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Valley Of Flowers Trek

Valley of Flowers trek dates – Monsoon 2017: 

15th Jul (Day 1) to 20th Jul’17 (Day 6)
22nd Jul (Day 1) to 27th Jul’17 (Day 6)
23rd Jul (Day 1) to 28th Jul’17 (Day 6)
24th Jul (Day 1) to 29th Jul’17 (Day 6)
30th Jul (Day 1) to 4th Aug’17 (Day 6)
6th Aug (Day 1) to 11th Aug’17 (Day 6)
12th Aug (Day 1) to 17th Aug’17 (Day 6) – FULL
13th Aug (Day 1) to 18th Aug’17 (Day 6) – ALMOST FULL
14th Aug (Day 1) to 19th Aug’17 (Day 6)
19th Aug (Day 1) to 24th Aug’17 (Day 6)
20th Aug (Day 1) to 25th Aug’17 (Day 6)
26th Aug (Day 1) to 31st Aug’17 (Day 6)

Update for Valley of flowers trek route 2017:

This year our group departures started from 3rd July. Initial bloom and variety is observed as per expectations. The trail from Govindghat to Valley Of Flowers trek route and Hemkund are in good conditions. Monsoonal rain is also as per expectations, and we expect to reach a full bloom during the month of August. The road head to Govindghat may have occasional blockage which may cause a delay in transfer. However, being on the Badrinath highway this road is cleared quickly (in an hour or two) by B.R.O to maintain the regular traffic.

Click to see HT 2017 Valley Of Flowers trek Picture Gallery 

Brief Itinerary for Valley Of Flowers trek:

Day 1: Haridwar to Govindghat drive – 290Km – 12/13 hrs
Day 2: Trek to Ghangaria – 14Km- 7/8 hours
Day 3: Trek to valley of flowers (towards the head of the valley) and back – 8/9 Km  – 6/7 hours
Day 4: Trek to Hemkund Sahib and back to Ghangaria – 12 Km – 7/8 hours
Day 5: Trek back to Govindghat – 14 Km – 5/6 hours
Day 6: Drive from Govindghat to Haridwar – 290 Km – 12/13 hours

*** Trekkers need to reach on their own to Haridwar on Day 1 early morning (by 6 am) or the previous night. Return to Haridwar on Day 6 evening (by 8 pm). Arrange your tickets for inward journey and back to home from Haridwar accordingly ***

Valley Of Flowers Trek Cost : Rs 7800 (Govindghat to Govindghat)+ 5% GST

(Book for 3 persons and get a discount of 5%; Book for 5 or more to get a 10% Group Discount)



Customised Valley Of Flowers trek:

If the dates above don’t match or you want a separate private tour for your group then fill up the Customise Your Trip form with correct details.

Valley Of Flowers trek Highlights:

Length: 6 days; Haridwar to Haridwar. 4 days of trekking. Walking from Govindghat to Valley of Flowers and Hemkund and return around 50 Km.  

Access: Haridwar is well connected by train from New Delhi and Kolkata. Frequent bus services from Delhi Kashmiri Gate ISBT.

 Highest Point:  Valley of Flowers ~ 3600m/11926ft , Hemkund Sahib ~ 4200m/13775ft 

Grade: Easy

Seasons: June to September; Best in July & August

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

About Valley of Flowers trek:

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: The Park is declared as a UNESCO heritage site of biosphere reserve in 2005.

Flora: 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: 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.

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;

The trail was severely damaged in June 2013 disaster. Bridges and villages on the route washed off. Most of the repair work and rebuilding the track and bridges were completed by 2014. The new construction of the bridge over Pushpawati River for entering the valley (after Ghangaria) is finished.

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.

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.

If you wish to reach Valley of Flowers trek base Govindghat independently (by public transportation):
  • Take early morning bus serv:zice from Haridwar to directly Badrinath or till Joshimath. Direct buses leave by 5 am. The state operated Bus terminus 9referred as Roadways) 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.

To get more information on how to reach Haridwar click here

Valley of flowers trek detailed itinerary:

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.

Confluence of Laxman & Alaknanda @ Govindghat

Confluence of Laxman & Alaknanda @ Govindghat

valley of flowers trek

Entrance of VOF

Laxman Ganga @ Bhyundar village

Laxman Ganga @ Bhyundar village

Main street and Bazar @ Ghabgaria

Main street and Bazar @ Ghabgaria

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.

Entering the Pushpawati valley

Entering the Pushpawati valley

The track inside the valley

The track inside the valley

Colours changing hue

Colours changing hue

valley of flowers trek

Toward head of the valley

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.

the trail to Hemkund

The trail to Hemkund



Day 5: Trek to Govindghat: 14 Km – 5/6 hours

Today we start our descent in the morning to Govindghat and reach by afternoon. May take 5/6 hours. Normally you will reach Govindghat by early afternoon, latest by 2 pm. It is possible to visit Badrinath and Mana village and return to Govindghat in 4/5 hours round trip by car. Badrinath is 25 Km ahead of Govindghat, and Mana village (last village on Indian side) is further 3 Km. Though the road conditions during monsoon from Govindghat to Badrinath may not be in good condition. Depending on the current conditions you may take a decision to visit. Always consult our lead guide/local staff about the same before moving. A Tata Sumo type vehicle charges Rs 3000 for a round trip from Govindghat. Our night accommodation is as per plan at Govindghat.

Day 6: Drive to Haridwar: 290 Km – 12 hours

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