The Valley of Flowers – Verdant Meadows Against a Lofty Backdrop

14 July, 2021 | Reccy Guide

If you want to see a different side of India, the Valley of Flowers Trek is an absolute must. Forget about the sprawling cities and urban sights, the Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand will take you back to nature and let you witness some of the most beautiful landscapes the country has to offer. This thrilling 5-6 day trekking adventure will take you through stunning scenery, scared religious sites, and in the shadow of snow-capped mountains.

Explore trip itineraries, accommodation, transport, required gear, fitness plan, insurance and more

This region is designated a national park and is renowned for it’s immense meads and fields of gorgeous wild flowers. During the months of May to October, the valley comes to life, literally. The meadows are transformed and you are rewarded with a riot of color – it really is spectacular to behold.

This is made all the more special by the immense backdrop of the Himalayan mountains. It’s almost like you have entered a hidden world that the mountains keep secret. Aside from the amazing flowers and flora, this area is also home to some rare animals. This includes the snow leopard, Asiatic black bear, and musk deer.

Covering an area of over 85km², the Valley of Flowers offers ample opportunities for longer treks, and this is why it is such a popular hiking location. There are so many different areas to explore like the banks of the Lakshman Ganga River, and the religious site of Hemkund Sahib.

The Valley of Flowers Trek Uttarakhand is typically 5-6 days and includes a mix of driving and hiking. The usual starting points are Haridwar or Rishikesh. Haridwar is typically accessible via internal flights from New Delhi to the nearby town of Dehradun as it does not have an airport.

Regardless of the starting point, from there, you first day is typically spent driving. The route can take up to 10-hours which gives you plenty of time to rest. Along this route you will have frequent stops. The scenery is also spectacular – for example, you will pass the confluence of the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda Rivers as they join the mighty Ganges. Also, throughout the route you will climb into the mountains and often travel along some winding roads that have sheer drops on one side into the valleys below!

From here, the next stopping point is usually Govindghat. This is the starting point of your excursions and hiking – it’s where the real fun begins! Govindghat is a small village nestled in a valley in-between the mountains. It is a brilliant place to visit in its own right and has a real charm. From this point, there should be no more driving until the last day. You will spend the next 3-4 days trekking into the Valley of Flowers and uncovering its secrets.

The hikes are not too challenging; however, you will ascend to some lofty heights and the air can get a little thin. For example, oftentimes the trek includes an ascent to the religious site of Hemkund Sahib. This trek climbs to an altitude of 4300m and takes you through some stunning mountain scenery. At this site, it is believed that Guru Gobind Singh mediated here during a previous life.

Aside from religious sites, you will also venture into the Valley of Flowers and spend time in the meadows. The atmosphere here is peaceful and you can see nature revealed in all it’s glory. During the summer months, the meadows are filled with luscious Alpine flowers that smell wonderful and look divine. There are also some gentle streams that trickle through the valley filled with ice-cold mountain water. It’s a truly beautiful place and it will certainly leave an imprint on your memory for years to come.

In terms of accommodation, you will stop in a mix of hotels at different points along the route. The accommodation is not luxury, but they will provide a comfortable and pleasant base for your excursions. Typically, all meals are also included and light snacks for your hiking trips. It is advisable to pack some energy bars too in your backpack.

Overall, the Valley of Flowers trek is an epic adventure. It takes you deep into the landscapes of northern India and allows you to see the majesty of the Himalayas, and the raw beauty of nature. The mix of epic driving routes, expansive hikes, and the gorgeous valley itself will make this a once in a lifetime experience.

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