The much looked for day, the trek to Valley of flowers was finally on. We were already feeling lucky to have sun shining bright on us. With a brief detailing on dos and don’ts of trekking, we started walking into the streets of Ghangaria.
After a couple of hundred meters from our Hotel, we arrived at an open lush green area where the path bifurcates, one towards Valley of Flowers and one towards Hemkund Sahib. That spot with a waterfall and colorful blossoms provided a hint of what we would be going to witness today!
This day, we were supposed to gain an altitude of 2000 ft within a short distance of 4 km.
I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery – air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy”. Sylvia Plath
So, I would like to take you along with me on a virtual tour to ‘Valley of (not just) flowers’ in a poetic style and would rather let the photographs do the talking. Are you ready?
Once upon a nice monsoon day, let’s take a look at nature’s way-
En route to Valley
Joy doesn’t simply happen to us, we have to choose it. Btw, when did you jump the last time? If not lately, do it right away. It feels good to start your D-day with a jump and so we did!
After a couple of minutes, I noticed the signboard with a map of the valley. At entry of VOF, we need to get a pass for valley of ₹ 150/- each. And it is valid for three days. So from here itself we started to see the flowers like Himalayan daisy and stem clasping lingulania.
On the spur of the moment, we were into the perfect belvedere; the emerald green valley, close at hand were clear running streams and the cloudy citadels. I continued walking into the wild unsuspected of the grandeur and beauties lying ahead.
A music everywhere, and concert sweet!
All birds which sing amidst the forest deep
Till the flowers listen with unfolded bells;
All winds that murmur over summer grass,
Or curl the waves upon the pebbly shore;
~Bessie Rayner Parkes
Soon after, the dense mists enveloped us and what we saw was the Laxman Ganga rushing through the narrow gorge. This bridge across the gorge and the massive Himalayas on the right made us feel so diminutive.
The water hits the rocks below and smashed into tiny droplets and forms a thick layer of mist all along the river flow. You can not only appreciate the beauty of it but also the science behind it!
We started with the river on our left, then crossed a bridge and moved to the hill across. Then we crossed again and again, so many times that I lost count. Sometimes the river was on right, sometimes on left and we were moving from one hill to the other. Again, we started wandering amid the forest where the march of light and shadow can charm anyone.
Trees with outstretched hands
Flirt with the winds.
From birds and the bees
It’s Nature at ease
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
My eyes as well as my lenses feasted on a series of jaw dropping views. Heaven is under our feet as well as above our heads.
With a trail weaving through the valleys dotted with flowers, streams and the majestic Himalayas, there was not a single second my heart didn’t feel enormous. Mark my words, those spectacular views can challenge one’s idea of beauty at all forms and stages.
I had on several occasions turned over in my head the possibility of coming here again. With so much beauty and interest attached on the way I scarcely noticed that I have came quite far and there was no one around from my gang but only nature.
As sounds of whispering trees and burbling streams,
Send our minds wandering into a poet’s lovely dreams
The clouds ebbed fast from the peak and a silent rush of mist swept across the valley. Everything was under the veil of clouds for a sec and then again emerged like a perfect frame…
I chatter, chatter, as I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.
~Alfred Lord Tennyson
A gentle breeze began to blow, touching the flowers with light fingers, and they quivered a little wincingly, spreading an indescribable soft scent in the air. And I halted to admire the flare of yellow amid green foliage.
Every now and then let us answer the forest’s call,
To come see life’s beauty and the miracle of it all;
If we listen with our hearts as we walk among trees,
We may understand the message carried on a breeze,
All of sudden, a dazzle of imperial purple grabbed my eye and I standstill to adore a superb Himalayan bellflower nodding with grace and dignity.
I gazed and gazed! Swear to God one can see the unseen in broad daylight! The Flowers grew from my heart and bloomed across my lungs, creating a garden that sings only joy. Let me confess at once that I am an incurable romantic and nature is my first love! ❤❤
We walked around 6 km inside the valley, exactly up to the river bed where valley widens with beautiful landscapes all around.
An array of thoughts liberated and transported into the desirous wind and freed me from the worldly traditions. I am free! Repeat for me- I am free! Utterly Empty! Nothingness engulfed me from all the sides.
The river bed which appeared masses of rocks and greenery from far away, resolved into something living as I moved closer…
A flower that never questions why,
The rivers flow and birds will fly,
Content to fill part of the plan,
To beautify the world of man.
~Alora M. Knight
In awe and wonder
in these moments
I felt like a kid in some imaginary story… full of energy… running and jumping…enjoying the grandeur of nature all around. Although she longed to stay and roam but there was a timing to conform.
And my heart with pleasure packs,
And dances with the floral deck
The weather was now uncertain and mist had already formed; in a hour or so, the clouds came swiftly and it started drizzling. It was time to put the camera inside and listen to pitter patter of the rains, quivering of the flowers, echo of the hills, and whispers of the mist all at once. It felt like someone is reciting a beautiful poem with every word dropping by in the form of a rain.
After half an hour, the rain stopped and the flowers bloomed yet again with more happiness this time.
It took us around 2-3 hours leisurely to reach the base camp and Ghangaria welcomed us with an evening full of colors and views. Later on, we watched the documentary show on Valley of Flowers at Eco Development Center to know more about the flowers we witnessed today.
The day has gone by so unaccountably fast …there is still lot to be spoken of and written about. Words Fail and as does human imagination when you trek in Valley of flowers
“When you start to feel like things should have been better this year, remember the mountains and valleys that got you here. They are not accidents, and those moments weren’t in vain. You are not the same. You have grown and you are growing. You are breathing, you are living, you are wrapped in endless, boundless grace. And things will get better. There is more to you than yesterday.”
Lastly, I would love to sum up this post by this song – “Yeh tera zikr hai ya itr hai jab jab karti hoon mehkti hoon..behakti hoon..chehakti hoon…” ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
Have you been to Valley of flowers? Which season was it? Are you still planning on it? Let us know by leaving a comment below!
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