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Old 9th June 2007, 19:18   #1
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Default Need Help on Route and Planning- Haridwar and Hemkund Sahib

Hi,

I am planning to drive down to Haridwar from delhi, I wanted to enquire on the route selection and good place to stay.

During this trip, I had planned to spend One day at Haridwar and the second day at Rishikesh before I drive back to delhi same afternoon.

I also came across " Hemkund Sahib", A place which I have always wanted to visit, but I'm not sure How to reach it, Where to Park in Such remote areas and Where do i stay.

Has anyone been to Hemkund sahib, could you help with Route selection from Delhi and Advise on where to park the car.

Hemkund Saheb is 5 Kms. from Ghangharia, which is approachable on foot from Govindghat which is connected by road with Rishikesh, Kotdwara, Dehradun, Haridwar, Nainital, Ranikhet and other important hill stations of Garhwal and Kumaon Hills.
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Old 9th June 2007, 22:39   #2
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Hemkund Sahib is on the route from Rishikesh to Badrinath. After crossing Joshimath, you reach Govindghat in 25 kms - lots of hotels here, also a Gurudwara for pilgrims to prepare for the walk ahead. You have to park your car here. It is a 14 km long trek to Ghangariya - you can walk or take a horse. Unless you are fit, better take the horse, but it is a nice walk - allow for upto 5-6 hours for this walk with some rest breaks. You have lots of hotels (including GMVN) and also the Gurudwara. From Ghangariya to Govindghat is only 6 kms, but a 1,000 metre climb! I have been to Ghangariya and the Valley of Flowers (around 3-10 kms on a different route) but not Hemkund Saheb, but am told that it should take you at least 3 hours. I found most of the devout walking, although you can take the horse too. Hemkund Saheb is very cold and has accomodation and the Gurudwara.

Planning the trip - I suggest that you drive from Delhi to Rudraprayag or Srinagar instead of stopping at Hardwar/Rishikesh. This is beause it is a long drive to reach Joshimath (which you have to reach before 430 pm because of time restrictions on the road ahead, gate timings are 630 am, 900 am, 1130 am, 200 pm and 430 pm, both ways, at Joshimath and Badrinath). Govindghat is the half-way point. There is a decent pay-and-park at Govindghat, apart from the several hotel parking lots. Assuming you reach by late afternoon, you have the ambitious option of taking a horse up (faster) to reach Ghangariya the same day. This will mean early next day morning you can take the trek to Hemkund Saheb, spent the day there and even have the option to return the same day. Return from Ghangariya to Givindghat is slightly faster, being downhill.

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Old 4th August 2008, 17:19   #3
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Default Need info on trip to Hemkund Sahib

Hey guys
I am planning a trip to Hemkund Sahib, starting on the 14th of this month. I would be traveling with 2 of my cousins and I might also take the driver (though I would be doing all the driving myself, but still I thought that the driver would be useful)
The car is Tata Safari 2.2 (4X2)

DAY 1.
I plan to start early in the morning from Delhi around 4AM and make the 1st stop at Haridwar which is about 225 KMS approx.
The route that I plan to take is Delhi-->Meerut(83KMS)--> Meerut--> Haridwar (140KMS).
If my calculations are correct I sould reach there in about 5 hours give or take an our or two. Maybe 9ish.
After taking a bath in the holy river and some snacks we will leave for srinagar.
The route will be Haridwar-->Rishikesh (30kms)-->Dev Prayag(70kms)--> Srinagar(30kms).
A total of 130 KMS.
Here we plan to rest for the night.

DAY 2
Again starting early in the morning we plan to leave for Govind Gath.
The route will be Srinagar-->Rud Prayag (40kms)-->Karan Prayag (35kms)--> Nand Prayag (20KMS)-->Joshimath (70kms)-->GovindGath (8kms).
This make a total driving of about 170-175 kms.
Here we plan to park our car rest for the night before starting our treck for the next 3 days

DAY 3, 4 & 5
day 3 treck from GovindGhat to GovindDham. Day 4 treck from GovindDham to Hemkund Sahib and back the same day & Day 5 from GovindDham to GovindGhat

Day 6 & 7
come back on the same route as Day 1 & Day 2.


Now for the clarifications/ Doubts and questions

it has bee 18 years since I went to Hemkund and alot must have changed since then. Also last time I went I was 12 years old.
So I have no information what so ever. Any info would be highly appreciated

How are the road conditions like?

The above driving on Day1 & Day 2 and Day 6 & 7 are they doable?

Would it be too tiring or alternatively can I do more i.e. cover more in less no of days?
Has anyone done it?

