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A Complete Tour Guide To Valley of Flowers Hill Station

If visiting paradise was your idea of a holiday then Valley of Flowers national park cum hill station is the best place for your vacation. The park is located in the western Himalayas in the Indian state of Uttarakhand and is home to vast flowery meadows filled with a wide array of colorful endemic alpine flowers and other flora. The region has also been declared as a protected national park which has a variety of fauna and a number or rare high altitude birds. The spot is located in the valleys between the Great Himalayas and the Zanskar mountain ranges and covers an area of around 87.50 sq kilometers.

The valley of flowers national park and the Nanda Devi national park both are a part of the larger Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve under UNESCO. The park sits atop an average altitude that ranges between 3352 meters and 6,719 meters above sea level. The park was almost inaccessible to the rest of the world before it was discovered by 3 British mountaineers in 1931.

valley-of-flower-hill-station
Photo by Araghu, CC-BY-SA-2.5 

Climatic Conditions

Due to its unique location in the innards of the Himalayan valley the place experiences a really unique microclimate. Due to be surrounded by the Himalayas and the Zanskar ranges the valley of flowers is protected by the southwest summers. The time from mid April to June is the most pleasant with a relatively cool and dry weather and temperatures never exceeding 19 degrees Celsius. The months between June and September mark a time with heavy precipitation. The mist from the mountains and the moisture from the monsoons keep the soil wet and make the vegetation lush and vibrant than ever. The summer monsoon can also cause dense fog along with rain which makes it a marvelous sight to behold.

Best Time to Visit

The park experiences heavy snowfall during a major portion of the year making it inaccessible to visitors. It is opened between the months of June till October when the climate is the most pleasant and monsoon rainfall is experienced during the months of June till September. During this time the valley is covered with a plethora of colorful flowers.

Attractions/Places to Visit

The name Valley of Flowers itself explains the major attractions that can be seen here. The meadows are blooming with countless species of flowers and herbs and 5 out of 6 flower species are globally threatened and not found elsewhere in the world. Orchids, Daisies, Poppies, Primulas, Anemones, Roses and Calendulas and a plethora of flower species can be found here growing wild in the meadows. Trekking is one of the major activities here and the park itself is accessible via trekking from Ghangaria. Unlike other trekking destinations in the world the valley of flowers can be described as a walk in paradise and is a must visit spot for all nature lovers. You can also visit Hemkund Lake which is considered a holy lake for both Hindus and Sikhs. Hemkund can be reached via Govind Ghat located on the Badrinath Road. Valley of Flowers being a protected wildlife reserve is also home to rare and endangered animal and bird species such as Himalayan Black Bears, Red Fox, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Himalayan Musk Deer, and Himalayan Weasel and around a 114 species of endemic birds.

How to Reach

Valley of Flowers is accessible only by trekking and one has to come back before dark as there are no accommodation facilities in the park. The nearest town is Joshimath which is approximately 270 kilometers from both Dehradun and Haridwar. The trek begins from Gobindgarh which is around an hour away from Joshimath. After a trek of 14 kilometers you reach Ghangaria which is at a short distance of 3 kilometers from the park.

Distance from Major Cities

  1. Ghangaria – 3.1 Kilometers
  2. Almora – 277 Kilometers
  3. Nainital – 355 Kilometers
  4. Dehradun – 328 Kilometers
  5. Haridwar – 310 Kilometers
  6. Shimla – 556 Kilometers
  7. Chandigarh – 493 Kilometers
  8. Lucknow – 716 Kilometers
  9. Delhi – 519 Kilometers
  10. Jaipur – 790 Kilometers
  11. Ahmedabad – 1,454 Kilometers
  12. Kolkata – 1,726 Kilometers
  13. Hyderabad – 1,972 Kilometers
  14. Bangalore – 2,561 Kilometers
  15. Chennai – 2,603 Kilometers

Accommodation and Accessibility

Being located at a place where vehicles cannot reach, there aren’t any accommodation facilities in the park. One can find cheap accommodation in Ghangaria but one cannot demand for luxury stays. The park can only be reached by trekking from Gobindgarh via Ghangaria.

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