Uttarakhand: Experts call for cap on visitors at Valley of Flowers

Synopsis: The increasing number of visitors to the very famous valley of flowers in Uttrakhand is actually bothering locals, botanists, and social activists. According to them, the increased footfall at such an ecological spot is a matter of concern for all. 

Uttrakhand is also referred to as ‘Dev Bhumi’ or ‘The Land of Gods’ because of its unadulterated natural scenery. There are many places to visit in Uttarakhand, including Nainital and Auli, which are among the best destinations to spend a summer vacation in India.

A million visitors from around the globe head to Uttrakhand to climb the beautiful treks in Uttarakhand and visit other beautiful places, but only a few of them visit the famous Valley of Flowers. 

The Valley of Flowers is among the most beautiful places in Uttarakhand, yet it attracts only a few thousand visitors annually. However, if facts are to be believed, the small number of visitors is the only reason this place is blooming with flowers and free of human contamination.

In present times, the actual matter of concern for the Valley of Flowers is the increasing number of visitors to this fragile land. 

According to the reports, the highest number of visitors to the Valley of Flowers since it was formed was recorded in 2019 is 17,424. But this year, this popular tourist site in Uttrakhand has already welcomed 20,000 visitors in only five months and broken all the previous records.

To keep the situation in place, locals, botanists, and social activists have all called for stricter controls on tourism and related activities. According to them, it’s better to protect the valley’s delicate ecosystem from human interference. Along with this, experts also expressed their concern about the growing number of visitors, which results in the early melting of the Tipra glacier.

For those who don’t know, the Tipra glacier started melting early this year and completely melted in March due to excessive heat in the Garhwal Himalayas. Also, the flowers bloomed nearly a fortnight earlier than they usually bloom. The place also experienced excessive rainfall in July this year, which shook the “sliding zone,” causing the valley to be abruptly closed to tourists as rocks and debris were seen hurtling down the trek. 

Senior ecologist and alpine specialist Dr. SP Singh made reference to the above situations and stated that “There is something wrong with this entire ‘economy boom via tourism’ concept.” We need to conduct research on how susceptible it is to tourist traffic.

He resumed, “We need to conduct research on different aspects of the valley, such as its flora and fauna and their susceptibility to heavy tourist traffic and climate change.” 

Also, we have to figure out how sensitive tourists are to the area before letting anyone in. According to the range officer for Valley of Flowers, Gaurav Negi, there is no daily limit on the number of visitors, but the discussion is still in progress about the carrying capacity, 

If you are planning to visit the Valley of Flowers, then make sure to check the latest regulations and daily capping. Also, the best time to visit the Valley of Flowers is between July and mid-August, when the valley is in full bloom.

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