NOMADIC
ADVENTURES

HEMKUND AND VALLEY OF FLOWERS

The Valley of Flowers trek will start a little beyond Joshimath at a pilgrim village called Govind Ghat.

Hemkund and the Flower Valley

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Valley of Flowers is considered a moderate trek but the climb to Hemkund will really challenge you. . In 6 km you gain almost 4,000 ft to 4,632m. The valley was first discovered accidentally by a group of mountaineers in 1931 who were returning from an expedition to Mount Kamet. Frank Smythe, Eric Shipton and RL Holdsworth were a part of this team. There are about 500 varieties of flowers that are found here and some of them even have medicinal properties.

The trek of Valley of flowers goes through dense forests and is one of the most beautiful Himalayan treks. The Valley of Flowers trek will start a little beyond Joshimath at a pilgrim village called Govind Ghat. 

The valley itself is about 2km wide and 8 km long and the best time to visit is between July to mid of September. 

As it is post-monsoon, the temperature doesn’t dip too much. On average, the day temperature swings between 5 - 10 degree Celsius and in the night goes maximum between 0 - 5 degree Celsius. And you can expect moderate rainfall even while trekking and the valley usually has a thick cloud cover. The most difficult part of the trek is the climb to Hemkund Sahib on the last day where we cover an altitude of about 4,300 ft in a day and that can be a bit strenuous. 

The Gurudwara inhabits a beautiful crystal clear lake that is snow-fed by the glaciers sitting on the sides and in the backdrop.

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Hemkund and Valley of Flowers Overview

Day 1 : Arrive Delhi and overnight in a Hotel . 
Day 2 : Delhi- Morning Train to Haridwar – Pipalkoti (220kms.; 7 hrs.) 
Day 3 : Pipalkoti to Govindghat - Ghangharia (1828 mts./54 kms.; 13 Km trek.) : 
Day 4: Day visit to Valley of Flowers : 
Day 5: Day visit to Valley of Flowers : Another day to explore Valley of Flowers. 
Day 6: Gangharia - Hemkund - Gangharia (4329 mts./6 kms.; 4 hrs 1 way) 
Day 7: Gangharia to Govindghat and back to Joshimath - Rudraprayag 
Day 8 : Rudraprayag – Haridwar -
Day 9 :  Haridwar - Delhi 
Day 10 : Depart Delhi/Extend your stay  

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VALLEY OF FLOWERS ITINERARY

Day 1 : Arrive Delhi and overnight in a Hotel .

Arrive to Delhi and transfer to the hotel

 Day 2 : Delhi- Morning Train to Haridwar – Pipalkoti (220kms.; 7 hrs.) 

We will meet you at the hotel and transfer to the railway station to board the morning train (12017)  from Delhi Railway Station to Haridwar. Arrive 11h25am. Drive from Haridwar to Joshimath/ Peepalkot: The drive is across some of the most scenic valley and rivers in the Garhwal Himalaya. The well laid out mountain road winds itself past some of the popular towns and villages of this region such as Rishikesh, Deoprayag, Shrinagar Rudraprayag, Karnprayag, Nandprayag, Chamoli and Pipalkoti.  Overnight stay is in a rest house / three star hotel.

 Day 3 : Pipalkoti to Govindghat - Ghangharia (1828 mts./54 kms.; 13 Km trek.) :

A  two hour drive via Joshimath along the Alaknanda river brings us to Govindghat. From here our trek starts. On a given day there are hundreds of Sikh pilgrims headed for the Shrine at Hemkund, and alighting from our jeeps we join this joyous group heading up to Ghangaria. The ascending mule track climbs past terraced fields and vegetation to the hamlet of Pulna (3 km). From here the trail is a little wilder and denser forested, with occasional glimpses of snow peaks. The 7 kms. from Pulna to Bhyundar Village is are a steady ascent and the altitude is moderate. Shortly after Bhyundar, the trail crosses the Laxman Ganga, across a bridge elevated by giant boulders. The trail is steeper now but Ghangaria is only 3 km. away. Our campsite is beyond Gangharia in a relatively isolated area.

 Day 4: Day visit to Valley of Flowers :

Current Government regulations do not permit any camping within the notified area of the valley and entry to the valley is restricted to permit holders only. The trail is well defined and is a delightful ramble as it climbs gently through a coniferous forest, before descending to a bridge, and check-post that mark the official entry to the Valley of Flowers. Climbing up a rocky trail, with the forest behind us, the first flowers begin to appear.

