As the first showers of the monsoon hit the parched plains of North India, dusty hills turn into green carpets and there is romance in the air. A different breed of tourists, namely adventure enthusiasts, nature lovers, hardy trekkers and botanists, heads for the higher reaches of Himalayas in search of a different kind of holiday.
While it is true there are numerous valleys and meadows that would make ideal trekking zones, it is the Valley of Flowers in the Chamoli district of the Garhwal Himalayas that is the most popular. You can travel by car all the way to Govind Ghat, 10km away from Joshimath. The 13km trek from Govind Ghat is common for pilgrims going to Hemkund Sahib, till Ghangaria, also reffered to as Govind Dham. The trail passes through a narrow valley sandwiched between mountain ranges. On the way we crossed a few waterfalls by the side of the river, as well as the hamlets of Pulna and Bhuyunder. Pitching our tents a little short of Ghangaria that evening, we called it a day.
Next morning, we reached the bifurcation of treks for Hemkund and Valley of Flowers. We took the left for the valley. As we moved along the trek, thousands of flowers seemed to greet us. Finding myself in the large valley, I was rooted to the spot. Right before my eyes were thousands of flowers of different hues. It seemed that a fairy had cast her magic wand over the valley.
The flowers remain in full bloom between May and September. During this period, the valley changes colours like a cinema screen, it you here in May and June, you may find carpets of yellow caltha palustrisvar and white anemones sprinkled with the violet iris, lavender roskoia and the yellow and magneta pedicularis.
As the monsoon sets in, the valley is awash with pink and red robes of inpatients and bistorta. I also saw patches of campanulas, morina longifolia and many exotic plants and flowers of every imaginable shapes and hues.
I had this tremendous feeling to stay in the valley for many days but it is not possible for me and my friends for stay there for long as there is no permit to stay there and only three groups at a time were allowed to enter into the valley. However, before leaving the place we had decided to come here soon.
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