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A Complete Tour Guide To Valley of Flowers Hill Station

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Valley of Flowers is a beautiful hill station located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand in India. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is famous for its picturesque landscapes, diverse flora, and fauna. The valley is situated at an altitude of 3,658 meters above sea level and is open to tourists from May to October. This article is a complete guide to the Valley of Flowers hill station, including its history, how to get there, best time to visit, things to do, and places to stay.

History of Valley of Flowers

Valley of Flowers has a rich history dating back to the ancient Hindu mythology. It is believed that the valley was the meditating ground of the sage Narada, who was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. The valley is also associated with the epic Ramayana, where it is mentioned as the place where Lord Hanuman found the rare herb Sanjivani to heal Lord Rama’s brother, Lakshmana. In 1931, Frank Smythe, a British mountaineer, accidentally discovered the valley while returning from his successful Kamet expedition. Later, in 1982, the Indian government declared the valley a national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

How to Reach Valley of Flowers

The nearest airport to Valley of Flowers is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is approximately 310 km away. The nearest railway station is Rishikesh, which is about 290 km away. From these points, one can take a taxi or a bus to reach Joshimath, the basecamp of Valley of Flowers. From Joshimath, one has to trek for 16 km to reach Ghangaria, the gateway to the valley. Pony and helicopter services are also available from Govindghat to Ghangaria.

Best Time to Visit Valley of Flowers

The best time to visit Valley of Flowers is from mid-July to mid-August, when the valley is in full bloom. During this period, the entire valley is covered with a carpet of colorful flowers, which is a treat to the eyes. The weather during this time is pleasant, and the temperature ranges between 15°C to 22°C. However, it is advised to avoid the monsoon season as the trekking trail can be slippery and risky.

Trekking in Valley of Flowers

Trekking is the most popular activity in Valley of Flowers. The trek from Ghangaria to Valley of Flowers is 3.7 km long and takes about 2-3 hours to complete. The trail is well-defined and easy to navigate. The trek offers spectacular views of the surrounding hills, waterfalls, and the Pushpawati river. There is a nominal entry fee to enter the valley, and it is open from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Exploring the Flora and Fauna

Valley of Flowers is known for its rich biodiversity and is home to many rare and endangered species of flora and fauna. The valley has over 500 species of plants, including Himalayan bellflower, Himalayan cobra lily, Himalayan blue poppy, and Himalayan white birch. The valley is also home to many rare and endangered animal species, such as the Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, musk deer, and blue sheep. The valley is a paradise for nature lovers, bird watchers, and wildlife enthusiasts.

Places to Stay in Valley of Flowers

The best place to stay in Valley of Flowers is Ghangaria, which is the basecamp for the trek. Ghangaria offers a range of accommodation options, including budget hotels, lodges, and homestays. The rooms are basic but clean and comfortable, with most of them offering a view of the surrounding hills. Camping is also allowed in the valley with proper permission from the forest department.

Essentials to Carry

As Valley of Flowers is located at a high altitude, it is essential to carry warm clothes, including a jacket, thermals, and gloves, even during the summer months. Trekking shoes, a raincoat, a backpack, and a water bottle are other essentials to carry. It is also advisable to carry a first-aid kit, sunscreen lotion, and insect repellent.

Precautions to Take

Valley of Flowers is a high-altitude trek, and it is essential to acclimatize before starting the trek. It is also advisable to carry a small oxygen cylinder in case of an emergency. The trek is not suitable for people with heart ailments, asthma, or any other respiratory issues. It is also important to respect the local culture and not to litter in the valley.

Other Attractions near Valley of Flowers

Apart from Valley of Flowers, there are several other attractions near the hill station, including Hemkund Sahib, a Sikh shrine located at an altitude of 4,632 meters, and the Badrinath Temple, one of the four sacred shrines in Hinduism. The Auli Ski Resort, located about 30 km from Joshimath, is also a popular tourist destination.

Local Culture and Cuisines

Valley of Flowers is located in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand and is predominantly inhabited by the Garhwalis. The local culture is a mix of Hindu and Buddhist traditions. The local cuisine is simple and nutritious, with the staple food being rice, dal, and roti. The cuisine also includes local delicacies such as kachmauli, a dish made from goat meat and flour, and phaanu, a lentil-based curry.

Photography Tips

Valley of Flowers is a paradise for nature lovers and photographers alike. It is advisable to carry a good camera with a wide-angle lens to capture the panoramic views of the valley. It is also essential to carry extra batteries and memory cards, as there are no charging facilities available in the valley. It is advisable to shoot during the early morning or late evening when the light is soft and adds an ethereal quality to the photographs.

Conclusion

Valley of Flowers is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves nature and adventure. The valley offers a unique experience, with its breathtaking views, diverse flora, and fauna, and a glimpse into the local culture. With proper planning and preparation, a trek to Valley of Flowers can be an unforgettable experience.

FAQs

  1. Is Valley of Flowers open throughout the year? No, Valley of Flowers is open to tourists only from May to October.
  2. Is there any accommodation available inside the valley? No, there is no accommodation available inside the valley. The nearest place to stay is Ghangaria.
  3. Are there any medical facilities available in the valley? No, there are no medical facilities available in the valley. It is advisable to carry a basic first-aid kit and any necessary medication.
  1. Is it possible to visit Valley of Flowers on a day trip? No, it is not possible to visit Valley of Flowers on a day trip. The trek to the valley takes a minimum of two days.
  2. What is the best time to visit Valley of Flowers? The best time to visit Valley of Flowers is from mid-July to mid-August, when the valley is in full bloom.
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Upendra Yadav is a seasoned Data Analyst with a passion for exploring new places and immersing himself in different cultures. With a curious mind and an eye for detail, Upendra delves deep into the history, people, and cuisine of the places he visits, and brings his experiences to life through his writing.. His work has been featured in various travel blogs, where he shares his insights and recommendations for fellow explorers. Through his writing, Upendra aims to inspire others to venture beyond their comfort zones and discover the hidden gems of the world. When he's not analyzing data or traveling to new destinations, Upendra can be found indulging in his other hobbies, such as photography and trying out new recipes. He is currently working on his next travelogue, where he hopes to take his readers on a journey to even more exciting and lesser-known destinations.