Valley of Flowers
Best hill station to visit in North India
Valley of flowers is a distinct utopian land in the state of Uttarakhand, which offers a majestic backdrop of bewildered Himalayas surrounded by the endless species of flowers which flutter and bloom in the valley.
Uttarakhand is the state of Gods and has many temples and gurudwaras at high altitudes that people reach yearly in the number of lakhs. A few extraordinary examples are, Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri, Yamunotri and Valley of Flowers.
(Image credits: Photo by Lay Naik on Unsplash)
Witnessing the Valley of Flowers in its full bloom adds to the ‘once-in-a-lifetime experiences of our life. Stretching from Ghangaria to Hemkund Sahib, Valley of Flowers is one of the best Himalayan Treks of all time, which has grown popular in the last decade due to advancements in communication. Situated at the 14,400 ft flower valley in India is one milestone because of its 6 kms steep trail to reach the top. You need to give at least 2 days for the trek to see the most beautiful flowers in India.
This blog covers all the whereabouts and myths about Valley of Flowers, one of the best treks in India.
Which City is called Valley of Flowers?
There are many other destinations in India that one can confuse for Valley of Flowers, such as Kashmir is also considered famous for flowers which are rare and colourful and south India also has many flower parks that offer beautiful views, but the actual Valley of Flowers is in the state of Uttarakhand located in the Chamoli district.
The valley is believed to have been discovered in 1931 when three British mountaineers – led by Frank S Smythe – lost their way and chanced upon this spectacular valley. Attracted by the beauty of this place they named it the “Valley of Flowers”. The interesting fact is that Valley of Flowers National Park was recently recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site, which is also the part of Nandadevi Biosphere reserve.
The Valley is stretched 87 km/sq which includes the trek from Ghangaria to Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara and Hemkund Sahib Lake. There is a 5 km further trek to the starting point of river Pushpawati which is surreal in the beauty and heavenly to witness, especially in the monsoon.
What is the best time to visit Valley of Flowers?
The best time to visit the valley of flowers is from June to August when the monsoon is at its peak. It is the time when everything is greener and lush. You walk among the steep stone steps amidst the wayfarer clouds coming all the way down from the valley. There might be rainfall in between treks or during the entire trek but it doesn’t make your trek difficult.
Also, the interesting fact about the Valley of Flowers is that maximum flowers bloom only between mid-July to mid-August in which there are 600 species of flowers and 45 of them have medicinal value. According to Hindu scripture, Ramayan, Lord Hanuman lifted the entire Dronachal Hill on his smallest finger for the sake of bringing Sanjeevni herb to aid the half-dead Lord Lakshman, brother of Lord Rama. You can also spot Uttarakhand’s state flower which is Brahma Kamal in the valley.
Though, you can also visit Badrinath Temple which is only 25 km away from the Valley of Flowers, also the best place to visit during the monsoon season.
(Image credits: Photo by Akanksha Sharma on Unsplash)
Where is Valley of Flowers Located and How to Reach there?
Valley of Flowers is located in the district of Chamoli, Uttarakhand. There is no direct road to reach the valley of flowers but to trek from the last rod reaching a point, which is Joshi Math. It is at the starting point of the river Pushpawati, which takes formation from the Trip Glacier, seen at the end of the valley.
The road map to reach the Valley of Flowers is quite simple and easy to execute. Here is the itinerary provided by us to Navigate you easily.
- Reach Delhi and take a Flight, Train, Bus or Car to Dehradun.
- Once in Dehradun, check in the Hotel to stay overnight or you might visit the local places.
- Start your day with a heavy breakfast and start your journey towards Govind Ghat.
- Govind Ghat is 310 Kms from Dehradun and takes approximately 8-9 hours to reach.
- The road is very good and prolific in beautiful views of passing by valleys.
- You will be crossing some beautiful cities and places such as, Haridwar, Dev Prayag, Nand Prayag, Karn Prayag etc.
- After reaching the Govind Ghat, take shelter in a guest house, a tent or a hotel.
- Start your day with a beautiful view and a healthy breakfast to fill yourself with energy as treks are going to start.
- Start your trek from Govind Ghat to reach the Ghangaria Village, the base camp for the trek of Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib.
- It is a 15 km trek, though not a difficult one, so you can easily get through the rocky terrain of the place crossing the magnificent rows of mountains, waterfalls and fluttering flowers.
- After reaching Ghangaria, stay overnight in a tent because that is what will be available there but after all, this is all part of the experience.
- Wake up to the surreal views of the mighty Himalayas and a lightweight breakfast.
- The trek to the Valley of Flowers starts from here which takes you to the altitude of 14,400 ft.
- Carry important equipment only and not everything overloaded bag because it will make your trail more and more difficult.
- The distance of the trek is only 4 km but the trail is steep and difficult to complete.
- There is no place to stay at the Valley of Flower so you have to climb down again in time to reach Ghangaria.
- This is the day when you can decide whether you want to return to Dehradun or you want to opt for Hemkund Sahib Trek which is a 6 km trek.
- If you want to return home then prepare yourself for a return trek to Govind Ghat, where you have to take a taxi and come to Joshi Math. This is where you have to stay overnight.
- Take a Cab or a Bus to reach Dehradun and stay overnight because it takes 9 hours.
- The next day take a cab or Train or a Flight to Delhi.
Valley of Flowers trekking cost?
The cost of travelling varies according to person and group because everyone has a set of different requirements and budgets for travelling. Though, here is a fare breakup for major expenses to travel to the Valley of flowers from Dehradun.
- Dehradun to Govindghat
- The distance between Dehradun and Govindghat is 310 Kms.
- The Cab Fare is around 8,000/- per Vehicle SUV.
- The Fare for a Tempo Traveler is 12,000/-.
- Chamoli – Joshimath= Rs.100/- per head
- Govindghat to Pulna
- You can share a cab or a bus for 80/-.
- Joshimath – Govind Ghat= Rs.50/- per head
- Pulna to Ghangaria
- Reach Ghangaria and stay at any tent at the cost of 400/- or 500/-.
- Ghangaria to Valley of Flowers
- Trek cost with a guide is 8,500/- and without the guide is absolutely free.
- hot water =Rs.50/-per bucket
- Valley of Flowers
- Ticket Price at VOF: Rs.150/- per person for Indians and Rs.600/- for foreigners.
This is the major expense breakdown for the trip to Valley of Flowers and it totals around 13,630/- per person excluding food, Drinks and other expenses. It includes the travel, tickets and stays costs from Delhi to Valley of Flowers to Delhi.
(Image credits: Photo by Jayesh Joshi on Unsplash)
Is Valley of Flowers difficult to Trek?
The valley of flowers trek is a normal to moderate climb and required a good to average fitness level to survive this beautiful trek. Although, the time to visit the valley is in the season of monsoon and that is when treks get difficult but most beautiful as well.
On Moderate treks like the Valley of Flowers, you walk for about 6-8 km each day. The ascents and descents could get steep. The maximum altitude will range between 13,000 ft to 14,000 ft. You’ll come across tricky patches frequently (like snow or scree), which require you to navigate with a certain amount of caution. There might also be small stream/river crossings.
Your goal is to cover 5 km with an intention to finish within 35 minutes.
Thumbnail image credits: (Photo by Dylan Taylor on Unsplash)