Old Valley of Flowers Trekking Route Reopens After 45 Years


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After being closed for 45 years, a trek route near Valley of Flowers has finally been opened for adventure seekers to enjoy the view, and also to provide an alternate route to rescue teams in case of natural disasters in the region. 

The Valley of Flowers National Park, located in Uttarakhand, is famous for its meadow of alpine flowers, variety of flora and the presence of endangered animals. A trek route near the park – the Kunthkhal-Hanuman Chatti route, had been closed for the last 45 years, and now it has finally been opened by the Uttarakhand forest department.

The route is from Kunthkhal, which is in Valley of Flowers, to Hanuman Chatti. This stretch offers the marvellous view of glaciers, gorges and rivers, on the way.

valley of flowers

Photo Credit: Alosh Bennett/Flickr

The route has been opened for two reasons – for nature and adventure lovers to enjoy the trek, and to provide an alternate route for rescue teams in case of disasters like the Kedarnath flash floods.

SS Rasaily, director of Nanda Devi Biosphere, told Times of India that the trek route was closed since 1970 because tourists had started opting for the easier route from Ghanghariya.

“Because it was lying unused, the trek trail soon became overgrown with dense vegetation. During the recent disaster, a need was felt for an alternate route which could be used to evict people. This route is suitable for this purpose,” he said.

Hanuman Chatti, a popular trekking spot, is about 10 km from Badrinath. From there, people can trek to Kunthkhal and Ghanghariya to get back to civilization. The forest department is also starting to promote other treks near the Valley of Flowers such as those leading to the Chenab Valley, Kagbhusandi Lake, Dronagiri Parvat, etc.

According to Chandresh Joshi, divisional forest officer of Joshimath, the ideal time to trek to the valley is from July to October. The beautiful Brahm Kamal flower, which is found at an elevation of over 4500 meter above sea level, can also be seen on this trail.

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