Attractions Near Valley of Flowers
The naturally abundant Valley of Flowers is a wanderer’s dream destination having a pinch of nature’s most romantic essence. It is one of the best trekking places in Garhwal, where you can breathe amidst the ethereal natural beauty and admire the beauty of the alpine flowers and listen to the gurgling streams. Sprawling over a vast expanse of lush green land, the Valley of Flowers also supports sightseeing options in the periphery of the park itself. You can also visit some of the nearby places to the Valley of Flowers, explore the famous picnic spots and make your vacations memorable.
Places to Visit from the Valley of Flowers
Hemkund Sahib: Hemkund Sahib: Hemkund also known as Hemkund Sahib is the holy site where Guru Govind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru meditated for years. Tucked at an elevation of 4,329 metres, the Hemkund lake is encircled by several snow-shrouded peaks that are collectively referred to as Hemkund Parvat. Apart from the pristine glacial lake, many devotees are drawn towards the celestial star shaped Gurudwara which is cradled by the lake. The place also houses an ancient temple dedicated to Lakshman, the younger brother of Lord Rama. To reach this place, one needs to commence a 6 km trek from Ghangaria. The best time to visit Hemkund is from July to November.
Ghangaria: This hushed village seated at 3,050 metres is the last human settlement en-route Hemkund Sahib and the Valley of Flowers. Located at a distance of 13 km from Govindghat and 4 km short of Valley of Flowers, the trek to Ghangaria is mild which ranges from easy to moderate. There are numerous options for accommodation in Ghangaria, you can either stay at the Gurudwara, GMVN rest house or at the boutique hotels. The region receives heavy snowfall during winters and remains open for tourists from the month of May to October.
Nanda Devi National Park: Offering unsullied views of the majestic Nanda Devi Peak, the Nanda Devi National Park is home to several Himalayan animal species. The Nanda Devi Park along with VOF has been declared as a Wold Heritage Site. Some of the elusive and endangered animal species like the snow leopard, Asiatic black bear, bharal or blue sheep and brown bear can be seen inside the park. One can also see a plethora of endemic plant species that are known for their economic and medicinal value.
Govindghat: Located around 22 km from Joshimath, Govindghat is the place from where the trek to VOF and Hemkund Sahib begins. Govindghat also known as ‘Gobindghat’ is a small town in Chamoli district nestled on the sacred confluence of Alaknanda and Lakshman Ganga rivers. It is situated on NH58 at an elevation of 1,828 metres and Mules and porter service can also be hired from here.
Mana: Formerly known as ‘Manibhadrapuram’, the tiny hamlet of Mana can be reached by a short 3 km drive from Badrinath. Lying next to the border of Tibet, Mana is the last village of India before Mana Pass. From here you can visit Bhim Pul, Vyas Gufa (cave), Ganesha Gufa and Kalpgram. A 5 km day trek from here leads to Satopanth, a few km further from here you’ll be blessed with the spectacular views of Vasudhara Falls. During the good old days, Mana enjoyed great trade relations with Tibet and was used as a trade centre by the Bhotia people. One can buy good quality handmade woollen clothes, carpets and other handicraft items from here.
River Pushpawati: The emerald blue Pushpawati River flows through the Valley of Flowers in Chamoli district. It rises from the East Kamet glacier near Rataban at the base of the Himalayas near the central part of the Garhwal-Tibet border. The pristine river flows in the southerly direction to join Bhyundar Ganga near Ghangaria. The combined stream is thereafter known as Lakshman Ganga which later joins river Alaknanda at Govindghat. The unique name of this river comes from Pandavas who during their years of exile saw several flowers floating in the river and thus named it Pushpawati. The glaciated upper valley of the Pushpawati River is U-shaped. The river meanders through thick glacial deposits. One can see sub-alpine and temperate vegetation in the middle and lower catchments of the river with very sparse human settlement.
Badrinath: One of the most pious pilgrim place in India, Badrinath shrine perched at 3,133 metres on the right bank of river Alaknanda is only 25 km away from the Valley of Flowers. Established by Adi Shankaracharya in the 9th century, Badrinath is one on the most visited Vaishnavite sites in India. Tourists all around the world throng this temple from May to October to seek the blessings of Lord Vishnu. Since the region is prone to heavy snowfall, the portals of this temple remain closed during winter months.
Joshimath: Revered as ‘Jyotrimath’ in the bygone years, the mystical town of Joshimath serves as the winter seat of Lord Badrinath and is connected with Auli by ropeway. The star attraction of this place is the Joshimath temple which was established as a religious centre by Adiguru Sankaracharya in the 8th century AD. Seated at 1,890 metres, Joshimath also serves as a gateway to several Himalayan mountain climbing expeditions, trekking trails and pilgrim centres like Badrinath. If you are here then don’t forget to visit Kalpavriksha and Narsingh temple situated 26 km before Govinghat.