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All about the enchanting ‘Valley of Flowers’ trek in Uttarakhand

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As it is rightly said, “where flowers bloom so does hope”, the charming landscape of the Valley of Flowers National Park in the state of Uttarakhand in India gains its vibrant and vivid colours with the monsoon rain. A sprawling flowery meadow of 87 square kilometers located in the Chamoli District of Uttarakhand, this trekking paradise which resembles a fairyland, has the majestic Zanskar Ranges as a backdrop. It was declared a national park back in 1982, and now it is a famed World Heritage Site. One of the main zones of the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve is located at a magnificent altitude of 3,658 meters above sea level. The valley is full of spectacular and rare species of flowers like Blue Poppy, Brahmakamal, Snow Berries, and Viola Biflora flowers and extends along the banks of River Pushpavati.

How to reach the valley?

To get to the starting point of the trek, you have to reach Joshimath, which is en route to the Badrinath temple. The trek starts at Pulna village, from where you need to get to the base camp situated at Ghangaria. The beginning of the valley, where you start smelling the aromas and sensing the vivid colours of the flowers, is about 3 kilometres away from Ghangaria. The trek is steep where you cross verdant forests, pristine streams, waterfalls, a glacier, trekking path dotted with deodar trees. When you get inside the valley, you still need to walk for about 5-10 kilometres to view the flowery bed meadows.

What is the best time to travel?

Valley of Flowers

Every year a spectacular burst of colours or flowering bonanza begins in these alpine meadows surrounded by grand snow-capped peaks. Though it is open for visits between mid-June till September, soon after the snow starts melting, the best time when you can view the riot of colours that these blooming flowers display is in the months of July and August. However, the valley is not accessible after December till early May. To talk about the weather, it can get quite cold at night and in the early mornings.

How many days do you need for this trek?

One week is good enough to complete this trek at an enjoyable pace. However, if you are fast and can rush through it, then you could explore nearby places like Hemkund Sahib Pilgrimage, Badrinath or Auli from your itinerary.

How difficult is the trek?

The Valley of Flowers trek is a moderate trek and can be planned with your family. If you can’t walk much, you could hire ponies, porters, palanquins, and even helicopters to help you with your travel. However, note that the ponies and porters are only available at Govindghat.

Some tips for the trek

  • Carry suitable comfortable winter clothing and protective gear to bear the unpredictable weather in this region.
  • Carry your trekking gear for safety and essentials like a wind-proof jacket, caps, and dry socks.
  • Ensure to wear good quality, comfortable footwear to avoid frostbites.
  • Take along a durable and comfortable sleeping bag and a sturdy backpack.
  • Carry a valid identification proof as you might have to furnish it to the officials.

Valley of Flowers is a must-visit even if you are an amateur trekker. Soak into a palette of vivacious hues – red, white, lavender, yellow, and more. Almost 80 species of flowers blossom here from July to September – and undoubtedly, this Himalayan destination is an awe-inspiring natural phenomenon. It does give you a taste of a high-altitude trek, but the risks involved are minimal as the trekking path is well-laid and there are enough shops, hotels, porters, etc. available. So, when are you giving it a try?

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