Valley of flowers is Himalayan valley known for its richness in variety of flora and fauna. With more than 500 species of flowers; valley of flowers has been recognized internationally for over a century. Himalayan mountain range, waterfalls from melting glacier and lakes add to the beauty of this valley. This article will help you to plan your trek to Valley of flowers.
Day 1: Arrive at Rishikesh
Rishikesh is most visited tourist place by foreigners in Himalayas being center of yoga, meditation, temples and holy Ganga river. The city has something for every kind of travel enthusiastic. If you want adventure go for white river rafting, bungee jumping there are many agencies in the city offering these activities. If you want to explore silence and calmness you can’t miss taking yoga course in Rishikesh; a ‘land of yoga’. Visit Ram Jhula, Lakshman Jhula, Gita Bhavan all can be explored by walking within the city. Don’t miss spiritual experience of Ganga Aarti at Triveni Ghat. It is conducted from 6pm-7pm everyday.
Day 2: Leave for Joshimath
Joshimath is nearest city to Valley of flowers. It is 8.5 hours drive from Rishikesh. You can travel by state transport bus or private taxi. It is recommended to check bus schedule at Rishikesh. On your way to Joshimath you can visit Panch Prayag; the five sacred river confluences. Devprayag, Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag, Nandaprayag and Vishnuprayag. You can get many budget stays at Joshimath. Below map will help you to observe river confluences.
Day 3: Trek to Govind Ghat
In Himalayas, getting acclimatized is most essential. 3-4 hours trek from Joshimath to Govind Ghat will help you in getting adjusted to the weather. Govind Ghat is the nearest town to Valley of flowers. Try Gulab Jamun and Jalebi in Milk at local restaurants. There are many options for stays in Govind Ghat. Don’t miss the film on Valley of flowers. The film will give you an information on discovery of valley, its richness in flora and fauna and their significance.
Day 4: Trek to Valley of Flowers (Phoolon ki Ghati)
On Day 4 start your trek to Valley of flowers. It is at elevation 3,200 meters (10,500 feet). Your Day 3 trek will help you to get acclimatized. Overnight stay in the valley is prohibited. Stick to the paved trail and enjoy magnificent beauty of valley. Magic of meadows of endemic alpine flowers, fresh water streams, unobstructed mountain ranges and glaciers make the valley favorite among trekkers, nature enthusiastic and photographers. The valley experience heavy snowfalls in winter months hence it is open for tourists only from May-October.
Day 5: Trek to Hemkund Sahib
Hemkund Sahib is a Sikh place of worship and pilgrimage site. It is located at an elevation of 4,632 meters (15,197 feet). The spiritual experience at this place takes you closer to the mother earth. The serene lake, snowcapped mountains and Himalayan flowers make you feel stay here forever but it is accessible only May-September. It is important that you are acclimatized at such height. You can reach this place by trekking 3-4 hours from Govindghat or you can take ride on horse (Khachhar), basket or helicopter.
Day 6: Visit to Badrinath
Don’t miss visiting Badrinath on your trek to Valley of flowers. Badrinath temple is on 1 hour drive from Govindghat. It is one of the CharDham pilgrimage sites. This area is prone to landslide. On my visit to Badrinath I had to trek for 2-3 hours due to landslide but I don’t regret it as I could experience local food, beautiful mountain views and meeting locals on my way. It is also closed during winter. There are hot Sulphur springs just below the temple. devotees can take a dip in it. In one of the prominent festival Mata Murti Ka Mela, the temple is decorated beautifully in flowers.
Day 7: Trek to Mana Village
Mana Village is last Indian village on India-Tibet border. It is on 4.5kms from Badrinath. There is a small cave in village, Vyas Gufa. It is believed that Maharshi Vyas composed Mahabharata in this cave.
Day 8: Trek to Vasudhara Falls
Vasudhara falls is 3kms from Mana village. It joins river Alaknanda. It’s a trek of 2-3 hours. The views of mountains, lush greenery on the trail to milky Vasudhara falls is very scenic.
On my ongoing journey of trekking in Himalayas, Valley of flowers is one of the most memorable and beautiful treks. I bet it will be yours too. There are many trekking groups who arrange group treks to valley of flowers.
Budget: ₹4,000- ₹7,000
Best season: July-August when large number of flowers are in bloom.
I would love to hear about your experiences in comments.