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Old 19th March 2011, 19:38   #1
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Default Stories from The Land of Angels

Statutory Warning: The photographs are not for the weak hearted. IT's OK for humans to feel jealous about the place. The photographs might incite you to plan a trek, I am sorry, can't stop you.

The story dates back to 2004-2005 when I was new to the Job world. I was posted in chennai and a friend / collegue of mine tells me about this place. He read about the place somewhere and saw a program on discovery channels.
As a piece of unwanted advise - If you watch the india specials on discovery and Nat Geo, you would end up discovering a lot of India and a lot of places you never heard of.

Coming back, he told me about the place and it seemed very interesting and we wanted to visit the place but I was in no hurry until I saw the program on discovery. We made up our minds but every year for some reason or the other it used to get postponed to next year, until in 2009 when we finally decided that it has to be this year. So we plan to visit the land of Gods and fairies.
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Old 19th March 2011, 22:41   #2
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Default Re: Stories from The Land of Angels

The introduction and the statutory warning has created the required excitment. Mind is racing to think about the place that is being talked about.

I hope the next installment is coming soon.
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Old 19th March 2011, 23:54   #3
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Originally Posted by amitwlele View Post
The introduction and the statutory warning has created the required excitment. Mind is racing to think about the place that is being talked about.

I hope the next installment is coming soon.
@amitwele - absolutely buddy, I promise some good snaps and fill the balance with my chatter. Words will try to make it for the loss which my pictures could not capture. Take seat and grab some pop corn I will be there soon. I am done with another TL, so you can expect some quick installments soon.
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Old 20th March 2011, 13:45   #4
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Default Re: Stories from The Land of Angels

Is this about the "Valley of flowers" by any chance?
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Old 20th March 2011, 14:51   #5
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Is this about the "Valley of flowers" by any chance?
100% correct. You hit the bulls eye with the first shot. Its indeed about the valley of flowers.
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Old 20th March 2011, 15:15   #6
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100% correct. You hit the bulls eye with the first shot. Its indeed about the valley of flowers.
Oh man. Awesome stuff. I really want to go to this place once. I have also been planning since ages. It is indeed the land of fairies and I think the only place in India or maybe the world with such a huge variety of flowers. Rightly called the "land of fairies" and it has many legends attached to it right from the Ramayana.

For those who don't know about this place, here is a small introduction. This place is up north near Gurudwara Hemkunt Sahib. It is believed that this was the place from where Hanuman bought the Sanjeevani herb for Laxman when he was injured by Meghnath in a battle. In some versions, it is also said that Hanuman actually got confused by this place and by the Himalayas due to its sheer beauty and presence of flowers and herbs.

The place also has one of the largest and rarest variety of flowers and herbs at one place. One of the really rare flowers present there is the Brahma Kamal which supposedly blooms only once in a year and at night and can supposedly cure even deadly paralysis.

@Funda
Please post a detailed travelogue. I will be keenly watching this thread to know more and I am definitely to going there sometime soon.
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Old 20th March 2011, 16:47   #7
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Originally Posted by maverick145 View Post
Oh man. Awesome stuff. I really want to go to this place once. I have also been planning since ages. It is indeed the land of fairies and I think the only place in India or maybe the world with such a huge variety of flowers. Rightly called the "land of fairies" and it has many legends attached to it right from the Ramayana.

For those who don't know about this place, here is a small introduction. This place is up north near Gurudwara Hemkunt Sahib. It is believed that this was the place from where Hanuman bought the Sanjeevani herb for Laxman when he was injured by Meghnath in a battle. In some versions, it is also said that Hanuman actually got confused by this place and by the Himalayas due to its sheer beauty and presence of flowers and herbs.

The place also has one of the largest and rarest variety of flowers and herbs at one place. One of the really rare flowers present there is the Brahma Kamal which supposedly blooms only once in a year and at night and can supposedly cure even deadly paralysis.

@Funda
Please post a detailed travelogue. I will be keenly watching this thread to know more and I am definitely to going there sometime soon.
Thanks for the background bro. Few corrections. The Brahmha Kamal blooms in Hemkund - A sikh pilgrimage site. It is believed Guru Govind sing did penance here in his last birth. Tales apart this land is sheer beauty, and as I said its good to be meant for fairies. Humans dont deserve such a place. I will tell more as to why, we don't deserve to be in a place like this. The place is house to some 800 varieties of flowers. Its one of the cleanest and best kept UNESCO World heritage sites. Stay tuned I will be on it tonight or later this week. You are always welcome to reach out to me. I can help you plan the visit, with leanings from my trip.
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Old 20th March 2011, 16:51   #8
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Default Re: Stories from The Land of Angels

Thanks mate. Eagerly waiting for your travelogue and pictures and then I will plan a trip accordingly.
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Old 20th March 2011, 16:54   #9
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Default Re: Stories from The Land of Angels

So the route unfolds?

