Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Heavenly Hemkund Valley / Valley of Flowers in the Garhwal, Himalayas, India


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Valley of Flowers National Park is an Indian National Park, located at a height in Western Himalayas. It is renowned for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers and the mind boggling variety of flora found here. It is located in the State of Uttarakhand in Northern India. 

This amazingly beautiful area is also home to rare and endangered animals, including the Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, brown bear and blue sheep. The gentle landscape of the Valley of Flowers National Park complements the rugged mountain wilderness of Nanda Devi National Park to the east.  The park stretches over an expanse of 87.50 km².

The Valley of Flowers is a high-altitude Himalayan Valley that has been acknowledged by renowned mountaineers and botanists for over a century and in Hindu religion for much much longer.The Valley of Flowers has many colorful & beautiful flowers of various shades and colours. The valley was declared a national park in 1982 and now it is a World Heritage Site. The locals believed that it was inhabited by fairies.The valley is home to many flowers like for example, Brahmakamal,  Blue Poppy and the Cobra Lily. It is a much sought after destination for flower-lovers, botanists and trekkers from around the globe.

The Valley of Flowers is internationally important site on account of its endless varieties of beautiful mesmerizing flowers.

The valley is part of Uttarakhand, in the upper reaches of Garhwal and is inaccessible for most part of the year. The area lies on the Zanskar range of the Himalayas.

The place had disappeared from the tourist map due to its inaccessibility, but in 1931, Frank S. Smythe, Eric Shipton and R.L. Holdsworth, all British mountaineers, lost their way while returning from a successful expedition to Mt.Kamet and happened to stumble upon this valley, which was full of beautiful heavenly flowers. They were tremendously attracted to the beauty of the area and named it the "Valley of Flowers".

The park is open only in summer from June to October, as it is covered by heavy Himalayan snow for the rest of the year.

The density of wild animals in the Valley is not high but all the animals found are nationally rare or endangered. 

Traditionally the Valley of Flowers was used by local shepherds for grazing their flocks. But in the minds of many it has much greater significance than this. There are many myths prevalent about the valley. There are stories about fairies who carry off anyone who wanders into their territory. There are other stories about flowers in the valley with fragrance potent enough to make anyone who inhales it faint away. In the Hindu mythology, the Valley was created when the Gods showered flowers down on earth from heaven. Since then, so the local people say, the valley has been host to great sages who attained enlightenment here, while meditating. Today, the people who visit the Valley of Flowers as trekkers and tourists from around the globe exclaim at the splendour & the beauty of the heavenly area. Many come here for meditation as well.

Hemkund Valley / Valley of Flowers in The Himalayas

Hemkund Valley / Valley of Flowers in The Himalayas

Hemkund Valley / Valley of Flowers in The Himalayas

Hemkund Valley / Valley of Flowers in The Himalayas

Hemkund Valley / Valley of Flowers in The Himalayas


Hemkund Valley / Valley of Flowers in The Himalayas

Hemkund Valley / Valley of Flowers in The Himalayas

Hemkund Valley / Valley of Flowers in The Himalayas

Hemkund Valley / Valley of Flowers in The Himalayas

Hemkund Valley / Valley of Flowers in The Himalayas

Hemkund Valley / Valley of Flowers in The Himalayas

Hemkund Valley / Valley of Flowers in The Himalayas

Hemkund Valley / Valley of Flowers in The Himalayas

Hemkund Valley / Valley of Flowers in The Himalayas

Hemkund Valley / Valley of Flowers in The Himalayas


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