Tourists flock to Valley of Flowers

#1 Oct 4th, 2004, 08:26
Join Date:
Mar 2003
Dehra Dun (Uttarakhand)
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Tourists flock to Valley of Flowers

Raju Gusain
Dehra Dun, October 3

Even landslide on Rishikesh- Badrinath highway, that disrupted flow of vehicular traffic for some 45 days, failed to affect tourists' traffic to the Valley of Flowers in district Chamoli.

The best season to visit Valley of Flowers is from mid July to mid August. But in this ongoing season this famed tourist destination has witnessed a record number of nature lovers.

The year 2002 saw 3021 vacationers visiting the Valley of Flowers, in 2003 the number reached 4493 and till September 2004 it has touched all time high 4614.

A.K.Banerjee, DFO of the Valley of Flowers says, "With the park closing on October 31 we are expecting to cross the 5000 mark."

With the Durga Puja vacation round the corner Valley of Flowers is hoping to end 2004 on a high note.

The Valley of Flowers is associated with the epic Ramayana. Legend has it that Hanuman collected the 'Sanjivini Buti' from here. It was declared a national park in 1982.

Another hallmark of the present season is growth in foreign tourists. A mere 31 foreigners visited the park in 2002. It rose to 297 in 2003. So far 433 foreign travelers have visited the spot that was made famous by mountaineer and writer Frank. S. Smythe through his lucid writings.

The Forest Department has taken initiative to involve local community in eco-tourism. The Govindghat to Ghangria route is much cleaner, compared to the past. This has been made possible by a joint effort of the forest department and the local.

In a move to facilitate visitors an tourist information center has been established at Ghangria. Placards informing about the variety of flower and the height above sea level of the place have been fixed in many parts of the park.

The Valley of Flowers was in the news recently because of the IUCN team's visit to conduct survey for exploring possibilities to give the park world heritage site statues.

Hindustan Times
October 4, 2004
New Delhi edition (Late City)

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