Hemkund Sahib and Valley of flowers Opening date 2019

Snow covered Ghangaria Village

This year there has been above normal snowfall in Himalayas. This affected the opening date of Hemkund Sahib and valley of flowers. In 2019 the Valley of flowers and Hemkund Sahib are opening on 1st June. Earlier Hemkund Sahib used to open on 25th May. But this time there is lot of snow on trek. Indian army clears the trek route and officially the opening date is fixed at 1st June.

The Hemkund Sahib is opening on 1st June in 2019.

Hemkund Sahib Trust manager Sh Sewa Singh.

Where is Valley of flowers National Park Located

Valley of flowers

Valley of flowers is most scenic trek in Uttrakhand, people from all over the world come here to see the natural beauty. It’s a must do trek in life time. To know where is valley of flowers please read this post. Situated in high altitude Himalayan peaks, the valley of flowers is full of glaciers almost full year. The valley of flowers is located in Chamoli District of Garhwal region in Uttarakhand state. This is a world heritage site under nature category.

Where is valley of flowers Located?

The valley of flowers is a part of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. It is located near Badrinath, the holy dham among the char dham in the state of Uttarakahand. The Valley of flowers is located at a height of 3500 meter to 4500 meter. Huge variety of flowers are found in the valley during July and August.

The last motor able point is Pulna village from here you need to trek for 10 km to Ghangaria village. Here there are some basic accommodation available, you can see Blue Poppy Swiss cottage camps which is a premium property. The last point where you can take your vehicle Govindghat. Govindghat is 300 km from Haridwar.

If you are not coming from Delhi, you should book your flight to Dehradoon instead of Delhi. From Dehradoon Haridwar and Rishikesh both are very near. Spend a night here and full day road journey on National Highway 58 will take you to Govindghat. You can stay in Auli as well and next day from Auli or Govindghat you need to reach Pulna by road and then trek to Ghangaria. Ghangaria is at an altitude of 10200 feet. From Ghangaria the Valley of Flowers is only 4 km away. You need to start early and reach entry gate by 7 am to explore the Valley of Flowers fully.

Deeper parts of valley of flowers
Deeper parts of valley of flowers

How To Reach Valley Of Flowers From Auli?

Auli is known as the skiing destination of India. It is a known Himalayan ski resort dotted with apple orchards and pine trees. Valley of Flowers national park rests in the north of Auli.

Step 1 : Getting from Auli to Govindghat.

Auli to Valley of Flowers is not an entirely motor able route. The motorable journey starting from Auli comes to an end at Govindghat. It is 36 km long, and you can go via bus, hire a private taxi or take your vehicle. En route, you will cross holy place Joshimath. Moreover, the journey offers you various places to explore besides Joshimath such as Vishnuprayag. Even if you don’t stop to give time to any of these places, you can always enjoy the scenic beauty and lush green landscape from the windows.

Step 2 : Getting from Govindghat to Ghangaria

You can stay at Govindghat for a day or enjoy the place for a few hours before beginning your journey for the base camp of Valley of Flowers, Ghangaria.

Ghangaria is 14 km from the Govindghat. It stands at an altitude of 10200 ft (3049 meters) in northern Himalayan ranges. The first 4 km is motor-able till village Pulna; however, you are not allowed to take a private taxi or any of your vehicle. You can choose one of the Tata Sumos run by the locals. Another option is to trek by crossing the river Alaknanda over a bridge at Govindghat. The vehicle will take you to the Pulna village from where you will start your journey to the Ghangaria. There are four options to choose from when it comes to reaching Ghangaria from the village.

From Pulna to Ghangaria you can reach by following ways.

1. Trekking

You can continue your trek which you started from Govindghat, or you can begin the same after deboarding the Sumo. It is a 10 km track, and it will take around 5-6 hours to reach Ghangaria via this mode. If you are an adventure junkie, and enjoys your journey as much as the destination, trekking is indeed for you. The trail is moderate. White waterfalls against the mountain are a delight to watch and trekking along Pushpawati river is a whole new experience.

