The Indian sub-continent is known for its rich biodiversity. And a unique and integral part of this biodiversity are the Flower Valleys, characterised by vivid colours, a heady floral aroma and serenity that draws avid nature-lovers and botanists. Here are the Flower Valleys in India that are utterly divine and a must-visit when you’re here.
Valley of Flowers National Park
A stunning sight – 520 species of blooming wild flowers (rare and exotic) against a backdrop of the mountains covered with glaciers appears in the Valley of Flowers National Park from June till October, every year. This valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that sits at an altitude of 3,658 metres. Multicoloured flowers, such as the Himalayan Marsh Orchid, Brahama Kamal, Jacquemont’s Cobra Lily, Elegant Slipper Orchid, Yellow Cobra Lily, poppies, marigold, rhododendron, primulas, daisies and more, can be seen here. Some of the flowers are said to have medicinal properties. Besides the beautiful flowers, the massive park is home to rare and endangered species of animals and high-altitude birds.
The best way to reach this flower valley is by trekking. You can take a taxi to Govindghat, which is where the trail starts. After the 6.2 mile trek, you’ll reach Ghangaria, where you can stay overnight. From Ghangaria, the trek to the Valley of Flowers is moderate and the scenery on the way is magnificent. You can do this trek on your own or with a guide. This valley is a delight for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers.
Yumthang Valley of Flowers
Every year, from around late February till mid-June, the Yumthang Valley comes to life: a beautiful sea of multicoloured flowers cover the valley that nestles at an altitude of 3,564 metres in North Sikkim. The range of colourful specimens that bloom here include primulas, iris, poppies, cobra-lilies and several other species of flora. The valley also has the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary that is home to nearly 24 varieties of rhododendron, which burst into bloom in April and continue through May. There is also a hot spring located in the valley, which is said to have curative properties. From December till March, the valley remains closed due to heavy snowfall.
Set at an elevation of 2,452 metres, Dzükou Valley is one of the hidden gems of India, brimming with gorgeous flowers that blanket the rolling plains of the valley. You’ll see several seasonal flowers here, including rhododendrons, pink and white lilies and aconitums. Keep an eye out for one of the rare and famous flowers of the valley – the Dzükou Lily, which is found only here. As the valley is relatively undiscovered, you can soak up its beauty in peace. To reach the valley, you need to trek your way either from Visvema Village or Zakhama Village. The best time to visit is from June to September.
Kaas Plateau of Flowers
At 1,200 metres, Kaas Plateau is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is famous for its seasonal wild flowers and endemic butterflies. 850 varieties of flowers bloom on this 2,471 acres to form a stunning bed of vivid colours. You’ll find orchids, Indian Arrowroot, Dipcadi flower, tropical sundew and several other species of flowering plants. The best time to visit is late-August through September. Weekend visits to the plateau are organised by Nature India and Bombay Natural History Society.
The Munnar Valley is known for its rare flowering plant that is grown only in the Shola forests of the Western Ghats – the Neelakurinji (lavender in colour). The valley rolls out its carpet of these lavender blooms once every 12 years, from August to October. However, due to climatic changes, the blooming time may vary. The next blossom is due to happen in 2018 so get planning your trip! Also, this valley makes an amazing landscape for nature walks, taking beautiful photos along the way.