Valley Of Flowers Trek
In 1931, Frank S. Smythe, who was part of a team of six British mountaineers that climbed Kamet, came across a valley beyond Bhyundar Pass that had “lush meadows… embowered amidst flowers. The Bhyundar Valley was the most beautiful valley that any of us had seen.” Smythe in his book recalls that his camp was surrounded by a variety of flowers – primulas, white anemones, golden nomocharis, marigolds, globe flowers, delphiniums, violets, eritrichiums, blue corydalis, white roses and rhododendrons. Higher up, near the moraine, were saxifrage, yellow and red potentilla, geranium, asters and gentians, so many that “it was impossible to take a step without crushing a flower”
Today this Bhyundar Valley is not very different from how Frank Smythe first found it to be. Through strict environmental control and tight Government of India regulations, the sanctity of Frank Smythe’s discovery – the Valley of Flowers has been carefully preserved. If you stand at the foot of the valley, grassy meadows run down to the cleft of the stream, which, even in August, is still fringed by ice. On both sides, green slopes turn to dark rock as they vault into deep blue skies. Rising gently, the valley ends as notch on the horizon, crested by the snows of the Rataban (6,166m) and Nilgiri (6474m) peaks. And underfoot, the flowers that give the valley its name.The Valley Of Flowers is accessible from a remote village in the Indian Himalaya called Gangharia. Getting to Gangharia is a small adventure in itself.