All About Hemis National Park
In the list of attractions to visit in Ladakh, Hemis National Park is a prominent name. It is one of those places where you can visit to enjoy the flora and fauna of the union territory. Needless to say that the safari at Hemis and Hemis national park is famous for the sighting of snow leopards. Hemis is one of the largest national parks in the world and the largest in India. But if you consider Nanda Devi Biosphere, then Hemis is the second largest continuous national park in the country.
It covers a total area of 3350 sq km. Irrespective of your interest, this national park needs a visit for sure. The high population of snow leopards might be your interest point for people but don’t forget the extensive collection of snow deserts that can be found here. The Hemis National Park is a great place for wildlife enthusiasts as well as nature lovers. So, here are some important things that you should know before heading out for a trek-safari to the national park.
Flora of Hemis National Park
Ladakh comes under the rain-shadow region of the Himalayas and most part of the union territory receives no to less rain throughout the year. Hemis National Park of Leh is one of the attractions that fall in the no rain zone as well. The park does not receive much rain throughout the year and that’s the reason you won’t much flora thriving in the upper altitude of the park. Most of the area of Hemis National Park is covered by dry forest; even in the lower regions too. The national park is covered in snow for the most part of the year and that’s the reason why the fir is a dominant species of tree here.
The commonly found trees in the region are steppe and alpine. Those who can withstand the high-altitude and harsh climate of the region. In the lower areas, one can find multiple plant species like juniper, dry birch, and fir. Unknown to many, Hemis National Park is home to several medicinal plants that are endangered and rare to be found.
Fauna of Hemis National Park
Flora of the national park might not be such extensive but the fauna does have a few species that are difficult to find anywhere. The national park of Leh Ladakh is also home to many animals that are endangered or rare because they can only be found at higher altitudes. The rich wildlife collection of the park has 73 bird species and 16 mammals that are known to explorers and scientists. The Hemis national park is home to several animals including the great snow leopard, bharal, Red Fox, Eurasian Brown Bear, Himalayan Marmot, Tibetan Wolf, and many more.
Not just this, Hemis National Park is a heaven for even the birdwatchers. There are a wide variety of birds that can be found here. Some of them are lammergeier vulture, streaked rosefinch, golden eagle, robin accentor, fire-fronted serin, and many more.
Other attractions of Hemis National Park
Being the second-largest continuous national park of Ladakh, Hemis takes up a huge portion of Leh district as well as a part of the Zanskar Region too! Apart from the flora and fauna, there are other interesting places to visit within the national park. Interesting isn’t it? Here are two main attractions that you can visit inside the park:
- Ganda La
- Hemis Monastery
Best time to visit Hemis National Park
Being at a high altitude, Hemis National Park remains covered with snow for the most part of the year. Therefore the best time to visit here is between May and October during the summers. The snow melts away and it becomes easier for people to trek. Also, it is comfortable during these months and perfectly suited for sightseeing and bird watching.
Temperature and weather in Hemis National Park
- The temperature of Hemis National Park remains between 1°C and 15°C in summers and in winters the temperature goes below -10°C at the Hemis National Park.
- There is a thick layer of snow that envelops the entire park making it a thick sheet of ice. And in summers it looks like a green and barren valley of Ladakh.
Entry fee and timing of the Hemis National Park
The entry fee for Indians is 20 INR and for international travelers, the fee is approximately 200 INR. For travelers, the time that they can visit the park is between 9 am and 5 pm.
Note: It is advised to be very particular about the timings because you will be in the land of the wild.
How to reach Hemis National Park
Hemis National Park is approximately 50 km from Leh city. You cannot take a vehicle safari at the park. If you want to reach here, it is better that you take a taxi or a cab. The pick-up and drop service is available or you can book a cab for the entire day. As per your convenience and wish.
People visiting Ladakh on their conveyance can take their vehicle to the entry gate of the park and park it. From there, you can get your entry ticket and then go on a foot safari.
Attractions around the Hemis National Park
There are several attractions around Hemis National Park that you can explore during your trip to Ladakh. Here are some of the top attractions that you can visit.
|Name of the attraction around||Distance from Hemis Nationa Park (Approx.)|
|Leh Palace||52 km|
|Shanti Stupa||53 km|
|Khardung La Pass||88 km|
|Diskit Monastery||165 km|
|Nubra Valley||209 km|
|Tso Moriri Lake||266 km|
|Pangong Lake||271 km|
Things to do in Hemis National Park
Being a very happening and one of the most important attractions of Ladakh, Hemis National Park is a go-to destination for a lot of people. Needless to say that it is home to multiple plants, trees, animals, mammals, and birds species. If you are planning on visiting Hemis National Park on your next trip to Leh Ladakh, then here is a list of things that can be enjoyed at the park.
- Go for a trekking safari (that’s the only way to explore the park)
- Visit the Hemis monastery and if you are on time, be a part of the Hemis festival
- If you are not a trekking person, just take a light hike to explore the regions near the entry gate.
- Enjoy bird watching as there are multiple migratory birds and local birds in the national park.
- Camping in Hemis National Park is a unique experience, allowing you to connect with nature and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
- Hemis Monastery is a famous Buddhist monastery located within the park. It is one of the oldest and richest monasteries in Ladakh and is known for its beautiful architecture and impressive collection of ancient relics.
- Hemis Festival is a popular festival that takes place at Hemis Monastery every year in June or July. It is a vibrant celebration of Ladakhi culture, with traditional music, dance, and colorful costumes.
Hotels to stay in Hemis National Park in Leh, Ladakh
- Hotel Skittsal
- Bikamp Camp Leh Ladakh
- Beyond Stay Leh Residency Hotel
- Neryok’s Indus View
- Ratna Hotel Ladakh
Tips to keep in mind while visiting Hemis National Park
- Before you visit the national park, you should have already given your body a day or two to acclimatize.
- Wear sturdy trekking shoes because the trail is a bit difficult and less taken.
- Keep a water bottle and some quick to eat snacks in your backpack
- It is advised to take a guide before you go out for the safari.
- Also, there will not be a jeep or canter safari at Hemis National Park. The only way to explore the entire place is on foot.
- Keep yourself hydrated and do keep a tab of time so that you return before day fall.
- If you are going on a solo or group tour inside the park, make sure to have a map so that you do not lose your way out.