2. Using Pony / Horse

It is hard to imagine mountains without horses and mountain boys, and this brings me to the second option. These are mountain SUV’s You will find pack string of horses run by mountain boys. This option is a little faster from tracking (as you will reach early). One way cost for one person remains INR 800-INR 1000.

3. Palanquin

Four palanquin bearers carrying a child or an old person is a common view. You too can choose and let the porters carry you. This service costs INR 6000 to INR 8000, one person, one way.

4. Helicopter

This is, of course, the fastest option. Just a few minutes and the 10 kms will be covered. However, this advantage comes with many ifs and buts. Firstly, weather conditions have to be favorable for helicopters to operate. Secondly, there is no pre booking option, and the service is rendered on the first come first serve basis. And usually, there is too much crowd and waiting lines are quite long. If a helicopter is your plan A, then it should always be backed by another plan(s).

It is advisable to wait for helicopter till 10 am. If you don’t get it by then, quickly choose any of the above three options as after a point of time you will be left with no choice but have to cover the track on your feet.

Helicopter service ranges between INR 3000- INR 3500 between Govindghat and Ghangaria.

Step 3 : Ghangaria To Valley of Flowers

The ticket counter at Ghangaria for Valley of Flowers open at 7 in the morning. On the route of Ghangaria to Valley of Flowers, no vehicle or mules allowed. Therefore, you can either trek or take the service of palanquin and porters.

This trail is not moderate, and on the first day of 2-day Valley of Flower trip, 80% of the people manage to reach only the tip of Valley of Flower. Baman Daur, a big stone, situated at 3 km from the entrance gate of the Valley of Flower is actually the tip of the valley. In other words, the 86 square kms valley, starts from Baman Daur.

If you start your journey around 7 am, you can reach the gate by noon. It takes time as whatever you see on your way to Valley is worth clicking pictures. Moreover, the first day is kept to enjoy the trek.

There is no option for accommodation in Valley of Flowers. Therefore, the return journey to Ghangaria is suggested to resume by 1:30 pm.

Blue Poppy Holidays is few of the traveling agency that prepares two-day Valley of Flower itinerary.

The second day is reserved entirely for the valley. If you begin the trek around the same time as mentioned for the previous day, you will reach Baman Daur around 10 in the morning. On the second day, it will be only about reaching the destination as you must have rejoiced the trek on its first day.

The route from Baman Daur is neither too steep nor too low. It’s easy to cover 5 km from Baman stone is Pushpawati riverbed. And as you go deeper into the national park, there are many things to relish upon. You can bask in the glory of unending meadows laden with alpine flowers. The snow-capped Ratban Parvat and Nar Parvat separating Valley from Badrinath can be clearly seen from here. On the right side of the hills stands Birch forest. And at whichever corner you will set your eyes upon, you will realize that Valley is like a colorful carpet made from exotic flowers.

You can take our Valley of flowers tour packages 2019 for hassle free trip to valley of flowers.

How to cover Badrinath along with Valley of Flowers in July and August

At Badrinath Temple

Badrinath is a holy town in the state of Uttarakhand and got its name from the temple of Badrinath. It snuggles between mountain ranges, Nar and Narayan and forms part of the famous Char Dham pilgrimage. It is the holy shrine of Lord Vishnu and one of the most sacred destinations for Hindus. It is believed that Lord Vishnu endured penance precisely at the place where Badrinath temple is located. The ‘Charanpaduka’ is assumed to be footprints of Lord Vishnu, and rock formation at the temple contains ‘Sheshnaag’ imprints.

Devotees visit Badrinath not only to pay homage to the Lord Vishnu but also to enjoy the beautiful, picturesque sights. Situated at an altitude of 3300 meters on the banks of Alaknanda River, visitors come here to find spirituality. The traditional Garhwali wooden architecture is another thing on the list that leaves people mesmerized.  

Badrinath Temple

The best time to visit Badrinath is between May and June or September and October. However, if you plan to add Badrinath in your July-August itinerary of Valley of Flowers, there are certain things you need to keep in mind.

