Valley of Flowers National Park

At a height of nearly 13,000 feet in Garhwal hills of Western Himalayas lies the valley of flowers famous for its colourful pastures of alpine flowers and clear streams set against snowy mountain peaks. The smoothness and flowery calmness of the fairyland kind of valley makes a wonderful contrast against some of the other places to see in India. The Valley of Flowers National Park has been part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves since 2004.

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Flora and fauna of the Valley of Flowers

Every year, thousands of tourists flock to the Valley of Flowers (located in Uttarakhand state) to have a glimpse of its beautiful diverse landscape and catch a sight of some of the rare and endangered species of animals. Some of these tourists are not only nature enthusiasts, but also some ardent trekkers and even botanists.

The Valley of Flowers is habitat to animals like the Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, brown bear and blue sheep; and rare distinguished flowers like the Brahma Kamal (a flowering plant native to the Himalayas), the Blue Poppy and the Cobra Lily. There are various species of butterflies with colors that can equally match the hues of the flowers.

The Valley of Flowers
The Valley of Flowers

List of some of the animals that can be sighted in the valley:

• Black bear
• Brown bear
• Snow leopard
• Bharal (Himalayan blue sheep)
• Red Fox
• Common langur (monkeys native to India)
• Tahr (an animal related to the wild goat)
• Mouse hare
• Serow (goat-like or antelope-like mammals)

Some common birds of the valley of flowers:

• Snow Pigeon
• Himalayan Golden Eagle
• Himalayan Monal
• Snow Partridge
• Himalayan Snow cock
• Sparrow Hawk
• Griffon Vulture

Flowers at the Valley of flowers
Flowers at the Valley of Flowers

The meadows are filled with orchids, poppies, marigold, daisies, primulas and anemones of nearly 520 species of which 498 are flowering plants. The valley is also home to various medicinal herbs. The flowers in the valley bloom in different hues that give out great aroma of spectacular floral scent. You just have to stand there to sense it. Adding to the beauty and amazement is the changing shades of floral splendor as the day progresses; which gives the impression of being something out of the world. The forests of the valley are dense with trees with oak, blue pine and other conifers.No wonder, the locals believe it to be a divine playground, where nymphs and fairies have fun.

Himalayan bell flower
Himalayan bell flower

The glaciers are main source for various streams flowing through the valley. The most important is the Pushpawati River that emerges from the glacial deposits around Rataban and Nilgiri ranges. The river flows through the valley and divides it into two sections of which the right bank is widely used for trekking. Most of the streams which irrigate the valley merge with the River Pushpawati.

Religious significance

The famous legend of the place states that this is the place from where Hanuman came to locate the Sanjeevini herb to save Lakshmana, Rama’s younger brother from dying. In addition, Guru Govind Singh (tenth Guru of the Sikhs) used to meditate at the Hemkund Lake close to the valley hence the place serves as a pilgrimage site for Both Hindus and Sikhs.

The birch tree of Bhojpatra is found on higher levels in the surrounding mountains. This tree has special place in India, as it was used to write scriptures by Indian sadhus (holy men).

Trekking at the valley of flowers

The magnificent Valley of Flowers has been a major attraction for trekkers from all over world. In fact, its paradise for those who love the outdoors, they will love feasting their senses with beautiful colors, exotic floral scents and clean mountain breeze.

The trek for reaching the valley begins at Govind Ghat and ends at village of Ghangaria, which is nearly 14 km long. This particular trek is full of bliss as the travelers can see spectacular scenic beauty at its undisturbed best. It is decorated by wild flowers, waterfalls, springs, rocky boulders and in between glimpses of snow capped peaks. Ghanghria serves as the base camp for most of the treks undertaken for Valley of Flowers.

On the trek to the Valley of Flowers
On the trek to the Valley of Flowers

When to Visit

After lying dormant under a blanket of snow through the winter; the Valley of Flowers begins to show signs of life in the month of April, when the snow starts melting. As the summer progresses, the valley gets bombarded by a myriad of colors ranging from white, French blue, violet, yellow, pink, red and purple. The spreading of growth and scent of plant life continues till the end of August. By September, it begins to calm down and the colors begin to fade, leaving the valley behind in shades of brown. The meadows at the valley can also be seen best during the end of the monsoon season.

Getting There

For those starting the trip to Valley of Flowers from Delhi; the best option is to pass through Rishikesh, Joshimath before ending at Govind Ghat for the Char Dham Yatra. From there, you will have to trek for nearly 14 km from Govind Ghat to Ghangaria, which is a tough but a very rewarding experience. One can also take a helicopter ride to Ghangaria. From the base camp Ghangaria, the Valley of Flowers is a 3 km climb. Trekkers are allowed to go there daily but they have to come back the same day as camping at the Valley of Flowers is not allowed for preservation purposes.

