Paradise - An ideal or idyllic place or state, Garden of Eden (Oxford Dictionary)
Imagination run wild when we hear the word paradise. Or is it just imagination? Does Paradise really exist?
Yes, it does. It is very much within India. It is called "Valley of Flowers". In Garhwal Himalayas in India.
It was in 1931 that Frank S Smythe, a British mountaineer with his team of Mountaineers descended into what is known as Bhyundar valley after their Mt Kamet expedition. Let us hear what happened in their own words
" Dense mist shrouded the mountainside and we had paused, uncertain as to the route, when i heard R L Holdsworth, who was a botanist as well as a climbing member of the expedition exclaim : "Look!" I followed the direction of his outstretched hand. At first i could see nothing but rocks, then suddenly my wandering gaze was arrested by a little splash of blue, and beyond it were other splashes of blue, a blue so intense it seemed to light the hillside........
Lower where we camped near a moraine, were androsacs, saxifrages,sedums,yellow and red potentillas, geums, geraniums, asters,to mention but a few plants , and it was impossible to take a step without crushing a flower.........
The Bhyundar valley was the most beautiful valley that any of us had seen. We camped in it for two days and we remembered it afterwards as the VALLEY OF FLOWERS
(From "Valley of Flowers by Frank S Smythe, Natraj Publishers, Dehradun, India)
We had planned to visit this place few years back. Landslides and road blocks put a stop to our plans.
Some how it did not materialize for couple of years.
It was in June this year that the bug of Valley of Flowers bit us again. Arjun of Indiahikes, a good friend also was instrumental to make us visit this place. Indiahikes is a young and enthusiastic team which is popularizing trekking in Himalayas. we strongly recommend them and we had very good experience with them.
Here is their website with all details
Eventually it happened.
We visited the "Paradise" on 03 Sept 2012.
This is the story our journey to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib, Badrinath.
I am going to narrate it in next few days taking you from Bangalore in South India to Indian Himalayas.
Before we start, a sample of what is in store as we embark on our journey.
|Ganges river flowing deep in the valley on the way to Gobind ghat from Rishikesh|
|Morning sunlight caressing the peaks - Seen on trek from Gobind ghat to Gangaria|
|One of the many lovely falls you see on the way from Gobind Ghat to Gangaria|
|Milky streams of Pushpavati river in Valley of flowers|
|Beauty that can not be described - One of the myriad varieties of flowers|
|Beauty that can not be described - One of the hundreds of varieties of flowers|
|Peaks of Garhwal Himalayas as seen from Mana village - The last village on Indo-China border|
For more details of our trekking experience to Valley of flowers please click on these posts below:-