July-August is the best time to visit Valley of Flowers, but not really for Badrinath. It is time for heavy rainfall and landslides. Even if you are lucky enough to visit the holy shrine, stay there during these two months is not at all recommended. Evening and night time are more prone to the ground movement, and therefore, you have more chances of getting stuck at the place. The Lambagad village lying between Govindghat and Badrinath remains quite vulnerable. And anyway if you are visiting Badrinath only for the temple, then that can be done in a few hours. Staying there should be avoided especially when you have a train to board or a flight to catch the next day.

Land Slide pone area at Lambagad, on the way to Badrinath.
How to cover Badrinath along with Valley of Flowers in July and August

There is a village on the way to Badrinath from Govindghat , called Lambagad. It witnesses rain almost every evening during monsoon. This causes landslide in the area. The road is generally cleared next day by 10 am or even later by Border Road Organization.

Can I combine Kedarnath with Valley of flowers tour.

Kedarnath is winters

Why Valley Of Flowers And Kedarnath Can’t Be In The Same Itinerary?

Valley of Flowers is an Indian national park located in Chamoli district, Uttarakhand. It is also a UNESCO world heritage site which has a variety of flora and flourishes with endemic alpine flowers. Valley of Flowers is one of the most beautiful national park, situated at 3352 to 3658 meters above sea level. From the east, it is complemented by the untamed Nanda Devi National Park and Hemkund valley runs parallel in the south. However, these are not the only places that can form part of your Valley of Flowers itinerary. Badrinath and Kedarnath, two of the most important Hindu Pilgrimages, also aren’t very far from the valley of flowers.

Phlomis in Valley of flowers, peak flowering time is July and August.

In other words, the Valley of Flowers can be a multi-day trip from a few day trips. It entirely depends on the time when you are visiting the valley. For instance, Hemkund is accessible from May to September whereas, the best time to visit Valley of Flowers is July and August. In June, snow starts melting and all you will find there are seeds. Therefore, if you wish to take one tour for both, Hemkund and Valley of Flowers, July and August is the best time. However, both months are not compatible for Kedarnath.

Kedarnath has a cold climate for most part of the year. Best time to visit it is from May to June and September & October. July and August are the seasons of monsoon. It’s the time of rainfall, landslides, and hindrances. Trekking to Kedarnath is risky, if not impossible, during this time. Another mode to reach the pilgrimage is a helicopter. However, that service is not rendered during monsoon. On the other hand, if you choose to visit Kedarnath during its peak time, you will not be able to enjoy the Valley of Flowers.

Badrinath and Valley of Flowers can be kept in one basket. They both share common point from where journey should be started. The last motor-able point, Govindghat, is at equidistant from both the places. It is 20km away from Badrinath. Once you are back to Govindghat from Valley of Flowers, you can complete the Badrinath trip (to and from) in one day. Unlike Govindghat to Valley of Flowers route, the road to Badrinath is motor-able. You can take a bus or taxi as per your convenience.

Are you wondering, isn’t monsoon time unsuitable for Badrinath same as Kedarnath? Well, chances of heavy rain and landslide are equally there for Badrinath. However, this trip can be completed in a single day. You can leave early morning and come down before sunset. Like Kedarnath, you have to hardly walk.

All in all, Valley of Flowers and Badrinath come together in one package but not Kedarnath and the Valley of flowers !

Devkant Sangwan

How difficult is Valley of flowers trek : Difficulty level

Beautiful Glacier on the way to Valley of Flowers. This Glacier is 2 kilometers inside the Valley of Flowers.

This is very common question from people who wish to come to valley of flowers. Valley of flowers trek needs one track for four days ex Govindghat. It is not so difficult trek. The valley of flowers trek is well-defined and well paved. Although it is steep at many places, but except the day you go for trek to valley itself you can hire pony to reduce the difficulty level of the trek. Valley of flowers trek difficulty level is moderate to easy. Please read our Valley of Flowers trek itinerary page for detailed itinerary of valley of flowers trek.

