Garhwal: Valley of Flowers Trek Through The Snows of The Himalayas

  • Duration
    16 Days
  • Region
  • Category
  • Best Time
    • May - June
    • October


Trek Grade: Difficult

Frank smythe was the British Explorer and mountaineer, after his successful climb of mount Kamet in 1931, was descending down to Bhundyar valley and saw valley covered with flowers, named it “Valley of Flower". In 1937, Frank Smythe return back to the valley to explore few high altitude passes including Bhundyar Khal, and mentioned it in his book.

This pass is part of the Greater Himalayas. It goes across the North-South Zanskar Range and connects the Alakhnanda river valley with the Dhauli Ganga river valley. The approach is relatively easy from both sides of the pass Bhyundar Valley is green and colourful while the other side is barren and lacks vegetation due to its proximity to the Tibetan Plateau. Trek starts from Ghamsali on the main road to the Niti Village, close to Tibetan border. passes through medowes, , Bankund Glacier, over to Bhudyar Khal down to , Rataban Glacier, Tipra Glacier, pass close to Nilgiri glacier.

Trekking through the Zanskar Ranges that lies just North of the Himalayan Ranges through valleys and gorges dominated by great peaks of Mount Nanda Devi (7,816 meters), Mount Kamet (7,756 meters), Mount Abi Gamin (7,355 meters), Mount Mana (7,274 meters), Mount Devban (6,855 meters), Mount Bidhan Parbat (6,520 meters), Mount Mandir Parbat (6,559 meters), Mount Nigiri Parbat (6,474 meters), Mount Ghori Parbat (6,708 meters), Hathi Parbat (6,727 meters), this is a spectacular trek. Trekking along rivers and crossing glaciers, it is a very exciting and exhilarating walk through the Himalayan snows and meadows.

Walking through the Valley of Flowers with rainbow carpets of colourful flowers is in itself an intoxicating sight to behold. The combination of snows, meadows, wild alpine flower, Himalayan birds and mammals, this is a not to be missed trekking route.

Tour Highlights

  • A 16 days adventure with 9 days trek from Ghamshali to Ghangharia touching the Ratban Glacier, crossing the 5,100 meters Bhyunder Khal pass and walking through the Valley of Flowers under the mighty peaks of the Nanda Devi Sanctuary walls
  • Accommodation in hotel in Delhi, Rishikesh & Auli and tents on trek
  • Services of English speaking trekking guides with porters during the trek including baggage of maximum 20 kgs
  • Assisted transfers & transportation by SUVs/mini coach
  • Flights to & from Delhi to Rishikesh

Destinations Covered

Detailed Itinerary

  1. Day 1 Arrive Delhi


    After clearing Customs and Immigration, step into the receiving area, where our representative will meet you and escort you to the hotel.

    On arrival, check into the hotel.

    Overnight at hotel (No Meals)

  2. Day 2 Delhi


    Delhi is a dynamic city where the past coexists with the present. While historic evidence shows that the area around Delhi was first occupied around 2,500 years ago, Hindu mythology predates that by another 500 years. The British captured the city in 1803 and when they decided to make it the capital of India in 1911, they commissioned Sir Edwin Lutyens to draw up the plans. The result is slightly surprising with spacious tree-lined avenues punctuated with architecture which is among the most striking in the world.

    On the tour of “Old Delhi,” you will head out to explore this exotic locale with its narrow dirt roads, myriads of people and inexpensive and colorful bazaars that keep alive the traditional workmanship for which Delhi has always been famous. Drive past Red Fort and visit the Jama Masjid, one of the largest Muslim mosques in India. A bicycle rickshaw will take you into the heart of Chandni Chowk (the silver square - so named because of the silver merchants).

    Drive past India Gate, a 42-metre archway built in memory of Indian soldiers killed during the First World War and Rashtrapati Bhawan, built in the early 20th century as the Imperial residence of the Viceroy. Today, it is the official residence of the President of India.

    Thereafter, visit the most prominent Sikh Gurdwara, or Sikh house of worship, in Delhi. It was originally a bungalow belonging to Raja Jai Singh, a 17th century Indian ruler. It is open to people of all faiths, castes or creeds. The premises house a sacred pond in which devotees bathe. They believe that this would wash off their misdeeds and thus allow them to attain peace of mind. The 'Langars' or the community kitchen proves to be the ideal example of prodigious hospitality of the Sikhs. Anyone and everyone can have scrumptious meal irrespective of caste, color or class.

