trip to Valley of Flowers trekis not easy because it is worth visiting during monsoon season (July and August) when it rains the most every year. It is located at an altitude of 3600 mt in the west Himalaya. Valley of flowers national park come under Uttarakhand state of Northern India. It is known for meadows of alpine flowers in the valley and its diverse flaura & fauna. Valley of flowers is spread over 87.5 sq.km together with Nanda Devi National Park.
Valley of flowerswas discovered by renowned English mountaineers and botanists while stumbled in Bhyundar Valley of Chamoli district of Uttarakhand state. Valley is blessed by the nature with rare and endangered species of flowers, blossom in the month July and August, taking shades of colors as time progressed. July and August are the best month to trek. There is also a myth in locals that it has been inhabited by fairies. The valley was declared a national park in 1982 and presently a world heritage site. It is a much sought after haunt for trekkers, nature lovers and botanists. The valley is truly blessed with rare flowers like the Brahmakamal, the Blue Poppy and the Cobra Lily.
Chamoli district of state of Uttarakhand in the western Himalaya of India.
Best Time to Visit:
Best time to visit valley of flowersare July & August. Though, it opens in the month of June every year. It is not suggestible to trek the valley of flowers before or after these months as it gets snow round the year and trek route is almost capped with snow. It is advisable to carry important gears for trekking, would be a great help.
Rare and Endangered Species of Flowers:
Nature has offered an unlimited scenic beauty to the Valley of flowers. Whole trail and route to the valley of flower is encompassed with the beauty of Hyundai Gang, which sparkles in the interior of Garhwali Himalayas. Entire valley is dotted with more than 500 rare species of flowers such as Brahmakamal, Calendulas, Daisies, Anemones, Rhododendron, Orchids, Poppies and Primulas etc.
Once reached up to the valley of flowers. Extended walk in the valley offers more diverse alpine flowers.
Hemkund Sahib - Pilgrim center for Sikh:
It is basically a Gurudwara - a pilgrim center for Sikh community.
Hemkund Sahibis one of the most significant pilgrimage sites for Sikh. It is very near to the Valley of flowers and often visit while trekking to the Valley. It is located at an altitude of 15,200 ft, setting of a glacial lake surrounded by seven peaks. The Gurudwara is accessible by foot only. Trek starts from the place called Ghangaria, which is a base camp for valley of flowers as well. Trek bifurcates from this point and it is a 6 km trek.
Nearest town is Joshimath and it is accessible by road only. There are many options available to get the nearest town from New Delhi.
By Air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport situated in Dehradun, which is 315 km away.
By Rail: The nearest rail head is Haridwar railway station which is 264 km away.
By Road: It is well connected by road from Delhi. Nearest stop for valley of flowers is Govind Ghat, which is on the Rishikesh - Badrinath highway.
Trek for valley of flowers start from the place called Govindhghat, which is 16 km away from Joshimath. Road is motorable up to Govindghat only. There is a trek for about 14 km to get the base camp site called Ghangaria. From Ghangaria, one has to trek for 4-5 km to get the valley of flowers and 6 km for Hemkund sahib on different directions. One has to come down well before dark as camping and lodging is not allowed up there in the Valley.
It is very important to know about the lodging and other facilities up there in Valley of flowers. It is basically a 7 days trip from New Delhi. One should now the facts while up for trekking that valley opens nearly for 2 months and the resources are very limited. There is basic lodging facilities available up there in Ghangaria, do not expect any sort of luxury accommodation there, as hot water is provided in buckets, and electricity remains for hardly 2 hr a day. Small hotels & Camps are available for stay. Good hotels are available for places like, Haridwar, Rishikesh and Joshimath.
Things to Carry:
- T - Shirts / Sweat Shirts
- Light weight long trousers
- Warm Long-Sleeve Shirt
- Rucksack (even though you will have porters carrying luggage, it is a good idea to carry rucksacks if not then duffle bag)
- Woolen cap/ good gloves, Wind proof jackets /Rain gear (a must)
- Warm clothes / Jacket especially for evenings and mornings (if it rains it will get rather cold). A number of layers of clothing (thermals are recommended for the innermost layer) is preferable to a big thick jacket. This helps as you can add or remove layers according to the climatic conditions, which can change rapidly (specially for the evening/ early mornings when it is rather cold)
- A knapsack for the trek to carry your water bottle, camera and rain gear. Water bottle for the trek
- 2 pair of shoes (not new. 2nd pair for emergency). It would be a good idea to have rubber soled ankle length shoes. The trail from Govindgha to Ghanghariya tends to get wet (may have leeches as well)
- Sun glasses, cap, sun block, Retainers for spectacles/ sun glasses, Camera (with extra batteries/ film/ memory card), Flashlight
- Reading/writing material, Toiletries, Personal medical kit, it is a good idea to carry a pocket knife if you have one
- Above is the list of things to carry while gearing up for Valley of flowers trek, it would certainly be a help.