Why you should do Valley Of Flowers Trek?
With the verdant beauty of the snow-capped mountains in the backdrop, the green meadows and the white clouds blend to make a dreamlike terrain, Valley of Flowers trek. Perched at an altitude of 14,400 ft, this trek was a sudden discovery by British traveler Frank Smith in 1931. Step into the bed of flowers while you head out for this one of a kind beautiful trek.
The Valley of Flowers has become a place with a diverse alpine flora that is indicative of the Western Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows ecoregion. The valley’s great biodiversity reflects its placement as a transition zone between the Zanskar and Great Himalayas ranges to the north and south, as well as the Eastern and Western Himalayan floras. Several plant species are considered endangered. Outside of Uttarakhand, only a few have been discovered. In Nanda Devi National Park, two have yet to be discovered. The diversity of endangered medicinal plant species is greater than that seen in other Indian Himalayan protected areas. The Western Himalayas Endemic Bird Area encompasses the entire Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve (EBA). The Valley of Flowers National Park is part of the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve’s second core zone. Seven restricted-range bird species are endemic to this part of the Endemic Bird Area. They are the Himalayan Golden Eagle, Griffon Vulture, Snow Partridge, Himalayan Snow Cock,Himalayan Monal, Snow Pigeon, and Sparrow Hawk. The park serves as home to Tahr, Snow Leopard, Musk Deer, Red Fox, Common Langur, Bharal, Serow, Himalayan Black Bear, Himalayan Brown Bear, Pica (Mouse Hare) and a huge variety of butterflies. The Uttarakhand State Forestry Department, which is part of India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests, manages the park. There are no settlements within the national park, and grazing has been prohibited since 1983. The park is only open from June to October, and the rest of the year it is buried in heavy snow.
About the Trek:
Known as the most beautiful trek in the world with the Blue Primula, Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand is a must do trek for you. Tucked up at a high altitude this trek is renewed with the Mountaineers and adventure seekers. Blessed with exotic flowers, fauna and magnificent views this trek will take you to the world of snow clad mountains and high cliffs. High in the grand Himalayas of the Garhwal district sprawls this captivating valley.
Flowers: The Botanical Survey of India, the Forest Research Institute, and the Wildlife Institute of India surveyed and inventoried the Flowers in 1987, 1992, and 1997, respectively, and discovered five new species to science. At Musadhar, at the site’s entrance, a research nursery and seed/rhizome/tuber bank for propagating rare plants and valuable medicinal herbs has been established.
Rare and valuable medicinal plants are the subject of special programs. These include Aconitum heterophyllum, Arnebia benthamii, Dactylorhiza hatagirea, Gymnadenia orchides, Megacarpaea polyandra, Picrorhiza kurrooa, Podophyllum hexandrum and Taxus wallichiana. Research plots have been set up to determine the best way to control the spread of the tall Himalayan knotweed Polygonum polystachium without damaging other plants or the surface of the soil. A first annual survey was conducted in 2004 and is repeated annually.
Flowers mostly orchids, poppies, primulas, marigold, daisies and anemones carpet the ground. Sub-alpine forests of birch and rhododendron cover parts of the park’s area. It has been concludesd that the Valley of Flowers endows with 520 species of higher plants (angiosperms, gymnosperms and pteridophytes), of these 498 are flowering plants. The park has many species of medicinal plants including Dactylorhiza hatagirea, Picrorhiza kurrooa, Aconitum violaceum, Polygonatum multiflorum, Fritillaria roylei and Podophyllum hexandrum.
Valley of Flowers Trek Summary
- First pick up from Rishikesh, will be passing by 4 of the Panchprayag or holy confluence of Ganga also known as Jyotirmath,
- On the second day trek to Ghangharia after reaching Govindghat which will take a duration of 5 hours. The village of Ghangaria is a popular trekking base camp.
- After leaving Ghangaria early it is time to spend the whole day at Valley of Flowers. The entire valley is like a carpet of flowers which is surrounded by mountains The valley stretches further and ends with a glacier visible at a distance.
- Trek to Hemkund Sahib which is the highest Gurudwara. Mule ride service is available till Hemkund Sahib. It is a 6 kms distance. The Gurudwara is placed magically beside the mirror like glacial lake Hemkund. Trek back to Ghangaria.
- Trek back 9 kms from Ghangaria to Govindghat to visit Badrinath temple, explore nearby places and drive back to Joshimath.
- On day 6 you will come back to Rishikesh in the evening.
When To Plan Valley Of Flowers Trek?
The gates to Valley Of Flowers open at the beginning of June. But the best time to visit is between July and September. You can extend it to the end of September. Even in the best months between July and September, the trek is not the same every month.
It’s a beautiful shade of green. The blossoms are just starting to open up. After mid-July, the peak flowering season begins. A few old snow bridges and melting snow patches can be found. Expect a kaleidoscope of colors. After mid-July, the rains become more frequent. In July, the valley is the least populated.
Though there is a lot of rain at Govindghat, the first 15 days of August witness a lot of blooms. However, it is not always heavy at higher altitudes. Weekends are very busy. During the other hand, you won’t have to worry about crowds on weekdays.
Flowers have wilted by now and valley is swelling with a crowd of pilgrims.