Trip Highlights

Why the Valley of Flowers

Well, the real question should be, Why not The Valley of Flowers? The trek to the Valley of Flowers is popular as one of the oldest treks of India. In the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, the Valley of Flowers lies surrounded by the colossal Himalayan ranges. At an altitude of 14,400 ft; Valley of Flowers is paradise on Earth. The difficulty level of trekking of Valley of Flowers which ranges amidst moderate to difficult is traversed by people from all over the world. The charm of the Valley of flowers is such that its tales and beauty, beckon people from all over the world. The mystical valley is rich in flora and fauna. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in 2002. The valley has multiple books written on it and it is a resource for extensive research and study in areas of botany and wildlife. 

Hemkund Sahib is a very famous Sikh shrine here. Guru Gobind Singhji, the tenth Sikh Guru were believed to have meditated at Hemkund Sahib for years. The word Hemkund translates to 'Lake of snow.' The water of this lake is truly as cold as snow. Hemkund Saheb is located at an elevation of 4,329mts above sea level. The beautiful Gurudwara lies amidst several snow-capped peaks, which are collectively called Hemkund Parvat. The devotion of Pilgrims beckons them every year to the Holy Hemkund Sahib. 

The Valley of Flowers oozes with natural beauty. In the visiting months from June to September, you shall often find it surrounded by dense fog, and often, the valley shall experience rainfall. The exotic display of colors which the weather and the vegetation combine to give is truly a magical sight to behold. It is one of the most popular treks in Uttrakhand and a true delight for trekkers, nature lovers, botanists, photographers, and flower lovers. The Valley of Flowers National Park has many international tourists flock every year, to witness the grand exhibition of the natural splendor of the Valley.

Trek Overview

 In the lap of the mighty Himalayas, tucked within the Chamoli district, lies the stunning Valley of Flowers, in the Uttrakhand State. Valley of Flowers has a world-famous reputation as it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in 2002. The Valley of Flowers lies at an altitude of 14,400 ft. and is a core zone of the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. A piece of paradise, the Valley of Flowers is rich in flora and fauna and stretches up to 87 sq. km. The fairy-tale-like location is perched on the high Himalayan altitudes secluded from the human habitation, protected by mammoth mountain ranges and sparkling giant glaciers. It is raw nature unfolding in all its beauty. 


A Little dive into the History

 Valley of Flowers is popular as one of the oldest treks of India. Ironically, this magical land remained a secret until its discovery in 1931. Frank S. Smythe, Eric Shipton, and R.L. Holdsworth, all British mountaineers, accidentally discovered the Valley of flowers when they lost their way while returning from a successful expedition to Mt.Kamet. Enraptured by the beauty of the Valley owing to its lush vegetation and colorful flowers, they named it the "Valley of Flowers." 

In 1939, Joan Margaret Legge, a botanist deputed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, came to the valley to study flowers. While traversing through some dangerous rocky slopes to collect samples, she slipped off and lost her life. Her sister later visited the Valley of Flowers and erected a memorial near the spot.

Prof. Chandra Prakash Kala, a botanist deputed by the Wildlife Institute of India, carried out a research study on the floristics and conservation of the valley for a decade, commencing in 1993. He discovered a variety of 520 alpine plants exclusively growing in this national park and authored two important books - "The Valley of Flowers - Myth, and Reality" and "Ecology and Conservation of the Valley of Flowers National Park, Garhwal Himalaya.” Based upon his decade long studies. 

In 1980, the Valley of Flowers was declared a National Park by the Indian Government. In 2002, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Location of the Valley of Flowers

Valley of flowers is located in Chamoli district in the state of Uttarakhand India. 

Distance from the following locations is as follows:

Delhi to Valley of Flowers – 520km

Dehradun to Valley of Flowers – 311km

Auli to Valley of Flowers – 36km

Joshimath to Valley of Flowers – 20km

Badrinath to Valley of Flowers – 15km

Rishikesh to Valley of Flowers – 272km

Haridwar to Valley of Flowers – 291km

Ghangaria to Valley of Flowers – 3.2km

Best Time to Visit Valley of Flowers

Valley of Flowers opens at the beginning of June. However, the best time for one to go on a trek to this exotic location is between July to September. The Valley of Flowers tends to bloom differently within this period as well. So in July, what the valley has to offer differs from what it offers in terms of weather, flora, and fauna; in September.  

July is lush with greenery. You may find residual snow as well until monsoon doesn't hit the area in full swing. However, the vegetation shall not offer the sight of a great variety of flowers, at the beginning of the month. You shall only witness a valley blooming with flowers, from mid-July. Monsoon pretty much hits the valley in July but it doesn’t get heavy and frequent until the second half of July. 

The valley is shrouded by colors throughout mid-July to mid-August. Thus, that also makes it one of the best times to visit the Valley of Flowers.

FLOWERS: The Valley of Flowers derives its name from the very obvious reason – the variety of flowers available in this magical land. Flowers like orchids, poppies, primulas, marigold, daisies, and anemones cover stretches of land. Sub-alpine forests of birch and rhododendron have their fair share of forest cover. The Valley of Flowers is home to the rare Brahmakamal and you might come across it as you ascend to Hemkund Sahib. This precious flower only grows around the altitude of 14,000 feet.  A decade long study of Prof. C.P. Kala gave us valuable information that the Valley of Flowers is abode to 520 species of higher plants (angiosperms, gymnosperms, and pteridophytes), of these 498 are flowering plants. The park has many species of medicinal plants as well. The best time to visit Valley of Flowers if you wish to see the flowers blooming in all their glory is in August. Apart from flowers, the Valley is rich in wildlife too and some of the commonly spotted creatures here are Lime Butterfly, grey langur, flying squirrel, Himalayan black bear, red fox, and Himalayan weasel.

Weather and Temperature of Valley of Flowers

The weather of Valley of Flowers a result of it being an enclosed inner Himalayan valley which is shielded from the full impact of the southwest summer monsoon by the Greater Himalaya range. Dense fog and rain are typical of this place, especially from mid- July to end of August. Both Basin and Valley are usually completely snow-covered for six to seven months between late October and late March. The temperature at Valley of Flowers during visiting months remains between moderate to cool. Light Woolen clothes are recommended for Valley of Flowers National Park.

SNOW: One doesn’t encounter snowfall from July to September. However, in the early half of July, you may find old snow bridges or certain patches where old snow remains and is melting. As soon as it starts raining and monsoon sets in, the snow is completely washed off. The Valley of Flowers is snow-covered for six to seven months between late October and late March.

RAIN: In the first half of July, there isn't much rainfall. After mid-July, the water starts pouring for real and you can experience proper monsoon until the end of August. It rains quite heavily at Govindghat, but at higher altitudes of Valley of Flowers, you can often expect drizzle. The monsoons almost die down by mid-September.

Quick Info

Valley of Flowers Height: Approx. 3,600 meters above sea-level

Closest Airport: Dehradun Airport i.e. Jolly Grant Airport 

Closest Railway Station: Rishikesh Railway Station 

Other places near Valley of Flowers Valley: Hemkund Sahib, Gurson Bugyal, Pandukeshwar, Govindghat, Joshimath, Badrinath, Mana Village, Auli.


Itinerary

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