Valley of Flowers
A dream come to reality!
Valley of flowers is a national park and world heritage site in India and is famous for its wild flowers. It was discovered by Frank Smythe, Holdsworth & Shipton while returning from one of their mountaineering expeditions. This happened in 1931 and to this very day this valley continues to attract trekkers, naturalists, botanists, nature lovers and mountaineers.
The Pushpawati River flows through the valley and is the major source of moisture. The soil here does not hold a lot of water and hence the flowers bloom immediately after the first rains. The valley is a riot of colors by mid-August with balsam, anemones, blue poppy, brahma kamals, primulas, asters etc occupying the valley floor. There are certain carnivorous species as well who get their source of nutrition from the insects, but these can only be identified by a keen observer. For a nature lover, this valley opens brilliant vistas and panoramic views. It is an enthralling site to walk amongst a path laid out between flowers.
Leave early at 6am and drive to Govindghat via Devprayag, Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag, Nandaprayag and Joshimath/Auli. Overnight at rest-house in Joshimath/Auli.
Early morning we drive to Govindghat and start the trek by crossing the river Alaknanda over a bridge at Govindghat and from there walk towards the Bhyundar valley through forest area and a few villages. There are numerous waterfalls and lush green landscape all around. The gradient of the trail is moderate. The 11 kms trek to reach Ghangharia takes about 4-5 hrs, one can also hire a mule to reach Ghangharia. Overnight in rest houses at Ghangharia.
We start the day’s trek with a short ascent to the valley. Gradient is moderate and the landscape soothing to the eye. It will take about a couple of hours to reach the valley. There are unending meadows laden with varieties of alpine flowers, network of streams and big mountains all around. The prominent species are Brahma Kamal, Anemone, Geranium, Marsh Marigold, Primula, Lilium, Potentilla, Ranunculus, Inula, Corydalis, Pedicularis, Arisaema, Ligularia, Morina, Impatiens, Saxifrages Bistorta, Anaphalis, Sibbaldia. One can spend 3-4 hrs exploring different corners & vantage points of the valley and towards late afternoon retrace steps to Ghangharia. Overnight we stay in a rest-house at Ghangharia.
Climb to Hemkund Sahib is steep at places and will take about 3 – 4 hours. Hemkund Sahib is a popular Sikh Shrine built next to a lake. The lake is surrounded by wild flowers. Pilgrims take a dip in the freezing cold waters of the lake. Hot tea will be served in the Gurudwara (Shrine) before retracing steps to Ghangharia. Overnight we stay in rest-house at Ghangharia.
Trek back to Govindghat.
Early morning after breakfast we drive to Dehradun.