Nanda Devi is the second highest mountain in India, and the highest located entirely within the country. (Kangchenjunga, which is higher, is on the border of India and Nepal.). It is part of the Garhwal Himalayas, and is located in the state of Uttarakhand, between the Rishiganga valley on the west and the Goriganga valley on the east. The peak, whose name means “Bliss-Giving Goddess”, is regarded as the patron-goddess of the Uttarakhand Himalaya. In acknowledgment of its religious significance and for the protection of its fragile ecosystem, the peak as well as the circle of high mountains surrounding it—the Nanda Devi sanctuary—were closed to both locals and climbers in 1983. The surrounding Nanda Devi National Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.