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    Valley of Flowers Trek as the name suggests, is dotted with stretches of colourful flowers.

    It is located at an altitude of 3,600 m above the sea level and is bounded by snow clad mountains. Recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the valley is located at the transition point of Zanskar and Himalayan Treks and Eastern and Western Himalayas.

    Hundreds of beautiful flowers bloom in vivid colours in this captivating valley during summer. There are around 300 species of flora, and the valley also supports a large number of rare and endangered flower species and also some of the threatened medicinal plants. Its said that the floral composition of the valley keeps changing every few days.

    The Valley of Flowers remains in blooms for almost three months. Anemones, geraniums, marsh marigolds, primulas, asters, inulas, Brahma kamal, pedicularis, thermopsis, trollius, straw-berry, epilbium, and rhododendrons make this valley an enchantress that is beautifully decked to cast a spell on you.

    Photo credit: Sandeep Shande - flickr

    You may also come across many butterflies. En route, if you are lucky, you may be able to spot the musk deer, blue sheep (bharal), Himalayan bear, Himalayan mouse hare, and snow leopard. The Valley of Flowers trek is also a paradise for avid bird watchers.

    Meadows of wild flowers are interspersed with waterfalls, springs, rocky boulders, and more. For trekkers, the base camp is at Ghangaria, from here the trek is 3 km uphill. Its a moderate level trek, and the trail is well-defined.

    You ascend through coniferous forest, and then a down-hill trek leads you to a bridge and the check-post, which is the beginning of the Valley of Flowers trek. A rock trails leads you to the exquisite valley covered in colourful flowers.

    How to reach:

    Photo credit: Benjamin Chodroff - flickr

    Govindghat is the nearest bus stand which is around 18 kms away from the Valley of Flowers. There are two routes to reach Govindghat, one is via Srinagar from Rishikesh, and the alternate route is from Haldwani via Ranikhet to Govindghat.

    Rishikesh - Rudraprayag - Karnprayag - Joshimath - Govindghat

    Haldwani - Ranikhet - Karnprayag - Joshimath - Govindghat

    Ghangaria is located 13 kms away from Govindghat. After crossing the Alaknanda River, one reaches an ascending bridle path along Bhyundar Ganga that leads to Ghangaria. The valley is 3 kms from here. Nearest airport is in Dehradun and the nearest railway is in Rishikesh.

    Exact Location: The Valley of Flowers is nestled in the upper expansions of Bhyundar Ganga near Joshimath in Gharwal region. District: Chamoli.

    Nearest Town: Joshimath.

    Trek Length: Ghangaria - Valley of Flowers: 5 km one side.

    Best Time to Visit: From Mid July to Mid August.

    Thrillophilia Offerings: Valley of Flowers Trek

    Other attractions in the vicinity: 

    Hemkund Saheb:

    Photo credit: Sandeep Shande - flickr

    A very popular trekking destination, Hemkund is a 15 km trek from Govindghat. The high altitude lake known as Hemkund (4329 m) is located here. The lake and its picturesque surroundings are an important pilgrim center for both Hindus and Sikhs. Close to the lake, the sacred Sikh Gurudwara and a Lakshman temple are located.

    Joshimath:

    One of the popular pilgrim centres in Uttrakhand, Joshimath was established by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century. There are the temples of Nav Durga and Narsingh here. This scenic town is also the base for the Valley of Flowers trek.