” Where flowers bloom so does hope.”
Valley of Flowers is a beautiful national park situated in the Chamoli district of Uttaranchal, between Joshimath and Badrinath. The journey to the Valley of Flowers starts at Govindghat, a small place near Joshimath, from where there is a 14 km trek to the Ghangaira, a small settlement located about 3-4 km from the Valley. Most of the tourists spend the night in Ghangaira and then continue their journey to the Valley next morning because camping is not permitted at the Valley. Ghangaira offers only a basic accomodation with a few lodges and shops during the season. If you spend the night here, the best time to continue your journey is early in the morning and after 1-2 hours you will reach the most beautiful valley in the world –Valley of flowers.
The Valley is open to the visitors between April and October, but the best time to visit is from July to August when the flowers blossom after the monsoon rain. If you go before July, there will be no flowers at all and you will miss the whole beauty of the place. Entry fee is 350 Rs. And the access is available from 6 am to 6 pm with the last entry to the park at 3 pm.
In this enchanting place surrounded with so many beautiful exotic flowers you will feel like somewhere in Heaven.
The flowers are really innumerable, unfortunately I don’t know their names because I haven’t seen them anywhere else before, but still I enjoyed their beauty and charm. They all look truly amazing and every single flower there reminded me of one great Buddhist quote : “If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.”
A British mountaineer and author Frank Smythe came to the Valley in 1931 and described the place in his book entitled “The Valley of the Flowers.” Until that time, the Valley was known only to the local people and shepherds as a place where fairies abide. In 1982 Valley of Flowers was declared a national park and today it’s a part of the World Heritage Site.
Near the Valley there is an important pilgrimage site for Sikhs, called Hemkund Lake. There is a Gurudwara devoted to the Guru Gobind Singh. There is also a small Lakshmana’s Temple and it is said that Rama’s brother Lakshmana has meditated by the lake to regain his health after he was seriously wounded by Indrajit, the son of Ravana. And according to the locals, Valley of Flowers is the place where Hanuman searched for Sanjivani herb to cure Lakshmana when he was injured by Indrajit.