At about 3200 mt above the sea level rests a wonder of nature. The only way to get there is by trekking.
Imagine a place, in the midst of snow capped mountains, full of colorful flowers for as far as you can see. The only sounds that you can hear are the chirping of the birds, with no signs of human encroachment in sight. It’s only in dreams that we can relish a place like this but Uttarakhand boasts of the Valley of Flowers, a nature’s magnum opus.
Situated in the Chamoli District of the Garhwal Mountains, the valley was veiled from the world till early 1930s until mountaineer Frank Smith accidently reached here and got mesmerized by the beauty of this delight of nature. He further wrote a book where-in he penned down the splendor of the valley, referring to the place as ‘the Valley of Flowers’.
The name is self explanatory. Valley of Flowers bears as many as 500 species of colorful flowers starting immediately after the snow starts melting post winters. By June, the area is at its blossoming best and continues to be so till August. Located at a varying height of 3200 mts to 6675 mts above the sea level, the temperature of the Valley reaches a maximum of only 17 degrees centigrade in summers.
The valley has a large variety of medicinal flowers too.
Legend has it that Hanuman came to this very place looking for the famous ‘Sanjeeveni Booti’ when Lakshman was struggling with life during the war with Ravana, in Ramayan.
The most astounding part about this valley is that the only way to get here is by trekking a 13 km, well defined, steep way from Govind Ghat to Ghanghariya, which is usually the base camp. One can travel on ponies till the Ghat but from here, the beautiful valley is just 3 kms away and can only be reached by walking. Apart from the lovely flowers, the park is also home to langurs, rabbits, sheep, musk deers, Himalayan bears, colorful butterflies, leeches and many varieties of birds. From Geranium to Marigold, from Himalayan Blue Poppy to wild Rhododendrons, it’s all here.
Most of these flowers have medicinal value, while some are even poisonous. But each of them looks beautiful and makes a soothing view. Almost an unbelievable sight to the human eye, this place is worth the entire trek it requires to reach here. The magnificence of the valley is so enchanting; it cannot be expressed in words.
In 1982, the valley was declared as a National Park by the Govt of India, to rightly conserve this area, fondly referred to as the ‘playground of the fairies’.
The best time to visit this magical place is from June to August, when the flowers bloom with all their grandeur and the morning dew soaks up the entire region with the fragrance of the flowers sweeping the place, making the whole experience a nature’s bliss!
There are other tourist spots in the region near the Valley of Flowers. Hemkund Sahib, a sacred place for Sikhs is located about 15kms from the Govind Ghat. Hemkund Sahib boasts of a lake at an altitude of 4300 mts along with a Gurudwara. It also has a temple dedicated to Lakshman, which is unique.
Apart from Ghanghariya, another base camp for Valley of Flowers could be the sacred town of Joshimath. It is a very pious place established in the 8th century by Adi Sankracharya. One of the Char Dhams, Badrinath lies in the Chamoli district too.
Author: Swati Maheshwari
Swati is a Communications Consultant and is actively associated with Ek Titli. She loves to write and tries to sing at times She feels strongly for sustainable living. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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