Regular readers of this blog know that the Valley of Flowers has been one of the most important influences on my life as a travel blogger. This was my first major trip way back in 2010 and also the primary motivation to start this blog a year later.
In the meanwhile, the region faced a disaster in the form of the great flood of 2013. However, it is now returning to normalcy and I made another trip this year. However, it was different because it was September, which is the beginning of the end. While the lower valleys were still green, the valley at 3500 meters was drying up rapidly and the flowers that it is named after had mostly disappeared.
However, I knew it already, and the primary reason for my visit this time was the Hemkund Sahib trek in the same area that I missed out last time. But having come this close, it would have been blasphemous to not visit it, so I did. I have nothing new to say about this place, I have already done it many times. But I want to share these images so that you can see how rapidly the valley changes colours in a matter of weeks and why it is necessary to get the timing right (and be careful about falling for travel packages in odd months, views will still be good but know what you are opting for).
In case you are new here and still wondering how the flowers look, check my original VoF travelogue from 2010.
In case you are planning next year, check my VoF DIY travel guide.
If you want to see the other trail, see my Hemkund Sahib travelogue.
So, coming back to VoF, it was not without its own charms in this season. Basically, the peak season is also the rainy season. So, rains and fogs can always ruin visibility and if you are serious about photography, that can always threaten your plans. The good part about September was that there was no rain and all the peaks till the horizon were clearly visible.
The valley was mostly devoid of flowers apart from some small ones here and there and no animals either. However, I did see a rodent exactly at the same place where I saw one 6 years ago. Was it the sakes one? Or is it his grandkid? How long do they live?
As far as Nanda Devi is concerned, she was as majestic and gracious as ever. I could also notice small waterfalls hanging over the valley. I don’t think I saw them last time because monsoon fogs obscured the view.
However, the ferns did not disappoint, unlike the flowers. They were still green and there was plenty of it. Some of them were tall enough to hide human beings (Can you spot the human?).
So, that is all for the time being. I will be back with something more substantial soon. You will probably see the plains more often in the winter rather than the hills.
36 thoughts on “The Valley After The Flowers”
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Really beautiful ! I was there in 2007 July . But now it is easy reachable .
Lovely frames from the valley.
Man these are beautiful photos! It looks like such an incredible place and you did a really good job of capturing that!
That nature really looks amazing. Nature usually offers so much. I can imagine the silence while hiking in an area like that. 🙂
Its so true that nature changes so fast. I love revisiting a park or trail at different points in the year like you did with the valley of flowers. I would love to go hike there. Thanks for sharing.
Valley of flowers is heaven in India. The lush greenery and vibrant blooming flowers in mountains , what else a human soul can ask for. The views are breathtaking. Nicely captured.
Somehow, I always miss it every year. I am setting my eyes on next year. Nice informative blog!
Lost year I miss visiting trekking in Valley of flowers. This is wonderful post and love the way you tell about this place. It’s amazing information the places with wonderful pics. I’ve never gone there before. Noted it!
Good to see you got a chance to go back to VoF. I was sure I remembered reading you blog about this before seeing you returned. It’s fun to go back to places in different seasons for sure. There are sometimes risks going places in the off season but if the peak season has a high chance of rain then I think I’d go off season.
You’re pictures are stunning. It seems like such a quiet and peaceful place. And somehow it reminded me a lot of Switzerland, my home country… 🙂
All your pictures are amazing. This place is definitely worth going. Loved it
Even without so many flowers this place is absolutely gorgeous. I’m very jealous of anyone lucky enough to go here. Added to my list!
Stunning pictures 🙂 India’s nature always amaze me. What a fascinating place to see!
Your pics make me crave to visit this valley! Lovely soothing scenery! Love the rare flowers too.
Imagine grandchild of a rodent 🙂 🙂
Despite no flowers, the valley looks just gorgeous. Funny you found the rodent waiting for you at the same place. 😉 Looks like he was waiting for you to come back. Lovely pictures….will need to start planning for next year now.
Absolutely amazing scenery! I’ve been planning on going there quite a few times already, but never end up actually going through with it :(. Will definitely use your guide when I eventually visit the area.
Gorgeous place. Can you do long distance, overnight treks in this area? I have to fully explore India and just go crazy hikin around…there seems to be tons of options!
I really love India and its culture…the scenery in your pictures are really outstanding ? surely trekking there was an amazing experience
Wow I can see why this one of your favorite places to visit. Your pictures are beautiful and the detailed descriptions help complete the experience as readers.
Fabulous pics. My first time here. Heading to your other travelogues:)
Oh! The landscape is spectacular… Even though the flowers have dried up but the place is equally beautiful… A reason more than sufficient to start a blog 🙂
I love your pictures and they make me itch to visit the valley. Though it’s my home state, I haven’t been able to…so far. It’s really interesting that you started your blog as inspiration from this trip…
Your photos are great. This looks like a wonderful place to visit. Hiking through this area is very tempting as it looks like beauty is all around.
A breathtaking place. No wonder it was your source of inspiration.
I liked these awesome photos. I have been there during season and I an say this place looks quite spectacular in off season too. I think one of the other major difference is the clear sky 🙂
That’s so funny that you saw a rodent in the same spot. I hope they were relatives! I also like that you took such amazing photos even though there were no flowers at the time.
Your pics are beautiful!
i am also planning on visiting VOF in mid-September, and i would very like to have a clear mountain view like you had.
do you think a good weather like this is typical in mid-September?
because according to some weather websites the weather will be rainy and foggy…
Yes the weather is most likely to be good in September… but there will be no flowers!
Hi Jitaditya, I know that May is too early for VOF, but i have a road-trip of UK planned in May (with family). Just to get the experience, can we go on this trail in May?
How far can trek on this train in May? Will Hemkunt Sahib be open then?
Since i am with family, will obviously be looking for acco in Ghangria..will it be available in May?
Thanks in advance for ur reply.
It should be open but I can’t guarantee it. Why don’t you try something else? Chopta-Tungnath will be excellent in May.