Trip to Valley of Flowers in 2017 – Things You Need To Know
As the sun is in peak, you must be looking for a cool summer getaway. Have you ever dreamt of going to a fairyland that’s beautified by Nature’s finest craftsman? If you have, then Valley of Flowers is your best bet. Declared as National Park, the mesmerizing flower clad valley is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Where is it located?
Travel 300 Kms from Rishikesh towards north, near Badrinath and tada! You reach your destination. But the closest you can travel by road is till Govindghat. From this point you can hike to Valley of Flowers. For those who don’t know, Rishikesh is 6-7 hours drive from the capital of India.
How to Reach?
If you are on a trip to Rishikesh, you can easily avail buses or taxies from the station and head towards Govindghat which is 273 Kms away. However, public transport is easily accessible from other popular destinations as well like Srinagar, Rudraprayag, Joshimath and Chamoli. You can also go by air. Fly down to the nearest airport Jolly Grant in Dehrarun. Take a shared taxi or book your own car from here. A long refreshing drive of nearly 8 hours will take you to Govindghat. Although, the journey by road is a bit lengthy, but trust me, nature’s beauty and wonderful climate will soothe you throughout the trip.
For cost reference you can see http://www.euttaranchal.com/tourism/govindghat-bus-car-taxi-hire.php
Once you reach Govindghat, you can take the new route which was constructed after the devastating flood of 2013. There is a new motorable bridge that takes you 4kms further to Pulna village. So, if you are visiting in 2017, you have to trek only 10kms instead of 13 kms along the narrow, lofty, but well defined stone paved mountain trail to the base camp, Ghangaria. Ghangaria is officially the last human habitation stop on the way to the floral valley. Beyond that you won’t find any human habitat, but only nature’s absolute bliss!
Where to stay?
Let’s face it... you won’t find luxury accommodations in a place that is remote and 3658 meters higher than sea level. But still these hotels offer much more than you expect like cleaner rooms, better food, hygiene and hot water against coupon. Don’t expect electrical appliance to work 24/7 because electricity hardly comes. Ok, now let’s talk about the prices. A double bedroom will cost you around Rs. 2500 to Rs. 3000.
It is advisable not to book hotels online as you will find a handful of options there at lower rates. Also you can look at the condition of the hotel by your own before staying. People who booked online often regret that they would have opted for a better option, if they hadn’t book online.
What is the timing and entry fee?
The opening date varies from last week of May to the 1st of June depending on the weather. It closes on first week of October. The entry timing is from 7:00 AM till 2:00 PM every day. You should get out of the place by 5 PM. Therefore it is advisable to start early in the morning and reach the entry gate by 6:45 AM so as to enter by 7 AM. You should start returning by 1:30 PM. Then only you can get out by 5 PM. There are no night halts or accommodation facilities within the national park.
Entry fee is Rs. 150 for first 3 days and additional visits after 3 days is Rs. 50/day. Here is the detailed chart.
Best time to visit
The best time varies from person to person. It depends upon how sturdy you are and what do you like as the valley is always at its best.
If you want to see huge glaciers, some flowers and no rain, then the first-second week of June is a good time. The climate is best for trekking.
However, if you want to see maximum number of flowers, you can visit during mid July to mid August. But there are chances of rain, landslides and if the weather turns really bad, the trekking routes can be officially closed. Also, be prepared for the rush in hotels and high prices for foods and transport as this is the peak season.
The month of September brings forth the autumn season in the Valley of Flowers. The climate get drier and the plants start drying up, which gives an orangish shade to the valley.
Is the trek for everyone?
To ease your trip, plenty of trek packages and guides are available. They guide people in group so you won’t feel left alone. The biggest plus is you can always get help whenever required from other members of the group. The first 3kms of the trek is steep. Once you reach the official starting point of the Valley of Flowers, the level is almost flat for the next 3 to 4 kms. People can take ponies, Palanquins and Dolis, especially aged tourists. Helicopter service can only be availed if the weather is clear.
Trekking the Himalayas is no joke. You should be cautious and take precautions before embarking on the trip. The temperature will be cold and can go as low as 7 degrees. So, take winter clothing as well as raincoats. For trekking, you need a backpack with all the necessary stuffs in it, trekking outfit and shoes. A professional trek guide will give you a list of things you need to carry in your backpack. Also, monsoon affects trekking due to landslides and other reason. But BRO opens the route as soon as rain stops. If the trek is extended due to landslides, you may have to bear additional charges of accommodation, fooding and trekking.
So, what are you waiting for! Buckle up your shoes and embark on this adventurous trip this season because the thick dew drops, colorful floura and fauna, salubrious breeze of the Himalayas, and crystal clear waterfalls just can’t be missed! Locals believe that the valley is inhabited by fairies… Do you need more reasons to visit the fairyland?