Spread over 87 sq km, Valley of flowers is a stunning biosphere reserve in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. A world heritage site, Valley of flowers was discovered by mountaineer Frank S Smith in 1931. This world heritage site lies in the transition zone between Zanskar and Great Himalayan mountain ranges. The valley lays iced up in colder months but bursts into a mesmerising bloom of alpine flowers during warmer weather. Accompanied by crystal clear streams, waterfalls and lush green meadows, it’s a sight to behold.
Situated at an elevation of 4632m, Hemkund Sahib is a famous pilgrim spot for the Sikhs. The Gurudwara, dedicated to Guru Gobind Singh, is covered in a thick blanket of snow during winters. The pilgrimage is opened for Darshan to the public from May till October. Hemkund Sahib is set near a glacial lake surrounded by seven mountain peaks. In order to reach this shrine, one has to trek 6 km from a place called Ghangharia.
This will be a moderate trek over five days and will give u a nice head start to trekking in Uttarakhand. The best time to do this trek is during monsoon in July and August when the valley of flowers is on its splendid best looking like a colourful carpet of blooming flowers. Feel a sense of calm at the divine Hemkund sahib set in a gorgeous landscape while enjoying a hot langar the pilgrimage has to offer.
Govindghat- Ghangharia – Valley of flowers – Ghangharia –Hemkund Sahib
4 Nights / 5 Days
8/9 Hours per day walk
Easy to Moderate
Day temperature is 13-18 degrees while Night Temperature is -5 to 7 degrees
Day 1: Arrival at Govindghat. Stay in Guest house
Day 2: Govindghat to Ghangharia. Stay in Guest house
Day 3: Ghangharia – VOF- Ghangharia
Day 4: Ghangharia – Hemkund Sahib - Ghangharia
Day 5: Ghangharia-Govindghat
Arrive at either Haridwar or Rishikesh in the morning from where you will undertake an 11 hour road journey to Govindghat. The route to Govindghat (a little beyond Joshimath) is not going to disappoint you though. The drive along river Alaknanda on the Badrinath highway on a steep mountain terrain is pleasant and scenic. There are numerous eateries on the way where you can stop for a quick break. Stay in a guest house at night in Govindghat.
We start the day by driving a distance of 4 km to Poolna from where the real trek to Ghangharia starts. We have to trek a distance of about 9 km over a well defined path alongside a river facing a beautiful landscape. It will be a gradual ascent and there are dhabas on the way for you to have a quick bite or refill water bottles. It takes about 5-6 hours of continuous trekking to reach the small village of Ghangharia which interestingly has a helipad, a gurudwara and a campground. Stay for the night here in a guesthouse.
We will start from Ghangharia early in the morning for the trek covering 3.7 km. Once you enter the gate to the valley after purchasing a ticket, you come face to face with jaw dropping scenery. You witness the majestic mountain ranges overlooking the valley, a gushing stream and a trail of flowers. It’s a flat path to trek along the side of the valley. As you go further inside, you are welcomed by a carpet of flowers of varied hues and an awesome fragrance all around. Patches of ice can also be seen at the landscape. The valley extends to about 6-7 km and ends at a glacier. No overnight camping is allowed at Valley of flowers and hence, you have to return the same day to Ghangharia.
You again start early morning to start the trek of 6km over a steep trail as you come across a river gorge, thick line up of trees and imposing snow clad mountains. After a steady and steep climb, you may begin to feel a drop in the oxygen level. Hence it’s advisable to take frequent breaks. You will feel rewarded once you reach the Hemkund Sahib gurudwara and the lake which remains frozen for six months in a year. The Gurudwara serves Khichdi and tea to all the visitors. Experience complete peace and calmness at the lake which has crystal clear water that reflect the image of surrounding mountains. The famous Brahma Kamal flower also grows in the vicinity. You leave in the afternoon for Ghangharia as the weather can be unpredictable and its best to reach back in time.
Stay will be provided in guesthouses on Double/Triple/Multiple share basis on first 2 days. The stay on all other days will be in all weather trekking tents (3/4 persons). Apart from this, we will also put up toilet tents alongside each camp. Pack light, carry light and do not leave behind any valuables behind.
Day time temperatures will range from 13 to 18ºC and night time temperature will range from 0 to 7ºC till September. From October onwards, the temperature may dip to minus degrees. At campsites on higher altitudes, it can be quite cold.
There will not be much snow during July-August-September in the monsoon and post monsoon period. However. you may encounter patches of snow and melting glaciers on the trek paths. October is likely to have some fresh snow in the higher reaches.
We will continue on the trail as planned if it starts raining while you’re trekking. Your poncho should be able to protect you from the rain. Protect your belongings by carrying a backpack cover. We normally huddle together in a covered area and play games if it starts raining at the campsite. All the tents (dining, kitchen and toilet) will be water proof so you will stay dry inside.
The best time to do this trek is during monsoon in July and August when the valley of flowers is on its splendid best looking like a colourful carpet of blooming flowers. However, this beautiful valley can be trekked till September end.
