Valley of flowers trek is one of the most sought after treks in Uttarakhand located in the district of Chamoli. The two other well known pilgrimages near valley of flowers are Hemkund Sahib and Badrinath. The itinerary for valley of flowers is as follows:
|1st day||Rishikesh / Haridwar to Joshimath / Govindghat||Joshimath / Govindghat|
|2nd day||Joshimath- Govind ghat- Ghangria||Ghangria|
|3rd day||Ghangria to Valley of flowers||Ghangria|
|4th day||Ghangria to Hemkund Sahib||Ghangria|
|5th day||Ghangria to Badrinath or Joshimath||Joshimath / Badrinath|
|6th day||Badrinath / Joshimath to Rishikesh /Haridawar|
Valley of flowers as its name suggests, is famous for its variety of flowers across its beautiful landscape. During the rains, the entire area from the valley to the sacred Hemkund Sahib lake is bedecked with flowers and the air is permeated with divine fragrance. If you are looking for a fairy land, come to the Valley of Flowers, which before its discovery was an exclusive home for the fairies. A little description of valley of flowers has been shown below, followed by its history, trekking route detail, duration etc.
|Valley of Flowers details:|
Location : Distt.- Chamoli, Uttrakhand, India
Altitude: 3352 mtr. to 3658 mtr.
Days: 3-4 days (from Joshimath)
Coordinates: 30° 43′ 42″ N, 79° 36′ 18″ E
Valley of flowers was not very popular destination before Frank Smythe who is officially credited with discovering the Valley of Flowers in 1931, but in some circles it is believed that Richard Holdsworth, a botanist member of Smythe’s successful Kamet Expedition was the real discoverer of the Valley of flowers.
Frank Smythe camped in valley of flowers for one month to collect material for his book “The Valley of Flowers” and took with him seeds for the Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh, Scotland. In furtherance of Smythe’s work, Joan Margaret Legge went to the Valley of flowers in 1939 to study and collect more flowers. She camped at Valley of flowers for a few days, and unfortunately lost her life when she slipped from a rock while picking flowers in valley of flowers. Later in 1944, her sister visited the Valley of flowers and built a small memorial in the shape of a tombstone there in the valley of flowers. As a reminder of the great love she had for the Himalayas, inscribed on her marble tombstone, in valley of flowers are the following words –
“I shall lift my eyes up to the mountains, from whence cometh my help.”
Valley of Flowers is nearly 10 km in length, 2 km in width and concave in shape. Valley of flowers is divided along its length by a small river called the Pushpawati and several tiny streams and waterfalls rush down from the glacial deposits to merge with it. The Pushpawati joins the Laxman Ganga, flowing from Hemkund Sahib, at Ghangaria. This combined stream retains the Laxman Ganga till it meets Alaknanda at Govind Ghat.
A massive mountain mantled with snow and called Ghoradhungi, blocks valley of flowers at the other end. There is however, a traditional route which passes across a glacial pass at an altitude of 5091 mtr to Bank Kund and the pasture lands of the Gamsali Valley, and eventually leads to Niti, the last Indian village on the border with Tibet.
|Flora of the Valley of flowers :|
In valley of flowers, some of the flowers which can be seen are : Pink Primula, Pedicularis, Golden Lily, creamy Anemones, large purple Asters, the rare white Androsace, the blue Borage, the rosy-petalled Cypripedium, blue Forget-me-nots, green and chequered Fritillaries, pink Geranimus, purple and dwarf Irises, dwarf Larkspurs, the indigo-coloured Nomochairs, blue and yellow Pansies, mauve Polemoniums, the blue Poppy(Mecanopsis)-petals as blue as the ocean, white and red Potentillas, golden lilly, dwarf Rhododendrons Primulas in pink and blue and the deepest purple, Ranunculus, pink Epilobium and the heavily perfumed Brahma Kamal.
Ghangria is 15 km trek from Govind Ghat. Ghangria, nestled amidst the giant deodars, is the halting place for travellers to both Hemkund Sahib and the Valley of Flowers. Visitors have to spend the nights at Ghangria only since camping in the valley of flowers is not permitted.
Location : Distt. Chamoli, Uttarakhand, India.
Altitude : 10165 ft / 3100 mtr.
Coordinates : 30° 42′ 05″ N, 79° 35′ 33″ E
The distance of Valley of flowers from Ghangria is 4 km trekking and the distance of Hemkund Sahib is 5 km trekking. Govind Ghat, which is 270 km from Rishikesh and 20 km from Joshimath, is the motor head for the Valley of Flowers. At Govind Ghat porters and ponies are available for the 15 km trek to Ghangaria. The valley of flowers trek begins after crossing Alaknanda by a suspension bridge and then along a mountain path on the right bank of Laxman Ganga. The trek passes through dense vegetation and whispering forest and Laxman Ganga always appears to be hurrying down to meet Alaknanda down below. Then at 10th km of valley of flowers trek is the Bhyundar village from where a beautiful valley branches to Kagbhushandi. The Valley of Flowers trek continues along the Laxam Ganga and at 3 km from the Village, Laxman Ganga has to be crossed and then begins the final zigzag climb to Ghangaria. Ghangaria, nestled amidst the giant deodars, is the halting place for both Hemkund Sahib and the Valley of Flowers. Camping in the valley of flowers is not permitted, visitors have to spend the night at Ghangaria only.
The motor head for Sri Hemkund Sahib is Govind Ghat which is located 270 km from Rishikesh and 20 km from Joshimath. Porters and ponies are available for the 20 km. trek. The trek up to Ghangaria (Govind Dham) is the same as for the Valley of Flowers.
Location : Distt.- Chamoli, Uttrakhand, India
Altitude : 13760 ft / 4195 mtr.
Coordinates : 30° 41′ 55″ N, 79° 37′ 10″ E
As the path from Ghangaria gradually ascends to the valley of Flowers, glacial snow bridge, alpine flowers and wild life begin to appear along this 4 km trek. At 4 km, one only touches the valley of flowers and the colorful patterns lie ahead up to a distance of 10 km.
The Valley of flowers trek had got obstructed during August month, 2016, but now resumed……………read more
The distance between Rishikesh to Joshimath is 250 km. From Joshimath onward, the table for valley of flowers is shown below:
|Place||Altitude (m)||Distance (km)|
|Govind ghat||1829||20 motor|
|Valley of flowers||3352 (lowest point)||4 trek|
|-do-||3658 (highest point)||10 trek|
Rishikesh to Govind Ghat 270 km. (motorable)
Govind Ghat to Valley of Flowers 29 km. trek
How to reach Valley of Flowers, please click.
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