The valley of flowers national park is a dream destination which is located in Chamoli, Uttrakhand. It is famous for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers and the variety of flora. This richly diverse national park is also home of rare and endangered animals. Some of them are snow leopard, musk deer, brown bear and blue sheep! At 3352 to 3658 meters above sea level, the gentle landscape of the Valley of Flowers National Park can amaze you with its unmatched emerald mountains merging with white clouds and sparkling waterfalls! The valley of flowers is a part of UNESCO world network of biosphere reserves.
The best time to visit Valley of Flowers depends upon your liking as the valley is for all time beautiful. If you want to see maximum number of flowers July and August is a best time, if you want to see lot of glaciers you should visit in June, to see Brahamkamal flowers at Hemkud August and September is a best time.
RARE THINGS YOU WILL ONLY SEE IN VALLEY OF FLOWERS
The Valley of Flowers is highly famous for its flora and fauna. Rare endangered species can also be found there. The most obvious reason many people pick the Valley of Flowers National Park for trekking in Uttarakhand is the many shades and colors it treats hikers to. Some of the flower species found here are Euphorbia pilosa, Himalayan Slipper Orchid, Iris kaemaonensis, aconites and rhododendrons Here is a list that you can expect to see there-
It is a large-sized pheasant. The bird is about 70 cm long. The male weighs up to 2380 grams and the female 2150 grams . The adult male has multicolored plumage throughout, while the female, as in other pheasants, is dull in color. A highly communicative bird, the Himalayan monal uses several different call types to express meaning to its mate, other birds in its foraging group, or intruding birds. Males also use body displays to attract females; bobbing the head-crest and fanning their tail feathers. The breeding season begins in April when the monals are at higher altitudes.
Asian black bear
The other names of Asian black bear are the moon bear and the white-chested bear. It is a medium-sized bear species native to Asia and largely adapted to arboreal life. This bear basically lives in the Himalayas, in the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent. It is classified as vulnerable by the (IUCN), because of deforestation and hunting for its body parts. Unlike the American Black Bear however, that is showing increases in population numbers particularly in certain areas, the Asiatic Black Bear is considered to be an endangered species throughout its native range today as populations have declined drastically due to loss of their natural habitats to deforestation.
The snow leopard or ounce (Panthera uncia) is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia. As of 2016, the global population was estimated at 4,678 to 8,745 mature individuals. Snow leopards are perfectly adapted to the cold, barren landscape of their high-altitude home, but human threats have created an uncertain future for the cats. Snow leopards are shy, elusive cats known for their solitary nature. These cats are most active at dawn and dusk, which is called a “crepuscular activity pattern” by scientists. Snow leopards regularly patrol home ranges that can cover hundreds of square kilometers.
Sometimes a male and female might be seen together during mating season, or we might see a mother with her young cubs.
The brown bear is found in northern Eurasia and North America. The population of brown bears are called as grizzly bears. It is one of the largest living terrestrial members of the order Carnivora. It is rivaled in size by its closest relative, the polar bear – Ursus maritimus. The brown bear’s diet is quite similar to all other bears. They eat grass, fruit, insects, roots and bulbs of plants along with carrion and, when hungry enough, they will hunt small animals. Brown bears that live near the coast feed on fish, particularly salmon. It can be up to 8 feet tall when it stands on back feet. Although grizzly bears are large animals, 75% of their diet is comprised of berries, leaves and nuts. They also like to eat fish, rodents and moose.
Things you should know before you visit:
- The entry fee is 650 rupees for foreigners and 150 rupees for Indians for a 3-day pass. Each additional day is 250 rupees for foreigners and 50 rupees for Indians.
- It costs around 700 rupees to hire a porter or a mule (depending on demand) at Govind Ghat, for the trek to Ghangaria.
- You can only visit the Valley of Flowers in daylight hours only. The last entry to the park is at 2 p.m. You’ll need to go from, and return to, Ghangaria on the same day.
- It’s best to stay overnight in Joshimath before continuing to Ghangaria. The government-run Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN) guesthouses are the reliable options, and advance bookings are possible.
- Make sure you pack plenty of clothes. And carry some food with you for the hike. Govind Ghat and Ghangaria gets quite crowded from July to September by Sikh pilgrims. So it’s a good idea to book accommodations in advance. Also, note that there are very few toilets along the trekking route and none in the valley. Expect to relieve yourself in nature.
PICTURES OF TREKKING IN VALLEY OF FLOWERS:
More than a mere national park, Valley of Flowers is a prominent trek too. And that is why a varied of travel lovers can head to this spot. The valley has three sub-alpine forests leveled at different heights protecting around 500 species of wild flowers. Couple of endangered animals like Asiatic black bear, blue sheep, red fox and brown bear can be seen walking close to the trekking trail.