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World Heritage Site :- Nanda Devi & Valley of Flowers

The Nanda Devi National Park is one of the most spectacular wilderness areas in the Himalayas. It is dominated by the peak of Nanda Devi, which rises to over 7,800 m. No people live in the park, which has remained more or less intact because of its inaccessibility. It is the habitat of several endangered mammals, especially the snow leopard, Himalayan musk deer and bharal.
The park lies in Chamoli district, within the Garhwal Himalaya. It comprises the catchment area of the Rishi Ganga, an eastern tributary of Dhauli Ganga which flows into the Alaknanda River at Joshimath. The area is a vast glacial basin, divided by a series of parallel, north-south oriented ridges. These rise up to the encircling mountain rim along which are about a dozen peaks, the better known including Dunagiri, Changbang and Nanda Devi East.
Nanda Devi West, India's second-highest mountain, lies on a short ridge projecting into the basin and rises up from Nanda Devi East on the eastern rim. Trisul, in the south-west, also lies inside the basin. The upper Rishi Valley, often referred to as the 'Inner Sanctuary', is fed by Changbang, North Rishi and North Nanda Devi glaciers to the north and by South Nanda Devi and South Rishi glaciers to the south of the Nanda Devi massif. There is an impressive gorge cutting through the Devistan-Rishikot ridge below the confluence of the North and South Rishi rivers. The Trisuli and Ramani glaciers are features of the lower Rishi Valley or 'Outer Sanctuary', below which the Rishi Ganga enters the narrow, steep-sided lower gorge.
"Valley of Flowers” is the name of the Himalayan area in Uttarakhand state in India. In 1931 the English mountaineer Frank Smythe stumbled across the Bhyundar Valley, an 8 km long glacier corridor in Chamoli -one of the district of Uttarakhand state .This area, surrounded by snow-capped mountains and carpeted with over 500 species of flowers , soon became a protected site. Nature had designed this valley (3,658 m. to 3962 m) for the dedicated outdoors person .It is a 13 km trek from Govindghat to Ghangharia. where there is a tourist bungalow. No one is allowed to camp in the Valley of Flowers. From Ghanghria its another 4 km trek to the valley. Nealy 10 km long and almost 2 kms wide, the valley is ringed with snow-capped mountains and watered by streams rising in the mountains. its accessible from late April, but grandest from late July to the end of August. Literally hundreds of wild flowers bloom in this valley including the rare Himalayan Blue Poppy .Tread with caution because your visit should not endanger the things you have come to see. Also carry a little salt. The valley is infested with leeches in the wettest weather when the flowers are at their best. It is 36 Km from Joshimath. A naturalist’s delight, the valley is reputed to be the largest repository of the wild flowers in the natural surroundings in the world over 300 species have been identified. Only day visits are permitted. Night halt accommodation is available at Ghanghria.
Flowers mostly orchids, poppies, primulas, calendulas, daisies and anemones carpet the ground. Alpine forests of birch and rhododendron cover a part of the area, and are home to tahr, snow leopard, musk deer, red fox, common langur, bharal, serow, Himalayan black bear and a huge variety of butterflies.
There is no settlement in the national park and grazing in the area has been banned. The park is open only in summers between June and October, being covered by heavy snow during the rest of the year. The Government of India has now declared the valley a National Park. It is a unique park, perhaps the best in the whole world. May and June is the time to see rhododendrons. Ju ne and July is the time for lilies and orchids. July and August is for primulas, also called primrose. It is a common name for a medium-size family of flowering plants most abundant in the North Temperate Zone.

Nanda Devi
The Park is in the catchment basin of the Rishi Ganga, an eastern tributary of the Dhauli Ganga which flows into a major tributary of the Ganges, the Alaknanda River, at Joshimath. The area is a vast glacial basin, divided by a series of parallel north-south oriented ridges. These rise to the encircling mountain rim formed by sixteen peaks above 6,000 m. The best known of these are Dunagiri (7,056 m) and Kalanka (6,931 m) to the north, Nanda Devi East (7,434 m) on the eastern rim, Nanda Khat (6,811 m) in the southeast and Trisul (7,127 m) in the southwest. Nanda Devi West lies on a short ridge projecting from Nanda Devi East into the basin. It is India's second highest mountain. The upper Rishi Valley, known as the Inner Sanctuary, is fed by the Changbang, North Rishi and North Nanda Devi glaciers from the north and by the South Nanda Devi and South Rishi glaciers from the south. An impressive gorge cuts through the Devistan-Rishikot ridge below the confluence of the North and South Rishi rivers. The Trisuli and Ramani glaciers flow into the lower Rishi Valley or Outer Sanctuary, below which the Rishi Ganga enters the narrow, deep, steep-sided and virtually inaccessible lower gorge.
The basin displays an array of periglacial and glacial forms which cover a wide range of phases of growth. The combinations of normal and perched glaciers on different rock types add to the interest of the basin. Most of the Park falls within the central crystallines, a zone of young granites and metamorphic rocks. Along the northern edge the Tibetan-Tethys is exposed, consisting of sandstones, micaceous quartzite, limestones and shales. The Tethys sediments form Nanda Devi itself and with many of the surrounding peaks, displays spectacular folding and evidence of thrust movements, while other mountains like Changbang are granite. The crystalline rocks of the Vaikrita Group and lower part of the Tethys sediments have been tentatively subdivided into four, the Lata, Ramani, Kharapatal and Martoli formations. Further geological details are given by Lamba (1987).

