The Valley of Flowers is basically a National Park which is located in the Western Himalayas in Uttarakhand. Along with Nanda Devi, the entire place has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has gained immense popularity ever since. The place is no doubt one of the most beautiful interactions that you can have with Mother Nature anywhere in the world which makes it must for every person to see at least one in his lifetime.
It lies at the head of the Bhyundar valley and is situated at the basin of the Pushpawati river flowing off Gauri Parbat.Gauri Parbat is also the highest peak in the area standing tall at 6719m above sea level. The place has been immensely popular for a long time now, thatâ€™s to a book written by Frank S. Smythe called the â€œValley of Flowersâ€. The park is now under the National ministry and since 1983, it has been under strict supervision, being open only from June to October, otherwise covered by snow for rest of the year.
The place not only plays host to the endemic alpine flowers but also several other varieties of flora. The place is abundantly covered by varieties of orchids, poppies and anemones. Birch and rhododendron forests cover in appreciable amount of the forest. The park also features a number of plants that are rich in the medicinal values. The soil now is frequently studied since 2004, to ensure co existing of plants in co â€“ relation with the global climate variations.
In addition to the flora aspect, the Valley of Flowers National Park plays serves as a home to a number of endangered animals. In total, one can find thirteen species of mammals as per records, though it is unlikely that you see all of them in your visit. Many of these included the Asiatic black bear, the brown bear, the res fox and the blue sheep. The place also has the snow leopard and the musk deer in appreciable numbers. The National Park also houses our winged friends including the monal pheasant exclusively found in the Himalayas. It also includes other birds, most of which prefer to fly high.
If the feeling of nature was not already coming in, there is more to it. The Valley of Flowers can be reached after one completes a trek of roughly 17km. The closest town is Joshimath which is well connected by roads to major cities like Dehradun and Haridwar. One has to begin the trek from Govindghat, from where many other travel options are available to take you to Ghangaria. One obviously cannot stay inside the National Park and to visit the place, you need a permission from the Forest Department, though that holds valid for only three days. Visitation is allowed only during the day time. The time of visiting is highly subjective although it is advised that just after monsoon, would be the best time for your will have blooming flowers all around!