What if God gave you a trial subscription to heaven? Would you skip a chance to walk through a simulation of heaven, breathe the sweet August air, and immerse in the beauty it has to offer? Well! There lies a romantic, floral fairytale trail of scenic vistas in the district of Chamoli. This is as close to heaven as it can get.
The Valley of Flowers is a particularly easy to moderate trek for a beginner. It is 38 km of spellbinding beauty. The only difficult part about the experience would be leaving the valley. It lies within the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, which is deemed a UNESCO Heritage site. Every sight might just look like a scene from a painting. The Valley of Flowers is the perfect place to discover the various species of flora and fauna.
It is the oldest known trek and the most popular among trekkers seeking a refreshing time. There’s more to this majestic valley than just flora and fauna. The trek is nestled in the valley of river Pushpavati – which lends the trek a river basin where you can stop and relax.
The most appropriate time to have this experience is from June to September. It opens in June and closes as October starts. However, the best time to visit is August. It’s not too hot, not raining, not too cold. It is the perfect time to walk 47 km in the span of 4 to 6 days. You can see the glorious Himalayas, walk in the plush meadows, maybe sight some endangered fauna and get delighted by all the alpine flowers.
Although the Pushpavati River valley was not discovered until 1937, it has a significant role to play in history. ‘Sanjeevani Booti’, the herb that gave life to Laxman in Ramayana, also has its origin in the valley. In the valley, you will also find the ‘Bhoj Patra’, a plant that is the oldest substitute for paper. It is said that all the Vedas were written on the ‘Bhoj Patra’.
How to reach the Valley of Flowers?
You can reach by taking a train or a bus to Rishikesh. The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun. In this case, you might want to take a bus or train to Rishikesh.
Day 1: Arrival in Rishikesh
Once you reach Rishikesh, you meet your fellow adventurers at goSTOPS Rishikesh. You will attend a short briefing session to discuss the plan of action. Rishikesh to Joshimath is a 7-hour long drive – so there will be a short stop at Devprayag to witness the holy Sangam of Bhagirathi and Alaknanda rivers together forming Ganga. Once you’ve reached Joshimath, you can spend the night in your pre-booked stay.
Day 2: The Climb to Ghangaria
The next day, you will be transferred to the Pulna village. On the second day, you start the trek from Pulna to Ghangaria. Pulna to Ghangaria is a 9-km paved trail that may not take more than 7 hours. When you reach Ghangaria, a delicious meal and a comfortable stay will be waiting for you.
Day 3: Towards the Valley
The third day is when you finally trek to the Valley of Flowers, covering an altitude of 3505 meters on foot.
After a vibrant trek, you return to Ghangaria. An eventful day accompanied by good food and good sleep awaits you.
Beyond the Valley
Day 4: You may have descended from the trek, but the experience doesn’t stop here. The fourth day is packed with another adventure to the Hemkund Sahib which is the world’s highest Gurudwara and where Guru Gobind Singh is said to have meditated in his past life.
The Valley isn’t just a moderate trek with ultimate beauty; it also prepares you to take this particular trek. Due to the steeper ascent, this trek may be moderately difficult, when compared to the Valley. The fourth day is an expedition across the Hemkund Sahib, experiencing the snow-capped mountains and lakes and paying homage to this holy shrine.
After a momentous trek, you return to Ghangaria – again accompanied by delicious dinner and a warm stay.
Day 5: All journeys must come to an end, so there’s time for more. On the fifth day, you bid farewell to Ghangaria after a delicious breakfast. You board your vehicles and head towards the Pulna village. It’s not all that sad, at least when our local guide has a truckload of local stories to interest you with. From Pulna, you get transferred to Joshimath where you will be served hot dinner at the hotel you will be staying.
Day 6: The sixth day will mark the end of this beautiful journey. You will head to Rishikesh from Joshimath by evening.
How much does it cost with goEXPERIENCES?
The entire experience sits at a minimal cost of INR 6099*. This includes hotel stays from Day 1 to Day 5. It also includes meals from Day 2 to Day 5 (it also includes dinner on Day 1 and breakfast on Day 6). The transportation and the fee for a local guide for the trip are also inclusive.
Things to Note:
- There will be about 20 to 24 fellow adventurers with you. This includes males and females.
- We serve simple, nutritious vegetarian food that can be easily digested at higher altitudes.
- The rooms are usually on a sharing basis. Females only share rooms with females. Safety is prioritized.
- Smoking and drinking are not allowed as they can adversely affect your health during the trek.
Places to visit near the Valley of Flowers
As spellbinding as the ‘Phoolon ki ghati’ (The Valley of Flowers) is, there are many other places around it that share the same beauty.
- Parallel to the valley runs the Hemkund Sahib trek; it is known for its historical significance and serene views.
- Devprayag, Vishnu Prayag, Rudraprayag, Pandukeshwar, Badrinath, Rishikesh and Haridwar are places with mythological significance around the valley that you can certainly explore.
- Mallari is a small village within the Nanda Devi Biosphere reserve which is a world heritage site. Its lifestyle and beauty are noteworthy.
The valley of Flowers is a majestic trail of adventure and fragrance that will fascinate you. As a part of goEXPERIENCES, we have ensured that every detail of the trip adds to the adventure of trekking. It can be your first trek or the thirty-third, no one forgets their time in this valley. It makes everyone stop and stare, like all things beautiful do.
*All prices are subject to change.