Valley of the flower was the reason that we planned our trip in the month of August. More than 500 species of flowers and hundreds of plants, the carpet of greenery, natural waterfalls, all its attributes make it a heaven on earth. If you are the one who loves nature and scenic beauty than this place is surely meant for you.
After 12Kms of the steep trek of Hemkund Sahib was seemed to be impossible with four kids (all below 10 years) but there was a divine force which keeps on driving all of us. Though we all were very tired till the time we reached our hotel room but still, I can not afford to miss visiting Valley of flowers another day.
With the onset of another day, we got up early to trek to Valley of Flowers. Because of yesterday trek to Hemkund Sahib, we were more aware of the facts of dos and don’ts while trekking with kids. Since it was quite early we packed two paranthas for the kids from our hotel. We packed our bags, hired a potter for Yashu, but he was not at all ready to board it.
The trek to Valley of Flowers is not maintained as the trek to Hemkund. There are no restaurants or tea shops after one leaves the base town of Ghangaria. There are no toilets either. One finds flowers right from the ticket counter. You may miss some as they may be hidden in undergrowth so you need to be careful to scan both sides of the track and fellow tourists.
There is a documentary on Valley of flowers which is a must see before visiting it. The shows run from 4:30 in the evening to 7:30 PM as the last show. It is hardly 25 minutes show which encounters you with the history of the valley of flower. It shows various rare species of flowers and their medicinal uses.
If you are not very keen in knowing names of flowers then you may avoid reading literature and simply enjoy the beauty of valley and flowers. After the initial patch of flowers along the trek just after the ticket window, there will be very few flowering plants after you cross the bridge over the stream. You get to see flowers later in abundance when you reach the final valley.
We have witnessed a variety of flowers and plants. Bhojpatra was in plenty there. We had crossed two bridges to reach the final destination- Valley of the flower. One should not hurry to reach the final valley which is about 10KMs long and 2KM wide.
The VOF changes its color four times a year. At times even a single branch from a plant yield different flowers with different fragrances. From June- July, July-August, August to September and then September to June. It is most distinctive and spectacular between July end to Mid August, that is during Monsoon.
The Valley of flower is set amidst majestic snow clad mountains and lush green pathways. It is divided by a stream called Pushpawati which then further merges with Laxman Ganga flowing from Hemkund to Ghaghariya. The astounding beauty of The Valley of flower lies in this trek, though the final destination is also spectacularly beautiful.
Valley of flowers national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located in Garhwal Region of Uttarakhand State in India. This valley was discovered by Frank S Smythe in the year 1931. Nature lovers, botanist, photographers, mountaineers all come to the valley of flowers from across the globe.
Since the Valley of flower is a World Heritage Site, the pathway is not maintained as Hemkund Sahib. Also, There are no ponies available for the ride but you may be offered the ride on the back (pitthoo). If you feel tired and plan to take the ride during your return, decide early since the porters follow the bulk of crowd and will not be available for you if you are among the few who get left behind.
Moreover, while entry to the Valley of flowers and making exit, there is an army man who keeps track of all the people going and coming out. They will check the exit of each and every person so as to ensure the security of the visitors.
The entire valley is dotted with different flowers, a treat to the eyes. Initially, I felt a bit awkward as who would prefer trek on a rainy day that to these areas in Uttarakhand which are most prone to landslides during monsoon. But I was wrong, It was the quite awesome experience. The Valley is beautiful and shines in the blossom of different flowers, the view is scenic and breathtaking at the same time.
Things to consider before starting the Valley of Flower trek
- No ponies, no snack or toilets are available, so ensure you carry foods like nuts to make it simple.
- Carry water bottles which can be refilled.
- It is not mandatory to follow the given path, try to go out of the way to explore more.
- Reaching destination is a bit easy in this trek, then coming down.
- If doing potter, ask him to move slowly with the group. Also prior decide the amount and take his ID card for further reference.
Itenary for the Valley of Flower trek
Gobindghat- Pulna- Ghaghariya
Ghaghariya- Valley of Flower- Ghaghariya
Cost involves in Valley of Flower trek
Gobindghat- Ghaghariya on Mules @Rs.500/per person/side
Accommodation at Ghaghariya with double bed @Rs.800/per night
Food at Gurudwara @free of cost.
Potter for a kid for To/fro @Rs.1000
Potter/ palkis can be hired for Elders which may vary from Rs.2000-7000/ per person depending on weight.
Documentary on Valley of Flower @Rs. 30/per person
Entry fees @Rs 150/ per person
Important points while planning for Valley of Flower trek
- Valley of flower trek in August is the most spectacular thing you can think of.
- No ponies, portable toilets or snack shops are available either on the way or at the destination.
- Try to start the trek as early as possible (entry timing is 7:00Am-12:00 PM) as one is supposed to return by 5:00 Pm to the ticket counter.