•Day 0- Start your overnight journey from Delhi to Haridwar/Rishikesh.
•Day 1- Haridwar/Rishikesh – Joshimath.
•Day 2- Joshimath – Govindghat – Pulna – Ghangaria.
•Day 3- Ghangaria – Valley of Flowers – Ghangaria.
•Day 4- Ghangaria – Hemkund Sahib – Ghangaria.
•Day 5- Ghangaria – Govindghat – Joshimath.
•Day 6 (optional)- Joshimath – Auli – Gorson Bugyal – Joshimath.
•Day 7- Joshimath – Haridwar/Rishikesh. Explore Haridwar/Rishikesh or overnight journey to Delhi.
How to Reach
Since the Valley of Flowers is located very far away, you need to take multiple journeys to get there.
•Assuming that you are starting your journey from Delhi, you’ll first have to take an overnight bus to either Haridwar or Rishikesh. There are a plenty of buses that leaves from ISBT Kashmere Gate and Majnu ka Tilla. You will easily get a good bus under INR 500. You can also take an overnight train to Haridwar. Try to reach Haridwar/Rishikesh before 7am as the last bus leaves around 7:30 am.
•From Haridwar/Rishikesh, you’ll have to take another bus to Joshimath. You’ll be covering a distance of around 280kms which will take 10-12hrs. The bus to Joshimath will cost INR 480. Alternatively, you can also take a taxi to either Joshimath or Govindghat which will cost you around INR 9,000. Although tiring, the entire journey is very scenic and make sure to soak in the most from this beautiful ride to Joshimath.
• You’ll have to either take a shared taxi or a private taxi from Joshimath to Govindghat. Shared taxi will cost INR 100 per person whereas the private taxi will cost you INR 1,000. You’ll be covering a distance of 20kms which will take around an hour.
•From Govindghat, you can choose to walk 4kms till Pulna village, which is the starting point of the trek to Ghangaria, the base village. You can also take a shared taxi to Pulna which will cost you INR 50 per person.
•Your 13kms long trek to Ghangaria starts from here. It will take around 4-6hrs to reach there. It’s a very scenic route that you’ll be trekking through. The path is well laid out and not very steep. Only the last 5kms from Bhyundar Village is completely steep. There is no descend until you reach Ghangaria. You can also hire porters or mules from Pulna. Helicopter services are also available from Govindghat to Ghangaria.
There are plenty of eateries in the way so you won’t have to worry about food. Also, there are many water sources as well. Please refill your bottles there and avoid buying any packaged water bottles.
•Both, Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib trek starts from Ghangaria.
Valley of Flowers Trek
Start early from Ghangaria as the journey to the valley is 5kms. After that the valley is itself 8kms long. However, the distance travelled in the valley depends on how you want to explore the valley and your stamina. The trek is not that much difficult. The path is laid out with gradual ascend. Another reason to start early is that you can’t stay inside the valley after 5pm. Also, don’t forget to take packed lunch with you as you’ll be spending the entire day exploring the valley and there are no shops or eateries inside the valley.
Right after you start from Ghangaria, you’ll reach a forest check post after 30mins. Here, you are required to show your ID and purchase your permit. It’ll cost INR 150 for Indians and INR 600 for foreigners and will be valid for three days. You can’t enter the valley after 2pm and you are supposed to report at this forest check post before 5pm, otherwise you’ll be fined. Also, you are not allowed to carry tobacco, alcohol, speaker, drone, inside the valley. You can submit these at the check post and take them back while exiting the valley.
Once you enter the main valley, you’ll be astounded to see the vast meadows of colorful alpine flowers. Some of the most notable flowers are Blue Poppy, Dog Flower, Marigold, Himalayan Rose, Orchids, Himalayan Bell Flower, etc. It also offers eye-catching spectacles of cascading waterfalls and wild flowing streams. If the weather is clear, you can also spot mighty Himalayan peaks of Nilgiri Parvat, Bhyundar Khal, Gauri Parvat, etc.