Valley of Flowers & Hemkunt Sahib – Most Common Itinerary

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First and foremost, Wishing you and your family a very very Happy New Year 2016 !!

Today I will be re-presenting the detailed information on Valley of Flowers and Shri Hemkunt Sahib already published under DoW Community and very well drafted by one of our core devil, Preet Kamal Singh. The information posted on the community thread here is so valuable that I could not resist myself to re-share it in the form of a blog article so that it reaches more like minded travelers or followers of DoW which are still to join our DoW Community !!

Valley of Flower and Shri Hemkunt Sahib are the two fabulous places housed in the lap of western Himalayas in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. Gurudwara Sri Hemkunt Sahib ji is devoted to the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Govind Singh ji. Located at a staggering height of 4632 meters (15,197 feet), amidst seven mountain peaks with glacial peak in the middle, one can trek 25 KMs from Govindghat which is the second last station on Rishekesh-Badrinath highway, in order to reach this amazing gift of nature.

On the other hand, the Valley of Flowers National Park, a world heritage site, is situated at an altitude of 3700 – 4000 Mtrs in the west Himalayan region and is the second core zone of the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. The Valley of Flowers covers an area of about of 87.50 sq kms housing almost 300 varieties of alpine flowers. It was discovered by great mountaineer Frank S Smith in the year 1931. The trek to Valley of Flowers also starts from Govindghat and diverts from Ghangaria which is near Govind dham and is about 16 Kms from Govindghat.

Valley of flowers, as beautiful as it can be
Valley of flowers, as beautiful as it can be

Most Common Itinerary for Valley of Flowers & Hemkunt Sahib

Day 1 | Delhi to Rishikesh/Haridwar (200 Kms, 4 Hours)

Delhi to Rishikesh is about 200 Kms and takes about 4 hours depending upon the traffic. The roads are in good shape mostly but traffic can be headache some times. You can also reach haridawar by train and proceed further from there by road.

Day 2 | Rishikesh/Haridwar to Govind Ghat (275 KMs, 10-12 Hours)

You can take bus from Haridwar which starts at 4.30/5 AM in the morning and it reaches 5/5.30 AM at Rishikesh. You can also take the shared cabs which are available at both the places near bus stand and start early morning only at around 5-5.0 AM. If you are driving your personal car, then try to start early as you have to cover about 275 Kms in a day with time for jams and landslides taken into account. In your day, you will drive through Devprayag – Srinagar – Rudraprayag – Joshimath.You would be able to reach Govind Ghat by 5 Pm in the evening. There are a lot of hotels available in Govind Ghat suited for economic budgets and you can also get the accommodation in Gurudwara Sahib as well.

Day 3 | Govind Ghat to Govind Dham/Ghangaria (15 Kms of trek 4-6 hours)

You have to start early on this day also as the trek is tiring and is of moderate. Ponies and Porters are available. You will pass thru Pulia and Bhyundar village and there are shops on the way, so you will have things to eat.

Day 4 | Govind Dham/Ghangaria to Valley of Flowers (5-7kms of Trek 4-6 hrs)

You should start early by 6 and see a beautiful waterfall on you right side just in front of Valley of Flowers, check point gate. After taking entry tickets, you will enter the beautiful valley called valley of flowers. Porters are available, carry your food as nothing is available inside it once you enter the gate. Start back by 2 so that you can easily reach before evening or dark falls.

Day 5 | On This day you have options
Option one Ghangaria to Hemkunt sahib to Govind Ghat (27 Kms of tiring trek 12-14 hours)

You have to start early and reach Hemkunt sahib. The trek is very tough and it is hardest you will face on this route. But you will be treated with some breathtaking views.Then you have to trek all the way down to Govind Ghat which is going to be tiring and heavy for knees as maximum of it is descent.

Option two is Ghangaria/Govind Dham to Hemkunt sahib to Govind Dham/Ghangaria.(12 Kms of trek up and back 5/6 hrs). You can take a rest if you can’t continue towards Govind Ghat

Option three is Govind dham To Govind Ghat (15kms of Trek 3 hrs).

You can trek down to Govind ghat in maximum three hours and proceed towards Badrinath which is 25 Kms from there.

Day 6 Govind Ghat To Rishikesh (275 kms 10/12 hrs).

You can take a shared taxi which start early in morning or bus which start at 6.

Day 7 Rishikesh to Delhi (200 Kms, 4-5 hrs)

Short Itinerary, recommended only for pro/advanced trekkers

  • Day 1 Rishikesh to Govind ghat (night travel from Delhi (200kms 4hrs))(275kms, 10-12 hrs)
  • Day 2 Govind Ghat to Govind Dham/Ghangaria (16kms of trek 4/6hrs)
  • Day 3 Govind Dham to Valley of flowers to Govind Dham (5/7 kms of trek 4/6hrs)
  • Day 4 Govind Dham to Govind Ghat to Srinagar (15kms of trek 3 hours and 175 kms of road travel 3/5 hours). Buses are available from Govind ghat till 3 in evening which reach Srinagar by 8 in night
  • Day 5 Srinagar To Rishikesh to Delhi (100 kms till Rishikesh 2 hours and 200kms till Delhi 4 hrs)You can take same bus which you took last day from govind ghat or can take first bus which starts at 6 in morning)

Please note, attempt this only if you are sure about your stamina to undergo this hectic schedule.

