The Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand lies in the Nanda Devi National Park, deep in the Garhwal Himalayas. It spreads across 87 sq km, at an elevation of about 11,980 feet. This is one of the top treks in India, but the beauty of the valley remains pure and untouched. The sight of the Valley of Flowers, full of colourful blossoms of various hues and shades, nestled between rugged Himalayan slopes, is one that you will cherish forever.
Over 300 species of wildflowers bloom in the valley during the peak season. Every few days, some blooms fade, while new buds open up, creating a rainbow of perpetually changing colours. Apart from this, there are waterfalls, glaciers, towering mountains, mighty rivers and quaint villages to be explored.
The Valley of Flowers trek is a moderate trek and is great for both first-timers as well as experienced trekkers looking to visit. The trail is mostly paved and follows a gentle ascent, but there are some steep sections and tricky patches to negotiate, especially as trekkers approach Hemkund Sahib. It is suitable for families with children and is a popular destination for school groups too.
Camping is banned inside the Valley of Flowers, so trekkers return to their hotels and mountain lodges every evening. While the days are spent exploring the natural beauty of the Himalayas, the comforts of a hotel room at night make this an easy trek for first-timers.If you’re planning a trip to Uttarakhand, you should check out our list of Short Treks in Uttarakhand.
The Valley of Flowers in India opens for tourists between June to September, and peak blooming season is from mid-July to mid-August. During this season, over 300 species of wildflowers such as orchids, poppies, anemones, and even the rare Brahmakamal, bloom here. The temperatures are mild, with pleasant days and cooler nights and chances of rain.
Check out our blog, Best Season to Visit Valley of Flowers for a detailed description of what you’ll see each month.
Travellers usually begin their journey from the holy city of Haridwar. You’ll be picked up in the morning and driven along a scenic route to Joshimath, Govindghat or Auli. The drive takes almost all day, but the Ganga and Alaknanda rivers flow alongside, and there are lovely views to keep you busy.
On the first trekking day, you’ll trek to Ghangaria, covering about 14 km in 5 hours. You’ll be staying in Ghangaria for the entire trek, heading out every day to explore the valley and returning to your comfortable room every night. Each day, you’ll be trekking for about 7 hours, visiting viewpoints in the valley.
There are a number of variations to the Valley of Flowers trek. You can customise it to suit your preferences. Hemkund Sahib is a popular addition to the itinerary. The emerald-green lake with the Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara on the banks is an important pilgrimage spot for Sikhs, and a wonderfully serene spot to visit. Apart from this, some itineraries include a night in Auli or a visit to Badrinath temple on the way back.
Day 1: Haridwar to Govindghat
Day 2: Govindghat to Ghangaria
Day 3: Day trek to Valley of Flowers!
Day 4: Day trek to Hemkund Sahib
Day 5: Ghangaria to Govindghat
Day 6: Govindghat to Haridwar
In the early hours of the morning, you'll be picked up from Haridwar railway station and driven for about 8 to 9 hours to Govindghat. On your journey, you'll pass the holy city of Devprayag, at the confluence of the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda rivers and reach Govindghat by evening.
Check-in at the hotel and spend the night resting and preparing for the trek the next day. Overnight at Govindghat in the hotel.
Today, you will trek up a well-maintained pilgrim trail to Ghangaria. It's an easy 14 km trek, with only a few challenging stretches of uphill climbs. You should finish this trek in about 4 hours. Overnight at Ghangaria in the hotel.
After an early breakfast, you will set off for the much-awaited Valley of Flowers trek. The trek to the valley is overall an easy climb. When you reach the valley, you'll be greeted with the most beautiful sight of blooming unique and beautiful flowers.
The Pushpawati stream that runs through the middle of the 10 km long valley makes this sight even more stunning. After getting an eyeful of this scenery, you will trek back to Ghangaria. Overnight at Ghangaria in the hotel.
Today, you'll trek up to an elevation of 14,202 feet to Hemkund Sahib. The trek involves steep slopes and is more challenging, compared to your other days of trekking. The views that you'll be treated with; however, will make it worth the climb
Hemkund Sahib is a Gurdwara situated on the banks of a glacial lake, surrounded by seven snow-capped mountains and is truly an awe-inspiring sight. By afternoon, you will begin trekking back to Ghangaria. Overnight at Ghangaria in the hotel.
