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Old 10th August 2009, 13:44   #1
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Default Delhi - Hemkund Sahib

Hi all,

Me and my family (around 10 persons in total) are planning to go to Hemkund Sahib. The trip will start on Wednesday, 12th August. We will be travelling in 3 cars - one Logan (with a driver), and 2 hired Indica cabs.

The route will be Delhi - Meerut - Haridwar - Rsishikesh - Dev Prayag - Joshimath - Govind Ghat.

Day 1 (12th Aug) - We plan to leave early morning around 4 am to beat the traffic. Plan to reach Rishikesh by 9 am at most. Have breakfast over there. And, then leave for Joshimath. Stay over night at Joshimath.

Day 2 (13th Aug) - Have early breakfast. Leave for Govind Ghat. Start the trek by 8.30am. Most of us will take the ponies/mules. Reach Govind Dham. Stay overnight over there.

Day 3 (14th Aug) - Trek from Govind Dham to Hemkund on ponies/mules, and come back to Govind Ghat by 5-6pm. Stay overnight in Joshimath.

Day 4 (15th Aug) - Leave Joshimath in the morning. Reach Rishikesh. Depending on the time, will plan to go straight to Delhi or stay in Rishikesh.

Day 5 (16th Aug) - Reserve Day

Day 6 (17th Aug) - Back to work

Now for the clarifications/doubts/questions:
1. How are the road conditions like?
2. What precautions should we take?
3. What all stuff we should take along with us? I've prepared a short list:
- Woolen Clothes
- Raincoat
- Torch
- Candle / Match sticks
- Dry fruits for quick snack/energy
- Mosquito Repellants
- Medicines for AMS, Headache, Stomach ache etc.
- etc.
Please add to the list.
4. How is the weather over there? Will it be raining/snowing etc?

Any advise would be highly appreciated.
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Old 10th August 2009, 14:26   #2
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Not much of Rains this time around so should not be a spoil sport. Take rain coats along purely as a precaution. My advise if you can avoid ponies do that. If you are not accustomed to riding it is a sure fire invitation to lots of body ache and discomfort at those steep gradients. Walk, take your time its more pleasurable and satisfying. Plus if you are fit be sure to visit the glacier above the shirne to see some rare himalayan neel kamals in bloom this time around.
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Old 10th August 2009, 14:53   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
Not much of Rains this time around so should not be a spoil sport. Take rain coats along purely as a precaution. My advise if you can avoid ponies do that. If you are not accustomed to riding it is a sure fire invitation to lots of body ache and discomfort at those steep gradients. Walk, take your time its more pleasurable and satisfying. Plus if you are fit be sure to visit the glacier above the shirne to see some rare himalayan neel kamals in bloom this time around.
Our group has some elder persons + some kids as well. So, will have to take ponies. No other way around.

Personally, I will prefer to walk all the way.
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Old 10th August 2009, 15:27   #4
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Go through this thread, lot of your queries will be answered here:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...darnath-2.html (Delhi to Badrinath and Kedarnath)
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Old 10th August 2009, 16:55   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woof View Post
Hi all,

Me and my family (around 10 persons in total) are planning to go to Hemkund Sahib. The trip will start on Wednesday, 12th August. We will be travelling in 3 cars - one Logan (with a driver), and 2 hired Indica cabs.

The route will be Delhi - Meerut - Haridwar - Rsishikesh - Dev Prayag - Joshimath - Govind Ghat.

Day 1 (12th Aug) - We plan to leave early morning around 4 am to beat the traffic. Plan to reach Rishikesh by 9 am at most. Have breakfast over there. And, then leave for Joshimath. Stay over night at Joshimath.

Day 2 (13th Aug) - Have early breakfast. Leave for Govind Ghat. Start the trek by 8.30am. Most of us will take the ponies/mules. Reach Govind Dham. Stay overnight over there.

Day 3 (14th Aug) - Trek from Govind Dham to Hemkund on ponies/mules, and come back to Govind Ghat by 5-6pm. Stay overnight in Joshimath.

