The Valley of flowers located at an elevation of about 3860 meters above sea level is a UNESCO world heritage site. The enchanting valley with its vivid colorful landscape surrounded by the snow-capped Himalayas is home to over 300 species of flora and numerous species of endangered flowers and medicinal plants. It is one of the most popular destinations in India situated towards the western Himalayas in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. The landscape of the Valley complements the rugged mountains of the Nanda Devi National Park towards its east.
The Valley of Flowers serves as a transition zone to the Trans-Himalayan region of India. It is also believed that Lord Hanuman brought the magical herb to resuscitate Lakshman in the Hindu epic Ramayana from this Valley. The highest point of the park is the Gauri Parbat which is at an elevation of 6720m. The park fulfills the wish and is a bliss to the eyes with its scenic beauty consisting of alpine shrubs, colorful endemic flowers, gushing streams, and snow-clad mountains. The valley is not only rich in its diverse flora but also is home to rare and endangered animals like Asiatic black bear, Snow leopard, Musk deer, Red fox, and blue sheep. The valley of flowers trek is considered to be one of the best treks amidst nature’s bliss.
How to reach the Valley of flowers?
The valley of flowers is not directly connected with major cities of India and there is no direct flight connectivity, the nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun from where one can hire a cab directly to the Valley of flowers.
One has to reach Govindghat by road and from there the trek to Valley of Flowers starts.
One can reach Dehradun which is around 240km from Delhi then from Dehradun to Govindghat is 310km which takes about 11 hours to cover by car then from Govindghat to the Valley of Flowers is roughly 17km, to which one can either trek to take a cab thill Gangaria which is 3km from the valley. Visitors need to take a permit from Ghangaria to enter the Valley of Flowers. The entrance fee is around Rs.150 for Indian nationals and Rs.600 for foreigners. The permit is valid only for 3 days and for the extra day the charge is Rs.50 for Indians and Rs. 250 for foreigners.
What is the best time to visit the Valley of Flowers?
The best time to visit the Valley of Flowers is from July to September when the entire valley blooms with flowers and the aroma of the valley can be sensed even from a distance. August is considered to be the ideal month to visit the valley. The temperature during these months ranges from 6 to 14 degrees celsius with a cool breeze and serene environment. During the month of monsoons, one can witness the blooming of some of the most beautiful and rare flowers on the earth. One can also witness different species of butterflies as well as the valley is one of the eco-sensitive zones of the country. During these months some of the rare flowers which bloom are Ladies slipper orchid flower, Brahma kamal flower, and many more.
Things to carry while visiting the Valley of Flowers
These are few items that are a must while visiting the valley :
The most common activity to do in the Valley of flowers is trekking, which is the best way to explore the beauty of the valley. The route is one of the most popular Himalayan treks. The trek can be considered as of moderate level to challenging.
Some of the reasons to visit the valley are :
To seek spiritual and natural beauty
Unique flora and fauna
The trek journey starts from Ghangaria towards the valley which takes around 5-6 hours to an elevation of 3500m. Then the trekking inside the valley is about 2-3km. At Ghangaria, one can camp or stay in a cottage. One can also take a diversion and trek towards Hemkund sahib, which is known as a place of Sikh pilgrimage.
It is located at a distance of 18km from Govindghat. It is one of the most popular Gurudwara and is among the important pilgrimages for Sikhs. The Sikh is dedicated to Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru. The Gurudwara is situated at an elevation of 4329m, surrounded by seven snow-capped mountains. The 13km trek from Govind ghat to Ghangaria is the base site before visiting Hemkund. Then a 5km trek to Hemkund from Ghangaria. One cannot stay at the Gurudwara beyond 2 pm. The best time to visit the Gurudwara is during the month of May.
It is located at a distance of 42km from Badrinath. It is also the gateway to many other Himalayan expeditions. It is one of the four maths established in the 8th century by Guru Sri Shankaracharya. The math is dedicated to Atharva Veda. It lies in the confluence area of two rivers of Dhauliganga and Alaknanda. The most important temples are Narasimha temple and Bhavishya Badri temples.
Nanda Devi National Park
Nanda Devi is the second highest peak in India and also a UNESCO world heritage site. The park is home to some of the rarest flora and fauna in the world. Along with the richly diverse flora and fauna, the park is surrounded by snow-capped mountains. It is one of the ecological hotspots of the world.
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