The Valley of Flowers is a hidden jewel in its true habitat, an world heritage site and a part of The famous Nanda Devi Biosphere. This national park is spread over 88sq kms & more of Garhwal Himalayan region, Uttarakhand. Many endemic varieties of alpine flowers, plants, trees can be seen here & beautiful alpine meadows. This valley is at an altitude of 3250mts and above. This region also plays home to many rare & endangered species of animals like Asiatic black bear, brown bear, snow leopard, blue sheep and many more.
Over the years many nature lovers from across the globe have been visiting the valley only to be left spell bound by its beauty.
One has to leave Ghangaria by 6:00am with packed food & water with less baggage to Valley of Flowers NP as it takes 4-5hrs for slow assent with photography. There is no permission or place to halt at night in the valley & have to return to Ghangaria within 5:00pm, So one will have to start back the descend by 2:30pm from NP. I know its very less time to enjoy the beauty.
From Ghangaria around 400mtrs there is diversion & to its left is the entrance / checkpoint leading to Valley of flowers NP & to the right leads to Hemkunth Sahib. The trek route with dotted lines can be seen from the sign map displayed near the ticket counter.
One cannot miss the awesome Lakshman Ganga falls which is 300Mtr at this diversion before Valley of flowers entrance.
Lakshman Ganga river makes its origin from Lokpal or Hemkunth Sahib which is steep ascent of 6Kms, There is a small shrine of Lord Lakshman (younger brother of Lord Rama). One can see many Bramha Kamala flowers around Lokpal river at Hemkunth Sahib.The story dates back to Gods & its is believed to be here Lord Lakshman was brought when he was seriously injured in the battle with Ravana & Lord Hanuman brought the Sanjeevi Parvat which was full of Medicinal herbs as administered by Sushena(Father in law of Sugreeva). After Lord Lakshman was healed from the wound & came to consciousness, The god above showered flowers & hence the place Valley of flowers.
At the entrance of the Valley stands the snow-clad peak of Ratban Parvat, towards the left is Nar Parvat, which separates the Badrinath valley from this valley, and to the right is dense Birch forest on the hillsides.
The valley even has stories from Mahabaratha also, When all the Pandavas were in their final journey to swargarohana , They saw colorful flowers floating on the river & hence the river Pushpawathi.
After 2013 North India floods the ascent path is changed now & it is bit steeper ascent compared to earlier path which was next to river all way to summit.
Bhojpatra trees can be seen all the way to summit & Bhojpatra tree saps were used for writing purposes as paper during the ancient times.
Before reaching the summit, there is a small stream & the actual main Valley of Flowers starts from here.
Main Valley of Flowers starting point
From here there is no ascending & one can see gorgeous mountains & beautiful colorful meadows with lots of different flower species & nothing is similar here.
I was juggling with macro & wide angle sometimes mobile too to capture the beauty.
Managed to identify some species & some are still not, I hope someone leave a comment down be it critic or idying.
The drive back was very somber. The backseat occupants were fast asleep as we made our journey from Joshimath to Haridwar & one cannot miss reading road signs in between, best of them were.. On my Curves watch your Nerves, Do not be Rash & end in Crash, All can wait better be late, If you are married then Divorce speed, Road is hilly don’t be silly & many more..