Day 4 (15th Aug) - Leave Joshimath in the morning. Reach Rishikesh. Depending on the time, will plan to go straight to Delhi or stay in Rishikesh.

Day 5 (16th Aug) - Reserve Day

Day 6 (17th Aug) - Back to work
Quote:
Originally Posted by woof View Post
Our group has some elder persons + some kids as well. So, will have to take ponies. No other way around.

Personally, I will prefer to walk all the way.
Hi Woof, I have been to Shri Hemkunt Sahib a few times so i will try and answer your questions as per my experiences there. By the way i am again going there on the 5th of September.

First and foremost, one has to be fit, even to take a horse. Your timings are perfect but i would recommend a night spend at Munal or Srinagar. Anyways that depends on how you have planned things. Joshimath has a one way crossing to and fro so make sure you guys know what time the crossing is in your direction. It could be very frustrating to reach and realise that the one way, favouring your directional traffic is closed.

Quote:
Now for the clarifications/doubts/questions:
1. How are the road conditions like?
2. What precautions should we take?
3. What all stuff we should take along with us? I've prepared a short list:
- Woolen Clothes
- Raincoat
- Torch
- Candle / Match sticks
- Dry fruits for quick snack/energy
- Mosquito Repellants
- Medicines for AMS, Headache, Stomach ache etc.
- etc.
Please add to the list.
4. How is the weather over there? Will it be raining/snowing etc?

Any advise would be highly appreciated.
Road conditions are nt too good. They have never been. Also rains and constant hill slides to tend to make the mountainous climbs and descends really scary and tough. One has to firstly make sure that the person driving has had plenty of experience. Not to be taken lightly and no young pedal pushers.


Take Along Musts:

A good pair of walking shoes with extra pair of thick cotton socks. Dont get the full leather ones. Get the ones which have a net or allow your feet to breathe. They dry out faster and not remain damp like the leather ones. Also it is important to wear in and run in your shoes. Dont wear brand new ones as they might get uncomfortable later. Then you've had it.

Mosquito repellents the ones you rub on like an Odomos cream.

Volini/Deep heat or some similar ointment for sprains and pulls, besides the usual medicines. antiseptics and band aids. Try taking a warm water bottle (duckback makes them i think)

Get a few portable Oxygen cylinders. Trust me when in Shri Hemkunt Sahib, you will most probably need it if you get oxygen starved like me. Most people i have seen do and its a horrible feeling. Nausea, head turning round, one thinks one is going to die.

2 Extra pair of clothes and underclothes than you have calculated. Put them in separate large zip lock bags as the weather there is very very damp. Also rains might be aplenty. Be ready for that.

Take thermals they really help.

Take two small bags rather than one large one. One bag you put in all clothes for your travel to and from Govind Ghat. The other smaller one you put in your necessary items for only from Gobind Ghat and back. In that way you dont carry excess baggage.

Take a sleeping warm bag for the night spends. The lodge at Gobind Ghat are damp, dirty and infested with bed bugs. Also try and avoid using the lodge beddings, sheets, pillows. carry a set of your own sheet and a blow pillow. put you sheet on the lodge's and sleep in peace in your sleeping bag. I do that.

Dont try to carry any extra item with you which you dont really need when climbing. That simple raincoat might seem like a ton when you are climbing, trust me.
Carry a lot of sweets and dry fruits in your pockets, they will provide you with the much needed energy thrust.

Better than a match, carry a lighter as matches do tend to get damp.
Buy a thick stick or staff from the various shops below, at Gobind Ghat, before the climb. You will need it.

While you are climbing, stop at the 13km mark which is riddled with Dhabas. Eat there and rest for 30 mins or so. Also dont get carried away and stuff yourself with more than one Alu Paratha (doused with butter), if you do, you are going to be nauseous and sick on the way up. Its still a long way to Gobind Dham. Insted have a glass or two of Black Channa soup available. That is light, filling and nutritious.


Carry a stapped water bottle and Glucose D with you. Also carry a waist pouch.

Dont get tempted to wear heavy wind cheaters and sweaters on the way up as the climb is tedious and the exertion will make you sweat at the least. The weather is very unpredictable so one cant say if its going to be sunny or raining.

