Valley of Flowers: A Magical Land of Flowers and Legends!
Valley of Flowers, and in fact the entire route leading to it, is a photographer’s paradise. You don’t have to scratch your head and ponder over angles, frames, exposure, composition and everything that haunts novice photographers. The Idea of watching a valley flooded with flowers of all variety and colours is itself tempting for any nature lover. The local folklore also complements the aura of this valley. They go to the extent that at time the scent of flowers can be so strong that people visitors fall unconscious!
Trekking to Valley of Flowers is a soul warming experience and one can attain peace at such a marvellous place of beauty.
About Valley of Flowers
Valley of Flowers is a must do trek for all, though it's rated as an easy trek is one of the kind experience, the Valley itself is home to over 500 Species of Plants and many rare Himalayan Mammals. It was declared a national park in 1982 and it’s also a UNESCO world heritage site.As part of trek we even get to visit a famous Sikh Pilgrimage of Shri Hemkund Sahib.
Arrive at Hardwar the previous night or by 6:00 AM. Our vehicle will be waiting here and start at 6:30 AM. The pickup time from Rishikesh is 7:30 AM. Travel time from Haridwar to Govindghat is 10-12 Hours. Stay in Guest House/Hotel in Govindghat/Joshimath on sharing basis.
Day 2: Govindghat to Ghangaria (13Kms)
The trek traditionally starts from Govindghat but these days there is a possibility to reach Pulna and save a 3 Km hike from Govindghat. However, the movement of taxis till Pulna is restricted and permits are given to only limited number of vehicles. In case we get a permit, we start from Pulna else we can also start from Govindghat. The route from Govindghat to Pulna is on tarmac and the gradient is easy. From here, take the well-marked cemented trail after crossing the bridge on river Alaknanda. Govindghat has a Gurudwara & few hotels where one can stay. The trail to Ghangaria is usually crowded with the pilgrims who are headed for Hemkund Sahib. There are trees of Apricot alongside the trail. The entire trail to Ghangaria winds along the river with cascading waterfalls & natural water springs which present a very refreshing sight. It takes about 6 hours to reach Ghangaria which is small village lined with food joints & a Gurudwara. Stay overnight in Guest house/hotel on sharing basis.
Day 3: Ghangaria to Valley of Flowers and back (10 Kms)
After breakfast trek to Valley of Flowers from Ghangaria. Start early to have more time at hand when you are in the Valley. After walking on relatively flat trail till the bridge where we cross Pushpawati, the climb to the valley is steep. Fortunately the climb is only around 1.5 Kms long before the valley dawns upon you. The valley is an enchanting sight with an impressive array of rare wildflowers. Some of the technical names of flowers found here are : Geranium, Marsh marigold, Prinula, Potentilla, Geum, Asters, Lilium, Ranunculus, Corydalis, Inula, Braham kamal, Campanula, Pedicularis, Arisaema, Morina, Impatiens, Bistorta, Ligularia, Anaphalis, Saxifrages, Sibbaldia, Thermo- psis, Trollius, Codonopsis, Dactylorhiza, Cypripedium, Str- awberry, Epilobium, Rhododendrons and numerous others. Most of the flowers have medicinal values too. We will walk for about 10 Kms in the Valley. The valley is normally carpeted with flowers of an array of colours: Green,Blue,Yellow,Red. In the far distance you can see snow clad peaks. One of the attractions of the valley is a refreshing stream named Pushpawati, into which several tiny streams and waterfalls merge. Since the trek is fairly easy we will have sufficient time to relax & absorb the beauty of this wonderful place. Soak your feet in the stream & enjoy the sight. Camping in the Valley is not permitted so we will trek back to Ghangaria retracing the same route. Dinner & overnight stay at the hotel in Ghangaria.
Day 4: Ghangaria to Hemkund Sahib and back (10 kms )
Today's trek is beautiful but the same time steep & arduous. The altitude is on the higher side & weather can be pretty unpredictable. The months when this trek is done are peak monsoon months and rains can get us stranded if we do not descend in time. We will start at 5 AM to have the advantage of time. It takes approx. 4 hours to reach Hemkund Sahib Lake. This lake remains frozen for 6 months. Perched at an elevation of 4,329 mts above sea level, Hemkund Sahib is the highest Gurudwara of Sikh community. Warm yourself inside Gurudwara and start descend before 2 PM.
