Travelogues

Valley of Flowers: Into No Man’s Land

Jitaditya Narzary

Is a traveller disillusioned by the familiar and fascinated with the unknown... and of course the founder of this blog.

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Valley of Flowers

Valley of Flowers

__________________________

Update, 03/2015


Just updating this post with some minor changes. It was originally published in 2011 as the first ever post. But I just want to provide a small update. After the destruction of the 2013 floods, the park remained closed for some time. Some of the bridges along the route were also washed away. But I am happy to inform that it reopened towards the end of last year and so this year we are looking forward to have a full season. Apparently the new route is slightly longer than the old one. Anyways, we should all be glad that the park is intact.

_________________________

Valley of Flowers, the name itself exudes a sense of epic, like a land of deities, immortals and the undeads. When I first heard of it, I was transformed into a paradise of misanthropes that promised prolonged lack of contact with what we optimistically call “civilization”. But visiting it was not easy. The rugged terrain limits your speed and you need enough time in hand with a lot of prior planning. Also, the place remains hospitable only for three to four months during the summer. But the bigger question was… should a lethargic, morbid and pathetic metropolis dweller even try to tread this difficult path all alone?

Nevertheless, having done it, I think if one has to experience nature in its most pristine form, this is the place to be in. It may also be a good idea for the ones who want to push their physical limits or those who are gradually turning obese or those who want to turn anorexic. However, I would not suggest this trip to the people with serious health or fitness issues as it is a physically demanding trip. But the biggest issue faced by the place is due to the people who cannot recognize a dustbin. They should also stay away (In fact they shouldn’t go anywhere).

Valley of Flowers, and in fact the entire route leading to it, is a photographer’s paradise. You don’t have to scratch your head and ponder over angles, frames, exposure, composition and everything that haunts novice photographers. Let me now provide a blow by blow detail of this trip interspersed with some of the images etched forever in my memory as well as my hard disk.

Mumbai to Rishikesh:

I took the Rajdhani Express from Mumbai to Delhi. Apart from a few outbursts from the irritating children nearby, the ride was eventless. But I never got the value of over intrusive and compulsory catering which seemed to be the only factor justifying the high ticket price. At Delhi I made a general ticket and went to Haridwar boarding another train and realizing that often headline grabbing places like Deoband and Roorkie also fall in the same route. As the train approached Haridwar, the landscape started changing gradually from dusty and crowded Indian plains to more welcoming and serene sub-Himalayan terrains.

At Haridwar, the most useful mode of transport turned out to be the gigantic autorickshaw (or the miniature bus if you like the glass half empty). These three wheeler bullies dominate the roads and can carry 10-15 people at a time depending on the desperation level of the drivers. The more disturbing issue was that all of them love to blow the horn incessantly. Nevertheless, if you can pay around 100 rupees, you can have the whole thing for yourself and that is what I did. It took around 30 minutes to reach Rishikesh through the highway sandwiched between dense forests. The driver took me to a budget hotel that charged 400 rupees for the night. It was nothing to write home about but neither was I looking for one. It was already 5 pm and after the check-in I asked the same driver if it was possible to visit some site before it is too dark. He took me to Lakshman Jhoola, a hanging bridge over the river. It also has a conjoint twin called Raam Jhoola nearby. Monkeys rule the place and if you want, they will get rid of your lice too.

Lakshman Jhoola, Rishikesh

The driver cum guide advised me to cross the bridge and visit a certain temple. As it can be seen below, considering the stairs as well as my religious zeal, I decided not to follow his advice.

