The Valley of Flowers Trek is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the stunning natural beauty of Uttarakhand, India. Located in the Chamoli district of the state, this trek takes you through some of the most picturesque landscapes you will ever see.
Valley of Flowers National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, India. It is a high-altitude Himalayan valley that is known for its rich biodiversity, stunning natural beauty, and unique ecological characteristics. The national park spans an area of 87.5 square kilometers and is situated at an altitude of 3,250 to 6,750 meters above sea level. It is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including many rare and endangered species.
The valley is known for its vast meadows of alpine flowers, which bloom in a riot of colors from mid-July to mid-August each year. Over 500 species of plants have been recorded in the valley, including Himalayan Blue Poppy, Himalayan Bellflower, Himalayan Cobra Lily, and Himalayan Primrose. The park is also home to a variety of animals like the Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, brown bear, red fox, and Himalayan musk deer. The park is also a birdwatcher’s paradise, with over 520 species of birds having been recorded here.
The Valley of Flowers has been revered by the local people for centuries, and it is believed that the valley was discovered by a group of British mountaineers in 1931. Since then, the valley has become a popular destination for trekkers and nature lovers from around the world.
The Valley of Flowers Trek is a popular trekking route that takes visitors through the national park. The trek starts from the small village of Govindghat and passes through the village of Ghangaria before reaching the valley. The trek is moderately difficult and takes around four to five days to complete. If you want to visit Hemkund Sahib, you need seven days to complete this trip.
How to Reach Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib
This place is difficult to little reach which makes it the most beautiful place, untouched by the human. The starting place of this trip could be Rishikesh or Dehradun. You can book a private taxi or take public transport from Rishikesh/Dehradun to reach Joshimath or Govindghat.
- Rishikesh/Dehradun – Joshimath (approx. 280 km, 10 hours by road. Public transport or hired taxi)
- Joshimath – Govindghat (20 km by road. You can take Public transport or hire a taxi)
- Route A (Budget option) –
- Govindghat –> Trek start place ( which is 4 km, either by walk or shared jeep)
- Trek start place –> Ghangaria (Trek 11 km by foot, mule, or porter)
- Ghangaria –> VoF (Trek 5 km by foot, porter) –> return to Ghangaria
- Ghangaria –> Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara –> return to Ghangaria
- Route B (Splurge option) –
- Govindghat –> Ghangaria (By helicopter)
- Ghangaria –> VoF (By foot, porter)
The trek begins from the small village of Govindghat, which is located at an altitude of 1,828 meters above sea level. Near Govindghat Gurudwara, you need to take an entry pass. You can book a jeep or trek from here to reach starting point of this trek, which is 4km away from Govindghat Gurudwara. If you are planning to go to Ghangharia via Helicopter, you can book the ticket and take a ride from Govindghat.
From starting point of the trek, you will trek for about 11 km to reach the base camp of Ghangaria, which is situated at an altitude of 3,050 meters. This trek is not very difficult and can be done by people of all ages.
Ghangaria is a small village that serves as the base camp for the Valley of Flowers Trek. It is located in the midst of the Himalayas and is surrounded by beautiful mountains and waterfalls. The village has a few hotels and guesthouses where trekkers can stay. From Ghangaria, you will trek for about 5 km to reach the Valley of Flowers.
The Valley of Flowers is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known for its stunning natural beauty. It is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including rare species of flowers like the Himalayan Blue Poppy, Himalayan Bellflower, and Himalayan Cobra Lily. The valley is also home to a variety of animals like the Asiatic Black Bear, Red Fox, and Himalayan Musk Deer.
You can further trek 2-3 km inside the valley to reach the bank of the river Pushpavati. Only 3 km of the valley is open to tourists and the rest are covered under the core area of the park.
Best Time to Visit Valley of Flowers
The best time to visit the Valley of Flowers is during the summer months, specifically between July and September. This period is when the valley is at its most vibrant and colorful, with a vast variety of alpine flowers in full bloom. The weather is generally pleasant and favorable for trekking during these months.
Here’s a breakdown of the seasons and their characteristics in the Valley of Flowers:
- Monsoon Season (July to August): This is the peak season for visiting the Valley of Flowers. During this time, the valley is in full bloom, with a stunning display of countless flowers, including orchids, poppies, primulas, daisies, and more. The monsoon rains contribute to the lush greenery and create a picturesque landscape. However, it’s important to note that rainfall is frequent, and occasional showers or drizzles are common. Trekking conditions may be wet and slippery, so appropriate rain gear and precautions are necessary.
- Post-Monsoon Season (September): September marks the end of the monsoon season, and it’s another excellent time to visit the Valley of Flowers. The weather becomes drier, with fewer chances of rain. The flowers are still in bloom, albeit some may start to fade towards the later part of the month. The overall landscape remains beautiful, and the trekking conditions are relatively stable.
It’s important to avoid visiting the Valley of Flowers during the winter months (October to June) due to heavy snowfall and extreme cold conditions. The valley remains inaccessible during this time, and the trekking trails are closed.
To make the most of your visit, it’s advisable to check the weather conditions, local forecasts, and the opening dates of the Valley of Flowers National Park before planning your trip.
Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara Trek
Apart from the Valley of Flowers, the trek also takes you to Hemkund Sahib, which is a famous Sikh pilgrimage site. Hemkund Sahib is located at an altitude of 4,329 meters and is considered to be one of the highest Sikh shrines in the world. It is believed that Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru, meditated here for several years.