Day 5: Ghangaria to Govindghat (13 Kms)
Start your trek by 6 am. It is an easy 13 km mostly downhill walk from Ghangaria to Govindghat. At a consistent pace we will reach Govindghat by 11 am. You may choose to leave to Haridwar immediately or stay overnight at Govind Ghat and depart to Haridwar the following morning.
Day 6: Departure day
Depart from Govindghat to Rishikesh/Haridwar in the morning.
Food - Dinner on arrival in Joshimath/Govindghat, 4 meals (breakfast + lunch + evening tea & snacks + dinner) on Days 2 - 4, Breakfast & lunch on Day 5
Transportation from Joshimath/Govindghat till Pulna (if we can get the permit)
Services of an experienced Guide(s) as per group size
First Aid support
Please note that the food would be served as per pre decided menu and any extra orders in the hotel would be chargeable directly by the Hotel
Meals during road journeys if transportation is opted
Carriage of personal rucksack
Stay in Joshimath/Govindghat on the fifth day. One may want to move towards Haridwar on the same day
Personal expenses of any kind
Anything not mentioned in the inclusions section
Valley of Flowers is one of the few treks in the Himalayas which is done only in Monsoons as the flowers in the Valley are in Full Bloom only during the monsoon Period
How difficult is the Valley of Flowers?
Good physical fitness is must for all treks and so Swimming especially freestyle stroke everyday at least for 30 minutes followed by jogging and some breathing exercises is highly recommended for stamina-building workout as it accelerates almost all of your muscles. Valley Of Flowers is considered to be a High Altitude and an easy trek.
What are the temperatures during the Valley of Flowers?
The day time temperatures are pleasant and can be up to 20 Degrees however in mornings and evenings single digit temperatures can be expected and it might drop below zero in the nights.
How much we have to Trek Each day?
The itineraries are designed in a way that we cover 9 to 10 Kms in a day or walk for about 6 to 7 Hours is the average time taken by a trekker to cover this distance, enabling us to reach the campsite by lunch time.
What level of fitness is expected from the trekkers?
This trek can be done by the first time trekkers who want to familiarize themselves with High Altitude treks. However the Trek will need basic fitness level both physically and mentally.
How to reach?
For travel to Haridwar and back one can choose between air, rail & road. For air travel, the closest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport (30 kms) in Dehradun and is well connected to Delhi and other parts of the country. Train travel is highly recommended with enough options being there. For train details and online railway ticket bookings you could log on to www.irctc.co.in. There are frequent Public Transport buses including Volvos available from Delhi to Haridwar that cost about Rs. 200-700 per person. These buses depart from Delhi ISBT every 30 mins. or so and take about 4/5 hrs to cover the distance. The same is also applicable on the return journey.
Who are we?
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Warm shirt/light micro fleece pullover/full sleeve T shirt
Trekking Pants (water resistant/repellent & having inside lining for extra warmth) - 2
Windproof/water resistant outer shell (jacket) of good quality (no flimsy wind cheaters please!) with a proper hood
Down jacket with min 600 fill power rating
Thick Fleece / Full-sleeve Woollen sweater
Thermal inner wear (upper & lower)
Woollen cap, gloves, socks (3-4 pairs)
Comfortable Trekking/Hiking shoes (shoes with a thick sole are recommended)
Raincoat / Poncho
Small light weight towel
Water bottle (sturdy ones, no empty Bisleri bottles!!)
Cap / Hat to keep the strong sun away from your face
Walking stick / Trekking pole
Torch / Flashlight (with extra batteries)
Medicines, if requiring any specific medication
Books, if you like reading
Day pack/small bag which you will carry on your back every day and keep your essentials in it
Carry rain cover for your bags
Keep a few poly bags or waterproof bags in your bag in which if required you can put your belongings in case of heavy rain
Camera if you like (with fully charged batteries)