Imagines trekking through dense forests, walking on narrow strips of land, crossing several bridges, drinking directly from waterfalls, and finally reaching the heavenly view of a mystical flower valley. Feels tempting, right!
This flower valley lures botanists, adventure-seekers, and nature-lovers at the same time. One of India’s oldest known treks, the Valley of Flowers National Park is a region bestowed with authentic landscapes, surreal beauty, and an exotic experience of co-existing with nature.
Situated in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, the Valley of Flowers National Park is renowned globally for a bouquet of a wide variety of flowers and rare birds/animals. The national park is a part of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve and provides one of the best scenic and alluring trekking experiences to visitors.
Know about the Valley of Flowers:
This national park in Uttarakhand is majorly popular across the world and is one of the oldest trek routes in India. The Indian government developed the Valley of Flowers in the 1980s.
In 2002, UNESCO recognized the national park as World Heritage Site. This move popularised the valley and brought it on the world map. The Valley of Flowers finds itself at an altitude of 3,658 metres, at the peak of Nanda Devi, and is spread across a region of 87.50 square km in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand.
Blooming flowers, majestic Himalayan peaks, abundant scenic beauty, and a view of glaciers and cascading waterfalls. All these elements provide enough adrenaline rush to visitors to complete this moderately tough trek.
At the summit, trekkers can witness a carpet laid of all sorts of flowers covered in blue, yellow, pink, red, etc.
The valley is home to around 300+ varieties of flowers like Brahma Kamal, Ativisha, Himalayan Cobra Lily, Cosmos, Mexican aster, blue poppy, etc. Animals such as Asiatic Black Bear, Red Fox, Musk Deer, Brown Bear, Blue Sheep, and the most reserved Snow Leopard can also be spotted in the forests.
Trek to Valley of Flowers
The trek to the Valley of Flowers is bound to be on the bucket list of every adventure traveler. The soothing weather of the valley is an advantage for the tourists to replenish themselves both physically and mentally.
The entire trek is usually four-day long. The route is well-marked with directions and trails. Trekkers go up to an altitude of 14,400 ft over a distance of 38 km. The base camp of the trek is at Ghangaria village.
The trek route is safe and is usually frequented by visitors. There are well-placed campsites along the trek where trekkers can rest and restart their journey.
Most ascents in the valley are gradual, however, the climb to Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara is a challenging route and would require preparation beforehand.
Best Time to Visit
The Valley of Flowers trek in Chamoli starts on June 1st, 2022 and will continue till October 31st, 2022. Monsoon is the best time to visit this picturesque destination.
According to trekkers, July to mid-August is the perfect time to visit as the flowers in the valley are in full bloom. The weather is also suitable for trekking during this time as it is not too cold during the post-summer season.
Camping and Accommodation
At Ghangaria village, trekkers can find camps and stay overnight. Many hotels and guest houses can also be found near Govindghat, which is near the base camp.
The trek to the Valley of Flowers has an entrance fee of Rs. 150 for Indians and Rs.600 for foreign nationals. The ticket is valid for upto three days, after the third day, there is an additional charge too.
How to Reach
The roads are only connected up to Govindghat (near base camp) after which you have to trek for at least 20 kms to reach the national park.
By Flight: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun. Govindghat is at a distance of 292 kms from the airport. You can take taxis and local buses from the airport to reach Govindghat.
By Train: Dehradun, Haridwar, and Rishikesh are the nearest railway stations to Chamoli. You can book taxis or buses from these stations. Taxis or buses are readily available outside the railway stations till Govindghat. Rishikesh railway station is at a distance of 273 kms from Govindghat.
By Road: Major cities of Uttarakhand are well connected to Govindghat. Pauri, Srinagar Ukhimath, and Rudraprayag have motorable roads to reach the trek. The route to reach Govindghat follows NH 58.
The route also has helicopter rides available from Govindghat to Ghangaria.
- The trek can be enjoyed if you carry small backpacks and essentials only.
- Potters and mules are also available at the route. You can take a ride with them if you feel tired.
- Be aware of the altitude sickness which might affect you if you are not a frequent trekker.
- Prepare yourself physically and mentally before commencing the trek. Cardio-vascular endurance and stamina both are required to successfully reach the summit.
- The best way to enjoy a trek is by exploring nearby villages, meeting local people, and understanding the culture.
- The nearest hospital is at Joshimath, around an hour’s drive from Govindghat.
From trekkers to bird-watchers, photographers to nature-lovers, the trek to Valley of Flowers is suitable for everyone. If you are looking to go on an adventure to one of the most exotic valleys in the world, this is the right place for you. Visit the valley and explore mountains, waterfalls, meadows, and most importantly more than 300 varieties of flowers.