Bhyundar valley trekking — Explore the valleys of the flowers of India
Before my journey, I had heard a lot about the famed Bhyundar Valley of Flowers (India’s Valley of Flowers). During his trip in the Garhwal area of Himalaya, Thomas Hardwicke, an English scientist and one of the first foreigners to discover the valley, stated it was the most magnificent Himalayan valley he had ever seen. This audacious remark compelled me to explore the valley.
Wading through forests and across a glacier
The Bhyundar Valley of Flowers is a national park in the Indian state of Uttarakhand known as the “Land of Gods.” In 2005, UNESCO designated it as a world historic site. It has approximately 500 types of flowers that vary in height, making it a haven for ecologists.
I’m not an ecology, but the magical Valley of Flowers attracted me, and I chose to visit there during my first summer vacation in India.
My trekking-obsessed Indian friends warned me that the valley would be tough to reach. I was lucky to meet several other visitors on the route, and we agreed to divide the expense of hiring a Jeep to transport us to the hiking area. Heavy weather and a blocked valley had kept many of my friends from reaching the valley three times. This time, though, we were fortunate in that the weather was pleasant. Despite the fact that it was sunny throughout the day, temperatures might fall below 0oC at night.
The valley’s core is 10 square kilometers in size and can only be accessed on foot. Starting from Joshimath, trek 13 kilometers to Ghangria, where you may access the valley and Hemkund—a historic Sikh and Hindu site where Gurudwara Shri Hemkund Sahib meditated before passing away.
We walked all day to Ghangria village. The majestic Himalayan Mountains around Bhyundar Village. The Ganges River flows through the village, its white froth and early morning murmur like Mother Nature’s breath.
We went four kilometers from Ghangria hamlet to the valley, then another six kilometers to Hemkund. We had to wade through a glacier at one point. When we reached the top, we were enveloped by dense fog and had to wait for the skies to clear before proceeding.
Finally, my wish was granted. Along this difficult trip, I got the opportunity to touch the most priceless gift. The stunning clear rivers and white chunks of ice speckling the mountains demonstrated why this walk drew so many adventure seekers.
Flowers over the foggy
The next day, I went to the Valley of Flowers. When I witnessed this floral paradise for myself, I realized that the only way to describe it was “breathtaking beauty.” As I ascended the slope, a vast and beautiful area opened out in front of me, ushering me into a whole other universe.
The Himalayan mountains encircle the Bhyundar Valley of Flowers. Clouds glide among the hills, creating an enthralling scene. Nature enthusiasts must visit this valley, which is one of Mother Nature’s sacred regions.
After hiking I reached a landmark—the stream. The cool breeze, the clean air and the peaceful silence of the valley make me wonder how such a beautiful and majestic place could exist. I sympathized with Thomas Hardwicke.
My journey to the Bhyundar Valley of Flowers took a week. A particular honor was conferred upon me the instant I stepped foot in the valley. Those who had to wait for favorable weather, like my trip partners, were overjoyed to see the valley’s natural splendor. It had the appearance of a holy abode for gods.
+ How to reach valley of flowers (itinerary): AirAsia and Thai Airways offer direct flights from Vietnam to New Delhi. Travel from New Delhi to Dehradun (Uttarakhand) by plane, train, or bus (buses arrive every 15 minutes; the trip will last around six hours). Travel from Dehradun to Joshimath by bus or car (10–12 hours).
+ Hiking: Take a Jeep from the Joshimath bus station. Stay overnight near the foot of a mountain and start out early the next morning to climb the 13 kilometers to Ghangria village. This usually takes about one day. Stay overnight in Ghangria. The next day, hike toward Hemkund and the Valley of Flowers.
- Bhyundar valley of flowers best time to visit: The rainy season, lasting from June to August, is the best time to hike Bhyundar. The mountain is very cold—the temperature can drop to 0oC at night. Therefore, bring warm but lightweight jackets, a woolen cap, socks and scarves. Bring a raincoat as the valley gets a lot of rain.
- Waterproof climbing shoes are necessary, as some parts of the path are icy.
- There is no telephone service in Ghangria village, but hotels offer telephone service.
- Eating and drinking: This area is highly religious, and during the Shiva ritual, there is only vegetarian food available. Bring plenty of snacks.
- Photograph: bring a memory stick, tripod, and a moisture-proof device.
About Ngo Nu, Television reporter
During her two-year stay in India, Ngo Nu was able to see 14 of the country’s 29 states. She went from north to south and east to west. Her trip to explore the Bhyundar flower valley was part of her intention to “travel alone through Northern India” for nearly two months during her first summer vacation in the country.
When many Vietnamese people consider visiting India, they mainly think about spiritual tourism, ignoring the country’s huge and varied geography. Each piece of land is associated with a tale or narrative. Ngo Nu was inspired to write an essay on her journey to the magnificent paradise-like flower valley after learning this.