Witness The Majestic Rhododendron Bloom – The Super Flowers Of The Himalayas
The first time I saw Rhododendrons was on the Chopta Chandrashila Trek. As I was walking through a clearing, there was a moment when the dense forest had thinned and on either of the trails, I could see a wall of colours – bright red and deep pink, reaching above our heads. I stood there watching in awe, I had never seen such beautiful flowers before. I was standing amid the Rhododendrons! And what a lovely sight it was! The bold, bright, and beautiful flower has a way of standing out. It’s hard not to love the Rhodies! Spotting Rhododendrons on the trails now became my favourite thing.
I want you to experience their beauty as well, which is why I am writing to you today.
The onset of spring is a beautiful time in the Himalayan region. The mountains are draped in vibrant colours. The weather is refreshing after the crispy Himalayan winter has passed. Spring brings with it many colours along with the crimson and pink bloom of Rhododendrons. Miles after miles of red, pink and white adorn the trails! It’s a pure delight to witness these majestic trees in their glory! Often the entire forest floor is covered in a carpet of red and pink and purple from the fallen Rhodo flowers!
The season of Rhododendrons is near and those who are in love with nature surely do not want to miss out on this stunning Himalayan sight. For a short time between March and April, the trails of the Himalayas are ablaze with reddish hues as the Rhododendrons are in full bloom. I am sure you don’t want to miss out on this experience.
It’s a sight that stays with you.
Even though Rhododendron bloom is such an amazing sight to be witnessed, there is very little talk about it and I wonder why. If you ask me, I would say that this is one of the grandest Himalayan experiences! Magnificent and momentary as it is, one should not miss out on this experience.
A little about Rhododendrons
Found at an elevation above 1800m to 4000m, these trees beautifully color the trails in shades of red, pink and crimson hues. These colorful flowers are widely found in the state of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, and the Himalayas of Sikkim. Did you know Rhododendron is the state tree of Uttarakhand? The blooming of Rhododendrons is also celebrated as Phool Sankranti in some Northern states of India. Apart from their incredible beauty, Rhododendrons are also an invaluable resource with a bunch of medicinal properties prevention and treatment of diseases associated with heart, detoxification, inflammation, dysentery, diarrhea, constipation, fever, bronchitis, asthma, etc. The unique flavor of Rhododendron makes it a good ingredient for jams, syrups, vinegar, compotes and even fruity wines.
I cannot wait to catch a glimpse of the Himalayas adorning a floral drape of red Rhododendron blooms! If you too are keen to experience the spectacular display of colors, we have gathered a list of some of the best Rhododendron treks in the Himalayas!
Best Rhododendron Treks In The Indian Himalayas
This is one of the most popular treks to watch Rhododendrons bloom in Uttrakhand. The Deoriatal – Chopta – Chandrashila trail is a well-laid out one amidst a forest of blooming Rhododendrons. The alpine lake Deoriatal is surrounded by stunning Rhododendrons in shades of magenta, crimson, and bright pink. This is a sight straight out of a fairytale! Also, the Baniya Kund campsite is a sight to behold, with snow retained till late April, you will see a magnificent contrast of magenta against white. Who would want to miss that?
Dayara Bugyal is a beautiful meadow trek in the lap of the Garhwal Himalayas. The lovely bugyal is lined by Rhododendron forests, which in spring is a blushing gallery of Rhodo flowers in full bloom. During early March, the landscape of Dayara is still covered more or less in snow and the striking red of the Rhododendron or Buransh as they are locally known creates a lovely contrast to witness. Dayara Bugyal is a great adventure with ample beauty and Rhododendron sightings.
Pangarchulla trek is a popular trek in Uttarakhand that opens up for a very short window of time and this is another trek where you can spot Rhododendrons both pink and white. The trees are spread sporadically along the trail and every once in a while you will be pleasantly surprised by the beautiful flowers in their bloom. The most magical sightings of Rhododendron in this trek are at Khullara Campsite. The campsite is encircled by Rhodo trees with the snow-capped mountains peeking from the gaps. It’s a great spot to click some Instagram-worthy shots of blossoming Rhododendrons!
Region: West Bengal
It is not a secret that Sandakphu Trek is known for its Rhododendron blooms. The trail often is a carpet of fallen Rhododendrons and Rhododendrons come to you in surprising clusters throughout the trail. The arresting view of the mighty Mt. Kanchenjunga in the front and the canopy of Rhododendron on the trail is a surreal experience! The section between Samanden and Molly is especially glorious as you walk through a dense Rhododendron forest with flowers completely red or deep pink. Rhododendrons are spread gracefully throughout the trail and makes it a treat to the eyes!
A perfect trail to witness the perfection of the enticing Rhododendrons in full bloom. Starting from late February to May, consider the peak months that will surely soothe your sight and your soul with the breathtaking view and the enchanting aroma of the Rhodo flowers, especially the stretch between Tshoka and Phedang. People from all over come here to see the Rhododendrons in bloom – it is a huge attraction of Goechala in the Spring and early summer months.
Har Ki Doon
Har Ki Doon is one of the most beautiful treks in the Indian Himalayas that unfolds a scenic panorama of nature’s splendour. During Spring beautiful Rhododendron flowers will welcome you along your path. You get to see Rhododendrons from the start of the trek from Sankri to Taluka and continue to Kalkatti Dhar. The stretch between Oslo to Kalkattidhar is especially beautiful with numerous Rhododendrons in bloom. You may even see many varieties of birds sucking on the nectar from the flowers.
Head to Bagji Bugyal in spring and you will get to see an entire Rhododendron forest blooming red. Amidst the backdrop of snow-covered peaks like Trishul, Nanda Ghunti and Panchachuli, the vivid red of the Rhododendrons stands out enhancing the beauty of the place by several degrees. Embark on this beautiful trek and witness the natural beauty of Uttarakhand paired with local cultures and traditions.
Ali Bedni Bugyal
With lush forests and vast spread meadows, Ali Bedni Bugyal is one of the most beautiful trekking trails in the Indian Himalayas. It is one of the few trails in India that boasts the bloom of colourful Rhododendrons. The Ghairoli Patal forest is a dense canopy of Oak and rhododendrons. As the sunlight diffuses through these flowers, forming unreal colours of Rhododendrons in the forest. It is one of the most remarkable experiences!
Rhododendron blooms are not as common in our country which makes this experience even more endearing. These trees grow in specific conditions and specific altitudes and weather conditions, which makes them pretty hard to find. So, when you get a chance to walk through a forest dazzling with the bright shades of Rhododendrons, would you give up on that opportunity?
So, this spring get ready to embark on a magical adventure of witnessing the Himalayas in their enticing best!