Valley of Flowers Chamoli, Uttaranchal
The valley is located in Chamoli Garhwal in the state of Uttaranchal, close to Nanda Devi National Park. About 595 kilometres from Delhi, the altitude of the place varies from 3,200 m to 6,675 m.
Best Time To Visit
The best time to be here is in the months of July and August after the snow has melted. That's when the weather is pleasant and the flowers are also in their full bloom.
About The Valley Of Flowers
Valley of flowers was well protected and hidden from the world, only the locals frequented the place. It was in as late as 1931 that the place was discovered by Frank Smith, a mountaineer, botanist and an explorer who came across this valley accidentally. He introduced the place to world. He was so enchanted by the place which at that time was in its full bloom that he wrote a book here 'Valley of Flowers'. The book further popularised the place.
The valley is bounded by peaks from all sides and an area of 8,950 hectares here was declared a National park in September 1982. It was only in July 2005 that the valley was added to the list of World Heritage sites by UNESCO. The valley is so significant because of the rich diversified flora it has in its bounds. The valley itself is located at a transition point of Zanskar and Himalayan ranges and Eastern and Western Himalayas. This results in bringing together a rich diversified flora at one place, several of the flower species found here are internationally endangered. There are also many endangered medicinal plants here.
To The Valley Of Flowers
To reach the valley, trek begins at Govind Ghat. From Pulna onwards, your eyes will be treated to scenic beauty of the nature at its undisturbed best - wild flowers, waterfalls, springs, rocky boulders and in between glimpses of snow clad peaks. Camping and overnight stay is not allowed in the valley so Ghanghria serves as the base camp during the trek.
In The Valley Of Flowers
Beyond Ghagharia, the journey is on foot only, entry of ponies is prohibited. The valley itself is covered with majestic peaks and river Pushpawati flowing through it divides it into two sections. Many streams also flow through the valley irrigating it, adding to the beauty before finally merging with River Pushpawati. There is a single track in the valley to view flowers, no side tracks to have a closer look at what lies farther. You will have to struggle your way through foliage and shrubs to have a closer look but all the trouble is worth it. Within the valley itself you will see many different smaller valleys being formed, these have formed because of streams of glacier water flowing through the valley. The patterns of flowers around these smaller valleys are worth watching, specially the ones around the last of the valleys near Donagair Garh. The left bank of Pushpawati has many areas of flat land, one of them is called Nag Tal. The flowers here are considered to be poisonous so pluck, smell or crush them at your own risk.
The Flora In The Valley
The valley by itself is alpine. The flora here is well adapted to the harsh climatic conditions. From November to May, it is a bed of snow but once the ice melts, from below emerges a riot of colours. There are some 300 hundred species of flowers present here. Some of the prominent species of flowers here are Saxifrags, Sediams, Lilies, Poppy, Calendular, Daisies, Denthus, Turmopsis, Primula, Dadiculatar, Pontitala, Geranium, Cipro Nepolysis, Holly, Pansy, Zinnia, Petunia, Fox, Caropsis Dynthus and many more.
The flowers here with tremendous medicinal values are Anemone, Geranium, Marsh, Marigold, Primula, Potentilla, Geum, Aster. Lilium, Himalayan blue poppy, Aconite, Delphinium, Ranunculus, Corydalis, Inula, Saussurea Abvallata, Campanula. Pedicularis, Trysimum, Morina, Impetiens, Bistorta. Ligularia. Anaphalis Saxifraga, Lobelia, Thermophis, Trolises. Aquilogia, Codonopsis. Dactylorhiza and Cypripedium.
The Fauna In The Valley
The valley does not boasts of much animal life but it is not completely devoid of it either. Some of the animals you will spot here are the Himalayan Musk deer and yellow throated Marten. Though Snow Leopards, Blue Sheep, Black and Brown Bears, and Himalayan Tahr also frequent the area but chances of spotting them are bleak. There are a lot many insects here and particularly many species of butterflies are found here.
Day 1: Delhi - Rishikesh (240 kms, 5 - 6 hrs drive)
Leave Delhi early morning for Rishikesh, checking in at the hotel on arrival. Evening visit Lakshmanjhula, Ramjhula and attend vibrant prayer rituals on the banks of Ganges at Swarg Ashram.
Day 2: Rishikesh - Joshimath (255 kms, 7 - 8 hrs drive)
After early breakfast leave for Joshimath. Enroute stop in Devprayag to witness the confluence of river Alaknanda and Bhagirathi to form holy river Ganges. Reach Joshimath by evening. On arrival check in camp / hotel. Overnight at camp / hotel.
Day 3: Joshimath - Govindghat - Ghangaria (20 kms drive, 13 km trek)
After early breakfast leave for Govindghat by road with packed lunch. Prepare for trek on arrival and then leave on the trek to Ghangaria, which will be our base camp for further trek to Valley Of Flowers. Reach Ghangaria late in the afternoon. On arrival check in hotel.
Day 4: Ghangaria - Valley of Flowers - Ghangaria (6 kms trek)
After breakfast leave for valley of flowers (3 kms one side trek) with packed lunch. Enjoy the beauty of rare high Himalayan flora at its best. The valley situated on a height of 3342 mts to 3658 mts is a national park under protection for its rate fona. Return back to Ghangaria for your overnight stay.
Day 5: Ghangaria - Hemkund Sahib - Ghangaria (10 kms trek)
After breakfast leave with packed lunch for Hemkund Sahib (a Sikh religious place) on the banks of Hemkund Lake at a height of 4320 mts. This trek is gradual ascent on the cobbled path from the altitude of 3049 mts to 4320 mts in just 5 kms. Return to Ghangaria by evening for overnight stay.
Day 6: Ghangaria - Govindghat - Badrinath (13 kms trek, 25 kms drive)
After breakfast trek down to Govindghat. Proceed for Badrinath by car. On arrival check in hotel. After lunch visit the main temple of Lord Vishnu. Also visit Mana Village, last village on Indian side to Tibet border. Overnight at hotel.
Day 7: Badrinath - Rishikesh. (300 kms / 9 - 10 hrs)
Early morning leave for Rishikesh on the full day drive. Lunch Enroute at Srinagar. Reach Rishikesh by evening. On arrival check in for your overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 8: Rishikesh - Delhi (240 kms / 5 - 6 hrs)
Morning after breakfast leave for Haridwar. Visit Chandi Devi temple, Mercury Shivlinga, Daksh temple. In evening depart via train "Shatabdi Express" at 18:10 hrs to reach Delhi at 22:45 hrs. On arrival transfer to hotel or for your onward journey to the airport.
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