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Old 24th March 2011, 22:17   #16
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Default Re: Stories from The Land of Angels

And some more pics before we reach Govindghat.

The Beach --Ain't it beautiful. Its different from the beaches we know.
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A close look at the beach - shows it was a rocky beach. The Himalayas are so huge, pebbles appear like grains of sand.
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Pit Stop for some gasoline for the hungry souls. After all whats the point of traveling when you are hungry?
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Some unknown peak - don't care to know if it has a name. Its a beauty anyway.
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And we draw closer
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And Closer
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The Over priced shop - but they served some really nice jaljeera
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And we continue seeing infinite peaks and every-time we can't stop wowing at them.
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After filling up, now its time to relax.
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While other relax, lets take a shot at this huge wall in front of us.
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And this was framed too
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Guys hurry up..we need to head for Govindghat
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And we are there finally.

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After crossing such roads.
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The next post will contain..will contain pictures of the trek and Govindghat. I am sure you will want more of them.
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Old 25th March 2011, 06:59   #17
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Default Re: Stories from The Land of Angels

where does this highest cable car to Auli start? before or after govind ghat?

From Govind ghat the valley of flowers is around 16km? Do you have to trek all that? Is there a stay in between?

Hemkund - Is a little detour, so you come down from the valley of flowers and go further 3/4km. Is the lake accessible.

How was the place in August - rainy?
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Old 25th March 2011, 09:04   #18
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Originally Posted by laluks View Post
where does this highest cable car to Auli start? before or after govind ghat?

From Govind ghat the valley of flowers is around 16km? Do you have to trek all that? Is there a stay in between?

Hemkund - Is a little detour, so you come down from the valley of flowers and go further 3/4km. Is the lake accessible.

How was the place in August - rainy?
The Highest Cable car to Auli is from Joshimath main market, its not a big place so everything is a main market. Its approachable from the main road/ highway, hardly a few 100 mts. Govindghat is some 30 kms from Joshimath the base for start of the trek to Hemkund / VOF.

You have to trek / take a mule / take a porter carriage for the next 14 kms to reach Ghangaria. Ghangria has a few cheap hotels (INR 700/-) and a GMVN( Govt. Property approx INR 1100/- per night) and a few tented accommodation from Indiahikes (INR 3500/- per night.

When u start from Ghangaria take a route left you reach VOF 3.5-4 kms trek. Porter carriages do go but if there is a landslide you have to resort to trekking only. Mules not allowed to VOF, thats the best part of it. If you continue straight, it takes to hemkund. You can take porters/ mule /trek. Yes the lake is accessible its right infront of the Gurudwara. We could not go there as we did not spend sufficient time acclimatizing ourselves. One of my friends had fever and I got fever while returning. All these and more yet to come. The travelogue has just reached the best part of it. Slowly it will start some of the bitter things.

PM me I can share my number. I am visiting B'lore next month and if you are interested we can catch up and I can explain all the details. Yes august it was rainy, infact heavy rains. what you feel like drizzling / raining on the mountain top causes flood like situation downhill.
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Old 25th March 2011, 09:15   #19
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Before I start the Trek to Ghangaria. I want to share these maps with you incase you have any questions. The Sad part of it was we found the maps in the main valley. As you can see there are several routes you can take inside the valley and spent as much time as you feel like. But given the rain, chill and the vastness of the valley its not that easy, as my words might sound or the map may appear. The rain can literally make you feel as if your blood is freezing in your hands.

Location of VOF
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Flower Guide
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We did not care about the guide. We could not remember all that was written,neither were we interested. After all beauty is beauty and it does not change by name.
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Old 25th March 2011, 22:29   #20
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Fellow TBHP Junta...today we will cover the distance from Govindghat to Ghangaria. Ghangaria is a small village that has settlements for 3-4 months in a year when there are piligrims to Hemkund sahib. You get me right there are mostly piligrims to hemkund and hardly any visitors to valley of flowers. Most of the visitors you will find will be piligrims who are not much interested in the valley and have come to visit since they have come all the way and want to have a look of something that's near by.

Well Ghanaria stories at the end of the day. Lets Start from Govindghat and I will walk you through the mountains and valleys alongside a milky river, or rather I should call it Ice Cream river as the water is any day cooler than ice and white as milk. I will live it up to you to decide what you want to call after seeing the pics. The Trek is 14 kms. last 4kms are very steep, and you have to tell yourself you can make it and you will do it. Alternate options hire a mule or a doli thats lifted by 4 porters.

We start around 7:30 AM and reach Ghangaria by 15:30 PM with enough pit stops for lemonade / jaljeera and lunch.

Here you go.

