The Himalayan region displays great variety in flora and
fauna. It is also where rare medicinal herbs are said to grow.
the Terai - the Himalayan foothills, there are luxuriant tropical forests
of Sal, Teak And Shisham. As one climbs, one encounters a variety of Chir
(Pine), Oak, Deodar, Fir, Rhododendron, Birch And Juniper. At higher
altitudes the Juniper becomes a bush.
Where the tree-line ends, the 'Buggyals' or alpine meadows begin to unfold like a green, velvet carpet. Himalayan flowers of rare beauty are seen here in abundance, their soft petals adorned with raindrops reflecting the delicate hues of sunrise and sunset. These meadows have been aptly described as the "Eden of Flowers". In the upper hills of Garhwal region Lilies and Potentillas change the landscape dramatically from a weird barren wasteland to a heavenly pasture within a short distance.
It is difficult to imagine today that these Himalayan slopes were densely wooded less than a century ago. While Himalayan forests are not as lush as the rain-fed South Indian forests, they do attain an impressive magnificence in the unspoilt upper regions.
Attractions of the Hills
Wildlife in the Terai comprises Tigers, Elephants, Deer, Wild Boar, Crocodiles and Pythons. At greater heights dwell more exotic species like the elusive Snow Leopard, the sure-footed Blue Sheep and the famous Musk Deer.
Birds with colourful plumage like the Monal Pheasant are common to the eastern central and the western segments. It is surprising that many of these species have survived, despite the ruthless destructions of their habitat.