Govind Ghat to Govind Ghat
Duration: 6 Days 5 Nights
9th to 14th August 2020
Day time: 10°C to 20°C
Morning/night: 5°C to 10°C
Altitude-Hemkund 14,400 ft, Valley of Flowers 12,000ft.
Approx Distance: 40 kms
Exotic flowers such as the Blue Himalayan Poppy and Brahma kamal
Per person: ₹12,000
Haridwar to Govindghat
Our journey begins at the holy town of Haridwar. The pick up timings start from 6.00 am and transport is arranged by us at an extra cost. Most participants opt for the Roads & Journeys pick up and we will assume the same in your case. In case you do not want the Roads & Journeys pick up, you will have to make your own travel arrangements. The road to Govind Ghat is a 10 to 11 hour journey through some prominent tourist destinations. Our first stop is Devprayag, where Panch Prayag (five confluences) of Alaknanda River where Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers meet and take the name Ganga. From there we move along winding roads and pass a couple more tourist temple towns along the way. We also drive past Joshimath which is a major halt for tourists visiting Auli, Badrinath, Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib. Just an hour before Badrinath is where we will be halting for the night, which is also the starting point of our trek – Govind Ghat. We will be staying at a simple guest house. After settling in, we will take the time to get acquainted with the group and prepare for the trek the next day.
Govind Ghat to Ghangaria
Ghangaria is the base to trek further up to Hemkund and Valley of Flowers. Hence, we begin day 2 with a 13 km hike to Ghangaria. The initial part of the trek is relatively easy as you are not attempting any high altitude climbs. You can even spend a few extra bucks to hire a mule to take you there, if you are too tired. The hike is through beautiful green forests and the path goes along a river. There are tons of eateries on the way where you can stop to grab a snack or a cool drink. 4 hours later is where the trek gets a little intense. Once you come to a bridge where you need to cross the river, the route get steep and involves climbing up short but winding paths or hairpin bends. Sometimes, on a clear day, you will even get to spot the peak Hathi Parvat. But this is a rare sight as the weather is always uncertain due to rains. The climb takes around 8-10 hours, depending on the speed and stamina of the participants. Once we arrive at Ghangaria, we check into our little homestays and visit the nearby gurdwara. Ghangaria is a popular pilgrimage site for Sikhs. We have the option of eating at the langar in the gurdwara or having a simple meal which will be provided by the homestay. After a night of games and chatter, we hit the sack.
Ghangaria to Valley Of Flowers and back
We start for Valley Of Flowers which is about 3 kms away but can take up to 3-4 hours. Initially there isn’t much of a climb. We arrive at a forest check post where we need to get our tickets that are valid for 3 days, if you want to revisit the site. This is to keep a count of the people visiting the valley. Once you reach the river and cross the bridge, the ascent begins. These are again short but winding paths and you will be climbing upwards for about an hour. Once you reach the top, you will be greeted by a long path that has a gradual ascent. From here you can begin to see the Valley of Flowers. You will also see the glaciers and snow on top of the mountains surrounding the valley and a few waterfalls that make for a breathtaking view. On a clear day, this view is even more magnificent. However, you still have about an hour and a half to reach the valley. If you look to the right, you get to see the route to Hemkund Sahib, which is the trek we embark upon on the next day. An hour into the trek, you will reach the valley where most tourists halt. Here, you can spot some common and many rare flowers. It is a carpet of colours that are striking and unique to the valley. The grass surrounding the flowers is about 4-5 ft high and you need to make sure that you follow the prescribed path and don’t venture away from it. You can take this path deep into the valley. There are two spots where you can turn around – one being the grave of a researcher who slipped and met her end there, while the other is any point you can get to as long as you begin to make your way out of the valley before 2 pm. We spend our time there and munch on our packed lunch before starting back by 2 pm. On the way back we need to inform the check post of our departure and from there we proceed back to Ghangaria to spend the night.
Ghangaria to Hemkund Sahib and Back
You need to start early today as you have to make your way back from Hemkund Sahib by 2 pm at the latest as tourists are not allowed to stay the night. It’s a 6 kms one way trek. The trek takes about 4-5 hours and after that you will need spare time to enjoy your experience up at the Gurdwara. However, you should be physically fit to take on this trek as it relatively more strenuous than the one to the Valley of Flowers. However, you do have the option of hiring a mule to take you up, at your own expense. If you are ready to take on the trek with the group, then we need to begin by 7 am. We will be making sufficient stops along the way at regular intervals so that you can gear up for the next leg. Along the way you will also get to see Ghangaria from the top along with a small stream flowing down from Hemkund. There is a particular spot where you will see a frozen glacier which usually has about 4 ft of snow that stands tall, like a wall. However, this does not lie on our path. Once you reach the Gurdwara, it is a sight to behold. The architectural brilliance of the structure itself is something to marvel at. There is a lake by the Gurdwara and many worshippers dare to take a dip in its freezing water. If you are lucky, you will also spot a stone with Hanuman ji’s footprint on it. The legend goes that there used to be a Laxman temple here and Hanuman ji had travelled to visit him. Once you have looked around the establishment, you can have a hearty langar at the Gurdwara. Don’t miss catching sight of the Brahma kamal flower, a rare species only found in this region. We start our trek back to Ghangaria by 2 pm and will spend another night there before heading back to Govindghat the next morning.
Ghangaria to Govind Ghat
We make our way back to Govind Ghat. Those in good physical condition can trek their way down, while others can take the help of mules. If you reach Govind Ghat in good time, you can even make a trip to Badrinath for a quick darshan by hiring a cab at your own expense. We advice people to not spend the night at Badrinath because the weather tends to change quite rapidly and you might get held back because of the land slides. You also have the option of going further up to the last village on that route, Mana, which lies at the Indo-China border. Mana is also known as the place where the Mahabharat was written and the cave is still there. Mana is where the river Alaknanda begins, coming from a hole in the mountains. Alaknanda eventually meets the Ganga. This is also the route that Pandavas took to ascend to the heavens. So there is quite a bit to explore. Once you are back at Govind Ghat, you rest the night and leave for Haridwar the next morning, exhausted by thoroughly satisfied with your exploration.
Start early to Haridwar from Govindghat this morning and enjoy the drive back. .
1. Stay: Stay at Haridwar on the last day of the trek is not included in the trek fee.
2. Transport: Transport from Haridwar to Govind Ghat and return from Govind Ghat to Haridwar can be arranged by us at an extra cost. Transport is arranged in Sumo kind of vehicles. A vehicle carries 5-7 people. Sometimes the number of people in a vehicle can be even 4 or 8. Participants are expected to share the cost likewise. The amount is to be paid directly to our transporter. No service tax is applicable on transport cost. Roads & Journeys only arranges the vehicle pick up and is not responsible for any issues during transport.
3. Pick-up: Participants are picked up from the Haridwar. Pickups start from 6.00 am. Most participants opt for the Roads & Journeys pick up and we assume the same in your case. In case you do not want the Roads & Journeys pick up you will have to make your own travel arrangements.