Valley of Flowers Trek
Not much needs to be said about the Valley of Flowers trek. It is one of very rare treks that has a space dedicated to it on Wikipedia and rarer still, a place among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The name rightly suggests that it is a Valley full of Flowers and the spectrum of colours on display is unreal when you go there in months between July and September. The Valley has over 300 different species of flowers that have been identified and each of these are in full bloom during the season.
The earth laughs in flowers.Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Destination: Uttarakhand
- Location: Valley of Flowers
- Departure: Govind Ghat
- Google Map Co-ordinates: 30.7333° N, 79.6333° E
- Nearest City (Airport): Jolly Grant (Dehradun)
- Nearest City (Railway Station): Dehradun
- Highest Altitude: 15,000 ft.
- Prominent Himalayan peak visible: Mt. Changabang(6,864 m)
- Dates: 15-20 Aug, On request
- Months: July – September
- Level: Moderate
- Guide: Available
- On request
The name rightly suggests that it is a Valley full of Flowers and the spectrum of colours on display is unreal when you go there in months between July and September but you already know that. Photographs we find on the internet showing a carpet of flowers in a rainbow of colors are infact real and not an exaggeration or a product of Photoshop. The Valley has over 300 different species of flowers that have been identified and each of these are in full bloom during the season.
There is perhaps a history as well to the repeated visits… Noted mountaineer, Frank Smythe credited with the discovery of Valley of Flowers first stumbled upon this in 1931 but had to leave the in a hurry to catch his ship back to England. He returned a few years later and stayed back for over 2 months there. Better still, Margaret Legge, credited with naming the place never left…
Perhaps, even though the landscape remains the same, the sights and sounds are never the same… Different colours to admire, different fragrances created by the bloom of these flowers, and let’s face it, 300 varieties of flowers, you really will need to visit this place more than once to be able to even notice most of these…
To quote a traveller “During each of my visits, the Valley was always the same but it was my own mind which gave a different picture during each visit”.
There is certainly a magic to this Valley, but we will just leave it to you to find that magic.
No questions asked about the mesmerising beauty of this place, but there are a few things you need to consider before planning this trek, these are:
If you are looking for a peaceful wilderness getaway where you don’t want to encounter people, you should look at some of our other treks. In 2010, about 7,000 people visited the Valley and about 5 lakh people visited Hemkund Saheb. This figure will probably touch 10,000 in 2012 for Valley and about 95% of these people visit between July and September. Doing the math nearly 100 people visit Valley of Flowers everyday and multiple thousands visit Hemkund Saheb. So you will encounter a lot of people on the trek. Visit it for the beauty of the place but not to get away from people.
The total trekking days are 4 where you trek from Govind Ghat to Ghangria and setup base there. Trek to Valley of Flowers and return to Ghangria second day and trek to Hemkund saheb and return to Ghangria on the third day. The nearest Railway Stations with regular trains are either Dehradun or Haridwar both of which are about 300 km from Govind ghat. During the trek you will reach a maximum altitude of about 4,300 mt.
All in all a six day trek from Haridwar to Haridwar.
- Day 1 / Drive from Dehradun to Joshimath/Auli (300 kms/8-9 hr drive)
- After an early breakfast, we pick you up and start the drive to Ghangria. After Rishikesh the drive turns hilly. You will be driving along the Ganga and then the Alaknanda River. This makes it a very scenic drive and the numerous confluences only add to the beauty. Bhagirathi meets Alaknanda at Devprayag and forms Ganga. After some time Alaknanda meets Mandakini at Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag- Alaknanda & Pindar River, Nand Prayag- Alaknanda and Nandakini River & Vishnu Prayag- Alaknanda and Dhauliganda River. All of these offer not only mythological significance but also beautiful views and also a realization that you are in one of the most important geographical regions of the country as these form some of the most important rivers on the country. The drive can get tiring but the scenery will make it worthwhile. Spend the night at a hotel in Joshimath.
- Day 2 / Trek to Ghangaria (14 kms/4-5 hr trek)
- Govind Ghat is the starting point of the trek to both Hemkund Sahib and Valley of Flowers. We follow the Pushpawati River which originates from Valley of Flowers. The trek is mostly a gradual ascent along a well maintained trail to Ghangaria and in season you will encounter plenty of trekkers headed towards Valley of Flowers and pilgrims headed towards Hemkund Sahib. Ghangria is a well populated stopover. On arrival check into a rest house in Ghangaria.
- Day 3 / Trek to Valley Of Flowers, back to Ghangria (5 kms one side/4-5 hrs going and coming back)
- Trek to Valley Of Flowers (3858 m) from Ghangaria. Gradient is moderate and the landscape soothing to the eye. It will take about a couple of hours to reach the valley. The valley is a beautiful sight with and you will see carpets of flowers there. Over 300 varieties of Flowers including Geranium, Marigold, Braham kamal, Rhododendrons etc. Most of the flowers have medicinal values too. The valley is 10 kms long, 2 kms wide, and the trek is mostly gradual. The Pushpawati River originates from there. Spend the day in the valley and return to rest house in Ghangria by evening.
- Day 4 / Trek to Hemkund Saheb, back to Ghangaria (5 km one side, 4-5 hr trek, 2-3 hr return)
- A very steep 5 km trek takes you from Ghangria to Hemkund Saheb, of mythological significance as it is thought that Guru Govind Singh and Laxman meditated there. The Gurudwara is located on the banks of a beautiful lake, the trek is very steep and is sure to test your stamina and endurance. The lake is surrounded by wild flowers. Pilgrims take a dip in the freezing cold waters of the lake. Hot tea will be served in the Gurudwara (Shrine) before retracing steps to Ghangharia. Overnight we stay in rest-house at Ghangharia.
- Day 5 / Trek back to Govindghat and drive to Badrinath
- Trek back to Govindghat and from there drive for about an hour to reach the temple town of Badrinath. Situated on the banks of Alaknanda and with the backdrop of Neelkanth peak, an ancient temple with hot Sulphur water pools around, Badrinath is a beautiful destination to visit besides its pilgrimage significance (being one of the Char Dhaams). Overnight we stay in rest house at Badrinath.
- Day 6 / Drive back from Badrinath to Dehradun (9 hours drive)
- Accommodation for 5 nights in lodges. All lodges have attached washrooms.
- Porters/ponies to carry supplies and camping equipment as well as your personal luggage.
- Veg meals beginning with dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 6.
- Guide and cook fees.
- Entry fees, permissions and forest charges.
- Ground support from an experienced team of adventurers.
- Transport ex Dehradun: Optional, we arrange transport ex Dehradun at an additional pass on cost to members: the cost for an AC Innova is extra. This includes transport with 4-5 people sharing a car along with pick up and drop to a location of your choice in Dehradun, Hotel/Home stay rooms on twin sharing on the morning of departure for freshening up and breakfast.
- Personal expenses like tips, medicines, phone calls etc.
- Any kind of Insurance.
- Any transport support during the trek apart from what is included above
- Any meals during the travel journey to Govindghat and back from Badrinath to Dehradun.
- No sightseeing in Badrinath except temple visit.
- Accommodation in Dehradun.
- Service tax.
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