Valley of Flowers Trek - A Paradise on Earth

By Deepak Kannan on Aug 31, 2016
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As magical as the name sounds, Valley of flowers is known for its monsoon trek escapade into a mystical dreamland that would make you believe in the colours of life. Nestled in the Himalayan valley of the Chamoli district in Uttrakhand, the Valley of flowers was not known to the outside world until Frank Smythe and his group of British Mountaineers stumbling upon it by chance in 1931. Amazed by the beauty of the valley carpeted with charming flowers, they named it the Valley of flowers.

Recognising the value of the stunning landscape of the Valley of flowers, it was named as a national park in 1982 and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The rich diverse valley is also home to some of the rarest species of animals including Blue sheep, Snow leopard, Asiatic black bear, Musk deer, Red fox, Brown bear and even high altitude birds.

PC: Praveen/

We normally associate trekking to a painstakingly difficult task and prefer destinations that give us ample time to relax. The Valley of flowers is no different. The beads of sweat and the effort will be there just like other treks but it will be totally worth it. Trekking through the lovely green meadows adorned by more than 300 different varieties of alpine flowers, you wouldn't even notice the distance you are climbing, making it one of the most captivating experiences of your lifetime.

When to visit?

The Valley of flowers is open only between the months of June and October, as for the rest of the year it is covered in snow. Having said that the best time to visit Valley of flowers is during the month of July and August when the flowers are in full bloom. During this time, the valley changes its colour every fortnight as different flowers bloom in a fortnight interval.

Timing: Valley of flowers is open from 7am-5.30pm with the last entry till 2pm.
Entrance fee: Rs.150 for Indians and Rs.600 for Foreigners which is valid for three days and to extend the pass further, you would have to pay an extra of Rs.50 for Indians and Rs.250 for Foreigners, per day.

How to reach?

The trek to the Valley of flowers starts from Govind Ghat. Here are the best ways to reach Govind Ghat.

By Air:

The closest airport to Govind Ghat is Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun which is at a distance of 286 kilometres (approximately). From there you have to drive to Govind Ghat.

By Train:

If you want to get to Govind Ghat by train then you have to get down at Rishikesh. And from Rishikesh, it's an 8-hour drive to Govind Ghat. Look for rental cars. They save time and give the freedom to explore.

By Road:

Govind Ghat is well connected with roads from Dehradun and Delhi and the ideal way is to drive from Haridwar or Rishikesh on NH 7. On the way through, you can explore Srinagar and Devaprayag as well. Government buses and shared taxis are other alternates.

Best Trekking plan to the Valley of flowers:

Valley of flowers trek can be completed in a span of 5 days but to cover the nearby trek spots and to get a whole experience out of the trek, it is best to plan it for 6 days.

Ideal for: Beginners as well as experienced trekkers.

Day 1: Drive from Haridwar to Govind Ghat.

Drive from Haridwar on NH7 to Govind Ghat, a total distance of 294 kilometres (approximately). On the way, witness the Godly Confluence - Devaprayag, where the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers come together to form the Ganges, pay a visit to the holy city of Rishikesh highlighted by temples and ashrams and finally halt for the day at Govind Ghat.

Day 2: Trek from Govind Ghat to Ghangaria.

Start your trek early in the morning, not beyond 8am. Have breakfast and pack your trek bag with only the essential things because it gets hard to ascend the 13 kilometres trek with a heavier backpack.
The trek takes an approximate 4-5 hours. Along the way, you will encounter the villages of Pulna and Bhyundar Once you reach Ghangaria look for a place or arrange for a camp. When things are sorted out, explore Ghangaria and rest for the day.

Day 3: Trek to and fro Valley of flowers.

The exciting part of the 6-day journey happens on day 3. On this day, you'll be trekking at a height of 3,858 metres above the sea level. After walking 3 kilometres from Ghangaria, you will come across Dwari bridge which marks the beginning of the enchanting Valley of flowers beautified by wildflowers. From here the valley stretches for a length of 14 kilometres and looks totally mesmerising.
Soak in the amazing sight of the blooming flowers filling the atmosphere with its scented aroma. Return back to Ghangaria to mark the end of the day.

Day 4: Trek to and fro Hemkunt Sahib.

Through this steep 6 kilometre trek to Hemkunt Sahib, you will get to see a gorgeous view of the Himalayas at a closer range. Perched at a height of 4,329 metres above the sea level, the trek to Hemkunt Sahib is populated with silky streams and waterfalls. Start your return to Ghangaria within 2pm because the weather and the daylight changes are very rapid in Hemkunt Sahib.

Day 5: Trek back from Govind Ghat.

Descent slowly to Govind Ghat on day 5. En route - go skiing and paragliding at Auli, visit the classic temples at Badrinath and halt at Joshimath overnight.

Day 6: Drive back to Haridwar.

Replay the memories and have a good time relaxing.

Things to carry for Valley of flowers trek:

Before going on a trek to the Valley of flowers, it is essential to carry these things along with you.

  • Pullovers, thermal wears, sweaters and raincoat.
  • Trekking shoes, pants and a backpack.
  • Lip balms, sunscreen and shades.
  • Trekking pole, insulated water bottle and flashlight.
  • Toiletries and a towel.
  • Woollen gloves and cap.
  • Personal medication.

Valley of flowers as people call it is a 'Paradise on Earth' and a trek through the trails of the paradise will definitely be a hearty experience. I hope this blog on Valley of flowers trek will help you in making your trek a memorable one!

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