Uttarakhand’s Valley of Flowers opens to tourists this June

The National Park boasting over 500 species of flowering plants is gearing up to welcome visitors next month and here’s everything to know before you pay a visit
Hemkund Sahib
Hemkund Sahib

Trekkers and nature enthusiasts, mark your calendars! Starting June 1 this year, the enchanting Valley of Flowers National Park in India will open its doors to visitors.

Nestled within the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, the Valley of Flowers has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005, recognised for its breathtaking natural beauty and rich biodiversity. Believed to have been discovered in 1931, three British mountaineers – led by Frank S Smythe – lost their way and chanced upon this valley and named it the Valley of Flowers.

Upon entering the Valley of Flowers, visitors are greeted by an explosion of colours and fragrances. The valley spans approximately 87.5 square kilometres in the Chamoli district and is home to over 500 species of flowering plants.

Early blooms of potentilla, wild rose and primrose have been reported due to snowmelt, according to the official website of Uttarakhand Tourism.

From June to September, the valley transforms into a vibrant mosaic of blue poppies, purple orchids, yellow marigolds and countless other blossoms swaying in the mountain breeze. The monsoon season extends accessibility to the Valley of Flowers trek until October and November.

Travellers planning to visit this floral paradise can start their journey from Govindghat or Pulna village. Govindghat, perched at around 6,000 feet above sea level, serves as the starting point for the trek, which is a 3-day and 17 km adventure through this floral wonderland.

As visitors explore the Valley of Flowers, they can also witness the diverse wildlife that calls this region home, including the elusive snow leopard, blue sheep, musk deer and Himalayan black bear amidst the rugged terrain.

Birdwatchers can delight in sightings of colourful Himalayan monals and other avian species that inhabit this pristine landscape. For those seeking a truly immersive experience, local guides are available to lead treks and provide insights into the flora, fauna and history of the region.

Additionally one can explore nearby attractions such as Hemkund Sahib, a revered Sikh pilgrimage site dedicated to Guru Gobind Singh. The trek to Hemkund Sahib is challenging, but the sight of the crystal-clear glacial lake surrounded by seven snow-capped peaks makes the journey profoundly rewarding.

Visitors are advised to check the official website of Uttarakhand Tourism for updates on weather conditions and trekking permits before planning their trip. The village can be reached by cab or private vehicle from the nearest railway station in Rishikesh, approximately 262 km away, or the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, about 270 km away.

Hemkund Sahib
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