Abundance is the first word that comes to your mind when you first set foot in the Valley of Flowers. Located in the quaint hills of Uttarakhand, the Valley of Flowers is not your usual botanical garden of assorted flowers. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Looking as pretty as a landscape painted by a Dutch master, this fairy hinterland remains frozen for the most part of winter and blooms with youthful vigor only in summers. Covered in a thick blanket of vivid colors, the Valley of Flowers is a land far away from human civilization.
Still untouched by modernity, the idyllic hamlet is situated at an elevation of about 3,858 meters above sea level. One has to cross several quaint villages, trek through some of the most beautiful trails, brave the bitter cold in order to devour a view as spectacular as this one.
When should you plan a trip to the Valley of Flowers
The valley is only accessible for a few months. So people looking to explore the Valley of Flowers this year can plan their visit from mid-May to early September.
Whether parallel universes exist or not, lookalikes most certainly do.
It’s bizarre when you find a place in India that looks a lot like a popular destination in North America or Europe, tens of thousands of miles away!
Far away, separated by the seven oceans, there exists another valley of flowers, called Antelope Valley.
The enchanting valley of flowers comes with its own share of legends. Some locals believe it is the abode of fairies, while others believe it is the same land where Lord Hanuman found the sanjeevani to cure Lakshman, Lord Ram’s brother. While these folklores do delight trekkers and explorers alike, the real truth of the valley of flowers is, it was discovered by Frank Smith – mountaineer, explorer, and botanist – who lost his way to the Kamet peak and discovered the valley in the monsoon of 1931. His book detailing this experience was responsible for exposing the valley to an international audience and gave rise to the popular trek to the Valley of Flowers.
The vast expanse of flowers, with the towering Himalayas in the background, are continually changing. The scenery you cherish on the day you visit will change the following week. Hence what you see is a unique moment in time that will never be repeated.
Another mind-boggling fact about the valley is that there are around 520 varieties of flora that bloom here and tourists manage to see only 40-50. One needs at least 4 to 5 hours to soak in all that beauty.
How to get there
From Haridwar, it is a 320-km journey by road to Pandukeshwar near Govindghat. It can be extremely hazardous as landslides and roadblocks are quite common here.
Uttarakhand Valley of Flowers > Antelope Valley of Flowers
- One finally gets a chance to visit all popular holy places such as Badrinath, Rishikesh, Jyothirmath, Devaprayag, Rudraprayag and also Mana, which is the last village on this side of India-China border.
- You will get a chance to admire the gigantic Ganga and its tributaries all along the way and be mesmerized by the strength with which it cascades down.
- You can be part of the Ganga Aarti at Haridwar and see India at its finest glory. The 90 minutes spectacle deserves a mention on every traveler’s bucket list
- You can pull off the entire trip in under INR 15,000