- Halwa-Puri at Harki/Paudi and Lunch at Chotiwala?
- Drive through Rudra and Dev Prayag?
- Exploring at Joshimat?
- And the "walk" to the valley?

Where are the snaps?

Last edited by ampere : 20th March 2011 at 17:12.
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Old 20th March 2011, 17:06   #10
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Default Re: Stories from The Land of Angels

cool. Was planning to go to uttaranchal this year.
Need all the info funda, pour it on.
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Old 20th March 2011, 22:41   #11
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Sorry TBHP junta, to keep you waiting. I would request you to wait for one more post for the pictures. I requested some of the pictures from my friend and fellow partner in crime. I will get started with the pictures, but as you know the more you wait the more thrilling will be the experience. Coming back to where I left. Enough of boring you all with the background stuff. Ya Ya I listen to you - " I dont care what made you prepare, get me the information about the journey." Ok so here I am. The Journey dates back to 14th August 2009. Reason why we had to do it that year. My friend was getting married and we were not sure after marriage we would be able to make it there, with all the hardships. We were pretty nervous as this was the first ever trek in the himalayas. I was supposed to be the experienced trekker, with experience of scaling peaks like Kumara Parvat and Kodachadri, which were no match to what we had to see and undergo. After the trip I promised, I will surely bring my family to this place, no second thoughts about it.

Here is a brief structure of how we planned the journey.

14th August - Fly Kingfisher to Delhi. Remember the king is never on time, reason he is the king. My experience a kingfisher flight on time reaches 30 to 40 minutes late.

14th Night - take a train to hardwar 15th morning - Cab (Read Amby) from hardwar to Rishikesh. Can drivers are cheats. You can actually bargain a sumo to Govindghat directly from the Taxi Stand nearby. Agents try to scare you saying its far. Prices not very bad. Should come to around Rs 400 per head if I remember.

15th Morning - Sumo from Rishikesh to Govindghat. Had some amazing Parathas on the way. Almost all sumos stop there. Can't describe the parathas more, my mouth is already watering. Please excuse me. I am a foodie and please dont ask me to describe the food. My mouth starts watering at the very thought of the yummy food.

15th evening - Stay at Goving ghat. 1st hotel on the slope towards Valley of flower. The Hotel staff was corteous, rooms were clean (read Toilets were clean too). You could see. feel , hear river Pushpa Ganga ( I beg your pardon if I make mistakes in the names, bad memory, its not even 2 years since I returned from the trip, please feel free to correct me.). The room was spacious and big enough to accommodate 6 of us. The room rent was 300-350. Please note - Its easier to get bigger rooms at Govindghat and ahead for cheaper rates. Rooms for two are not easy. The place mainly caters to sikh pilgrims and people do not want to spend when on pilgrimage.

16th Morning - Trek to Ghangharia. we start around 7:30 AM. Thanks to the lazy bones. Advise: Sooner you start the better it is. you actually start sweating when you trek. 14kms trek. Yummy food and lemonade all the way. people returning keep wishing you and giving you glucose and channa and driy fruits mixture. Last 4 kms is all about determination and comes immediately after Lunch. Kids as young as 7-8 years can be seen trekking. dont feel intimidated they will beat most of us. 16th evening - explore ghangaria and check into a hotel. I st place on the right next to the mule stop. You talk to the wall. Pics will explain what I mean.

17th morning - Valley of flowers.

18th morning - return from Ghangria

18th evening - some get massage. There will be plenty of massage guys in and around. you can have a relaxing massage. We check into the same hotel

19th morning - Head to Joshimath. We check out for availability at GMVN. The new one was filled. The old one had the dorms vacant. The manager was a friendly person, he gave the entire dorm of 10 beds for 6 of us. So it was more fun than staying in separate rooms. On a side note - I always prefer Govt. Properties because of their location, and second the views they offer. cleanliness and basic facilities assured.

19th Afty - some visit Tapovan while I take medicine and catch some rest. Tapovan is the place where Goddess Parvati did penance for Lord Shiva. Stories I heard from the hotel attendant who suggested us the place. We heard about the place from some local folks we interacted.