The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport (Dehradun Airport) at Dehradun, about 300 km from for the valley. From there, you must travel by road to Joshimath then to Govind Ghat. From there as mentioned earlier, it is a 14 km trek to Ghangaria. There are tourist guest houses, resorts and hotels at Ghangaria to stay the night. There are both government and privately operated tours to the valley. Privately operated tours can be arranged by the hotels.

Town of Govind Ghat (Govindghat)
Town of Govind Ghat (Govindghat)

It’s not easy to get there and it’s not for everyone. It will depend if you have done trekking before and on your level of fitness. If you love trekking, walking, nature, or you are an ecologist or botanist, the Valley of Flowers is for you.

56 thoughts on “Valley of Flowers National Park”

  1. Hi Shalu jee

    Amazing share!

    I would definitely want to visit this place for my special liking for flowers. I’ve been till Rishikesh but didn’t knew about this one.

    I think this can be easily managed from Delhi.

    Thanks for this great share.


  2. Awesome Shalu!

    I for one love flowers, and would be the first one to get lost in such a place. 🙂

    Though I’ve been to Hemkunt Sahib, but that was a very short and rushed trip and we missed out on seeing this valley of flowers, though your post transported us right there – among the beautiful orchids and other blooms! More so, if you have treks around such places, it makes your trip all the more worthwhile. A place bookmarked to be seen now. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing and telling us all the details about how we can reach there, and how worthwhile it will be. 🙂

    • Thank you Harleena
      Most of the flowers at the Valley of Flowers are flowering ones. Hemkund Sahib is nearby, if you visit it again, do make it a point to visit the valley as well. But mind you, trekking might be required. Thank you for your comment and shares. Best wishes.

  3. Shalu you are right with When to Visit valley of flowers national park. I also understand monsoon season is best time to visit & enjoy this national park. Lot of people don’t wanna go in summer & winter time but monsoon time is best to visit.

  4. Thanks for sharing about this beautiful place. Tourists always love to visit some beautiful cold places after they visit Rajathan and I always in search to recommends the best places where they will enjoy the beauty of nature. Next time I will suggest my tourists for this one too. Hope they not only appreciate my suggestion but surely love to visit this place once more.

  5. I imagine a visit to the Valley of Flowers almost resembles a trip toward the Pearly Gates. This is one of the world’s most beautiful and well-preserved natural ecosystems. I’ve heard of the Valley of Flowers before but I just thought it’s a myth, like a place in some Indian tales. But it’s beautiful, and real.

  6. hey shalu its a great Post about vally of flower,and Pic’s are too good.actually i am from uttrakhand ,,i am glad that you had pick this beautiful Place from uttrakhnad to write your Post.and thanxx for introducing vally of flowers to world.,,vally of flower is heaven on the earth.

  7. The pictures are so lovely. Flowers are indeed the most adorable thing in this world. This post holds great importance for me, as I was not even aware about the Valley of flowers. The picture speaks volumes about its beauty. I will surely plan out a trip to this amazing place. Thanks for the share.

  8. I imagine a visit to the Valley of Flowers almost resembles a trip toward the Pearly Gates. This is one of the world’s most beautiful and well-preserved natural ecosystems.

  9. This place looks like a very great destination to visit. I’m more drawn to natural scenery rather than big cities to visit. This is one of the ways in which I can greatly appreciate the beauty of the world we live in.

  10. The Valley of Flowers is simply breath-taking. Call me a silly dream boat but I love flowers and I think the best way to enjoy a stroll to the national park is by rolling by the steep slope and be coated in dandelions.

  11. Hi,

    What a great article I am searching in Google from so many days about “The product description you write will need to have the following” but didn’t find any good article,but now my search came to an end after visiting on your blog.!!!if you have any more related articles or ideas related to “The product description you write will need to have the following”,so please forward me on my mail…Will keep following your articles…

    Thanks for share with me!!

  12. Amazing share. This place reminds me of KungFu Panda where Master Shifu attained Enlightenment. Wonder how it would feel to be in front of such majestic view.

  13. I live in uttarakhand and this is such a nice post about valley of flower.This year the disaster hit the tourism of uttarakhand and markets seems to be very less no.of tourist But we hope for the best that the day will come again when all the streets of market filled with the tourist.Come Uttarakhand to see the real beauties of nature.
    Thanks a lot for this post about uttarakhand..

  14. Hi Shalu,
    Good to be here.
    A very informative and wonderful guide for the travelers as well as all who wants to know more
    about my lovely nation.
    I am preserving it for my further reference.
    Keep inform
    Best Regards

  15. Nice Post. Actually Natural Beauty is Really Nice. I Love Natural Beauty very Much. I think India is Queen of Natural Beauty. Thank you very much for Sharing.

  16. I also love the flower and really like your things and writings.
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