Valley of Flowers is a fairy-land situated high in the Himalayas of the Uttaranchal, at an altitude of 3,600 meters above sea-level, protected by snowy mountains. Unknown to humans, for centuries this enchanting valley lay frozen during the colder months, and burst into its youthful beauty every year, as the snow melted with the advent of summer. Every year, the valley was splashed with color as it bloomed with hundreds of kinds of flowers, taking on various shades of colors as months progressed. Finally one day, nature condescended to bless humans with this heavenly sight, when Frank Smith - mountaineer, explorer, botanist - chanced upon it in the monsoon of 1931. He authored a book called "The Valley of Flowers" which unveiled the beauty and floral splendours of the valley and made the world sit up and watch. It was declared a national park in 1982, and now it is a World Heritage Site. The locals, of course, always knew of the existence of the valley, and believed that it was inhabited by fairies.The valley is home to many celebrated flowers like the Brahmakamal, the Blue Poppy and the Cobra Lily. It is a much sought after haunt for flower-lovers, botanists and of course trekkers, for whom a sufficient excuse to embark on a mission to reach a place, is that it exists!
This article is a travelogue aimed to guide newbies about how to reach Valley of Flowers, with a limited budget. It is for those who want to go there as a group of friends, and not part of an organised tour, which is an easier, but not so much fun way to go there.