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Old 16th July 2011, 16:12   #1
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Default Gurgaon - Valley of Flowers : routes, accommodation, surrounding places

Hey fellas, my family (3 of us) is planning a trip to Valley of Flowers next month; plan to start on 7th August tentatively. We have around 7-10 days at hand.

I have a lot of questions and need even more advice so thought would put BHPians to work

1) We read somewhere that you can take the car only up to a particular point and have to walk thereafter. Is there some place one can leave the car behind and then hike/walk further?

Would it make sense taking our own vehicle or should we take a cab? (Driving is not a problem - all 3 can drive)

2) What are the places that we can/should combine along with Valley of flowers i.e. Badrinath etc.

Combining 1 & 2) would it be better to have our own vehicle?

3) What are the best routes? We would want to maximize the places we see and also try out diff. routes (as long as they are driveable and enjoyable). Can the ANHC take all these roads?

4) At the places you'd suggest, how are the accommodation facilities?

Any suggestions/recommendations/experiences, all welcome!

MODS : there is 1 thread running on VoF but I had some specific and encompassing queries so thought I'd create a thread - would help others planning something similar.

Last edited by libranof1987 : 16th July 2011 at 16:13.
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Old 16th July 2011, 17:45   #2
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Valley of Flowers : routes, accommodation, surrounding places

I can help you with a few of the questions: We did this wonderful trip about 5 years ago, also summed in my better half's blog here: The Valley of Flowers National Park A Mad Tea Party . But before someone accuses me of shamelessly plugging her blog, here is another good source of information: Trek to Valley of Flowers

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Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
1) We read somewhere that you can take the car only up to a particular point and have to walk thereafter. Is there some place one can leave the car behind and then hike/walk further?

Would it make sense taking our own vehicle or should we take a cab? (Driving is not a problem - all 3 can drive)
One has to park at Govindghat and then there is the arduous 14km trek up, the route is breathtaking but having a good set of sturdy worked out legs and lungs will help. I'm sure taking your own car is an option but often on a long trip one has more stuff than what you would carry to the top, so we left a lot of our stuff back in the cab for the driver to guard over. But you can haul all of it up on ponies on hire here, so that should not be a worry.

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Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
2) What are the places that we can/should combine along with Valley of flowers i.e. Badrinath etc.

Combining 1 & 2) would it be better to have our own vehicle?
The trek up takes you to Ghangria from where you go to VoF and/or Hemkund Sahib. We missed the latter, because that was another day's steeper trek up and down..

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Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
3) What are the best routes? We would want to maximize the places we see and also try out diff. routes (as long as they are driveable and enjoyable). Can the ANHC take all these roads?
We went Delhi Rishikesh (Day 1), Rishikesh - Joshimath (Day 2), Joshimath - Govindghat + Trek up to Ghangria (Day 3), Stayed there two days and climbed down to Govindghat and headed to Badrinath (Day 6), stayed the night, visited the temple the next day and headed back to spend the night at Pipalkothi with a mid-day stopover at Auli (Day 7). Pipalkothi to Hardwar was Day 8 and reached back on Day 9. I am sure you can adjust this a bit according to your time. But we planned it this way to be able to spend some time where ever we halted, so were not in the cab all the time.

I don't think the ANHC will have any problems at all on this route.

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Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
4) At the places you'd suggest, how are the accommodation facilities?
Accommodation is generally very basic in Ghangria. Joshimath was Ok, Rishikesh and Badrinath were better, Haridwar is now a busy town. The best was Pipalkothi, but we did not have a choice as everything was organised by a tour operator.

Hope this helps..
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Old 16th July 2011, 18:42   #3
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Valley of Flowers : routes, accommodation, surrounding places

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Hey fellas, my family (3 of us) is planning a trip to Valley of Flowers next month; plan to start on 7th August tentatively. We have around 7-10 days at hand.

I have a lot of questions and need even more advice so thought would put BHPians to work

1) We read somewhere that you can take the car only up to a particular point and have to walk thereafter. Is there some place one can leave the car behind and then hike/walk further?

Would it make sense taking our own vehicle or should we take a cab? (Driving is not a problem - all 3 can drive)

2) What are the places that we can/should combine along with Valley of flowers i.e. Badrinath etc.

Combining 1 & 2) would it be better to have our own vehicle?

3) What are the best routes? We would want to maximize the places we see and also try out diff. routes (as long as they are driveable and enjoyable). Can the ANHC take all these roads?

4) At the places you'd suggest, how are the accommodation facilities?

Any suggestions/recommendations/experiences, all welcome!

MODS : there is 1 thread running on VoF but I had some specific and encompassing queries so thought I'd create a thread - would help others planning something similar.
Pls visit my suggestion on ROUTE QURY BADRINATH ANDVALLEY OF FLOWERS thread I have given details as much as I can, Pls Pls Pls doalso visit Shri Hemkunt Sahib also along with Valley Of Flowers.