What are the precautions that should be taken. the only hilly driving I have done till now is to places like Shimla, Moussourie & Dharamsala on my Hyundai Accent( now sold)

Till Haridwar I can judge that it would take about 5 hours but from there what would be the driving timings be like? As the timings on the hills differ greatly!

Is it easy to get accomodations in Srinagar/ Govind Gath & Govind Dham? What would be the facilities like?

Are there any permits to be taken?

What kind of clothes should I pack?


I know these are lot of questions but I am just a little nervous as people I have asked have not given a very positive response. Saying that its too difficult, one should not go in the rainy season, etc etc

Any advise would be highly appreciated.
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Old 4th August 2008, 17:31   #4
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Isn't there a jeep track from Govind Ghat to Ghangriya? From there Hemkunt Sahib is a 14kms climb. Do correct me if I am wrong.
Is it possible to trek from Govind Ghat to Hemkunt Sahib and back on the same day, provided we start early morning and take the horse uphill
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Old 4th August 2008, 17:37   #5
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I have not been to Hemkund Saheb, but been to the Valley of Flowers, for which base camp is Gangariya, tthe same as in the case of Hemkund Saheb.

The drive from Delhi to Hardwar could take longer in view of traffic out of Delhi (till at least Modinagar), but is possible.

The drive plans are perfectly doable.

Please remember to reach Joshimath before 430 pm, which is the time for the last convoy (since all cars must travel together in a convoy) towards Govindghat/ Badrinath. If you leave Srinagar early in the morning, you can reach Joshimath in time for the 2 pm convoy itself.

There is lot of parking available at Govindghat - both attended and unattended. Some hotels offer attended parking services. Los of hotels in Govindghat.

The trek from Govindghat to Ghangariya should take you 4-6 hours, unless you plan to take a pony which can cut down this time (most pious pilgrims walk). Distance is 14 kms, but there are no dfficult sections.

At Ghangariya, apart from Govind Dham, there is GMVN hotel as well as some small private hotels. Small town.

From Ghangariya, it is steep 6-km 1,000 metres climb tto Hemkund Saheb - pilgrims leave early in the morning, either by walk or pony.

No permits are required. Please remember that some of the roads are closed beween 8 pm and 6 am.

Road is generally good, but can be narrow in some places. Wach out for Sumo taxis tearing down curves blindly. Plan for occasional landslide repair work, which may lead to temporary (1-2 hours) road closures.

GMVN has excellent hotels every 25-50 kms all along the route.

H V Kumar - Driving Log Books - KUMAR'S DRIVING LOG BOOKS Uttaranchal, Sep 2005

Please follow the above link to get an idea of the route and time durations and also the exact coordinates for Govindghat - I stopped by to trek to Ghanariya/ Valley of Flowers on return from Badrinath.

Normal clothing, plus heavy woollens, since it is the rainy season. Good trekking shoes. Raincoats.
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Old 4th August 2008, 17:40   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Isn't there a jeep track from Govind Ghat to Ghangriya? From there Hemkunt Sahib is a 14kms climb. Do correct me if I am wrong.
Is it possible to trek from Govind Ghat to Hemkunt Sahib and back on the same day, provided we start early morning and take the horse uphill
No, it is a trekking path. It is 14 kms from Govindghat to Ghangariya, and 6 from there to Hemkund Saheb.

It takes up to 4-6 hours to walk the 14 kms. Not possible to walk upto Hemkund Saheb same day. I believe you are not allowed to camp overnight at Hemkund Saheb, you have to return to Ghangariya.
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Old 4th August 2008, 17:41   #7
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I went to Hemkund Sahibji about 3 years back and i dont think the road was motorable. You will have to trek for around 25 kms on day 1. On day 2 its a very steep climb of 5-6 Kms. It is possible to start very early on day 2 and trek all the way down on the very same day itself - just one word of caution - climbing down all that distance is no easy feat.
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Old 4th August 2008, 17:43   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harjeev View Post
Is it easy to get accomodations in Srinagar/ Govind Gath & Govind Dham? What would be the facilities like?

.
I hink there is a GMVN hotel -check out their website - at Srinagar. In any case, there are so many GMVN hotels en route. You can also stay at private resorts like Monal Resort at Rudraprayag.

A Govindghat and Ghangariya, acco is basic, ranging from dorms to non-AC ordinary rooms in price range of under Rs 1000. I have stayed at GMVN Ghangariya which had poor service. Did not stay at ovindghat since I drove in from Badrinath and proceeded direct to Ghangariya.
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Old 4th August 2008, 17:54   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
I hink there is a GMVN hotel -check out their website - at Srinagar. In any case, there are so many GMVN hotels en route. You can also stay at private resorts like Monal Resort at Rudraprayag.

