6D/5N
Duration
Easy
Grade
5/10
Physicality
50 Km
Trail Length
4160 m/13650 ft
Highest Point

Valley Of Flowers Trek:

About:

Any admirer of Himalaya, thinking about a trek in Monsoon, Valley of Flowers trek surely top the chart. Legend and myths met reality when three British mountaineers Frank Smythe, Eric Shipton and Romilly Holdsworth lost their way and reached this piece of paradise on earth. They were been to Mt. Kamet expedition (First ascent) and entered in to Bhyundar valley during their dramatic descent. They reached by descending through Bhyundar Khal (Pass) instead of as planned to reach Mana village. Hence the outer world knew that the valley exists. For locals the valley served as a pastoral grazing opportunity. According to Hindu mythology this is the Nandan Kanan, garden of Lord Indra. Valley of Flowers is a high altitude valley carved by glacial action of the river Pushpawati and runs east west direction along the river. According to a legend, the river was named Pushpawati by the Pandavas when they saw flowers floating on the waters of this snow fed river. This river meets Laxman Ganga coming from the Holy Shrine of Hemkund Sahib and called as Laxman Ganga or Bhyundar Ganga and meets Alaknanda at Govindghat. A gigantic snow clad ridge hems this valley from almost all sides. The valley is around 10Km long and 1 Km wide and situated ~ 3200 – 3600m from the mean sea level. The area blooms in alpine vegetation for a period of 15-20 weeks (June to October). The valley turns in pink, white, blue and violet cover during monsoon (July-August). Anemone, Balsam, Angelica, Bell Flower, Brahma Kamal, Blue Poppy, Forget Me Not, Cobra Lily, Marsh Marigold and Birch are few common types abundant inside the valley. Rataban peak and Tipra glacier mark the boundary of the valley in the upstream direction. This National Park is truly a botanist’s dream, an ornithologist’s charm, a photographer’s excitement and a hiker’s delight.

Valley of Flowers National park and it’s Biodiversity:

Cuddled on the high Himalayan peaks in Chamoli district of Garhwal, Valley of Flowers National Park is specially noted for its floral diversity and unmatched natural beauty. This biome is home for more than 500 species of vascular plants, 160 + species of birds and other insects and mammals.

The Nanda Devi National Park and Valley of Flowers National Park are exceptionally beautiful high-altitude West Himalayan landscapes with outstanding biodiversity. Both the parks form the core zones of the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. (Source UNESCO: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/335). The Park is declared as a UNESCO heritage site of biosphere reserve in 2005.

Flora inside Valley Of flowers:

This valley boosts more than 520 species (recorded and identified) of plant and flowers of which many are endemic to this area. To mention few: Himalayan Rose (Rosa Macrophylla); Himalayan Honeysuckle (Leycesteria formosa); Himalayan Blue Poppy (Meconopsis bella); Himalayan Mini Sunflower (Cremanthodium ellisii); Woolly Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis Triplinervis); Brahma Kamal (Saussurea obvallata); Himalayan Cinquefoil (Potentilla Atrosanguinea) 8) Silky Woundwort (Stachys emodi) 9) Whiskered Commelina (Commelina benghalensis) 10) European Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea) 11) Himalayan Thyme (Thymus linearis) 12) Woolly Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis triplinervis) 13) Himalayan Rhodiola (Rhodiola himalensis) 14) Whorled Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum verticillatum) 15) Devendra’s Balsam (Impatiens devendrae) 16) Purple Stalked Gentian (Gentiana pedicellata) 17) Showy Inula  (Inula orientalis) 18) Jacquemont’s Cobra Lily (Arisaema jacquemontii) 19) Large Bellflower (Campanula latifolia) 20) Himalayan Milk Vetch (Astragalus himalayanus) 21) Himalayan Monkshood (Aconitum ferox) 22) Purple Stalked Gentian (Gentiana pedicellata) 23) Creeping Aster (Aster diplostephioides) 24) Himalayan Typhonium (Typhonium diversifolium) 25) Himalayan Thimbleweed (Anemone obtusiloba)

Fauna inside Valley Of Flowers:

This National Park together with Nanda Devi National Park forms one of the most bio diversified region on the Himalaya. This area is the home of many mammals including Asiatic black bear, Leopard, Snow leopard, Brown bear, Civet cat, Musk deer, Blue sheep, Serow and others. The bird type includes, Snowcock, Partridge, Monal, Pheasant, Vultures, Eagles, Laughing- thrushes, Warblers, Yuhina, Nuthatch, Honeyguide, Woodpeckers, Flycatchers, Magpies, Robins and Redstarts, Sunbirds, Accentors, Rosefinches etc. One can observe many species of colourful butterflies, moths and bees. Birding enthusiasts can check the list of available species in Valley of Flowers National Park from here.