RIshikesh

Rishikesh-Rudraprayag-Chamoli-Joshimath-Govindghat

Rishikesh is at the foothills of the mountains. After Rishikesh the straight roads gradually transform into serpentine spirals. The next morning I took a shared car to Rudraprayag. The ride was smooth but progress was slow and it set the tone for the rest of the trip. Due to road conditions and difficult terrains no vehicle can move over 30 kmph. Also for the same reason there is no provision of overnight buses. I was a bit lazy in the morning and hence I could only cover up to Rudraprayag, a place still haunted by the memory of the hunter Jim Corbette. The good part was that the shared car cost me around 100 rupees, far lesser than what I was mentally prepared to pay. I checked in at the official tourist lodge called “Rudra Complex”. It was comparatively costlier at around 1500 rupees for the night but it was very comfortable and the balcony offered a good view of the confluence of the rivers Alakanada and Mandakini.

Rudraprayag

On the flip side, I could not watch the Wold Cup final between Spain and Netherlands due to a power cut. Nevertheless, the next morning also offered some good view of the Pandoraésque mountains.

Rudraprayag

The next day I planned to reach Joshimath from Rudraprayag. But as it turned out, it was easier said than done. I woke up late and missed the morning buses. Somebody suggested me to move to Chamoli and I found out that the rates of these buses are affordable even for peanut earners. So, I took the bus to Chamoli and despite my childhood history motion sickness, began to enjoy the increasingly greener landscape. But my enjoyment did not last long as a bus was diverted due to a landslide. Instead of its usual trajectory, it took a narrow and bumpy road where it moved at 10 kmph, remained only centimetres away from disaster all the while and finally dropped me at a village 2 kms away from Chamoli. However I did enjoy the brisk walk to Chamoli after the traumatic diesel cart ride. Chamoli looked like a sleepy settlement from the distance and my impression did not change upon arrival.

Chamoli

I had to spend the night at Chamoli in a cheap hotel (300 rupees) that overlooks the bus stand. As I surveyed the place, I realized that even the hotels were running low on supply due to the landslide. I spent the night anxiously but everything seemed fine the next morning. I took another bus and finally reached Joshimath, a slightly larger town bustling with activity. It has a military cantonment nearby. Army men, locals and tourists crowd the shops and restaurants. Also, if you are running out of cash this is probably the last place where you would find functional ATMs. You will also find travel agents, guides as well as information depots of the tourism department if you need them at all. As for myself, I consulted none of them. There is a ropeway from Joshimath to ski resort Auli but the route was apparently closed down at that point of time. I did not to spend too much time in Joshimath and quickly moved to Govindghat, the last spot in my route that can be reached by automobiles.

Govindghat

Now, Govindghat is the place where you begin to “feel” it. Despite their hilly charm, the towns before this were reasonably crowded and were not much different in texture from other average Indian towns. But Govindghat is sparsely populated and it only exists as a transition point for travellers who are either going to Valley of Flowers or go higher up the highway to Badrinath. I was now beginning to feel the drop in temperature associated with high altitudes and there was strange calmness in the area. More importantly, my phone stopped catching the signals there. Nevertheless, the view was jaw dropping. For the first time in my life I was witnessing a real mountain from such a close range. Mercifully the weather was perfect unlike the previous two days and the shadow of scattered clouds on virgin hills created a bewitching view which I think I could not successfully capture.

Govindghat to Ghangaria

Govindghat to Ghangaria

I got another budget hotel at a similar rate but this one did not even offer a TV. So I spent the night clicking random insects attracted by the lights in my balcony.

234

Govindghat to Ghangaria

The next they I finally started my actual ascent. From Govindghat you have to literally climb the mountains to reach the Ghangaria which is the last stoppage that caters to visitors of two major spots, the VoF and Hemkund Saheb, a Sikh shrine. There is a sturdy bridge over the stream and as I appraoched it in the morning I realized that the area near the bridge is far more densely populated with numerous restaurants and shops selling warm clothing, cheap travel gear and religious souvenirs for the Sikh pilgrims.