The trek to Hemkund Sahib is slightly more difficult than the Valley of Flowers Trek and requires a certain level of fitness. You need to trek 6km to reach the Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara and then come back the same day. So, it is a total of 12km trek. However, the views from the top are absolutely breathtaking and make the trek completely worth it.
Hemkund Sahib Yatra Opening Date 2023
The Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara Yatra 2023 opening date is 22 May 2023. It usually starts in May and continues till October.
Itinerary for Valley of Flowers from Delhi
- Day 1 – Take an Overnight bus to Haridwar/Dehradun from Delhi.
- Day 2 – Take a bus/ shared Bolero/book a cab from Haridwar to Joshimath and then go to Govindghat via shared taxi. You can book a Bolero direct to Govindghat from Haridwar.
- Day 3 – From Govindghat take a shared jeep to “Trek start place” (4 km). Trek to Ghangaria (11 km)
- Day 4 – trek from Ghangaria to VoF and then return to Ghangaria ( 5 km + 5 km)
- Day 5 Trek from Ghangaria to Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara (Trek – 6 km + 6 km)
- Day 6 – Return trek from Ghangaria to Govindghat (Trek – 11 km + 4 km)
- Day 7 – Return from Govindghat to Joshimath to Haridwar/Dehradun via Shared Bolero/bus/book a Bolero. Overnight journey via train/bus to Delhi.
The Valley of Flowers Trek is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that should not be missed. It offers trekkers the chance to witness some of the most stunning natural beauty in the world and to experience the rich culture and history of Uttarakhand. So, if you’re looking for an adventure that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime, the Valley of Flowers Trek is definitely the way to go.
The trek to the Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand, India, typically takes around 4-6 days, depending on various factors such as your fitness level, acclimatization needs, and the pace of your trekking group. The total distance covered during the trek is approximately 38-45 kilometers (24-28 miles) round trip.
The trek usually begins from a village called Govindghat, which is accessible by road. From Govindghat, you need to trek about 14 kilometers (or take a jeep for 4km and then trek 10km ) (8.7 miles) to reach Ghangaria, the base camp for the Valley of Flowers. This leg of the trek generally takes 5-7 hours, and the trail passes through beautiful landscapes and along the Pushpavati River.
Once you reach Ghangaria, you have the option to explore the Valley of Flowers the next day. The valley itself is about 5-6 kilometers (3-3.7 miles) long and 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) wide, and you’ll need to hike through it to enjoy its mesmerizing meadows filled with colorful alpine flowers. This exploration usually takes a full day.
After visiting the Valley of Flowers, you return to Ghangaria and then trek back to Govindghat, completing the round trip.
The difficulty level of the Valley of Flowers trek can vary depending on factors such as your physical fitness, previous trekking experience, and the time of year you choose to visit.
The Valley of Flowers trek is generally considered moderate in terms of difficulty. The trail involves a gradual ascent from Govindghat to Ghangaria, with well-defined paths and gradual inclines. The terrain includes a mix of dirt trails, rocky sections, and some river crossings. However, it doesn’t require technical climbing or mountaineering skills.
One of the challenges of the trek is the altitude. Ghangaria, the base camp, is situated at an altitude of around 3,050 meters (10,000 feet), and the Valley of Flowers itself ranges from 3,500 meters (11,500 feet) to 4,000 meters (13,000 feet). Altitude sickness can be a concern for some trekkers, so it’s essential to acclimatize properly and take necessary precautions.
The best time to visit the Valley of Flowers is from mid-July to mid-August when the flowers are in full bloom. During this time, the valley is covered in a carpet of colorful flowers, making it one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Yes, the Valley of Flowers trek is definitely worth visiting for nature lovers, adventure enthusiasts, and anyone seeking a breathtaking experience amidst the natural beauty of the Himalayas. The Valley of Flowers trek is a unique and awe-inspiring experience that allows you to witness the marvels of nature, enjoy panoramic views, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of the Himalayan wilderness. It’s a journey that leaves a lasting impression and is definitely worth visiting for those seeking a memorable adventure in the lap of nature.
The trek to Hemkund Sahib, a revered Sikh pilgrimage site in Uttarakhand, India, typically takes around 5-6 days, depending on your fitness level and the pace of your trekking group. The total distance covered during the trek is approximately 22 kilometers one way.
The trek starts from a village called Govindghat, which is accessible by road. From Govindghat, you need to trek about 14 kilometers (or you can take a shared taxi for 4km and then start the trek) to reach Ghangaria, the base camp for both the Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib. This leg of the trek generally takes 6-8 hours and involves a gradual ascent.
From Ghangaria, the next phase of the trek involves a steep climb of approximately 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) to reach Hemkund Sahib, situated at an altitude of 4,329 meters (14,200 feet). The trail is well-marked and includes stone steps and rocky terrain. This section can take around 4-6 hours, depending on your pace and acclimatization needs.
It’s important to note that the altitude gain during the trek to Hemkund Sahib is significant, and proper acclimatization is crucial to avoid altitude sickness. It’s recommended to take regular breaks, stay hydrated, and listen to your body while trekking at high altitudes.
After visiting Hemkund Sahib, you return to Ghangaria, completing the round trip. Depending on your preferences and schedule, you can choose to spend additional time exploring the Valley of Flowers before or after visiting Hemkund Sahib.
Yes, the Hemkund Sahib trek is considered to be moderately difficult due to factors such as steep ascents, high altitude, and variable weather conditions.
The trek involves a steep climb of approximately 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) from Ghangaria to Hemkund Sahib. The trail includes stone steps and rocky terrain, which can be physically challenging, particularly for those who are not accustomed to trekking or have limited fitness levels.