Valley of Flowers Trek Your No. 1 Travel Guide
Valley of Flowers Trek
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Valley of Flowers Trek is a national park in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. It is also a world heritage site.
When discovering this place, one of the first thoughts that comes to mind is a flower garden. Only with a little help from Google do we realize its size. It’s a unique place in this world. However, the information available on the internet does not do justice to the beauty of the place.
If you visit this place in July or August, the view will have mountains soaring into the sky and filled with a blanket of green, with the top of the mountain merging with the clouds. A small cloud sitting in the middle of the mountain as if to take a short break from the arduous journey up is a common sight.
The entire route of the hike is filled with views of waterfalls that come from the top of the mountains and drop almost vertically. Water appears as a white line on a green canvas that loses its transparency. In the valley, the water from these distant waterfalls eventually crosses the hike at an angle, making it even more exciting.
Remote waterfall 03. Water over the valley 1 waterfall over the promenade The valley has its own atmosphere. Play hide and seek with the sun by hiding behind a thick layer of cloud. When the clouds drop over the valley, visibility drops to a few meters. If you are lucky, you can witness its beauty in the valley.
The route to this location starts from Govind Ghat, which is located on the Badrinath Rishikesh Highway. You can also visit Hemkund Sahib as the Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib Base Camp are the same.
When should you plan your trip for Valley of Flowers Trek ?
The national park is open from late May to mid-September. Only during the rainy season, from July to mid-September, does the valley come alive with colorful flowers. It is said that the valley changes color every two weeks.
How do I get to the starting point of the walk for Valley of Flowers Trek ?
As mentioned above, the hike to the national park starts at a place called Govind Ghat, which is on the Rishikesh – Badrinath highway. During the rainy season it is a little difficult to get to this place due to landslides along the way.
Rishikesh is easy to get to using various modes of transport. From Rishikesh buses to Joshimath leave from 5.30am. Try to arrive 10 to 15 minutes early for a comfortable seat. Please do not use Uttarakhand Tourism’s reservation service to book tickets in advance. There is a possibility that the government bus could be canceled at the last minute (in case the destination cannot be reached due to a landslide). You will easily get a private bus. There is also the option of a shared taxi.
“We pre-booked our tickets online for a government bus that was due to leave at 5:30 am. However, the bus was canceled without giving the reason for the cancellation. Although the website stated that the amount will be refunded, it did not. Follow-up at a later stage was exhausting and unsuccessful. “”
Avoid personal travel when visiting Govind Ghat. Not only is the journey difficult and arduous, there is also the possibility of a landslide. If you encounter a landslide in your own vehicle or in a rental vehicle, you will be stranded until the road is clear. Sometimes it can even take days. Conversely, if you’re traveling by bus, you have the option of crossing the landslide on foot via an alternative route used by locals and catching another bus on the other side of the landslide.
On the way to Joshimath we found a landslide near Chamoli that had not been cleared for two days. We got off the bus, took the refund for the remaining distance (yes, most bus drivers are honest) and took a local route to get to the other side of the landslide. Fortunately, a member of the Indian Army was also on the same bus. Since he went the same way with us, we felt safer (although there was no danger. It’s just an effect that an unknown place has on you). ”
On the other hand, we waited an hour until we finally got a shared taxi that took us to Joshimath, where we decided to spend the night in Gurudwara.
On the way of the locals Hoping to take a walk over the landslide From Joshimath we took a shared taxi to Govind Ghat (Rs 100 / – per person). This is the starting point of the hike.
“We waited a long time and hoped to find people at both locations with whom we could share the taxi. Unfortunately we couldn’t find anyone to share the taxi with. In the end we pay the extra cost for empty seats to avoid wasting time.
1st day of hiking on Valley of Flowers Trek
The goal of the first day was to walk 14 km to Ghangaria, which serves as the base camp for the Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib. Due to the construction of a passable road for the first 4 km (to the village of Pulna), this part of the hike can also be covered with a shared taxi (Rs35 / – per person).
The rest of the hike will take about 4-6 hours. It is advisable to start early as the weather here changes very quickly.
If you are an inexperienced hiker and don’t want to c arry your own luggage, you can hire a porter. They usually charge Rs1000 / – and carry around 4 bags which makes them Rs250 / – per person which is a very minimal charge. It also gives you more flexibility to take photos and enjoy the view.
The first half of the hike is relatively easy. The midpoint of this hike is marked by a bridge that crosses the river. The place has a great view. It’s a good place to rest and recharge before starting the more difficult half of the hike. Don’t overfill your stomach as this will make the remaining hike even more difficult.
When you arrive at base camp, have some fluids to replenish your body and relax. It is advisable not to go to bed immediately after arriving at the hotel.
Helicopter service from Govind Ghat to Ghangaria is also available. You need to book your tickets online in advance. You may want to have a different plan in case the helicopter flight is canceled due to bad weather. They’ll refund the money, but last minute changes could hurt their plans.
You can explore the area if you want. There is also a 20 minute video program in the Valley of Flowers Trek (Rs 30 / – per person) informing you about the flowers found in the valley.