This trek is considered moderate and is certainly recommended to people with no prior high altitude trekking experience. However, this trek requires high levels of physical fitness and should not be undertaken without proper preparation.
Sure! You can offload your backpack at Rs 450/- per bag per day, if you inform us in advance. The offloaded bag should not weigh more than 9 kgs. Strollers, duffel bags, suitcases etc. are not allowed.
You don’t need special snow shoes. Good trekking shoes will be sufficient for this trek. We recommend the Forclaz 500 or 600 from Decathlon. Of these, the Forclaz 600 is more water resistant. We provide micro spikes and gaiters whenever there is snow.
It is dangerous to consume alcohol in extreme cold, especially in high altitude regions. Contrary to popular belief, alcohol does not make your body warmer. Instead, it opens your pores making your body colder. Alcohol also dehydrates you quickly. Hence, consumption of alcohol is absolutely prohibited on all BRE treks.
Essentials To Be Carried:
Warm clothes for the night, raincoat, pullovers, jacket
A towel and an extra change of clothes.
A water bottle ( they can be refilled at the campground)
Light comfortable clothing for the day
Flashlight / Torch
Footwear - Comfortable slippers for your stay at the camp, shoes for nature walks & night trails. A good pair of trekking shoes and floaters
An empty bag to store your wet clothes
Camping Activity Stuff:
That book you brought a while ago and never got the chance to read
Board games, poker sets etc.
Outdoor games equipment ( badminton, frisbee, football etc)
Binoculars for bird watching
Your acoustic musical instrument ( Guitar, flute, bongo etc)
Any outdoor gear you brought but never had the chance to actually use!
TENT ETIQUETTE (You will be fined for the damage caused by disobeying these rules.)
Strictly no footwear and NO eating, drinking, cooking or smoking in the Tent.
Don't put any weight on the tent (clothes or anything else) - the tent poles can snap under even a little vertical weight.
Pay extra attention to tent zippers - they are quite delicate and they keep the mosquitoes out
Please take care of the tent and keep it clean since it is your “room” in the outdoors.
Take in the outdoors, but keep wild creatures outside by making sure your tents are zipped up at all times.
Silent hours are in effect post 11:00pm. Keep your voice down. Remember sound travels far in open spaces. Please observe silent hours.
Please use the nearest trash cans for EVERYTHING.
Please ensure that you leave your campsite neat & tidy for the next campers. Ask for garbage bags if you require them!
Please point out to the nearest helper if you are unhappy with the toilet cleanliness.
Please also follow toilet etiquette since you are not the only persons using the toilets.
Please respect others privacy and do not trespass on other people’s sites.
Playing music late in the NIGHT at the campground is usually not permissible. Please be mindful of the fellow camper’s experience.
DO NOT SMOKE close to any dry grass. This is a fire hazard.
Water is Scarce in the mountains, please use it intelligently
The interested person should be physically fit but more importantly, this voyage requires mental agility. Riding, trekking and driving in high altitude region leaves a toll on one’s body. Anywhere above 8000 ft, the atmospheric pressure falls drastically and as a result, our body requires more oxygen to reach the blood cells. So, one has to work harder to get more oxygen. But the good news is that one gets acclimatized as one gains the altitude. You should carry your personal medication such as Diamox for necessary precaution and faster acclimatization. Do loads of breathing exercises and train your heart and lungs to cope up with the changing altitude.
A sum of Rs 2500/- to be paid as booking registration amount.
Within two weeks of registration, one has to pay 50 per cent of the trip cost.
The rest of the balance has to be paid before the trip commences.
Accommodation will be provided in pre decided deluxe 3 star hotels and camps.
It must be noted that cheques won’t be accepted.
Those not able to visit our office to confirm the booking, can go ahead and deposit the amount in our bank account or transfer the money through net banking.
Do make sure to send us a screenshot/scanned copy of the bank slip along with personal details once you are done making the payment.
There will be strictly no Refund on unutilized services of the package.
However in case you do need to cancel your booking owing to any unforeseen circumstances, please do the following:
Inform us about the same in writing. Cancellation charges will be effective from the date we receive your written request.
The payment made for this trip will not be adjusted towards any future trip(s).
The charges of cancellation will be as follows:
More than 45 Days: Full refund (after we deduct any expense that has been incurred for hotel bookings, transport etc.)
Between 30 to 45 Days: 75% of trip cost will be refunded (after we deduct any expense that has been incurred for hotel bookings, transport etc.)
Between 15 to 30 Days: 50% of trip cost will be refunded (after we deduct any expense that has been incurred for hotel bookings, transport etc.)
Less than 15 Days: No refund will be made
Requests for written cancellation will be accepted only on working days. Any cancellation sent across on a Sunday or any National Holiday(s), will be taken up on the next official working day.
In case there is any cancellation once the trip takes off, no refunds will be made and any costs incurred due to this cancellation will be borne by you.