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Feb, 10 2012

Journey Continues..

Day 2 – 30th Sep 2012

Delhi to Haridwar – Train – 11.30 -17.30 Hrs

After our visit to the Humayun’s Tomb came back to the Station,took UNRESERVED ticket ( hoping to convince TT and get a seat) for 11.30AM train to Haridwar.Got freshened up and had nice breakfast.Thanks to the Cosmesium food courts,good food at the railway stations.

TT told us to get into the train and he will try getting us a seat.Spent an hour standing in the Vestibule of 3rd AC coach.Then comes the TT,asks us to pay difference fare to Sleeper Class Coach which could atleast allow us to stand in the Sleeper Class which was already over crowded.Since the Checking crew was on Train,we were slowly,forcefully pushed towards the Space between 2 coaches ( I don’t even know what that place is termed as).Its the passage way between 2 coaches and yes we spent 2 hours standing there with our Backpacks!!!

Finally the TT comes and gives us a place in Sleeper Coach – for the last 2 hours of our journey.

Totally coated with a layer of dust we finally reach Haridwar around 5 and took a bus to Rishikesh. ( Haridwar Busstand is exactly opp. To the railway station).

Reached Rishikesh by 6.30 pm and we thought we could try to get a bus to Joshimath.

Thats when we come to know that last bus to Joshimath is at 10.30 am!!!

Rishikesh to Srinagar – Taxi – 120 kms

We found a taxi fellow and forced him to drop us atleast half way to Joshimath ( He said the forest officials will stop at Sreenagar and we cannot drive to Joshimath).

With too many stories and ampful stop overs the taxi drivers stops at a view point – which was simply stunning in the moonlight.

Finally around 12.30 he dropped us at Srinagar and suggested us to take the otel from where the first bus to Joshimath would start.

Day 3 – 1st Oct 2012

First Bus to Chamoli – 5.30 AM – 100 kms

Started the day having delicious and very hot bread omlette we dozed off to sleep until we reached Chamoli around 9 am.Enroute we crossed all the Prayaags – Prayaag is the culmination is two rivers.The drive in this route is just awesome as we start ascending the terrain.

Shared Cab – Chamoli to Joshimath – 11 am -Around 60 kms

In a Sumo,the Cab driver manages to push in more than 15 people!!!After a tiring drive of 2 hours we reach Joshimath.This is the last point of plains.We had a quick bite at a nearby bakery and withdrew enough cash.

V.V.Imp : Remember there are no more ATM’s after this place.

We were lucky enough to face only 2 minor landslides getting cleared as we crossed which added to extra time.

Very Important – From Srinagar to Joshimath don’t just go by distance in kms,do remember that this ghat road takes more time than we plan and be prepared for landslides.

From Joshimath we head towards Govindghat – 26 kms again in a shared cab.We met a couple of piligrims on the cab journey who suggested that we could have lunch at Gurudwara at Govindghat and leave our bags in the Cloak room there.

This was a very helpful tip.

We had nice lunch at the Langer – My first experience at Gurudwara.

Took required clothes for a day in a small day pack and left our Backpacks at the Cloak room in Gurudwara.

Govindghat to Ghangaria (3,048 meters/10,000 ft) 14 km trek from Govindghat to Ghangaria – 15.30 to 19.30 hrs – Mule Ride

First we thought we could trek all the way up alongwith other piligrims.Since we were traveling continuosly with no proper rest just after 1 km we realised we cannot do it all the way up.We decided to do the trek on a Mule ride.

We enjoyed the ride initially trekking by the river and took loads of pictures en-route until it got dark.The last 2 kms we almost went in dark without any source of light.God alone knows how we made it to the top.

In Ghangaria absolutely no signals on mobiles – Hence makesure you inform concerned people that you will be off the grid for 2 days before they start getting panicked.

After reaching Ghangaria,we went to the Valley of Flowers office,where you will be shown a Short film describing the Valley and buy some post cards,dvd’s,books,etc.

Later we went to the Gurudwara at Ghangaria,had dinner again at Langar and decided to spend the night there itself.

Had peaceful sleep after the tiresome journey with almost 4 blankets to kill the cold!!!

