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Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Valley of Flowers, Heaven on Earth

 

                    Valley of Flowers was mistakenly discovered in 1931 by climbers Frank S Smythe, Eric Shipton & RL Holdsworth, based at 12,000 feet while returning from Mount Kamet after an expedition. Smythe later went back and, in 1938, published the book The Valley of FlowersThe Valley of Flowers National Park was founded by the Indian government in 1980 and was later identified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002. This added the Valley of Flowers from around the world to the travel list of trekkers.
         
                One of India's most famous treks in the Himalayas is the Valley of Flowers trek. People who have not even reached the Himalayas have heard of trekking through the Valley of Flowers.

               But behind the legendary fame of Valley of Flower, there is a solid reason: it is one of the oldest known treks in India.

               Having said that, you must remember that it is not easy to trek to the Valley of Flowers. It is a medium risk trek that will test your stamina, with slightly longer trekking days and a steep climb to Hemkund Sahib. 

Best Time to Visit :

From Mid-July to Mid-August          

                     A lot of greenery awaits you in July. You'll even find some snow before the rain begins in full swing. But until mid-July, there won't be many flowers. The Valley of Flowers begins to bloom from mid-July onwards, in the real sense. And if there's a favourite time for this trek, it has to be between mid-July and mid-August. Monsoon clouds look funny in August and wash over the valley as a whole. During this season, the highest flowers bloom in the valley. Flowers begin to wilt by the 2nd half of August and very few flowers are left by September. But this period of the retreating monsoon, there is another kind of beauty. Sky begins to clear up and you witness some clear views of the mountains.

Route :

               Joshimath in Garhwal is the nearest major town, which has convenient road links from Haridwar and Dehradun, both about 275 km (170 miles) from Joshimath. You can take the train from Delhi to Haridwar and then travel via Rishikesh to Govindghat by bus. Govindghat is approx. 25 km from another important Badrinath destination. Driving from Delhi to Govindghat, a distance of about 510 km, is also possible. A trek of about 18 km (11 miles) is needed to get to the Valley of Flowers.

               Govindghat is a small place near Joshimath, where the trek starts (about an hour away). Shared taxis up to 5 km from Govindghat and then a less than 10 km (7.5 miles) trek takes trekkers to Ghangaria, a small settlement about 3 km (about 2 miles) from the valley. To enter Ghangaria, one can also employ a porter, mule or helicopter. The trek from Govindghat to Ghangaria is popular with Hemkund's Sikh Temple and many Sikh pilgrims are likely to be found by a trekker on the road.
                One is embraced by fields of perfumed wildflowers, natural rose bushes, and wild strawberries on the sides of the road as one enters Ghangaria. Travelers to the Valley of Flowers must obtain permission from the Forest Department in Ghangaria and the permit is valid for 3 days and just during the day is visiting and trekking permitted. As tourists are not allowed to stay within the National Park, lodging can be arranged at Ghangaria.


Delhi (✈ 🚂) 🔜 Haridwar/Dehradun(🚂) 🔜 Govindghat(via Rishikesh🚍) 🔜 Ghangaria (🚸🔜 Hemkund 🚸 / Valley of Flower (🚸)  

Where to Stay :

            One can not remain in the Valley of Flower, so Ghangaria is an ideal area to relax and sleep. Lodge, Homestay, Hotels, Gurudwara available at Ghangaria / or back to Govindghat on the same day.


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