Ghangaria to Valley of Flowers- Day 2, Valley of Flowers and Hemkunt Sahib Trek

I used to sleep almost like a log on the Everest Base Camp Trek (apart from Gorek Shep) but no such luck on the VOF trek. I don’t know why every day I would struggle to sleep. The first night at Ghangaria was particularly bad. I woke up at some point with a start, feeling as if someone was shaking my sleeping bag rather badly. After a second of panic I told myself to go back to sleep again and I thankfully I did. But the feeling came back to haunt me everyday with lesser intensity.

But somehow sleeplessness doesn’t affect me the same way as it does in the plains. If I do not sleep well here I can give hell to everyone around me. But if I do not sleep well in the mountains I can still trek up to Valley of Flowers or even Kala Patthar! I tell you it is something about the nature that makes me behave so.

The entry fee to the Valley of Flowers for an Indian national is 150 rupees and all kind of cameras are free except professional videographyย equipment. The entry gate to the park is close from Ghangaria however we had to walk 3km moderately uphill to reach the Valley. The Valley of Flower is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The 3km path to the Valley in itself is very beautiful and is full of beautiful flowers. We spotted Himalayan Blue Poppies on this path and then no where else in the Valley!

Himalayan Blue Poppies, Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand

Himalayan Blue Poppies, Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand

I was quite excited to see these rare flowers and I clicked quite a few pictures! River Pushpawati flows through the park. And there are countless waterfalls too.

River Pushpawati, Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand, India

River Pushpawati, Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand, India

When we were reviewing pictures later at the hotel in Ghangaria Sohan Singh ji complained, “You click too many landscapes! We will click more flowers tomorrow when we go to Hemkut Sahib.” So at the risk of you all also complaining here are the waterfalls.

Waterfalls within the Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand

Waterfalls within the Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand

Once we reached the Valley the path became almost flat and we waked at least 3 km more crossing small streams and reaching up to a bigger one. Sohan Singh ji would have preferred to walk more but thankfully there was too much water in this stream to cross safely. That is where we had our packed lunch. It was quite hot that day and I ate every scrape of paratha, eggs and chocolates we were carrying. We also carried back every scrape of plastic that we had plus whatever else we found on the way.

I saw countless flowers, I need to do a separate photo post on it I guess.

Himalayan Geranium with a Bee, Valley of Flowers, Uttarakahnd

Himalayan Geranium with a Bee, Valley of Flowers, Uttarakahnd

And here is a Red Potentilla flower with an insect. And if I keep posting all the flowers I clicked this post will become 10km long!

Red Potentilla Flower with an Insect
Red Potentilla Flower with an Insect

And before I try to sign off here is one exotic flower called Bladder Campion (Silene Vulgaris) and I saw it at more than one place!

Bladder Campion (Silene vulgaris)

Bladder Campion (Silene vulgaris)

But you what I liked most? The pathways that were lined with flowers.


Himalayan Fleeceflower or Himalayan Knotweed, Valley of Flowers

Himalayan Fleeceflower or Himalayan Knotweed, Valley of Flowers

I was a bit tense as I saw a notice at the ticket counter saying you are supposed to be out of the Valley by 2.00 pm where as Sohan ji didn’t seem to be too bothered. When I asked him later he said trust our authorities to frame such rules that cannot be observed. We got out around 5.00 pm and we had started at 7.30 am. So it was again a 12km and an 8 hour day.

For dinner I had a Garhwali dish called Chainsoo made of various color rajama flour (kidneyย beans). The next day we were walking up to Hemkunt Sahib.

You can check out the entire trip account day wise from the following links-

Traveling to Rishikesh and Joshimath (Day 1 &2 of the trip)

Rest Day at Joshimath (Day 3 of the trip)

Trekking from Govinghat to Ghangaria (Day 4 of the trip, day 1 of the trek)

Trekking from Ghangaria to Hemkunt Sahib (Day 6 of the trip, day 3 of trekking)

Trekking from Ghangaria to Govindghat (Day 7 of the trip, day 4 of trekking)


PS. Have a look at my Antarctica Dream Page too.

