Valley of Flowers Trek
Valley of Flowers Trek
Valley of Flowers Trek
Valley of Flowers Trek
Valley of Flowers Trek
Ever wondered what a paradise would look like. Is it filled with beautiful flora, fauna and snow? Well, we can just guess. But what if we tell you that there is a paradise on earth just like you have envisioned.
The places are known as Valley of Flowers & Hemkund Sahib. It is no less than a paradise. The beauty that is bestowed upon this place is beyond your imagination. The overwhelming views of the alluring mountains, streams flowing, and the colourful pattern of the flowers, it is gifted with the only thing you miss for your inner peace.
Valley of flowers trek is one of the most popular & oldest treks in the Himalayas during the monsoon. It is considered to be the best trekking destination for wildlife and adventure lovers worldwide. This trek is acknowledged by many mountaineers, trekkers, botanists, and spiritually inclined people. At the end of the long and tiring journey, the destination is worth the struggles.
Let us Get Into Some Details About the Valley of Flowers
Valley of flowers is a National Park situated in the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site that is home to a variety of blossoming flora and other endangered species like Asiatic black bear, Brown bear, Red fox, Blue sheep, Snow leopard, Monal etc. The journey through the dense forests along with the Pushpawati river never lets your excitement down even for a second. The alpine flora of this blissful valley is about 2 km wide & up to 10 km long.
The valley of flowers trek is a moderate trek and it requires a good level of fitness. The steep and audacious trek through the Hemkund Sahib is the most fun adventure & challenging for those who want to test their limits.
The trail of Valley of Flowers starts from Pulna village which is 4 km away from Govindghat. The paved trail from Pulna to Ghagharia is about 9 to 10 km of the trek. Ghagharia is a tiny hamlet surrounded by lush green and tall Fir (Abies Pindrow) trees. For almost 3 days you have to stay at Ghangaria. There are two trails which we have to cover, on the left of Ghangharia is the trail for the valley of flowers which is 4 km of the trek. On the right, the trail goes up for Hemkund Sahib which is a quite tough and steep stretch of 6 km.
The True Beauty of The Valley of Flower
The valley of flowers shows the true essence of changing the beauty of nature. The flower bed of the valley keeps on changing its colours between May and October. Valley of flowers is embodied with a variety of flowers not even in colour but also in shape, texture, and smell. The variation will force you to flow deeper and deeper into the valley. People call it a fairyland. There are certain theories that it was captured by fairies who never returned. Well, why would they? No one would ever want to come back from such a beautiful place, but the unfortunate thing is that we can not camp at Valley of Flowers. This is an eco-sensitive zone so night camping and taking your pets or grazing your cattle is not allowed in the valley.
Incredible Spiritual Journey Towards Hemkund Sahib
The challenging part of this trek is visiting Hemkund Sahib. In just 6 km you have to climb from 9600 ft to 14,200 ft and this makes the trail very steep. Despite this, you see middle-aged, elderly and children climbing this stretch on their own or with the help of ponies. These people have immense faith so they do not give up climbing. Apart from Sikh pilgrims you also can see many saints and spiritually inclined people meditating on the banks of the beautiful Hemkund lake. Gurudwara Sri Hemkund Sahib is dedicated to Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the Tenth Sikh Guru. It is believed that Guru Gobind Singh came and meditated here.
History Behind the Discovery of Valley of Flowers
In the year 1931, a group of British mountaineers Frank S. Smythe, Eric Shipton and R. L. Holdsworth lost their way while descending from the expedition of Mt. Kamet. Accidentally they reached this magical and mystical valley full of flowers and they named & documented it as “Valley of Flowers”. Earlier this valley was less known to the outside world and known as “Pushpwaati” for the locals. The Indian government declared this a national park in 1980; in 1982 this national park was established and renamed as “Valley of Flowers National Park”, and later in 2005, it was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Best Time to Visit the Valley of Flowers
Although you can visit the valley of flowers from the starting of June till the end of October, the best time to visit is between July to September because that is the time when maximum flowers bloom. Also due to rainfall, dust particles come down on the ground and the valley looks very clear and alluring. You can see Mt. Rataban, Gauri Parbat, Neelgiri Parbat, Mt. Saptasring, Kunt Khal, and Tipra Glaciar, out of which the Pushpawati river flows.