As soon as you cross the river, the steep ascent starts. It is a 13 km trek from Govindghat to Ghangaria and I thought I could trust my legs. But after a few hundred metres I was huffing and puffing and considering the fact that I will have to cover much more in the next couple of days, I accepted the only bailout plan available, the Mule. Yes, that equus half breed with confused parentage dominates the route and also it is the most expensive of all transport modes at 500 rupees for a one way trip to Ghangaria. Horses are also available but submissive mules seemed to be more appropriate in this route. Sturdy Garhwali men walk alongside and guide the animals through the route (and you are also supposed to pay for his food en route).

Govindghat to Ghangaria

I had never ridden any kind of animal before. I was feeling sad for the creature but there was no other option. The journey began uncomfortably. The feeling was akin to sitting on the backside carrier of a bicycle, or even worse on the top tube. Nevertheless, I soon began to enjoy the magnificent view and lost myself in poetic thoughts only to be awakened by rude jolts. Also, some more pertinent questions kept creeping up, such as, what if the mule decides to commit suicide like that Kusturican donkey?

Govindghat to Ghangaria

The journey took around 5 hours. But it should be noted that entire rote is lined with small shacks selling biscuits, chocolates, drinks as well as cooked food. Some of them also have satellite phone booths for emergency and more importantly it was heartening to see the strict measures taken by the administration to keep the area free of plastic. Finally when I reached Ghagaria it was afternoon and I took shelter in hotel (again similar rates). As I could see, Ghangaria comes to life only during the tourist season and closes down during the winter. But it is developed enough to support a regular flow of visitors going to Valley of Flowers as well as Hemkund. It has several hotels and lodges at budget rates and if you are bothered about food supplies have a look at the photograph below.

Ghangaria market

The place was completely dominated by pilgrims to Hemkund rather than eccentric trekkers to VoF and I did not really mind the same.

Pilgrims Progress...to Hemkund

Despite the congested and crowded nature of the settlement, Ghagharia offers a brilliant spectacle once you slightly move out of the business area. After a couple of hundred metres from the market, you arrive at an open lush green area where the path bifurcates, one towards Valley of Flowers and one towards Hemkund. But that spot itself provides ample opportunities for photographers with a small waterfalls and colourful blossoms.

Ghangaria

Govindghat to Ghangaria

Govindghat to Ghangaria

Govindghat to Ghangaria

Valley of Flowers: The Final Destination

The next morning rains delayed me a bit because I was worried about my camera. I finally set out for my ultimate destination at around 10 am. Valley of Flowers is a protected area. It is a part of the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO world heritage site. You have to pay a miniscule fee at the entrance (60 or 70 rupees as far as I remember). Once you get past the check post, you are on your own for the entire route and no equine help is allowed for the last lap because there can’t be any chit codes to salvation. It is basically an ascending trek around 4 kms long. Not actually a big deal for reasonably active people but can be daunting for some others. Let’s not discuss how it was for me. The good thing was that I was completely alone for most parts. Some others visitors set out early in the morning as I was informed at the entrance but none of them were visible to me. I came across a lyrically flowing stream, the legend of sleepy hollow, a working class bee exploited by its monarch and also found out how pine tree fruits look like.

Valley of Flowers

Sleepy Hollow

Valley of Flowers

Valley of Flowers, Uttranachal

Although this area is a national park, it is not a place full of animals or birds. In fact the only decently sized creature that I noticed was a rodent feasting on a bed of moss gathered on the stones unable to roll.

Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand

Nevertheless, my eyes as well as my lenses feasted on a series of jaw dropping views. After a couple of hours of tiresome ascent, I finally noticed the signboard with a map of the valley. Despite poor planning, lethargy and self-doubt, I’d finally arrived. I am tempted to write some sentimental and wannabe poetic lines about the place but keeping the interest of the readers and the future of this site in mind, I think I should not. This place deserves better writers and so I would rather let the photographs do the talking. I am not a master in photography either, but at least my camera is decent.

