Valley of Flowers after floods in Uttrakhand

An account of real pictures of the Valley of Flowers after floods in Uttrakhand

I went personally to the Valley of Flowers after floods and the pictures in this post are all real and taken by me.

2013 is the worst year in the known history of Uttrakhand. In the month of June there were huge floods and countless people lost their life in Kedarnath. Valley of Flowers and nearby area was also affected by the floods.

But fortunately the flowering area of the Valley of Flowers is totally intact. This post is totally an authenticated document as I went personally to the Valley of Flowers after the floods (I went in first week of October, 2013) and the pictures in this post are proof of the same.

Watch following video of the Valley of Flowers after the floods. You can see that the flowering area is totally intact.

I went up to Govindghat earlier also after the floods so the pictures of Govindghat were already put in my earlier posts. As I started my trekking with Mr. Raghuveer Chauhan I saw this shop at Govindghat. Life has started to normalize for some locals.

Tea Shop at Govindghat.

Tea Shop at Govindghat.

Newly constructed Bridge at Govindghat side view

Newly constructed Bridge at Govindghat side view

Newly constructed Bridge at Govindghat - Front view

Newly constructed Bridge at Govindghat – Front view

Newly constructed Bridge at Govindghat

Newly constructed Bridge at Govindghat

Govindghat bridge at Alaknanda.

Govindghat bridge at Alaknanda.Old Iron bridge at Alaknanda can be seen in the river. This was washed off by the river during the floods.

Soon I crossed over this bridge over Alaknanda. And we started our trek to Ghangaria. The trek was intact in the starting and we could see few pilgrims going to Hemkund Sahib. The number was really very less. After trekking for about three kilometers I was keen to see Village Pulna as I have seen its pictures after the floods. I was very shocked the village. Mr. Raghuveer Chauhan is a local guy and I saw me his house also. His house was full of boulders up to first floor. Some of the locals have cleared their homes and started living in them.

Between Pulna and Bhyuandar the trek was broken at 4-5 places and a new diverted trek was built. But after seeing the site of Bhyuandar village I was totally shocked as now there was not a single house at all. All of the houses were washed off by floods in June. The old trek right from Village Bhyuandar and the point of crossing river Pushpawati was totally washed off (3 Kilometers). So the authorities made a bridge at Bhyuandar Village itself and the trek now is from the other side of the river and it meets the old trek after 3 kilometers. New trek is nicely made and safe but unfortunately people started putting plastic bottles before authorities could put dustbins. I was very sad seeing this.

Pulna village after the floods in Uttrakhand

Pulna village after the floods in Uttrakhand. At least one floor of most of the houses in under stones.

Govindghat to Ghangraria. Apples on the way.

Govindghat to Ghangraria. Apples on the way.

Pilgrims using ponies between Govindghat to Ghangraria.

Pilgrims using ponies between Govindghat to Ghangraria.

Govindghat to Ghangraria trek, Having lunch on the way

Govindghat to Ghangraria trek, Having lunch on the way

Govindghat to Ghangraria, shops on the way.

Govindghat to Ghangraria, shops on the way.

New trek between Govindghat and Ghangaria

New trek between Govindghat and Ghangaria

New trek between Govindghat and Ghangaria

New trek between Govindghat and Ghangaria

Bhyuandar village after the floods in Uttrakhand

Bhyuandar village after the floods in Uttrakhand

Valley of Flowers after floods newly constructed bridge at Bhyuandar village on Pushpawati river

Valley of Flowers after floods newly constructed bridge at Bhyuandar village on Pushpawati river

By evening I reached Ghangaria Village, I realized that the trek between Govindghat and Ghangaria is now increased by at least 2 kilometers. So you can safely assume the distance between Govindghat and Ghangaria is 16 kilometers instead of 14 kilometers earlier.

