• Harshita Chaarag

Valley of Flowers Trek - Day 2

Updated: Mar 30

On the second day of our trek, we ventured into the Valley of Flowers, proper. The milestones at Ghangharia, indicates the distance to the valley to be 6 km. In my personal experience, it was a little longer than that.

The trek from Govindghat to Ghangharia, the previous day had been grueling. My shoes were completely wet because of the rains earlier. We departed from the hotel at 7 with filled bellies. Remember to carry sufficient water and some food for you to eat later, perhaps a packed lunch. Unlike the route from Govindghat to Ghangharia, there are no tuck shops along the track to the Valley of Flowers.

To reach the valley, you go uphill on the main track in the city. You'll come across a beautiful waterfall, across which the path continues. Keep an eye out for a trail going into the forested area to your left. Turn here to get to the Valley. The track going straight ahead leads to Shri Hemkunt Sahib. From Ghangharia village, you can take a mule or horse ride to this point.

Image Source: Harshita Chaarag; The entry point-cum-ticket counter for the Valley of Flowers

After turning left, a few hundred meters ahead, you'll reach the entry point of the Valley. There's a small concrete construction, from where you will be required to purchase an entry ticket. The ticket costs Rs. 150 for Indian citizens. For students, you may carry a school/college/university issued identification proof to avail a 50% discount on the entry ticket. This ticket remains valid for 3 days. You can only enter the valley between 07:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. The species in the Valley have been estimated at upwards of 500. We went quite early on in the season, so only 50-100 species were in bloom, but the beauty of, both, the trail and the Valley was still unparalleled. The best recommended time for a visit is in the months of August & September. The Valley as such is another 5 km ahead.

The first about 3.5-4km of the trail has abundant flora and 2 big waterfalls with scenic bridges. You'll start to see the floral beauty here itself.

After walking for what we guessed was 4 km, we got the first view of the valley. This view made me want to rush, and I walked the rest of the distance as fast as I could. Once there, I was stunned into silence by the beauty of the landscape.

Image Source: Harshita Chaarag; This picture was taken after walking about a kilometer into the valley. The trail through the valley extended for another 10 km (according to our guide).

Apart from the 3 feet wide trail that we walked on, the entire valley was covered in greenery. The plants here came up to my waist and were adorned in flowers of pink, blue, red, violet, yellow, and so many more shades. The ferns growing on rocks and boulders were also striking to the eye.

The pictures above were sourced from Jaypalsingh Bhati, a volunteer with the Invincible NGO.

I spent 2 hours in the valley. These were 2 hours of peace & quiet like I haven't experienced elsewhere. These were 2 hours where all I could do was marvel at the glorious beauty of nature. These were 2 hours where I breathed as if I was a newborn, seeing the world for the first time.

Image Source: Jaypalsingh Bhati

These two hours were just not enough. It was with a heavy heart that we retreated, at 2 p.m., the time beyond which it is unwise to stay. All visitors are required to exit the entry point by 5 p.m. latest. When you go to the valley, the trek can be difficult because of the incline, which makes it steep. But returning is a different kind of difficult. You have to be careful where you step, so as to not slip and tumble down. Hence, it is best to start back with some buffer time.

Until I went to the Valley of Flowers, I didn't believe that there was a part of the world, still untouched and unspoiled by humans. I was proven wrong. The community here has worked hard to make sure that the sanctity of nature is preserved. The Valley shows that if you respect nature, it will give you something that no city, no technology, no person, ever could. It will give you not air, but the breath of life. It will give you not quiet, but peace of mind. It will give you not photographs, but memories you'll hold for a lifetime.


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