Valley of Flowers

Valley of Flowers

Valley of Flowers

Valley of Flowers

Valley of Flowers

Valley of Flowers

Valley of Flowers

Valley of Flowers

Valley of Flowers

Valley of Flowers

The Way Back:

NH 58, Govindghat

After spending a few hours out there, it was time to come back. The descent was smooth and eventless. The next morning I hired a real horse instead of a mule and reached Govindghat by the afternoon. But I realized that the mule was a far amiable carrier. The horse, owing to its superior strength, is prone to occasional bouts of sprints, something not really suitable for that route, and also for the weak hearted. As I reached Govindghat, I felt that the proceedings were becoming boring and repetitive. So, I decided to challenge myself, especially to wash off the equine inferiority complex. I started walking towards Joshimath, with a initial assumption that the 16 km stretch will be an easy descent, only to realize that my grey cells had betrayed me. As I passed through the same route a couple of days ago on a car, I didn’t even notice that the slope was never one sided. My misadventure was quick and cheerful for the first half as I descended to the midpoint, a bridge on a river. But after that I had to climb upwards for the next 8 kms. Realizing my mistake I tried to get lift, but nobody seemed to bother. Also, I was left only with a 500 rupees note and no changes thus making me incapable of even buying water. Anyways, I kept dragging myself and finally reached Joshimath at around 8.30 pm. After this horrid experience I finally managed to wake up early in the morning and took a bus to Haridwar as I was already running out of time.

This effectively sums up the less soporific parts of my trip. Let me provide a few bullet points for the benefit of future travellers.

Valley of Flowers FAQs:

How many days?
– 6-7 days from and to Delhi should be enough if planned well.

Best time to visit?
– June to September

Transport?
– From Delhi both trains and buses are available aplenty to Haridwar. After that you mostly rely on buses or cars that you can also share with others to save money if you are alone.

Food?
– Mostly vegetarian. After Govindghat, a plate of Maggi seems to be the best option at any point of time. I felt sorry for Momofuku Ando but Maggi was the only noodles brand those people were aware of.

Budget?
– The region is a backpacker’s delight and an economist’s nightmare. Especially if you are coming from big city, you’ll feel like having free lunches all the time.

Accommodation?
– As described earlier, budget accommodation is available till the last base camp and hence it should not be a concern for anyone. But at the same time, if you are looking for expensive luxury resorts, you might be disappointed as well. But as a matter of principle, you should not be bothered about artificial comfort when you are in a place that seeks to free you from the shackles of materialistic world.

Should I get a guide?
-No. If you ask the travel agents in Joshimath they may try to get you one. But basically there is only one road and a sane person can’t possibly get lost.

What kind of Lenses should one take?
-This is strictly for photographers. I had a newly acquired Nikon D5000 with the kit lens (18-55) and a cheap Sigma 70-300 (non APO). I felt the need for a wide angle lens to capture certain views as well as a bigger zoom in certain cases, especially if you want to capture certain distant mountain peaks and cloud formations from a closer range. But again, it is about your budget and I was happy with the result I got with my limited equipment allowed by my limited budget.

104 Comments

  • 2011/05/10 - 10:00 am | Permalink

    Amazing stuff !! Very well written, best is the FAQs of ur blog. I had a good time reading this especially as i have been to Haridwar and Rishikesh on a similar low budget trip.

    Keep writing :)

    • 2011/05/10 - 11:51 am | Permalink

      Thanks Jayanta…will keep doing this as long as the budget permits…:D

      • 2015/02/27 - 1:42 pm | Permalink

        Jitaditya,

        Hope to visit VOF on 19th July with my family,we are 4 adults,daughter.son me and wife. Kindly advice me to proceed further. We will arrive Delhi on 17th morning at 3.00.What is the best mode of transport to HARIDWAR or RISHIKESH?.Thank you. Kind Rgds,Jose.

        • 2015/02/28 - 4:44 am | Permalink

          Hi,

          You can take bus, train or hire vehicles. It takes no more than 4-5 hours to reach Rishikesh from Delhi.

  • Santanu
    2011/05/10 - 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant…

  • 2011/05/11 - 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Lovely! Btw, a 450 rupees note sounds interesting! :)

    • 2011/05/11 - 4:28 pm | Permalink

      Thnks for pointing out Doc…. :D… it got changed while I was changing the flickr embed codes from 500 to 450….

      • rohit
        2012/06/06 - 9:26 pm | Permalink

        bro can i have ur number,, im a backpacker myself ,, just wanted to ask u more things about the place nd stuff though all doubts r cleared anyways ..

  • Bhaskar
    2011/05/16 - 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Really nice…and brilliantly narrated..

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  • kamal deka
    2011/05/19 - 6:18 am | Permalink

    Best time to go there?

    • 2011/05/19 - 2:48 pm | Permalink

      mostly June to Sept…
      I think June is less colorful but easier because you visit before the monsoon… trekking may become difficult when it rains heavily…

  • Dhriti Brahma
    2011/05/20 - 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Good work

    • Quetzalcoatl
      2012/01/05 - 1:22 am | Permalink

      Thanks a lot…

      • 2014/03/03 - 12:04 am | Permalink

        Nice and beautiful post. almost every information about the valley of flowers trip. Lot of things changed after the floods in 2013. Hope to go with you to the valley once in life.

  • magiceye
    2011/05/22 - 1:37 am | Permalink

     wonderful post

  • Roy_saurav
    2011/05/22 - 3:31 pm | Permalink

     very helpful reading as I’m visiting VoF area next month, 18th June onwards…by the way in which month did you go there…hoping to see some pretty blooms…cheers

    • 2011/05/22 - 4:09 pm | Permalink

       hi…. I visited last june, in the 2nd week… so I think you will get more or less similar views… best of luck for your trip

  • Reenitharakan
    2011/05/28 - 2:47 pm | Permalink

    so far the best read on vof.frank,funny,great photos..so looking 4ward to our trip in early august

    • 2011/05/28 - 5:42 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the comment Reeni…
      & I hope u’ll witness even more breathtaking views in August…

  • SG
    2011/06/14 - 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Very nice post!. Lovely pictures. Do you know if the place has Autumn leaf color changes and is it accessible during that time.
    Thank You

    • 2011/06/14 - 5:07 pm | Permalink

      Thanks SG…
      as far as I know this place changes color every fortnight… that is, if you visit today and then go back after a couple of weeks, you will find an entirely different color palette…

      I think you can visit the place till September, after that it is most likely to close down…

  • Priya
    2011/07/18 - 2:32 am | Permalink

    Jitaditya, your post is a good example of just how travel article must be written. You’re no travelling slacker! And the pictures do justice to the place, I am sure.

    ” But the biggest issue faced by the place is due to the people who
    cannot recognize a dustbin. They should also stay away (In fact they
    shouldn’t go anywhere).” I can’t help but agree. Especially with the opinion between the brackets.

    Keep these coming!

  • 2011/08/14 - 3:33 am | Permalink

    Excellent shots! So beautiful :)

    BTW, thanks for visiting my blog.

  • dhiruguri
    2011/09/09 - 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful write up , superb snap .

  • 2011/09/10 - 6:38 pm | Permalink

    @dhiruguri thanks bro….

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  • rs.sujatha
    2011/11/03 - 9:02 pm | Permalink

    such a comprehensive write-up on a place.i had visitedRishikesh many years back in 2004 I think. it was wonderfulr.loved the pictures. esp that of the tree with the gaping hole.

    • Quetzalcoatl
      2011/11/04 - 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Sujatha…. :)
      & yes Rishikesh is also wonderful but I did not get to spend enough time in it…

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  • 2011/12/06 - 3:24 am | Permalink

    Wonderful Nature all around!

    Really made me wordless!

    In particular, I loved the flower close ups and the natural nest in the trunk of the tree. Great Shots!

    • Quetzalcoatl
      2011/12/06 - 10:37 pm | Permalink

      Thanks a lot eyewitness :)

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  • 2012/01/04 - 11:27 am | Permalink

    Amazing Travelers details, fell in love with your description and wording :) Surya Mahadeva, Hyderabad; Mob: 9848174741

    • Quetzalcoatl
      2012/01/05 - 1:14 am | Permalink

      Thanks a lot Surya!

  • Kajari
    2012/01/04 - 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Loved your article. Am inspired to go there. Beautiful snaps too. Keep them coming please

  • 2012/02/03 - 9:51 pm | Permalink

    I’m awed by this… itching to go there…!

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  • 2012/02/09 - 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Saw your guest post and got here. Liked the writing and the snaps. Lived in Delhi for so many years, but could never make a trip to Valley of Flowers (been to Badri and Kedar though).
    If planning a trip, definitely going to take tips from you.

  • 2012/02/13 - 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Coming here from Yatra Diary. This was beautiful.

  • 2012/02/17 - 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Of course the place is like a dreamland.
    Totally intrigued by this travelogue-Awesome narration with your unique style. (enjoyed your style of writing) And breathtaking photos.

  • 2012/04/19 - 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Very nice write up… Love it totally.

  • Suni
    2012/04/20 - 8:28 pm | Permalink

    hey JITADITYA NARZARY, well explained article, i wonder if you write more of such articles so that i can explore them too. :) ;)Let me know if you have more of such places to share us with.
    how do i follow you on FB btw? :)

  • naveen uniyal
    2012/06/12 - 2:47 pm | Permalink

    nicely visied… presented… & nature’s nice photography…. visit it again n must go to CHOPTA & Kanchulakhark… u wd always remem. all those… with Tungnath tample….

  • Divya Rana
    2012/07/29 - 7:46 pm | Permalink

    nice write up jitaditya… i am planning this trek this august… all by myself… just wanted to check if its safe enough… thanks :)

    • Quetzalcoatl
      2012/08/07 - 4:28 pm | Permalink

      Hi Divya….
      I did not see any major security issues and it should be a safe trek…
      Of course the rains and flood situation may affect your schedule… keep a couple of extra days in your schedule…

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  • 2013/02/01 - 11:51 am | Permalink

    Hi Jitaditya,
    you have written such an eye catching and insightful article on VOF, that we had no choice but to link to our compilation. meanwhile do promote our travelogue contest among your friends.
    thanks again
    regards
    Learnlawry

    • Quetzalcoatl
      2013/02/15 - 9:32 am | Permalink

      Thanks Levin for dropping by…

  • 2013/02/28 - 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Very nicely written. I would like to visit VOF from Guwahati, Assam with my friend.

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  • 2013/03/26 - 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Jitaditya for such beautiful narrations and sharing your amazing experience with this heavenly place.

    Please tell me if there is a threat to be lost while trekking deep inside the valley of flowers if we are going all alone there.

    • 2013/03/26 - 8:06 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for dropping by Divakar…
      And no I don’t think there is any real risk of getting lost… juts time it well… set out in the morning and return before its dark…

  • 2013/04/04 - 8:20 pm | Permalink

    Hello Jitaditya,

    http://www.gmvnl.com/newgmvn/tour/viewtour.asp?id=12&%20id1=Cab/Sumo

    They are costing per Adult : Rs. 12340/- this includes only stay and transport.
    Excludes food and Guide.

    Does it really cost us per adult Rs. 12340/-.

    Regards,
    Raghavendra

    • 2013/04/04 - 8:28 pm | Permalink

      Hi…
      Would like to know the transportation is from where?