Every morning after breakfast, you are escorted into this garden of Eden to explore different cross sections of the Bhyundar Valley. Packed lunches, flasks full of hot beverages as well as assorted refreshments would also be arranged. By evening the group would be escorted back to our base camp at Gangharia where dinner would be served after a round of refreshments.

 Day 5: Day visit to Valley of Flowers :  Another day to explore Valley of Flowers.

 Day 6: Gangharia - Hemkund - Gangharia (4329 mts./6 kms.; 4 hrs 1 way) 

Hemkund is a special place and a 'must see'. Situated at a height of 4329m, the place has a lake on whose banks are a Lakshman Temple and a Gurudwara of Guru Govind Singh. Guru Govind Singh is revered by Sikhs, Hindus and others and over the years Hemkund has acquired international acclaim.

 Day 7: Gangharia to Govindghat and back to Joshimath - Rudraprayag 

We follow the same track and return to Govindghat, where we board a waiting jeep that drives us to Joshimath. Further drive to Karanprayag and Rudraprayag. Overnight stay in Hotel / Tourist Bungalow. Day 8 : Rudraprayag – Haridwar - After breakfast start the journey for Haridwar. Reach Haridwar,and check into a Hotel. Evening free to see the city, and watch the Ganga Aaarti.

This day  is also our buffer day - in case of any road holdup/landslide etc , if we lose a  day, this day will help us.

Day 9 :  Haridwar - Delhi

Checkout early from the Hotel and board 12056  Dehradun - New Delhi Jan Shatabdi Express departing 06:30, arriving NDLS at 11h15

Arrival and transfer to hotel at Delhi.  Overnight

 Day 10 : Depart Delhi/Extend your stay

Transfer to the airport for your flight home

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Valley of Flowers Frequently Asked Questions

What is Hemkund Sahib famous for?

Hemkund Sahib, formally known as Gurudwara Sri Hemkund Sahib is a highly-revered pilgrimage site for the Sikh community. It is believed that Guru Gobind Singh ji, the tenth guru of the Sikhs, spent 10 years in meditation here.

What is unique about the Valley of Flowers?

The valley is known for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers and the variety of flora. This richly diverse area is also home to rare and endangered animals, including the Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, musk deer, brown bear, red fox and blue sheep. 

What are the best months to do the valley of flowers trek?

The Valley of Flowers officially opens up in June (dates defer each year depending on snowfall and other factors). This trek showcases a different side of nature every month making all the months between June – September equally beautiful.  

    • June – Since this is the opening month, you can expect to see some amount of snow on the trail to both Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib
    • July – This is when the monsoons hit the country, however, you may not get to see a lot of flowers until mid-July but the lush green valley will leave you captivated, nevertheless. Also, July is one of the least crowded months on this trail. 
    • August –  August is when you see the valley carpeted in flowers, if you are a nature enthusiast or a photographer, then this is when you should trek to the Valley of Flowers. There will be slight rains in August but the misty Himalayas just make the experience twice as good. 
    • September – You can expect to see a lot fewer flowers in September than in the other months, but what is interesting is that the skies clear up in September, giving you perfect views of the mountains and the trail. Also, the trail may be more crowded during this month owing to the pilgrims trekking up to Gurudwara Sri Hemkund Sahib. 
What accommodation is there in Ghangria?

Ghangharia is a base camp for the Valley of flowers, and as there is limited time access allowed for the area, business is seasonal, so there is a scarcity of good hotel chains. One should not expect luxury at the route at all.   At present, there are around 20-30 private hotels with few camps and a GMVN rest house

What kind of flowers do we get to see in the Valley of flowers?

The Valley of Flowers is endowed with 520 species of high altitude plants including angiosperms, gymnosperms, and pteridophytes, of which 498 are flowering plants.

Flowers that carpet the Valley of Flowers include Orchids, Poppies, Primilas, Marigold, Daisies, Geranium, Petunia, Sediams, Lilies, Calendula, Zinnia, and several others.

Is there any restrictions on the number of persons for the trek?

For the actual trek, no. However, as is, per the Govt’s order dated on 16th March 2017, only 300 visitors are allowed to enter the actual Valley of each day.


Do we need travel insurance?

Yes you do. We do not recommend travelling without it and require it for our tours. Accidents, medical emergencies, travel delays or other problems can occur in any country and the resulting costs can be significant. Here is  a link if you do not already have your own preferred provider.