32 thoughts on “Ghangaria to Valley of Flowers- Day 2, Valley of Flowers and Hemkunt Sahib Trek”

  1. wow!!! they are so beautiful!!! both, the flowers as well as the landscapes!! and dont worry, we will never tire of seeing ur landscape pics either.. they are the ones that make me want to get up and out NOW!!!

  2. Thats seems like a puuurfect dady to spend! Ur detailed description makes onereally walk-thru the experience!

  3. I so like your writing and your photography is excellent. Anyone who reads your blog must feel like they are there with you.
    Love the Blue poppies.

  4. They indeed are and I was lucky to see them Shruti.

    Thanks Vaish.

    Anu as the time goes I am becoming more and more partial to landscapes myself!

    Jaishvats thanks for stopping by.

    Ajeya I am sure you will.

    Meena it was a very beautiful day indeed. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Thanks Niranjan.

    Thanks Sandeep.

    Many thanks Sandra.

  5. Nice to read a little more about this lovely valley. Didn’t know that videography is not allowed here. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thank you.

  6. Mridula your pictures are so clear & the blue poppy is just heavenly(btw my dottie is named poppy)…thanks a lot for showing me glimpses of heaven.

  7. Hi Mridula,

    Nice blog!!

    I am planning for the trek to Valley of flowers this July & had couple of questions in mind if you can help me out.
    1) Is trek the only way to reach Ghangaria, or can we rent a Jeep service from Govindghat and reach Ghangaria.
    2) Can we cover the trek to Hemkund Sahib & Valley of flowers on the same day or does it require 2 days, as I have come across in most of the blogs (considering the factor that I am an amature trekker with less experience).
    3) Do we require a guide to do this trek or is the path clearly laid out so that we can carry on ourselves.


    • Hi Sathyaprakash,

      Thank you for your kind words about my blog.

      1. There are no jeeps as there is no motorable road. But you can hire ponies and that would be faster.
      2. Hemkund Sahib is 8 km uphill and takes some effort to reach unless you do it by a pony again. VOF is also 6 km at least and depending on how much you explore inside, it is a huge place. No pony is allowed inside VOF. Hence we do it in two days.
      3. The path is very clear on this route. So you can go on your own.

      Hope this helps a bit.

      • Thanks a lot Mridula.

        This information would definitely help to plan the days for my trip. Thanks a lot again. Hope I do not trouble you if I approach you again for any questions in the future.


  8. Hi

    A wonderful blog. Can you please give me the phone number of Sohan Singh Ji as we would like to avail his service. We are travelling to valley of flowers during early july. Is it safe all through for women to trek on their own?

    Chitra AR

    • Thank you Chitra for your kind words. Sohan ji’s number is 919410365281. And it is safe for women to trek there.

  9. Hi Mridula,
    Very insightful article and lovely pictures too! seems like you had an amazing time at the VOF and Hemkund Sahib ๐Ÿ™‚
    I am planning a solo trip to Uttarakhand and planning a VOF trek in mid June. Just wanted to know if i start from Joshimath at 6 AM, reach Govindghat at 7 AM, do i need to stay at Govindghat for the night or I can trek to Ghangharia the same day and book a room for 3 nights to start the VOF and Hemkund Sahib trek the next morning?
    Also you have my mail id, if you can share the contact details of a good guide – since i will be travelling alone will really appreciate it.

    • If you reach Govindghat at 7.00 am you will easily reach Ghangaria in the day itself! I will share the guide details here itself, his name is Sohan Singh Bisht. And he is a gem of a person. Only he does not has the cheapest price in the region but he is worth it. His number is 09410365281 Do give him my reference!

  10. Thank you so much Mridula, I will definitely talk to him and give your reference too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.