Gauri Parbat ( 6708m ), Hathi Parbat ( 6727m ), Mandir Parbat ( 6559m ), Nilgiri Parbat ( 6474m )
... At first I could see nothing but rocks, then suddenly my wandering gaze was arrested by a little splash of blue, and beyond it were other splashes of blue, a blue so intense it seemed to light the hillside. As Holdsworth wrote: “All of a sudden I realised that I was simply surrounded by primulas. At once the day seemed to brighten perceptibly. Forgotten were all pains and cold and lost porters. And what a primula it was! Its leek-like habit proclaimed it a member of the nivalis section. All over the little shelves and terraces it grew, often with its roots in running water. At the most it stood six inches high, but its flowers were enormous for its stature, and ample in number—sometimes as many as thirty to the beautifully proportioned umbel, and in colour of the most heavenly French blue, sweetly scented.”
In all my mountain wanderings I had not seen a more beautiful flower than this primula; the fine rain-drops clung to its soft petals like galaxies of seed-pearls and frosted its leaves with silver.
Lower, where we camped near a moraine, were androsaces, saxifrages, sedums, yellow and red potentillas, geums, geraniums, asters, gentians, to mention but a few plants, and it was impossible to rake a step without crushing a flower.
Next day we descended to lush meadows. Here our camp was embowered amidst flowers: snow-white drifts of anemones, golden, lily-like nomockaris, mari-golds, globe flowers, delphiniums, violets, eritrwhiums, blue corydafa, wild roses, flowering shrubs and rhododen-drons, many of them flowers with homely sounding English names. The Bhyundar Valley was the most beautiful valley that any of us had seen. We camped in it for two days and we remembered it afterwards as the Valley of Flowers.
.. an extract from the book Valley Of Flowers, by Frank S. Smythe who had accidentally landed there on his return from Mt. Kamet Expedition via the Bhyunder Khal
Right from then it has attracted nature lovers and it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This valley is easily accessible to trekkers in just couple of day's trek from the road head of Govind Ghat near Joshimath. The best time to visit the park is July till August end. This route is also common to the pilgrim route to Hemkund Sahib for the Sikhs. Owing to the altitude, its better to trek to Hemkund after visiting the Valley Of Flowers.
Valley Of Flowers - Best Time To Visit:
The Valley of Flowers National Park opens from Jun till Octtober. The trek to the valley can be enjoyed anytime within this range. However, the best time to visit the valley is from Mid July to Mid August as the flowers bloom to the full potential during this time. Before that, its less flowers and more snow. After that, its less snow and less flowers too !!
During the best time, its aso official monsoon in that region.l So be well prepared for that. Pack well. Rain also makes it colder.
Valley Of Flowers Permits:
Indians: Rs. 150/- for three days. Rs. 50/- thereafter.
Foreigners: Rs. 600/- for three days. Rs. 250/- thereafter.
Still Camera: Free ( professional or non-professional ).
Video camera ( non-professional ): Free.
Video camera ( professional ): Indians - Rs. 500/- ; Foreigners - Rs.1500/-