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Valley Of Flowers National Park

Valley of Flowers National Park located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand state. The nearest town to the park is Joshimath. This park is extremely popular among the tourists for the lush meadows and widespread alpine flowers. The park is also visited by the tourists to witness some of the endangered species which are protected here. Some of the commonly found endangered species are the Musk deer, Asiatic black bear, brown bear, snow leopard, blue sheep and red fox. In the bird’s category, some of the high flying birds like Himalayan Monal Pheasant are found here. The valley of flowers national park and the Nanda Devi national park forms the separation point between the Himalayan and the Zanskar mountain ranges. This park has a total area of 87.5 sq Km. Both these parks are part of the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. This reserve forms part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves featuring in the UNESCO list since 2004.


The Valley of flowers did not come to light and knowledge of the people till 1931 due to difficult terrains and inaccessible routes. However, British mountaineers RL Holdsworth, Frank S Smythe and Eric Shipton were the first to discover and name this place. It was a coincidence that they lost their way after a successful mountaineering expedition and reached this place. They were awestruck by the beauty of this place and gave it the present name. The place became popular after a book on similar name was released by Frank Smythe.

The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew sent a Botanist named Joan Margaret Legge in 1939 to study about the Valley of flowers and collect samples of some of the rare varieties of flowers. However, she met with an unfortunate tragic death while attempting to collect some flowers by travelling through the rocky slopes. Later her sister visited the valley and constructed a memorial in memory of her beloved sister at the same spot.


The Valley of Flowers is located near the Joshimath town of Gharwal region. The exact location of the valley is near Gobind ghat in the Pushpawati Valley twenty three km away from the Nanda Devi Park. Pushpawati River which is the tributary of the Tipra glacier descending from the Gauri Parbat flows nearby. The Valley lies in the Zanskar range of the Himalayas with Gauri Parbat as the highest Peak. This park is an important source and acts as a control site for the maintenance of natural processes in the Himalayan region. It maintains an ecological balance.


The Valley of flowers is part of the inner Himalayan valley and hence experiences a unique microclimate. The area experiences heavy rainfall between June to September. The vegetation remains lush after the rainfall as the soil remains moist. The temperature is as high as 19 °C from April to June. The complete area is covered by snow for six to seven months from October to March. The availability of dense fog decreases the visibility. The temperature gets extremely cold at night and early morning hours.

Best Time to Visit

The Valley of Flowers remains open only from June to September as during the other period it is completely covered with snow. The ideal time to visit this Park is from July to August. Tourists can witness full bloom flowers after the onset of first monsoon. People visiting the place before this period will not be able to see any flowers except melting glaciers. The complete greenery of the valley transforms to yellow color after August and the flowers starts dying.

Flora & Fauna


The complete Valley of flowers was separately surveyed by the botanists and researchers of Botanical Survey of India, Forest Research Institute and Wildlife Institute of India in 1987, 1992 and 1997 respectively. The researchers had found five species of plants which were new to science and were never discussed. A comprehensive research nursery to carry out in depth study a collect samples was created at Musadhar near the entrance to the valley. The special research program in the valley aims at collecting rare plants with excellent medicinal values. The valley is an ocean of medicinal plants of high values. The researchers are making all efforts to conserve the same without any damage due to nature and overcrowding of visitors.

The popular flowers like marigold, daisies, orchids, primulas, poppies and anemones are abundantly found in the valley. Birch and rhododendron are the other varieties found in the valley which cover majority of the area.


The Valley of flowers does not have high density of animals. However, majority of them found here are the endangered species. The study conducted by Dr. CP Kala has revealed identification of thirteen endangered species in the area. Some of the popular ones among them are Northern plain grey langur, Himalayan goral, Himalayan black bear, red fox, Himalayan weasel, Himalayan yellow-throated marten, flying squirrel, Himalayan musk deer, Indian chevrotain, Himalayan thar, Blue sheep and Serow.  The villagers of the neighboring villages have reported the sighting of common leopard in the valley. Some have also reported the presence of Blue sheep and brown bear. Further a survey conducted in Oct 2004 has confirmed the presence of snow leopard in the Valley. The Valley of flowers has a total of 114 bird species. Some of the commonly found bird species include koklass pheasant, Himalayan monal pheasant, yellow-nape woodpeckers, snow pigeon, Himalayan vulture, bluethroated barbets, spotted dove, and yellow billed and red billed choughs. The valley has very few reptiles. Some of the commonly found reptiles include high altitude lizard, Himalayan pit viper and Himalayan ground skink. The presence of flowers is the home for several varieties of bees and butterflies. Some of the commonly found butterfly variants are common blue Apollo, lime butterfly, Mormon spangle and common yellow swallowtail,


In order to protect the park from damage due to overcrowding and safety of the tourists the visit to Valley of flowers is restricted during daylight only. The Park remains open from 6 am to 6 pm and the last entry to the park is at 3 pm. camping in the park and nearby vicinity is strictly prohibited. The tourists are required to return back to Ghangaria on the same day.

