Valley Of Flowers

Though my interest in botany has never been more than just elementary, but I have always had a preference for the Valley of Flowers as a travel destination. Discovered by a group of British mountaineers in 1931 and declared a national park in 1982, the valley has been accorded a position in the list of the World Heritage Sites. The valley lies in the transit zone of Zanskar and the Himalayas at around 3352 to 3658 meters above sea level and remains mostly covered with snow from October till May, but during the Monsoon when the ice melts, it transforms itself into a home to a wide variety of alpine flowers, endemic to this region. The Valley is accessible with relative ease and is possible to be covered within a short duration. Joshimath is the nearest town, which lies en-route to Badrinath, and is accessible through motorable roads from Rishikesh   Haridwar to Govindghat The journey to Govindghat is essentially, tracking the course of Alaknanda (a tributary of the Ganges) in reverse. In Garwal region, a place where two or more rivers meet is known as a “Prayag” and there are five major prayags in the course of Alaknanda, making up the “Panch Prayag”. The first among these is Devprayag, where Alaknanda and Bhagirathi meet to form the Ganges, which flows south to escape the hills at Rishikesh. North of Devprayag, at the confluence of Mandakini and Alaknanda lies Rudraprayag, followed by Karanprayag, Nandprayag and Vishnuprayag where the river Pindar, Nandakini and Dhauli-ganga flows into Alaknanda respectively. For years the prayags had been important resting places for the pilgrims travelling to Badrinath and have presently...