Valley Of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib Trek
Valley of flowers – an exotic destination at an altitude of 3800 m , it is under the snow for many months, except a few months from July During this time the entire Valley of Flowers is an exceptional sight to behold, bursting with colors and flowers. The entire floor of the valley seems like a colorful carpet of flowers, something you will never have seen before. It was declared a National Park in 1982; it is a World Heritage site. You will not want to move away from here, as according to the locals, it s a home for fairies. The trekking here is not very difficult and somebody who is physically fit can go for it.
Hemkund Sahib is a Sikh shrine, not very far, from the Valley of Flowers and we can accommodate it in a day or 2.
DAY 1 Rishikesh – Govind Ghat
We commence by reaching Govind Ghat at 1900m altitude. The real trek starts here where the trail for the Valley of Flowers and Hemkund begins. Dividing into a fork, the trail can lead to either the Valley of flowers or Hemkund Sahib. The drive is about 8-10 hours. We can stay in Govind Ghat or Joshimath.
DAY 2 Govind Ghat – Ghangria
On the way, we find Alaknanda River along us, and after crossing the bridge, we begin hiking. Being a pilgrimage site, there is a stone paved path and a variety of shops on the way. You can stop here for meals, or some chai and snacks. A slight slope for 13 km and then we reach the flat part of the Ghangria village on the bed of the Laxman Ganga River. The altitude here is 3000m. Stay is at a guest house or while camping.
Day 3: Ghangria -Valley of Flowers and return
Staying at the Valley of Flowers is prohibited and so we do not have much sight seeing to do. Early next morning, we go the bridge over Laxman Ganga, which is about 3 km away. We make a register entry and pay a small fee, before we begin the trek to the valley. Crossing the river, the noise of the crown diminishes and we can spend the time beholding the wonderful and exceptionally beautiful sight before us. Rare species of flowers, only seen here like the Brahma Kamal, Trollius and Codonopsis. There are many others to behold. Spread over a long 10 km, the width of the valley is 2 km. There is a small river and many streams. We return to Ghangria to spend the night there.
DAY 4: Ghangria -Hemkund Sahib and return
A Sikh Gurudwara, Hemkund Sahib is situated on the banks of the lovely Hemkund Lake, which originates, actually from the Laxman Ganga River. It is frozen mostly. The trek is tough here. (Altitude 4300 m) . There a few steep inclines too. We have to stop many times to rest. But the reward is the lovely serene and almost transparent waters of the lake nestled between the Himalayan ranges. Night is again at Ghangria.
Day 5: Ghangria – Govind Ghat
Post breakfast, we take a walk back to Govind Ghat from where we started. It is a 13 km walk downhill, and is quite easy. We can walk at a comfortable pace and yet reach in about 5-6 hours. Night stay in Govind Ghat or Joshimath.
Day 6: Return to Rishikesh
Back to our car, and to our chosen destination, or Rishikesh.
Travel package Services:
TRANSPORT: Trek on foot and car for long distance.
ACCOMMODATION: Campsites, small guesthouse.
ENDURANCE LEVEL: Low to Medium.
ACTIVITIES: Trekking, Camping, Mountain climbing, Bird watching, Meditation, Hiking
DURATION: 6 Days
MEALS: All meals
COST: INR 60000 (US $ 1000 ) onward (At 1 US $ = INR 60)