Nearby Attractions


It is one of the four Pithas established by the Adi Shankaracharya. It is the gateway to the shrine temple of Badrinath.

Nanda Devi National Park

Nanda Devi national park established in 1982 is located at a distance of twenty three km from Joshimath. It is a popular national park in the Himalayan region featuring in the UNESCO’s list of world heritage site.


The last stop for the tourists visiting the valley of flowers. It is the base camp for trekkers and is located on the banks of river Lakshaman Ganga.

Hemkund Sahib

This is an important place of worship for the people of Sikh religion. It is believed that Guru Govind Singh the tenth Guru of Sikhs meditated here for years.


Perfect place for skiing enthusiasts. During the winter season it remains covered by snow providing excellent scope for skiing. Auli is accessible from Joshimath by ropeway or road.


One of the most popular temples of Hindu faith with Lord Badrinarayan (Vishnu) as the ruling deity. It is located at a distance of 331 km from Rishikesh.


Chamoli, earlier known as Kedar khand is regarded as the abode of Gods. The panoramic view, picturesque location and excellent landscapes make this an excellent place worth visiting.


This is the starting point of trekkers to both Valley of flowers and Hemkund Sahib. It is located at a distance of twenty two km from Joshimath at the meeting point of rivers Lakshman Ganga and Alaknanda.

Entry Fees and Other Charges

The entry fee to the Valley of flowers National Park is 150 rupees for Indians and 600 rupees for foreign nationals for three days. If one wishes to stay beyond three days an additional ticket of 50 rupees for Indians and 250 rupees for foreigners has to be purchased. The Forest Department issues the tickets at Check point near Ghangaria. This is the official entry point to the park.

Porter services are available at 450 rupees plus food charges for conveying luggage from Govind Ghat to the Valley. Services of Mule can also be availed by paying 500 rupees at Govind Ghat to Ghangaria.

Do not worry if you have failed to get your monsoon kit, plastic raincoats made of cheap plastic material is available for approximately 20 rupees.

Information for Visitor’s

The visitors are required to be in healthy condition to undertake the strenuous trek. However, all your strain would get vanished and you will feel on top of the world when you reach this enchanting beautiful place. You can witness several varieties of flowers all around the way from Ghangria to the valley.

Tourists are advised to carry sufficient clothes and monsoon wear to protect from the occasional rains which is most likely. Also carry some packed food during the trek.

It is advised to book your accommodation in advance as the place becomes extremely crowded between Jul to Sep months due to visit of Sikh pilgrims to Hem Khund Sahib.

In order to have a comfortable trouble free trekking it is advised to hire a porter at Govind Ghat for carrying the luggage to Ghangaria.

How to Reach

By Air

Jolly Grant airport is the nearest airport to Valley of flowers. The road transport facility exists only up to Govind Ghat which is located at a distance of 292 km from the airport. Jolly Grant airport is well connected with daily flights to Delhi and there are number of taxis available to reach Govind Ghat. Tourists have to trek a distance of sixteen km from Govind Ghat to reach the beautiful valley of flowers.  

By Rail

The nearest Railway station to the Valley of flowers is Rishikesh which is located at a distance of 273 km. Rishikesh is well connected with trains from important destinations of the country being a religious place of utmost reverence for the Hindus.  Taxi facilities are available from the railway station to reach Govind Ghat.   

By Road

Bus facility is available from ISBT Kashmiri Gate (Delhi) to major destinations in Uttarakhand like Rudraprayag, Rishikesh, Chamoli, Pauri, etc. Delhi is located at a distance of 505 km from Govind Ghat. Several private tour operators also provide deluxe bus facility till Govind Ghat.

Where to Stay

The best option is to stay at Joshimath before proceeding to the park. The Government run guest houses are available under the name Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam. These are the most reliable accommodation facilities available. Due to the location at high altitude the hotels here have very less facilities. The water supply and electricity are the main concerns in these places. However, if you are an adventure enthusiast, you can look out for camping in Ghangaria which is the entrance for the park.

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