A Govindghat and Ghangariya, acco is basic, ranging from dorms to non-AC ordinary rooms in price range of under Rs 1000. I have stayed at GMVN Ghangariya which had poor service. Did not stay at ovindghat since I drove in from Badrinath and proceeded direct to Ghangariya.
Thanks for the quick reply buddy.

Also please, if you have time, try to answer the other doubts as well, as you have been there and you could answer them first hand.

But answer this, if I am right, did you drive all the way from mumbai to badrinath?
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Old 4th August 2008, 18:00   #10
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Yes, I drove to Badrinath from Bombay - Scorpio - in 2005 and 2006. You can rely on the log book that I gave you the link to, to check out distances and times. Also marked are locations of GMVN hotels.
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Old 4th August 2008, 23:27   #11
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thanks hvkumar

You have cleared all of my doubts. Thanks for all the tips/ suggestions.

The reason i plan to leave delhi @ 4 in the morning is to beat the out of delhi & modinagar traffic.

I will be troubling you again if I need some suggestions pr to clear some doubts.

Thanks for the info buddy

Last edited by harjeev : 4th August 2008 at 23:29.
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Old 5th August 2008, 12:40   #12
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Doing it in one day is possible if you are fit and a regular trekker. The climb up from ghangria is very steep. You can stay at the Gurudwara if youcan prove to the staff they you can withstand the cold. Me and mY brother did it in one day but stayed back at ghangria as instead to going down to GGhat we strolled over to the valley of flowers. If you go at this time do go up slightly adn see the brahm kamals or blue lilies which are a sight to watch.
Pack woolens and rain gear. Take orange toffees and keep popping them while you climb. Water can eb very expensive so if you can take your own bottles and keep yourself hyderated. Do not know much about the hotels as we had camped on our own. When yougot hwere take time out to visit the valley of flowers as it would be very nice at this time of the year but you cannot stay inside and not carry any eatables or water bottles so prepare accordingly.
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Old 12th August 2008, 23:22   #13
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Harjeev: I have done the trip sans Hemkund Saheb back in 1990 almost to the dates being planned by you. We reached Govindghat on the evening and stayed overnight in the balcony of the PWD bangalow. (Couldn't stay in the Gurdwara since we couldn't have drinks:-)). Started early morning the next day and trekked the 14 kms to Gangaria, relaxed and stayed overnight in Gangaria. The next day, we walked (more of a relaxed trek) to the Valley of Flowers in heavy downpour and came back all the way down to Govindghat in the slush of rainwater mixed horse-**** (pony ****, to be precise).

If you take the pony ride from Govindghat to Gangaria, starting from Govindghat early morning, you can easily finish the trip to the Valley of Flowers the same day (this place is a must see - do not miss visiting the Valley of Flowers). You can then do the trek to Hemkund Saheb starting early morning the next day and return back to Govindghat the same evening.
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Old 13th August 2008, 01:17   #14
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Is the valley of flowers open around 30-31st september?
Hemkunt Sahib is open till 4th of October.
Planning for last week sept trip most probably
Will there be any flowers then?
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Old 13th August 2008, 02:44   #15
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No permits nothing.
Just get some warm clothes, including socks and a sleeping bag which will keep you warm at 6 degrees of damp sheets at night.
Dotn expect a lot of facilities, there are just basic ones available.
Follow Harjiv's route to and fro.
begin the climb to Gobindghat from Gobindham on day one and stay the night there ( in your sleeping bag) Start early the next day for Hemkunt Sahib to do your darshan and back before 12 noon as the O2 levels really go low. Walk on straight down all the way. Its not difficult.
Avoid all shortcuts at all costs they have been fatal and can cause a lot of problems. Stick to the route all the devotees are taking.
Keep sweets and dryfruits in your pocket to give you energy.
Im planning to go there on this 29th, God willing.
If anyone has any queries, pm me for details.
It gets very cold and damp there enroute. Wear a warm and light all weather jacket which will not prove to be a burden to you enroute. Remember even a bottle of water can get to be a burden.
Dont take too many breaks. The toughest part of the trek is the route from Gobindham to Hemkunt Saheb. REally steep and tiring but feels like heaven when up there.
For your info, you start climbing around 5500 feet and Hemkunt Saheb is around 14000 feet.
Ill have the details tomorrow ready if anyone wants.
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