20th - visit to auli via cable car.

20th afty - Head to badrinath via Govindghat. Stay at GMVN Badrinath. Visit to the temple.

21st we are back to Joshimath. Take a cab to Chamoli. Chamoli to Hardwar. All the way we got excellent drivers. Aged people, very helpful and no rash driving.

22nd morning - Reach Delhi. Head to friend's place at Gurgaon. 2 guys pre-pone their flights by a day and leave for hyd. Rest of us spend time visiting India gate and meeting old friends in Delhi.

23rd Night - flight to Hyderabad / Mumbai.

Piece of advise: when you Plan, make sure you spend more time in acclimatisation rather than at Delhi. Ours was Ok but I see a lot of room for improvement by planning the schedule in a slightly different way. I will detail out each Item, after a quick break. Let me get the right pictures to get you started. I visited VOF during monsoons. In-fact the valley is open from late May till mid septemberish.

Last edited by Funda : 20th March 2011 at 22:50. Reason: Firefox has some problems - formatting goes away. Reformatting with IE
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Old 20th March 2011, 22:44   #12
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Default Re: Stories from The Land of Angels

Bro, no offense meant but please try formatting your post paragraph wise. Its too difficult to read it in the format you have posted. Thanks.
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Old 20th March 2011, 22:52   #13
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Bro, no offense meant but please try formatting your post paragraph wise. Its too difficult to read it in the format you have posted. Thanks.

Soory buddy. Seems firefox has some issues these days. The preview was fine. but the post lost all formatting. You are too fast . Changed it look a bit better using IE.
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Old 21st March 2011, 23:55   #14
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The wait is Over Yeppie. Here I come with the first set of pics from the trip.

We were 6 traveller 5 from Hyderabad and 1 from Mumbai. We boarded the flight in the evening and had a great time on board thanks to the Movie Oye Lucky Lucky Oye. I did not realise the flight was delayed by 30 mins. The positive side of it - I was able to complete the movie. My friends flight was postponed without intimation - Hate Spice Jet for poor service. He realises this when he presents the ticket to collect the boarding pass. We land in Delhi and our cabs were waiting for us. I am a big fan of Meru and had booked two cabs before starting from hyd. the cabs were on time. My friend from mumbai (Deepak) got delayed and was waiting for a cab.

Here is something that I would like to caution you all against. He was waiting at the prepaid taxi booth for 30 mins and all the time they said they did't have cabs available. the reason is fares increase by 25% after 11PM. I asked him to call meru and the cab was there in no time,before 11 PM. The cab driver rushed him to Hazrat nizamuddin. Deepak was so happy with the cabby , he tipped him 100%. He just boarded the train and it left the platform.
We reach hardwar early morning, after all the bargaining and stuff we decide to take a cab to rishikesh and then head to Govind ghat from there. Enough of words lets get started with the pics, before public outrage

The Holy Ganges
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Window to the world
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Ganges Again
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The Ghat for evening Arati - we missed it. You should plan for it. Its an experience you wont forget.
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Thick Fog/mist over the Holy River
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Its not just that we love the river, the Fog loves it too. Misty Ganga Ji
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A school in Rishikesh
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Ganga Ji at rishikesh
Stories from The Land of Angels-dscn0163.jpg
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Old 22nd March 2011, 23:47   #15
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Hello folks..the Funda is back with some more pics. So we reach rishikesh and hire a sumo to take us to Gvindghat. INR 3000 was the charge if I remember. The sumo stopped for some amazing parathas, one of the aloo parathas I ever had. not much of talking, I am spellbound. So lets enjoy the pics, till I come out of the spell cast by the himalayas.

Rains take a toll of the road...Landslides are common...I dont remember how many I saw on the way...but there were many

Landslides are the most common things you see on the road- I dont remember how many - but they were too many all the way, we saw more may be because it was raining heavily when we started.
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Misty Mountains
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A Village Enroute
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The Yummy Parathas - I have refered so often. This was an amazing breakfast.
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Durga Mata - You definitely need her blessings to survive there
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Misty Mountains and Alaknanda
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Rubbing shoulder against alaknanda all the way till Govindghat
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Misty Mountains all the way, but you never get bored. Thats Himalayas.
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A Bridge on the way - Note the hairpin bend and the steep climb
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Amazed Scientist Santosh
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This is what that amazes him
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The river beach - I guess this was rudraprayag. Anyways it was a beauty
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