Valley of Flowers is a vast valley settled in the vicinity of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. The entire valley is rich in biodiversity and lies in the transition zone between the Greater Himalayas and Zanskar Range. The best time to visit Valley of Flowers is in the months of July and August when the blooming of flowers is at peak. Around 300 species of wild-flowers bloom during this season. The prominent species are Brahmakamal, Blue Poppy, Cobra Lily Anemone, Geranium, Marsh Marigold & Prinula. Apart from a wide range of flora, the park is also home to rare and endangered animals such as Himalayan Black Bear, Brown Bear, Snow Leopard, Red Foxes, Himalayan Tahrs, Musk deer and Monals. Also, the valley has to offer much more than flowers. There are waterfalls, glaciers, towering mountains, gushing rivers and quaint villages.
The landscape of Valley of Flowers showcases the wilderness and raw beauty of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. The Valley of Flowers national park covers an expanse of 87.5 square km and about 8 km long and 2 km wide.
The trek to Valley of Flowers begins from a small village named Govindghat located 22 km from Joshimath on the Rishikesh Badrinath highway. The actual trek starts from Pulna, which is 4 km and a 20 minutes drive from Govindghat. The trek from Pulna to Ghangaria is 9 km long and is done on a paved trail. Ghangaria is a small settlement where trekkers can stay and buy some essentials. The route further from Ghangaria divides into two routes, one leading towards Valley of Flowers and the other one leading towards Hemkund Sahib.
Another important destination that will be covered in this trip is Hemkund Sahib, which is a renowned pilgrimage site for Sikhs and also the highest gurudwara in the world, situated at an altitude of 4632 meters or 15200 feet above the sea level. The trek to Hemkund Sahib also starts from the village Ghangaria. The trek from Ghangaria is about 8 KM long and the trail is fully paved but quite steep.
Check out the blog on Valley of Flowers & Hemkund Sahib
Drive from Haridwar to Govindghat (290 KM, 12 hours drive)
Drive from Govindghat to Pulna and Trek to Ghangaria (4 KM drive and 9 KM trek)
Trek from Ghangaria to Valley of Flowers and back (8 KM trek)
Trek from Ghangaria to Hemkund Sahib and back (16 KM Trek)
Trek from Ghangaria to Govindghat (9 KM Trek)
Drive from Govindghat to Haridwar
Gather at Haridwar ISBT in the morning, after that, we start our journey from there. Govindghat is 290 km far from Haridwar and it takes around 12 hours to reach there. We drive through Devprayag, Srinagar, Rudraprayag, Chamoli, and Joshimath. The drive is scenic and it goes along the Alaknanda river, which is one of the tributaries of Ganges. The interesting thing about the drive is that you will be crossing all five confluences of sacred rivers (also known as Panch Prayag in local language). These five confluences take place at Devprayag, Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag, Nandaprayag, and Vishnuprayag. Don't forget to take photos at the confluence of Bhagirathi and Alaknanda in the town of Devprayag. We reach Govindghat by evening. Dinner and overnight stay in Hotel at Govindghat.
Wake up, freshen up and get ready. We will take a taxi from Govindghat to Pulna village and then began our trek towards Ghangaria village. The trek is 9 km long and is completely paved. The gradient of the trek is easy and is steep at few stretches. More than half of your trek goes parallel to the river. The whole trek is scenic and is full of scenic views of valleys, mountains, and waterfalls. Ghangaria is a kind of settlement situated at an altitude of 3010 meters and offers some great views. The village houses some shops where one can buy daily need stuff. After arriving at the village, relax and enjoy the beauty of the place surrounded by conifers covered mountains. Dinner and overnight stay in hotel/guest house at Ghangaria.
Wake up and get ready for the most important day of the trip. This day you will be visiting Valley of Flowers. The trek to the valley is around 4 km long from Ghangaria. We take the upwards route from the village and after walking for barely 500 meters we will reach a dividing point. The route will be divided into two routes, the straight one going towards Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara and the left going towards the Valley of Flowers. We take the left turn and continue our trek and reach the forest check post. We resume our trek through that narrow route, after getting the entry permit. The trail is covered by dense bushes on both sides and soon we start seeing flowers on the way. We cross a bridge over the Bhyundar river and continue our trek on the trail. The waterfall near the bridge looks massive and beautiful. We will reach the main valley after getting out from the forest route. The valley looks amazing. Enjoy the heavenly beauty of the place. We will explore the valley to its fullest and try not to miss any flower. We start getting back to the village by late afternoon and reach there by evening. Dinner and overnight stay in hotel/guest house in Ghangaria.