The Start of the Journey.
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That's Me - Notice that I am wearing a knit T shirt, Turtle neck and all. Its the start so feeling a bit cold. One important factor when you are trekking - not to loose your body heat.
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As you raise your head after the first bend this is what you see all around.
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Fellow trekker from the gang. Introducing Ravi Teja.
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My friend Sharief. He was my inspiration. So was he for many who were trekking alongside us. Amazing determination.
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And we look back at Govindghat. Leaving Govindghat, our back packs are packed.
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And a stop to catch some breath.
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The huge himalayas, we stopped counting the peaks. We were lost.
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We now cross the waterfall that was once far off.
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And the water mixed with clouds. Thanks to Digital zoom. Its hard to make out which is water and which is cloud.
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Greenary and Clouds are free here, so I have taken the liberty of capturing them enough for my city life.
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The milky river to the right
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The river never left us alone here on. So every now and then we captured some images. Sorry for being greedy, but being a city breed, things like this enchant me more than my words can say. I couldn't stop clicking.
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If the river was on the right, the left was no less beautiful. Dense jungles, green trees were what we had on the left. The trip made me so greedy. Inspite of so much of greenery I was busy filling my lungs with oxygen. I was not sure when I will see so much greenery.
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And we are back to the river side after sometime.
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Old 25th March 2011, 23:18   #21
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Default Re: Stories from The Land of Angels

Great pictures, I have trekked to Hemkund Sahib. The place is heavenly, when we reached there the gurdwara was still partly covered with snow.
I remember the thin sheet of clear ice covering the lake in front of the gurdwara.
Been planning this route for a while including valley of flowers.
Your log brings back beautiful memories.
Thanks for sharing.
Regards
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Old 26th March 2011, 11:39   #22
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Originally Posted by Coooolcat21 View Post
Great pictures, I have trekked to Hemkund Sahib. The place is heavenly, when we reached there the gurdwara was still partly covered with snow.
I remember the thin sheet of clear ice covering the lake in front of the gurdwara.
Been planning this route for a while including valley of flowers.
Your log brings back beautiful memories.
Thanks for sharing.
Regards

Coooolcat21 thanks for the words. I am a person who wants to explore India before I move outside. My aim here is to show and see places in India which are for more mesmerizing than what you see anywhere in the world. Great to meet a a fellow traveler of the same path.

Yep after marriage when my wife saw the pictures, its been hard to dissuade her from visiting the places. I don't mind visiting it again. I guess I will also be planing to visit the place soon. I am living the experiences when I try to re collect them and put it here.
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Old 26th March 2011, 11:54   #23
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Default Re: Stories from The Land of Angels

Uttarakhand is divine ! Looking forward to seeing more pictures
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Old 26th March 2011, 12:15   #24
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Hey All,

I am back to continue my trek to Ghangaria with you.

After trekking for a few hours by the milky river, we come across this place where you can jump the railings and enter the river. There were boulder where you can sit and relax (but not cool down too much - retaining body heat keeps you going). What do you think any one would do? Yep you are right jump off and touch the water. After all we were mere mortals and greedy humans, how can we miss the chance and opportunity. As I told earlier the trip made me greedy.

So here are some pics taken by the River / Glacier. Trust me the water was ice cool. I would rater stand bare feet on snow than dip my legs in that water. But again greed has no cure. We did everything that we feared. Removed our shoes played in water, cooled down more than we were supposed to and shot each other.

Introducing Deepak, college buddy and a close friend.
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Shot of the mountain from where we sat down.
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Introducing Sabarinathan, Ex collegue and a friend. MOuntain Deer 1
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Our Scientist, Santosh taking a break. Mountain Deer 2
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The name mountain Deer was given to these guys coz of their swiftness. They were the fastest to cover Govindghat.

Looking around and shooting everything in sight.
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And the Funda
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After relaxing for 30-40 minues we head uphill again. On the way I saw this Cabbage plantation. Again a first time I never saw cabbage growing. You will find lot of such houses and villages where there will be countable houses. As expected I stop to shoot.

Stories from The Land of Angels-uttarakhand-trip-011.jpgStories from The Land of Angels-uttarakhand-trip-012.jpg

Just after a few minutes of trek we reach the head of the Glacier. Sorry I will have to take a break again. But Funda you just started after a 40 mins break? If you walk at this pace when will you take us to VOF?

I agree guys but am mere mortal. Am greedy. How can I not stop at the sight of the first glacier in my life and enjoy it? I beg your pardon I need a break again. Please enjoy the pictures, till I regain myself and start trekking.


Please forgive me for what I am going to say next. This pictures shows what I mean when I say we humans dont deserve such a place. The Govt has put such a nice board for visitors as a word of caution, and people start writing everything on it e.g. how many people traveling through that route, open for 4 months a year will take Tata Sky from Gurmeet? Looser, they irritate me.
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No wonder food up there is a bit expensive. Poor Porters they carry so much of food for we luxury mongers. And guess what people want their own food when they reach the top. They just can't shut their mouth and eat what is available.
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Ok enough of Gyan, let me show you why I stopped here, before people start poking me, to stop blabbering.
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On the left you see Granny being carried on a Doli, by four porters.
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I hate to do this, posing for a photograph. But this is too good to miss. so with all the shots, I sneak one for myself. Notice my Woolen T shirt has changed to a cotton one.
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The mountains, How can I miss them. I am in the Himalayas. This is mandatory.
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Stay tuned, I will be back after a short break. Let me catch up with other people I am following.
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Old 31st March 2011, 21:44   #25
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So we start the journey from the glacier to Ghangaria.