    Conclude the day by visiting the Delhi's most striking monument, The Qutub Minar, which looms majestically across the wide plains of Delhi, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was constructed in 1192 by Qutub-Ud-Din Aibak. Built in red sandstone and marble, it has a height of 72.5 meters (237.8 ft) and contains 379 stairs. A Soaring conical tower, it is an exquisite example of Indo-Islamic Afghan architecture and is the tallest minaret in India.

    Overnight at hotel (B)

  3. Day 3 Fly Delhi – Deharadun (Indigo Flight # 6E-7334 Delhi/Dehradun ETD: 07:20/ETA: 08:20 Hrs.) & Drive To Rishikesh – 1 ½ Hour’s Drive


    Early morning check-out from the hotel and drive to Delhi airport to board the flight to Dehradun.

    Meeting and assistance upon arrival thereafter transfer to hotel.

    After lunch sightseeing tour of Rishikesh, Laxman Jhoola (a large suspension bridge) to visit the 13-storey temple on the other side and visit perhaps Triveni Ghat, Bharat Temple and/or the place Lord Rama bathed at Rishikund.

    In part of the town is called Muni-ki-Reti and refers to the silver shores of the river where the rishis of old meditated. Across the Ganga, large, sprawling but well-maintained ashrams teach yoga and publish books on the scriptures. At sundown each evening there is a service at the side of the river, at the bathing ghat in the middle of Rishikesh at which tiny candle rafts are lit and let out into the choppy water to float away into the dusk. This is highly recommended as it has a very special ambience at this time.

    Overnight at hotel (B, L, D)

  4. Day 4 Rishikesh To Auli


    After an early breakfast, depart on the 5-hour drive to Auli.

    Passing through couple of holy confluences – Karnaprayag where the silted waters of the Alaknanda River join blue waters of the Bhagirathi River and from where the Ganga River is completed. Further on up Stream of Alaknanda River see the confluence with the Mandakini River at Nandaprayag.

    Wind your way up to Joshimath following the Alaknanda River and then on to Auli which has the spectacular view of Mount Nanda Devi (7,816 meteres) towering in front.

    Overnight at hotel (B, L, D)

  5. Day 5 Drive Auli To Ghamsali (3300m) – 4 Hours.


    After breakfast drive to Ghamsali takes around four hours. Gamshali is the second-last village of the Niti Valley, located 5 km before the last villasge of Niti Valley. This is one of the largest and most populated but during winters the inhabitants of this village migrate to villages like Chameli, Baunla, Semla, and Math.

    Enroute can see Nanda Devi, Dorna Giri, Neel Kanth, Lampak peaks.

    Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

  6. Day 6 Trek To Dal Dungi (3400m) – 5 Hours.

    Dal Dungi

    The easy trail along Amrit Ganga through vast expense of grass land with rockfalls in between, through a close valley. (Local name for camp - Damersen) Views of Bankund glacier, Niligiri, Rataban and Deo ban peaks are quite prominent during days walk. Dal Dungi (Damersen) a flat open maidan with a clear pond.

    Lord Badrinath, it is said, was eating food here when he saw a dead bull, pointed out to him by a big bird 'Bampa'.

    He felt very upset and broke into tears. His aansu (tears) rolled down into the pond turning into stones.

    Round pebbles are still to be found here. However, Badrinath went away to settle in the Alaknanda valley and Bampa was settled near Gamsali (village Bampa).

    Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

  7. Day 7 Trek To Eri Udiar (3900m) – 8 Hours

    Eri Udiar

    Days walk starts walking on the true right of the stream Amrit Ganga, draining the 40 km. long Bank Kund valley in the NW meets Dhauli. Through a meadow in the shadow of the Zanskar range.

    After about an hour and a half of easy walking, the steep section will bring you to the side of Bank kund glacier.

    From here we walk over moraine till we reach camp for overnight. "Wrote Frank Smythe of a ground between Thur and Eri Udiar where we established ourselves on the 12th. It was an idyllic camping site.

    A natural rock garden with flowers, turf, a small waterfall and a rivulet flowing in the centre".

    Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

  8. Day 8 Trek To Rataban East Glacier (4500m) – 7 Hours.

    Rataban East Glacier

    We continue walking on moraine and section of snow. We keep gaining altitude and day gets harder and tiring but eventually it worth the effort to reach the base camp to witness the beauty of this area.

    We really need to find a flat place on this moraine/ glacier for camping for comfortable stay which is usually not possible on this sort of terrain. Overnight camping at Rataban East Glacier.

    Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

  9. Day 9 Acclimatisation Day

    Rataban East Glacier

    Acclimatisation day with some day hikes as the height gain here is strong and need to be prepared for the day of crossing the high altitude pass.

    Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

  10. Day 10 Trek To Bhyunder Khal Base (4600m) Via Bhyunder Khal (5100 M) 7-8 Hrs.

    Bhyunder Khal Base

    We start early. The walk involves technical aspects on the glacier, which continues to the pass. It is pretty steep at places which requires an effort to reach the top of the pass. It is a trek of about 8 km to the pass, which can take about 7-8 hours but once you reach the top you forget all your fatigue as views of Himalaya welcomes.

    Depending on snow condition, keeping in the center of the southern moraine coming from Rataban.

    Walk over moraine and depending on condition, we may take a shoulder route to avoid crevasses to the top. From top walk through snow plateau, followed with near vertical slope, there after another long walk through a glacier negotiating crevasses.

    Strong possibility of getting roped on the glacier section, with a stunning view of the greater Himalayas all around.

    In the early days, this was the entrance to the valley. C. G. Bruce, A. L. Mumm and T. G. Long staff crossed this pass from Bank Kund to Bhyundar valley in 19074. According to Long-staff this pass was probably crossed by Richard Strachey in 1848 and by Edmund Smythe in 1862. In 1931 after climbing Kamet, the entire team crossed over from here followed by Capt Birnie later in the year.

    Smythe came over in 1937, naming the Bhyundar valley as 'Valley of Flowers'. In 1947 T. H. Braham5 and in 1954 Gurdial Singh crossed it. Now it is being crossed quite often. It is as much an easy passage as it is historic.

    Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

  11. Day 11 Trek To Tipra Kharak (3700 M) – 6 Hours.

    Tipra Kharak

    We will proceed to Tipra Kharak, From Bhyundar Camp site covering another 02 Hours confluence of Rataban and Tipra.

    The route from Camp follows on the-lateral moraine of the glacier. The moraine ridge is set pretty high above the glacier floor get down to the glacier bed and cross its entire width and then climb up again onto the top of the right lateral moraine of the Bhyundar Icefall.

    Route from Ice fall to the Tipra Camp, follows on the right-lateral moraine of the glacier (depends on glacier condition).

    As you walk down towards days camp valley starts narrower.

    Dotted with bushes of rhubarb the Tipra kharak has a pretty setting- the Tipra glacier to the east, the Khulia ghata ridge to the north, The Spatashringi range to the south and the sprawling meadows of the Valley of Flowers to the west.

    There are unending meadows laden with varieties of alpine flowers, network of streams and big mountains all around.

    Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

  12. Day 12 Trek To Ghangaria (3100 M) – 5 Hours


    After leaving camp to follow a trail frequented by the forest department, stream gushing down to the river Pushpawati.

    There are unending meadows laden with varieties of alpine flowers, network of streams and big mountains all around. The prominent species are Brahma Kamal, Anemone, Geranium, Marsh Marigold, Primula, Lilium, Potentilla, Ranunculus, Inula, Corydalis, Pedicularis, Arisaema, Ligularia, Morina, Impatiens, Saxifrages Bistorta, Anaphalis, and Sibbaldia.

    Cross the river over a wooden bridge. Arrive at the forest check post and continue walking down to the guest house for an overnight stay.

    Overnight at Guest House/ Lodge (B, L, D)

  13. Day 13 Trek To Pulna Village (2060m) 5-6 Hours & Drive To Joshimath (5 Hours)


    The trek is 9 km long and is completely paved. The gradient of the trek is an easy descent following the river.

    The trail passes through a number of waterfalls and is picturesque end to a spectacular trek through some of the most stunning sceeneries with some challenging days which at the end give a great feeling of satisfaction and achievement.

    Awaiting vehicles will drive you to Joshimath for a warm shower and sleeping in a warm bed.

    Overnight at hotel (B, L, D)

  14. Day 14 Drive Joshimath To Rishikesh (8-9 Hours)


    After a relaxed breakfast we set off for a long drive to Rishikesh following the Alaknanda River and then from the confluence at Devprayag, the Ganga River. En route you might see many river rafters floating down the Ganga River crossing the white water rapids. If interested an optional short white water river rafting can be done early next morning before breakfast.

    We reach our hotel in the late afternoon and overnight with dinner.

    Overnight at Hotel (B, L, D)

  15. Day 15 Rishikesh To Dehradun & Fly To Delhi (Indigo Flight # 6E-726 Dehradun/Delhi ETD: 15:25/ETA: 16:10 Hrs.)


    After breakfast you will be transferred to the Dehradun Airport in time to fly to Delhi.

    Arrive Delhi, you will be transferred to the hotel.

    Overnight at hotel (B)

  16. Day 16 Delhi & Departure


    On time check-out from the hotel and transfer to the Airport to connect with the departure International flight.


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