Day 4: 14 Aug 2015
Finally the wait of months was over and it was the day to visit Valley of Flowers, our final destination. Some more enthusiastic people from our group had a different plan, they will first trek to Hemkund Sahib which is 7 Kms from Ghangaria early at 4:00 AM in morning to pay homage to the holy place and to have a glimpse of Brahmkamal, the state flower of Uttrakhand and then will join us in Valley of flowers. So in total they will trek 7+7= 14 kms , Hemkund and back and then 6 + 6 =12 kms ; so in total 26 kms in one day. Hats off to these spirited souls, I wish I could do the same one day. We started for the VOF trek which is 6 Kms. Ummm….sounds cool, walking ahead the narrow path surrounded with different types of flowers on both sides just like the heaven’s corridor is opening the way for all of us.
A little background on the history of Valley of Flowers; In 1931, Frank S. Smythe, Eric Shipton and R.L. Holdsworth, all British mountaineers, lost their way while returning from a successful expedition to Mt.Kamet and happened upon the valley, which was full of flowers. They were attracted to the beauty of the area and named it the “Valley of Flowers.” The valley was declared a national park in 1982 and now it is a World Heritage Site. This richly diverse area is also home to rare and endangered animals, including the Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, musk deer, brown bear, red fox, and blue sheep (fortunately or un-fortunately we did not meet any of them). Birds found in the park include Himalayan monal pheasant and other high altitude birds. It is said that VOF has main 80 different species of flowers.
We crossed some water bridges also on the way but I must say the valley is amazing, fantastic, beautiful, peaceful and I guess words are just not enough to explain the beauty. The complete valley is covered with flowers of different species and lush green meadows. As and when we walked through the path we came across some big rocks which were our next target to relax and are still in us; the inner peace which we gathered after being there in the valley. We found a big rock and all of us sat there and kept admiring the nature’s beautiful creation .Each one of us relaxed for somewhat around 30 mins and then had our lunch there. In the meanwhile our group mates who had been to Hemkund Sahib also joined us there. It was a great feeling for them who covered a long distance in short time. After spending some more time in the valley we started our journey back to Ghangharia around 3:00 PM.
Treasuring the memories of the wonderful place was the main task at that moment. We covered the distance downhill enjoying, chit-chatting and having our own thudky thudky (small,small) breaks.
In the evening, after taking rest for some time, we planned for visiting Badrinath, one of the Char Dham yatra pilgrimage.