Location÷ Chamoli district, Uttarakhand.
Valley of flowers is an exceptionally beautiful place nestled in the Himalayan ranges which meets Zanskar, Western and Eastern Himalayas. Discovered in 1931 by Frank Smith along with his buddies while mountaineering, this paradisical valley is surrounded by huge snow cladded mountains. A green land with thousands of colourful flowers amongst the white ranges is like an oasis in the snow desert. The valley of flowers is located just adjacent to the Nanda Devi National park and is a home to many endemic Alpine flowers and a variety of flora as well as fauna. Trekking to this place is a dream of every trekker as it's not easy to hop in there by any means of transport and enjoy the destination, rather it's a tiring yet beautiful trek of 3 to 2 days ( depending upon your stamina) all by your crunching feet complaining to quit but sheer determination to reach there and exploring the beauty of this spellbinding valley.
This amazing meadow shares it's soil with a number of flowering plant species like the Orchids, Marigold, Poppy, Daisies, Primulas, Anemone. The Sub-alpine forests of birch and rhododendron cover parts major parts.
Some of the medicinal plants include Aconitum heterophyllum, A. falconeri, Arnebia benthamii, Dactylorhiza hatagirea, Gymnadenia orchides, Megacarpaea polyandra, Picrorhiza kurrooa, Podophyllum hexandrumand Taxus wallichiana.
Lying in the vicinity of the National park, it also shelters endangered species of animals like the grey langur, flying squirrel, snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan musk deer, red fox and many more.
Apart from just trekking and enjoying the nature, valley of flowers was also believed to be an abode for Yogis to practice spiritualism. The fresh air filling your lungs and your body swaying through the innumerable colorful flowers and butterflies is what which gives tranquility to the soul.
Now talking about the trek,
Day 1÷ Reach at Govindghat by any means of transport, probably public transport bus. From there, you need to take help of your legs solely trekking down the off roads through serene meadows, pastures, bushy areas and reach Ghangaria where you'll find place to rest at night. From Govindghat to Ghangaria via Joshimath is almost a 16km trek which consumes half of your day.
Day 2÷ Set out to Valley of flowers early in the morning from Ghangaria which is approx 14kms away. You need to pace up to reach the destination as there is no way you can spend your night there and need to return back to Ghangaria in the evening. The trek from Ghangaria to Valley is the most intriguing part where you'll cross many small streams and lakes and waterfalls along with thick bushes and that particular aroma of deciduous trees.
Upon reaching the valley of flowers, you'll encounter breathtaking views and get enchanted by the aura of beautiful flowers and hopping butterflies. Walk through them with your better half and click loads of pictures to decorate your scrap book of traveldiaries!!!