Valley of Flowers Trek– Paradise for Trekkers, Botanists and Nature Lovers, Valley of Flowers is a home of rare and endangered species of flowers, animals and birds such as Asiatic black bear, blue sheep, Brahma kamal. It is the trek where many people start their trekking journey. Valley of Flowers trek is located in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. It’s famous for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers and the variety of flora found there.
Perched at the height of 4389 m, Valley of flowers trek was a sudden discovery by British traveller Frank Smith in 1931. Smythe wished to climb a peak in Garhwal Himalaya called Kamet. While returning after successfully completing his mission he took the western pass and lost his way and reached this valley after many difficulties. Thus, was born the Valley of Flowers Trek.
According to the mythology, it’s believed that this is the place where Hanuman had collected Sanjeevani Buti to cure Laxman.
Blessed with exotic flowers, the trail has abundant varieties of flowers such as anemones, geraniums, marsh marigolds, primulas, asters, inulas, Brahma kamal, pedicularis, thermopsis, trollius, strawberry, epilobium and rhododendrons are found here. The best time to do Valley of flowers trek is during the month of mid-July to mid-August.
This hidden jewel is a unique habitat and home to hundreds of animal species such as blue sheep, tahr, Himalayan bear, Himalayan mouse hare, red fox, common langur and serow, snow leopard, Himalayan musk deer and bharal. Not just this, you will spot varieties of colourful butterflies during your trek.
The valley of flower is paradise of Bird-watchers and offers chance to listen chirping sound of birds i.e. fire-capped tit, black-throated tit, red-headed bullfinch, fire-fronted serin, speckled wood pigeon, stripe-throated yuhina, pink-browed rose finch and the monal pheasant. The soothing breeze and the magnificent beauty attract the nature lovers and the photography lovers.
The entire valley is spread over in 87.50 km2 area. Valley of flowers encompassed in the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve which have 2,23,674 hectare area and UNESCO recognized it as Biosphere Reserves in 2004.
Valley of Flowers Trek Itinerary
Situated at 1,828m, Govindghat is catering to the thousands of Sikh pilgrims painstakingly threading their way up to Hemkund lake. The Ribbon of stalls providing tea, refreshments, meals and phone calls to the pilgrims and adventure enthusiasts.
Leave your transport on the right Bank of Alaknanda. The ascent begins as soon as you cross, and join the cheerful groups heading up to Ghangaria- now also known as GovindDham.
Tracing the path of the Laxman Ganga, the mule track climbs past terraced field and vegetation, to the Hamlet of Pulna(3km).
From here, the trial is a little wilder, and more forested, with occasional glimpses of Snow peaks and of the cascading waters that feed the Alaknanda. The 7 km from Pulna to Bhyundar village are a steady Ascent and, mercifully, the altitude is moderate so your lungs should have no problem coping.
Shortly after Bhyundar, the Valley of flowers trek crosses the Laxman Ganga, over a bridge elevated by massive rocks. This patch of trail is somewhat harder,but Ghangaria is only 3 km away.
During the short season, (July to September) Ghangaria can be enormously crowded. There is a forest rest house, Gurudwara, and associated Dharamshala here, as well as two excellent full-fledged camp with very comfortable tents.
Leave Ghangaria with the stream of pilgrims heading towards Hemkund Sahib. The valley of flowers trek is well marked, and is a delightful hike as it climbs gently through a coniferous forest, before dropping down to a bridge, shack and check-post that mark the official beginning of the Valley of Flower (Bhyundar Valley). Pay your entry fee here and climb up a rocky trial. The forest is now behind you, and flowers begin to appear.
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As the valley of flowers trek levels out and turns right, you begin to get a sense of the valley. To the right, just below the trial, a marble slab marks the death of Margaret Legge, a botanist from Edinburgh who fell to her death here in 1939.
The valley is extreme beautiful, but no-one is allowed to spend the night here- depending on the weather, snow bridges may still span the river below, and scrambling up- Valley, crossing its numerous feeders, is a delight.
If we were to visit the valley again, we would camp, not at Ghangaria, but as close to the valley is permitted, and spend a couple of days savouring its delight.
We would recommend you to try reach there early- both to catch the morning dew on the Blossoms, as well as to make the most of the day.
Crossing the bridge over the Hem Ganga once again, had east up the heavily trafficked path. This patch of valley of flowers trek has a challenging ascent.
And, if you have done the valley of flowers trip the previous day, you will be better acclimatized than most others. If you nevertheless feel drained when you reach the glacial Hemkund lake, you could try joining the more a abiding in faith, who swear by restorative powers of a dip in its chill waters.
Return back on the same way of Valley of Flowers Trek
It is believed that it was inhabited by fairies. Valley of Flowers Trek is really paradise for flower-lovers, botanists and of course trekkers, for whom a sufficient excuse to embark on a mission to reach a place, is that it exists!
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