We start a bit early today as we have to trek up to Hemkund Sahib, which is the highest gurudwara in the world, situated at an altitude of 4632 meters and 15,200 feet above the sea level. The trek is 8 KM long on each side and is quite steep throughout the way. We take the same upwards route from Ghangaria and continue it on the Hemkund Sahib route. After crossing the waterfall, the steep ascent starts and the route continues in a zig-zag way. We could see the village Ghangaria from the route while trekking. After 3 hours of continuous trek, we reach a point from where the tree line ends. It will take us around 4-5 hours to reach our destination. The gurudwara is beautiful and offers magnificent views. One can also spot the mighty Nilkanth peak if the weather is clear. We will have Langar there and then start descending back to the village. The downhill trek will take less time and we will reach back by evening. Dinner and overnight stay in hotel/guest house at Ghangaria.
Wake up and we start our downhill trek to Govindghat in the morning after having breakfast. We take the same route that we took on the Day 2 while trekking up. It will take us around 3-4 hours to reach Govindghat. After reaching the village, one can visit the famous Badrinath temple and Mana village (Last Indian village at the Indo-China border) if time and weather allow. Dinner and overnight stay in Hotel/Guesthouse at Govindghat.
*The taxi for Badrinath and Mana village is not included in the cost.
We start our drive from Govindghat by morning and take the same route. We will drop you at Haridwar by late afternoon or evening and you can continue your onward journey.
*It is recommended that you keep the buffer time and book your return bus/train tickets scheduled in the night.
3 Night Stay at Gangaria
2 Night Stay at Govindghat
Travel from Haridwar to Govindghat and back
Meals during Trek and Stay (from Dinner on Day 1 to Breakfast on Day 6)
Trek Leader services
Meals apart from mentioned in the Itinerary
Stay apart from mentioned in the Itinerary
Any expenses for optional activities or tickets, unless quoted in Inclusions.
Insurance, Items of personal nature like porterage, tips, laundry etc
Anything not mentioned in Inclusions
Any Kind of Expense for Loss / Misplaced / Theft of personal belongings.
Any additional expenses caused by a disturbance in the trip program due to circumstances like weather conditions, sickness, natural disasters, riots etc.
Any additional expenses arising out of unforeseen circumstances like cancellation/ roadblocks/landslides/strike or any other natural causes out of human control or any emergency evacuation expenses.
Down Jacket (Main jacket)
Tshirt or Fleece
Extra pair of Socks
Trekking/ Hiking Shoes (Forclaz 100 and above or Arpenaz 100. Checkout in Decathlon stores)
Rucksack (At least 40L)
Mufflers/ Neck Warmer
Extra pair of Clothes
First Aid Kit
Q. What will be the group size?
Usually, we take maximum 12-15 people in one group. We believe bigger groups have less fun and less coordination so that’s why we prefer smaller groups.
We need at least 6 people to operate our fixed departure tours/treks.
Q. Who all will go along with us on the trip/trek?
All our treks are led by professional trek leaders who are certified mountaineers. Apart from them, there will be one local guide, cook, helper, porters and other staff.
All our trips are led by professional trip coordinators who have a good experience in leading groups.
Q. I am the only girl in the group, is it safe to travel/trek solo?
Yes definitely it is, safety of girls is most important for us. All our guides and other staff are carefully chosen for trips/treks. They are honest and reliable but we also advise you to take care of your personal belongings.
Q. What are the things that we need to carry on the trek/trip?
Once you confirm the trip/trek and done with the booking, we will send you the packing list according to the trip/trek.
Q. What type of ground transportation will be used on the trip?
We hire taxis such as Innova, Tempo Traveller, Bolero, Tata Sumo, etc. from our vendors.
