The myriad patches of vivid colors under the watchful eyes of the towering snow-capped Himalayas. Heavenly! Isn’t it? With over 300 species of flora and numerous species of endangered flowers & medicinal plants, the valley is no short of an enchantress perched idyllically to cast a spell on the visitors. But reaching this fairy hinterland of Uttarakhand is no child’s play. It is a trek; strenuous and moderately difficult.
Located at an elevation of about 3,858 meters above the sea level, the Valley of Flowers has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The enchanting valley stays frozen during colder months and blooms into a youthful beauty as the snow melts with the onset of summers.
Discovery Of The Valley Of Flowers
While the locals believed it to be the abode of fairies for long, others had no clue about the existence of the same. Finally, one day, Frank Smith – mountaineer, explorer, and botanist – lost his way to the Kamet peak and discovered the valley in the monsoon of 1931. His book on the same put the valley on the world’s map and that gave rise to the popular trek to the Valley of Flowers.
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Best Time To Visit Valley Of Flowers: July – September
The monsoon season, i.e. July to September is the best season to visit Valley of Flowers.
Temperature during this season: 7 degrees Celsius – 10 degrees Celsius (night); 15 degrees Celsius – 30 degrees Celsius (day)
How To Reach Valley Of Flowers?
Base Camp: Govindghat on Badrinath Highway
Nearest Airport: Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun
Nearest Railway Station: Haridwar Junction Railway Station
Attractions Enroute: Sri Hemkunt Sahib and alpine flowers
Suggested Read: Top 15 Places To Visit In Uttarakhand
Trek Duration & Day-Wise Itinerary
Duration of Trek: 6 D/5 N ex Haridwar
Distance: 1,420 km by car; 34 km on foot
Altitude: 12,763 feet at Valley of Flowers; 14,400 feet at Sri Hemkunt Sahib
Difficulty Level: Valley of Flowers is a moderate trek
Things To Carry On Your Trek To Valley Of Flowers
The Actual Trek To Valley Of Flowers
Day 1: Getting To The Base Camp
Distance: 294 km
Route: Haridwar – Rishikesh – Devprayag – Rudraprayag – Karnprayag – Chamoli – Joshimath – Govindghat
Mode of Transport: Shared Sumos, pre-paid taxis, or bus
Time: 9 hours (with lunch & evening tea halts)
The camp at Govindghat is located a good 294 km from the nearest railway station, viz. Haridwar Junction. From the railway station, one can take shared Tata Sumos, pre-paid private taxis, or a Garhwal Mandal bus. The uphill drive via Devprayag and Joshimath offers panoramic views of the mountains. The route passes through Devprayag where the Bhagirathi & Alaknanda rivers merge to form river Ganga.
Days 2 & 3: The Onward Journey
- Day 2: 12 km (Govindghat – Ghangaria Camping Ground)
- Day 3: 10 km (Ghangaria Camping Ground – Valley of Flowers National Park – Ghangaria Camping Ground)
Mode of Transport: On Foot
- Day 2: 4 hours (Govindghat – Ghangaria Camping Ground)
- Day 3: 5 – 7 hours (Ghangaria Camping Ground – Valley of Flowers National Park – Ghangaria Camping Ground; 2 hours for leisure at the National Park)
Altitude at Valley of Flowers: 3,858 meters
Temperature: Remember, the temperatures at this height are lower than what you would expect in plains. The air, however, is very much breathable. The acclimatization stretch, i.e. from Govindghat to Ghangaria, is enough to prepare you for the heights to be scaled. But, yes, the trek does require an optimum level of stamina and physical fitness.
Screenshots From The Valley Of Flowers
Day 4: A Short Extra Expedition
Distance: 11.4 km (5.7 km a side)
Time: 6 hours (2 hours halt at Sri Hemkunt Sahib)
Altitude at Hemkunt Sahib: 4,329 meters – Don’t be afraid of the height. The previous parts of the trek will have acclimatized you for this segment by now. However, the steep climb can be difficult. It is, therefore, essential to have decent level of stamina and physical fitness.
A short 5.7 km expedition from the Ghangaria Camping Ground takes you to Sri Hemkunt Sahib. This part of the trek is more difficult due to the steep climb. The religious site is said to the meditation ground of Guru Gobind Singh in his previous life. The Lake of Ice remains frozen for 8 months. In months of June, July, August, & September, the ice melts and one can take a dip into the chilled waters here.
Screenshots From Sri Hemkunt Sahib
Days 5 & 6: Finally, The Return Journey
On the onset of day 5, one has to trek down from Ghangaria Camping Ground to Govindghat. One can even opt to take a detour and visit Auli. A drive of about 30 minutes from Govindghat is required to reach Joshimath.
After a night halt at Joshimath, one can take shared Tata Sumos, pre-paid private taxis, or a Garhwal Mandal bus to the Haridwar Junction Railway Station.
Suggested Read: 10 Offbeat Trekking Spots In The Himalayas
Things To Remember On The Valley Of Flowers Trek
- Temperature and climatic conditions vary significantly vis-à-vis those in the plains. Ample time must be given to acclimatization.
- The trek may turn out to be very hard for first timers. So, heed to the instructions given by the trek leader.
- Carry a basic medical & first-aid kit.
- Avoid the consumption of alcohol or any other intoxicants during the trek.
- The valley and places enroute are prone to being spoilt by littering. Do Not Litter!
Well, that sums it up. All you need to do now is book your package this monsoon season and head off on this memorable trek to Valley of Flowers. If there is anything else that you would like to know, just drop a comment below and we’ll revert to it promptly and aptly.
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