VALLEY OF FLOWERS NATIONAL PARK | SIGHTSEEING & TREKKING TO VALLEY OF FLOWERS
Nature | Adventure
About Valley Of Flowers
Ideal Trip Duration: 3-4 Days
Nearest City to Valley Of Flowers: Dehradun (318 Kms)
Best Time to Visit Valley Of Flowers: May to October
Peak Season: July & September
At a distance of 16 km from Govind Ghat, 34 km from Joshimath, 41 km from Badrinath, 277 km from Rishikesh, 300 km from Haridwar, 318 km from Dehradun, and 518 km from Delhi, Valley of Flowers National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India located in Western Himalayas in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. It is perched at an altitude of 3600 m and is known for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers and the variety of flora. Valley of Flowers is one of the best national parks in India and also among the best Tourist places in Uttarakhand for trekking enthuasists.
Stretching over a vast expanse of 87.50 sq. km, the park is about 5 km long and 2 km wide. The gentle landscape of the Valley of Flowers complements the rugged mountain of Nanda Devi National Park to the east. Together, they encompass a unique transition zone between the mountain ranges of the Zanskar and Great Himalayas. Valley of Flowers and Nanda Devi National Park, together, constitute the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve.
The Valley of Flowers was declared a National Park in 1982 and was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2004. Initially known as Bhyundar Valley, the Park was discovered and renamed in 1931 by British mountaineer Frank Smith. The highest point of the park is Gauri Parbat, at an elevation of 6719 m.
The Valley of Flowers is also believed to be the place from where Hanuman brought the magical herb to resuscitate Lakshman in the Hindu epic Ramayana. The legend still holds value as many people continue to believe that Sanjeevani, the magical herb, continues to grow in the park. There are other legends associated with the park. Locals believe it is the playground of fairies and that they descend to the valley in absence of humans. At present, no settlements and grazing is allowed in the national park.
The Park is known for its scenic beauty comprising alpine shrubs and different colorful flowers, milky white streams, snow-clad peaks and pristine air. More than 650 species of flowers including Brahma Kamal, Blue Poppy and Cobra Lily can be found in the Park. This richly diverse area is also home to rare and endangered animals, including the Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, musk deer, brown bear, red fox, and blue sheep. Birds found in the park include Himalayan monal pheasant and other high altitude birds.
Valley of Flowers can be reached only on foot from Govind Ghat, on the Rishikesh - Badrinath Highway. Ghangaria, a scenic hamlet situated 13 km from Govind Ghat is the base station and last human habitation center on the way to Valley of Flowers (and also Hemkund Sahib). The 13 km trek from Govind Ghat to Ghangaria runs along a well maintained path, which is the base for visiting Valley of Flowers and Hemkund. This path can be covered either by walk or by pony. In addition there are a few hotels and a camp ground with tents and mattresses. Recently, an Indian airline company has started a helicopter service between Govind Ghat and Ghangaria. Visitors take night halt at Ghangaria and continue the trek to Valley of Flowers on next day.
The last 3 km trek from Ghangaria to Valley of Flowers entails a steep climb. The visitors to Valley of Flowers need to get a permit from Forest Department at Ghangaria and the permit is valid for three days and visiting and trekking is allowed only during day time. As visitors are not allowed to stay inside the National park, accommodation can be obtained at Ghangaria to explore the park on multiple days. The Valley of Flowers is open throughout the day from 6 AM to 6 PM. The last entry into the park is at 3 PM.
The Valley is accessible from last week of May after the snow melts. It is closed between November to April because of snow bound paths and glaciers. Best time to visit is between late July and early September, when the valley is fully covered with beautiful flowers.
Jolly Grant Airport at Dehradun is the nearest airport to Valley of Flowers at a distance of 300 km, while Rishikesh is the nearest Railway Station at a distance of 277 km. Govind Ghat (16 km) is the nearest bus station 16 km away from the Valley. All the buses plying towards Badrinath stop here. Joshimath (18 km from Govind Ghat) has better bus connectivity with major towns in Uttarakhand from where several private vehicles are available to Govind Ghat.
Entry Fee: Rs.150 per Indian (valid for 3 days) + Rs. 50 for each additional day, Rs.600 per Foreigner (for 3 days) + Rs. 250 for each additional day, and Rs.500 for Video Cam.
Park Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM