Valley of Flowers National Uttarakhand is not only full of flowers but also full of adventure and nature vibes. The best time of visiting this place in monsoon(mid-July to mid-August). You get to see all seasonal waterfalls with greenery and clear blue sky. This mesmerizing valley of flowers is located in north Chamoli Uttarakhand. And, famous for its alpine pasture of flowers and variety of flora.
We hit that place in the mid of August. It was a long weekend due to the Independence day. We started our journey from Delhi and to make it a budget trip we were travelling by public transport. You will have to change 2,3 buses or taxi to reach Govindghat.
Govindghat is a town in Chamoli district and situated in a convergence of Alaknanda and Lakshman Ganga rivers. Also, this place has become a centre for Badrinath temple, Shree Hemkund Sahibji, Valley of flowers. So, you will get to see seasonal travellers every day here.
This place is peaceful and the rivers sound makes you meditated if you focus on it. Though it’s a small place but full of restaurants, hotels and guest houses. Also, there is a Guru Dwara. You can get free stay and food there.
How to reach Govindghat?
There are several buses leaves for Karnaprayag from Delhi. Or, you can take any bus for Joshimath from Delhi. Another option is to reach Rishikesh first and there are several buses leaves for Joshimath.
If you take the Karnaprayag bus from Delhi; you will have to take another bus for Chamoli. And, then for Joshimath. it will take around 1-1.5 hours to reach Joshimath from Chamoli. Once you reach Joshimath you can take any shared taxi or even buses are also available for Govindghat. Though shared/private taxies are more frequent.
In our case, we took a bus from Delhi to Karnaprayag but we got lucky. That bus extended trip to Chamoli and we continued with it. It was a long journey and we had brunch after reaching Chamoli. And, took a private bus for Joshimath. There are taxies and private buses also available for Joshimath.
Joshimath is the way of Badrinath Temple so this place is full of hotels and tourists. You can stay here for the night if required. We didn’t find any bus for Govindghat in 1 hour. We decided to book a taxi but we came to know there are shared taxies, mostly TATA Summo available. The ticket price of the shared taxi was ~100 Rs. / person.
It took us ~14 hours to reach Karnaprayag. And, the ~1.5 hours to reach Joshimath.
A shared taxi will take another 1 hour. So, the total time to reach Govindghat from Delhi may take around 17 hours.
Trek of VoF doesn’t exactly start from Govindghat. You have to reach Pulna village first. A village along with the VoF trek start point. If you are travelling by your own vehicle /bike; you can park it here. Also, you would get some shop for snacks and water etc. at the starting point. There are two options to reach Pulna village from Govingghat.
1). Trek by road for 4 km, it is easy, you just need to follow the road. I noticed a few people were trekking on the road
2). Take a sharing taxi from Govindghat to Pulna. It may cost you around 50 Rs. per person and will save your time
Another stop or basecamp of Vallery of flowers is Ghaghariya village. this village is full of facilities. There is another Gurudwara which is open for all pilgrims. Also, you will find shops for winter clothes, variety of food and medicine there in the village.
The interesting thing about this place is this whole village gets shut down during the winters. Havey snowfall covers all village inside it. Very few people stay there at that time.
Next day morning we headed for Valley of flowers. Its recommended to leave early in the morning for the trek, to get better views. And, to spend more time in the valley.
After ~5 PM you will have to leave valley otherwise you may have to pay fine.
The roads and government buses are ok. And, local people are kind and honest. I like to visit such places when the crowd is less. August is the last season for VOF, though you get to see different flowers on different months (June -- August).
And, the weather was not much rainy at that time(mid of August), and, the temperature was down during the nights.
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