Q. I cannot carry my rucksack/bag on the trek, can I offload it?
We always recommend that you carry your rucksack during the trek because it helps in maintaining your body posture. In case if you cannot, then we can provide you a mule/porter to carry your rucksack. You will have to tell us at least 1 week before the trek. The charges for offloading would be INR 300 per person per day.
Q. Which shoes should I buy?
Shoes are your lifeline on the trek. It is highly advisable to buy trekking shoes of a good and known brand. You can consider companies like Quechua, Columbia, etc. A waterproof shoes with ankle support will work good.
Q. What are the washroom/toilet facilities like on the trek?
During the treks, separate toilet tents will be set up on each campsite.
Q. What will be the type of accommodation?
It depends on the tour. If it is a trek then you will be staying in dome tents or if it is a road trip the the accommodation can be in hotel/alpine tent/dome tent/home stay.
Q. Will you provide sleeping bags and mattresses?
Yes, we will provide sleeping bags and mattresses during the trek. Our sleeping bags can withstand temperature as low as -10 degree.
Q. How many trekkers will be in one tent?
It totally depends on group dynamics. If there is a couple, we can give them a separate tent or if there are odd number of people, then there would be triple sharing.
Q. How can I book a trek/trip with you?
After selecting the trip/trek, you can book by clicking on the book now button or you can contact us and we will guide you in booking.
Q. What type of food is served during the trek?
We provide nutritious and healthy food during the treks. We always serve Indian vegetarian food and eggs.
Q. How to get safe drinking water on the trek?
Himalayan water is considered the purest water and safe to drink. But for safety purpose, we sometimes boil the water and then use it for drinking and cooking.
In case you find any clean water on the trek, always fill your water where the water is running not where the water is stable or is in rest.
Q. Can we change the itinerary?
Yes, you can give suggestions. We will look into that and if we find it feasible then we will apply it.
Q. Can you customize the trip/trek?
Yes, we can customize any trip/trek as per your needs and as per the feasibility.
Q. Will doctor accompany us on the trek?
No, but our trek leaders are certified in Wildlife First Aid course and they always carry first aid kit and oxygen cylinders on high altitude treks.
Q. Do you prefer I should bring some medicines with me?
Yes it is advisable that you carry your own medication on the trek.
Q. Diamox is advisable or not?
Well, it totally depends on person to person. Usually, there are no side effects of Diamox but if you are having any prior medical conditions then it is better to consult your doctor.
Our itinerary is designed in a way that we take sufficient time to get acclimatized. In case if you are having problem on the trek then tell your trek leader about your condition as soon as possible.
Q. Can I take my child along on this trek? What is the age limit?
It depends on the difficulty level of the trek. Minimum age for eligibility is 14 years.
Q. What will we do if it rains?
If it starts raining slowly while trekking then we will continue our trek as per the plan. Your poncho will keep you dry. In case if it is raining heavily then we will try to find any shelter and wait for the rain to stop or slow. If it rains at the campsite then there would not be any problem because all our living tents, kitchen tents and toilet tents are waterproof. You will stay dry inside.
Q. Why is the trekking pole necessary?
Differs from person to person. If you think that it would help you maintaining balance while trekking then do bring the pole. Some people think that trekking pole disturbs the walking rhythm. So it’s upto you.
The Valley of Flowers was discovered by a legendary mountaineer, Frank Smythe in 1931 while he was returning back after his successful summit of Mt. Kamet. He and his team lost their way while coming down from the expedition and suddenly arrived at the valley. Initially, the valley was covered with clouds and then clouds disappeared and a huge beautiful valley was in front of them. Frank Smythe named this place "Valley of Flowers" and also wrote a book named the same.
The valley was declared a national park in 1982 and now it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The word Hemkund is a Sanskrit name which is a combination of two words Hem and Kund. The word Hem depicts "Snow" and Kund which depicts "bowl".
It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo identity for entry at the forest check posts.
The last ATM you will find at Joshimath. So make sure you carry sufficient cash or remember to withdraw from Joshimath.
Only BSNL mobile network will be available at Govindghat and further this place there will be no networks. Though you may find landline phones at Ghangaria village.