Valley of flowers trek First day:

1. Govindghat to Ghangaria trek : Distance 10 km by trek. Helicopter and ponies are available to skip trekking.

Earlier the trek used to began from Govindghat. Govindghat is 25 kilometers before Badrinath. Govindghat is at the height of 5500 feet and Ghangaria is at the height of 10,200 feet. Now you can drive for four kilometers from Govindghat till village Pulna. That is the gain 3700 feet after trekking for 10 km. The trek used to be steep in its first 3 km (now made motor-able) and last 3 kilometers. Today’s trek may be avoided by taking pony or using helicopter. Helicopter service can be used only when weather is clear but the best time to visit Valley of flowers is the monsoon season. So you cannot rely on helicopter on this day. You may or may not get helicopter but you can easily get pony for Ghangaria. For elderly people even palanquins are available. But I have personally seen that many a times elderly people trek whereas some of the young people in young 30s take ponies.

2. Ghangaria to Valley of flowers: Distance : 6 km one side by trek

Ghangaria to valley of flowers is not so steep trek as once you reach to the official starting point of the valley of flowers it almost at the same level for the next 3-4 kilometers. The official starting point of the Valley is almost 3.5 km from Ghangaria and in my opinion out of this 50% is steep uphill and the remaining is not so steep. This day ponies are not available as they are not allowed to enter in the valley. But Palanquins and Doli’s are available. But you need to buy the entry tickets for the porters as well. Their help can be taken up to the first three kilometers and after that you can trek as it is almost flat. But I recommend you to trek only or you will miss out lot of flowers on the way while in to Doli or Palanquin.

Valley of flowers is almost flat after its official starting point.
Valley of flowers is almost flat after its official starting point.
Palanquins carrying a tourist to valley of flowers, they charge almost Rs. 6000-8000 rupees per day. The services are handy for people who are unable to trek but still want to go to valley of flowers
Palanquins carrying a tourist to valley of flowers, they charge almost Rs. 6000-8000 rupees per day. The services are handy for people who are unable to trek but still want to go to valley of flowers

3. Ghangaria to Hemkund Sahib: Distance 6.5 km one side, porters and ponies are available.

This is quite steep and I recommend to take a pony at least while going uphill. This saves time and energy both. If you have booked your trip with us we will be trekking beyond Hemkund Sahib where some of the rare flowers bloom. They are not even available in the Valley of flowers. While coming back you can walk down.

Ghangaria to Hemkund Sahib Trek is bit steep. Almost 1 km altitude is to be gained by trekking for about 6 kilometers.
Ghangaria to Hemkund Sahib Trek is bit steep. Almost 1 km altitude is to be gained by trekking for about 6 kilometers.

Ghangaria to Govindghat : Ponies and Helicopter available.

It is purely downhill as opposed to explained in Para 1 but if you want to save time you can use pony or Helicopter. Difficulty level of valley of flowers trek is moderate.

Kunth Khal trek from Valley of Flowers trek opens for public after a long time of 45 years

“Each flower is a soul opening out to nature.” This is Bistorta affinis is found in 2-3 varieties in the Valley of Flowers. It is very attractive flower especially due to twisted stem. It’s stem is tufted and upper leaves are smaller. Flowers at this tufted stem are pale to deep pink in color. In short Bistorta Affinis looks like a long cylindrical spike. It is a common flower and can be spotted easily in the Valley of Flowers from June mid to End of September.

Here is a good news for nature lovers !! Uttarakhand government has opened Kunth Khal Trek route to Valley of Flowers after 45 years. This route was lying closed from last 45 years.

The government says it will be helpful to rescue teams in case a disaster like the Kedarnath flash floods strikes the region again and the adventure lovers will get a chance to explore a new virgin trail.

Brahma Kamal Flowers on Kunth Khal -Hanuman Chatti Trek Route
Brahma Kamal Flowers on Kunthkhal-Hanuman Chatti Trek Route

Kunthkhal-Hanuman Chatti Trek Route
Kunth Khal -Hanuman Chatti Trek Route

SS Rasaily, director, Nanda Devi Biosphere, said “The Kunthkhal-Hanuman Chatti trek route was since 1970 as people were using the much easier route from Ghangaria to Valley of Flowers. Because it was lying unused, the trek trail soon became overgrown with dense vegetation. During the recent disaster in Kedarnath, a need was felt for an alternate route which could be used to rescue people. This route is suitable for this purpose.”

