Valley of Flowers National Park is an Indian National park, located in West Himalaya. Nestled in Uttarakhand, this alluring place is famous for its charming meadows of alpine flowers. This richly diverse area is also home to rare and endangered animals, including the Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, musk deer, brown bear, red fox, and blue sheep. Birds found in the park include Himalayan Monal pheasant and other high altitude birds.
Legends believe it to be the place from where Hanuman had collected the Sanjeevanibuti for curing Lakshmana. This place has floral pastures, running streams and beautiful backdrop of the mountains. It’s a core zone of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. Together, they encompass a unique transition zone between the mountain ranges of the Zanskar and Great Himalaya. Perched at an altitude of 3658mts above sea level, Bhyundar Valley is the home to this surreal place. Historically, the beauty of the place was unknown to the world until 1931, three British mountaineers came here. They lost their way and happened to discover this alluring valley and named it Valley of Flowers. Later in the year 1939, Joan Margaret Legge, a botanist arrived here to study flowers. She was deputed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Krew but she lost her life by slipping from the rocky terrain. Her sister later came here and erected a memorial near the spot.
Valley of Flowers is located 300 Kms North of Rishikesh, near Badrinath. You need to Travel by Road till Govindghat and from there the trek to Valley of Flowers starts. Valley of Flowers remains covered with a thick blanket of snow during the winter season. It is in full bloom during July, August, and September. This is the best time to explore the splendor of this magnificent place.
To reach the valley one has to trek from GovindGhat, on the route to Hemkund Sahib, uptoGhangaria, 12kms ahead. After Ghangaria the trek route to the valley takes a detour towards left. The valley is about 5 km from Ghangaria. The high altitude serine lake, known as Hemkund( 4329mts.) lies in heavenly environs. A steep trek from Ghangharia leads one to this spot in about four to six hours. It is an important pilgrimage for both Hindus and Sikhs, as well as for people from other faiths. There is a Sikh Gurudwara and a Lakshman temple built on the bank of the lake. Encircled by seven snow-clad peaks and their associated glaciers, it reflects its surroundings enchantingly on its crystal clear serene waters. The glaciers from Hathi Parvat and Saptrishi peaks feed the lake and a small stream called Himganga flows out of this lake.
Ghangaria is the base camp for the trek to Valley of Flowers. One cannot stay at Valley of Flowers, therefore Ghangaria remains an ideal place to relax and sleep.