PM me if you need any more detalis or call me ,Iam giving my cell no.
REGARDS...........
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Old 16th July 2011, 23:41   #4
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Valley of Flowers : routes, accommodation, surrounding places

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Originally Posted by LithiumSunset View Post
I'm sure taking your own car is an option but often on a long trip one has more stuff than what you would carry to the top, so we left a lot of our stuff back in the cab for the driver to guard over. But you can haul all of it up on ponies on hire here, so that should not be a worry.
I'll be going thru' the blog now.

Well, we are light travellers so will carry only what is necessary. And if there are good options to park our car, we can keep the additional luggage in it and trek ahead.

Pony - not a good idea in my family. Long history trekking!

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Originally Posted by LithiumSunset View Post
Accommodation is generally very basic in Ghangria. Joshimath was Ok, Rishikesh and Badrinath were better, Haridwar is now a busy town. The best was Pipalkothi, but we did not have a choice as everything was organised by a tour operator.
Could you recommend some places?

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Originally Posted by IQBAL VEERJI View Post
Pls visit my suggestion on ROUTE QURY BADRINATH ANDVALLEY OF FLOWERS thread I have given details as much as I can, Pls Pls Pls doalso visit Shri Hemkunt Sahib also along with Valley Of Flowers.

PM me if you need any more detalis or call me ,Iam giving my cell no.
REGARDS...........
Thank you Sirji; I did go thru' your post on that thread. Can you please suggest the best route (to cover all imp. places like Badrinath, Hemkunt Sahib) ex-Delhi.
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Old 17th July 2011, 00:24   #5
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Valley of Flowers : routes, accommodation, surrounding places

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Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
I'll be going thru' the blog now.

Well, we are light travellers so will carry only what is necessary. And if there are good options to park our car, we can keep the additional luggage in it and trek ahead.

Pony - not a good idea in my family. Long history trekking!



Could you recommend some places?



Thank you Sirji; I did go thru' your post on that thread. Can you please suggest the best route (to cover all imp. places like Badrinath, Hemkunt Sahib) ex-Delhi.
Pls take that delhi UP border road, Ghaziabad,Mohan nagar, Modinagar, Khatauli, Roorki, etc etc,towards Haridwar,Rishikesh, then from here onwards hil Roads will begin and also total change in your driving style and methods must be adopted, unlike city and specially Delhi type driving
Keep driving towards Dev pryag and Srinagar.
Now take that BADRINATH JI road. Road ends at Badrinath ji, because after Badrinath and 3 kms later it is end of Indian Territory, and MANA is the last village of India. Regards...............Call me for any thing more plssssssss

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Old 18th July 2011, 17:52   #6
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Valley of Flowers : routes, accommodation, surrounding places

I think the best is to take a train to Haridwar arrange a cab/mini-van to and fro to Joshimath/Govind ghat and trek.
It may better to leave personal vehicle at home.
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Old 18th July 2011, 19:25   #7
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Valley of Flowers : routes, accommodation, surrounding places

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Can the ANHC take all these roads?
NO!

Being a regular visitor to various Hydro projects in the region, I'll not advise you to take ANHC on those roads.

The rainy season is on and landslides happen quite frequently; though BRO clears the landslide muck/ slush/ stones, the vehicles crossing the affected streches go through an ordeal.
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Old 18th July 2011, 23:07   #8
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Valley of Flowers : routes, accommodation, surrounding places

The roads can be rough during August and you may also expect some occasional landlsides, but motorable for any car.

Expect heavy traffic, being the peak pilgrim season for both Badri/Kedar and Hemkund Saheb.

I do not like taxis in UK, the average taxi is driven rashly and they are a menace on the roads. Besides, they are poorly maintained and I would have little confidence in safety and the state of their tyres too.

Please note that in these sectors in UK, roads close between 8 pm - 6 am.

To g from Joshimath to Govindghat, please note that traffic is allowed only in convoy 5 times a day.

If you leave from Delhi in the morning, expect to stop over in Rudraprayg/Srinagar.

Places en route that you must visit are Deoprayag (Raghunathji temple, sangam of Bhagirathi & Alaknanda), Rudraprayag (Shiva temple, sangam of Mandakini & Alaknanda) and of course Badrinath at the end of the road. From Joshimath, you could also visit Auli.

The 14-km trek to Gangariya (for VOF) is quite easy for any regular trekker but if not, a better idea to hire a pony from Govindghat.

There are parking lots for your car at Govindghat.

Hotels - best bet is GMVN hotels, one every 25-50 km on this route. Please visit the GMVN web-site for details. At Rudraprayag, you can stay at Hotel Monal also. I preferred the GMVN hotels at all other places, including at Badrinath and Gangahariya. There are many other hotels too.

I am attaching a log book of the Delhi-Hardwar-Rishikesh-Deoprayag-Rudraprayag-Joshimath-VOF-Badrinath trip here. I have also marked locations of GMVN hotels en route.
Attached Files
File Type: xls Uttaranchal2005.xls (124.5 KB, 481 views)
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Old 22nd July 2011, 10:53   #9
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Valley of Flowers : routes, accommodation, surrounding places

Thanks a ton HVK sir! Man, that log is exhaustive.

We are in the final stages of finalizing the itinerary; should start making bookings soon.

