I was looking for much more than a walk in the mountains while soaking in the gorgeous Himalayas when I decided to sign up for the Valley of Flowers trek in July.
This was my second trek, following the Kashmir Great Lakes in 2014, when I realised it wasn’t just a trip I went on. but something that triggered a chain of ideas and sparked something within me.
The Valley of Flowers walk began for me in Delhi, where I met seven other people, six of whom were strangers. We got cabs to Govind Ghat, our first base camp, after a short ride to Haridwar. The journey took ten hours, but I was excited of seeing lush greenery, small settlements. Along the route, stunning waterfalls, minor landslides, and rushing rivers while the cloud cover rested over the peaks. And provided a lovely feast for my eyes. As I stared out the window, now my vision is to bath in the Himalayan splendour.
After a hearty breakfast and a briefing from our trip guide, we were ready to go the next morning in our new trek gear. We should walk 17 kilometres on a paved track. stopping at minor rest stops along the way. Before we arrived at our second base, Ghangaria, I got to know some of the other trekkers and realised how enthusiastic they were about what they were doing.
The walk to Valley of Flowers had finally begun, and we were already feeling fortunate to have the sun shining brightly on us and to be able to gaze at the gorgeous mountains! We were near to gain 2000 feet of altitude in a small span of 4 kilometres on this day. The trail is a little rough, but it’s a lovely one. As soon as you depart, keep an eye out for some lovely flowers, such as cobra lilies, blue poppies, small forget-me-not flowers, and many more. It would be wonderful to have someone who understands a little more about the flowers; nonetheless, our Trek guide was a huge help.
If you don’t want to walk the entire trail once you reach the national park, you can just find a big rock in the middle of the valley where no matter where your eyes look, you will be assured of a beautiful landscape with a half-dozen waterfalls, tiny flowers, and a few snow-capped mountains at a distance.
Many people chose mules to prepare for the next day’s ascent at Hemkund Sahib, believing it would be a difficult climb of 4000 feet in around 8 kilometres. Those of us who walked said it was the nicest uphill hike they’d ever done. Because we were blessed with perfect gloomy weather and mystical views. I believe I aced that day by maintaining a steady pace and staying ahead of the group, even when I elected to take the way with 900 steps in around 20 minutes when it began to rain and I was completely soaked.
At a few of the dhabhas we came across, I had to keep stopping for Chai and some extremely tasty aloo paranthas. Maybe it was the sugar rush that gave me so much energy! While climbing to the shrine, keep an eye out for the rare and exquisite Brahmakalmal flower, as well as a larger population of blue poppies.
With the washed-out countryside all around, the trek back was as entertaining. The day finished nicely at ghagharia, our base, with everyone socialising and sharing their abilities; two of the trekkers were fantastic singers who made the evening lively and entertaining.
I met a few people with diverse talents and callings, particularly a 52-year-old aunty who was a frequent trekker and had done base camp to Everest. Listening to her stories, I felt like I was dead at what I was doing and that there is so much I can do with my life, that work doesn’t have to take front seat in life and that with just a little effort you can answer every call that excites you, and at that point I realised I was dead at what I was doing.
Some Points of Guide:
1. Be prepare for rain, and bring appropriate rain gear.
2. The quantity of flowers you see in the Valley of Blossoms varies depending on the season; each week may have a different number of flowers. And don’t expect anything like the manipulated photos of this location!
3. With your regular ascent, you’ll be able to acclimate quickly. There’s no need to rely on drugs like Diamox.
4. This walk is ideal for those who are brand new to hiking. This trek is well good. (Internet access, mules, well-planned treks, helicopter services, and so on.)
5. Mules are readily available for anyone who do not like to climb to Hemkund Sahib.
6. A good pair of walking/hiking shoes is required.
7. You can stay longer and go to Badrinath, Mana, and Auli.
8. Do not be alarmed by landslides; they are common in this area and the majority are harmless. It’s a lot more touted than you might expect.