Valley Of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib: Budget Travel Guide Under INR 3000

Update: September 2016

I made another trip to the valley and this time managed to visit Hemkund Sahib too. So this guide is now updated wth latest information.

My old Valley of Flowers travelogues still gets the most traffic out of everything I have ever published here. So, I think it is a good time to refresh the memory and add some more value to it. The reason why I am doing this is that the season is starting now and this will be the first complete season after a gap of two years caused by the devastating flood of 2013.


How many days are needed for Valley of Flowers trek?
5 days from and back to Delhi should be enough if planned well, but you may want to give it more time to really enjoy the experience.

What is the preferable route?

What I generally followed was the following,
Delhi-Haridwar-Rishikesh-Rudraprayag-Chamoli-Joshimath-Govindghat (Motorable Road — The NH 58)
Then finally trek to Ghangaria where you stay the night. The next day you can trek up to the valley and then come back. If you are going to Hemkund, it is another route from there and will take another day.

valley of flowers uttaranchal

Best time to visit Valley of Flowers?
Monsoon is when the flowers bloom. July and August are the best months but also be prepared to brave heavy rains. Carry raincoats and protect your equipment with plastic bags. In september the flowers start drying up. Check this post to see how it looks in September.

Valley of Flowers September (1)


Is public transport available to Valley of Flowers?
You get transport till Govindghat and then you trek. From Delhi, both trains and buses are available aplenty to Haridwar. After that, you mostly rely on buses or hired cars that you can also share with others to save money if you are alone. Do not worry about the expenses as far as public transport is concerned. They are minimal.


How Long Is The Trek?
As you can see, there are two parts of. The first you have to reach Ghangaria. This stretch is around 13 KMs of easy to moderate trekking. You will find food and accommodation here for the night and even this place offers good views with a waterfall. For here you can go to Valley of Flowers the next day. That trek used to be around 4 KMs. But newly built trek after the floods may be slightly longer. Hemkund Saheb is 6 KM away on another route and will take one extra day for it.

valley of flowers uttaranchal

What kind of support is available for those who cannot trek?
For those who have a problem with fitness, you can find horses or mules to carry. The locals who drag them charge good money (It used to be INR 500 for a one-way ride in 2010… did not ask on the latest occassion but must have increased). I also saw people being carried on stretcher by four other people although I guess they were heading for the pilgrimage rather than any kind of adventure.

What about Food Options?
Basic vegetarian food is available everywhere. Other options are available but less abundant considering the fact that it is a religious circuit. Langar food is also basic.

How much should be the Budget?
In case you want to save money, it is possible to do this trip to and from Delhi for INR 3000 ($50) or so in my opinion if you use public transport, stay in budget hotels (Two people travelling together and sharing hotel rooms is the best) and you are fit enough not to hire mules or horses. You can also lessen your costs by eating the langars at various gurudwaras at Govindghat, Ghangaria, and even Hemkund.

Ideal Itinerary and Ideal Budget

Do note that I am making a very tight estimate, assuming that you do this trip in 5 days. In reality, it can get hectic. You may want to break your journey in the middle and halt at a place like Rudraprayag. In that case the costs will be slightly higher.

Day 0: Take night train from Delhi to Haridwar.

Day 1: Take early morning bus from Haridwar to Govindhat, get a hotel room there at night.

Day 2: Trek to Ghangaria. It is a long trek and takes the whole day. Hotel at Ghangaria.

Day 3: Trek to Valley of Flower and back to Ghangaria.

Day 4: Trek to Hemkund and back to Ghangaria.

Day 5: Trek down to Govindghat as early as possible, catch any bus or shared car back to Haridwar, catch night train and return to Delhi by next morning.

So here is a potential breakdown… (Assuming 2 people travelling together from Delhi)

Delhi-Haridwar (Mussoorie Express/ Sleeper Class) INR 190

Bus to Govindghat (You may have to change the vehicles if you dont get a direct one)… approx INR 600

Assuming the same rates on return, Transportation cost per head INR 1600

Budget hotels are available at 300-600 everywhere. I am assuming INR 400 on average, shared between 2 people, so per head  INR 200.

Nights required will be 1 at Govindghat and 3 at Ghangaria. On the last day you’ll have to trek down to Govindghat and then take a very long bus ride to Rishikesh & Haridwar.

So, hotel cost per head for 4 nights INR 800.

As for food, both the Gurudwaras at Govindghat and Ghangaria serve free food. Additionally, you get free food at Hemkund at the end of the trek. I suggest that you eat the dinner at the langars. For other foods, I am assuming that you can survive on INR 100 per head per day.

So, food cost INR 500 per head.

There are some small formalities like entry fee to the Valley of Flowers National Park. Forgot the exact number but its in two digits.