The climb form Gobind Dham to the top is very very demanding. I would recommend on foot rather than on a horse if ou are up to it. There are other ways of going up. The children can use a "Kandi" This is a small seat like cane basket in which the child sits comfortably. The PAhari guy straps this round his waist and carry's the person on his back.

For elders use the "Palki". They are seated on an open Palki carried by foru persons and taken up and down, comfortably with a pillow, blanket etc. Cary your own pillow and blanket. Get one from wherever you spend the night before the climb from Gobind Ghat and leave it with the Palki guys when you get back. They will bless you.

If on foot, make sure your horse guy is close by as you might want to take a break from the trek and get on horseback for some time.

Whatever you do, AVOID SHORTCUTS These are small pathways that certain overzealous youngsters take, to get on the to before time. I have seen many unfortunate accidents as a result of these and also many broken back and fatal broken necks. Please dont get tempted.

The final few kms approach to the top can be made by certain steps too. This is an alternative made by the authorities to reach the top. Temoting as they might seem, take them only if you are in top athletic form. They are all of uneven height and size so there is no rhythmic climbing ir descending involved,.

Leave Gobind Dham very early to reach the top early, while the Oxygen levels are still good and people are no that many. I would recommend around 5:45 - 6.00 am at the break of dawn. Calculate an hour per km for this.

Once up, the first thing you do is disrobe and take a plunge in the Sarovar. The cold water will get all your aches and pains out in a jiffy and you will feel fresh. Just a dip and back, dont stay any more. You could freeze there. Change and quickly head into the Gurdwara where the warmth of the Karah Parshad and hot Tea will do you some good. Also they serve some piping hot Kheer or Sevaiyyan to the people. Dont stay for long. Start your climb down before 12 noon as the Oxyge levels get really low. The walk down takes no time and can all be done in the same day.

Make sure you take a lot of pics and catalogue your experiences for people who want to go there. If possible, as you have an extra day, visit the valley of flowers.

Have a great trip. If i remember anything else ill put it down in another post.
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Old 10th August 2009, 22:28   #6
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Quote:
Joshimath has a one way crossing to and fro so make sure you guys know what time the crossing is in your direction. It could be very frustrating to reach and realise that the one way, favouring your directional traffic is closed.
At Joshimath, the check post convoy timings: 630 am, 900 am, 1130 am, 200 pm and 430 pm. Takes 45 minutes to reach Govindghat. Return timings are 1 hour + (730 am, 1000 am, and so on) back to Joshimath.
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Old 11th August 2009, 11:27   #7
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@V-16 thats one comprehensive listing of dos and donts. Very informative and lucid but I hope you ahve not scared the poor chap.
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Old 11th August 2009, 11:58   #8
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Thanks V-16 for the very nice & informative post.

I've been to Hemkund Sahib, but that was about 13-14 years ago (I was in school then). So, things might have changed a lot. I am not worried about myself, 'coz I've been to numerous trekking trips + me & my wife do jog for 30-40 mins every morning, keeps us fit & in shape.

But, I'm little concerned about my Dad & my 5 yr old nephew. My Dad is 60+ and is going there for the 1st time. He will be taking the mule/pony for most part of the journey.

For my nephew, we will be hiring a 'pithu'. I guess that should be fine for him.

Till now, I've made the following list of items to be packed:
~ Clothes - Woolen, thermals
~ Sport Shoes
~ Sunscreen
~ Dry Fruit, Candies, etc
~ Camera - Extra batteries
~ Torch
~ Medicines - Volini (thanks V-16 for reminding), Anitseptic, Bandage, Crocin, Pudin Hara, Glucose etc.
~ Mosquitto Repellant - Odomos
~ Shawl
~ Candle / Matchbox / Lighter
~ Bed Sheet / Pillow
~ Will buy the raincoats from there
~ Anything else, which I might have missed out?

@hvkumar - Thanks for the info. Will keep this in mind.

