Saturday, July 10, 2010

Wild Flowers of Nanda Devi Outer Sanctuary

The prime motivation to undertake Nanda Devi Outer Sanctuary (Dharansi Pass) trek in June 2010 was to see high mountain ranges, numerous peaks from the close range, the deep valleys and gorges. Thanks to good weather conditions throughout the trek, we could see all these as per our expectations. But what came as a surprise bonus for us during the trek was getting to see lots of wildflowers some of which I had never seen during my earlier treks including Valley of Flowers and Har-ki-Dun. The pre-monsoon showers which had been almost regular feature in the afternoons and evenings for the last 10 days or so resulted in lot of greenery and early blooming of wildflowers.

A mere presence of wildflowers on our trekking paths has no meaning unless one has a keen eye in spotting such flowers. Fortunately, Sohan Singh Bisht, our guide on this trek was not only a keen spotter of wild flowers for us, he had also had a good knowledge of such flowers including their botanical names. Most of the wildflowers were spotted on the Lata summer village-Lata Kharak route. With the change of scenarios from dense forest to rugged rocky and stony surface after Lata Kharak, we thought that the days of spotting wild flowers were over. But it was not be as some of the rarest flowers including Himalayan Blue Poppy were spotted in Lata Kharak-Saini Kharak-Jhendidar-Dharansi route.

I am sure that during the peak blooming season of July-August, there would be riots of wildflowers in this route. Also there are many herbal plants having food and medicinal values on which the local villagers had relied upon for centuries. Sadly very few will venture into trekking in this part of Chamoli district during rainy season unless one is a avid botanist.

I have uploaded here some of the pictures of wildflowers I shot during the trek. I have given botanical names in the captions for some wildflowers as identified by Sohan Singh Bisht, our guide.

Yellow cobra lily seen on way to Lata summer village.

A pair of Wallich Geranium - Geranium Wallichianum. On way to Belta.

Wild roses on way to Bhelta. There were hundreds of such wild rose plants of white, pink and yellow colours.

Wild Jasmine flowers on way to Bhelta. Unlike wild roses, these flowers gave good fragrance.

Looks like from cobra lily family.

Primrose - on way to Bhelta

Looks like Leucas aspera - on way to Bhelta.

From Aquilegia family - on way to Bhelta.

Same flower with upside down.

Gentiana Verna- on way to Lata Kharak.

Front view of the same flowers.

Anemone Sylvestris on Belta-Lata Kharak route

Looks like a nature made bouquets in conical shape - near Lata Kharak..

These mass blooming wildflowers were found near Lata Kharak.

Yellow Himalayan Lily - Lilium Oxypetalium. On way to Lata Kharak.

Side view of the same flower.

Himalayan cinquefoil - Potentilla atrosanguinea . On way to Lata Kharak.

Yellow Wood Violet - Viola Biflora. On way to Lata Kharak.

Dwarf Rhododendron flower

Himalayan Slipper Orchid - Cypripedim himalaicum. On way to Lata Kharak.

Photo of the same orchid taken from different angle.

Roof Irish - Iris tectorum . On way to Lata Kharak.

Rhododendron flower - on way to Jhendidar.

Delphinium Elatum - on way to Jhendidar. This wildflower is found around Saini Kharak also.

Forget me not - Myosotis alpestris. On way to Jhendidar.

Himalayan blue poppy - on the jungle trek to Tolma.

Wildflower - No idea as to which family it belongs.

Himalayan Saxifrage - Saxifraga parnassifolia. On way to Jhendidar.

These bunch of wildflowers were found just below Jhendidar ridge. Same bunch of flowers were also seen in red and orange colours.


KS said...


Wonderful Pictures of NDOS wildflowers! You are right this was such a colorful and unexpected bonus!! Your pictures have come well out with vivid colors.

Sadanand Kamath said...

Thanks KS.

I have cropped some pictures to get more close ups of flowers.