A long yet scenic drive crosses major towns of Uttarakhand before we reach our destination of the day, Joshimath, after crossing some of the Prayags. We start early from Dehradun to reach Joshimath by late afternoon. Crossing Rishikesh, Devprayag, which happens to be the final prayag (confluence) between Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers, and consecutively Srinagar, we follow along the Alaknanda river the entire time. The distance from Dehradun to Karanprayag is 210 km which takes 7 hours to complete. We arrive at Karanprayag, which is one of the Panch (five) Prayag (confluence), where Alaknanda meets Pindar river. It will be our overnight stop for the last day of the trek. We continue to Joshimath and check into hotel by evening. We can explore around the town in the evening.
Post breakfast, we check out of the hotel and head towards Govindghat. The drive ahead to Govindghat takes about 45 minutes from where we switch vehicles and drive towards Pulna. From Pulna, we start trekking towards Ghangaria. The distance to be covered on this day is 11 km, which takes about 5-6 hours to complete. While trekking towards Ghangaria, the path is laid, which makes the trek relatively easier. However a continuous elevation may become strenuous. The trek route till Ghangaria is dotted with small dhabas, pilgrims heading towards Hemkund Sahib and a ferocious outlet of the river Pushapavati. You are also going to be surrounded by the forest the entire route, which reduces the heat and makes the hike pleasant. The route till Ghangaria is a busy one as it is also the route to Hemkund Sahib. You will spot helicopters often if the weather is clear and innumerable spots to eat. Before reaching the actual village of Ghangaria, you will hit the camps. We check into our hotel and spend the rest of the evening in leisure.
Today is the day you’ve been anticipating for! The Valley of flowers welcomes you with a view that only the lucky ones can stumble upon. We start early from Ghangaria to reach the valley by 0900- 1000 hours. The trek begins with a small path covered by forest from all the sides; and there is a clear gradual increase in the number of flowers on the path. You will cross a bridge which will then lead to a sudden ascend. Continue walking on the path and within sometime the path will open up into a vast valley. From here the Valley begins. The first view is of the peaks in front of the path that you’ve been trekking upon. Once you look to your right, you can see the valley and the Tipri glacier. The valley is laden with rare species of Himalayan flowers, including blue poppy, orchid, primulas and Himalayan bell flowers. The valley of flowers is not only relevant in today’s context but has had interesting admirers since forever. One such individual Lady Joan Margaret Legge who lost her life in the valley when she slipped. Her grave is marked and trekkers often hike up till her grave. You can also trek till the river bed of Pushpavati river. The river is named in accordance with the significance of the valley of “flowers”. You can spend your time observing the flowers, clicking photographs or simply doing nothing! The valley doesn’t disappoint you a bit. After spending 1-2 hours at the valley, we head back towards Ghangaria post lunch. The descend is relatively easier however may become strenuous on the knees. After reaching Ghangaria, you can spend the evening exploring around.
The next day we embark on a pilgrimage journey. Post breakfast, we start trekking towards Hemkund Sahib. The distance from Ghangaria to Hemkund Sahib is 6 km which takes about 5 hours to complete. The path, again, is well laid and dotted with small eating joints; which is not the case while you trek towards the Valley. The path to Hemkund sahib is also blessed with flowers that you may have seen in the Valley of flowers. The hike to Hemkund Sahib is challenging yet magnificent. You can see pilgrims all motivated to reach the gurudwara, some even complete the journey barefoot. On reaching Hemkund Sahib, you can enter the gurudwara and then enjoy some ready to eat hot Halwa and chai. You can also sit by the Sarovar for a while and enjoy the views around. After spending an hour at gurudwara, we head back towards Ghangaria taking the same route. After reaching Ghangaria, we rest for a while and spend the evening in leisure.
Post breakfast breakfast, we bid adieu to Ghangaria and check out of our hotel. Heading back towards Pulna, we take the same route and start trekking early in the morning to reach Govindghat on time. At Govindghat, we board our traveller and head towards Badrinath, which happens to be one of the "Char Dham" or the four Holiest Temples. After visitng the Temple we set out for Karanprayag, where we arrive by early evening. We check into the hotel for an overnight stay. We can set out for witnessing the Aarti in the evening at the confluence.
Post breakfast, we leave from Karanprayag and start our drive towards Dehradun; crossing towns Devprayag and Rishikesh en route. We check out early from our hotel to reach Dehradun by late afternoon. On reaching Dehradun, your trip ends with a backpack full of amazing memories! Alternatively you can plan a stay at Tapovan or Rishikesh for yet another marvelous experience in these amazing towns, for that perfect conclusion to an already splendid journey.
*for 15 pax
The legendary popularity of the Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand is one of the most compelling reasons to visit this UNESCO World Heritage site. This popularity stems from the intoxicating mix of fragrances arising from some of the rarest Himalayan flora as well as the calm, quaint lake nestled at the height of 14,400 meters.
The Valley of Flowers Uttarakhand Trek opens for the public on 1st June each year. The national park remains open from the month of June to October. Though the Valley starts transforming into its beautiful self from May, with June and September being the peak months attracting tourists, July and August are the months where the flora bloom. Hence, you will find the Valley of Flowers to be highly alluring during these months, with beautiful and rare flowers growing all around.
It is advised to start early from Ghangaria when you are entering the Valley of Flowers. Since it is an acclaimed UNESCO World Heritage site, you need to enter your names in the register, pay the required entry fees, and declare all plastic items you are carrying along with you. The Valley of Flowers opens for tourists at 7:00 am each day, and the latest entry is allowed till 2:00 pm. It is recommended to start back by 1:00 pm so that you can reach your campsite or lodge by 5:00-6:00 pm.
You should always carry extra pairs of socks, ponchos or raincoats, a torch, and spare batteries for your camera while trekking the Valley of Flowers. The weather above 3500 meters is quite unpredictable, and hence you should do careful research before embarking on this trek. Take note of the weather and the road conditions, particularly during the monsoon season.
If you face any kind of emergency while trekking the Valley of Flowers, you should contact the following.
- Uttarakhand Glacier burst helpline- 1070/9557444486
- Police: 112
- Ambulance: 108/102
- Fire: 101
- Child helpline: 1098
- Women helpline: 1090
- NDMA (Disaster management): 1070/1078/9711077372
- Anti poison helpline- 011-1066 (Delhi)
This depends on your itinerary in the Valley of Flowers. However, to fully experience the majesty and beauty of this region, a typical itinerary is between 5-6 days. The first and final days are usually spent travelling to and from the valley, and then you have 3-4 action-packed days in-between to explore this area.
The Valley of Flowers Uttarakhand Trek is not considered a particularly tough adventure. On average it has a low to medium difficulty rating. In terms of physical activity, you will need a decent level of fitness, and walking experience is also beneficial. The hiking trails are not particularly difficult; however, you will cover a decent distance of up to 13km on some days.