We will definitely be arranging a cab to travel once we reach Govindghat/Haridwar. Main problem now is : how do we get there. While I am itching to take our own car, condition of roads, monsoon and parking facility are a major concern.

From what I understand, ANHC is not built to travel on the roads to Rishikesh and further in. Are the cabs there trustworthy when it comes to safety - rash drivers etc?

Secondly, can someone convince me that it would be a good idea to take ANHC at least till Govindghat/Haridwar please? We are mainly worried about how and where we will park our car when we go ahead to VOF - parking safety, landslides, theft etc. Otherwise, we will have to travel there too by cab.

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I think the best is to take a train to Haridwar arrange a cab/mini-van to and fro to Joshimath/Govind ghat and trek.
It may better to leave personal vehicle at home.
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Originally Posted by breezydrive View Post
NO!

Being a regular visitor to various Hydro projects in the region, I'll not advise you to take ANHC on those roads.

The rainy season is on and landslides happen quite frequently; though BRO clears the landslide muck/ slush/ stones, the vehicles crossing the affected streches go through an ordeal.
Thought so too :(
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Old 22nd July 2011, 11:25   #10
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Valley of Flowers : routes, accommodation, surrounding places

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Secondly, can someone convince me that it would be a good idea to take ANHC at least till Govindghat/Haridwar please? We are mainly worried about how and where we will park our car when we go ahead to VOF - parking safety, landslides, theft etc. Otherwise, we will have to travel there too by
The roads are perfectly drive worthy, though you will find stretches which are damaged. You will have to be very careful on the highway beyond Delhi as it is a single road. Be wary of the roadways buses; they drive like maniacs.

It is advisable to take your car till Haridwar after which you can hire a cab. Try hiring a Scorpio and not a Sumo. Indicas are very uncomfortable. Please check the vehicle for road worthiness. Most cabs are abused and a very evident sign of carelessness is that they ride on tyres which badly need to be replaced or retreaded.

There are frequent landslides in the area; roads remain blocked till they are cleared up. Carry enough high calorie snacks (include dried apricots, dates, raisins, figs, dried fruits etc.) and water, powdered milk among things.

There is a t-bhp member (rock22) on the Fiesta Forums from Haridwar. Maybe he can advise you better.

Would look forward to your T'logue.

Last edited by Sugeeta : 22nd July 2011 at 11:44.
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Old 22nd July 2011, 11:27   #11
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Valley of Flowers : routes, accommodation, surrounding places

I am seeing a lot of suggestions for pony. But if you are not a rider you are way better off on your own two legs than riding a mule on those treacherous paths. Trekker or not trekker the route from Govindghat to Ghangria is easily manageable. Its the path up from Ghangria that is the jewel in the crown for even trekkers. In case you do go upto Shri Hemkunt Sahib please ask around and go further up, about 25-30 min trek to a glacial pond to see the rare neelkamals in bloom during August.
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Old 22nd July 2011, 11:55   #12
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Valley of Flowers : routes, accommodation, surrounding places

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The roads are perfectly drive worthy, though you will find stretches which are damaged. You will have to be very careful on the highway beyond Delhi as it is a single road. Be wary of the roadways buses; they drive like maniacs.

It is advisable to take your car till Haridwar after which you can hire a cab. Try hiring a Scorpio and not a Sumo. Indicas are very uncomfortable. Please check the vehicle for road worthiness. Most cabs are abused and a very evident sign of carelessness is that they ride on tyres which badly need to be replaced or retreaded.
Thanks!

Ok, so that covers the road bit; the condition will be the same right now too, right (read : monsoon)?

Also, how safe is it parking at Haridwar?

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I am seeing a lot of suggestions for pony. But if you are not a rider you are way better off on your own two legs than riding a mule on those treacherous paths. Trekker or not trekker the route from Govindghat to Ghangria is easily manageable. Its the path up from Ghangria that is the jewel in the crown for even trekkers. In case you do go upto Shri Hemkunt Sahib please ask around and go further up, about 25-30 min trek to a glacial pond to see the rare neelkamals in bloom during August.
Na, the pony bit won't happen. We are all trekkers so will walk/trek.
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Old 22nd July 2011, 18:26   #13
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Valley of Flowers : routes, accommodation, surrounding places

I suggest you park on the right side of the road while going. It is a parking marked for Har Ki pauri and you can walk across to the har ki pauri in about 5 minutes. I f you got any official ID with you you can park on the left side of the road at the Government Guesthouse/office. But it would hardly make a difference. If I was parking at the covered parking mentioned above I would choose a spot on the outside lane/slot as there is a constant stream of visiotrs and the vehicle is in plain sight not obscured by other vehicles.
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Old 25th July 2011, 11:57   #14
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Valley of Flowers : routes, accommodation, surrounding places

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Also, how safe is it parking at Haridwar?
There is authorised parking at both Haridwar and Rishikesh. But please ensure the safety of your vehicle before leaving it unattended for a few days.

Also, please refrain from driving alone at night on these roads.
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Old 31st July 2011, 21:54   #15
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Valley of Flowers : routes, accommodation, surrounding places

Small update.

A rough itinerary has been worked out, please advice any modifications to the route, itinerary and places to stay.
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