Neha Gore, a Gurgaon resident who had decided to resign from her job, had a short period of time before she could start looking for a new one. She knew she only had a limited amount of time to create memories that would last a lifetime, so she made the most of it. Seeing the Valley of Flowers Trek, she made the decision to go there after hearing good things about it from other travellers.
The fact that the Valley of Flowers Trek is only open for a short period of time each year, during which time the flowers are in full bloom, is another major factor in our decision to go on the trek. Trekking through Uttarakhand's Valley of Flowers during the months of July and August is a visual treat for nature lovers. Besides reflecting every natural hue in its purest form, the colour frenzy is a visual feast for the eyes. The backdrop of snow-covered mountains enhances the beauty of the scene.
As someone who has completed numerous treks across India on her own, Neha is an advocate of solo travel and believes that doing so has its advantages, such as meeting new people who become part of the experience and some of whom become lifelong friends! She was most eager to meet new people and share her own life experiences when she made the decision to hike the Valley of Flowers. Thrillophilia was her final choice, and she was pleased with the speedy service and on-the-spot help she received.
The Journey Begins
On the evening of July 30, Neha set out for Haridwar from Delhi's Kashmiri Gate. The next morning, the group gathered in Haridwar and was taken to Govindghat, the starting point of the trek. They had arrived at the base camp by 8 p.m., then after a wonderful meal, they all fell asleep in anticipation of the big day.
The next day dawned with a sense of eagerness and anticipation. After being driven five kilometers in cars, the hikers set out on foot. They arrived in Ghangaria at the end of a nine-kilometer journey. They were all taken aback by the unusually pleasant weather, which brought frequent showers that turned the valley a vibrant shade of green. As they walked through the woods, they were repeatedly reminded that they're in the presence of nature by the rhythm of the rushing water. They drank tea at street stalls along the way to Ghangaria to keep themselves warm in the freezing cold.
At 3:15 p.m., the hikers had made it to Ghangaria, their first goal. On that day, they walked around the Ghangaria village and sought shelter for the night. That night, the trekkers couldn't keep their excitement in check because they were set to walk to the summit of Valley of flowers the next morning.
The Big Day: Reaching Valley of Flowers
It was finally here: the moment all of the hikers had been waiting for. The three-kilometer hike was short, but challenging due to the repeated downpours and the uphill, tricky surface that existed in some areas of the trail. They finally made it to the Valley of Flowers, after much effort and good spirits of Neha and her fellow hikers! Neha was astounded when she first saw the Valley of Flowers, and she couldn't help but sit quietly there and really marvel at the natural wonders that had been crafted there.
Against the landscape of snow-covered mountains, a carpet of brightly coloured flowers popped up. Raindrops graced the wet flowers, making them appear as if they were a crown of their own making. With the clouds surrounding them at a height of 3748 metres, it was an experience like no other for the travellers.
The hikers explored the valley, taking pictures of the flowers, and observing. For the tourists, even if it wasn't heaven, it wasn't any less of it either. As they made their way back to Ghangaria, they were treated to a breathtaking view of the valley's natural beauty.
A Day at Hemkund Sahib
The next day, they prepared for the 7-kilometer journey to Hemkund Sahib, the spiritual centre of the Sikh community. The chanting of 'Satnam Waheguru' by Sikh pilgrims along the trail filled the air with wholeness. After a long and arduous journey, the final climb of a 1000 steps brought them to their destination, victorious and satisfied. Despite the challenges of the trek, the frequent stops for tea and photographs along the way kept their spirits high.
The trekkers left Gurudwara after the 12 p.m. Ardaz and then spent some time up there taking pictures and discovering themselves. Neha's experience of peace and tranquility at the Gurudwara was unparalleled. The serenity was heightened even further by the fact that the nearby lake was obscured by clouds. With each passing day, it seemed as though the journey had become more beautiful.
The trekkers had reached Ghangaria village by 2:30 p.m., and they had brought back vivid images of the heavenly landscapes they had traversed. The next day, they went to Badrinath and Mana, the last two villages in India before the pakistan border.
The Perfect Goodbye
When Neha met the mountain dogs, she couldn't contain her excitement. She provided them with food and companionship as she made her way through the village. No one has ever said solo travel isn't pleasant, have they ?
In comparison to other solo expeditions, this one ended too soon for Neha and her fellow hikers, but they had made enough memories to cherish for the rest of their lives. An ice cream and endless fun and memories of sharing personal experiences followed the dinner on the final night.
A 20-year-old fellow trekker's guitar tunes mesmerized everybody at the end of the night, making it a perfect goodbye. Everyone soon joined in to sing along, adding to the lovely memories of what had been a tale of lively mates, delightful sights, and serene adventures.