Valley of flowers National Parks, India


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Brief Description

Valley of Flowers National Parks is situated in Chamoli District of Garhwal region in the state of Uttrakhand, India. This is a high altitude Himalayan Valley which is accessible only from June to September. Valley of Flower is home to rare and endangered animals like Snow Leopard, Brown Bear, Blue Sheep and Asiatic Black Bear. Valley of Flowers has many color full flowers which paints the valley in different colors as time progressed. It is also home to many flowers like Potentilla, Anemone, Angelica, Arisaema, Asters, Bistorta, Corydalis, Epilobium, Fragria, Fritillaria, Gagea, Gaultheira, Gentianceae, Geranium, Gymandenia, Helenia, Indigofera, Inula, Iris, Primula, Saxifragaceae, Sassurea, Rhododendron, Rosa, Salvia, Senecio, Polygonum. It is a much sought after by nature lovers, flowers lovers, botanist and trekkers. The Valley of Flowers was declared as a National Park in 1982. It has been declared as world heritage by UNESCO under nature category in 2005. Valley of Flowers National Park is a part of Nanda Devi biosphere reserve.

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History of Valley of Flowers

Valley of Flowers was not known to the world due to its inaccessibility but in the year 1931 when three British mountaineers, Frank S. Smythe, Erick Shipton and R.L. Holdsworth were on their expedition to climb Kamet, a mountain 25,447 feet height. After the climb when they descend to village Ghamsali in the Dhauli Valley and then crossed Zaskar Range which separates the upper Dhauli and Alaknanda Valleys by the Bhyundar Pass, 16,688 feet with the intention of exploring the mountainous region at the sources of the two principal tributaries of the Ganges, the Alaknanda and Gangotri rivers. The monsoon broke the day they crossed the Bhyundar Pass and it was wet and cold. Below 16,000 feet rain was falling but above that it was snow. It was chilling to bone and they quickly descended into Bhyundar Valley, which bifurcates with the Alaknanda Valley.

Within a few minutes they were out of the wind and in rain which became gradually warmer as they lost height suddenly R.L. Holdsworth, who was a botanist exclaimed Look !, Frank S. Symth followed the direction of his outstretched hand. At first he could see nothing but rocks, than suddenly his wondering gauge was arrested by little splash of blue, and beyond it were splashes of blue, a blue so intense it seemed to light the hill side. As Holdsworth : All of a sudden I realized that I was simply surrounded by Primulas. They forgot all the pains cold and lost porters. And what a Primula it was. They can not bear a moraine there were Endorses, Geraniums, Saxifrages, Sedumes, Yellow and Red Potentillas, Geums, Asters, Gentianas and It was impossible to take a single step without crashing a flower. Next day they descended to lush meadows. Their camp was embowered amidst flowers like Snowwhite Anemones, Golden Lilly like Nomocheris, Merigolds, Glow Flowers, Delphiniums, Violets, Ertrichiums, Blue Corydalis, Wild Roses, Flowering Shurbs and Rhododendrons. The Bhyundar Valley was the most beautiful Valley that any of them have ever seen.

They camp there for two days and later it was called as Valley of Flowers.

Management of the Park

The Park is maintained by Uttrakhand State Forest Department and the National Ministry of Environment and Forests, India. They manage the trek from Ghangaria to Valley of Flowers as there are few spots where landslides occur during the monsoon season. It rains almost daily during the monsoon season and the forest officials trek along with other trekkers early in the morning to repair the trek if it is spoiled by overnight rain. They are also responsible to sell entry tickets, keep records of all persons entering valley and ensure that they all get out of the valley in the evening by 5.00 p.m.

Location of Valley of Flowers

Valley of Flowers National Park is located in Chamoli District of Garhwal region in the State of Uttrakhand in India. It is air to air distance of 6 kilometers from Badrinath. It is 550 kilometers (340 Miles) from New Delhi and 325 kilometers (200 Miles) from Haridwar. The last motorable destination towards Valley of Flowers is Govindghat. (Put google earth pic.) Its altitude varies from 10500 feet (3200 meter) to 21900 feet (6675 meter) above sea level.

How to reach Valley of Flowers

Reaching Valley of Flowers requires you to reach Haridwar first. To reach Haridwar the nearest airport is Dehradun. You can also reach Haridwar by train or bus from New Delhi or other parts of India. From Haridwar it takes around 10-12 hours by road to reach Govindghat. Govindghat is the last motorable point on our trip to Valley of Flowers. Next day from Govindghat you need to trek for 14 kilometers (8.7 Miles) to reach Ghangaria. The trek is narrow but well defined. Ghangaria is the base camp for Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib Trek. It takes approximately 6-10 hours to reach by trekking from Govindghat to Ghangaria. You can also hire a pony or may take helicopter from Govindghat to Ghangaria but flying of helicopter totally depends upon weather conditions. By Pony it takes only 4 hours and by helicopter only 3 minutes. The official starting point of Valley is another 3 kilometers from Ghangaria but the entry gate is only 500 meters away. Ghangaria is the place where you will find basic hotels and some food junctions. You can also find some other shops like woolen cloths, trekking sticks, PCO booths to make telephone calls (Your cell phone will not work here).

