How to Reach: Dehradun/Haridwar/Rishikesh to Govindghat via Joshimath, by
road. The distance is around 300 km and takes around 10-12 hours
depending on road and traffic conditions. One can take night halt at
Joshimath or Govindghat. From Govindghat to Pulna village is nearly 5
km and shared sumo is available which costs Rs. 200 per head or
Rs.500/600 for full vehicle. From Pulna village it is around 10 km on foot
or one can take horse ride which costs between Rs. 1500 to Rs. 1800
per person or one can go by pitthu (man carrying you on back).
Depending on the mode of Travel it takes 2 hours to six hours. The last
4 and half kilometer is too steep. So one need to be mentally prepared
for the same and the road is paved with stone which tends to slip
during rain. Then you reach Ghangria. Night halt at Ghangria. From
Ghangria one can leave in the morning for Valley of flowers ( Phoolon
Ki Ghati). The gate opens at 7 in the morning and the entry fee is Rs.
150 per head. This entry pass is valid for three days. Thus one can
enter the park three consecutive days by buying one pass of Rs.150.
From the gate the valley is 3 km trek and once again it is a steep trek.
Altitude : Govindghat is at 6000 feet, Ghangria is at 10000 feet and valley of
flowers is at around 12000 feet and Hemkund Shahib is at 15000 feet.
Valley of flowers is over two and half kilometer spread.
Time to Visit: The best time to visit valley of flowers is in the month of July. Though it
will be raining but one can get to see the valley at its best. From mid
August the flowers will start dropping and by September middle, it will
be all over.
What to carry: As the time to visit is peak monsoon, so one must have a good rain
coat, a good trekking shoe, cap rather a hat will be better, sunscreen
lotion is must otherwise skin will burn due to strong UV rays. One should
preferably carry mosquito/insect repellent cream as all hotels are
infested with insects. Ghangria is normally warm during day time but
after evening the temperature starts falling rapidly. So one should
carry warm cloths accordingly. Day temperature hovers around 12-
18/19 but the night temperature goes down to even 5/6 degree
Mobile Connection: Only Jio has a mobile tower, rest no other service provider has
any tower. Hence except Jio and on rare occasion one can get Airtel
connectivity. Rest no other mobile network is available there. Secondly,
only two/three hotels provide Wi-Fi connection, rest majority of the
hotels do not provide Wi-Fi facility.
Guide: Valley of flowers has over 520 types of plants and of those nearly 500
are flowering plants. So it is always advisable to have a proper good
guide who knows the flowers and its characteristics. Though there are
many but hardly few who are from Ghangria. I was lucky to come
across two such local guides who are exceptionally good in their
knowledge and equally good companion. One is Eshwar
(+91 9458927294) and the other one is Rupesh (+91 7579000228).
The Valley: If one wants to see maximum no of flowers then one day is not
enough. In any way the entry-pass allows one to enter three
consecutive days inside the valley. Though it may be physically
strenuous to trek three days continuously but it can be cherishing
experience if one can do. I could do two days. Secondly, the more one
goes higher altitude from valley one can see more rare flowers. The
higher the altitude the more beautiful and rare flowers. Like
Bramhakamal and Blue Poppy can be seen more, near Hemkund
Shahib. Kunth Khal which is in the range of 3700 – 4500 mtr, has to be
trekked further from Valley of Flowers. The flowers which can be seen
in Kunth Khal are not available in the valley nor around Hemkund
Shahib. So if anyone really wants to enjoy and feel the beauty of this
heaven in earth then one must go between mid July to first week of
August and spend 7/8 days based at Ghangria and trek different
routes to explore the entire valley in totality. But I must say, every
nature lover must go once in his life to see this beautiful gift of mother
nature to India. Please don’t miss it.