Shey Phoksundo National Park
Shey Phoksundo National Park (Nepali:
शे-फोकसुण्डो She-Phoksundo) is the largest and
only trans-Himalayan national park in Nepal. It was established in
1984 and covers an area of 3,555 km2 (1,373 sq mi) in
the districts of Dolpa and Mugu in the Mid-Western Region, Nepal. The
protected area ranges in elevation from 2,130 m (6,990 ft)
to 6,885 m (22,589 ft).
Phoksundo Lake is the park's
prominent feature, located at an elevation of 3,612 m
The park's headquarters are in Palam, Dolpa District.
3 Flora and fauna
6 External links
Shey Phoksundo National Park
Shey Phoksundo National Park provides a diversity of spectacular
landscapes and ranks among the most scenic mountain parks in the
world. Much of the park lies north of the Himalayan crest. Elevations
range from 2,130 m (6,990 ft) in the southeast near Ankhe to
6,883 m (22,582 ft) at the summit of Kanjiroba Himal, which
lies at the southern edge of the Tibetan plateau.
Phoksundo Lake lies
at an elevation of 3,660 m (12,010 ft) in the upper reaches
of the Suligad river. It is surrounded by glaciers and famous for its
magnificent turquoise color. Near the lake’s outlet is the
country’s highest waterfall.
Phoksundo Lake has a water surface of 494 ha (1,220 acres), and
was declared a
Ramsar site in September 2007. The lake is up to
145 m (476 ft) deep, measured using echo-sounding
The Langu river drains the high
Dolpo plateau located in the
north-east of the park. The Suligad and Jugdual rivers form the
southern catchment flowing south into the Thuli Bheri river.
Spanning the northern and southern aspects of the Himalayan crest, the
park experiences a wide climatic range and lies in the transition zone
from a monsoon dominated to an arid climate. Annual precipitation
reaches 1,500 mm (59 in) in the south, whereas on northern
slopes less than 500 mm (20 in) of rain falls. Most of the
precipitation occurs during monsoon from July to September. The
Dhaulagiri and Kanjiroba massifs form a massive barrier preventing
most of the rain from reaching the Trans-Himalayan area. Winters are
quite severe with frequent snowfalls above 2,500 m
(8,200 ft) and temperatures remaining below freezing above
3,000 m (9,800 ft) through much of the winter.
Flora and fauna
The flora found within the park is exteremely diverse. The northern
regions contain barren areas of the upper Himalayas. The
Trans-Himalayan slope lands consist of some rhododendron, caragana
shrubs, salix, juniper, white Himalayan birch, and the occasional
silver fir dominate the high meadows of the Himalayas. Less than five
percent of the park is forested, with much of it lying in the southern
portion. The Suligad Vally’s flora consists of blue pine, spruce,
hemlock, cedar, silver fir, poplar, rhododendron, and bamboo. The park
also contains 286 species of ethnobotanical importance.
The park provides important habitat for endangered species including
the snow leopard, grey wolf, musk deer, and blue sheep. Goral, great
Tibetan sheep, Himalayan tahr, leopard, jackal, Himalayan black bear
and yellow-throated marten are also found in the park. The park is
home to six reptiles and 29 species of butterfly, including the
highest flying butterfly in the world, Paralasa nepalaica. The park
provides habitat for over 200 species of birds, such as Tibetan
partridge, wood snipe, white-throated tit, wood accentor and
The park contains many gompas and religious sites, many of which have
been renovated. Shey Gompa, the most famous, was established in the
11th century. Thashung
Gompa located near
Phoksundo Lake was built
about 900 years ago to conserve wildlife. Ringmo village, a typical
Tibetan village, is scenically nestled in the park.
The park is home to more than 9,000 people, and their villages are
among the highest settlements on earth. The local
people are subsistence farmers growing potatoes, buckwheat, mustard,
beans and some barley; and keeping livestock for food and wool. They
barter with Tibetans for salt and wool. Their lifestyle is typically
Tibetan. Most of them are Buddhists; the people around Phoksundo area
practice Bön. There are communal gompas in most of the villages.
^ a b c d Bhuju, U. R., Shakya, P. R., Basnet, T. B., Shrestha, S.
Nepal Biodiversity Resource Book. Protected Areas, Ramsar
Sites, and World Heritage Sites. International Centre for Integrated
Mountain Development, Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology,
in cooperation with United Nations Environment Programme, Regional
Office for Asia and the Pacific. Kathmandu,
^ GoN/MoFSC /2014).
Nepal Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan
2014-2020. Government of Nepal, Ministry of Forests and Soil
Conservation, Kathmandu, Nepal
^ Bhandari, B. B. (2009). Wise use of Wetlands in Nepal. Banko
Janakari 19 (3): 10–17.
^ Anonymous (2004). Rara is Nepal’s deepest lake: Survey.
^ a b Majupuria, T. C., Kumar, R. (1998). Wildlife, National Parks and
Reserves of Nepal. S. Devi, Saharanpur and Tecpress Books, Bangkok.
Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Nepal :
Shey-Phoksundo National Park
Trek to Shey Phoksumdo Lake with Images
National Parks, Reserves and Ramsar Sites of Nepal
Gokyo Lake Complex