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Valley of flowers trek - a gateway to the heavens is one of the most sought after treks of Himalayas yet it is not unfair to say that it remains underrated. The craze about Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand should definitely be louder and buzzing than it already is. The vibes around here are overwhelming and leave you brimming with a sense of accomplishment, pride, aesthetic pleasure and a soothing sensation that last almost an eternity. But what is it that makes Valley of Flowers so magical than most other Himalayan treks? The onset of monsoon; the monsoon season is undoubtedly the best time to do this trek and is simply a game changer that multiplies the beauty and overall ambience of the valley of flowers and raises the thrill of trekking here, to a whole new level, really.
If you don?t already know, the Valley of Flowers stands recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site with more than 500 varieties of flowering plants that paint the valley into shades of pink, violet and yellow colors during their blooming seasons which ultimately drags this trek to every trekking enthusiast?s bucket list, quite literally. However, even though the trails to the valley are well carved and even cut into steps in some areas, that facilitate trekking and climbing to the top, the trek still remains moderately difficult precisely because of the steep climb. Yet, despite that, the map of the trail is usually crowded with passionate and dedicated pilgrims of the Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara. The sight of these people, from all age groups making their way to the top despite the challenges is extremely overwhelming and moving. Many porters or mules are also commonly found and availed by those who wish to transport their luggage to the top or themselves reach the top with less struggle. In fact the trek can be done without a guide and is also cost-effective, budget-friendly and even beginner-friendly that makes it a suitable package for adventure seekers.
The trek to the Valley of Flowers is usually divided across three days. It begins with a trek from Poolna to Ghangria. The distance between Poolna and Ghangria is approximately 9 km which is usually covered within duration of 5-6 hours by any averagely fit person. This trail is accompanied by a river half-way after which you are to part ways with the river. Most part of it is gradual ascend and a pleasing climb which any and every trekking enthusiast thoroughly enjoys. You can halt at Ghangria for the night and resume the journey, early morning the next day. You are to trek from Ghangria to Valley of flowers and return from Valley of Flowers back to Ghangria, this day. This day of the excursion is challenging yet equally thrilling. As you climb higher, you get a bird?s eye view of the whole valley that leaves you with a beautiful sense of accomplishment. Adding to that are the carpets of various colored flowers stretching far and wide across the whole valley situated at an altitude of 14,400 ft. Even though the trek from Ghangria to the starting point of the valley is just 3.7 km long yet, it is quite exhilarating and tiring. The valley in itself spans across 6-7 km of land after which it unfolds into beautiful panoramic views of a glacier and a stream of crystal clear water running before it. Since camping is prohibited at the valley, you are to return to Ghangria the same evening. The third day is when you retrace the same route that you took to reach the top, to return to Poolna to bring your journey to a full circle.
Ideally, the best months to visit the Valley of Flowers are during the months of monsoon. Between the last week of June and the first week of July, the valley experiences the onset of monsoon that leaves the atmosphere pleasant, cozy and fragrant. The moist and fragrant soil, the frequent drizzles and the gloomy weather here, add richness to the experience of trekking. The months of July, August and September are the most apt months for this trek. Everything about these months is just about perfect; from the dramatic weather to the flowers in their full bloom, the overall ambience is best enjoyed during these months. However, each month has its own uniqueness; the month of July offers a bit of snow patches here and there which begin melting by mid-July and trigger rainfall which in turn initiate the blooming of the flowers of the valley, between mid July and August, you will find flowers blooming to their best abilities which is also when it drizzles and rains frequently and you can spot the dark, gloomy clouds hovering all around you. Lastly, the month of September begins to witness wilting flowers, although that doesn?t drastically affect the beauty of the valley; the valley remains quite pleasing with a bright blue sky above and with an apt, cozy weather. This is also the time when mountains tend to appear more clear and majestic and the valley turns lush green. Even during the months of March and April, the weather in the valley remains pleasant, although the chances of finding flowers remain null during these and most other months.