General Details of Valley of Flowers:
Location: 18 kms mountain trek from Govindghat, a well known place on Rishikesh-Badrinath National Highway 58.
The Valley of Flowers is nestled in the upper expanses of Bhyundar Ganga near Joshimath in Gharwal region and the old name of this valley was Bhyundar Valley.
Nearest town: Joshimath, approx. 20 kms from govindghat
Nearest Airport: Dehradun, 300 kms
Nearest Railhead: Haridwar (290 kms) , Rishikesh(270 kms)
Reaching There:From Haridwar and Rishikesh, there are lot of buses running to Badrinath. You can leave the bus at Govindghat and trek to Ghangaria (13 kms trek, a small village that serves as the base camp for valley of flowers). From Ghangaria, one can trek to Valley of Flowers (5 kms). Ponny and porters are available up to Ghangaria, but no luxury on Valley route from Ghangaria.
Gate System: Note that there is gate system at Joshimath. It is something like a time-slot. When gate is open, vehicular traffic can move further on the mountain road, and only one side movement of vehicle is allowed. So gate open timings at Joshimath towards Badrinath are 5.30 AM, 7.30 AM, 9.30 AM, 11.30 AM, 1.30 PM, 3.30 PM and 5.30 PM. It means if you will reach Joshimath by 6 PM from Rishikesh, you will not be allowed to proceed further till the next gate open, that is at 5.30 AM next day. So, try to catch the earliest available bus from Haridwar and Rishikesh to Badrinath.
Again if you will reach Govindghat in the evening, it is not advisable to trek to Ghangaria in the night through the forest. The whole 13 kms trek will take 4-8 hours depending on your fitness. Rain is likely to occur anytime there. So, if you reach Govindghat after 2 PM, its better to stay there for a night and trek to Ghangaria next day morning.
Timings: From 6.00 AM to 5.00 PM..Last entry into park is around 3 PM, but you have to return by the sunset as night stay and camping is not allowed inside the valley.
Best time to visit: June to September ( After Rainy season, In late July and August all flowers are at full bloom, but this is the time when landslide on the highway is more frequent).
The park is home to tahr, snow leopard, musk deer, red fox, common langur, bharal, serow, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan brown bear,Pika (Mouse hare) and a huge variety of butterflies. Among the important birds and pheasant are, Himalayan Golden Eagle, Griffon Vulture,Snow Partridge, Himalayan Snowcock, Himalayan Monal, Snow Pigeon, Sparrow Hawk etc.
Flowers mostly orchids, poppies, primulas, marigold, daisies and anemones carpet the ground. Sub-alpine forests of birch and rhododendron cover parts of the park’s area. A decade long study of Prof. C.P. Kala from 1993 onwards concludes that the Valley of Flowers endows with 520 species of higher plants (angiosperms, gymnosperms and pteridophytes), of these 498 are flowering plants. The park has many species of medicinal plants including Dactylorhiza hatagirea, Picrorhiza kurrooa, Aconitum violaceum, Polygonatum multiflorum, Fritillaria roylei and Podophyllum hexandrum.
Entry Fee:(As on July, 2011)
For Indians: For Foreigners
Entrance Fee per head for first three days: Rs.150 Rs.600
For additional each days: Rs.50 Rs.250
Still Cameras, Professional and Non-professional: Free Free
Movie/Video Cameras, Non Professional: Free Free
Professional: Rs. 500 Rs.1500
Feature Film per day Rs.100000 Rs.200000
Documentary Film per day Rs.10000 Rs.30000
Security for Filming:
For feature film per day Rs.100000 Rs.200000
For documentary per day Rs.50000 Rs.100000
Essential Things to carry inside valley: A wooden stick, A raincoat (rain occurs anytime), a torch (if returning late) , packed foods (as nothing is there to provide food) and water bottles.
Note: Littering is not allowed inside the valley. Please maintain the beauty and charm of this valley.