Valley of Flowers
Valley of Flowers

Badrinath is about 10 km from Hanuman Chatti. People can trek to Kunth Khal and Ghangaria to get back to civilization. According to officials people can go for this trek as it offers a lot of natural beauty.

“The 15 km route is spotted with gorges, glaciers and rivers. The ideal time to trek here is from July to October. You can also see the Brahamkamal flower on this trail which is found over the elevation of 4500 meter.

Kunthkhal-Hanuman Chatti Trek Route
Kunthkhal-Hanuman Chatti Trek Route

Forest department is also beginning to promote a number of other forgotten treks close to the Valley of Flowers such as the trails leading to the Kagbhushandi Lake, Chanab Valley, Dronagiri Parvat etc.

Valley of Flowers | Heaven on Earth

Caltha palustris

My name is Kunal and I’m basically from Jaipur, India. I have long been dreaming to go to a place which is almost heaven on earth. At least I call it so because until you physically go there you cannot feel the charm it holds. Surfing on the internet I came across to my dream place which is in fact called the ‘Valley of Flower’ in Uttarakhand, India and I realized that this is the place I want to go. After some more research I was able to find few tour operators and after comparing them all I found the Blue Poppy the best. I was really impressed with the amount of information I got from these people and everything is nicely updated on their website. I love the way all information is given segment wise and quite in depth from food to clothes and tiny things. Really great work to have such a nice informative website.

I am really happy with the service of Blue Poppy and would recommend to others as well. Everything was nicely organized and the food was too good. Thanks for everything.

I am a passionate photographer and one of my prime reason to go to this heaven was to do lot of nature photography and I’m very lucky that during my trip the weather was excellent and I was able to get most out of my trip. During my trip I also meet the owner of the Blue Poppy, Mr. Devkant. He’s a nice, calm guy and shared lot of nature and places information with everyone

Finally the trip was excellent, good arrangements, nice people and lovely nature and places. I’m happy to share my snaps on your site.

Trek to Valley of Flowers – A travelogue by Mr. J R Vacchani

One of our group near Ghangaria

Right from the start up at Haridwar till our return, we had lovely time with Blue Poppy Holiday with all their arrangements. It will be difficult to find out any lapses in it.

“All credit to the Blue Poppy Team-the guides and the team leader Devkant!”

So enthusiastic and tireless in all respect like taking care of all the participants, all arrangements and his involvement to be with the group on the way of trek from start to finish!

We had enjoyed the road trip from Haridwar to Govindghat enjoying the natural beauty of Himalayas, Alaknanda and its tributaries.

Stay at hotel was good.

The trek from Govindghat to Ghangaria was enjoyable. It was joyous moments all the way enjoying the nature. We were very close to the nature or were mixed with it.

The booklet of flowers and guidance provided us was good on hand helpful stuff to refer regarding the flowers and what are dos / donts in the valley.

The trek was wonderful though it was a bit hard one at starting. We enjoyed every second we spend there with hills, glaciers, trails, streams, flowers, river and mystic peaks. The best of all was the company of Devkant all along the trek rout.

The second day was more better as we went to the extreme deeper of the valley! Devkant will say how deep we were! It was just wonderful trek.

This is a unique valley where you will see – peaks, streams, glaciers, river, lush greenery, flowers and lot more.
Next trip was to Hemkund Sahib and the trek was again wonderful.

We preferred to take all the treks by ourselves only without any pony supports. We enjoyed it.Enjoyed the dip at the holy pond.

On the return to Govindghat and trip to Badrinathji was again
Sone pe suhaga!

In short, I personally had experienced the best of my days in the valley and would love to be again!
All the praise for Blue Poppy Team and the all participants from all over the country and from abroad for this wonderful experience.

Photos Contributed by Mr. J R Vacchani