The valley of flowers is a world heritage site and is part of the famous Nanda Devi Biosphere. This national park in the far interiors of Garhwal Himalayas (Uttarakhand) is spread over 87.5 sq. Kms. This hidden jewel is a truly unique habitat, home to many endemic varieties of alpine flowers and plants. This valley is at an altitude of 3250 m and above. This region also plays home to many rare & endangered species of animals like Asiatic black bear, brown bear, snow leopard, blue sheep and more.
We offer a very special & flexible itinerary not seen before where people are going to get the option of spending many more extra hours inside and around the valley. Our trip will have you walking large parts of the valley and climb up to a beautiful vantage point to observe the colossal beauty of this natural wonder. We will also explore higher reaches around the valley and retrace the steps of Frank Smythe, the legendary mountaineer who discovered this valley by chance while coming down after a successful summit of Mt. Kamet IN 1931.
A great feature of this itinerary is the flexibility to do your own thing in spite of being in a small group. You will get to decide how much you want to explore the valley and also if you want to trek to Hemkund Sahib, which from a trekkers point of view is not an ideal trail because of the number of people on it. Also as part of the itinerary you get to stay in a spectacularly located lodge at Auli and also visit the revered Badrinath temple. To make this trek comfortable for a wider audience we have set up a beautiful & very comfortable campsite at Ghangria, away from the crammed Ghangria market. This will be your base for explorations into the valley.
The trek is undertaken during June to September months as this is the time when the valley is accessible. The bloom starts immediately after the melting of snow. Different flowers bloom in different months but the peak blooming period is from mid July to mid August. Almost 300 species of wild flowers bloom here unhindered by mankind. The prominent species are Brahmakamal, Blue Poppy, Cobra Lily Anemone, Geranium, Marsh Marigold & Prinula. Also the valley has to offer much more than flowers. There are waterfalls, glaciers, towering mountains, big rivers and quaint villages.
Day 01: Haridwar to Himalayan Eco Lodge at Auli (2450 m) – Drive/280 kms/8-9 hrs
We will meet at Haridwar railway station at 7 a.m and from here board a vehicle (arranged by us) and be driven up to Auli. This is a long but interesting drive. You will for most part of the journey drive along the Ganga & Alaknanda rivers. Evening relax at the beautiful lodge set up in an apple orchard. Overnight in H.E.L, Auli.)
Day 02: Auli Lodge(2450 m) drive to Govindghat and then trek to Ghangria (3050m) – drive/1 hr & trek 4/5 hrs
Early morning drive for about an hour or so to reach Govindghat, our starting point for the trek. We start the trek by crossing the river Alaknanda over a bridge at Govindghat and from there walking towards the Bhyundar valley through forest area and a few villages. There are numerous waterfalls and absolutely lush green landscape all around. The gradient of the trail is moderate. The 14 kms trek to reach Ghangria takes about 4-5 hrs, one can also hire a mule or use the helicopter service to reach Ghangria. Overnight in GIO’s Camp Valley of Flowers, Ghangharia.
Day 03: Choose from one of the options
Option 1: Ghangria (3050 m) to VOF (3600 m) & back to Ghangria (3050 m) – trek 4/5 hrs.THIS OPTION IS FOR PEOPLEWANTING TO HAVE A LEISURELY TREK TO VOF
It’s a delightful and short ascent to the valley. Gradient is moderate and the landscape extremely soothing to the eye. It will take about a couple of hours to reach the valley. The beauty of this world renowned valley totally lives up to its reputation. There are unending meadows laden with varieties of alpine flowers, network of streams and big mountains all around. We will spend 3-4 hrs exploring different corners & vantage points of the valley and towards late afternoon head back to the camp at Ghangria.
Option 2: Ghangria (3050 m) to VOF & Tiprakhal (4050m) & back to Ghangria (3050 m) – trek 8/9 hrs.THIS OPTION IS FOR THE GREEDY MOUNTAIN LOVERS FOR WHOM NOTHING IS ENOUGH AND WHO ALWAYS WAN’T MORE
In this option once we reach valley and spend some time there we will continue with our explorations and climb beyond Tipra Kharak, a beautiful vantage point ahead of the normal visiting area. Tipra Kharak forms the Gateway to the fabled Bhyundar Valley and the Rataban Glacier, from Where Frank Smythe walked into and discovered the Enchanting Valley of Flowers. Relive those moments as you walk every step. Towards late afternoon head back to Ghangria and once at the camp rejoice your adventures of the day with a hot cup of tea. Overnight at the camp
Day 04: Again choose from one of the options
Option 1: Ghangria (3050 m) to Hemkund Sahib (4329 m) & back to Ghangria (3050 m) – trek 6/7 hrs
Today’s climb to Hemkund Sahib is steep at places and will take about 3 – 4 hrs. Hemkund Sahib is a popular Sikh Shrine built next to the beautiful lake. The lake is surrounded by wild flowers with Brahmkamal being the most popular. Pilgrims take a dip in the freezing cold waters of the lake, not an easy task. The hot tea served in the Gurudwara (shrine) is divine to say the least. We will also visit the Laxman mandir next to the Gurudwara. Towards afternoon head back to Ghangria. Overnight in the camp at Ghangharia
Option 2: Do another round of VOF & return to Ghangria – trek/3 hrs
You can do a leisurely hike today and spend more time taking pictures and documenting the flower species
Option 3: Ghangria to Govindghat – trek 3 / 4 hrs & drive to Auli / 1 hr
You can decide to go back to Auli a day earlier and spend one full day (day 5) exploring the area. Around our lodge there are beautiful hikes of 1 – 5 hrs and you could take your pick. Also if in a mood to relax then just laze around in the lodge
Day 05: Ghangria – Govindghat – trek 3-4 hrs & drive to Auli via Badrinath / 3 hrs
Today we trek back to Govindghat and from there drive for about an hour to reach the beautiful temple town of Badrinath. Situated on the banks of holy Alaknanda and with the backdrop of Neelkanth peak, an ancient temple with hot sulphur water pools and crisp and clean air, Badrinath is a wonderful destination to visit. For the spiritually inclined, there can be no better place. Later in the evening we return to Himalayan Eco Lodge, Auli where a hot shower followed by a sumptuous meal awaits us. Overnight in lodges.
Day 06: Auli – Haridwar drive/280 kms 8/9 hrs
After breakfast drive down to Haridwar. Trip ends here