Last year I was in Garhwal tour of Uttarakhand where I choose several places to visit during that single trip. I started my journey from Rishikesh and went to Srinagar, Kedarnath, Chopta, Badrinath, Auli, and Joshimath. After spending a couple of days in Badrinath, my next stop was Auli. But the plan changes drastically when my eye stuck on Valley of Flower in the map, and the best part was Govindghat (the place where Valley of Flower and Hemkund Sahib Trek starts) is on the same returning road. I had the proper knowledge about Valley of Flower before arriving, that’s why it is quite easy for me to shift the plan from Auli to Valley of Flower. In this post, I’m going to share the complete information about the Valley of Flower because it is very important that you have proper knowledge about that particular place where you are going to visit. In next post, I’ll share the travel experience of the valley of Flower and Hemkund Sahib.
Valley of Flower National Park
The world is full of many scenic places where you can see, the nature blooms, waterfalls, small streams, etc but no other majestic place in the world like the Valley of Flower. Thanks to Mr.Frank S. Smythe who discovered this place and bring it in front of the World.
Valley of Flowers is a vibrant and splendid national park which the world knows very well today. This beautiful place is famous for the charming meadows of alpine flowers, the richness of flora and fauna and the wonderful view of snow-clad peaks. More than 300 species of flowers are found here. You will find anemones, geraniums, marsh marigolds, primulas, asters, Brahma Kamal, blue poppy, and many other species of flowers. The Valley remains blooms with flowers and paints the valley with delightful colors and the river stream name Pushpavati make this scenery masterpiece which you don’t want to compare with any other place of this world. Apart from flowers, you see the butterflies, birds and if you are lucky, you may even spot the blue sheep, musk deer, black/brown bear, snow leopards and many other lovely and species of animal and birds.
Before 1931 nobody was friendly about the word “Valley of Flower” but yes this place exists in the pages of Hindu epic Ramayana. It is believed that Lord Hanuman brought Sanjivani from this valley to revive the Lord Lakshmana. The local people know about the valley, but they rarely venture into it because of some kind of superstition and they believe that fairies live in the valley and if they visit there they can harm them. Legends usually called this place Nandan Kanan which literally mean – the garden of Lord Indra. But Smythe makes it popular by giving a new identity, which you all know – The Valley of Flower. In 1980 the Indian government declared it as the National Park and later in 1982 it was renamed as Nanda Devi National Park and it came under the core part of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. And n 2004 UNESCO designated it as the World buffer zone.
How to reach Valley Of Flower (Trek Information)
Nearest Airport – Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun (276 km away from Govind Ghat)
Nearest Railway Station – Rishikesh Railway Station ( 260 km away from Govin Ghat)
The Valley of Flower National park located at an altitude of 3352 to 3658 meters (11000 feet to 12000 feet) above the sea level which is in the district of Chamoli, of state Uttarakhand. Govindghat is the pilgrimage hamlet beyond Joshimath which is 285 km far away from the nearest Jolly Grant Airport. Govindghat is the last motorable road and it is the place from where the trek starts for both HemkundSahib & Valley of Flower. To reach Valley of flower you have to trek a total 17 km from Govindghat to Valley of Flower. During your trek, at the distance of 4 km, you will first reach the Pulana Village. You can also take any cab/vehicle to reach this village which reduces the distance of the trek and this is the last point where the vehicle can come. After this village, the trek is full of nature’s beauty and after 3 km you’ll reach Bhundar Village.
Now you have to trek 7 km to reach Ghangariya village which is the base camp for all the tourists and Sikh devotees. This is the place where you can stay in basic budget hotels, with limited facilities. In winters this region is prone to heavy snowfall that’s why this place is closed from November to April. Here you’ll find a few hotels and guest house with basic and budget facilities, a gurdwara, a helipad and a couple of dhabas and small restaurant where you can enjoy the food.