Trek near Ghangaria

Trek near Ghangaria. Starting of trek towards Govindghat near Ghangaria

Next day morning I was keen to visit Valley of Flowers and see the amount of damage done to Valley of Flowers after the floods. I and Mr. Raghuveer Chauhan started early and there was no one else except us in the valley. I was shocked to see the power of water as a huge Iron bridge is missing on Pushpawati River and not only the bridge the river has widened its bed but now it was a small stream.

We crossed over the Pushpawati river using a temporary wooden bridge. The old trek of some 300 meters was also not accessible so there was a new raw trek after the bridge, which met the old trek soon. The temporary trek was made after that. The damage to the Valley of Flowers in floods is limited to the damage to trek to Valley of Flowers only. The trek was damaged for next 1.5 kilometers and a very raw trek was made after that.

Following are some of the pictures of Valley of Flowers after the floods in Uttrakhand, taken by us. These pictures clearly show that the flowering area is totally intact in the Valley of Flowers after the floods. Seeing this we were very happy.

Forest office at Ghangaria, Entry gate of Valley of Flowers

Forest office at Ghangaria, Entry gate of Valley of Flowers

Valley of Flowers after floods, Pushpawati river near the entry gate.

Valley of Flowers after floods, Pushpawati river near the entry gate.

Valley of Flowers after floods, New Bridge on Pushpawati river near the entry gate.

Valley of Flowers after floods, New Bridge on Pushpawati river near the entry gate.

Valley of Flowers after floods - New trek from forest

Valley of Flowers after floods – New trek from forest

Valley of Flowers after floods - Trek is damaged, this is newly constructed make shift trek. Next year the trek would be good one.

Valley of Flowers after floods – Trek is damaged, this is newly constructed make shift trek. Next year the trek would be good one.

Valley of Flowers after floods - Near the official starting point.

Valley of Flowers after floods – Near the official starting point.

Valley of Flowers after floods - Shallow stream, No damage to the flowering area is seen

Valley of Flowers after floods – Shallow stream, No damage to the flowering area is seen

Valley of Flowers after floods - Beautiful shade of October, No damage to flowering area

Valley of Flowers after floods – Beautiful shade of October, No damage to flowering area

Valley of Flowers after floods - overall view, No damage to the flowering area is seen

Valley of Flowers after floods – overall view, No damage to the flowering area is seen

Valley of Flowers after floods - No damage to the flowering area is seen.

Valley of Flowers after floods – No damage to the flowering area is seen.

Valley of Flowers after floods - Glacier point, Here used to be a huge glacier up month of July.

Valley of Flowers after floods – Glacier point, Here used to be a huge glacier up month of July.

Bridge over Pushpawati river near Ghangaria

Bridge over Pushpawati river near Ghangaria

I went to Hemkund Sahib also next day. There was no damage to the trek to Hemkund Sahib. As the season for the flowers was already over, I could see very less flowers. But I saw Neelkanth Peak from Hemkund Sahib. I also saw a tailless rat at Hemkund Sahib.

Ghangaria to Hemkund Sahib.

Ghangaria to Hemkund Sahib.

Tailless rat at Hemkund Sahib

Tailless rat at Hemkund Sahib

After seeing the damage by floods I thought the reason for the damage. I think if the same amount of rain would have come in July or any later date the damage would have been less. The reason behind this is that in the month of June the higher peaks have lot of snow and huge glaciers. This snow melts gradually and gives water to the river Ganges. But on 16th June, 2013 the heavy rainfall caused sudden melting of the snow and Glaciers causing exponential growth in the amount of water in the rivers. For example you can see glacier in the below image. This glacier would have melted in few hours to cause the flood.

So good news is that the Valley of Flowers is intact and we can visit this true wonder of nature next year.

Best time to visit Valley of Flowers

Avatar for Devkant Sangwan

Devkant Sangwan is an ardent lover of nature and is a passionate traveler. He belongs to Haryana (India) and is a law graduate by profession. He’s professionally well qualified and is an Associate member of the Institute of Company secretaries. Like many others, Devkant’s heart did not lie in his profession. He was born to follow his dream which is exploring the beauty of nature. He visited Valley of Flowers for the first time in 2004 and instantly fell in love with the splendor of the place. He started pursuing the place more often and adored it over and over again. He even left his job for his travel pursuits and calls the place as his second wife.