Last edited by woof : 11th August 2009 at 12:10.
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Old 11th August 2009, 12:28   #9
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Been to Hemkund Sahib ji like 4 yrs back. A few inputs from my end

1) Option of Mule/ Pony/ 'Horse' wannabees - You really need to be in great shape to just cling on to your dear life - especially the stretch from Govind Dham to Hemkund Sahib ji since it is very steep! We did walk till Govind Dham on day 1 and opted for the pony option the next day. Let me tell you its scary and most of my friends deserted their ride even before one-third leg of the journey got completed - most complained of the stench initially only to admit later on they were scared to death since the animals were always walking the tight-rope on the very edge and no amount of coaxing, cajoling, threatening, pleading will deter them. My particular example suddenly leaped and dashed for a watering hole even before the guide had a chance to stop it - i was lucky that i was clinging on to it with all my might. Even if you manage to take the pony on the way up - please do not attempt it while on the way down - its outright risky.

2) If you have time do not miss "Valley of Flowers" - but you will need a day to explore it.

3) Carry a torch and check the batteries - it literally saved us on our journey back to Govind ghat- we started very late and it was dark before we still needed to trudge some 10 odd kms - there is no source of artificial light there on the road. In that darkness its difficult to see anything even 1 feet from you.

4) Take it easy while you climb up - its good to get gradually aclimatized to the elevation. If i remember correctly Hemkund Sahib ji is at 15K+ ft.

Will share a funny incident.

We did our trip around this time of the year and this is when hundreds of pilgrims visit this Gurdwara - hence we were in the 'tourist' season and we saw hundreds if not thousands of devout Sikhs either on their way up or returning back having paid a visit. As i mentioned earlier we were late when we had started for Govind Ghat on our return journey and it was already 8+ P.M when we finally reached the bridge at Govind Ghat. Now, near the big bridge we see a middle aged lady standing and from what we could make out she was worried and was probably anxiously waiting for someone. Immediately on seeing us she asked us "Aapne upar koi Sardarji ko dekha kya?" -My friend replied back honestly "Bohut dekha!" She quickly corrected herself and went onto fill in the details of the "Sardarji" she was looking for!

All the best for your trip!
Dhiman

Last edited by dhiman : 11th August 2009 at 12:31.
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Old 21st September 2011, 22:03   #10
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Default Re: Delhi - Hemkund Sahib

Quote:
Originally Posted by mandyrana View Post
Hi Iqbal Veerji, Not sure why you took Muzzafarnagar route to Paonta Sahib, instead of Yamuna Nagar which is shorter route and Can reach to Paonta Sahib in 5 hrs from Delhi.
Sir ji, Five hrs you say ,we started from N.Delhi at 5AM sharp and reached Paonta Sahib at 3.45 PM, that Tyagi driver was a IDIOT no.1 and very stubburn.Although he claimed that he is driving in and around Delhi, and near by cities including Uttaranchal,U.P.,Himachal,Rajasthan he kept on asking people on the way about way to Paonta Sahib.
He wasted our time and his H.S.D. also in the bargain.
At one point of time he travelled wrong way for almost 26 kms and had to turn back.
At Paonta Sahib he was told by me not to cross the Yamuna Bridge ,but leave his vehicle before the bridge otherwise he will enter Himachal.
But he paid no attention to us and had to pay 2100/- tax from his own pocket.
When we came back to Delhi his Boss asked us about him and we all spilled the beans. He Lost His Job.

Last edited by IQBAL VEERJI : 21st September 2011 at 22:05.
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Old 21st September 2011, 23:30   #11
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Default Re: Delhi - Hemkund Sahib

This is todays lot of photos I am posting.This is start of journey from Pipal koti towards Joshimath.
We were again held up due to a even bigger land slide near Helong.
There were huge stones in form of small mountains falling on the road.
As you can see everyone is looking upwards,then there is this Innova asked to speed up beore ant stone falls on her,along with the vehicle the army guy ran after it as a huge stone came down.
You can see that traffic jam on both sides,then we crossed this hurdle and came closer to Joshimath. Enjoy the photos plss.
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Old 25th September 2011, 16:27   #12
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Default Re: Delhi - Hemkund Sahib

Hi guys, Yesterday I was bit tired thatswhy I did not upload any pictures,and I also had heavy workload in office.
Today I sat down to do the most boring job of resizing the pics.
Now our journey will go till Joshimath,Govind ghat,Govinddham,Sri Hemkunt Sahib and back to Govind Ghat.
The walking path to Hemkunt Sahib was slightly longer because of washing away of certain portions of path way near the fast flowing Hemganga river.
Now instead of 19 kms it is 20.5 kms.of path to be covered by walking.

