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Old 28th May 2010, 21:38   #1
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Thumbs up Photolog - Valley of Flowers - Hemkund Sahib

This is photolog of the Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib trek we did in Jul-09. It was a 9 day trip starting from Pune. GMVN guest houses were booked in advance through their Pune extension counter.

Day1 - Pune - Delhi - Rishikesh
Day2 - Rishikesh - Joshimath
Day3 - Joshimath - Govindghat - Ghagaria
Day4 - Ghagaria - Valley of Flowers
Day5 - Ghagaria - Hemkund Sahib
Day6 - Ghagaria - Govindghat - Badrinath - Joshimath
Day7 - Joshimath - Rishikesh
Day8 - Rishikesh - Haridwar
Day9 - Haridwar - Delhi - Pune

The mighty 'Ganga'
Photolog - Valley of Flowers - Hemkund Sahib-img_0237.jpg

Early morning in Joshimath
Photolog - Valley of Flowers - Hemkund Sahib-img_0242.jpg

Photolog - Valley of Flowers - Hemkund Sahib-img_0244.jpg

View of Govindghat - Starting point of 13km trek to Ghagaria
Photolog - Valley of Flowers - Hemkund Sahib-img_0256.jpg
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Old 28th May 2010, 21:53   #2
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C300, what a way to start at TBhp. Superb Pics.
Eagerly waiting for a detailed travelogue and Much more Pics!
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Old 28th May 2010, 21:58   #3
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Puts me back by a dacade and a half when I went to Badrinath!
What a place. What a place.

Waiting for more!
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Old 28th May 2010, 22:10   #4
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Excellent. We were on a trip to Haridwar then wanted to proceed to Rishikesh and forth in 1999. Unfortunately, the Cab driver tried kidnapping us. It's a different story.
We had to cut short and come back to Delhi from Haridwar. I'll know what all I've missed by checking your log. And looking at the photos of Joshimath, I realise, I've missed everything!
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Old 28th May 2010, 22:24   #5
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I am subscribing to this thread. Have been planning to do Badri-Kedar Yatra since last 2 years but the call has still not come. Your experience will open up lot of information for us. The teasers are perfect. Please do post fast.

Thanks for sharing by the way.
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Old 28th May 2010, 22:44   #6
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Went to Valley of Flowers in 2005, but could not make it to Hemkund Saheb. Looks like you did not drive yourself. Tell us more about the places where you stayed in, at Joshimath and Ghanagriya.
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Old 28th May 2010, 23:07   #7
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kya zabardast photos!

c;mon C300! post more!
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Old 29th May 2010, 00:53   #8
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Nice pictures. Brings back old memories. I last did this route in 2001 and am eager to see how it has changed over the years. Bring it on mate but do a steady and regular posting.
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Old 29th May 2010, 06:09   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sureshkishore View Post
C300, what a way to start at TBhp. Superb Pics.
Eagerly waiting for a detailed travelogue and Much more Pics!
Thanks a lot. More details and pics coming soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Excellent. We were on a trip to Haridwar then wanted to proceed to Rishikesh and forth in 1999. Unfortunately, the Cab driver tried kidnapping us. It's a different story.
We had to cut short and come back to Delhi from Haridwar. I'll know what all I've missed by checking your log. And looking at the photos of Joshimath, I realise, I've missed everything!
Thats unfortunate. You should plan it again. Its worth it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Went to Valley of Flowers in 2005, but could not make it to Hemkund Saheb. Looks like you did not drive yourself. Tell us more about the places where you stayed in, at Joshimath and Ghanagriya.
hvk - you are correct. We had a week to plan it so took direct flight from pune to delhi and then Bus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
Nice pictures. Brings back old memories. I last did this route in 2001 and am eager to see how it has changed over the years. Bring it on mate but do a steady and regular posting.
This was my firts trip closer to Himalayas and i must say the increase of population in the hilly areas is straining the natural resources.
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Old 29th May 2010, 11:31   #10
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Journey Begins –

One of my best friends is from Uttaranchal so heard many stories of beautiful snow capped mountains and lush green valleys. Early last year while browsing the net I came across some amazing photos of Valley of flowers. Showed it to wife and it was decided to visit this place.