Total Cost ~ INR 3000

valley of flowers uttaranchal

What about Accommodation?
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 luxury, you might be disappointed after Joshimath. But as a matter of principle, you should not be bothered about artificial comfort in such a place. At Ghangaria this time I got a decent room for INR 300 after some bargaining. If you don’t care about privacy and want to save money, you can ask some of the religious establishments, there must be something for pilgrims.

valley of flowers uttaranchal

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. Just walk along.

valley of flowers uttaranchal

How long is the Hemkund Sahib Trek?
It is around 6kms but it is much steeper than the Valle of Flowers trek that takes you above 4000 meters.

Do I need one extra day for this trek?
Yes, Valley of Flowers and Hemkund are two independent treks that start from Ghangaria. You should keep two full days for these two treks.

Hemkund (12)

Do I get food up there at Hemkund?

Yes, the langar at the gurudwara serves khichdi and tea for free. There are many shacks on the route too.

Do I get any other transport to Hemkund if I cannot trek?
Yes, there are horses for hire and they charge around INR 1000 if you cannot trek.

Can I spend the night up there?
No. You must start your return trek latest by 2 pm and come down to Ghagaria.

Is there is a possibility of altitude sickness at Hemkund?
It is not impossible although it did not happen to me. You are going above 4000 metres so you need to be careful. There is a dispensary at the top too in case of emergency. In any case, the best solution is to come down as soon as possible in case you are not feeling well.

New Developments

My last visited it in 2010. Then the flood of 2013 wiped away the trek and it was closed for a couple of years. But now it has reopened and also new roads have been built. While most other details remain the same, here are a couple of things you need to know.

New Road to Pulna Village

Earlier one had to trek or ride a horse all the way from Govindghat and Ghangaria. But now there is a motorable road till Pulna village, which is around 3 KMs from Govindghat. There are shared cars that will drop you there for INR 35. You still have to trek around 10 kms from that point but it saves more than an hour of trekking.


From Govindghat you must start the trek before 2PM as it is a long way to Ghangaria. Otherwise, you will not even be allowed to cross the bridge by the cops. Similarly, both Valley of Flowers and Hemkund must be approached as early as possible, so that you can come back by afternoon.

Jitaditya Narzary

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

27 thoughts on “Valley Of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib: Budget Travel Guide Under INR 3000

  • 2015/06/06 at 7:10 pm

    Jitaditya, Lovely photographs and idea for Valley of flowers! I would be heading to valley of flowers. After completely Everest base camp, this places look great.. Hoping to see more flowers..

  • 2015/06/07 at 12:40 pm

    Breathtaking views and charming blue flowers – my favorite color in the nature.

  • 2015/06/10 at 8:14 am

    What a beautiful place. Do the flowers still blossom after the rains? Like maybe September?

  • 2015/06/13 at 3:25 pm

    Hi Jitaditya,
    Nice pics.. I am planning to visit this july. Would love to see Valley of flowers, Hemkund sahib and Badrinath.

  • 2015/08/22 at 11:55 am

    Hi Jitaditya!

    I have few questions –

    1.. Is it advisable to do this trek in first week of Sep?
    2. I’m very tight on schedule…but i still want to give it a shot! Can i complete VOF trek from (2nd sep-6th Sep) to & fro..?


    • 2015/08/22 at 2:59 pm

      May be possible if you mean to and from Delhi… but do it at your own risk…
      Also I guess the flowers will be on the wane in September

      • 2015/08/22 at 3:45 pm

        Thanks a lot for your reply! However what kind of risks are we looking at here?

  • 2016/07/25 at 8:12 pm

    Hi Jitaditya, I have never heard of the Valley of Flowers but your pix looks so stunning. I would love to visit there one day. Thanks for the tips! – Julie

  • 2016/10/04 at 5:40 pm

    Great post, Jita. Proper, precise information and the photographs are out of this world!

    Look forward to travelling together someday.



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  • 2017/02/18 at 10:48 pm

    Wow! Such an amazing post and informative enough. The pictures are stunning. I have been longing to visit this place for a long but could not make out. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • 2017/04/16 at 1:24 pm

    Though I have not longed to be someplace but this is one destination luring me and I feel I must do it before I touch 60 which will be soon. I find your journey narration real enough
    to believe and encouraging enough to go on this trip earliest.

  • 2017/06/11 at 9:51 pm

    Dear Jitaditya Narzary, Thank you for all the valuable information you have provided, especially the availability of taxi to Pulna village and that one must depart from Govindghat by 2:00 PM, i have just one question, did you travel solo or you had friends/ family with you, because I am unable to find anyone for the trip, but I really want to visit there this August.

    Thank You.

    • 2017/06/12 at 9:31 am

      Hi Ajay…
      I have done it twice. I did it solo in 2010 (when the taxi to Pulna was not there)
      I did it last year again with a friend. You can find the links to both the travelogues on this post.

  • 2017/08/01 at 3:49 pm

    Can the trek doable at night?

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