      I can imagine wrapping up in 8-10K in 6-7 days to and from Haridwar or Rishikesh… (I travelled without any package or guide and stayed in budget hotels @ <Rs. 500)

      But of course if you want to pay a bit more for quality accommodation and the price they are charging is not very high…

      • 2013/04/04 - 8:36 pm | Permalink

        Hey…

        The pricing is from Rishikesh to Rishikesh. Including Visit to Badrinath.
        Duration: 7 days 7 nights.

        • 2013/04/04 - 8:49 pm | Permalink

          Including Badrinath it is not that expensive… I think you can take it…
          I normally venture out without any plans or guides but if you want to be on the safer side it seems fair enough…

          • 2013/04/04 - 9:06 pm | Permalink

            My Wife & Me are planning to VOF.
            12340 x 2 = 24680/-

            Do you think from Rishikesh to Rishikesh for 2 traveling and stay would cost us so much.

            Can tell me approx Travel cost from Rishikesh to Rishikesh would be for 2.

            I calculated for 2 stay will not cost more than 9000/- 8 nights.

          • 2013/04/04 - 9:53 pm | Permalink

            I think you can wrap it up at below 20K…
            Basically in 2010 I got basic rooms with double bed and attached bathroom at 400-500 rs… I was alone but for two of you it would cost the same though the rates might have slightly increased after 3 years…

            As for transportation, public buses or shared cars won’t cost you much and food is also very basic… But if you may need to hire a horse in some hectic treks… a one way horse ride from Govindghat to Ghangaria costs around 500 per head… but if you can do the trek, it will save that money…

  • 2013/04/22 - 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Hello,

    I am planning to visit this place in Aug. Could you please let me know if I need to think of package trip or otherwise. Package trip seems expensive. Can I manage without package trip, if so; what might be the maximum expense.

    Thanks,
    Kiran Kashyap

    • 2013/04/22 - 7:09 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for dropping by…
      I do not see any real need for tour packages or guides… you can just keep going using public transport till Govindghat and then trek… just follow the tips I have mentioned in the post as well as in the comments…

  • 2013/06/04 - 4:34 pm | Permalink

    nicely written with humorous flow.. v informative too.

    • 2013/06/04 - 4:38 pm | Permalink

      me and my husband are planning to visit valley of flowers. We are looking forward to go by own vehicle from Delhi. Is it a good idea? Also, is this place for women travelling?

      • 2013/06/04 - 4:49 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the comment Garima…
        It is totally safe, at least I did not notice anything unwanted or unpleasant… most people travelling on the route will be pilgrims…

        As for the car… it is fine but you will have to find some place to keep your car at Joshimath or Ghangaria before the final trek… I think locals can keep your car for a couple of days for some charge, just ask around…

  • 2013/06/06 - 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Hi Jitaditya,

    A fine writing about your wonderful and daring adventure. Would you, Please share some points on the level of physical fitness required for the trek to valley of flowers.

    Thanks
    Jagan

    • 2013/06/06 - 1:00 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jagan…
      It is not a very tough trek but if you have never trekked before you may find it a bit exhausting… nevertheless if you are generally healthy it should not be a problem…

      From Govindghat to Ghangaria you have the option of mule or horse riding if the trek seems too daunting… but the final stretch till VoF you have to do all by yourself…

  • 2013/06/06 - 2:35 pm | Permalink

    You write really well, i especially loved your line, moss gathered on the stones unable to roll. Subtlety is not everyone’s game. Keep it up.

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  • joshi kalpesh
    2014/05/02 - 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Dear,
    can you guide for best hotels at Ghangaria to VoF.Pls.
    If you have any contact no that will be more useful.

    • 2014/05/05 - 10:59 pm | Permalink

      Hi, There are lots of hotels and dorms available in Ghagaria and that should not be an worry… I went there in 2010 and no longer have any contacts but you can just go there and check into one of the hotels…

  • Sekar
    2014/06/07 - 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Hi,

    This is a second time I read your Vividly written description. Kudos. I am 56 year old plan to go with my sons (>20) this season. I wanted to go last year itself. Now, I already booked train tickets to Haridwar. I checked the package tour costs more than Rs.13,000. But, I wish to go on my own. I feel fit to walk. My only worry is availability of buses to Joshimath. After reading your travelogue, I am confident.

