Be it nature lovers, trekkers or avid botanists, everyone has been charmed by the beauty of the Himalayas. Valley of Flowers trek can be taken to access the eponymous Himalayan valley, where the rich biodiversity and breathtaking surroundings will keep you mesmerised. Your expedition starts from Haridwar, and takes you through the villages of Govindghat and Ghangaria. The entire valley is located above the altitude of 11000 feet, in the transition zone between the Himalayas and the Zanskar Range. For ages, it has been known to provide refuge to hermits and sages, who would come here to indulge in Yoga and to meditate. Due to the altitude of the valley and the surrounding mountains, it exhibits different vegetation zones. At its lowest heights, conifers are found, which are taken over by meadows of grass, lichens, mosses and shrubs further up. Above these grasslands, the alpine zone, which does not allow grasses and trees to grow, begins.
Hundreds of species of colourful flowers bloom in the region in different growing seasons of the year. Many of them are endemic and threatened; hence the government has restricted human activity here. Among the animals found here are Himalayan black bears, brown bears, snow leopards, red foxes, Himalayan tahrs, musk deer and monals. The best thing about this Valley of Flowers trekking package is that it also gives you a chance to visit Hemkund Sahib. This is a highly revered Sikh gurdwara, and is located about 15200 feet above sea level. The Hemkund Sahib trek starts from the small village of Ghangaria, and the 7 km distance is generally covered in seven hours. From Ghangaria, there is a well-maintained path, leading to the pilgrimage site. There is a lake behind the gurdwara, where you may relax and click photos. The shrine is designed like a star, and it was constructed in the 1980s by personnels of the Indian Army.
Day 01: Haridwar - Auli (2450m) (Drive / 280 Kms / 8 - 9 Hrs)
Arrive at Haridwar railway station by 7 am, and then be driven to Auli, about 280 km away. A long but fascinating journey along the rivers of Ganga and Alaknanda entails passing through Rishikesh, Dev Prayag and Rudra Prayag. Take a break and relax in a gorgeous apple orchard on the way in the evening. Stay overnight at, Auli.
Day 02: Auli (2450m) - Govindghat - Ghangaria (3050m) (Drive / 1 Hr) (Trek / 4 - 5 Hrs)
Drive an hour or so to reach Govindghat in about an hour. Start the trek at Govindghat by crossing the river Alaknanda via a bridge to move towards Bhyundar valley. A number of waterfalls and beautiful greenscape lies along the way as you walk through a few villages and some forest area. This is a moderate level trail. Lies ahead a 14 kms trek to reach Ghangria in 4-5 hours, you can avail different services to reach Ghangria including hiring a mule or using a helicopter. Overnight stay at a hotel in Ghangharia.
Day 03: Ghangaria (3050m) - Valley Of Flowers (3600m) - Ghangaria (3050m) (Trek / 4 - 5 Hrs)
Begin your Valley of Flowers trek from the village, post stepping out of the hotel. Just after a kilometre, you will reach the entry gate of the Valley of Flowers National Park, where you will buy tickets. Inside, the trail is lined with colourful flowers of numerous species, which make the excursion extremely spellbinding. After a kilometre, you reach a pretty bridge across a stream, and all around you, towering mountains will be visible. By now, the well-laid out trail will have transformed into a narrow rocky path.
After trekking on a relatively flatter land, you will enter the magnificent valley. Before you arrive here, you will walk on another picturesque river crossing. From here you will be able to see four distinct vegetation zones of the Himalayas with ease. The lowest portions of the valley are covered with spruces, deodars and firs while the sections above them have lush grass and rhododendron shrubs. Lift up your eyes further and you will notice brown rocky slopes, which will always be covered with snow at their uppermost sections.
Explore the valley to the fullest, relax by the gushing river, take photos and breathe in the pleasing scent of the flowers. In the evening, hike down the mountains as you make your way back to Ghangaria. After arriving here, transfer to your lodging for an overnight stay.
Option 1: Ghangaria (3050m) - Hemkund Sahib (4329m) - Ghangaria (3050m) (Trek / 6 - 7 Hrs)
Wake up early in the morning, and start your walking expedition to Hemkund Sahib. The 7 km long excursion starts with a gradual ascent through the Himalayas. On the way, you will see a pretty waterfall on your right side, where you may click pictures. After about two hours of trekking from here, you reach the point where the treeline ends, and the views start getting better after it. A little further from here, you reach a river gorge, across which the trail to the Valley of Flowers is visible. After walking for another hour, your elevation will be such that the oxygen levels will start reducing. While hiking further up, take long breaks, which will allow you to catch your breath. Do not sit down as it makes getting up and walking again difficult. The Hemkund Sahib gurdwara is reached after another hour of gruelling ascent, and the lake is just behind it. Explore the Laxman mandir right next to it and pay homage at this sacred spot.
In the afternoon, hike down the mountains on your way back to Ghangaria. As going down is easier, you will cover these 7 km in approximately five hours. On arrival in Ghangaria, check-in at the hotel and relax in the evening. End your day with a good night's sleep.
Option 2: Ghangaria (3050m) - Valley Of Flowers (3600m) - Ghangaria (3050m) (Trek / 4 - 5 Hrs)
Hike to the Valley of Flowers to enjoy the pituresque locale and document your visit. In the afternoon, head back to Ghangria. Overnight stay at the hotel in Ghangria.
Day 05: Ghangaria - Govindghat - Auli (Trek / 3 - 4 Hrs)(Drive / 4 Hrs)
Trek down for approximately 14 km through the Himalayan Ranges, and reach Govindghat.
Later, head back to in Auli where a hot shower and a filling meal will be made available. Overnight stay at Auli.
Day 06: Auli - Haridwar (Drive / 280 Kms / 8 - 9 Hrs)
Relish a scrumptious breakfast and then drive to Haridwar, where you will reach the railway station to go your own way.
Departure Dates 2018:
June: 23, 30
July: 1, 3, 6, 8,9, 11, 14, 16,17, 19, 22,24,25, 27,30
August: 1,2,4,7,9,10,12,15, 17,18 20,21,23,25,26,28,31
September: 3, 8
Max Altitude: 15,696 Ft.
Approx Trekking Km: 38 kms.
Best Time to go: June to September
1). Accommodation. (Guest house, Home stay, Camping)
2). Meals while on trek (Veg.) (Egg)
3). Trek equipments.
5). First aid medical kits
6). Qualified & experienced trek Leader, Guide and Support staff
1). GST @5%
2). Any kind of personal expenses.
3). Food during the transit.
5). Mules or porter to carry personal luggage.
6). Anything not specifically mentioned under the head Price Includes.
7). Transport from Haridwar to Joshimath and return Rs. 2600/- per person