Valley of flowers, as beautiful as it can be
Valley of flowers, as beautiful as it can be

Best time to visit Valley of Flowers & Hemkunt Sahib ji

Valley of flower has a cool but pleasant climate in the season time which is mainly summers and for rest of the season it closes down due to snow/cold temperatures. Summers (June to October) have a cool weather with maximum temperature reaches to nearly 10-17 °C and is a good season for viewing the refreshing beauty of valley of flowers. Winters (November to April/May) minimum temperature can go well down below zero. Good time to visit Valley of Flowers/Hemkunt Sahib is between June/July to October which is quite pleasant and ideal for the visit of the national park. It is also a good time window for spotting endangered animals at times. August and September are the special eye catching months with blooming flowers justifying the name of the place. It is the time when about 300 varieties comes to life and make this place look like a fairyland but of course August is when you need to face monsoon hassles as landslides are pretty common in Gharwal. December to May is not recommended as it snows up there and temperatures are below 0 °C without an other support en-route.

Modes of Reaching Till Govind ghat
  • Buses – Local buses and state transport buses run on this route. Check the timings in certain sections as the routes get closed in the evening
  • Cabs / Taxis – Private taxis as well as shared cabs also ply on this route
  • Lifts from Border road organisation trucks and local plying on the route 😉
  • Motorcycles / Bikes, which can be hired from Rishikesh or Delhi
Guides
Valley of flowers, as beautiful as it can be
Ladakh in Winters

Conclusion

Valley of Flowers is such a trek which ever nature lover should experience once in a lifetime. It will surely gonna leave you asking for more and you will really cherish these memories for lifetime.

In the end, I apologize for my absence for the last month or so as I was transitioning from one home to another but now have settled to an extent so as to be back online on Devil On Wheels to offer any kind of help/support in making you travel with a difference in Himalayas !! Do expect the usual regular updates and much much quicker replies from this new year 🙂 🙂

All the pictures in this article is from the amazing travel tale of Madhu bhai in dow community: Two old beauties, a promise & The Valley of Flowers

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You can call me an Avid Traveler, a Day - Night Dreamer and a Passionate Lover of Himalayas who has a high zest for driving whilst exploring new places in Himalayas & sharing back those Himalayan Travel experiences with the other fellow Travelers... I am in love with Spreading Smiles in Himalayas through DoW Causes & currently enjoying life as Happy Traveling Soul at DoW Community. You can read more about me in detail at the link here ...

34 Comments

  1. Hi Dheeraj,

    Just one question, I know we can have accomodation at govindghat, but could you please tell whether accomodation is available at Ghagaria or not. We do not want to carry tents with us. We are a group of 8 people. Thanks in advance

  2. Amit Dabas on

    Hi Dheeraj

    I am planning to Travel from Delhi to VOF on my Car (Maruti Ciaz)

    I will be following Delhi > Haridwar> Rishikesh> Joshimath> Govind Ghat route.

    Can you please let me know about the Road conditions of this route. It will really help me decide if I need to find an alternative vehicle in case the road conditions are bad.

    Waiting for your response.

    Many Thanks – Amit Dabas

    • Amit, as of now last week there was an update up to Rudraprayag that roads are in fine shape. Beyond that, I do not have any latest update on road conditions post monsoons. Sorry about that, but nothing major has been heard about.

  3. Avanthi Kalidindi on

    Can you also please suggest hotel at all the locations of your iternary.we Are planning from Aug 20 (delhi)-Aug 28 (delhi)Thank you!

  4. Hi Dheeraj,

    I am starting from Mumbai to VoF and Hemkund Sahib trek on 23rd and the following is my itinerary:

    23/07 Flight from Mumbai to Delhi leaving at 02.50 hrs reaching Delhi at 5Am. Scramble from there to New Delhi Station to catch the Shatabdi train to Haridwar, take a rick to Rishikesh and halt for the night.

    24/07 take the early Morning Bus to Govindghat and saty there for the night.

    25/07 Leave for Ghangariya early morning by 7Am and start the trek( i want to walk rather than the mule/pony. (I am not an experienced trekker but high on enthusiasm n determination, I have done Mata Vaishno Devi trek, Kedarnathji trek, Yamunotri trek, Tirupati Balaji trek etc in the past few years. I found Keadrnathji trek very difficult but managed to do it in about 8-9 hrs. So how difficult is Ghanghariya trek in comparison, I am 52 yrs old)

    26/07 Ghangariya to VoF

    27/06 Ghangariya to VoF

    28/07 Ghangariya to Hekund Sahin n back to Ghangariya

    I would request your comments on the itinerary and inputs regarding the degree of difficulty of the trek, estimated time for a slow guy like me, how cold will be and what kind of warm clothing is needed?