Warning: I promise some breathtaking views, so viewers are advised to hold on to their breath and fasten the seat belts.

After a quick stop at the glacier, we started to climb further. As I mentioned earlier the climb was no easy, nothing but you determination keeps you going and believe me once you reach the top you wont mind the climb at all.

As we were trekking to the Valley of flowers, seeing them on the way was, just natural. Colorful jungles all the way.
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the jungles, the clouds, the mountains - nothing is enough.
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The Pilgrims and fellow trekkers.
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Our ancestors were there already
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Ladies and Gentleman welcome to Ghangaria
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One more waterfall to add to the hundreds we have already seen. Still its lovely.
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Land of clouds - sadly they are out of reach.
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Kazila Helipad

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India hikes Tents - and the gateway to heaven
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Knock Knock on the Heaven's Door - and the Doors Open
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The wall in front of our room. The great wall of Ghangaria.
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The GMVN hotel and tents
Stories from The Land of Angels-dscn0246.jpg

To Be Continued ...
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Old 31st March 2011, 23:09   #26
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Valley of flowers is on top of my list too. Had planned this for last two years and somehow have not been able to go. This year should be the one!! Hopefully.
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Old 31st March 2011, 23:32   #27
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Valley of flowers is on top of my list too. Had planned this for last two years and somehow have not been able to go. This year should be the one!! Hopefully.
I bet. Its worth the pain. The trek and all you undergo to reach there is nothing when compared what awaits you in the valley. Plan it during late may or early june, it will be cold but you can escape rains. Rains are worse, your hands become numb and it keeps raining all day long. I have plans of visiting again. My wife wants to be there.
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Old 1st April 2011, 14:24   #28
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This reminds me so much of a visit with 3 of my friends in 1993.went to auli/hemkund sahib/VOF/badrinath.did u guys try and go up from auli,its a place called gorson top through the pine forest.its just beautiful over there.we visited before the monstrosity in auli was made i.e the hotel.UK has some of the best unspoilt views /places in the himalayas.Had recently been to lansdowne/jerrikhal and had seeen a big cat on the road,the one with stripes but no pictures unfortunately,experience of a lifetime.We stayed in a forest guards hut and at night a very friendly bear paid us a visit.aaaahhh the smell of the mountains and the freshness of the air.
mountains calling again.sorry going a bit ott.
lovely travelogue by the way.keep it up.
cheers
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Old 10th April 2011, 09:37   #29
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This reminds me so much of a visit with 3 of my friends in 1993.went to auli/hemkund sahib/VOF/badrinath.did u guys try and go up from auli,its a place called gorson top through the pine forest.its just beautiful over there.we visited before the monstrosity in auli was made i.e the hotel.UK has some of the best unspoilt views /places in the himalayas.Had recently been to lansdowne/jerrikhal and had seeen a big cat on the road,the one with stripes but no pictures unfortunately,experience of a lifetime.We stayed in a forest guards hut and at night a very friendly bear paid us a visit.aaaahhh the smell of the mountains and the freshness of the air.
mountains calling again.sorry going a bit ott.
lovely travelogue by the way.keep it up.
cheers

Wow 1993. Must have been very beautiful then. Now days its getting commercialized. Yeah we did visit Auli. The cable car ride was cheap and just amazing. You are right the hotels there kill the beauty, I also agree with the beauty of the Gorson top, make you forget everything else once you reach there. Will be posting the pics soon. Just held up with life, will be coming with the pics soon.

If you dont mind Can you please share your VOF experiences here and the Auli experiences when I get to Auli. With Pics it will be easy for reader to visualize the place. Would love to read your experiences from 1993. Its a long gap. What I am writing are my experiences 16 years after you visited.
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Old 10th April 2011, 10:54   #30
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Here I come with the next set of pictures with - snow/ mountains / clouds/ flowers / gushing streams / Glaciers and what ever you can expect out of nature. Nature at its best. Let the pictures do the talking now. I will interrupt in between sometimes to add a few notes.

A View of the snowy peak from the room.
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And we start for the Valley of flowers.
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Some snow clad peaks on the way, most of them look alike but can't help clicking.
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After crossing the entry post for Valley of flowers
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A tree on the way
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We keep crossing this Glacier again and again
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A Trailer of things to come
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Sorry to leave you stranded - I promise to return with more flowers from the famous valley of flowers soon. Stay Tuned. Get some popcorns and grab your seat.
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