW items to be used as raw material for compost will be all kinds of fruit waste, vegetable waste, food waste, green grass, leaves, flowers, cow and cock dung, fine organic matter, etc. All BW items will be such as all type of papers, paperboards and cartons, cotton and jute clothes, shells of groundnuts, grains, etc.  Treatment: There should be proper segregation of the waste material, prior to filling up of the pit for composting. During segregation workers must be well equipped with precautionary measures like gloves, mask, cap, long shoes and apron to avoid any health hazard. Figure 58 Scientist Dr. J.C Kuniyal making us aware about the Solid waste management
  41. 41. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour Figure 59 Group Photograph with Head Scientist Dr. S. Samant
  42. 42. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour LEARNING FROM THE STUDY TOUR  After attending this tour, I have acquainted myself with the objective of conservation and management of Biodiversity, Forests and Ecosystems.  I have familiarized myself with the function of herbarium, arboretum.  I have acquainted myself with the various conservation and management practices carried out in GHNP.  I have also learnt about the importance of nursery beds, Vermicomposting pit.  This study tour has helped me a lot in getting the knowledge about the cultural, social and biological diversity in Himachal Pradesh.  I have also acquainted myself with the knowledge of climatic conditions prevailing in Himachal Pradesh.
  43. 43. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour Conclusion After visiting to different locations of Kullu District, I came to the conclusion that it is a very diverse region having rich biodiversity of flora and fauna; the culture is very ritualistic showing the faith of people in their local deity; Great Himalayan national park is home to numerous flora and fauna including some endemic species; forest management and conservation practices can be more strictly enforced in order to mitigate illegal felling of trees and hunting and poaching of wild animals.
  44. 44. Himachal Pradesh Study Tour References  http://gbpihed.gov.in/  http://greathimalayannationalpark.com/  http://www.greathimalayannationalpark.org/team/b-s-rana-ifs/
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