6 Days 5 Nights
Already you may be in love with the just wow photos, typically a slope of a mountain covered with wild flowers. You can see somewhat similar flower covered slopes or ground in some other valleys on the Himalayas as well. However this valley is not special due to a few varieties in abundance during monsoon. But it is the sheer variety and the amount of flowers together that make Valley of Flowers a unique and a must to visit place for a nature lover.
Legend and myths met reality when three British mountaineers Frank Smythe, Eric Shipton and Romilly Holdsworth lost their way and reached this piece of paradise on earth. They went to Mt. Kamet expedition (First ascent) and entered into Bhyundar valley during their dramatic descent. They reached by descending through Bhyundar Khal (Pass) instead of as planned to reach Mana village. Hence the outer world knew that the valley exists.
According to Hindu mythology this is the Nandan Kanan, garden of Lord Indra. This is a high altitude valley carved by glacial action of the river Pushpawati and runs east west direction along the river. According to a legend, the river was named Pushpawati by the Pandavas when they saw flowers floating on the waters of this snow fed river.
A gigantic snow clad ridge hems this valley from almost all sides. On an average the valley is around 6 Km long and 1 Km wide. Altitude varies between ~ 3200 m to 3600 m. The area blooms in alpine vegetation for a period of 15-20 weeks (June to October). Rataban peak and Tipra glacier mark the boundary of the valley in the upstream direction. This National Park is truly an all-in-one as a botanist’s dream, an ornithologist’s charm, a photographer’s excitement and a hiker’s delight.
The valley turns in pink, white, blue and violet cover during monsoon (July-August). Anemone, Balsam, Angelica, Bell Flower, Brahma Kamal, Blue Poppy, Forget Me Not, Cobra Lily, Marsh Marigold and Birch are a few common types abundant inside the valley.
Pushpawati flowing through the valley and Laxman Ganga coming from the Hemkund Sahib meet below Ghagaria. From here on it is called Laxman Ganga or sometimes Bhyundar Ganga which in turn meets Alaknanda at Govindghat.
Now the track is motorable from Govindghat to Pulna, 4 Km on the way to Ghangaria. This reduced the distance to around 8 Km than it was a few years back. Pulna to Ghangaria, to and fro is around 20 Km. Take 8 Km, to and fro to Valley Of Flowers from Ghangaria and another 12 for a return trek from Hemkund. You need to walk around a total 40 Km or so on mostly paved track and trail inside the valley.
Below figure will give you an idea of the Valley Of Flowers trek distance and corresponding altitude profile.
The seasonal bloom in the national park area begins as early as June. Some flowers remain as late as the end of September. So it spans over a period of 16 weeks or so when you will get to see some flowers.
However, you will get more species variety and flowering as the monsoon sets in properly. As in this area, monsoon sets during early July and extends till late August. In this way, it is good to visit Valley Of Flowers anytime in July or August. Even if you visit during early September, you will get a green valley and some flowers.
Day 1– Drive from Dehradun to Joshimath Altitude – Joshimath by taxi (256 Km) (10/11 Hours) (1,875 m/ 6152 feet)
Day 2– Afterward Drive from Joshimath to Govindghat by taxi (18 km) (01 Hours) same day trek to Ghangaria (09 km) (5/6 Hours) (Altitude –10101 feet
Day 3– Trek from Ghangaria to Valley of flowers (10 km) (7/8 Hours) Altitude – 12140 feet back to Hotel
Day 4– Trek from Ghangaria to Hemkund Sahib (12 km) (7/8 Hours) 14,100 feet) back to Hotel
Day 5– Trek from Ghangaria to Govind Ghat (09km) (5/6 Hours) / same day drive to Joshimath (18 km) (01 Hours) overnight stay hotel
Day 6– Drive from Joshimath to Haridwar via Rishikesh by taxi (258 km) (9/10 Hours)
Duration: – 5 Nights 6 Days from Dehradun to Dehradun
Base camp: – Joshimath Market
Monsoon Temperature: – Day (5°C to 15°C) Night (6° C to 12° C)
Valley of flowers – Altitude: – (12,140 feet)
Best Time: – July, August,
Trek Level: – Moderate
Trek distance: – On foot 33 Km – By taxi 544 km
At around 7 am, assemble at the pre-decided spot in Haridwar where a representative will greet you and give a short overview of your entire journey.
You will then begin a long-distance, scenic uphill drive from Haridwar to Govindghat.
Along the way, pass through Devaprayag to witness the holy confluence of Bhagirathi and Alaknanda Rivers to form the River Ganges.
The roads are cut out from the mountain's edges and at times you'll only see the river flowing in the gorge deep below.
You will also be passing through Joshimath, which is the midpoint for other religious pilgrimage locations.
Later in the evening take a halt at Govindghat for the night.
Start off the day with a hearty meal enjoying the amazing lush green mountainous views.
You will then be driven to a nearby town called Poolna from where you will start your trek to Ghangaria.
Walk the well-defined trail that passes through lush green forest and alongside the beautiful Lakshman Ganga River.
Take a moment to thank the volunteers who sweep the trail every day to keep it clutter-free and in the best condition possible.
Encounter the various dhabas on the way from where you can get some refreshments and refill your water bottles.
After completing the short gradual ascent of 9 Km you will reach Ghangaria, a small village encircled by mountains.
Check into your hotel, and set off to explore the beautiful surroundings.
Have a delicious dinner of local cuisines in Ghangharia and call-it-a-day.
Start your day with a wholesome breakfast.
Today will be the day you will scale a height of 3,505m to arrive at the Valley Of Flowers.
Just a glimpse at the verdant landscape is enough to sweep you off your feet into heaven decorated with colourful flowers.
Take a moment to cherish the moment as you feast your eyes on one of nature’s finest creations that will treat your soul.
Ascend further into the valley to witness an array of thousands of colourful and vibrant flowers in full bloom.
It'll be hard to leave such a heavenly view behind, but you must timely begin the return trek to Ghangaria so as to reach there before dusk.
Have a sumptuous dinner and call it a night.
Wake up early to the sounds of the people chanting bhajans in the chorus and enjoy a hot cup of chai.
The trek to Hemkund Sahib is a bit difficult as the path is a steep ascent and a trekking stick can come in handy.
Walk slowly and take numerous breaks as you will feel the effects of reduced oxygen levels in the air.
Reach Hemkund Sahib, a religious site where Guru Gobind Singh is said to have meditated in the previous life.
Surrounded by seven snow-capped mountains and crystal clear Hemkund lake just behind it, this place is no doubt soothing and calming.
In the late afternoon, start the steep descent all the way back to Ghangaria as the weather here can be impulsive with sudden cloud cover and rains
Once you reach back enjoy a dinner under the starry sky and an overnight stay at the hotel.
After having morning breakfast, you will be starting the easy descent of 9 km to Poolna on the same trail that you trekked on earlier.
Once you reach Poolna a cab will take you back to Govindghat that is 4 km away.
If you desire, you can go on a tour of the beautiful Auli in the evening.
Later in the evening return back to the hotel in Govindghat for an overnight stay.
Leave Govindghat early for your return journey back to Haridwar.
The Valley of Flowers Trekking package ends here, take back a mosaic of unbelievable memories with you.