A Guide to Visiting the Valley of Flowers National Park in India

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If the artistic hand of an imaginative brain is furnished with a canvas and colors and asked to paint a harmonious picture that covers most aspects of nature, including flowers, gardens, rivers, waterfalls, mountains, trees, snow and clouds, then the outcome looks something like the Valley of Flowers National Park in India. If this sounds exaggerating, but still entices you, then you must book flights to India and visit the incredibly beautiful Valley of Flowers National Park. Feel the freshness in the scented air, let the cool breeze caress you, appreciate the melodious background score of the chirping birds and flowing waters – all while your mind imprints the sight in front of your eyes!

About the Valley of Flowers:

Set against the backdrop of snow-capped Himalayan Mountains, Valley of Flowers is a colossal garden of exquisite flowers traversed by rushing streams. The 8m long and 2 m wide valley is a bed of myriad flowers, 300 species of endemic alpine flowers and almost-extinct species of medicinal plants, among which the major ones are Brahmakamal, Blue Poppy, Golden Lily, Anemone tetrasepla, Geranium, Marigold and Orchids. It is also home to exotic birds and endangered fauna, including Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, musk deer, red fox, and blue sheep. In short, the Valley of Flowers is a paradise for nature lovers, bird watchers, photographers, trekkers, and wildlife enthusiasts.

Interesting facts about the Valley of Flowers National Park in India:

  • This Himalayan valley, located at the staggering altitude of 3658 m above sea level, sprawls across an area of 87.5 square kilometers. 
  • Declared as National Park in 1982, Valley of Flowers National Park in India also earned the tag of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Three British mountaineers, who had successfully explored Mount Kamet, accidentally stumbled upon this floral paradise when they lost their way back.
  • Frank Smythe, one of the three mountaineers, also wrote a book titled “Valley of Flowers” describing the beauty of the place.
  • It is said to be the place where Lord Hanuman had picked up ‘Sanjeevani’ to save the life of Lord Laxman.

Location of Valley of Flowers National Park in India:

Snuggled in the upper expanses of Bhyundar Ganga in the Garhwal Region of Uttarakhand, the Valley of flowers is a section of the Zanskar mountain range of the Himalayas. Together with Nanda Devi National Park, it forms the ‘Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve,’ a part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

When to visit the Valley of Flowers National Park:

The ideal time to visit the Valley of Flowers National Park in India is between June and October, the blooming season for many flowers. A blanket of snow shrouds the entire area in the winter months, due to which this place remains inaccessible during winter. The changing shade of the landscape with changing seasons is magical and it is during the monsoon that the Valley of Flowers National Park in India brims with vitality. The ideal time to visit is from mid-July to mid-August when the glaciers melt and thousands of flowers bloom to the fullest after the land is blessed with the initial monsoon rains. Every year from June to October, the area welcomes thousands of tourists who love the trekking trail to this paradisiacal valley. So, hurry up all trekking enthusiasts out there! Pre-plan your trip and pre-book your flight tickets with Indian Eagle and save big!

Admission pass and Visiting hours:

The tourists can gain entry to the Valley of Flowers at the Forest Department checkpoint near Ghangaria. A three-day pass costs about 650 rupees for foreigners and 150 rupees for Indians. The Valley of flowers national park is open from 7 am to 5 pm, in view of the maintenance policy and the extreme cool temperatures in the morning and night hours. You’ll be allowed to enter from 7 am to 2 pm and must leave the park by 5 pm.

Where to stay during the trip to the Valley of Flowers National Garden:

You can check into the hotels at Joshimath, Ghangaria and Auli areas. The guesthouses set up by the government under the name ‘Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN)’ are the safest and budget-friendly options. Private lodges and cozy cottages at Ghangaria and resorts at Auli also make for a comfortable stay. Note that camping and overnight stay is not allowed in the Valley of Flowers National park in India, a protected wildlife zone.

How to reach the Valley of Flowers:

If you are traveling to India by air, then book your flight tickets to Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun as it is the nearest airport to the place. This airport is well-connected to major airports in Delhi. If you are traveling by train, the Haridwar railway station is the closest station.

The trek to the Valley of Flowers National Park in India:

The trekking trail to the Valley of Flowers begins at Govind Ghat near Joshimath. Buses and taxis are available to Joshimath from Dehradun, Rishikesh, and Haridwar. The 14 km trek from Govind Ghat takes you to the base camp at Ghangaria. Here, the trail splits up into two, one towards the Valley of Flowers and the other towards the holy Hemkund Lake, a high-altitude lake surrounded by seven snow-clad peaks. With the world’s highest Gurudwara named ‘Hemkund Sahib’ located on its bank, the place is a religious site for Sikhs. Take your time to appreciate the spectacular views of the Hathi Parvat, Saptrishi peaks, and Himganga stream.

The narrow and steep mountain trail of about 3 km from Ghangaria to the Valley of Flowers is considered the arduous part of the whole trek, but the bewitching sight of the floral carpet at the end of the trek is worth the strenuous efforts!

The whole journey is filled with arresting sceneries, from the views of the Himalayas, the Alaknanda River and the Pushpawati River to the multiple waterfalls, rushing streams, and expanses of wildflowers such as lilies, daisies, and petunia. You’ll also spot colorful butterflies, rare birds, and a few animals here and there! This is the place to ‘lose yourself in nature and find peace’.

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