I wrote about my Himalayan Dream last winter and since then, I have been waiting for the sun to shine brighter and the mercury to rise higher so that the dreams could now be turned into reality. While a trip to Leh-Ladakh seems to be postponed for the summer of 2016, I am still going to live the Himalayan Dream this year. The mountains are calling and so are the flora and fauna from the Valley of Flowers.
Ever since I landed on the GIO Adventure's page of the Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib trek , I am itching to buy those trekking shoes and venture into the wild. GIO Adventures is truly the finest Outdoors & Adventure firm in India, with not only Indian adventure lovers, but a lot of International trekkers choosing to explore the Great Indian Outdoors with them. Their small groups and Leave No Trace policy is what makes me want to trust them. And I am planning my trip with them already!
The Valley of Flowers trek opens from June to September every year and, hopefully, I am going to go and experience it soon. If only there was a special category of 'Wanderlust Leaves' available to people who lust for travelling the world. This one, I am not going to miss even if I have to fake being ill. When armchair travel kicks off, the mind automatically creates some evil plans to support what the heart desires.
Virtually, I have seen it all by reading information available online and staring at those pictures for hours without getting bored. I know almost everything about the trek without even taking it yet; Ah, the marvels of internet! But those pictures only leave me wanting for more. Plus, the name is fascinating enough. My heart says it is going to be one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Ten out of ten times these intuitions are right and that's how I usually end up seeing beautiful places, whether or not they feature in tourism maps of the world.
The trek starts from Haridwar and takes a total of 6 days to complete, with stopovers at Auli, Govindghat and a base camp set up at Ghangaria. To me, it is disheartening that stopovers are not allowed at the Valley of Flowers. I would have loved to spend a night there. But then they have to do something to protect the place from the prying eyes of commercialization. But, I can always dream of spending a night at a camp set-up in the valley, overlooking the Himalayan and the Zanskar range on each side. This is one place I won't mind getting up early, to see the sun rise from behind those huge snow clad mountains. It would be a postcard moment, I am sure.
The Valley of flowers is a Unesco World Heritage site. I have seen a few of those across the world and they have always left me spellbound. The valley was unknown to humans until 1931, due to its inaccessibility but then three British mountaineers lost their way and found this paradise on earth. I bet their first thoughts would have been to not want to return to civilization, ever. Green meadows, innumerous flowers creating rainbows on earth, snow clad mountains, rivers criss-crossing the valley, and wildlife species like snow leopards , red fox and blue sheep for company- all seems too good to be true. And to find out if this place is really a myth or not, I am soon going to pack my bags and leave for a trek of a lifetime!