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47 comments on “Valley of Flowers after floods in Uttrakhand
  1. Avatar for Devkant Sangwan Arvind says:

    Brother,Thanks for the heroic journey in getting us some ground reality of this beautiful state..

    I along with a few of my friends will visit Valley of Flowers around july 19.As i followed your blog,you stated that the bridge will be completed by june end?..according to the latest update with you,is the constrution nearly completed?..

    if possible,do post something which confirms the completion of the route

    and many happy travels for you ahead..:)

    • Avatar for Devkant Sangwan Devkant Sangwan says:

      Thanks,
      Yes, the construction is nearly complete. In fact the total work should not take more then one month in total if done in a planned way.

  2. Avatar for Devkant Sangwan sanjoy sengupta says:

    hi
    Thanks for your blog, i have already plan for the trip this year, reaching Haridwar from kolkata on 26th july, will proceed Govindghat on 27th. on 28th planning to take ponny to Ghangoria. 29th VoF and 30th HemKund Shahib.31st back to Govindghat. 1 aug back to haridwar.Can you suggest good hotel at Govinghat and Ghangoria?

    • Avatar for Devkant Sangwan Devkant Sangwan says:

      Most of the hotels at Govindghat are washed off in 2013 floods, in Ghangaria you can get only budget hotels. If you want to book a hotel at Ghangaria you can talk to me.

  3. Avatar for Devkant Sangwan Prema says:

    Hi, probably I’ve already asked something direcly to another mail. But now, after reading news on TOI about the valley, I’m in doubt for a dear friend of mine that would like to visit the Valley of Flowers.
    TOI in today’s news:
    “DEHRADUN: The picturesque Valley of Flowers in Chamoli district will remain inaccessible for tourists and nature-lovers for another year, as the lone bridge connecting the Unesco world heritage site over the Pashupati river near Ghangaria village has not been repaired since the flash floods of June last year washed it away. Even the approach roads to the valley lie in a state of disrepair. ……………
    After the Kedarnath tragedy, all rebuilding efforts focused on the Char Dham and Hemkund Sahib, and the Uttarakhand government made no effort to reconstruct the bridge.
    ……………………………
    “The Valley of Flowers will not be open for tourists because there is no connectivity. The bridge at Ghangaria has not been rebuilt yet,” said BK Gangte, director of the NDNP.
    ————-since the flood, as the whole area has remained inaccessible.
    ……………….. the PWD will soon start work on the bridge,” a state government official said.

    But in your blog I’ve seen pic, the valley is ok. sure the trip will be less confortable than before, but the landscape worth it.
    Lovely

    • Avatar for Devkant Sangwan Devkant Sangwan says:

      The Bridge will be constricted by this month end. We hope the Valley of Flowers opens in July first week.

  4. Avatar for Devkant Sangwan Paramjit Singh says:

    Dear Devkantji,
    As per the Times of India dt30/5/2014,There is ‘No bridge to Valley of Flowers’
    As you went after the floods and you have also stated that “We crossed over the Pushpawati river using a temporary wooden bridge”
    In view of the news report would the VoF be accessible this year.
    Thanks and regards,
    Paramjit Singh

    • Avatar for Devkant Sangwan Devkant Sangwan says:

      The bridge is already under construction, as per PWD officials it will be completed by 25th June.

  5. Avatar for Devkant Sangwan Rashmi says:

    Hi, I am planning a trip to Valley of Flowers in month of August. I was not sure of taking this trip post the floods but after going through your post, feeling positive about the trip.
    Also, can you share your inputs on the road trip to reach Ghangaria from Rishikesh and is the trek safe as you mentioned few paths are washed away and new ones are getting constructed.

    Thanks a lot for your post and your inputs on the trip will come handy.

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