Valley of Flowers: Introduction


No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars or
sailed an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway
for the human spirit. – Helen Keller

1931.
July. Frank Smythe, a mountaineer, botanist, explorer, photographer, author, romantic and much else that he is, is returning from Kamet Peak expedition with his group. They lose their way and accidentally discover an enchanting valley in full bloom.

1937.
Overwhelmed by what he had seen six years back, Frank Smythe returns to the Valley and explores it extensively together with R. L. Holdsworth, another botanist.

1938.
Smythe writes a book and titles it “Valley of Flowers”. The Valley gets christened with the name. The book is published and the world comes to know of this natural wonder of about 90 sq km situated at a height of 3,342 m – 3,658 m (10 to 12,000 feet), with one of its peaks towering up to 6,675 m (21,899 feet) above main sea level.

1982.
The Valley of Flowers is declared a national park. Many restrictions are clamped on tourists. Camping is not allowed in the Valley. Collecting plants from the Valley is banned. Grazing of animals in the Valley is banned to protect some of the rare species of plants. (That there is a controversy on the latter decision is another matter.)

1988.
The Valley of Flowers is inscribed to be on the list of
World Heritage Site.

2005.
The Valley of Flowers, one of the seven natural sites, is added to the list of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Site.
I read on
BBC‘s In Pictures website about the Valley of Flowers getting the status of world heritage site. The more I read about the Valley of Flowers, the more fascinated I get. That day, I decide to visit the Valley someday for an up close and personal experience of the natural wonder.

2008.
Online, I outline plans with fellow travelers to meet up in Delhi and spend two weeks in
Garhwal, trekking right up to the Valley of Flowers. The time that I choose is July end as July-August is supposedly the best time when the Valley blooms in full abundance while through most of the year it sleeps in a thick blanket of snow.

To be continued…

[ Published under the author’s permission ]  

[ Original publication at http://indicaspecies.blogspot.com/ on April 22, 2009–the readers are requested to express their comments on the original Blog as mentioned above ]

 

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3 Responses

  1. This post was so sweet to find…makes me want to visit valley of flowers soon… to see and smell the flowers

    Like

  2. Flowers,
    Thank you. I hope you get an opportunity to reach the Valley of Flowers.

    Like

  3. the place looks beautiful. Pictures are awesome.

    Like

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