Valley of Flowers: A trek in the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve.
Uttarakhand is full of scenic and amazing travel destinations. Most of them are good to visit for rest & relaxation and some places are good to explore by doing trekking adventures. A lot of trekking destinations are in Uttarakhand which can be explored in different seasons. An enchanting valley nestled in the Garhwal Himalayas which is a popular trekking destination. Thousands of trekkers and travelers visit the valley every year and experience the treasures of nature.
The Valley of Flowers is an Indian National Park that is nestled in the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. Both the National Parks complements each other and are listed in UNESCO’s World’s heritage sites. Valley of Flowers is perched at a maximum altitude of 3500m above sea level in the north Chamoli district, Uttarakhand. The Valley of Flowers is a land where you will see thousands of endemic rare species of flowers. The National park is surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas. The trek to the beautiful valley is on the bucket list of every trekker. The picturesque valley has one side a serene river and on the other side snow-capped mountains.
The trek is easy to slightly moderate and can be done in 5-6 days. The trek starts from Joshimath and leads to Govindghat which is the basecamp for the trek. Valley of offers captivating views of the snow-clad peaks, alpine trees and a wide variety of flora and fauna. Apart from the colorful and wildflowers, you will also get a chance to spot some endangered animals and birds during the trek like snow leopard, Asiatic black bear, brown bear, and bearded vulture, Himalayan monal, pheasants, etc. The tranquility, incredible landscapes, great scenic views of waterfalls on the way, and blossoms all around.
The trek offers a great chance to visit the holy shrine of Hemkund Sahib. An easy to moderate trek from Ghangaria village will take to a high altitude alpine lake Hemkund.
Hemkund Sahib is perched at an elevation of 4,633m in the Chamoli district, Uttarakhand. It is devoted to the tenth Sikh guru, Sri Guru Govind Singh Ji. The star-shaped Gurudwara is surrounded by 7 mountain peaks and the mighty glacial lake Hemkund. You will also spot Brahmkamal near the lake which is a rare species of flowers grows only at an altitude of more than 10,000ft.
The holy place only open from May to October. Hemkund gets inaccessible from October to April due to heavy snow.
Best Season to visit the Valley of Flowers:
The Valley of Flowers only opens from June to October. The rest of the year it gets covered with snow. The best and ideal time to visit is from mid-July to mid-August. The flowers are in full bloom in monsoons. In summers, you will find very fewer flowers in the valley. You will see the snow-melting glaciers. In winters, the door remains closed for trekking in the valley. The temperature gets quite cold in the night and early morning. It is advised to carry heavy woolen clothes.
How to reach?
There are a lot of transportation available to reach Joshimath. Joshimath is a religious town near Dehradun. You can either reach Joshimath or Govindghat to start this trek.
Joshimath is well-connected to all the major cities and towns of Uttarakhand.
By Bus: Take a direct bus from Delhi and reach Dehradun. Take another bus either to reach Joshimath or Govindghat.
By Train: Take a direct train from Delhi and reach Dehradun railway station. Catch a local bus or a taxi to reach Joshimath which is 293 km or Govindghat which is 310km.
By Air: The Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun is the nearest to the trek. Take a direct flight from Delhi and reach Dehradun.
Some Travel Tips:
- Experienced trekkers can do this trek a bit quickly as compared to beginners as the trail has some steep climbs and tricky paths.
- Carry an extra pair of clothes as rains hit the area very frequently.
- The mobile network disappears after Govindghat. It is good to inform your family prior to the trek.
- Always carry an ID proof.
- Do not wander alone in the valley as there are a lot of dangerous animals.
- Do not litter. Do not spoil the meadows by garbage.
- People who are suffering from any kind of disease like asthma, high blood pressure, etc. are advised to do not this adventure.
Things to carry:
- Backpack and rain cover
- Trekking pole
- Torch and flashlights
- Water bottle
- Personal medical kit
- Hydration pack
- Water purifying tablets
- Hand gloves (woolen and synthetic)
- Disposable bags
- Track pants or trousers
- Woolen cap
- Scarf or mufflers
- Trekking shoes
- Woolen socks or cotton socks
- Thermal wear
- Sun cap
- Lip balm
- ID proof
- Essential toiletries
- Extra pair of clothes
Valley of Flowers is a ravishing trek that offers great scenic surroundings. Take a break from your busy life and spend some days witnessing the beauty of nature. Plan a trip to the National Park and experience the best of nature.
Live. Travel. Explore!!