The very name flower in whatever name or frame it comes is addictive. Flower obsesses and posses its viewers because of its beauty, delicacy and majesty. It evokes romantic feelings associated with pristine pleasure. Enjoying the beauty of flowers in parks and other artificial environment may be a common day experience. But, to be amidst the Valley of Flowers is an unforgettable experience. This mystic valley is located in the Bhyundar Valley, in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand.
Valley of flowers lies in the west Himalayan region and attracts tourists for witnessing nature in its diversity. Situated at an altitude of 3,658 meters above sea level, the valley is spread over an area of 87.5 square kilometer. It was declared a National Park in 1982 and since 2005 has been included in the list of world heritage sites. A trek to the valley keeps the nature lovers exposed to the dazzling snow-covered mountain ranges, lush meadows, and pristine waters of the streams under an azure blue open sky.
The Valley of Flowers National Park is open to tourists during June to October. Snow starts melting during May and flowers of all colors start blooming till mid July. Although Alpine flowers are found in abundance, almost 650 varieties of flowers adorn the valley during the full season. Besides overwhelming fragrance of aromatic flowers, the valley is filled with the chirping of birds along with the fluttering noise of their wings.
Myth links the Valley of Flowers with the supernatural prowess of Hanuman. During the battle for rescuing Seeta, Ravana threw an arrow on Laxamana, making him unconscious. Shruslena was the Vaidya (doctor) of Lanka who was forcibly brought by Hanuman along with his clinic to cure Laxmana. He suggested that Sanjivanee, the medical herb grown in the Gandhamardan Mountain in the Himalayan range, if brought before the next rise only could save Laxamana’s life. Hanuman flew from Lanka to the Himalayas and since he forgot the name of the herb ‘Bisakyakarani’, he carried the whole Gandhamardana and Laxmana was cured. Thereafter, as advised by Shruslena, Hanuman placed back the mountain at its original place, where the magical herb still grows.
Valley of Flowers was discovered in 1931 by Frank S. Smythe, a British mountaineer when he was returning back after his successful expedition to Mt Kamet. Coming back once again during 1937 he made full exploration of the Valley and made accessible to tourists. The enchanting daisies, the scintillating orchids, the colorful calendulas and the mystic anemones are the chief constituents of the Valley of Flowers that keep the tourists coming back for more.
Other destinations of tourists’ interest near Valley of Flowers are Joshimatha, one of the four Peethas established by Adi Sankaracharya. Nanda Devi national park, another world heritage of UNESCO lies 23 km away from Joshi Math and attract attention of admirers of nature. Auli the most ideal spot for skiing could be reached by ropeway from Joshi Math. It provides the most exhilarating and exciting experience to tourists.
Seeing Valley of Flowers does not follow the Law of diminishing marginal Utility. The more one sees it, the more allured one would be to visit the enchanting valley.