References:
Concise Flowers of the Himalaya, illustrated edition by Adam Stainton & Oleg Polunin, ISBN: 9780195644142;
Pocket Guide to the Birds of the Indian Subontinent, Grimmett & Inskipp, ISBN: 9780195651553;
Birds of India, Om Field Guides by Krys Kazmierczak, ISBN: 9788187107040;
National parks of India by R.S.Bisht, ISBN: 8123001789;
EDC (Eco Development Committee), Bhyundar;

Brief Itinerary:

Day 1: Drive from Haridwar to Govindghat – 290 Km  – 12 hours
Day 2: Trek to Ghangaria – 14 Km – 7/8 hours
Day 3: Trek to Valley of Flowers and back to Ghangaria – 12 Km – 6/7 hours
Day 4: Trek to Hemkund Sahib and back to Ghangaria – 12 Km – 7/8 hours
Day 5: Trek to Govindghat – 14 Km – 6/7 hours
Day 6: Drive from Govindghat to Haridwar – 290 Km – 11/12 hours

Access to Valley Of Flowers trek base – Govindghat:

To reach the trek base Govindghat you need to reach Haridwar on your own arrangements. Haridwar is well connected by train from Delhi and Kolkata. Frequent regular and Volvo bus service from Delhi Kashmiri Gate ISBT.

Haridwar is well connected by train from Delhi and Kolkata. Frequent regular and Volvo bus service from Delhi Kashmiri Gate ISBT. This is NOT included in any TREK FEE.

To reach the trek base Govindghat independently/public transportation check the details in GETTING THERE TAB.

Click here to check the List of things to carry in Valley Of Flowers trek or Download the PDF list.

Duration: 4 days of trekking; Govindghat to valley of flowers and Hemkund Sahib and back to Govindghat. Haridwar to Haridwar in 6 days.

Prerequisite: No prior trekking experience is required and ideal for beginners. Longish walk on the first day to Ghangaria (14 Km).

Grade: Easy

Physicality: 5.5/10

Trail Length: 50 Km

Highest Point: Hemkund Sahib~ 4160 m/13650 ft.

 Seasons: June to September (Best in July and August)

Further Option: Trek to Bhyunder Khal (Difficult) or Kagbhusandi Tal (Moderate)

 Access: Trek starting point and end point is Govindghat which can is 290 Km from Haridwar.

Rail station: Haridwar (STN Code: HW)

 Airport: Delhi; Dehradun (Airport Code: DED)

 Map:

Upcoming scheduled dates for Valley Of Flowers trek: 

Please check the available dates from the Booking Form calendar in the sidebar/tab. Tour starting Dates are highlighted as per our itinerary (Day 1 of 6 day’s itinerary).

 You can send a request through REGISTER NOW button or directly book using the BOOK NOW button in the Booking Form.

DEPARTURE LOCATION Haridwar railway station
REPORTING TIME 6:00 AM for a prompt departure to Govindghat (Day 1)
RETURN LOCATION Haridwar
RETURN TIME Approximately 8:00 PM (Day 6)

How to reach Govindghat (the trek base):

Nearest Rail station: Haridwar (Station Code: HW)

Nearest Airport: Delhi

Haridwar is well connected by train from Delhi and Kolkata. Frequent regular and Volvo bus service from Delhi Kashimiri Gate ISBT.

To reach the trek base Govindghat you need to reach Haridwar on your own arrangements.

We will arrange a pickup from Haridwar to Govindghat and back. The cost will be shared equally by the team members and is approximately around 6000 Rs one side in a Jeep (Mahindra Maxx, Tata Sumo etc). One such Jeep is comfortable for 6-8 persons. A Tempo Traveller charges Rs 9000 (one way) which can accommodate 12 persons. This is NOT included in the TREK FEE and to be payable directly to the driver/owner.

If you want to reach and return from Govindghat by public vehicle then:

  • Take early morning bus service from Haridwar to directly Badrinath or till Joshimath. Direct buses leave by 5 am. The state operated Bus terminus referred as Roadways/ISBT) is just opposite to the railway station. Privately operated buses start just 2 minutes walking from here. In the summer during Char Dham Yatra, buses are packed. It takes 11/12 hours to reach Joshimath. Look for a shared Jeep service or book a car till Govindghat which is another 20 Km towards Badrinath. It may take up to 14 hours.
  • From Govindghat early in the morning board the direct bus for Haridwar/Rishikesh. It will take 11/12 hours. From Rishikesh, it is only 25 Km journey to Haridwar by frequent bus service.

