Four Wildflower Landscapes In India

Take a trip to the enthralling flower-carpeted expanses spread across the country
The Neelakurinji flowers of Munnar. Credit / Wildberry India
The Neelakurinji flowers of Munnar. Credit / Wildberry India

Some of India's most treasured and rare natural heritage is in the form of acres of seasonal wildflowers, some of which bloom only once in a while, and are hidden away in protected areas and national parks. When visiting, ensure you follow the rules. Communication networks are bound to be patchy keep your phone safely tucked away. There is an entry fee, and acquiring permits is mandatory. 

Valley of Flowers National Park, Chamoli, Uttarakhand 

Said to have been discovered in 1931 by three British mountaineers, led by Frank S Smythe, the national park, at an altitude of around 3,600 m above sea level, is spread over an area of 87 square kilometres. The valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, forms one of the two core zones of the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, the other being the Nanda Devi National Park. There are over 600 flowers, such as orchids, poppies, primulas, marigolds, and daisies. Sub-alpine birch forests and rhododendron cover some parts of the park's area. 

Best season to visit&nbspMay to October. The maximum number of flowers can be seen from July to September. 

How to get there 

Govind Ghat is the last motorable point. Beyond it is the 16-km trek to the valley.

By air&nbspJolly Grant Airport is the nearest airport and has direct flights from New Delhi and Mumbai. Govind Ghat is 280 km away.  

By railway&nbspThe nearest railway station is Rishikesh at 273 km, on NH 58, from Govind Ghat. Take a bus or a taxi to reach Govind Ghat. 

By road&nbspDehradun is 303 km away from the valley. 

For more information, check here 

Kaas Plateau, Satara, Maharashtra

The major portion of the Kaas plateau is a reserve forest, and it is 20 kilometres from the northern part of the Koyana Sanctuary. Kaas pathar, or plateau of flowers, is listed under the Protection Working Circle and is a rich bio-diversity area, as it has many endemic and endangered plants and a total of over 850 species of flowering plants. The plateau changes the colours every 15 to 20 days as the cycle of flowering plants progresses with the monsoon. The Kaas lake was built 100 years ago and is a perennial water source for western Satara city. 

Best season to visit&nbspJune to October.

How to get there 

By air&nbspThe closest airports are Mumbai and Pune, which is 145 km away. 

By railway&nbspReach Satara from Mumbai Central or Dadar Junction Station, it is a six-hour journey. Pune to Satara is a three-hour journey. 

By road&nbspKaas via Satara is 25 km. From Shendre town, it is 27 km, and from Pachawad-Kudal, it is 40 km. Mumbai to Satara is 255 km. 

For more information, check here,&nbspand here 

Yumthang Valley Of Flowers, Sikkim 

Situated at an altitude of 3,564 metres, and spread over 34 square kilometres, Yumthang is home to the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary. This is a natural reserve for more than 21 varieties of rhododendron. Situated above the climatic 'treeline' limit, Yumthang also has one of the highest numbers of flower species, such as primulas, poppies, iris, poppies, geraniums, etc. You will need to apply for mandatory permits ahead of your visit. We suggest you carry all essentials, such as woollens, medicines, cash, etc.

Best season to visit&nbspMarch to June

How to get there

By air&nbspBagdogra, in West Bengal, is the closest airport to Gangtok.

By railway&nbspNew Jalpaiguri Junction (NJP) in West Bengal is the closest station to Gangtok at an on-road distance of 119 km.

By road&nbspYumthang is 25 km from Lachung, which is 116 km from Gangtok, and be reached using taxis and permitted private vehicles.

For more information, check here 

Munnar, Kerala

The hills of Munnar are bathed in the blue beauty of the Neelakurinji flowers every 12 years. The last time they bloomed was in 2018. Neelakurinji or Strobilanthes kunthiana blooms in 40 varieties most are in shades of blue. In Munnar, the flowers spread across the hills, from Kovilur, Kadavari, Rajamala, and the Eravikulam National Park, which is also home to the endangered Nilgiri Tahr.

Best season to visit&nbspAugust, and it lasts up to October.

How to get there 

By air&nbspKochi International Airport, about 110 km away

By railway&nbspThe Angamaly station is 109 km, and Ernakulam is 145 km away.

By road&nbspThe Eravikulam National Park is 134 km from Kochi

For more information, check here 

*All distances given are approximations.

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