    Thanks and regards
    Sekar

    • 2014/06/07 - 5:31 pm | Permalink

      Thank you sir for your kind words… Joshimath is a major town on the highway, so you will have enough buses… but it will be a slow and long ride so you may want to break it at Rudraprayag if you have time…

  • kaushik mehta
    2014/10/25 - 2:47 pm | Permalink

    I had been to Haridwar,Rishikesh in 2007.Haridwar is wonderfull,full of scene scenary.Best part is Ganga river.I also enjoyed Rishikesh for almost half day.I could see Laxman Jhula and a thireen stories Hindu temple.A every floor had fantastic temples.It was like a dream on bank of river Ganga.It was wonderfull places both Haridwar and Rishikesh.My next dream is vally of flowers.

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  • ramani
    2015/05/23 - 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Nice Write up.. Gives every information needed. Do you think kids at age 7 and 9 can do this. My son read about vof in his textbooks and want to see the place. We are thinking of a trip in mid july.

    • 2015/05/24 - 4:59 pm | Permalink

      Surely… it is not that tough… if there is a problem you can hire horses to carry them till the base camp…

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  • shridath
    2015/06/17 - 12:43 am | Permalink

    hi, we are planing for chardham trip by bike from haridwar,we are planing to halt in tapovan,badrinath and kedarnath.and also to visit flower valley.please give your suggestion.

  • Santosh
    2015/07/01 - 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Hi,

    Thanks for such a nice, well written and informative article.
    I still have few queries. Hope you dont mind.

    1. Is it ok if we travel by our self, i mean without joining any trekking group or with guide ? I can see on net so many trekking groups available for FOV trek
    2. Is it safe to travel with kids of age 6-10.
    3. What are specific items that we MUST carry ?

    Regards,
    Santosh Birajdar

    • 2015/07/05 - 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Yes… you can do it yourself… kids should be fine too… it is not that remote so there is no such list… just carry warm clothing for the nights and raincoats for emergency…

  • Santosh
    2015/07/07 - 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Hi,

    Which mobile service is available during the trek…. i mean Idea , Airtel . Vodofone …
    I will carry the SIM accordingly

  • 2016/02/11 - 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant… thanks for the info

  • Hemant Rathod
    2016/05/05 - 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Hello
    my group want to do this trek ,can u help me with any local guide and Home stay

    • 2016/05/05 - 7:57 pm | Permalink

      There is no need for a guide… just follow the trail…
      If you do need one, ask around in Joshimath Town… there are many travel operators in the market…

  • 2016/05/06 - 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Hi there,
    Nice travelogue. I am planning to visit VOF this August. I am accompanied by my parents. Therefore, I will prefer to book some accommodation beforehand. Could you share contacts of some budget(cheap) accommodations at Govindghat and Ghangharia?

    • 2016/05/06 - 9:38 pm | Permalink

      Hey I do not really have any contacts but hotels are easily available… you will see them by the side of the road…

  • SALIM MOHAMMED
    2016/07/31 - 11:15 am | Permalink

    I really enjoyed this virtual tour to VoF …. planning to visit after a week..

  • Joheb
    2016/08/20 - 1:23 am | Permalink

    Is it advisable to go there on end of sept ?
    What’s the minimum numbers of days required,to and fro rishikesh ?
    And whats wud be the average expense

    • 2016/08/20 - 1:34 am | Permalink

      You can but probably the flowers will start drying up…
      Keep at least 5-6 days to and from Rishikesh

      Cost depends on your preferences… 5K should be enough with budget options and public transport to and from Rishikesh

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