The Deoriatal Chandrashila Trek is a go-to trek if you want to see Rhododendrons. In March the trails and mountains are brimming with Rhododendron flowers. This remains until the end of the season – the last week of April.
On the first day of the trek you reach the Deoriatal campsite. “Deoriatal itself is surrounded by innumerable rhododendron trees. Trek a little further towards Rohini Bugyal, soon after you cross the Aakashkamini river, you will see the trail turning completely pink,” says Arjun Majumdar, Indiahikes founder.
The next day, after the meadows of Rohini Bugyal bowl you over, walk towards the connecting forest ridge from your right. Here, watch out for a tall lone rhododendron tree. It is a 5-minute walk from the campsite.
Next, the section from Chopta to Baniya Kund is straight out of wonderland. You will see a beautiful bright pink and scarlett hue throughout the day’s trek. The rhododendron trees just keep coming in – layer after layer. To get some respite from the red, you will see an occasional yellow rhododendron as well.
For anyone trekking in the Himalayas, seeing these flowers in full bloom is an unforgettable experience. And we notice that trekkers who do this trek during the Rhododendron season just cannot stop talking about it.
In addition seeing the rhododendrons in the forest section, shrouded by deep greens, and earthy browns is on the trek.
At the beginning of March one side of the trail, you will see clear white snow and on the other side rows of bright red Rhododendron flowers. Simply for this sight, you must do the trek in March.
There are different types, and colours of Rhododendron trees. Lakshmi Selvakumaran, Head of the Trek Experience Team at Indiahikes says, “On a trek, you will notice two types of Rhododendrons based on their size – trees and shrubs. At the base camp, and on the way to your first campsite, you will see Rhododendron trees. As you climb higher, you will notice Rhododendron shrubs. They come in different colours: shades of pink, red, and white. You must be careful as these ones are poisonous.”
Words do not do full justice to the beauty of these flowers, and the mountains they inhabit. Here is a photostory.
If you have trekked in rhododendron season before, let us know your experience in the comments below.