Few days of research and help from the friend, our plan was ready. The best time to visit the valley is mid July till end of August. That’s also monsoon and landslide time in Uttaranchal so always keep couple of buffer days in your plan. We managed only a week’s leave so driving was ruled out. Plan was to take flight from Pune to Delhi and Govt Bus onwards.

As recommended, most of the accommodation was booked at GMVN guest houses. GMVN has tourist booking counters in major cities including Pune which helped in making sure that all the reservations are in place. You can visit GMVN website to check the nearest counter or call them directly. It is advisable to book the accommodation at least a month in advance. As the journey involves around 40km of trekking, its always good to prepare a thorough checklist. Some last minute shopping and we were ready.

Day 1 – Pune – Delhi - Rishikesh

We took the early morning flight and reached Delhi by 9 am. After a quick breakfast we reach Inter-state bus depot. Rishikesh and Haridwar are well connected from Delhi and there is a bus every half an hour. By 11am we were on our way to Rishikesh. This part of the journey will take you through one of the most fertile landscapes in India. Lush green farms and numerous canals are treat to the eyes. No wonder our early civilization flourished in these planes.

The condition of the road was poor. Road widening activities were at halt with half built flyovers everywhere. The last section of the journey between Haridwar and Rishikesh will take you through lush green forest part of Rajaji National Park. By 5pm we were in Rishikesh . GMVN Rishilok was booked for tonight. The guest house was neat and clean. Garden area was well maintained and peaceful – perfect place to relax after a long journey. Dinner served in their restaurant was also good.

GMVN Rishilok Rishikesh
Photolog - Valley of Flowers - Hemkund Sahib-img_0458.jpg

Photolog - Valley of Flowers - Hemkund Sahib-img_0460.jpg
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Old 29th May 2010, 17:10   #11
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Day 2 Rishikesh - Joshimath

Distance between Rishikesh and Joshimath is 230km. We leave the fertile planes behind and enter dense forests of Shivalik. Travel time of 8-9 hrs through Ghat roads prone to landslides but the scenery around makes it worth every cent. It is advised to start as early as possible. Most of the direct buses to Badrinath-Joshimath leave by 8-9am. Only option after that is a taxi or shared Sumo. There are 2 bus depots in Rishikesh. Buses going to Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri are mostly small private buses and they start from Yatri Bus Stand. We catch the 6am Badrinath bus and hit the road on time.

30kms from Rishikesh and we hit the first road block. Overnight rains washed away a section of the road causing 3-4km traffic jam. Its 7am and according to locals it will take another 5-6 hours to clear the roads. Our Driver decided to wait till 12noon, if its not cleared till then, the plan was to go back to Rishikesh. Luckily for us the road was cleared at 11am.

Photolog - Valley of Flowers - Hemkund Sahib-img_0232.jpg

Photolog - Valley of Flowers - Hemkund Sahib-img_0233.jpg

Photolog - Valley of Flowers - Hemkund Sahib-img_0235.jpg

Photolog - Valley of Flowers - Hemkund Sahib-img_0236.jpg

Photolog - Valley of Flowers - Hemkund Sahib-img_0237.jpg

We reach Joshimath at 8 in the night. Another GMVN guest house waiting for us.
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Old 29th May 2010, 21:03   #12
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Dear C300. Though it is a belated travelogue it is a timely one for me since i plan to make a Haridwar - Joshimath - Auli trip in Jan 2011 and i have started taking prepatory steps for it. I am sure yours will be a superb guide for my trip. Yor photographs have come well and i am awaiting more photos with detailed write up. SGP
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Old 30th May 2010, 13:45   #13
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Day 3 Joshimath – Govindghat – Ghagaria

Early morning in Joshimath we wake up to the beautiful sounds of sacred chants coming from the ‘Shankarachrya Math’. Joshimath is also known as Jyotirmath. Its one of the four ‘Maths’ established by Aadi Shankaracharya (Others being Sringeri, Dwarka and Puri).

Joshimath is situated on the slopes above the confluence of Alaknanda and Dhauliganga. Every house in the town has a majestic view of Himalayan peaks. Walking through the town is small trek in itself.

