Valley of Flowers is a national park located in Uttarakhand. The valley is not just known for its alpine flowers, but it also houses endangered animals like the snow leopard, brown bear and musk deer. Isn’t it amazing to go bird watching in a valley of flowers? In this national park, you will get to witness the high altitude birds and the exotic Monal Pheasant (Himalayan).
Once you visit the Himalayas, it will call you back. It can be intoxicating for avid travelers. The palette of bright colors will entice you and for once, there will be no need to sign in to your social media account. The beauty of this park is extraordinary and travelers will get to explore at least 80 different species of flowers. If you are a nature lover, this is the best place to be.
History and Importance
Since the valley was full of bright and colorful flowers, the locals started calling it ‘Valley of Flowers’. It is located near Badrinath in Chamoli District. There’s an interesting story behind the discovery of the valley. Frank S Smith, a mountaineer, discovered the Valley of Flowers in the year 1931. Apparently, three British mountaineers had lost their way but they discovered a beautiful valley instead.
The travelers can find medicinal herbs in the valley and the wildflowers are a visual treat for sore eyes. It is believed that Lord Hanuman brought the Sanjeevani Booti for Laxman from this valley. Wouldn’t it be nice to lie down in the valley and admire the moving clouds above you?
In the year 1980, the valley was declared as a national park. In the year 1982, it was renamed to Nanda Devi National Park. Once again, in the year 1988, the Nanda Devi Biosphere was set up and the Valley of Flowers was declared as the core zone.
As of now, Valley of Flowers holds a special place in the world heritage site list.
Places to See
Visit the following places to have a complete and fun-filled trip:
This is also known as the ‘snow lake’. Witness the beauty of the snow-capped mountains. These mountains are known as ‘Hemkund Parvat’.
Nanda Devi National Park
As you know now, Valley of Flowers was renamed as Nanda Devi but later on, the valley became a core zone. You can find endangered species of animals in this national park. Additionally, there are 312 species of floral species that can be found here.
Activities to do
The Valley of Flowers Trek starts from the Ghangharia base camp. Indian citizens need to pay INR 150 and the Foreign travelers need to pay INR 450. Do note that the ticket is valid for up to 3 days. It will be a steep trek and might be tiring for a few people who are not using trekking. Once you reach the valley, the tiredness will go away and you will leave with fond feelings in your heart.
Entry from Ghangharia starts in the morning at 7 AM. This is the best time to start! Travelers would need to come back to Ghangharia the same day because the valley closes at 5 PM. The untouched beauty of the valley will make you realize the simple joys of life.
The Best Time to Visit
The national park is open from June and closes in the month of October. You can witness the beauty of wildflowers and the open skies in the monsoon season. The travelers will find some rare medicinal herbs in this valley.
There are beautiful flowering plants such as daisies, poppy, orchid, primula, and marigold. You can imagine being surrounded by beautiful flowers and a clear blue sky!
How To Reach
By Air: The nearest airport to the national park is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun. It is 295 kilometers away from the destination. You can hire a personal taxi or take a local bus to reach Govindghat. After reaching Govindghat, there will be an additional 14 kilometer to cover to reach Ghangharia.
By Train: The nearest railway station to the destination is in Rishikesh. This is located 276 kilometers away from the Valley of Flowers. Travelers can also opt for a train from Delhi to Haridwar. From Haridwar, Govindghat is 300 kilometers away.
Govindghat is the destination where you need to stop and go to the base camp – Ghangharia. You can reach Ghangharia by pony, helicopter, porter, or trekking. The trek will cover 14 kilometers. Ghangharia is a small village where you can find cheap but decent hotels.
By Road: The destination is 512 kilometers away from Delhi. It will be a 14-hour drive for the travel enthusiasts. If you ask us, this is the best way to reach Valley of Flowers because you will get to witness the beauty of Uttarakhand along the way.
For starters, you must know that you would need to trek to the Valley of Flowers. The actual destination is Ghangharia. This is the base camp where all the trekkers gather and go for a trek. Cars and other vehicles cannot take you to Ghangharia. You would need to trek or take a porter/helicopter till Ghangharia.