The valley is bestowed with rare and exotic Himalayan flora & fauna. There are about 600 species of flowers, out of which 45 species have medicinal qualities. Some of the species found here are Indian aconite (Aconitum Falconeri), Himalayan maple (Acer Caesium), Blue Himalayan poppy (Meconopsis Aculeata), Himalayan White birch (Betula utilis). Flowers mostly are orchids, primulas, marigolds, daisies, Himalayan bellflower (Campanula latifolia), Himalayan Balsam (impatiens sulcata), Geranium, Morina longifolia and also the State flower of Uttarakhand Brahma Kamal (Saussurea obvallata).
- Trekking equipment
- Services of an expert Trek Leader
- Safety equipment
- Trekking permits
- Food during transit
- Stay on the last day
- Anything apart from inclusions
- Cost Escalation due to ‘Force Majeure’ and evacuation charges
- Porter or mule for carrying personal luggage
- Personal expenses & goods of any kind
- Unscheduled stay due to unfavourable conditions
Drive from Rishikesh to Joshimath
Base Camp Altitude: 6150 ft. On the first day, you have to reach the Joshimath base camp which is about 9 hours drive from Rishikesh. Midway you will cross local towns like Srinagar, Pipalkoti, Chamoli and Panch Prayag.
Drive from Joshimath to Pulna & trek to Ghangaria
Altitude: 6150 ft to 9600 ft | Trek: 10 km | Trek gradient: Easy-moderate. Gradual ascent, well-defined trail. On the second day, you will cross Govindghat and reach Pulna, which is 24 km from Joshimath. The drive between Govindghat to Pulna is offroad. Your trek will start from Pulna village. The trail is paved and well defined and there are many eateries to get relaxed and fuel up. Midway you will cross Bhyundar. Bhyundar is a small station at the banks of Bhyundar Ganga. This is the station for VoF, Hemkund Sahib, Kagbhusandi lake trek, Kunt Khal and Bhyundar Khal trek. After about 9 to 10 km of the trek, you will reach Ghangaria and rest here overnight.
Ghangaria to Valley of Flowers & back
Altitude - 9600 ft to 11500 ft | Trek: 4 km each way | Trek gradient: Easy, Flat walk. Early Morning you will leave for Valley of Flowers. The trail splits in less than a kilometre then you will reach the entrance gate of Valley of Flowers and your permit will be issued by the Forest Department. On the way, you will cross the Pushpawati river and about 4 km of the trek the valley will welcome you with so many different flowers & scenery. The valley stretches 3 to 6 km further until it ends with a glacier visible at a distance. Overnight camping isn’t allowed in the valley you have to return by the afternoon.
Ghangaria to Hemkund Sahib & back
Altitude - 9600 ft to 14200 ft | Trek: 6 km each way | Trek gradient: Moderate-difficult, Steep ascent and descent. This could be a challenging part of your trek. You have to leave early morning and hike slowly as the trail goes steep. Take baby steps and rest a bit (do not sit during resting). After about 2 hours of hiking, you will witness mesmerising views. Then you will raech the Hemkund Sahib gurudwara & beautiful Hemkund lake. The water of this lake is crystal clear. Take a walk to the other side of Hemkund, here you will find beautiful flora and Brahma Kamal which grows only between the altitude of 13000 to 15000 ft.
Trek from Ghangaria to Pulna & Drive to Joshimath
Altitude: 9600 ft to 6150 ft | Trek: 10 km | Trek gradient: Easy descent. On your fifth day, you will return from Ghangaria to Joshimath. The trail back to Pulna is on the same path that you took on your second day. Reach Joshimath by afternoon and take a rest or you can roam around the local market, visit the famous Narsingh Temple.
Drive from Joshimath to Rishikesh
You will drive down to Rishikesh on Day sixth. Leave early morning from Joshimath since Valley of Flowers is a monsoon trek, there are possibilities of roadblocks.
Joshimath is a small town in Uttarakhand, a state in northern India. It is 6,150 feet above sea level and surrounded by snow-capped beautiful mountains. Joshimath is an important Hindu pilgrimage site with numerous temples, including the Narsimha temple, Bhavishya Kedar temple and Shri Shankaracharya Math. Joshimath is a popular tourist destination for both domestic and international visitors. It serves as a gateway to the Himalayan region and a base for numerous trekking and mountaineering expeditions. To accommodate visitors, the town has a number of hotels and guest houses. And this is the place from where we will start our destination. Here are some conveyances to visit Joshimath.
