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NILC - Nature Int. & Learning Centre

Surya Kunj

The Nature Interpretation & Learning Centre (NILC)

Established in 1992.

GBPNIHE initaited the establishment of a functional Arboretum "Surya Kunj" in 1992 at the institute Head Quarters. Initially the area was under highly degraded grazing land interspersed with Pine trees and shrubs.Subsequently, through various rehabilitation mechanisms 'Surya Kunj' has now emerged as "Nature Interpretation and Learning Centre" of the institute.The emergence of 'Surya-Kunj' as a nature contemlation hub is attributed to the rich plant diversity, that subsequently has attracted the faunal elements, especially the three B's i.e Birds, Butterflies and Bees to flourish the asthetic and Biodiversity value of the Centre.


Interesting Facts

The name "Surya-Kunj" is based on historically important Sun Temple (Surya Mandir) of Katarmal. Located nearly 1 Km above the institute. .


Interesting Facts

Constructed in 9th century by Katyuri King "Katarmalla"


Interesting Facts

This is probably be the only other temple after Konark (Odhisha) dedicated to Sun God.


Interesting Facts

44 smaller temples around the main deity of Surya which called as Burhadita or Vraddhaditya.

Major Objectives

  • ENSURE ex situ maintainence of representative sub
    tropical and temperate rare, endemic, threatned and economically
    important plant species.
  • PROVIDE adequate facilities (research backup &
    infrastructure) for plantation and accilimatization of
    species of conservation importance .
  • PROMOTE availability of base material of important
    species to facilitate the morphogenetic variability study,
    propogation, hybridization and genetic improvement.
  • DEVELOP specific protocol for recovery / reintroduction
    of highly threatned species
    in the field conditions.
  • MEET the growing demand of planting material of
    important species quality by
    different stakeholders.
  • SERVE as a center for on-site training and
    extension programmes for various
    stakeholders groups and also as a center for
    nature interpretation and learning.
  • ESTABLISH a user friendly electronic database
    on identification of Himalayan
    endemic/ threatned plants, life strategies,
    use and conservation values etc.
  • EXCHANGE relation with other ex-situ
    conservation centres in the region, country
    or elsewhere in the world.



Nature Interpretation & Learning Centre

Facility to stay and teaching 20-25 participitants while on exposure visit to the Institute



Assemble of over 100 woody plant species.



Plants with Medicinal importance are grown for demonstration


Nature Interpretation Spots

Facilities to sit and interact inside bamboo huts at different location.


Regional Analyatical Lab.

Quality assessment of medicinal and aromatic plants.


Herbarium Chamber & Seed Bank

Houses plant specimens collections donated by amateur botanists, researchers, and traditional crop seeds collected by students of rural areas.

Biodiversity @ Surya Kunj

Floral Diversity

Surya Kunj Nursery's Plant List with Pricing

Over 100 woody species

Expanded nearly in 2.5 hectare area

More than 90 species of medicinal value plants


Rich diversity of Ferns with more than 20 species.

Faunal Diversity

Attracts more than 160 birds of different families year-round

Holds > 100 species of butterflies belonging to 6 different families

Nymphalids are the most dominant with more than 50 species.

Rich diversity of Ferns with more than 20 species.

Publications on "Surya-Kunj"

Diversity of Butterflies in


Diversity of Birds in


Activities @ Surya Kunj


Director General, ICFRE and Director, FRI visit

Shri Suresh Gairola (Director General, ICFRE) and Shri Arun Singh Rawat,IFS (Director at FRI) visited Surya Kunj during his visit to HQ, GBPNIHE for signing of MoU between "ICFRE & GBPNIHE" for Collaborative Research on 19 Oct 2019

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Harela Festival

Harela Celebration-2019

Harela Celebration- Plantation activity at Nature Interpretation & Leraning Centre (NILC) & Surya Kunj, GBPNIHE on 17 July 2019

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Training Programme

Certificate course on Green Skill Building Programme

Visit of Experts & Participitants during Certificate course on Green Skill Building Programme on “Forest Resources and Plant Biodiversity” organized by Task Force 3, National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem, GBPNIHE, Almora at Surya Kunj

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Nature Camp

Nature Camp 2019

GBPNIHE oraganised "Nature Camp" of 3 days at NILC & Surya Kunj for the childrens to provide them close exposure to nature and its importance

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Harela Festival

Harela Festival -2018

Celebration of Harela Festival and Plantation of various wild edible spicies at Surya-Kunj on 16 July 2018

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