The third largest by size in India (after Hemis National Park in Jammu and Kashmir and the Desert National Park in Rajasthan), Namdapha National Park is a biodiversity hotspot situated in the Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh, 459 km from Tawang. Spanning an area of 1985 sq km, the core area of the park stretches over 1808 sq km making it the largest protected area in the Eastern Himalayas. Nestled between the Patkai range and Dapha Bum range of Mishmi hills, the park is home to about 425 species of flora and fauna and is one of the few national parks that allows camping within its boundaries.
A favorite among tourists, quite a few camps exist within the forest that are perfect for those looking to be one with nature and get a glimpse of wildlife in its natural habitat. Each of the campsites offer unique views of the surrounding park. While some are perfect for bird watchers, others are perfect for animal enthusiasts.
The habitat in the park keeps changing with altitude. While the lower reaches of the park are sub-tropical, the landscape is soon is replaced by subtropical pine forests, temperate forests, alpine meadows and perennial snow as you move up. The higher elevations remain snowbound for the most part of the year. Dapha Bum, a ridge on Mishmi hills, is the highest point (4,571 m) of the park.
Namdapha National Park’s fauna comprises snow leopards, clouded leopards, common leopards, tigers, dholes, wolves, Asiatic black bears, red pandas, red foxes, yellow-throated martens, slow Loris, Hoolock gibbons, capped langurs, Assamese macaques and rhesus macaques. The critically endangered Namdapha flying squirrel is found only at the Namdapha National Park.
The avian diversity includes hornbills, snowy throated babblers, rufous-necked hornbill, green cochoa, purple cochoa and the beautiful nuthatch. Settlements of Lisu, Chakma, Tangsa and Singpho are also inside the park. Their villages are located mainly in community and reserve forests. Several places inside the park have interesting names like Mihi-phi-phi (place where wind blows all the time) and Bulbulia (place of bubbling water) which adds to the allure of the park.
While the park is open to visitors throughout the year inner line permits are essential while visiting Namdapha.
Established as a wildlife sanctuary in 1972, it was declared a tiger reserve and national park in 1983.
BEST PLACES TO STAY NEAR NAMDAPHA NATIONAL PARK
While the campsites in Namdapha are the best place to stay while visiting the National Park, government-run circuit houses and inspection bungalows are also available. However, it is advisable to book your accommodation well in advance. A forest rest house, tourist lodge, tourist huts and a dormitory are available for stay in Deban (26 km from Miao).
Gibbon’s Land (10th mile), Haldibari, Hornbill, Rani Jheel and Firmbase are the main tourist campsites designated by the Forest Department. Prior permission from the forest department is reuired and camping is usually organised and supervised by tour operators. The Public Works Department (PWD) maintains the inspection bungalow (IB) at Gandhigram and Vijaynagar.
Advance reservations can be made on the phone at the field director’s office, Namdapha National Park.
BEST PLACES TO EAT NEAR NAMDAPHA NATIONAL PARK
Several small eateries in Miao serve a variety of food, including Tibetan momos and noodles. Several inspection bungalow caretakers arrange for food on request. However, it would be advisable to carry provisions. Carry food items that can be cooked easily.
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Namdapha National Park is as given below. The best time to visit Namdapha National Park is also specified.