As we woke up after the deep slumber, the weather had cleared up beautifully and there were even patches of sunlight in the valley.
We decided to postpone the trek to Hemkunt sahib for the next day and head to the Valley of Flowers while the good weather lasted.
The main entrance of the valley is about half a km away from Ghangaria town/village. Just as we got out of Ghangaria, we saw a lovely waterfall and stream which originates from the Lakshman temple near Hemkunt Sahib.
After completing the formalities at the valley, we were given the usual safety briefing that we should turn back in case the weather changes. There are numerous streams that we had to cross in the valley, and if it starts raining, the water level in those streams rises very very fast and can wash away the small wooden planks (bridges) on these streams. People heading there, please do take this seriously, otherwise you might get stuck on the wrong side of the streams.
After entering the main gate, there is a bit of a climb we had to negotiate. Soon the climb gives way to a steep decent which goes right to the river. Once we crossed the river (on a permanent foot bridge), we came to a steep and long climb which goes on for a couple of kms into the valley.
The real valley starts after about 5kms of the main gate. At this point, we had to cross a stream on a small wooden plank. Once the real valley starts, the landscape changes dramatically, the lush greens before this point change to various hues of pink, yellow, red, purple and dozens of other colors.
The predominant bloom also changes ever so often as we continue walking deeper into the valley. By now, the steep inclines and declines had also changed to a gentle slope in the gorgeous valley of flowers. The rocky path in the meadow and flowers on both sides of the path made hiking in the valley blissful. It also seemed like the weather gods were pleased with us for some reason and the little drizzle we had in the morning also stopped.
We stopped at several streams in the valley to drink the freshest of fresh water which tasted like nectar of the gods. A few sips of the good stuff, and the feeling of being in heaven was complete.
This is what we saw in the land of the fairies and heavenly creatures…
Devbhoomi Uttaranchal… Valley of Flowers, in pictures
After the amazing time in the Valley of Flowers where we thought we had pretty much achieved nirvana, we were in two minds about trekking up to Hemkunt Sahib the next day.
As it happened, the next day also we got lovely weather, and were in two minds about repeating Valley of Flowers or trekking up to Hemkunt Sahib. The decision tiled in favor of the worlds highest gurudwara – Hemkunt Sahib, and we moved our behinds (very slowly) towards the gurudwara.
The lazy bums that we were, we started late and by that time most pilgrims to the gurudwara were either there or halfway there. The trek up to Hemkunt Sahib is 6Kms long and a steep uphill all the way. An amazing part of this trek up was the moral support (and sweets, chocolates, glucose) which pilgrims coming downhill give you. Every group of people we met were really sweet, and offered us whatever they had in their hands with a kind word.
Quite a nice experience trekking up to the gurudwara.
Though it did not rain, the mountain was completely covered with fog and mist and did not offer any views of the surrounding snow covered peaks, even at the top, there was a thick cover of fog. So thick that we couldn’t see 6 feet away into the lake at the gurudwara. Even so… it was quite a nice experience…
Experience the Valley of Flowers yourself,