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Valley of Flowers
Valley of flowers in Uttaranchal is a terrific romantic place worth exploring for its beautiful and fragrant ambience. The valley is idyllically located on the upper expansions of Bhyundar Ganga or Pushpawati River in Chamoli District of Uttararanchal. Frank S, Smith – the great mountaineer, explorer, botanist is credited with popularising the place, when he took a recluse here in the year 1937 to take inspiration for authoring the book, titled, The Valley of Flowers.
Valley of flowers is U-shaped, formed by the thin glacier line. The valley remains covered snow from November to May, and blossoms with prolific herbs, medicinal and flowering plants, vibrant color flowers all through July and August.
The valley offers solitude, and it is for this reason that sages considered this place ideal for meditation. It is also righteously believed that Lakshmana, brother of King Rama meditated on the banks of river Hemkund. The life giving herb, popular in Ramayana epic as 'Sanjeevani Buti', is also believed to have its origination in the fragrant ambience of valley of flowers.
The portion of valley lying along the encatchment area of Pushpawati River or Bhyundar Ganga comprises a 7 km long and 2 km wide glacial corridor. The corridor has its emergence from Tipra Glacier descending from Gauri Parbat. Due North of the valley of flowers lies 2000 m steep wall rising as cliff, whereas the valley terrain descends slowly towards the south.
The slopes of the valley of flowers lying towards the north and reaching till 3,800 m are covered with birch, rowan and rhododendron, whereas the floor bed is carpeted with lichens growth. The slopes on the southern part largely comprise, meadows or bugyals, with a variety of alpine flowers, including anemones, asters, fritillarias, gentians, geraniums, larkspurs, lilies, orchids, poppies including the Himalayan blue poppy, potentillas and primulas, marsh marigolds.
Still, at higher altitudes of valley of flowers, there’s rich growth of Medicinal herbs, such as rhubarb and aconite, besides the celestial flower, the Brahma Kamal.
Valley of flowers has a characteristic climate. It is protected against the frigid winds arising from Tibet, and the excruciating effects of the monsoon from the south.
Accommodation can be sought in Uttarakhand government Tourist Rest House, Gangharia and the Forest Rest Houses at Govindghat and Gangharia. Tourists can also book the rooms in Gurudwara at Ghangharia. The Gurudwara offers dinning and lodging facilities to tourists.
Valley of Flowers National Park – The National Park, is a 5 km trek from Ghangria, and is comfortably situated along the banks of Bhyundar Ganga in the Zaskar Range of the Garhwal Himalaya, Chamoli District. The 8,950 ha national park came into existence in September 1982.
Bhyundar Ganga or Pushpawati River –The river is situated at a serene altitude ranging from 3,350 mts. and elevating to the peak of Gauri Parbat at 6,719 mts.