Near Joshimath you will find a Power generating project going on, then we reached Govind ghat and relaxed for the day.
At Govind ghat I saw a cute little Nano which covered all that punishing road till here from Delhi.This was parked amongst all those giants SUV's around her.
Near the Gurudwara there is this very old Glaciar which is becoming smaller and smaller every year, then there are plenty of water falls on the way.
Around gurudwara as you can see the photos there was too much of fog ,this is at 11.AM ,imagine what it could be in the evening or night.
There is direct telecast of live programm on MH1 channel, pls see the staff and their gears ,they live here throughout 5 months of yatra period.
Great work by MH1.
There was a german TV tem shooting the gurudwara.
There are 1100 steps to gurudwara if you want to skip 1 kms distance. My son Jatinder enjoyed every moment, I was bit tired more then as comapred to last 33 yrs.
At Govind ghat they have built a new very wide bridge across the river.also you can see how the cars are parked very near to the river.
Next I shall be posting our return journey which was very interesting.Regards......
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Old 25th September 2011, 17:31   #13
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Default Re: Delhi - Hemkund Sahib

These are fag end of the todays uploaded photos.
The closing ceremony of the gurudwara will be 4 october when the gurudwara will be closed for the winter ,as there is about 40 feet snowfall in the area around it.It will reopen on 4th June 2012.
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Old 6th October 2011, 23:45   #14
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Hi everyone,this is last batch of photos of the memorable Yatra which covered our return journey to Rishikesh from Govinghat.

This route was also full of Land slides and road blocks, the one I photographed had coverd the entire road and not only mud,sand but also huge sized stones which refused to move with bull dozers and had to be blownup with dynamite sticks.

The one large sized bull dozer got its equipment broken into two when trying to push a huge stone.
Finally road block was cleared in 8 hrs time period,in the line up of vehicles waiting for the road block to be cleared there were some senior army officers.
We made friends with their driver who was very polite and cheerful person.We got our photos clicked with him.
There were senior army officers by names as Mr. Malhotra and Mr. Jaswinder Singh who were there with us.

In the waiting line for the road block there was a bus from Nepal with pilgrims, The bus had Regd No.BA.XX.XXX Ba is in writen in hindi.


After the road block cleared and we moved ahead but we were delayed and our programme was not as we had planned.
I had tickets for Amritsar on the same day, I tore the tickets of my confirmed AC sleeper from Haridwar to Amritsar.
We reached Rishikesh next day morning instead of one day earlier .
At rishikesh I went to my dost Ranjit Motorcycles , Ranjit singh who is dealer and vehicle restorer of Royal enfeild .He is a very helpful guy.
He rents out bikes for yatra also.
We visited Rishikesh Gurudwara which is being renovated in a large scale.

I and my son parted ways and proceeded to ROPAR , my hometown.
In Ropar I went to Gurudwara Bhatta Sahib, this gurudwara has history that says, when GuruGobind Singh ji was in Ropar he was tricked by some miscrents into a hot brick kiln ,guruji and his horse got trapped but in few min. kiln got very cold and was extinguished. There are footsteps of gurujis horse which are preserved still today.
I visited as usual my native home which my grandfather built in the year 1952. I shall post photos of that house later. That house has tenents who pay a very odd amount of rent even today,they are in this house from 1954.

We cought afternoon flight to mumbai from Chandigarh and reached mumbai.
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Old 7th October 2011, 00:36   #15
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Default Re: Delhi - Hemkund Sahib

Iqbal Veerji Sir,

Wonderful photographs and an equally nice narrative! I request you to please post all the photographs and the narrative in the Travelogue section.

As Ashish mentioned, it would be easier to find it for future reference.
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