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Old 23rd October 2012, 13:43   #31
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues - Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand - "Paradise on Earth"

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Originally Posted by amitwlele View Post
Great Fauji Sir. I started reading the first post and was wondering that you actually drived from Bangalore. But then the subsequent post cleared my doubts.

Would be interested to understand how difficult the trek is and what kind of preparations are needed before the trek.
that was the exact thought I clicked this travelogue with. Fauji saab, I'm disappointed

5 stars from me though..
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Old 23rd October 2012, 13:47   #32
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues - Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand - "Paradise on Earth"

Dear OP, great thread. The view of the "Valley of flowers & shri Hemkund Sahib" was breath-taking. I've been to Hemkund sahib as a kid but we missed the valley of flowers then. Plan to visit next year & this time Valley of flowers is on the itenary.
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Old 26th October 2012, 16:15   #33
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Thumbs up Trek to Hemkund Sahib and blessings of Vaheguru

Two days of continuous trek was tiring. But the toughest one was to come the next day - Hemkund Sahib. When compared to Gobind ghat to Gangaria and Gangaria to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib trek is considered hard as one climbs 1000 meters within a short span of 6 KMs. Thus, it is a virtual climb from the word go with hardly any level surface.

As usual, the start time is 6.30 AM and everyone is ready. Last night's leg message by Sohan singh was very useful. We slept last night praying that the weather be clear and there shall be no rain. But we are not lucky when we get up as it is already raining. We have no choice and after a tea and toast routine, we start the trek covering our self with a rain cape. Since it is raining, we do not risk taking our Nikon but take Sony point and shoot.

We follow the same route we took for Valley of flowers and then deviate towards Hemkund Sahib. This is a real climb. As in the Gobind Ghat - Gangaria trail, the mules are part of the crowd and one has to bear the smell of their droppings. We also have company of hundreds of Sikh pilgrims trekking along with us uncomplainingly. The trail looks similar to the one from Gobindghat but much steeper. The complete valley is misty and cloudy with hardly anything visible for a large portion of trek. The sky is cloudy with low hanging clouds completely covering the valley. It continue to rain and the trail is wet and slippery.

The water falls as we start climbing. Notice the misty surroundings

Fauji's Drivologues - Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand - "Paradise on Earth"-dsc_0041.jpg

Mules, best friend of a pahadi

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Notice the continuous climb and the valley covered by clouds with hardly any visibility

Fauji's Drivologues - Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand - "Paradise on Earth"-dsc_0046.jpg

Fauji's Drivologues - Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand - "Paradise on Earth"-dsc_0050.jpg

After four hours of trekking and crossing a half melted glacier, we reach the Lake and Gurudwara around 11 AM. The place is very cold and windy. It is a beautiful lake surrounded by mountains. The water is crystal clear and the reflection of Gurudwara in the lake makes a beautiful sight. Unfortunately, the cloudy weather play spoilsport again. Being a high altitude place, we could feel the difficulty while moving around. We have darshan of the shrine and leave after partaking the prasad.

Hemkund Lake, clear, pristine and lovely

Fauji's Drivologues - Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand - "Paradise on Earth"-dsc_0059.jpg

Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib

Fauji's Drivologues - Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand - "Paradise on Earth"-dsc_0096.jpg

Sanctum Santorum of Gurudwara

Fauji's Drivologues - Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand - "Paradise on Earth"-dsc_0109.jpg

We are expecting the weather to clear but we are not so lucky. The rains continue and we had to be extremely careful while coming down the trail lest we slip and hurt our legs. Coming down the trail is heavy on the legs and knees. Fortunately, we all came back safe to Gangaria.

This was a bit of a disappointment as the weather played spoilsport. In clear weather, the trek offers fabulous vistas of mountains especially the "Saptha shringi" mountains or seven peaks of Himalayas surrounding the lake.

Clear weather is key to enjoy the complete trip to Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib. We were extremely lucky when we trekked to Valley of Flowers but we were not in this case.

Photo Courtesy - Manish Jain who was part of the group and who dared to bring his Nikon along.

Travel tips

a) Trek to Hem Kund Sahib is hard. Good acclimatisation is a must. It is good to do this trek after Gobind Ghat - Gangaria and Gangaria - Valley of flowers which will help acclimatise better.

b) If you are flying to Gangaria by helicopter, then complete Valley of Flowers trek before attempting Hemkund Sahib.

c) All precautions as mentioned in previous posts is a must.

d) If you are unfit to do this trek, then you can take the services of a mule.

e) The trail is slippery especially when it is raining. It is imperative that one should wear a good trekking shoe.

f) Make sure to take breaks while climbing up the steep path. This is important as going up very fast could only mean inviting altitude sickness. Breaks are meant to be standing ones and do not sit down. Sitting down causes your muscles to relax and getting back on track can be very difficult.

f) Do not exert on reaching the place. At 16000 feet, it is a high altitude lake and one gets tired very fast due to rarefied atmosphere.

g) The gurudwara in itself is serene and peaceful.

h) One has to be extra careful while coming back as it will be slippery especially when it is raining.
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Old 16th May 2013, 10:45   #34
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues - Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand - "Paradise on Earth"

Fantastic travelog and very useful, thank you!

