Shey-Phoksundo National Park

Shey Phoksundo is Nepal's largest national park and covers 3,555 sq. km. Sitting astride the Dolpa and Mugu districts of western Nepal, the park was established to protect the trans-Himalayan ecosystem found only in few areas of the Kingdom. The unique park includes the Kanjiroba Himal, with many peaks of over 6,000 meters, as well as the famous Shey Monastery, the Phoksundo Lake and the Langu Gorge.

 

The flora of the area include pine, walnut, willow, oak, poplar and cypress in the lower southern parts. In the higher reaches, pine, spruce, juniper and birch pre-dominate. The alpine areas are vegetated by berberries, wild rose and caragana. The and trans-Himalayan mountains and grassy alpine meadows to the north are almost devoid of trees but have caragana and dwarf juniper.

 

The wildlife of Shey Phoksundo include a good popula-tion of blue sheep and ghoral, musk deer, leopard, wild dog, wolf, marmot, weasel, mouse hare, rhesus and langur monkeys. The higher reaches and the haunt of the elusive snow leopard. The adjoining Tibetan region is home to such rare animals as the great Tibetan sheep, Tibetan wild ass, Tibetan gazelle and antelope, and wild yak. Bird species of the park include the Impeyan and cheer Pheasant, chough, raven, Tibetan snow cock, Tibetan twit, brown dipper, Himalayan griffon and lammergeier. The park is inhabited by people of Tibetan descent who follow the pre-Buddist Bon religion and some of the main villages are Ringmo, Pugmo, Salclang, Kugun, and Tatgaun. On the august full moon all Dolpa villagers converge on the Shey (Crystal) Mountain in a festival to walk around the holy peak three times in as many days.

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