Valley Of Flowers: A walk to remember by Swarnabha Dutta
Devprayag-On the way towards Govindgha
“Finally we are here!’’, Amar, my mate, whispered, looking at the gargantuan Rocky cliffs of Himalaya. We reached Govindghat at 13:00. It took more than 12 hours ride from Rishikesh, and some 20 layovers to reach there.
The sheer size of Himalaya reminded us of our mortal limitations.
I took some time before I could assimilate all my spirit, targeting one goal.
We had to climb on a 19 Km uphill trail to reach our destination, Valley of Flowers. We knew it was not a right time to climb, but Rajkumar, my friend, wanted to throw the challenge right away. So we three decided to climb.
Govindghat serves the starting point for all the trekkers who trek for Valley of Flowers, which is a UNESCO natural heritage site. We climbed to reach to our final halt at Ghangria. The chill air, and the impact of the gravity, made it impossible to trek through the topsy-turvy hilly terrain of Himalaya. Being the last group on the trail, our companions were only the fearsome mountain river - Alaknanada, and the rising dusk in the forest.
We tried our level best to reach before it got too dark but we failed to wind our plans. The extreme changes in the weather and the falling darkness took on our strength.
We crawled by the mighty river and watched our steps on every go. Distant sporadic lights of the villages in between guided us to reach point to point.
“Buddy, we should bump into someone’s house. If we are alive then we can enjoy tomorrow”, Rajkumar gasped while literally pleading with his idea.
“We are few steps behind. Your excitement pulled us up to this point”, I replied and moved ahead. It was a probing ride all together. We had our wind cheaters on our skin to cut down the impact of the evening drizzles. Though, the fading light of the evening, mist, wild trails, and unknown territory made it adventurous enough, but our bodies were at mercy of the almighty. We pumped our lungs and got to the final halt for the day. We reached Gangria at 19:00. Then we checked in our pre-booked lodge, and retired like fading camphor in the fire!
Our morning began with an immaculate view of Himalaya. We were about 4500 M above the sea level, and were covered by snow caped Himalaya from all the sides. I could not resist the pain of in my legs .I was quite sure it was just the same with two of my stupid friends!
After a long discussion we decided to launch ourselves for the Valley. It was just 7 Km when we started but believe me it felt more than 14 Km. Our tired legs could not sustain the anti-gravity battle like the previous day, but the urge for the beauty was so strong that we reached there on time. Crossing hundreds of spurting streams along with Alaknanada, walking by the glaciers through the paths of rugged terrain, we reached the valley. The place is landlocked by big Himalayan mountain peaks. Wherever I saw, I found the unfathomable wonders of colours. More than 561 species of Orchids naturally grow there. Along with the wonder-flowers some thousands of butterflies and bees were the companions in that wonder- trail. Nothing could express the splendor of the Valley. It was unique, it was one of its kind. We took risks on the bends a day before, but finally we were at God’s own abode. We could not trade that feeling with anything in this wide world. We were alive and we were at Paradise! Bliss…..
The Season to remember:
The best time for visiting Valley Of Flowers is anytime between March-June.
It becomes very dangerous in the days of Monsoon, So the best time is just before the rain hits Himalaya.
Informacio’n de ruta/Information about route:
The nearest airport is Jolly Grant airport of Dehradun. You can reach Josimath from Dehradun then from Josimath -Govindghat. Since that is the last accessible point by Cars you need to trek for 14-15 Km up to Ghangria and from there a 7 Km uphill trekking to Valley of flowers.
Govindghat is accessible from Hardidwar. So anyone travelling from Delhi can reach Haridwar by train or car, which is approximately 200 Km and from there a drive up to Govindghat which is approximately 300 Km Up hill drive.
Informacio’n de equipaje/ Baggage Information:
Always travel light. Keep light warmers and trousers. Tough trekking shoes, sunglasses, mosquito repellent cream would come handy. Don’t forget to keep a windcheater/light raincoat along with you. Keep some energy bites/drinks with you. Feliz Viaje!