Duration: 6 Days | Altitude: 4632m | Grade: Easy to Moderate | Region: Uttarakhand
The virtual paradise on earth – Valley of Flowers is spread in the span of 87 sq. km in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, India. Set in the backdrop of majestic Himalayas, this paradise on earth was unknown to the world until the great mountaineer Frank S Smith discovered this jewel of mother earth in 1931.
Situated in the convergent point of Himalayan range Zaskar and the Eastern Himalayas, this fairyland is protected and bounded by snow clad mountain from all around. Glittering glaciers and Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara add many folds to the beauty of this fairyland in the Himalayas and make it worth a visit among nature lovers.
This paradise on earth remains closed during the winter season due to heavy snowfall and starts to bloom with the onset of the summer season. The valley welcomes monsoon rain and the entire region glistens with flowers and it seems as if Mother Nature has spread the welcome carpet to receive the God of rain.
Cascading waterfalls, small and milky streams, white peaks and glaciers and above all, meadows bloomed with the bouquet of endemic alpine flowers are all that await the eyes of the visitor to appreciate the beauty of nature when it is at its peak. Some of the flowers which bloom here are Cipro, Nepolysis, Saxifrages, Sediams, Pontitala, Geranium, Lilies, Poppy, Calendula, Daisies, Dianthus, Turmopsis, Primula, Holly, Pansy, Zinnia, Petunia, Fox, Coreopsis etc
Reach either at Haridwar or Rishikesh, and the journey begins here. Drive alongside river Ganges along with mesmerizing views this drive has to offer. En-route we will pass by the holy town of Devprayag, where the confluence (Sangam) of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers forms the holy river, Ganga. Drive to Auli from Rishikesh is around 263 km which will take about 9 – 10 hrs.
On arrival, check into cottages with views of the 'Sleeping Beauty' Mountain.
Overnight at the cottages
Early morning post breakfast, we will drive to Pulna. The trek starts from this point. While on the trek you will pass through a few villages, dense forests, gushing rivers. And if luck is on our side we could see some wild animals and birds as well.
On arrival, check-in at the hotel, have lunch and head-out for local sightseeing. Here, we will be staying overnight.
(Ghangharia is the transit point for the trek to Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib, as pitching tents is not allowed beyond this point, therefore, Ghangharia is the place where one needs to come back every day after visiting these places)
The day you long waited for is here. After breakfast, with our packed lunch we will set the gyro towards Valley Of Flowers (3858 m).
Enchanting sight with an impressive array of rare wildflowers like Geranium, Marsh Marigold, Pedicularis, Arisaema, Morina, Primula, Potentilla, Geum, Asters, Lilium, Ranunculus, Corydalis, Saxifrages, Sibbaldia, Thermopsis, Trollius, Inula, Braham Kamal, Campanula, Impatiens, Bistorta, Ligularia, Anaphalis, Codonopsis, Dactylorhiza, Cypripedium, Strawberry, Epilobium, Rhododendrons and numerous others are a real treat to the eyes.
An interesting point to note here is that most of these flowers have medicinal value and many research works are being conducted by various agencies.
Valley of flowers is stretched across 30 sq.km long with Pushpawati stream, into which several tiny streams and waterfalls merge.
After visiting the valley we head back to the hotel in Ghangharia. Dinner and overnight night stay at the hotel.
Spirituality has its own virtue and when it is received at such divine heights, it is priceless. Today after breakfast we will trek to Hemkund Sahib (4329 m) from base camp. Relatively a steep climb, you will witness the place where, as per Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the 10th Guru of Sikhism, Shri Govind Singh Ji meditated in his previous life.
This place is surrounded by seven peaks, famously known as Hemkund Sahib, each adorned by a Nishan Sahib on its cliff. It is open to the devotees, from 1st week of June every year.
In the evening we will trek back to Ghangharia. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel
Today after a hearty breakfast we will head back and trek down to Pulna. Later, drive towards Auli.
Overnight stay at Auli.
Today footprints are the only marks we shall leave in Devbhoomi, taking back memories of the dreamland.
We shall make our move to Rishikesh for our onward journey