    Regards

    Sudhakar

    29th Ghangariya to Govindghat to Badrinathji to Joshimath.

    • Sir, the plan looks OK to me just that on 27 you should go to Hemkunt Sahib ji and return to Ghangariya and on 28 reach back to Govindghat which will ease out things. It is a moderate difficulty trek, so will suggest that you carry a porter or guide with you so that you only walk and he carry stuff for you. Plus a company of local is always more than helpful. Cold conditions are OK but do carry a pair of warm clothes and a jacket plus rain cut jacket with you. Raincoat may be necessary too I feel.

      • Thanks a lot for your guidance Dhiraj ji. It is just that i wanted to spend more time VoF to go deeper so i have given myself 2 days. You see i am not constrained for time 🙂

        As suggested i shall hire the services of a porter or a guide. BTW what might be the cost for that person if i have to hire for all days that i am up there in the hills.

        Regds

        Sudhakar

        • Sudhakar ji, I do not think you are allowed to sleep in Valley of Flower and one has to come back, this is based on my own limited knowledge of the place. So, please check with locals before doing that. I am sorry, never got a porter but will check with few friends about the general rates of the porter and revert.

  5. Vyankatesh Mujumdar on

    Hello Dheeraj,
    I have planned to VOF on 2nd week of Aug.
    I planned my itinerary as –

    6 Aug Nagpur to Delhi
    7 Aug Delhi to Rishikesh. Stay at Rishikesh
    8 Aug Rishikesh to Joshimath or Govindghat. Stay.
    9 Aug Govindghat to Ghangariya.
    10 Aug Ghangariya to VOF
    11 Aug Ghangariya to VOF
    12 Aug Ghangariya to Hemkund Saheb return Ghangriya. Stay at Ghangriya
    13 Aug Ghangariya to Govindghat/joshimath
    14 Aug Joshimath to Haridwar
    14 Aug Night Haridwar to Delhi
    15 Aug Night Delhi to Nagpur

    I have few questions-
    Can I get Guide to VOF and Hemkund saheb.? how? (at least from Ghangariya to VOF)
    Is it possible to go to Badrinath and Vasundhara falls once reach at Govinghat from Ghangariaya on the same day(on 13th Aug)?

  6. Manisha govind on

    Hi dheeraj,we planning to go to valley of flowers in month of July end.will it be safe to travel in the rainy season.little worried.please guide us.

    Thanks.

  7. Hi Dheeraj

    Quick question on VOF trek:

    1. Can this trek be done with Quecha ARPENAZ Sandal 100L or its quechua forclaz 500 trekking shoes?

    Regards
    Avni

    • Well, sandals are prone to have bruised feet or cut feet on a simple slip. And you know when you are in no mans land, a small bleeding cut or bruised feet can make you trouble a lot. I never advice trekking in Himalayas in sandals or sleepers. Best is to wear shoes.

  8. Ankit Gupta on

    Hello Dheeraj,

    Really appreciate the good work you are doing. I am really keen to become a member of DoW.

    I am planning my trip (25th June to 3rd May) to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib, Badrinath, Deoria taal and Chandrashila peak. I planned my itinerary as –

    24-Jun Delhi to Haridwar
    25-Jun Haridwar to Joshimath
    26-Jun Joshimath to Govind Ghat Govind Ghat to Ghangaria
    27-Jun Ghangaria to Hemkunt Sahib & back
    28-Jun Ghangaria to valley of flowers & back
    29-Jun Ghangaria to Govind Ghat Govind Ghat to Badrinath Badrinath to Joshimath
    30-Jun Joshimath to Saari Village Sari Village to Deoria Taal
    01-Jul Deoria Taal to Sari Village Sari Village to Chopta Chopta to Tungnath to Chopta
    02-Jul Chopta to Haridwar Haridwar to Delhi

    It would be great if you can shed some light over following points :

    a) First of all, What do you think of this itinerary? I must mention that I am trekking for first time. If you this this itinerary can be improved, please suggest.
    b) We will be travelling in Honda City. Would it be ok to travel in Sedan?
    c) Where would be ideal places to stay according to itinerary? (I must mention that we will be looking for decent but economic accommodation)
    d) Do you have any inputs for blossoming of flowers around that time of the year, in valley of flowers?
    e) Is there any one way road along the whole route?

    Thanks a lot in advance for your help.

    Ankit Gupta

  9. Hi Dheeraj-Ji,

    We are planning to visit VoF in July/Aug 2016.
    It would be great if you can clarify my queries:
    – How difficult is the trek ? This would be our first trek in North.
    – Route from Dehradun ? We are planning to go to Dehradun from Pune. Which route you would suggest – Pune->Delhi or Pune-> Dehradun ?
    – Any trek group/guide which we can join?

    Thanks in advance!

  10. Vipin Negi on

    I have been there on the Month of August, 2015. what an immense beauty. I fall in Love. I have not seen heaven but i am prety sure that it will look like this. Thanks to God for this type of Gift he has given to us. #Shivaye
    Happy New Year Dheeraj

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