The Valley of Flowers
The Valley is 20 km northwest of Nanda Devi National Park across the wide valley of the Bhiundhar Ganga. It is one of two hanging valleys lying at the head of the Bhiundhar valley, the other being the shorter Hemkund valley which runs parallel some 10 km south. It runs east-west approximately 15 km by an average of 6 km wide, in the basin of the Paspawati river, a small tributary flowing from the Tipra glacier which descends from Gauri Parbat in the east. Its central valley, lying at about 3,500 m, is a gently inclined basin of some 1,000 ha of alpine meadows, the Kundalinisen plateau, the forested slopes of which rise sharply through moraines to rocky ridges, perpetually snow-covered peaks and glaciers which together cover 73% of the valley. Alpine meadows cover 21% and forests 6% of the rest. The high surrounding mountains are not impassable and open to the south at Ghangrea (3,072 m), 7 km downstream. There, the Paspawati meets the Lakshman Ganga, becoming the Bhiundhar Ganga which flows 15 km to Govindghat at its confluence with the Alaknanda, a tributary of the Ganges. The main surrounding peaks are Nar Parbat (5,245 m) to the northwest, Nilgiri Parbat (6,479 m) to the north, Rataban (6,126 m) across the Bhuindhar Pass, with Gauri Parbat (6,708 m) to the east and Saptasring (5,038 m) to the south. The Lakshman Ganga flows from Lokpal lake (4,150 m) in the Hemkund valley, a much visited place of pilgrimage. The well exposed bedrock comprises crystallines of the Vaikrita group with sedimentary, mica schist and shale rocks. The soils are acidic and retain moisture well.

Ranunculus, Pedicularis, MarshMarigold, Rhododendrons, Brahmakamal, Corydalis, Bistorta, Epilobium, Nomocharis, Oxypetala, Daisy, Sibbaldia, Anaphalis, Cypripedium Strawberry, Arisaema Costatum, Himalayan blue Poppy, Dianthus, Calendula, Yellow Anemones, Lilium.

Hemkund : The high altitude Hemkund lake (4329 mts.) lies in heavenly environs. A steep trek from Ghangharia leads one to this spot in about four to six hours. It is an important pilgrimage for both Hindus and Sikhs, as well as for people from other faiths. There is a Sikh Gurudwara and a Lakshman temple built on the bank of the lake. Encircled by seven snow clad peaks and their associated glaciers, it reflects its surroundings enchantingly on its crystal clear serene waters. The glaciers from Hathi Parvat and Saptrishi peaks feed the lake and a small stream called Himganga flows out of this lake.

How To Reach Valley of Flowers
By Air
Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is the nearest airport to Valley of Flowers. It is well-connected to Delhi by flights. On reaching the airport, one can hire a taxi to reach Govindghat and from thereon, trek to the Valley of Flowers. From Govindghat there is refular helicopter which will drop you to Ghangaria in 7minutes.
By Train
The nearest railhead to Valley of Flowers is Rishikesh. The roads ahead are connected only till Govindghat. Taxis are available from Rishikesh, Chamoli, Joshimath and other destinations to Govindghat.
By Road
Motorable roads connect one only till Govindghat. From Govindghat, one has to trek 16 km to reach the Valley of Flowers. Govindghat is well-connected to Delhi by buses. It is also connected to major destinations of Uttarakhand like Rishikesh, Pauri, Chamoli and Ukhimath Srinagar among others.

Best time to visit Valley of flowers:: July till Early September
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Valley of flowers is 7 to 28. The best time to visit Valley of flowers is Mid July till Early September. Monsoon is the best time when flowers get bloom.
If you like to see snow and glaicer then best time to visit valley is June, and if you are nature lover and would like to explore the flowers then you must visit in pre monsoon and monsoon between july mid to end august. From September early the flowers will be not found in rows only few varity of flowers will left till rain get end in September and from last Week of September the valley get dry and wait for snow.

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