Today, you will trek downhill to Govindghat. The trek is easy and will only take about 4 hours to reach Govindghat. Subject to good weather and road conditions, you will board vehicles at Govindghat and pay a visit to the holy temple in Badrinath. A final call will be taken by the tour leader on the day of the visit. If this visit is not likely to happen, then you can spend time exploring the picturesque town of Govindghat. Overnight at Govindghat in the hotel.
You will set off on your drive back to Haridwar in the morning. You can eat lunch on the way. You will reach Haridwar by evening. Your trip ends here.
This trip includes travel arrangements between Haridwar and Govindghat in a Tempo Traveller, SUV or similar vehicle. Accommodation will be in hotels for 5 nights on a triple/quad sharing basis. Meals and refreshments will be based on the type of package selected. Please check with the operator.
You will be accompanied by an experienced trek leader. The services of support staff are also included in your trip cost. This trip is inclusive of all government permits and charges (for Indian citizens) and applicable taxes.
Travel arrangements between your home city and Haridwar are not included in your trip. You can upgrade your accommodation in hotels to twin-sharing basis at an approximate extra cost of INR 1,200 per person. Hot water in Ghangaria can be arranged at an approximate cost of INR 50-70 per bucket.
Costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, roadblocks, natural calamities etc. and any personal expenses such as tips to staff, extra meals or beverages, apparel or gear etc. will have to be borne by you. Anything not mentioned in the inclusions will be charged additionally, as used.
You should plan your trek in the peak time, between the months of July to August, to make sure you have a gorgeous trek. During this period, you'll be able to set your eyes on over 300 species of blooming wildflowers.
As you trek through the valley, you'll spot the lush green paradise dotted with poppies, lilies, orchids, anemones and so much more. The atmosphere is filled with a sweet aroma and the days are pleasant while the nights are cool, with the low hanging clouds contemplating rain.
For the Valley of Flowers trek, you will need to reach Haridwar. Most operators will cover your travel arrangements from here to the endpoint of the trek and back.
By Air:Jolly Grant Airport is the airport that serves Dehradun, located about 48 km from Haridwar. There are daily flights from Delhi and other major cities in India for Dehradun. From here, you can catch a taxi/cab to Haridwar.
By Train:Haridwar is connected to important cities in India like Mumbai, Delhi, Mussoorie, Varanasi, Kolkata, Lucknow by a strong rail network
By Bus:There are many private and government buses offering their services from Delhi to Haridwar. The drop-off point of these buses is usually at Haridwar bus station. From here, you will have to make your way to Haridwar Railway Station.
Wear quick-dry t-shirts and track pants while trekking. Wear a full-sleeved sweater or fleece jacket, scarf and socks to protect yourself from the chill. make sure you carry extra pairs of socks.
If you're planning your trip during the monsoon season, wear a poncho or raincoat. Your trekking shoes must be sturdy and if it's new, make sure it's well broken into. You should also wear a sun cap and sunglasses while trekking during the day.
A few essentials for this trek include a minimum 50-litre backpack and a minimum 10-litre daypack, both protected by a rain cover, trekking poles, water bottles, headlamp or torch with fresh and extra pair of batteries.
Carry floaters or sandals for when you're not trekking, carry a light towel, toiletries, toilet paper and a personal medicine kit. Make sure you also carry cold cream, lip balm, sunscreen and sunglasses.
An exhaustive packing list for the Valley of Flowers trek will be provided to you by your operator, make sure you pack every item on that list.
The Valley of Flowers trek is ideal for fit beginners and even families with children who want to experience Himalayan trekking. The minimum age requirement is 8 yrs. You will be required to cover a great distance in a short period of time, so it's best to spend some time building your stamina. You can prepare for this trek by performing exercises like stair climbing, jogging, running, etc.
The Valley of Flowers is open for a short window of time, from June to September. Once the rains begin, the peak blooming season is between mid-July and mid-August. The colours of the flowers change every few days, and the waterfalls and Hemkund Sahib are in full spate during this time.
Yes, the Valley of Flowers is the perfect introduction to the Himalayas. Beginners will be able to manage the paved trail quite comfortably, with only a few steep patches to challenge them. However, the ascent to Hemkund Sahib can be difficult, so if you’re not up for it, you can always ask the operator for an alternate plan.>All You Need to Know about the Valley of Flowers.