Where to sleep or Stay during Valley of Flower Trek
There are many hotels in Ghangaria where you can book a room online with a 50% deposit.
“We don’t book a hotel in advance. We called some hotels to inquire about room availability a week before the trek. We were informed that rooms were available. Hotels for such excursions are usually booked well in advance. In anticipation of the available rooms, we decided to book accommodation on site. We were lucky enough to get a good offer for room rental. In the end we paid Rs 1200 / – for a room with accommodation for 3 people. ”
2nd day of hiking Valley of Flowers Trek
You can visit the Valley of Flowers Trek or Hemkund Sahib on this day. We decided to go to the Valley of Flowers first.
Entry into the Vallée des Fleurs is permitted between 7.00 a.m. and 12.00 p.m. Try to arrive 5 to 10 minutes earlier. Remember to bring proof of identity for all group members. Although they usually check the identification of a member of the group.
It takes about 3 hours to get to the starting point of the valley. The first 3 km of the hike are steep. Panoramic views along the way keep you moving. It seems like there is a hypothetical race between you and the clouds that never seems to win. After the first climb, the rest of the trek is almost a straight hike with some ups and downs.
You will need to take your meals with you on this walk. You can just pack it up from the hotel where you are staying. This is where your empty Tiffin box can come in handy. Also take dried fruits and energy bars with you to chew on the go. Also bring an empty water bottle. Water is abundant as there are many waterfalls in the national park.
Note: Please do not throw anything into the national park. There are no trash cans. You’re supposed to bring your rubbish to base camp.
You will need to bring a raincoat, fleece or a layer of warm clothing with the other items mentioned. It is also advisable to wear pants instead of shorts. This not only helps you stay warm, but also protects you from insects in the national park.
If you walk a few kilometers in the national park, you will come across a point where the trail splits in two. One in the direction of “Tipra Kharg” (3 km) and the other in the direction of “Legge Tomb” (700 m). The latter is the grave of “Joan Margaret Legge”, a botanist who died (July 4, 1939) in the national park while studying flowers in the national park.
“After walking about half a kilometer to Tipra Kharg, we decided to avoid this. Aside from the tiredness walking up to this point and the expectation of the energy it would take to return, the density of the flowers had also decreased. We don’t have a leader. Without knowing exactly where the route was going, it didn’t seem like a good idea to go alone. (Yes, there weren’t many enthusiastic people left who wanted to follow this trail.) When we arrived in Ghangaria, we asked about this place and were told that this was the point where the trail meets the river that flows through the Crossed river. Sink.
We spent another 2-3 hours exploring the Valley of Flowers Trek . We have lunch near a waterfall and rest for half an hour before making our way back to base camp.
You have to leave the national park no later than 5:00 p.m., so you have to start your return journey at 2:00 p.m.
3rd day of hiking onValley of Flowers Trek
You will visit the rest of the two destinations. For us it was Hemkund Sahib.
The hike from Ghangaria to Hemkund Sahib is very steep. This can be analyzed by the fact that you start from 10,000 feet and walk over 15,000 feet in just 4 miles. It took us about 4 hours to get to the top. The journey was arduous, but all tiredness was gone when Hemkund Sahib appeared. The place has a completely different atmosphere. It gives you energy back in ways that even the best energy drinks can’t.
An overnight stay in Hemkund Sahib is not an option. But before you go make sure you have khichdi prasad and chai. It was one of the best khichdi we’ve ever had. We were lucky because that day there was also pakora bread. After filling our stomachs with delicious food and collecting our donation receipt, we started our trip at 2:00 p.m.
Don’t miss the Bramkamal flower, so named because its shape resembles a lotus flower. You won’t find them on the way to the Valley of Flowers. They can only be found near Hemkund Sahib.
There are a few shops along the way that sell snacks and water at face value. Therefore, only carry the necessary items. Wear your raincoat even on sunny mornings as the weather can change at any time.
4th day of hiking on Valley of Flowers Trek
The fourth day is the return journey from Ghangaria to Govind Ghat and finally to Joshimath, where you can stay overnight. Once settled in your room, gather information about the bus schedule to Rishikesh for the next day. To get a good seat on the bus, book in advance or arrive at the bus stop early.
What to bring during Valley of Flowers Trek
It is advisable to keep the backpack as light as possible as there is a lot of trekking involved in this trip. Only keep important items. Avoid luxury.
As someone rightly said, “When hiking, try to be a hiker, not a tourist”.
Here is a list of the most important things to take with you:
Good quality waterproof cover and bag.
Avoid wearing a poncho whenever possible. It is only effective against light drizzle. Since you are visiting this place during the monsoon season, the intensity of the rain would be much higher.
A layer or two of warm rags.
During your visit to Hemkund Sahib, you will reach an altitude of 15,000 feet. Even the Valley of Flowers is at an elevation of 12,000 feet. Therefore, you need warm towels.
Clean clothes (keep the essentials)
bottle of water
To bring food during your visit to the Valley of Flowers trek.
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Read about Chadar Trek here