Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Valley of Flowers

 Bhuynder valley in the Himalayas in Uttarakhand state lives up to its English name- the Valley of Flowers.From mid June to mid October each yeat, the valley becomes covered with hundreds of varieties of wildflowers, some of which you can never see anywhere else. Every week the flowers change as old flowers fade and new varieties take their place. Mid August to mid September is the best time to visit the Valley, as the Monsoons would be abating giving rise to fine days. There would be less fear of landslides then.
 Since the Valley of Flowers is a part of the Nanda Devi biosphere, a UN heritage site, it is kept in a pristine condition with minimum road building activity. Staying in the valley at night is forbidden. The trek from Gangharia village to the Valley is around 3 kilometres, and is delightful with wildflowers of many shades all along the trail.
 The Queen of the Himalayan wildflowers is the Blue Poppy, which is seen at altitudes of more than 14,000 feet.
 In August when I did the trek, there were bright Inulas everywhere at 10,000 feet.

I could count 52 different wildflowers on my trek.
The Valley of Flowers is a heaven for naturalists and botanists. There is a memorial for Ms.Legge, an English researcher who slipped and fell to death in 1939.