India is world-famous for its swelling summer sun, of which I am sick and tired of one thing. The true winters are arriving in late December, and the summers are already before you know them. Just as March finishes, even though you wear shoes, the temperature begins to rise to a point where you feel the earth burning. Yeah, we can change the AC to take a break and raise our bill, but I want more. Call me asking if you can, but I think a technologically manufactured world will never be in the coolest place on earth.
In such a scenario, what you should do is head north to the mountains… the mighty Himalayas. There are areas in the chain, usually above 6000 feet above sea level that is cool even in the worst and most pathetic summers. But even there can be 30 degrees Celsius, you know. Obviously, the alternative is even higher, say 10-15000 feet? No matter how disastrous summers are, these places are cool in the rest of the world. I wanted to visit the Flowers valley in Uttarakhand state for years! I went to the internet and wanted to know what I could before I planned. Below, I share the knowledge treasure I have found in this “heavenly place” with you.
Exactly what is it?
Well, it is a valley famous for its floral diversity, as the name implies. It is located in the district of Chamoli and will encourage you to see why Uttarakhand is known as Dev Bhoomi, which means the Land of the gods. More than 600 flora species flourish in the cool climate of the Western Himalayas, which makes it a dream destination for lovers of nature, botanists, and photographers. The status of a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site has given it this quality!
Flowers Valley would have been concealed from mankind, had it not been changed by a group of three mountaineers. Frank S. Smythe, Eric and R.L. Hey. After returning from a successful ascent to Kamat, Holdsworth had been popular with British mountaineers who lost their way in 1931. They reached the heavenly valley, with various varieties and colors of flowers blooming.
Ecological and Geographical Environments
The valley is defined as a hanging valley, in topographical terms. The Pushpawati Valley, which belongs to the affluence of the Alaknanda River, is above the valley of the main river. Running about 15 kilometers east-west, the widest point is 6 kilometers, covering approx. 87.5 sq km in total. Its mean height is around 11,500 feet, which makes the whole year cool.
A ring of pits with an altitude of about 20,000 meters is circling the valley which silently appears to guard the protected area. They are nearly like local deities’ physical manifestations. The key places among them are Dunagiri, Rishi Parvat, Kalinka, Nanda Khat, Nanda Devi East, Nilgiri Parvat, Rataban, Gauri Parvat. The valley bed is made of crystalline, quartz- and mica rocks, and the soil is acidic that aids in moisture retention.
When walking in the Himalayas of Garhwal, where the valley lies, it is important to note that the weather is not static and can change at any time, particularly in the upper reaches. But cool weather prevails here during the year to give you an idea of the weather in the floral valley. The temperatures are almost never higher than 20 degrees Celsius, so the sun and dry with almost no precipitation are seen in the summer months. But, monsoon arriving, it’s like the pieces are pulled off, and cats and dogs are raining. In the season, too, the clouds will be in your face because of their high altitude! Just as the rain ceases, the winds return to cover the area with a dense snow blanket that starts melting only at the end of May.
Diversity of flowers
The clearest explanation of why a lot of people prefer the Flowers National Park in Uttarakhand for trekking is because of the many shades and colors. Among the flowers found in the area are Pilosa, Slipper Orchid of the Himalayas, Iris Kaemaonensis, Aconites, and Rhododendrons.
These are only a few to name, and you must come here to see more. I’m not a botanist, but I can tell with some confidence that these will paint the valley in any color (unless by an awful coincidence, all flowers are of the same color). Be advised however that all flowers have a special flowering season, so that you cannot see everything at once.
Kings of the Kingdom
Not only flowers but you can also enjoy the view of many animals living in the cool climate here. The snow leopard, the ‘king of the valley,’ is the most famous and also the rare among them. The only way you can see it is if you are genuinely blessed because it resides in almost unattainable areas and fuses well with the climate. The Himalayan Tahr and deer including sambars and musk deer, bharal, or blue mountain sheep may be seen more easily here. I want to especially see here brown bears, red foxes, and black bears.
You may also find major prey birds such as lammergeiers, gypsies, and griffon-goats in the Himalayas that feed on the animals’ carcasses. Particular note is the lammergeier or the barbed willow. It is one thing to feed the body, but to throw the bones on the rocks from an excellent height to crack and to sweat it another.