After Ghangaria the trek is divided into two trails one for Hemkund Sahib and other for Valley of Flower. To enter in Valley of Flower you have to first pay for the entry ticket. After a hundred meters away you’ll see a small bridge, standing in the gushing stream which is flowing below the bridge. You can see high mountains, the chirping of birds, the humming of bees, butterfly, greenery all around, you can feel the peace of the place and when the cold breeze hits you it makes you delighted and fill you with energy. After a few kilometers, you can see another small bridge after crossing it, beautiful colorful valley welcoming you with its flowers and strong scent which is flowing in the air. The clear sky and the great glaciers view to turn this portrait into a masterpiece.
Camping is not allowed in the valley so it is mandatory to walk back to Ghangaria and reach before 5 pm.
Timing & Ticket Price
Timing –7.00 am to 12.01pm
- Foreigners – Rs.600/person
- Indians- Rs. 150/person
- Indian Students – 75/person
The entry started for Valley at 6:45 A.M and entry is allowed till noon 12. After that, you are not allowed to enter the Valley. So it is better to wake early and reached the entry gate at 7 Am It is also advised that your return trek should start by 1.30pm so as to reach back by 5.00 pm.
The Entry fee for Indians is 150 rupees per person and 600 rupees per person for Foreigners and don’t forget to take you any identity card (Voter id/ Passport/ Aadhar card). If you are a student identity card (school/college or University identity card) then it will give you relaxation in entry charges.
Best Time to visit Valley of Flower
The Valley of Flower opens for tourist for only three months from June/July to September/October. In June snow starts melting and flowers start appearing. Some species of flowers bloom only for a fixed duration of time. But you can see flowers in Valley only from July to August and maximum September first week. In September you can not see the flower bloom but you can see the green meadows. Even without the flower the valley still has its own charm and beauty. After September due to heavy snowfall region, the valley is closed for the next 8 to 9 months.
Opening and the Closing date 2020
Opening Date of Valley of Flower 2020 – In 2020 the valley will open for tourists on 1 June 2020.
Closing Date of Valley of Flower 2020 – Yet to come
Ghangaria is the base camp for all the pilgrims and tourist. It offers basic and good budget staying option where you can take a break and refuel your body. All the hotels or guest houses are equipped with basic facilities and you cannot expect luxury facilities at the height of ten thousand feet. For the best-staying option in Ghangaria click here.
Short –Itinerary of Valley of Flower-
· Day 01: Haridwar – Govindghat (10 hrs drive)
· Day 02: Govindghat – Ghangaria Trek (14 Kms/07 Hrs)
· Day 03: Ghangaria – Valley of flower – Ghangaria (Trek- 5 km /4 hrs -one way)
· Day 04: Ghangaria – Govindghat (Trek 14 Km/ hrs) Govindghat – Joshimath (Drive 22 Kms)
· Day 05: Joshimath to Haridwar/Rishikesh
Things to Carry– Before you start your trek you must know the things which should be in your bag.
- Do you like to carry that backpack which can torn during your trip? Exactly no. Nobody wants to create a mess by carrying a torn backpack. So if you already had a bag check it properly from all sides and if you have any doubt, replace it. Your backpack must have enough space which can hold all the necessary stuff.
- It’s good to carry floaters or sandals to help you move freely at the camp. Apart from this, you should have high-quality trekking shoes. They should be lightweight, sturdy and have a good grip. When your trek is more than 10km one side then always try to buy a new pair of shoes.
- Medical kit, woolen clothes, pair of T-shirts & pants, water bottle, small torch, waterproof/windproof jacket, hand sanitizer, lip balm, and cold cream are the things which must be in your backpack.
- Before a two or three weak of your departure try to walk minimum 1-2 km daily. It will increase your muscle power and stamina as well.
- In starting 4-5 km, people use a maximum of their energy in excitement. And as a result, they can not finish it at the end which is very disappointing for any trekker. So avoid putting extra energy or forcing your body to move fast.
- Take a regular break after 2-3 km.
- Drink plenty of water which reduces the chances of dehydration.
Valley of Flower National Park – The land of Fairies
written by- Karan.S.Bisht