How to reach Haridwar:

For the treks in Garhwal, one has to reach Haridwar normally. Rishikesh is another 25 Km from here and is considered a gateway to Garhwal Himalayas. You can fly or by train reach New Delhi as per your convenience from any part within India.

There are direct trains from Kolkata to Haridwar.

KUMBHA EXPRESS – Train No. – 12369 ( Very good option to reach Haridwar by 5 pm; Spend the night in Haridwar and start your onward journey by car next morning)

UPASANA EXPRESS – Train No. – 12327 ( Very good option to reach Haridwar by 5 pm; Spend the night in Haridwar and start your onward journey by car next morning)

DOON EXPRESS – Train No. – 13009 (Don’t book this train when you plan a long onward journey immediately nn the same morning)]

Avoid booking wait listed (WL) tickets in AC classes (1A/2A/3A) or Chair Car (CC). Book Sleeper class (SL)/Second Sitting class (2S) tickets which have normally more seats/berth and hence much better chance to get confirmed.

You can easily reach Haridwar from New Delhi by train or bus (~ 5/6 hours) and is around 210 Km.

By train:

Following trains are good to reach Haridwar and run daily.

DDN JANSHTBDI – Train No. 12055 (Arrives HW in the evening @ 7:30 pm, good choice when you stay the night in Haridwar and have a long drive ahead next day)
NANDA DEVI EXP – Train No. 12205 (arrives HW early morning @ 4am)
UTKAL EXPRESS – Train No. 18477 (arrives HW in the night @ 9pm)
MUSSOORIE EXP – Train No. 14041 (arrives HW in the morning @ 5:45am)
Always avoid booking waitlisted (WL) tickets in AC classes (1A/2A/3A) or Chair Car (CC). Book Sleeper class (SL)/Second Sitting class (2S) tickets which have normally more seats/berth and hence much better chance to get confirmed.

By bus:

Govt. Road Transport (Roadways of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab etc.) buses are frequently available in day time and night from Kashmiri Gate ISBT (http://www.delhi.gov.in/wps/wcm/connect/doit_transport/Transport/Home/ISBT/Fare+Chart). Tickets are available on board for these regular type buses. From Delhi Airport or Station you can reach ISBT Kashmiri Gate via Delhi Metro service (http://www.delhimetrorail.com/metro-fares.aspx). It is only 4 Km from NDLS and can be reached easily by booking an auto rickshaw.

For privately operated bus, you can book online from different portals (http://www.redbus.in). Select a boarding point suitably. Overnight Volvo/A.C/Push back bus service.

Nearest Airport Jolly Grant near Dehradun (Airport code: DED) is 35 Km away from Haridwar. This airport is accessed from Dehradun, Haridwar and Rishikesh easily. The flights are mostly via Delhi.
Regarding night accommodations in Haridwar:

Trekkers reaching on the previous day before the journey to the actual trek base need to stay the night in Haridwar. There are several options in Haridwar for spending a night while staying in Premium, Standard or Budget accommodation. Options vary from Privately operated Hotels/Lodges, to State run Tourist rest House and Dharamshala.

State run GMVN (Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam) operates Hotel Rahi just beside the Bus Stand and opposite to the Haridwar Railway Station. This is a reliable and a decent choice for Standard accommodation.Check the following for online booking of the above: http://www.gmvnl.com/newgmvn/tour/booktrh.asp
You can call or visit GMVN nearest office or even send an email for more information.The information is available at: http://www.gmvnl.com/newgmvn/online_reservation/#

Return from Haridwar:

Normally you reach Haridwar from any trek base  by 7/8 pm in the evening. You can take any train after 9 pm or regular bus service as mentioned above to reach Delhi or directly to your homeward journey in the same night.

