Imagine yourself standing in between of flowers, in the back drop romantic music is being played and you sky is covered with fog. Well this is only possible in Yash Chopra’s romantic movie. But even in real life also such place exists.
It was last year in June when I paid visit to this place. Actually it was totally accidentally that I landed here and found my movie set. Well I am talking about Valley of Flower in Uttarakhand. Go by its name it is actually flower valley. To whatever extent your eyes can see there are only varieties of flowers.
It is opened for public only once in year that too in first week of June to August. Rest time of the year it is covered under snow. So flower also grows in June month. It is every traveler’s dream trek. Generally people visit Hemkund Sahib gurudwara also but my visit was only limited to Valley of flowers.
That’s quite the name to live up to, and in this instance, you’d be happy to know it does. Set in the Himalayas, in the state of Uttarakhand (India), the Valley of Flowers is part of the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, one of UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves. What that means to us laypeople is that it’s got more flowers (at least 520 alpine varieties according to the experts) than you could possibly take in, and then quite a bit more. Nanda Devi National Park, to the east of the valley, also has endangered species of animals, including the snow leopard.
That kind of reward doesn’t come without effort; the effort in this case is a 17-kilometre trek from a small place called Gobindghat, which is about an hour away from Joshimath, the closest town. You trek about 14 km to Ghangaria, where you can stay overnight. Go three more kilometres to find a colourful and incredibly fragrant holy grail of flowers of every hue imaginable, and a few more your imagination will discover. The best time to go is right after the monsoons, between August and September next year. You need a permit from the Forest Department, at Ghangaria, which most organised treks will arrange for you. It’s valid for three days.
|Blue Himalayan Poppy|
Occasionally one may find the rare orchids and poppies too if he/she walks the entire valley. The Valley is spread in a vicinity of 10 kms & is surrounded by snow clad Greater himalayan peaks and the Zanskar range glaciers. The valley ends to a tomb of Joan Margrett Legge, sister of F. Smythe, who is supposed to have incurred an untimely death while carrying out the incomplete research of her brother.
Flower, flower and flower everywhere and what you return with is their smell. This valley is actually a treat for your eyes. Don’t trust me then check out the pictures and decide on your own.