Ever since I was a child I had been hearing of this high altitude vibrant and splendid place. A valley surrounded by lofty mountains and vast stretched meadow where hundred of species of flower bloom for just few months of the year. The desire to be see this place grew with age and finally life granted me with an opportunity to be at this very place.
It almost took two days of trekking to reach this valley. The ascents and descents through the uneven trails through the forest, sometimes along the streams and a final steep ascent followed by a gradual gradient walk tested our commitments at times and finally after crossing a stream with a wooden bridge we entered this valley. Surrounded by high mountains at 3658m with the vast expanse and a diverse range of endemic flora, it is picturesque in its beauty. We were early for this season, and the valley was on its verge to become lively. The flowers had started to bloom and I couldn’t resist walking further and further into this valley. The floral pastures, running streams and beautiful backdrops of mountains, the cold and thin air made us zip up our jackets. Walking further into the valley till the ‘River point’ the end of this valley, we were greeted by ‘Tipra glacier’ on the Gauri parbat. We were completely exhausted but the view of the Gauri parbat with huge masses of Tipra glacier descending down from it filled us with amazement. We spend hours running to and fro in the valley when my friend gave up to go any further, we decided to return but as we walked back I looked back from to the valley for one last time. It was different feeling, a feeling of achievement, a dream come true. This place was really beautiful I have ever read about or seen in the photographs. No words ever could really describe this beautiful valley.
This valley was accidentally discovered by three British mountaineers Frank S. Smythe, Eric Shipton and R.L. Holdsworth, in 1931 while returning from a successful expedition to Mt. Kamet and happened upon the valley which was full of flowers. They were attracted to the beauty of the area and named it the “Valley of Flowers”. There is a graveyard of Joan Margaret Legge, a botanist deputed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, who arrived at the valley to study flowers and while traversing some rocky slopes to collect flowers, she slipped off and lost her life. Her sister later visited the valley and erected a memorial near the spot
This world heritage site and core zone of the Nanda Devi National park is a colossal expanse of 87.5 sq kms and myriad alpine flowers making this place a colorful paradise. Perched at an altitude of 3658 mts above sea level,500 different species of flowers are found here; which is also home to some rare and endangered animal species like Asiatic black deer, snow leopard, musk deer, red fox, brown bear and blue sheep and birds like Monal. It is managed and administered by the Uttarakhand State Forestry Department and Ministry of Environment and Forests. There are entry charges for the park. The entry in the park opens at 7.00 am every day and last entry is allowed till 2.00 pm. You need to get out of the valley by 5 pm. Stay at the park and carrying plastics is strictly prohibited and one has to carry everything back with them and so should one.Open from the first week of June this valley comes to life during the monsoon months of July August and September finally closing down in the first week of October.
Emerald mountain ranges, green meadows and white clouds fuse to create a dreamlike locale. Cascading waterfalls are abundant while you’re traversing towards the valley. The pristine beauty, mystical surroundings lures nature lovers, photographers and botanists.
This valley is located in the western Himalayan in Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. A moderate difficult trek of 18kms (one way) from Govindghat takes you to this magical valley. You don’t necessarily need a trekking agency to complete this trek but a practice of long walks is must; well marked trails, small shops after regular intervals till ‘Ghangaria’ which acts as the base for this trek and has lodges, hotels and a Gurudwara for accommodations since this is also the trail to the Shikh’s famous pilgrimage site ‘Hemkund Shaib’ and trail to valley of flowers bifurcates after Ghangaria. If you ever feel tried or your’re loosing the will to walk anymore just look around to these devotees all ages from the youngest to the oldest walking step by step with their faith on Guru which fills you with a different sense of energy and a motivation to keep going.
This is one of those places which aren’t to be kept waiting.