Is there a place where bikes can be safely parked at Govindghat? We'd like to ride down from Delhi and then trek from Govindghat to Ghangaria, then on to the Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib. Google Maps indicates a 'Car/Bike Parking' spot near Govindghat, is that actually present? And viable?
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Old 16th May 2013, 11:45   #35
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues - Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand - "Paradise on Earth"

Thanks. Yes. You can comfortably park your bikes in the hotel where you would be staying in Govind ghat.
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Old 16th May 2013, 11:46   #36
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues - Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand - "Paradise on Earth"

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Originally Posted by am1m View Post
Fantastic travelog and very useful, thank you!

Is there a place where bikes can be safely parked at Govindghat? We'd like to ride down from Delhi and then trek from Govindghat to Ghangaria, then on to the Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib. Google Maps indicates a 'Car/Bike Parking' spot near Govindghat, is that actually present? And viable?
Yes. You can comfortably park the bikes in the same hotel where you would be staying in Govind Ghat.
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Old 20th June 2013, 12:43   #37
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues - Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand - "Paradise on Earth"

As the sad events of Uttarkhand disaster unfolded in front of us, i was wondering and taking a re-look at the road we took from Rishikesh to Gobindghat.

As i went through this TL again, i had goose bumps. Take a look at pictures on Page 1 and the Videos. We were fortunate, that we came back without any hiccups!
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Old 2nd August 2013, 11:20   #38
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues - Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand - "Paradise on Earth"

I was browsing the pictures of this trip and suddenly realised that i had not posted the lovely pictures we had taken on our way back from Gangaria to Gobind Ghat.

We flew back from Gangaria in a chopper. The flight exactly took seven minutes to cover! We done the same distance by foot while going and it had taken us 12 hours.

The views from the chopper were awesome. The flight is through Alaknanda valley covered by mist with myriad of waterfalls.

It was a cloudy morning with constant drizzle. In fact the flight was delayed by almost two hours and were not sure whether we would be able to take off. Finally we did around 10 In the morning. Take a look at these pictures.

The bird has arrived, finally!

Fauji's Drivologues - Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand - "Paradise on Earth"-hel-1.jpg

Gangaria helipad must one of the most picturesque in the world. It is in a bowl surrounded by cloud kissed mountains. When mist clears, you can see some lovely waterfalls.

Fauji's Drivologues - Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand - "Paradise on Earth"-hel-2.jpg

We now take off. The tented accommodation of one of the agencies. The flight though only for seven minutes is memorable for valley views. I have had similar experience while flying in the siang valley of Arunachal Pradesh.

Fauji's Drivologues - Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand - "Paradise on Earth"-hel3.jpg

Fauji's Drivologues - Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand - "Paradise on Earth"-hel4.jpg

Fauji's Drivologues - Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand - "Paradise on Earth"-hel5.jpg

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Fauji's Drivologues - Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand - "Paradise on Earth"-hel8.jpg

Fauji's Drivologues - Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand - "Paradise on Earth"-hel9.jpg

Fauji's Drivologues - Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand - "Paradise on Earth"-hel10.jpg

The first glimpse of Gobind Ghat

Fauji's Drivologues - Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand - "Paradise on Earth"-hel11.jpg

We come closer....

Fauji's Drivologues - Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand - "Paradise on Earth"-hel15.jpg

The milky waters of Alakananda

Fauji's Drivologues - Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand - "Paradise on Earth"-hel16.jpg

Safely landed...... By the way, the helipad has been washed away in recent floods.

Fauji's Drivologues - Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand - "Paradise on Earth"-hel17.jpg
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Old 11th August 2013, 06:39   #39
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues - Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand - "Paradise on Earth"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fauji View Post
I was browsing the pictures of this trip and suddenly realised that i had not posted the lovely pictures we had taken on our way back from Gangaria to Gobind Ghat.

We flew back from Gangaria in a chopper. The flight exactly took seven minutes to cover! We done the same distance by foot while going and it had taken us 12 hours.
Thanks for the lovely pictures. If it had been a bright sunny day, probably you could have taken some even more awesome shots from the helo.

I did the Govindghat-Ghangria-VOF-Hemkund Sahib-Govindghat trek a few years ago. I did it on foot entirely. It is quite tiresome to trek up on this stretch. I found the long Govindghat-Ghangria stretch more tiresome than the steep (but relatively shorter) Ghangria-Hemkund stretch. Copious amounts of mule dung all along this route is a big irritant. It also makes the path slippery for trekkers during rains / drizzle.

The recent disasters in Uttarakhand are more heart-breaking for people like you and me because we have visited some of the affected areas and can identify with them.
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Old 11th August 2013, 14:06   #40
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues - Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand - "Paradise on Earth"

Awesome pics and write-up, Fauji Saab, many thanks! I doubt I'll ever go there, but I could nevertheless enjoy the trip vicariously thanks to you!
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Old 13th August 2013, 10:35   #41
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues - Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand - "Paradise on Earth"

Is the VoF intact after the recent flooding?

Conflicting reports online- Valley washed away; Valley intact but inaccessible because of a bridge collapse; Valley accessible but no one has gone to verify; Valley shut for 1/2 years; etc.

Anyone have any actual info?
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Old 19th November 2013, 10:29   #42
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues - Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand - "Paradise on Earth"

Adding some links for those (like me) who were searching for info on how the recent flooding may have affected the Valley of Flowers:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/nationa...cle5217837.ece

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/ut...-season-424420

I guess next year will see a big rush of visitors to the park.
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