In Nepal’s Eastern Himalayas, there is a protected area called Sagarmatha National Park. It is located near the Mount Everest-dominated region. The Solukhumbu District’s 1,148 sq. km is part of it. It borders Tibet’s Qomolangma National Nature Reserve in the north. It borders Makalu Barun National Park to the east. It extends to the Dudh Kosi River from the south. It is a significant stop on the Everest Base Camp trek and a piece of the Sacred Himalayan Landscape.
The word Sagarmatha is a Nepali word for Mount Everest. It combines two words, “sagar” meaning sky, and “matha” meaning head. It literally means the head of the sky. The word is a clear reference to Everest’s tall height.
1976 saw the creation of Sagarmatha National Park. It was designated as a Natural World Heritage Site in 1979. This marked the first national park in the nation to receive this honor. A buffer zone of 275 sq. km was added in January 2002. The Buffer Zone Management Guidelines gave conservation of forests, wildlife, and cultural resources top priority. It then prioritized other natural resource preservation and the creation of alternative energy sources.
Early in the 1960s, tourism to the region started. Around 19,000 visitors arrived in 2003. Tourism in the area then started blooming. This helped the 3500 Sherpa population living in the region at the time prosper.
The upper head rivers of the Bhote Kosi, Dudh Kosi, and Imja Khola make up the park’s main area. On the Tibetan border, they emerge from beneath the Himalayan mountain range. The rivers then merge close to Namche Bazar, the largest town in the region.
The buffer zone extends 18 kilometers south of Namche, through the Dudh Kosi valley, to Lukla. The Park is surrounded by tall mountain ranges and is located in a very rocky area. It culminates in the Everest region and has glaciers and deeply cut valleys.
At least 25 peaks over 6,000 meters surround the catchments. The seven are over 7,000 meters high and are named Baruntse, Lhotse, Nuptse, Pumo Ri, Guachung Kang, Cho-Oyu, and Nangpai Gosum. The long glaciers at the top of each valley feed the rivers.
The four Gokyo lakes border the 20 km long Ngozumpa Glacier on its western side. In front of its lateral moraine, it is impounded. All of the glaciers are retreating, and several glacial lakes have recently formed. You can reach there by following the gokyo valley trekking trail.
Imja Dzo, which began to take shape in the 1970s, has grown to a size of 1,200 ha and a depth of 45 m. U-shaped upper valleys can be seen. However, below 3,000 meters, rivers carve steep ravines through underlying granites and sedimentary rocks.
They merge with the Dudh Kosi near Namche Bazar, which eventually empties into the Ganges. The soils are skeletal, with the exception of a few alluvial and colluvial deposits at lower levels.
Flora and fauna
The forests in the subalpine belt consist of fir, Himalayan birch, and rhododendron. Juniper and rhododendronMosses and lichens grow here. More than 1,000 floral species live in the national park.
Sagarmatha National Park hosts 208 bird species. It includes Impeyan pheasant, bearded vulture, snowcock, and alpine chough. Himalayan thar, Himalayan serow, musk deer, snow leopard, and Indian leopard are also housed here.