DAY -III : Ghangria to Valley of Flowers
Leaving early, the next day we reached the entry gate of the Valley of Flower. The entry ticket to the Valley of flowers were priced at Rs 150 for Indians and Rs 600 for foreign trekkers. Up ahead the zip zag track was seen straightening up ahead, through the valley of terraced fields covered with thick vegetation. And the glimpses of the distant snow clad mountain peaks along the green rocky fields was a sight.
The starting point of the trek
Through out our trekking trail we found rows of tea-houses of small hotels, that serves tea and a place to sleep to the trekkers. No doubt why ‘Valley of Flowers’ trek is also sometimes said to be a ‘ Tea House Trek’. As we scaled higher on the well paved pathway we saw a vast valley filled up with violet blue and yellow flowers in its full bloom. My eyes glazed at the vast spread of fantastic and beautiful sight. Unspoiled by human invasions this imposing land which lay fully draped with ice in the winter months has literally burst into a majestic boom. Seemed like the valley has shredded its torpid nature with a plethora of multitude exotic flora. The further we trekked, the more the varieties of flowers were seen.
“It was literally a feast for our eyes and I loved it.”
A panoramic view of the path
Trying to remember, some of them were Balsam flowers which could be easily identified with a bright light pink, blue and orange colors petals followed by radiating pink colored Meadow Rue, then Himalayan Slender Tape Vine, Dwarf Globe Flower and Marsh Marigold. Their was a chaos of color in every direction and we let our DSLRs photography do the talking. The unique blend of snow-tipped peaks, green meadows filled up with quadrillions of flowers and adding up, the white clouds made our trek a dreamlike adventure.
It was hard to retreat and we were yearning to push ourselves a little further ahead , into those naturally manicured lush green flower gilded nature’s garden. But, it was already getting darker and reaching the glacier point further up and returning back to the valley of flower entry gate would have been quite a daunting tasks. Considering two of my trek mates expressed their urge to back step to all decided against our strides. We experienced a little drizzle while returning to Ghangria .
Mules huddling up in their stables at Ghangria.
On our last day of our trek we had some spare time and decided on to visit the holy land of Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib. With its setting of a glacial lake surrounded by seven mountain peaks, Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib is at an average elevation of the place is 4,632 meters (15,197 feet). The road was flat and some downhill which took us an around 4 hours to reach the Gurudwara from our Ghangria base camp. We had some peaceful moments at the Gurudwara. And at the backdrop of lofty majestic mountains it was an heavenly experience which could be described.
The sublime lake before the Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib
Inside View of Hemkund Sahib
The descend was bit painful on our toes and at a leisurely pace, it took us some where around 5 hours to descend back to our base camp. On our last night at Ghangria we had a good dinner and under the clear night skies of Ghangria, we lit a bonfire and passed our night sharing some crazy stories for our memories.
Summary of the Day
- Total Trek Distance : 17 kms
- Altitude: 9,600 ft (2,195 m) to 11,500 ft (3,505 m) and back
- Time taken: 6-7 hours, to and fro 4 km distance
- Average Temperature: 22 °C with little drizzle towards evening
- Trek gradient: Easy
Best Season / Best Time to Visit Valley of Flowers
Valley of flowers has a cool but pleasant climate throughout the year.
Summers (June to October) This time of the year has a cool weather with maximum temperature hardly reaching near to 17 °C and is a good season for viewing the panoramic beauty.
Winters (November to May) are dotted with well spreadout of spell of snowfall and the lanscape is mostly snow covered which makes it difficult to visit the outdoor attractions. Minimum temperature can go well down with average minimum about 7 °C.
Best Season to visit Valley of Flowers is between July to October.
July to October is pleasant and ideal for the visit of the national park and is good for spotting endangered animals.
Best Season to Visit Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib
Gurdwara Sri Hemkund Sahib Yatra opens every year from May 25th and the Darshan closes during the last week of October.