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Valley of Flowers National Park - Uttarakhand

Flowers have been of special importance in Indian society and culture for centuries. The beauty described by the poet Makhanlal Chaturvedi in the poem titled Pushp ki Abhilasha expresses our feelings of affection towards flowers. So if you are a flower lover then Valley of Flowers National Park is the perfect destination for you.

Did you know that Valley of Flowers was discovered by Frank S. Smythe, Eric Shipton, and R.L. Holdsworth in the year 1931 while they were returning from Mount Kamet expedition and lost their way and were British mountaineer?

Valley of Flowers National Park

More than 500 species of colourful flowers bloom in the Valley of Flowers National Park. The Valley of Flowers is spread over 87.50 square feet and it was discovered in the year 1932 by a British climber and botanist Frank Smythe. In the year 1937, Frank Smythe wrote his book, "Valley of Flowers", and showed his experiences in front of the world, then this anonymous valley became the first choice of nature lovers of the world.

The Valley of Flowers National Park received World Heritage status in the year 2005. This park remains open for the tourists from July to September. You might be surprised to know that the Valley of Flowers also changes its colour every two weeks. Sometimes red and sometimes yellow flowers bloom, nature changes its colour in the valley and always attracts tourists.

The Valley of Flowers Trek is a mythological trek. The whole world knew about this! There have been numerous stories spinning around this valley - ordinarily about trekkers faint by the substantial fragrance of flowers on the huge meadows of the valley. These stories were started by Frank Smithe who was a British climber, who discovered this valley while he was on this expedition to Mount Kemet. He said:

The most wonderful valley I at any point saw among the divine and abode of snow on earth" these lines were said by him in his book. This may seem like an unprecedented description; however, you will think that it's hard to oppose this idea.

Why should you visit the Valley of Flower?

Valley of flowers trek is one of those treks where you will find rich flora and fauna while on the way to your journey between meadows and glaciers. This valley has magical powers, well not the one you see in Harry Potter but a natural one. This valley naturally changes its colour from April to November, which you can see live if you live there in the Valley.

These alpine flowers together cause waves like structure. After the snow melts, the initial set of flowers arrives in July, and afterwards in August, and then, they generally start getting dry from September end.

You can see Snake Foil, Meadow Geranium, Himalayan Rose, Hooked Stick Seed, Blue Poppy, White Leaf Hog Foot, River Anemone, and Dog Flower. No big surprise this valley is a botanist's fantasy. All the above reasons are quite enough for you to visit this beautiful valley in the lap of Himalayas. Here you will find your inner peace and can touch your soul. This is the place where God preferred to live.

How to reach Valley of Flowers?

The journey to the Valley of Flowers starts by reaching Govindghat on the Badrinath Highway which is around 270 km from Rishikesh. To visit the Valley of Flowers, you will have to walk 14 km to the basecamp of the valley, Ghangharia. Gangharia is a small village and market you can get your daily essentials easily from the market. There is also a Gurudwara in Ghangharia.

Permission fees are collected from the National Park for entry into the Valley of Flowers from Ghangharia. Tourists are allowed to enter the Valley of Flowers till noon. Tourists visiting the Valley of Flowers must return to Basecamp "Ghangharia" by evening.

Tourists visiting the Valley of Flowers can also go to Hemkund and Laxman Temple by trekking five km from Ghangharia. This trek is very steep and you need to get prepare for this a day before.

The best season to visit Valley of Flowers in June, July, and September. But during this season also, the climate in Joshimath remains cool and very cold in Ghangaria and Valley of Flowers.

I will suggest planning your trip according to the weather condition and at least prepare your body for high altitude climbing a week before trekking. Valley of Flowers Uttarakhand is a must-visit place for any person living on this planet. It's god’s own heaven and opens for you to experience the way they used to live during their time.

Valley of Flowers Trek Itinerary

Day 1: Rishikesh/Kotdwar to Joshimath

Today you will have an uphill drive from Rishikesh or Kotdwar to Joshimath (via Srinagar, Karnaprayag).

At around 7 am, you will start your journey from Rishikesh Hill Bus Stand / Kotdwar Bus Stand. You will have a long-distance climb from Haridwar to Govindghat. Along the way, you will be able to see the holy confluence of the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda rivers to form the Ganges River in Devprayag.

You will reach Joshimath which is a central point for other religious pilgrimage places like Badrinath, Hemkund, etc. You can stop here or proceed to Govindghat for a halt.

Day 2: Joshimath to Govindghat to Ghangaria

Today you will do complete mountain trekking from morning to evening till you reach Ghangaria, a small village or junction point of Valley of Flowers trek and Hemkund Sahib.

The trek will be a short 14 km gradual climb from Govindghat and goes through jungles and river bridges till you reach Ghangaria. You will reach Ghangaria until evening. Here you can take a hotel, or you also have an option to camp out.

Explore the beautiful surroundings with pine trees and deodar forests and fragrance of flowers.

Day 3: Ghangaria to Valley of Flowers

Today you will have a big day in your entire high-altitude Valley of Flowers trek because today you will finally watch Valley of Flowers.

Start your day with a nutritious breakfast. Set the height of 3,858 meters to reach the Valley of Flowers. This vision is a feast for the eyes and a cure for the soul. Behold one of the finest creations of nature as you witness an array of thousands of flowers in full flower. You can see a bunch of flowers all over the valley with different colours. You can’t take your eyes off the beautiful landscape of the attractive and charming Himalayas.

Building an appealing canvas, the valley has numerous streams that flow through it. Wildflowers form a rich eco-system for some types of animals, butterflies and creepy crawlies.

You will have to come back to your camp or hotel by 5 pm else the administration will send a search team for you in the valley.

Day 4: Ghangaria to Hemkund Sahib

Today you will do trekking to one of the holy places of Sikh which is surrounded by seven snow-capped mountains.

Today after doing your breakfast, you will start your trek to a medium to the hard trail to Hemkund Sahib which is a religious site, where Guru Govind Singh is said to have meditated in his previous life.

This Gurudwara is surrounded by seven beautiful snow-capped mountains, but one thing to remember is that oxygen is rare at this height you may find yourself a little uneasy at this place.

Spend time here and after having langar, start trekking down to Ghangaria.

Day 5: Ghangaria to Joshimath

After having early morning breakfast, start descending to Govindghat. You will reach Govind ghat by evening and you can halt in Joshimath.

Day 6: Joshimath to Rishikesh/Kotdwar

Your journey ends today.

Valley of Flowers from Delhi

Delhi to Valley of Flowers takes around two days or 18 hours of driving to reach Joshimath from Delhi.

From Joshimath, you will have to go to Govindghat where your trekking journey starts. From Govindghat, it will take you around 4-6 hours to reach Ghangaria depending on your trekking speed.

Note: **You can park your vehicle here. There are parking places that will cost you 50INR/day for your car parking. ** (Rates may be variable)

Most people ask for Valley of Flowers's best time to travel. As per my experience and understanding of the climate condition of the valley, I will suggest you June, July, and September as the best month to visit the Valley of Flowers.

Bus to Valley of Flowers

Uttarakhand Tourism and Uttarakhand Parivahan Nigam are together working on to start a direct bus service from Delhi to Govind ghat. Till now, you will have buses from Delhi to Karnaprayag and Joshimath. You can check the bus timetable here on the UTC website

You can also get buses from Rishikesh Hill Bus Stand and Kotdwar Bus Stand.

Valley of Flowers weather

During winters in Valley of Flowers National Park, the temperature ranges between -20°C and -6°C respectively.

During summer the temperature remains cool and ranges between 20°C and 5°C.