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5 Things you might not know about The Valley of Flowers trek in Uttarakhand!
You’re probably not alone if one look at the picture above has got you humming to the tunes of ‘Yeh haseen vaadiyan, ye khula aasmaan’ by SP Balasubramaniam. If this picture had a background score, this song would be the best fit! Such is the beauty of The Valley of Flowers.
Nestled perfectly in the Himalayas, The Valley of Flowers is an Indian National Park, located in North Chamoli and Pithoragarh, in the state of Uttarakhand. The Valley of Flowers had an accidental discovery by mountaineers Frank S Smythe, Eric Shipton and RL Holdsworth, while they were returning after an expedition to Mount Kamet. Mesmerised by the beauty, Smythe actually wrote the book The Valley of Flowers: An Adventure in the Upper Himalaya. Eventually, the place turned out to become a great trekking gem for fellow mountaineers.
Following is a list of 5 lesser-known facts about The Valley of Flowers:
1. Listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The trek is a paradise for nature lovers! It’s one of the oldest and best-known treks in the Himalayas. Also, given the fact that an entire book was dedicated to rhapsodize over this valley, it’s listing among the World Heritage Site is completely justified.
The Netherlands may be the country of flowers. India still has its own little Valley Of Flowers!
2. The trek is a whopping 38 km long.
The Valley of Flowers Trek is 38 km long. And you cover this distance in 4 days where you trek approximately for 6 hours every day. You also need to keep two days for travelling to and from the base camp of the Valley of Flowers trek. The trek begins from Govindghat, which is an 11-hour drive from Rishikesh.
The trek is usually considered to be of easy to moderate difficulty. On your trek, you’ll come across River Pushpawati, cascading waterfalls, humongous mountains and the beautiful flora and fauna ﹘ only adding to the scenic pleasures. Since the trail is very prominent, trekkers find it easy to navigate through the valley. Also, you’ll encounter fellow travellers and mules going the same path. A lot of mountaineers have had their maiden treks at the valley. It’s generally advisable to hire a travel guide if you’re going solo and exploring for the first time. Nevertheless, the valley of flowers is still considered a safe trek for solo travellers.
The mobile network is only limited to the base camp. No more tings and tongs of notifications and calls coming your way. This, after more than a year of working from home, is definitely a blessing in disguise, right? So, if a solo trek is what your heart desires, then it’s just you and ‘suhana safar aur ye mausam haseen’ for company!
The solo travel experience itself is extremely liberating ﹘ ‘Jaa Simran, Jee le apni zindagi.’
Because, ‘Dilon me tum apni betaabiyan leke chal rahe ho toh zinda ho tum.’
3. The first 15 days of August is the actual BEST time to visit.
The Valley of Flowers is covered in sheets of snow for the most part of the year. It only opens up for tourists from early June, until the month of September. According to locals and tour guides, the months of May and June are typically the periods of time when snow melts and the flowers are at the start of their blooming phases. Also, the terrains are rather slippery because of all the rain and water. In fact, it’s one of the few treks that are open during the monsoon.
July is when a majority chunk of the valley is in bloom. This is also the month when the valley is least crowded.
However, if one needs to truly experience the majestic charm this valley has to offer, the beginning of August is a perfect time. The entire valley blooms and puts up an elaborate show of its wide variety of flowery wonders and breathtaking views! When the flowers bloom in the valley, the whole valley turns into a flower bed that seems like someone painted the valley with delightful colours. (Remember how Noddy paints the town with Tessie Bear?! Same, almost!) Having said that, regardless of the month you choose to visit, the Valley Of Flowers will never fail to leave you stupefied with its enchanting views.
4. Lord Hanuman had collected the Sanjeevani booti from here!
Yes, you heard that right. It’s a popular belief that Lord Hanuman﹘ the devotee of Lord Rama, brought Sanjeevani booti (medicinal herb) for the ailing Lord Laxamana, from this very place. The abundant availability of rare medicinal herbs in the valley substantiates its Mythological significance. More than 300 species of flowers like anemones, geraniums, marsh marigolds, primulas, asters, blue poppy, cobra Lily, bluebell, Brahma Kamal, etc can be seen in Valley of Flowers. These are still the known ones ﹘ one cannot even fathom the extent and richness in the wide variety of herbs found here!
5. The Valley of Flower trek is a photographer’s heaven!
With almost the entire trail of the trek offering ‘just-out-of-a-book’ breathtaking views, one might find a plethora of potential photographic opportunities. (Make a mental note to categorize the Camera as a must!) Also, you really don’t have to be a photographer to take great shots here. The scenery and lighting are just so naturally perfect, that every picture will probably turn out to be your best click!
Did not get a good shot here? Fret not; Try a metre away! You’re bound to find/create a picture-perfect moment at multiple spots along the way.
Ah, ﹘ things people do for the gram!
So yes, you might want to reconsider that trip to see the Tulips in Amsterdam. (not that those Tulips are any less, but now that you know we have a kickass desi version, why not give it a try?!) After all, ‘Vocal for local’﹘ good for your wallet, while simultaneously satiating your travel needs!