With the arrival of monsoons it feels as if everything which is lifeless from the summer heat comes alive, life blooms in all shapes and colours which makes everything look beautiful. Taking a sip of hot coffee and enjoying the rains is what an ideal afternoon would look like.
Rains are loved and liked by everyone and the atmosphere during and after rains is truly as William Henry Davies says,
I hear leaves drinking rain;
I hear rich leaves on top
Giving the poor beneath
Drop after drop;
‘Tis a sweet noise to hear
These green leaves drinking near.
And when the Sun comes out,
After this Rain shall stop,
A wondrous Light will fill
Each dark, round drop;
I hope the Sun shines bright;
‘Twill be a lovely sight.
This lovely poem aptly explains how it will look after a bliss full rain and if you want to see how lovely a sight it could be then you should definitely go to the state of Uttarakhand , India and visit the enormous panorama of beauty called ‘The Valley of Flowers’.
The Valley Of Flowers, Uttarakhand
A UNESCO World Heritage Site (2005) and also a National Park (1983), The Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand is a delight for a nature lover. One will be stunned with its beauty and who knows one might become a poet too! Such is the power of this valley.
Nestled in the western Himalayas, Valley of Flowers is a meadow with a host of flora and fauna to explore. Imagine a host of 300 different alpine flowers, a burst of colours along with Himalayan snow capped mountains in the background, this is how the valley looks when it’s in full bloom.
For a botanist, this valley is heaven,
For a nature lover, this valley is a respite from the hustles and bustles of the city life,
For a reader this valley is a calm story,
For a traveler this valley is another memory to add in the travel diary.
This is what the Valley of Flowers is in the words of a Botanist and Himalayan Mountaineer, R.L. Holdsworth,
“All of a sudden I realised that I was simply surrounded by primulas. At once the day seemed to brighten perceptibly. Forgotten were all pains and cold and lost porters. And what a primula it was! It’s leek-like habit proclaimed it a member of the nizalis section. All over the little shelves and terraces it grew, often with it’s roots in running water. At the most it stood six inches high, but its flowers were enormous for its stature, and ample in number- sometimes as many as thirty to the beautifully proportioned umbel, and in colour of the most heavenly French blue sweetly scented.”
In 1931 the valley was accidentally found by Frank Smythe, a British Mountaineer, while he was returning from an expedition from Mount Kamet. People believe that Valley of Flowers is the place from where Hanuman got the Sanjeevani Buti and people believe it still continues to grow there.
Flora Of Valley of Flowers
The species of flowers found in the 87.5 sq km valley are of utmost importance, to an extent that they have international value. The Valley of Flowers diverse alpine flora, represents the West Himalayan biogeographic zone. The valley’s location is within a transition zone between the Zanskar and Great Himalayan ranges to the north and south, respectively, and between the Eastern and Western Himalaya flora.
The valley has species which are internationally threatened. The diversity of threatened species of medicinal plants is higher than any other Indian Himalayan protected areas. Carpet of flowers is mostly some of the beautiful flowers found in India i.e Orchids, Poppies, Primulas, Calendulas, Daisies and Anemones the park along with Alpine forests of Birch and Rhododendron.
Fauna of Valley of Flowers
The flora of the valley also attracts the fauna, most of which are endangered species. The fauna includes some incredibly beautiful Himalayan animals and birds like Himalayan musk deer, Yellow-throated marten, Snow leopard, Blue sheep, Black and Brown bears. The variety of birds too is mesmerising like Himalayan Golden eagle, Snow partridge, Himalayan Snow cock, Himalayan Monal, Snow Pigeon and Sparrow.
Numerous species of butterflies and insects too can be found here.
Best Time to Visit Valley of Flowers
The best time to visit Valley of Flowers is from end of may when the snow melts. As June starts the monsoons arrive and the flowers are in full bloom from June to August. With the arrival of September the flowers go in for a long hibernation period as they get covered by snow again.
Trek to Valley of Flowers
- From the base, which is Govind Ghat, the Valley of Flowers can only be reached through trekking and this is what has saved the valley from getting affected by modern day life. It is a 17 km trek which starts from Govind Ghat.
- The trek will bring you to a small settlement called Ghangharia. En route to Ghangaria you will have to cross the pristine Alaknanda river.
- After walking through the zig zag trail it ascends straight which is full of apricot trees, terraced fields and vegetation.
- It leads into the beautiful Bhyundar valley alongside the Laxman Ganga River. You will also come across Hemkund Sahib a pilgrimage place for Sikhs. From Ghangaria, the valley is 3kms away.
How to Reach Valley of Flowers
The nearest place to Valley of Flowers is GovindGhat, 18 km, which is the base for the valley and the nearest town is Joshimath.
Rishikesh is the nearest railway station. 273 km from Govind Ghat. You can avail a taxi or bus service to reach Govind Ghat.
The nearest airport is Jolly Grant, located 292 km from Dehradun.
Govind Ghat is well connected by buses to Delhi and other major destinations of Uttarakhand like Rishikesh, Pauri, Chamoli, Ukhimath Srinagar, etc.Govind Ghat is situated on NH 58.
Other Places to See Near Valley Of Flowers
Surrounded by 7 snowy mountains Hemkund Sahib also nestles a Laxman Temple and a Sikh Gurudwara along the banks of the Hemkund Lake. The place is accessible only between May to September.
You can visit Kalpavrikhsa, the tree is considered to be oldest in the country and is almost 1200 years old. You can also visit the Narsingh temple dedicated to lord Narsingh, an avatar of Lord Vishnu.
14 km from Joshimath, Tapovan is a famous tourist spot which is famous for its hot water springs.
Nanda Devi National Park
Situated alongside the Valley of Flowers and near the Nanda Devi peak, Nanda Devi National park is also a must visit place for any traveler. The Himalayan Snow Leopard is the major attraction of Nanda Devi National park amidst the valley of flowers and mountain ranges. Other animals which you can spot here are the endangered Asiatic black bear, blue sheep, and brown bear.
Nanda Devi National Park also popular for its medicinal plants and herbs. Nanda Devi peak, which is one of the highest peaks of the world can be seen closely from this National Park.
Mana lies next to the border of Tibet and is on the most pretty villages left in India. The village is inhabited by Indo-Mongolian tribes known as Bhotias. It is one place that you must not miss out on your trip to this amazing flower valley.
Nothing can explain the beauty of this place called The Valley of Flowers. It can only be seen and felt. Hop on and plan your next trip to this mesmerising, calm abode of nature.