Govind National Park, also known as Govind Pashu Vihar, was established to save the increasingly endangered species. This sanctuary is spread over an area of 957.969 sq. kms with a varying altitude of 1,300 m to 6,323 m. River Tons enriches the entire area with its sediments and helps the vegetation in the sanctuary to grow uninhibited. This area is extremely rich in medicinal plants and is much sought after by Ayurvedic doctors. The sanctuary is also home to the now elusive and extremely endangered Snow Leopard that stays at 3,500 m.
Govind National Park is located in the Purola Tehsil of Uttarakashi district in Uttarakhand. Naitwar is the entrance and starting point of the sanctuary.
Mythology states that Laxman, brother of Lord Rama, was grievously injured in the battle with Ravana. Hanuman, who volunteered to get medicine for him, first crossed Palk Strait, then flew over the Indian subcontinent until he finally reached Uttaranchal and got the medicine.
The natives of the Deora village and Jakhal worship the Kauravas, the antagonists of Mahabharata, particularly Duryodhana and Karna. The temples are decorated in intricate wood carvings and designs that are totally different from the ‘regular’ temples of Uttaranchal.
There are four basic routes that are used for trekking, the easiest being the 38 kms Sankri – Taluka – Osla – Har ki Doon route. The other three routes comprise of Sankri to Taluka to Osla ending at Ruinsara Tal covering 40 kms. The next one is 20 kms Ruinsara Tal to Yamunotri which is a high altitude trek and has expeditions to Block Peak and Banderpunch areas. The toughest trek is that of the 60 kms long Naitwar – Himri – Droni – Rupin Pass – Sangla route. It partially lies in Himachal Pradesh.
Govind National Park has a rich forest area which results in a very beautiful home for them. There are about 15 species of mammals and 150 species of birds existing in the Govind Wildlife Sanctuary. The most significant of these animals are Himalayan Snow leopard, Himalayan Black bear, Brown bear, Musk deer, Bharal, Himalayan Tahr, Serow and Common leopard. The endangered birds found in this region are Monal Pheasant, Koklas Pheasant, Bearded Vulture Himalayan Snow Cock, Golden Eagle, Western Tragopan, Steppe Eagle and Black Eagle. Other varieties of birds include Owls, Pigeons, Minivets, Thrush, Warblers, Bulbul, Cuckoo and Finches.