Valley of Flowers is located in Chamoli district (near Badrinath) of Uttarakhand, approximately 300 km to the north of Rishikesh. This is a picturesque national park, gracing the beauty of Western Himalayas. Valley of flowers was discovered in 1931 and is a World Heritage Site for its wild untamed blooms surrounded by white peaks.
At the meeting point of the Himalayan ranges, Zanskar and Western and Eastern Himalayas, the valley of flowers discovered by Mountaineer Frank S Smith in 1931 has been declared a world heritage site for its wild untamed blooms surrounded by white peaks. Famous for its exotic varieties of medicinal herbs, it is also believed that Hanuman brought Sanjivani to the ailing Lakshmana from the valley of flowers. A perfect place to laze around the umpteen number of Himalayan water-falls, streams and paddocks and let the beauty of the place sink in.
Visitors need to find accommodation in Ghangari only as staying back in not allowed in neither Valley of Flowers nor Hemkund Sahib.
A heavenly abode of nature in Garhwal. A delight for a flower lover.
Difficult to reach. Hostile in winters.
Almost tailor-made for nature lovers and fearless trekkers. Suitable for backpackers touring nearby sites like Dehradun, Mussoorie etc.
Day 1- Reach Govindghat (20 km before Badrinath), the last motorable point to reach Valley of Flowers. From here, the trek is for about 16 km (8-10 hours) up to Ghangaria alongside the bank of river Pushpavati for the first 9 km. The next 4 km is a slightly steep trek. However, once you reach the beautiful valley, the exhaustion will vanish in a jiffy on seeing the beauty of the blooming flowers in the once snow-clad valley, especially in the summer months.
This trek can be skipped as pony, helicopter, palanquin rides are available from Govindghat to Ghangaria. However, helicopters are available as per weather conditions.
Since you cannot stay at Valley of Flowers, Ghangaria which serves as the base camp has several private lodges and hotels for accommodation.
Day 2- Start from Ghangaria to reach Valley of Flowers. The distance is approximately 14 km (7-8 hours). Entry starts at 7 AM in the morning and closes at 5 PM. Hence, an early morning start is necessary. Come back to Ghangaria on the same day.
Depending on the speed and stamina, one might also cover the Pushpavati River Bed point for lunch.
Day 3- Start at Ghangaria to reach Shri Hemkund Sahib point, the highest Gurudwara in the world with a lake beside. The distance is approximately 12 km (8-9 hours), half of which is a difficult but worthy steep. Start early and return on the same day.
Day 4- Ghangaria to Govindghat.
The Valley of Flowers is a beautiful destination situated in the Joshimath area of the Garhwal region, almost next to the Nanda Devi National Park. Accessible from June onwards, this beautiful valley is filled with blooming flowers of rare varieties, especially the endemic alpine flowers such as golden lily, which make it a place worth visiting. Now a World Heritage Site, this site was accidentally discovered in 1931 by three tourists, Frank Smythe, Eric Shipton & RS Holsworth, while returning from a successful expedition to Mt. Karmet. So if you're touring the Garhwal region, be sure to visit this place.
June 1 to October 4
INR 150 for Indian and INR 450 for foreigners, respectively. The ticket is valid for 3 days from the date of purchase.
Valley of Flowers is the core zone of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. About 520 high altitude plants are found here, including a variety of flowering plants, and rare medicinal herbs.The medicinal plants, namely Aconitum heterophyllum, A. falconeri, Arnebia benthamii, Dactylorhiza hatagirea, Gymnadenia orchides, Megacarpa polyandra, Picrorhiza kurroa, Podophyllum hexandrum and Taxus wallichiana dominate the area. A research nursery for promoting these rare medical herbs has been set up near the entrance, at Musadhar. Among the flowering plants that are found in this area are Orchid, Marigold, Poppy, Daisies, Primulas, Anemone. Parts of Valley of Flower are covered with sub-alpine forests birch and rhododendron. Flowering plants account for about 490 of the 520 species found in this national park.
Valley of Flowers has a rich fauna coverage, though the density is not too high. All the animals found are of rare and/or endangered species. Among the most commonly found animals are the tahr, while serow, goral, musk deer and bharal, blue sheep are rarely found. Other names include Snow Leopard, Musk Deer, Red Fox, Common Langur, Bharal, Serow, Himalayan Black Bear, Himalayan Brown Bear and Pica (Mouse Hare). Professor C.P. Kala?s research recorded 13 species, but only 9 of them were sighted by him- namely the northern plains grey langur Semnopithecus entellus, flying squirrel Petaurista petaurista, Himalayan black bear Ursus thibetanus, red fox Vulpes vulpes, Himalayan weasel Mustela sibirica, Himalayan yellow-throated marten Martes flavigula, Himalayan goral Naemorhedus goral, Himalayan musk deer Moschus leucogaster, etc. The bird population include names such as Himalayan Golden Eagle, Griffon Vulture, Snow Partridge, Himalayan Snow Cock, Himalayan Monal, Snow Pigeon and the Sparrow Hawk. The more commonly spotted birds are lammergeier Gypaetus barbatus, Himalayan vulture Gyps himalayensis, yellow billed and red billed choughs, etc. Reptiles such as Agama tuberculata, Himalayan ground skink and species of butterfly such as lime butterfly Papilio demoleus demoleus, common yellow swallowtail Papilio machaon, common Mormon Papilio polytes romulus are also found.
The inaccessibility of this place did not allow people to know much about its presence. However, in 1931 3 British mountaineers Frank S. Smythe, Eric Shipton and R.L. Holdsworth happened to discover this place when they lost their way, returning from a successful expedition to Mt.Kamet. The valley which was full of flowers was named ?Valley of Flowers?. The Valley of Flowers was declared as a national park by the government in 1980. In 1982, the park was renamed as Nanda Devi National Park. In 1988, when the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve was established, this location was declared to be its core zone. The Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve has been a part of UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves since 2004 and Valley of Flowers is now a World Heritage Site.
The area does not offer many choices in food and hence it is best to pack some food for your trip here or make personal arrangements. Some hotels and lodges nearby might serve typical Indian food.
Best Place in uttrakhand. Scene changes in every 10 minutes. Its 16 km trek from govind ghat. 13 km ghagria village than 3 km from there.
By Subhobrata Das
The Valley Of Flowers Trek is on. Will it be very difficult for me considering that I've never trekked before?