Reach Joshimath by Air: The nearest airport to Joshimath is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is about 275 kilometres away. The airport has direct flights from major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata.
Reach Joshimath by Train: Haridwar Railway Station is approximately 272 kilometres away. If you are coming from Delhi the best way to get to Joshimath is to take a train from Delhi to Haridwar and then by road to Joshimath.
Reach Joshimath by Road:- Joshimath is well-connected by road to major cities and towns. Joshimath is located on National Highway 58, which connects Ghaziabad to Badrinath and Mana.
Things To Pack
This trek requires a sturdy Trekking shoe with ankle support and a good grip. This is a monsoon trek, so trekking shoes are essential to cover slippery sections and wet terrain. This trek requires a 50-70 litre Backpack with a rain cover. Check that your backpack has adequate hip and shoulder support. It should have pockets for easy access. Carry at least three T-shirts. Full-sleeved dry-fit T-shirts work well. These shield your arms and neck from sun damage. You could wear a hooded T-shirt that covers your neck. You'll need two light fleece layers. You must keep fleece sweaters and a jacket for this trek. If it's raining, wear one pair and keep the other in a plastic cover inside your bag. Always go with quick-drying clothing over cotton. Keep a water bottle, sunglasses, a wool cap, three pairs of socks, a trekking pole, rain gear, and a rain cover. A daypack that holds 10 litres, two plastic covers, a toiletry kit, and sunscreen (SPF 50+).
Personal Medical Kit: Crocin, Avomine, Avil 25mg, Disprin, Norflox TZ, Lomofendiarrhoea, motion sickness medications Digene-acidity, omez/rantadine antacid, crepe bandages, bandaids, ORS, betadine or antiseptic cream, Moov spray/volini, cotton, and gauze are some common first aid supplies.
Mandatory Documents: Government-issued photo identification cards, both original and copy. Anything will do, including an aadhar card, a passport, or a driver's licence. You must provide this for identification purposes.
Fitness and Safety
Safety: During a trek with Tripotude, safety protocols are followed in addition to adhering to the minimal standards of adventure tourism. Microspikes for walking on snow, emergency bottled oxygen, and pulse oxymeters to test pulse rate and oxygen saturation levels are provided at our campsites. Our trek leaders are trained and equipped to handle any emergencies related to AMS at Tripotude.
Fitness Routine: Target running 5 kilometres in 45 minutes when you begin. Gradually increase your speed and decrease your run time. If you are over 45 years old, cover 5 kilometres in less than 50 minutes. Run daily or at least go jogging. Keep your pace increasing every day. Make sure you do leg muscles exercises. Do squats, lunges, and calf exercises for 3 sets of 10 repetitions each. Do Pranayama or Nadi Suddhi for breathing techniques.
The Valley of Flowers National Park is world-renowned for its stunning array of flowers, which bloom in a riot of colour every monsoon. Every year, thousands of visitors come to the park to see the flowers in all their glory. The valley is also home to a number of rare and endangered species of plants, which makes it a haven for botanists and nature lovers alike. In addition to the flowers, the valley is also known for its spectacular views, which make it a popular spot for hikers and photographers.
The Valley of Flowers trek is one of the most popular and safest treks in the Himalayas. The route is well-marked and basic washrooms, emergency centres and eateries are available on the way to Ghangaria. The Valley of Flowers National Park is a Biosphere Reserve and guarded by Uttarakhand Forest Department.
The best time to visit the Valley of Flowers is between late July and early August when the flowers are in full bloom. The trek to the valley takes about 3 to 4 days and is a moderate trek. Joshimath is the starting point of our journey, followed by a 20-kilometre drive to Govindghat and a 4-kilometre drive to Poolna. We will trek to Ghangaria, which is the entrance to our destination.
Valley of Flowers is a popular trekking destination for both Indian and foreign tourists. The maximum age for doing the Valley of Flowers trek is 60 years. The trek is moderate and can be done by people with some effort. However, it is important to be prepared for high altitude and cold weather conditions.
Yes, one can trek solo through the Valley of Flowers. The valley is a beautiful and peaceful place and many solo travellers visit each year. However, it is not that isolated but there are a few things to consider before embarking on a solo adventure. You must be well-prepared. This includes having proper types of equipment, clothes and supplies.