India has many beautiful National Parks which protect the diversified species of flora and fauna. One of these is Valley of Flowers, located in the northern part of Chamoli, the largest district in Uttarakhand, and stands at 21,900 feet. It was first discovered in 1931 by Mountaineer Frank Smith and then was declared as a National park in 1982, which later became UNESCO's World Heritage Site.
This valley is more like a fairyland with rivers flowing around the green meadows and through the rocky terrain, with colourful flowers below and passing clouds above, dewdrops on the leaves and rain droplets gently touching your face, and beautiful flora and fauna throughout your trek. It is also famous for the medicinal herbs which have an inside old tale. In a Hindu epic, Ramayana, when Lakshmana falls ill due to a demonic attack, Hanuman takes Sanjivini, a medicinal herb from the Valley of flowers to heal Lakshmana's wound. Chamoli also invites various other destinations like Hemkund Sahib, Badrinath.
Route for Valley of flowers
Reach Haridwar or Dehradun from your city. The airport at Dehradun | Railway station at Haridwar and Dehradun | Bus station at Dehradun and Haridwar
Take a Cab/taxi or public transport from Haridwar/Dehradun to GovindGhat or Joshimath
Trek from Govind ghat to Ghangeria to Valley of Flowers and back to Govind Ghat (3 days minimum required)
Take a cab/taxi or public transport back to Haridwar from where you can head back home
How to reach the Valley of flowers?
First, reach Haridwar or Dehradun or Rishikesh
If you are planning by air, then you can take a connecting flight from Delhi to Jolly Grant Airport, which is the nearest airport to the Valley of Flowers in Dehradun.
If you are planning by train, then you may board the train that drops you at the last stop, Haridwar, and from there you may take a taxi or public transport to GovindGhat.
You can also take Volvo buses from Delhi which takes around 6 hours to reach Haridwar or Dehradun. Trains are also available on a daily basis to Haridwar.
Dehradun/ Haridwar to Govind Ghat by road
There are different modes of transport from Dehradun or Haridwar like either taking a local shared taxi/public buses or private taxis to the start point of the trek which is Govind Ghat which is approximately 290 kilometres. The journey from Haridwar or Dehradun can be done in a private vehicle or Shared cabs and public buses which are available in the morning at 6 am from Dehradun and Haridwar railway station
Here are the route and road trip details to the Valley of Flowers
Dehradun to Valley of Flowers: Starting from Dehradun, approximately it is 310 km and 11 hours drive via road. The road route is Dehradun-Rishikesh- Chamoli- Joshimath- GovindGhat-Ghangaria- Valley of Flowers, via NH 58.
Haridwar to Valley of Flowers: Starting from Haridwar, approximately it is 275kms – 300 km which takes about 10-12 hours. The road route is Haridwar-Auli-Joshimath- Govindghat - Ghangaria- Valley of Flowers. Ghangaria is the base camp for this trek and takes 14 km to reach the Valley of Flowers.
The best month to do the Valley of flowers trek?
The best time to visit this place will be during monsoons, starting from July to September. During this season, the weather in the high altitude will be pleasant with drizzles which makes it wonderful for trekking. The temperature during the day time will be 15- 30 degrees Celsius and in the night it drops to 7-10 degrees Celsius. You may have to carry a raincoat. In July, you'll come across more lush green meadows, not many flowers yet, but the greenery around and dewdrops on the leaves will make you awe at the beauty. During the first 15 days of August, you'll see a huge number of varied flowers fully bloomed that will look like a paradise hidden in the Himalayas. But be prepared for a crowded valley as thousands of people throng this place during these months.
Is the Valley of Flowers trek difficult?
This trek is considered to be easy for the trekkers, and could be a little difficult for the beginners. If you are planning it for the first time, you may need some help from the tour packages and seasoned trekkers who will take care of your safety and make the trek easy for you. The roads will be rough which makes the trek a bit difficult. It is a 14 km trek from Govindghat to Ghangria, which takes around 7-8 hours to reach the basecamp, and a mule ride or pony can be taken if there are senior citizens or kids. From Ghangria to the Valley of Flowers, it is a 4 km trek which is at an altitude of 14,400 feet, with rocky terrain and steep valley, and mules cannot be taken. There's no age limit as such, but it's a challenge to your fitness! It is a fun trek with many people coming from various places and age groups, and even 13-year-old kids can go for a trek if they are fit enough!
It is advisable to start early at 7 AM for the trek, so that you may spend more time in the Valley, and the entries stop around 2 PM. You have to finish the trek and exit before 5 PM. You may have to take entry fees at the Forest Department checkpoint, carry ID cards like voter ID or driving license, medical certificate.
Valley of Flowers trek will take at least 5 days, starting from Dehradun or Haridwar and 6 days if you want to visit Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara. You'll ride along many beautiful rivers like Alaknanda, Pushpavati, Laxman Ganga, waterfalls, temples, on the way to Valley of flowers.
Basic things you need to pack and carry for the trek?
Trekking backpack 50 to 60L - Click here to choose the right trekking bag for you!
Clothing- Always better to have woollen fleece clothing, and extra pair of clothing like thermals, full sleeves, lightweight pants, coats or sweaters, scarfs, gloves, socks and caps
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Raincoats/ poncho as it might drizzle on the way to trek.
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Pair of Trekking shoes- Guide to choosing the best trekking shoe
Accessories like lip balm, sunscreen, goggles, Headtorch, extra battery and chargers for electrical devices, water bottle, toiletries.
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Necessary medicines for nausea, high altitude sickness, headache, and first aid kit used for trekking.
Eatables like energy or protein bars, dry fruits, chocolates
Many travel freaks go for a solo trek as it is not so dangerous and budget-friendly. It pumps up with more challenges like changing buses and taxis from Dehradun or Haridwar and staying alone in a camp or a hotel. But you'll find a lot of fellow solo travelers and pilgrims who may accompany you to the trek and might agree to share the room if you are comfortable!
Places to visit around Joshimath:
While if you still have additional days left, or can drag a day or two from the busy life schedule you can visit these places around Joshimath, which is a famous pilgrim site. The ropeway from Joshimath to Auli, Shri Shankaracharya Math, Bagini Glacier, Nanda Devi National Park, Vishnuprayag, Mana village, Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib and the famous Kedarnath temple.
ATMs available during the trek:
There are ATMs in Joshimath you can use but are mostly non-functional during peak season. Carry your cash from Dehradun or Haridwar.
Mobile connectivity during Valley of flowers trek:
There is only BSNL connectivity in Govindghat. Once you start no network on the trail. So make your important calls before you leave
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