Valley of the Flowers
High in the Himalayan ranges of Garhwal hills of Uttranchal lies an enchanting valley. Here flower pastures with clear running streams are set against silver birches and shining snow peaks. Dew lies thick on the flowers, birds sing in the surrounding forest and the air is pure and charged with floral smells. Hidden from the probing eyes of civilization, this valley had been known to the inhabitants as the Bhyundar Valley, the playground of fairies and nymphs. Trespassing their celestial abode was avoided although shepherds did take the liberty to graze their cattle here. Legends associate this valley with the area from where Hanumanji of Ramayana collected "Sanjeevani" herbs to revive Lakshmana, the younger brother of Rama.
Hanuman had to visit far-flung areas in his search for the life - saving herbs. Frank S. Smith - mountaineer, explorer, botanist who camped here for several weeks in the monsoon of 1937 and did valuable exploratory work, introduced the valley to the world as the Valley of Flowers. The 7 kms. trail from Pulna to Bhyundar village is full of nature's scenic splendours including cascading water falls and cold water springs.
Shrubs and wild roses grow abundantly and rhododendrons color the area with pink and dark red. Small wayside tea stalls run all across the route and young and enthusiastic tourist guides can be engaged at Bhyundar village. After resting awhile here, the trek on the right bank of the Laxman Ganga continues through the rich vegetation till a log bridge, supported on now, the trail becomes, steeper and harder and 2kms. from here, you will reach Ghangharia, the base camp for treks to Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib. Since camping and overnight stay is not allowed in the Valley of Flowers, Ghangharia is the logical base camp for the trek .
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