Fairy Tales might be a myth, but fairylands are not a myth. Fairylands & paradise does exist on Earth and the closest you can get to being in Paradise where everything turns surreal is in the ‘Valley of Flowers’ National Park in Uttarakhand. Yes, you read it right. Just like its name, each slope in the valley is adorned with stretches of flowers and wild blossoms of almost all colors and shades imaginable. Untamed, wild & exotic flowers paint the valley into a riot of colors. Along with the majestic Zanskar Ranges, shimmering glaciers, Himalayan waterfalls as the backdrop will leave you under a magical spell & unforgettable views.
Declared as a UNESCO world heritage reserve site in 2004, no wonder it attracts trekking enthusiasts and nature lovers from all over the world. It is also very famous for its exotic medicinal herbs, and as per popular Hindu mythological beliefs, it is from here that Hanuman had brought the life-saving herb ‘Sanjivani’ to the ailing Lakshmana.
Entrance to the Valley of Flowers National Park, Uttarakhand.
Small Rain droplets rolling of Silene Conica flower at Valley of Flowers.
What to do in Valley of Flowers
Valley of Flowers is a famous trekking destination which can only be reached by trekking, one of the reasons it is still so unspoiled. The trek starts from Govindghat, a tiny place close to Joshimath, the nearest town. A shared taxi would help you cover 4 km. Further, 11 km needs to have trekked past very popular & sacred Sikh pilgrimage destination Hemkund.
As you go further into the trek the valley gradually reveals itself, be ready to be welcomed by perfumed, wild blossoms & strawberries lining the path, do not forget to take a permit from the Forest Department before going for the trek valid for 3 days since this trek can only be covered in the daylight.
A shot was taken at Valley of Flowers, Uttaranchal. Courtesy Praveen.
Kas Flowers at Valley of Flowers.
Best time to Visit Valley of Flowers
Valley of flowers enjoys a pleasant weather all year round. June to October at 17 degrees C is the perfect time to bask in the warm summer sun and spot the gorgeous wild blooms. Winters here are really cold, snow covered and not a favorable time to trek.
Restaurants and Local food at Valley of Flowers
Undoubtedly the place does not have much to offer as choices in food and eating places. So do not forget to pack some food for your trekking trip. Although you might find typical Indian food in a few hotels and lodges.
Hotels in and around Valley of Flowers
Staying back is only possible at an accommodation in Ghangari which is a small settlement at 3 km from the valley since staying back is not allowed either in Valley of Flowers or Hemkund Sahib.
Things to do / Carry before visiting Valley of Flowers
- Carry an umbrella or raincoat to save yourself from the sudden mild showers
- To carry a camera, you would not want to miss capturing the mind-blowing natural beauty of the Valley of Flowers
- Always pack some food and water for the trekking trip, you would not want to trek on a hungry stomach
- Don’t forget to take a permit from the Forest Department for the trek in the National park
How to reach Valley of Flowers National Park
From Delhi travel by train or bus to Haridwar and then travel by bus or car to Govindghat. Alternatively one can also drive a 500 km distance from Delhi to Govindghat. Further at a distance of one hour from here is the nearest important town, Joshimath in Garhwal. This place is well connected by road with Haridwar and Dehradun, both at about 270 km.