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 – Govindghat via Joshimath and Devprayag (2450 m | 280 Kms | 8 - 9 Hrs)
Arrive at Haridwar railway station, on reaching you will be picked up and then be driven to Govindghat via Joshimath and Devprayag. A long but fascinating journey along the rivers of Ganga and Alaknanda entails passing through scenic landscpaes. Take a break and relax in a gorgeous apple orchard on the way in the evening. Stay overnight at Pandukeshwar, where you will also be served with a meal of scrumptious dinner.
Day 02: Govindghat to 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. A number of waterfalls and beautiful greenspace 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. 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 kilometer, you will reach the entry gate of the Valley of Flowers National Park, where you will buy tickets. Inside, the trail is lined with colorful flowers of numerous species, which make the excursion extremely spellbinding. After a kilometer, 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 for overnight stay.
Day 04: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 tree line 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.
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.
Day 05: Trek from Ghangaria – Pulna (9 km / 4-5 hours) – Pulna to Govindghat/ Pandukeshwar (Approx 5 kms drive)
Trek down through the Himalayan Ranges, and reach Govindghat. On reaching, you will head for stay in hotel at Pandukeshwar. Rest of the day is free to explore this picturesque area.
Day 06: Drive back to Haridwar from Govindghat/Pandukeshwar (290 kms/ 9-10 hours)
Relish a scrumptious breakfast and then drive to Haridwar, where you will reach the railway station to go your own way.
Max Altitude: 15,696 Ft.
Approx Trekking Km: 38 kms.
Best Time to go: June to September
I went to Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand with my friends in late August and everything was so serene and beautiful. The visit to the National Park is obviously the biggest highlight, and rightly so. The variety of plants and alpine flowers available there are mind-blowing. You should definitely try to take as many photos as possible, but don't forget to just sit back and enjoy by the side of Alaknanda river. Absolutely my favorite memory! All in all, it was a delightful experience. If I could, I would go back again as soon as possible.
I chose Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib trek because of what I had heard about it from other friends. I am grateful to Adventure Nation and the trek operators in the valley for their generosity and for giving me an opportunity to trek in the beautiful Uttarakhand. Trekking to Hemkund Sahib is optional, you can stay back, but my advice is don't! Hemkund Sahib, aside from having spiritual significance, also has a beautiful lake beside it, and we sat there for quite some time to enjoy the scenery. I made some great friends on the trek for which I'll be forever thankful. Definitely going to come back!
This was my first trek and I pretty much decided to go on it because it?s one of the best beginner treks that is full of natural beauty and simple to do. The sheer beauty of the vast flora and fauna on this trek were what initially sold this trek to me. I enjoyed this little break I got from my otherwise busy schedules. If you're on a tight budget and are looking for a trek that is beautiful and a relatively simple getaway, then this is for you! Specially recommended to beginners!
My Valley of Flowers trek in Uttarakhand was made memorable by the beautiful scenes and the welcoming trek mates I had with me. Definitely going to come back only because of how cool it all looked and witnessing it only once doesn't do it much justice. In addition to the beauty of the trek, I really liked how nicely it was arranged! The distance was pretty evenly divided and you just never will find yourself too tired at any point in time of this trek and even if you do, the beautiful scenes will provide solid inspiration immediately!!!
This trek is an easy trek and very doable for beginners. I did some research before booking and looked at a few pictures, it has some incredibly beautiful scenic locations including the valley of flowers and the Hemkund Sahib which are the two highlights of this trek. You can read everywhere about the hundreds of exotic flowers in the valley but let me tell you, the Hemkund lake is very beautiful looking. For me, reaching that place and witnessing the beauty and the spirituality of it was very heartening. Thanks!
Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib trek is the trip me and my friends took a month back. I really loved the arrangement and it was a cherry on the top for me because the trek itself is very scenic. The wide range of flowers that are so beautiful looking is crazy. The whole vibe of the trek was amazing. Thanks very much for this.