India has some fascinating natural beauties that one must see during one’s life. One such place is the Valley of Flowers that is located near Sri Hemkund Saheb in the north of India. This Valley of Flowers is a must visit not only for a tourism point of view but also from the religious prospective.
At metaphysics knowledge we try to make our readers aware of the religious and spiritual significance of places and things that we do on daily basis. It is also a national park and is preserved very well by the Government of India. The Valley of Flowers is located in the laps of Himalayas. It is in the beautiful state of Uttarkahand. Every year a number of tourists visit this beautiful valley.
This valley has a huge range of flowers that do not bloom in any part of the world. It also home to a good variety of animals like the snow leopard, Asiatic black bear, musk deer and brown bear. Some have also spotted a rare breed of blue sheep in this valley. People who have been there consider it as heaven on earth.
The UNESCO Rating
The Valley of Flowers is located at a height of about three and a half thousand meters above the sea level. The park is filled with amazing flowers and birds. It is eight kilometres long and only two kilometre in width. When you look at the beauty of this valley you will understand why it has been rated a World Network of Biosphere Reserves by UNESCO. It is enjoying this status since 2004.
It is since last few years that the Valley of Flowers has got an international recognition and tourists are visiting it from across the world. However, the valley has been an integral part of the Indian culture and religion. Since the very olden days saints and pilgrims have been visiting this area from different parts of the country.
The saints considered the Valley of Flowers as the best place to meditate. If you look at the valley you will be convinced that there must be something that is deeply spiritual about that place. It will give you a sense of calm and peace. It can make you forget about all that you know and be lost in its beauty for hours.
The valley was first discovered in 1931 by a group of British Mountaineers. The team was led by Frank Smythe. They accidentally came across the valley while they were returning from an expedition. They lost the way and what they found amazed them. They called it the “Valley of Flowers”. There is also a book that is dedicated to this spot and the book is also titled Valley of Flowers. This valley is indeed a pride of India. Many say that it is one of the most breath taking valleys in the world.
If you are planning to visit the Valley of Flowers let us tell you that it is not easy. We will explain why we say so. The closest town to the Valley of Flowers is Joshimath. The park is open only during summers for the tourists. It is opened from the month of June to October. For the rest of the year the valley is covered with snow. No settlement is allowed in this area and grazing cattle is absolutely prohibited here. You cannot expect to find a hotel or a restaurant in this area making it more difficult to get there.
We will recommend that you do not take small children to this valley
There is a long trek that you need to walk before you actually reach the Valley of Flowers. The trek is about seventeen kilometres. You can take a bus or a cab from the cities of Haridwar and Dehradun to Joshimath. From there you will have to walk to reach the Valley of Flowers. No trek is allowed in the night. A permit of three days is given to the visitors. Within this time they have to finish the trek and get back.
You can take a guide as they can help you the best to complete the trek. You will easily get guides who are taking a group for the trek. The climb is steep and you must carry plenty of water with you. The price of water and other edibles is very high in these areas. You cannot carry any bottle of water or food items inside the valley as it has a very delicate ecosystem.
Best Time to Visit
Try to plan a travel between August and September. You can stay in hotels that are located in Joshimath and Ghagaria. These accommodations are very basic and are taken up mostly by those who come here for a pilgrimage. It can rain there anytime so better carry some raincoats. If you get wet you might catch a bad cold. However, once you reach the top you will definitely feel that the pain was worth it.
Sri Hemkunt Saheb
When you go to the Valley of Flowers you will find a lot of Sikhs coming there. It is a place of huge importance to the Sikhs. They specially come to see the Hemkund Sahib and sometimes do visit the Valley of Flowers too. Hemkund Sahib is a steep climb. The altitude changes very fast as a result your body will take some time to adjust. It is said that if you take a dip in the freezing waters of this lake all your sins will be washed off. It is a difficult thing to do but many pilgrims actually take a dip in this water.
It can be a great pleasure for a photographer to capture these scenes. Beside the Hemkund Sahib you will also find a Gurudwara. It was built around 1960. The Gurudwara is in the shape of lotus (Brahma Kamal). You can easily find a Brahma Kamal in these areas as this flower blooms in very high altitudes easily. This Gurudwara is considered one of the most important shrines of the Sikh religion. The Sikhs believe that their tenth Guru named Sri Guru Govind Singh meditated beside this lake in his previous birth.
Significance for Hinduism
The Hindus consider this place as the land of the Gods. Very few know that this place has a great significance in Hinduism. This is what we will be discussing now. Some Hindus also travel to this part of the country as there is a Lakshman Temple here that is considered very important in Hindu religion. The Hindus call this lake Lokpal. They say that Lakshman who was the younger brother of lord Rama used to meditate here for sometime after he got a new life. He was brought to this location by Hanuman himself after he was almost killed in the battle. His wife was crying profusely over his dead body. Lord Hanuman could not see her pain and wanted to bring Lakshman back to life. Lord Hanuman saved Lakshman with a magical herb called Sanjeevni that is found only in the Himalayas.
After that Lakshman did come back to life he was blessed by the gods from the heaven. There were heavenly flowers showered on Lakshman. These flowers took root in the Valley of Flowers and we can see them there even today. Interesting right otherwise how did these exotic flowers reach this part of the valley. This lake is also associated with lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.
The lake finds mention in all in the Hindu Epics (Ramayana and Mahabharata) and also in the Puranas. Looking at these stories the locals have built the Lakshman temple near the lake. Many Hindu pilgrims come here every year. It is said that many women reach this temple bare footed even today to pray for getting a son. Some of them are also blessed with one.
The Sheshnag Connection
Some Hindus say that Lord Vishnu used to rest in the waters of Lokpal on a serpent that had seven heads. This serpent was called Sheshnag. Lord Vishnu is one of the most significant lords of Hindu religion. Some say that Lord Shiva and his wife goddess Parvati also visited this area and spent some time around this glacial lake. Many such stories have been passed on from one generation to another. This proves that the Valley of Flowers and the Hemkund Sahib do have significance in Hindu religion too. Many Hindu saints have spent years meditating in this valley and around this lake.
In case you are planning to visit the Valley of Flowers now you also know the religious significance of this spot. This will help you to not only enjoy the beauty of the valley but also become a part of its religious significance that makes it so powerful. We recommend that you must visit this amazing spot and get blessed. There are very few such places that are naturally so beautiful and also have a great religious significance too.