Day 1

Drive to Govindghat: 290 Km - 12 hours


Today morning by 6 am we start our long journey from the plains of Haridwar toward the holy Sikh shrine of Govindghat. The road (NH 58) follows initially the valley of Ganga, and later for a major section of its main tributary Alaknanda. On route we cross Rishikesh and then the confluence at Deoprayag, Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag, Nandaprayag to reach Joshimath. From here Govindghat (~1750m/5740ft) is another 20 Km. The entire distance is 290 Km and can take around 12/13 hours. There are number of private hotels and lodges serving to the tourists and pilgrims. Gurudwara provides shelter to the pilgrims going to Hemkund Sahib. Night stay at lodge/rest house.
Day 2

Trek to Ghangaria: 14 Km - 7/8 hours

We start our trek to Ghangaria in the morning. We leave the Badrinath highway (NH58) and get down to the Alaknanda Rived bed and cross the bridge at the confluence of Alaknanda and Laxman/Bhyundar Ganga river. From here onward we will enter in to the Bhyundar Ganga valley. The wide track climbs steadily as we enter through the gate of the National Park. The track is cemented or cobble stoned till Ghangaria. During the month of May and June the route is crowded due to the thousands of pilgrims. Small tea shops, Dhabas and temporary stalls offer variety of choice in every 10/15 minutes walk. We walk on the gentle inclined gradient while the river on our right (TRUE right of Laxman Ganga) to reach the first village on the route named “Pulna” at a distance of 3 Km. The houses on the river bank washed off in 2013 disaster (Flash flood started in the morning so no fatalities reported in this valley). In 2/2 and half hours we reach “Jungle Chatti” at a distance of 5 Km. From here we walk another 3 Km to reach the last village on this valley called “Bhyundar”. The ruins of this village is still visible and the people are shifted lower in the valley. The river ( with a tributary coming from Kagbhusandi Tal) has taken a course on the erstwhile village. At Bhyundar we cross the bridge on the Laxman Ganga and turn left. From here the climb is somewhat steep for nex hour and half on a ridge. The trail is moist, full of Maple, Deodar and Rhododendron trees. Drongo, Magpie, Bushchat and Thrushes are common. After climbing to the top the ridge a View Point welcomes us in the left. From this point the valley widens and the track is flat for next 15 minutes. Ghangaria helipad and the camping ground is on our left. It is another 10 minutes walk to the main street of Ghangaria (~3000m/9850ft). Total distance is 13 Km and may take 6/7 hours. Ghangaria is not a village but essentially a one street/main Bazar based settlement serving the tourists and pilgrims. There are several hotels/lodges, shops and a Gurudwara. Electricity and STD booths are available. Night stay in lodge.
Day 3

Trek to Valley Of Flowers and back to Ghangaria: 12 Km - 6/8 hours

We leave early in the morning after breakfast to the much revered valley. Crossing the last stretch of Ghangaria we cross a bridge on the Laxman Ganga. The the he track bifurcates and we move on to the left. The main trail on the right goes to Hemkund Sahib. Suddenly the atmosphere changes and nature starts unfurling its treasure cove. The river Pushawati flows to our left. Side streams forming waterfalls over the sheer rocky cliff are common in monsoon. We walk for half a Km to cross the river and stay on the true right of Pushpawati. Stories are often heard that people became senseless or unconscious inside the valley, thanks to the intoxicating smell! Do not touch any flower or plant, don’t trample and always stay on the track.  Pleasant smell of vegetation and fresh air enthrall every visitor. The valley starts changing its hue and turns into a fairyland. Large swath of the valley is covered in pink due to the Himalayan Balsam, or white for Anemones. Observe the tiny myriad little flowers like Gentians or Asters. The entire area seems like Eden while sheer mountain cliffs encompassing the valley. The hike is gentle and we walk slowly to get the smell of the mist and contrasting colours. Closely observe the buds, leaves and flowers with combinations of different size, shape and colour. The river Pushpawati cuts along the valley and gushing down to the bottom of the valley. Look out carefully for the many tiny to medium size of birds on the trees and flowering plants. After moving around 4 Km packed lunch is served. After 6 Km or so we reach the head of the valley. We can continue further north to the valley where the trail goes along almost river bed. You can see the Tipra glacier and Rataban peak towering the backdrop. We reach an altitude of ~3600m/11800ft. Spend some time and retrace the trail till Ghangaria. Distance is 10 Km and time spent around 6/8 hours. Night stay in hotel.
Day 4

Trek to Hemkund Sahib and back to Ghangaria: 12 Km - 7/8 hours

Today we will visit to the holy shrine of Hemkund Sahib. It is only 6 Km from Ghangaria but at an altitude which is alpine and above tree line. The track is wide and well defined as thousands of pilgrims visit every year. Tea stalls and Dhabas are available throughout. Brahma Kamal blooms in abundance around this trail while approaching altitude of 4000 m. The climb is continuous with a moderate gradient. It may take 3 and half/4 hours to reach. The lake is a delight to watch and remains misty during monsoon . Spend some time around the lake and have a cup of milk tea served by the Gurudwara committee. Weather can turn bad easily at this altitude. Start your return by 1:30 pm. Total distance is 12 Km and may take 7/8 hours. Night stay at Ghangaria hotel.