Best time to visit Valley of Flowers

Valley of Flowers is accessible only from June to September and remains snow clad for rest of the year. In the month of June Valley of Flowers is not at its peak beauty as far as flowers concerned as the plants are very young and only few of them has flowers. Moreover, being holiday season in India and the only non-monsoon month of the four accessible months, Ghangaria is overcrowded by Sikh pilgrims visiting Hemkund Sahib. During this month the trek between Govindghat and Ghangaria will be full of ponies, porters and people. Also it is very difficult to get a room in Ghangaria, cost will also be higher.

By July first week monsoon breaks in the area and many flowers start blooming and most of the glaciers melt by 20th July. From 20th July to 10th August is the peak time for flowers. This is the time when you can see maximum number of flowers in terms of number as well as variety of flowers. During this time Geraniums and Impatiens Sulcata paint the valley in pink and purple color. After 10th August the number of flowers starts reducing. In month of September the number reduces significantly and you will see more seeds (berries) then flowers. By end of September most of the plants get matured and ready to be buried under snow in the upcoming winter season.

The best time to visit would be 20th July to 10th August, if you want to see maximum number of flowers.

Valley of Flowers Opening and Closing dates

Valley of Flowers opens 1st June every year and closes on 4th October. This is the time when Valley is accessible and rest of the period it is snow clad.

Valley of Flowers opening hours

To protect the natural beauty of valley it is not allowed to stay overnight in the valley. You are allowed to access Valley of Flowers in day light hours that is from 7.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. The first entry is allowed at 7.00 a.m. and you can enter up to 2.00 p.m. in the valley but you need to get out of entry gate before 5.00 p.m. Forest officials stationed at the entry gate keep full record of the people going to the valley. There may be a fine for late exit from the valley.

Valley of Flowers Entry Fee

Entry fee depends upon whether you are an Indian or a foreigner. For an Indian its Rs. 150 and for a foreigner Rs. 600 (approx. $12) for a three day pass to the valley. Charges for an additional day for and Indian is Rs. 50 and for a foreigner it is 250. Carrying a still camera is free it respective of its quality as professional or non professional. Taking a non professional video camera is also free. To take professional video camera Indian needs to pay Rs. 500 and foreigners Rs. 1500. To make a feature film Indian need to pay Rs. 1,00,000 and foreigners Rs. 2,00,000 per day. Other charges are also explained below :

Sr. No. Desciption Indian (in Rupees) Foreigner (in Rupees)
1. Entrance Fee (in Rs.) Per Head for first Three Days 150 600
  For additional each day 50 250
2. Camera Fee    
  Still Camera (Non-Professional) Free Free
  Still Camera (Professional) Free Free
  Movie-Video (Non-Professional) Free Free
  Movie-Video (Professional) 500 1,500
3. Filming Charges    
  Feature Film Per Day 100,000 200,000
  Documentry Film Per Day 10,000 30,000
4. Securit for above    
  Feature Film Per Day 100,000 200,000
  Documentry Film Per Day 50,000 100,000

We also organize trekking tours to the Valley of Flowers to know the fix departures of 2013 kindly visit our upcoming trips page.

Other places that can be covered along with Valley of Flowers

You can cover Badrinath which is only 25 kilometers (15 miles) from Govindghat and Mana village which is another 5 kilometers (3 miles) from Badrinath. Mana is a beautiful and small village in which you can see the starting point of Saraswati River which is very beautiful scene to watch. There are other Hindu mythological points in Mana village. It is believed that Pandavas while going to heaven passed by this village and when Draupadi could not cross the Saraswati River, Bhim put a huge rock to make a bridge over the river. This rock is still lying there (see in the picture).

Hemkund Sahib is also a must visit along with Valley of Flowers as there are many flowers which are available at Hemkund Sahib and not at Valley of Flowers. Such flowers include Susarraies, Acconitum-2. Blue Poppy is available in Valley of Flowers but you can see big colonies at Hemkund.

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Valley of Flowers Departures 2018

  • Sunday, June 17, 2018
  • Sunday, June 24, 2018
  • Saturday, June 30, 2018
  • Sunday, July 01, 2018
  • Saturday, July 07, 2018
  • Sunday, July 08, 2018
  • Saturday, July 14, 2018
  • Sunday, July 15, 2018
  • Saturday, July 21, 2018
  • Sunday, July 22, 2018
  • Saturday, July 28, 2018
  • Sunday, July 29, 2018
  • Saturday, August 04, 2018
  • Sunday, August 05, 2018
  • Saturday, August 11, 2018
  • Sunday, August 12, 2018
  • Saturday, August 18, 2018
  • Sunday, August 19, 2018
  • Saturday, August 25, 2018
  • Sunday, September 02, 2018
  • Sunday, September 09, 2018
  • Sunday, September 16, 2018
  • Sunday, September 23, 2018

The above departures of July and August month have an extra day for Valley of flowers Click here to know why you need an extra day in the valley of flowers.

Exclusive Pictures of Valley of Flowers taken in 2015

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