Photolog - Valley of Flowers - Hemkund Sahib-img_0242.jpg

Photolog - Valley of Flowers - Hemkund Sahib-img_0243.jpg

Photolog - Valley of Flowers - Hemkund Sahib-img_0244.jpg

Photolog - Valley of Flowers - Hemkund Sahib-img_0245.jpg

Our next stop is Govindghat which is the starting point of 13km trek to Ghagaria. Govindghat is located on Joshimath-Badrinath route, around 20kms from Joshimath. The road is very narrow so only one way traffic is allowed. The first batch of vehicles depart Joshimath at 6am. If you miss the gate you will have to wait for couple of hours for the next batch.

The 20km journey from Joshimath to Govindghat by a private bus is probably one of the scariest 20kms of your life. Narrow road, landslides and Alaknanda river making thundering noise through the deep gorge. You just admire the driving skills of these bus drivers for pin point precision.

By 7am we were at Govindghat. A quick breakfast of Chole Bhature and we were on our way to Ghagaria. 13km trek to Ghaghara is strenuous, beautiful and satisfying.

There is a tourist counter at Govindghat if you are want to hire a porter or horse. Many porters will directly approach you but its better to book it through this counter. Rates are fixed and clearly listed on the board .

There are plenty of eateries/dhabas along the way. Many are located at the banks of Laxmanganga river with a breathtaking view of the mountains.

Many pilgrims will offer you food items including dry glucose powder . Never eat dry glucose at this altitude. It can choke you. Its better to mix it in water and drink it.

Photolog - Valley of Flowers - Hemkund Sahib-img_0251.jpg

Photolog - Valley of Flowers - Hemkund Sahib-img_0252.jpg

Photolog - Valley of Flowers - Hemkund Sahib-img_0256.jpg

Photolog - Valley of Flowers - Hemkund Sahib-img_0258.jpg

Photolog - Valley of Flowers - Hemkund Sahib-img_0269.jpg

Photolog - Valley of Flowers - Hemkund Sahib-img_0273.jpg

After around 6 hours of trekking we see the first sight of Ghagaria. It’s a small village amongst lush green pine forest. Ghagaria will be our base camp for next two days to visit Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib. The village was setup solely to cater tourists and its closed during winter. GMVN guest house at Ghagaria was fully booked out so the plan was to search for accommodation. There are many smaller hotels in Ghagaria. The earlier you reach better the chances of finding an accommodation. There is also a Gurudwara where you can stay for a night. We find a small hotel on the main street. The cost depends on the number of tourists/pilgrims. It can vary from 200 to 2000.

Photolog - Valley of Flowers - Hemkund Sahib-img_0278.jpg
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Old 30th May 2010, 20:05   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C300 View Post
Day 2 Rishikesh - Joshimath

Distance between Rishikesh and Joshimath is 230km. We leave the fertile planes behind and enter dense forests of Shivalik. Travel time of 8-9 hrs through Ghat roads prone to landslides but the scenery around makes it worth every cent. It is advised to start as early as possible. Most of the direct buses to Badrinath-Joshimath leave by 8-9am. Only option after that is a taxi or shared Sumo. There are 2 bus depots in Rishikesh. Buses going to Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri are mostly small private buses and they start from Yatri Bus Stand. We catch the 6am Badrinath bus and hit the road on time.

30kms from Rishikesh and we hit the first road block. Overnight rains washed away a section of the road causing 3-4km traffic jam. Its 7am and according to locals it will take another 5-6 hours to clear the roads. Our Driver decided to wait till 12noon, if its not cleared till then, the plan was to go back to Rishikesh. Luckily for us the road was cleared at 11am.

Attachment 357672

Attachment 357673

Attachment 357674

Attachment 357675

Attachment 357676

We reach Joshimath at 8 in the night. Another GMVN guest house waiting for us.
The Bus Stand is actually known as PARVATIYA BUS ADDA (Hill tours bus stand ) the other one is for the plains ,buses going to Delhi,Uttar pradesh,Haryana,Punjab.I am a regular traveller to Shri Hemkunt Sahib for the last 31 years, The land slides have reduced to great extent for the last 10 to 15 years,also June-July months are porn for the land slides in this region due to rains,I travel in the end of August and very rarely come across land slides.
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Old 30th May 2010, 20:34   #15
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I am enjoying each and every photograph posted by you. The 0252.jpg with the clouds on the mountains and the small stream flowing is a sight to behold. I hope you have lots of photographs more to share with us.

Thanks
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