hemkund sahib

Day 5

Trek to Govindghat: 12 Km - 7/8 hours

Today we start our descent in the morning to Govindghat and reach by afternoon. May take 6/7 hours. Night stay in hotel.
Day 6

Drive to Haridwar: 290 Km - 12 hours

By car we get back to Haridwar by 8 pm in the evening. Book your tickets for return journey 9 pm or later.

P.S.: Distances and altitudes are approximate and may not be exact.

TREK FEE: ₹ 7800 (Govindghat to Govindghat) + 9% Service Tax

Book for 3-5 persons and get a discount of 5% and for 5 or more persons get flat 10% Group Discount

Inclusions:

 2 nights accommodation at Govindghat (Day 1 & Day 5) in hotel/lodge on sharing basis and dinner.

3 nights stay at Ghangaria (Day 2, 3 & 4) in hotel/lodge on sharing basis.

 All Meals ( vegetarian) during the trek (breakfast, hot/packed lunch, dinner, tea/coffee/soup.

Excellent professional trekking  guide, who will be a local to this particular area and has profound knowledge of the trekking trails around.

 Porters/Packed animals to carry the central logistics of the trek.

 Permit fee for Valley Of Flowers National Park.

Accidental adventure tour insurance coverage. All Indian nationals joining our scheduled departure treks are insured against accidents in a trekking trip up to 5000m/16400 ft for a period of 14 days.

 Basic Medical & First Aid kit.

Exclusions:

Transportation from Haridwar to Govindghat and back (Rs 1600-2000 per persons both ways for the pick up and drop)

We assume that you will carry your Rucksack/Backpack including all your personal belongings. If you prefer to offload your bag and carried by horse then an additional Rucksack offloading charge (₹ 800 for Govindghat to Ghangaria and back) is to be paid. One such bag must weigh within 10 Kg.

 Any tip/gratuity to the HT supports staff.

Anything is is NOT mentioned in the “Inclusions” or personal in nature.

Booking:

  • We assume that you have read and understood our “Terms & Conditions before Booking a trek/tour.
  • To reserve your place in a scheduled Fixed Departure trek or a Customised/Private trek pay 25% of the Trek/Tour Fee as the initial “Booking Deposit”. You can pay by Net banking/Draft/Cheque/Credit/Debit/AMEX cards. This will ensure your participation in the desired trek and we will reserve your place in the scheduled date. You need to pay the remaining amount at least 15 days before Trek Starting Date.
  • If you book a Trek/Tour before 14 days or less from Trek/Tour Starting Date, you need to pay the full Trek/Tour Fee.

 Cancellations:

  • “Booking Amount” i.e. 25% of the Trek/Tour Fee is Non-Refundable at any stage.
  • If in case you are not able to make it due to unavoidable reason(s), we provide you a very flexible choice of Shifting to another trek within next one year. One year is counted from the starting date of the trek/tour you booked initially with us.
  • In case you postpone your trip you need to inform minimum of 15 days before the trek/tour starting date. (Though we suggest to inform us earlier if known)
  • In case you postpone a trek/tour before 15 days of the scheduled Trek/Tour Starting date or prior, you may shift to another group of the same trek/tour scheduled in the same season or within next one year. You may shift to another suitable route also. For changing any, you need our approval first. Your request must be in written communication through your registered email with us.
  • If you cancel/postpone a trek/tour from 14 days to 8 days before tour starting date, your Booking Amount is Non-Refundable. We will not take any request of shifting dates. We will charge 50% of the amount as Cancellation Charges and process refund of remaining 50%. You may also shift to another group within next year but 25% Booking Amount will be deemed as Cancellation Charge and the rest amount will be transferred to the shifted group.
  • If you cancel a trek/tour 7 days (i.e. a week) before Trek/Tour Starting Date or later, there will be NO REFUND.
  • In case of any unforeseen incident including but not limited to natural calamities like flood, earthquake, landslide, forest fire or any political unrest, if we are compelled to cancel the trek/trip, you will be entitled to redeem the full amount for the same/similar kind of trek/trip within next one year.

If you need more clarifications write in to info@himalayatrekker.com

Valley of flowers trek

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