Valley of Flowers

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Valley of Flowers National Park, Uttarakhand, India

Officially, Frank Smythe is credited with discovering the Valley of Flowers in 1931, but in some circles, it is believed that Richard Holdsworth, a botanist member of Smythe's successful Kamet Expedition was the real discoverer of the Valley. Smythe got the information from him and went to see and work on it. Of course, the local people had always known about the Valley, but they would rarely venture into it because of a prevailing superstition that the valley was the abode of fairies and anyone venturing into it alone would be taken away by them.

Frank Smythe camped in the valley for one month to collect material for his book "The Valley of flowers" and took with him seeds for the Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh, Scotland. In furtherance of Smythe's work, Joan Margaret Legge went to the Valley in 1939 to study and collect more flowers. She camped there for a few days and unfortunately lost her life when she slipped from a rock while picking flowers. Later in 1944, her sister visited the Valley and built a small memorial in the shape of a tombstone. As a reminder of the great love she had for the Himalayas, inscribed on her marble tombstone are the following words.

Trekking valley of flowers

Some of the flowers which can be seen in this garden valley are: Pink Primula, Pedicularis, Golden Lily, creamy Anemones, large purple Asters, the rare white Androsace, the blue Borage, the rosy-petalled Cypripedium, blue-Forget me-nuts, green and chequered Fritillaries, pink Geraniums, purple and dwarf Irises, dwarf Larkspurs, the indigo-coloured Nomocharis, blue and yellow Pansies, mauve Polermomiums, the Blue Poppy (Meconopsis)- petals as blue as the ocean, white and red Potentillas, golden lily, dwarf Rhododendrons Primulas in pink and blue and deepest purple, Ranunculus, pink Epilobium and the heavily perfumed Brahma Kamal.

Trip Facts:

Trip length: 6 Days
Grade: Soft
Starts in: Rishikesh
Ends in: Rishikesh
Accommodation: Deluxe Hotel and Tents (on trekking days)
Transportation: Joshimath to Trekking Point and back
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Maximum altitude: 3736 M
Trek length: 3 night / 4 days

Itinerary in Brief

  • 1

    Haridwar/Rishikesh to Joshimath

    Early morning (5:30 am-6:30 am) arrival and pick-up from Haridwar/Rishikesh Railway Station. We start our drive to Joshimath (via Devprayag, Rudraprayag Karanprayag and Nandprayag) in an air-conditioned shared private vehicle. Breakfast and lunch on the way. Reach Joshimath and evening free to relax and acclimatize. Dinner and overnight stay in Joshimath.

    Joshimath is a small town in the Uttarakhand Garhwal hills on the banks of Alaknanda River. This place is very famous for Sankaracharya temple and is also the hub for many mountaineering and trekking expedition in Garhwal Himalayas.

  • 2

    Joshimath to Govindghat (drive) to Ghangharia (trek)

    Post early breakfast, you drive from Joshimath to Govindghat (a small hamlet situated on the confluence of Alaknanda and roaring Laxman Ganga and start point for the fully escorted treak). Govind Ghat to Ghangharia (base village for Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib) is a beautiful trek route with magnificent views and river accompanying you throughout. Hot lunch on the trek route.

    In the late afternoon, arrive at Ghangharia on the banks of Laxman Ganga. Dinner and overnight stay in Ghangria.

  • 3

    Day visit to the Valley of Flowers (Max Altitude 3658 mtr)

    Post breakfast, start our fully escorted trek to Valley of Flowers. The first part of the trek is through thick forest along the Pushpavati river. Later we trek in the open meadows. Arrive and explore the area. Witness several varieties of rare flowers including Blue Poppy, Potentilla, Geranium and hundreds of others. Packed lunch, flasks full of hot beverages as well as assorted refreshments will be arranged. Return to Ghangharia in the evening for dinner and overnight stay.

  • 4

    Day visit to Hemkund Sahib (Max Altitude 4632 mtr)

    Post breakfast today we start our fully escorted trek to Hemkund - internationally acclaimed, one of the finest high latitude lakes in Uttarakhand Himalayas. It is also a place of worship for Sikhs and Hindus. It's an uphill trek to reach Hemkund. See the crystal clear lake with astonishing views of surrounding peaks, visit Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara and Lakshman Temple on the banks of the lake. Return to Ghangharia in the evening for dinner and overnight stay.

  • 5

    Ghangharia to (trek) and Govindghat to Joshimath (Drive)

    Post breakfast, we start our trek back from Ghagharia to Govindghat and then drive to Joshimath. Hot lunch on the trek route. Dinner and overnight stay in Joshimath.

    Note: Time permitting, we will arrange for sightseeing in Joshimath and/or Auli this afternoon.

  • 6

    Joshimath to Haridwar / Rishikesh

    Post early breakfast, we start our drive from Joshimath to Rishikesh in the air-conditioned shared private vehicle. Lunch on the way. Post dinner, drop at Haridwar/Rishikesh Railway station. The trip ends with fond memories. Note: Time permitting, we will arrange for city sightseeing in Haridwar/Rishikesh in the evening.


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