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Ways to Experience Valley of Flowers National Park
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Reviewed 19 September 2018

VoF and Hemkund are both moderate hikes, accessible from Ghangriya as base. We did Vof first followed by hemkund the next day.
VoF is around 4kms hike and it took us around 4 hours to reach the glacier point with regular photo stops and a lunch break for around 30 minutes. The flowers are obviously what the valley is famous for but the view of the mountains, the glaciers on distant peaks, the rivers is so pacifying. It's a photographers' paradise and you can click to your heart's content. Just remember to start early (The gate opens at 7am) so that you have enough time when you get to the top and start getting down by around 2pm because you have to report at the entry point by 5:30pm latest. Mules don't climb on the VoF path so you have to either walk or hire porters to carry you. Walking is the best option if you want to get photos and enjoy the valley fully because there are beautiful views and lovely flowers to be seen en-route, which can be enjoyed only on foot.
Hemkund is a relatively longer and steeper hike than VoF. It's around 6.5 kms to the gurudwara from Ghangriya, and it took us around 5 hours to get to there on foot. Lot of people also climb hemkund on mules, which take around 2.5 hours to the top. The lake at the top has immense mythological and religious significance and is considered very holy. Its also the starting point for the Laxman ganga river. The gurudwara serves excellent langar for all the pilgrims and it's a must try. We also spent around half an hour inside the gurudwara during the prayers and its was so peaceful. Brahmakamals are the main attraction for many people going to Hemkund and we saw literally thousands of them, entire hills covered with the beautiful white flowers. The people at the gurudwara are amazing and you will have people continuously coming up to you, offering you hot tea or the awesome khichdi. The lake itself, surrounded by 7 peaks, is a sight to behold. It's a sight that, once seen, will live with you forever.
Tip: For both VoF and Hemkund, try to reach there as early as you can. If the weather is bad, don't climb down immediately (although your guide will generally recommend just that). The weather on the mountains is very unpredictable and it can get clear and cover up again within minutes. When we reached hemkund, it was so cloudy that we coudn't even distinguish the lake, but after half an hour, it cleared up so that we got excellent views of both the lake as well as the surrounding peaks. It was cloudy again in 15-20 minutes. So wait and pray, don't be in a hurry to come down once you are up. The gurudwara closes at 2:00pm and if you reach by 11:00, you will have good time to enjoy the atmosphere and get back to Ghangriya in time. :)

Date of experience: August 2018
9  Thank Dhiresh D
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 19 September 2018

visited the valley in the end of July. In contrast to Hemkund , here you have to trek along a rugged terrain but it is worth it. After trekking for about 4-5 kms you reach the starting point of the valley. Many people stroll about in this part and go back. Actually from this point you have to trek further amid myriad of flora and reach a point where there is a bifurcation. Towards the right is the memorial of Ms Leggie. The other path leads to the glacier. Due to time constraint I could not visit the latter. However it was a lifetime experience. Many people seemed to be disappointed as they may have expected something of a flower show. Here you must enjoy nature in its pristine glory.

Date of experience: July 2018
Thank sray0817
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 14 September 2018 via mobile

we visited vally of flowers on august months. we have seen lots of flowers in the vally. vally is very beautifull and it was my chilhood dream came true as i entered in the vally. it is a must visit place. i had gone with tour operator and some friends. all arrangements was good . we had lost 1 day due to landslide. coming time we came by helicopter and was good experience also. overall it was a nice trip and memorable also.

Date of experience: August 2018
1  Thank Freedom814560
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 13 September 2018

We (in a group of 12) visited Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib in the 1st week of September. The itinerary is the same as available at most places over the internet. Haridwar->Govindghat (Day 1)-> Gangaria (Day 2)->Valley Of flowers (Day 3)-Gangaria>Hemkund Sahib (Day 4)->Govindghat (Day 5). But I have a couple of important points that might help:

1. Time of Travel-> Although famous travel sites will say July- Sept is a good time to travel to VOF, don't expect the bloom after 15th August. 1st week of August is the best time to travel if you are a sucker for the bloom. Having said that, even minus the flowers, the trek is beautiful.

2. Food supplies- Hemkund Sahib is no problem in terms of food supplies as there are multiple food stalls and rest points along the way. For Valley of Flowers, however, you need to stock well. There are no food stalls/ washrooms etc on the entire trail. We started our trek at 7 AM and reached the valley entrance around 12 noon. You need to carry food for the trek from Ghangaria itself.

3. Road Travel to Govindghat- If you start your travel from Haridwar/ Rishikesh early morning, you will reach Govindghat same day late night. However, you must note that you must cross Joshimath before 7:30/8 PM. Around that time the roads are blocked and you may need to seek special permissions from the local police to travel beyond, at your risk. It is also risky to travel once its dark.

Drop in your questions, if you have any. Will try my best to answer.

Date of experience: September 2018
6  Thank mansha s
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 12 September 2018

There isn't much to add to all the other reviews; it is well worth the exhausting climbs. Get a lift in a local vehicle to Pulna from Govindghat- the locals are the only ones who can use this road - the climb to Ghangaria is now halved. Get a horse to carry heavy bags from Pulna - its worth the small cost. We all found the walk very tiring and apart from the horses and locals nobody was rushing past us.
Pre-book accommodation.
GET A GUIDE - without one you will not understand the valley and its flora and fauna. We hired Rajneesh Chauhan for our group of 4 - he has a shop in Ghangaria (9927594671). What he didn't know about the valley wasn't worth knowing - he also made us lunch from what he carried and from what he picked along the way - It was delicious. He knew what we could taste and found us lots to sample along the way. We saw many large groups walk past plants as the guides couldn't get them all to see the small delicate plants. There was only one location for Blue Poppies close to the path and many visitors never saw them. Your efforts to get there will be rewarded if you are with a guide in a small group of about 4.

Date of experience: August 2018
5  Thank Ken S
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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