Langtang is a region in the Himalayas of Nepal to the north of the Kathmandu Valley and bordering Tibet. The Langtang National Park is located in the area. About 4,500 people live inside the park, and many more depend on it for timber and firewood. The majority of the residents are Tamang.
Langtang Region is on the north of Kathmandu and bordering Tibet. It is protected as Langtang National Park and has a number of high peaks including Langtang Lirung (7246m). Langtang Valley, popularly known as valley of glaciers, is a famous trekking destination. Its twin attributes, easy accessibility and breathtaking mountain scenery, make it very popular among the trekkers fraternity. Located north of Capital Kathmandu, the valley presents beautiful pine forest, bubbly rivers, rugged rock and snow–blanketed peaks and sprawling meadows. High mountains covered with thick layer of ice overlook the Langtang Valley.
Langtang is one of the nearest Nepal trekking destinations from Kathmandu and is an unparalleled combination of natural beauty and cultural riches. Langtang lies about 130 km north of the Kathmandu Valley close to the border with Tibet, China. It is Nepal’s first national park, and lies between the Himalayan range to the north, dominated by Langtang Lirung (7,245 m), the highest peak in the area, and smaller peaks to the south – Chimse Danda (ridge), Ganja La pass (5,122 m), Jugal Himal and Dorje Lakpa (6,989 m).
The park is comprised of varied climatic conditions. The park is the home to several ethnic groups. The majority of people belong to the Tamangs, an ancient Nepalese race. Sherpas and Tamangs who emigrated from Tibet inhabit the Helambu area. The Brahmins, Chhetris and Gurungs are sparse. About 45 villages comprising 4,500 people are situated within the park boundaries. In total, about 3000 households (about 16,000 people) depend on park resources for wood and firewood. Permanent settlements that hold small areas of arable lands grow wheat, maize, finger millet, soybean and potato at lower altitudes, whereas at higher altitudes potato, barley and buckwheat are grown.
Biodiversity of the Langtang national park is varied; an account of Biodiversity in Nepal -Status & Conservation is described by R.P. Chaudhary (1998). The forest type Most striking feature of the park is the variety of vegetation types. Eight vegetation types belonging to tropical, subtropical, temperate, sub alpine and alpine zone exist. The important forest types are: (a) Tropical zone (below 1,000 m), (b) Subtropical zone (1,000-2,000 m), (c) Temperate zone (2,000-3,000 m), (d) Sub alpine zone (3,000-4,000 m), and (e) Alpine zone between 4,000-4,500 m.
Langtang National Park is situated in the north of central Nepal some 32(air) km north of Kathmandu. Bhote Koshi and Trishuli Ganga define the region to the west, Tibetan Autonomous Region of China to the north and east. It is located in between the latitudes 28.00 o – 28.20 o N and the longitudes 85.15 o – 86.00 oE. It comprises 1,710 sq. km. total area. Two major river systems: Trishuli on the west and Sun Koshi in the east with many of its tributaries that originate from Langtang Lirung (7,245 m) and Himalchuli (7,864 m) drain the park catchments
Langtang valley treks, 7 to 16 days long, enable one to soak in the picturesque valley, considered to be the most fascinating and exotic of Nepali valleys. Specially, in the spring season the scenic view is enchanting. While trekking in the upper part of valley one passes through snow bridges, passes covered by mist, and little lakes with icebergs floating on them. Now, will you be surprised if you are told that Langtang valley has been named the ‘wonderland of trekkers’.Fauna: Varied fauna occurs in the park, (a) Mammals. The common primates are rhesus macaqua (Macaca mullata) and common langur (Presbytis entellus).
The carnivorous mammals include fox (Vulpes vulpes), wild dog (Cuon alpinus), Himalayan black bear (Selenarctos thibetanus red panda (Ailurus fulgens), marten (Martes foina, M. flavigula), Himalayan weasel (Mustela sibirica), pale-footed weasel (M. altaica), leopard cat (Felis bengalensis), clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), leopard (Panthera pardus), and snow leopard (P. uncia). The common ungulates are wild boar (Sus scrofa), Himalayan musk deer (Moschus chrysogaster), Indian muntjac (Muntiacus muntjak), goral (Nemorhaedus goral), serow (Caricornis sumantraensis), Himalayan thar (Hemitragus jemlahicus). Small animals include Royle’s pika (Ochotona roylei), orange-bellied Himalayan squirrel (Dremomys lokriah), and Indian porcupine (Hystrix indica).