Day 4 – Oct 2nd – Ghangaria to Valley of Flowers – 3 kms Trek.

Booked our day packs in the Cloak room at Gurudwara and started the day as early as 6 am.

Make sure to take some packed food or snacks or energy bars as you won’t get anything to eat in the Valley of Flowers.

Started the best trek I have ever done.The trek into the Valley takes around 2 hours one way.We entered the Valley with the best view of the Sunrise.

Entire trek is along the river side and the experience cannot be expressed in words.One must visit this place to enjoy the Nature’s best gifts!!!

Valley of Flowers National Park is an Indian National Park, located at a height in West Himalaya. It is renowned for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers and the variety of flora found there. It is located in Uttarakhand state. This richly diverse area is also home to rare and endangered animals, including the Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, brown bear and blue sheep. The gentle landscape of the Valley of Flowers National Park complements the rugged mountain wilderness of Nanda Devi National Park to the east. Together they encompass a unique transition zone between the mountain ranges of the Zanskar and Great Himalaya. The park stretches over an expanse of 87.50 km². Both parks are encompassed in the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve (223,674 ha) which is further surrounded by a buffer zone (5,148.57 km²).

The Valley of Flowers is a high-altitude Himalayan valley that has been acknowledged by renowned mountaineers and botanists in literature for over a century.

Flowers found in the Valley:

The Valley of Flowers National Park starts from Ghangharia but the main valley starts after crossing the gorge and the stream starting from Nar Parvat, At the entrance of the Valley stands the snow-clad peak of Ratban Parvat, towards the left is Nar Parvat, which separates the Badrinath valley from this valley, and to the right is dense Birch forest on the hillsides. Below the forest are meadows and the River Pushpavati flows through the valley and there are many waterfalls enhancing the beauty of the valley. The bloom starts immediately after the melting of snow but the peak blooming period is from mid July to mid August. Almost 300 species of wild flowers bloom here unhindered by mankind. The prominent species are Brahma Kamal, Anemone, Geranium, Marsh marigold, Primula, Lilium, Potentilla, Ranunculus, Inula, Corydalis, Pedicularis, Arisaema, Ligularia, Morina, Impatiens, Saxifrages Bistorta, Anaphalis, Sibbaldia, etc. The myriad shades of the valley have attracted lots of travellers through the years!!

Even though there are no major flowers around this closing time of the year,the Valley itself is a paradise on earth.

After spending a couple of hours we headed back and reached Ghangaria by 14.00 Hrs.Had lunch at the Gurudwara collected our bags and started back on our mule ride to Govindghat.

Must do : After reaching Ghangharia,one must visit Hemkund Saheb a sacred place to Sikhs which is a 6kms trek further upwards.Since we din’t have enough time we couldn’t do it.

We could have trekked down to Govindghat but din’t wanted to take a chance in getting stuck half way.Hence started back on mule ride again.

We reached Govindghat by 18.30 hrs went to the Gurudwara collected our Back packs.

We heard that Badrinath is just 23 kms from Govindghat and Mana the last Indian Village next to China Border is3 kms further up.Since we were that close we decided to step in our foot in China.

We realised that no buses or taxis will ply during night.Hence checked into a decent hotel just next to the Bus and Taxi Stand.

Day 5 – Oct 3rd – Govindghat-Badrinath-Rishikesh-Delhi

Started early and were planning to take first bus or taxi to Badrinath,but first bus would only start by 7 am.

We were lucky to meet a couple from Finland who hired a taxi to Rishikesh and allowed us to join them in their cab.The driver Prem lured us to visit Badrinath and we in turn convinced our new friends in going for a quick visit to the temple.

Took us around an hour to reach Badrinath and another hour for Darshan.

Badrinath has a hot spring pool which we couldn’t step in as it was very dirty and completely polluted.

The only regret was we couldn’t take 3 kms further to visit Mana Village as we were already getting late.

After around 10 hours of tiring drive on Ghat road,of course enjoyed the cross cultural discussion with our Finnish friends we reached Rishikesh by 20.00 Hrs.

Grabbed some rolls for dinner and I started back my journey to Delhi in overnight Bus and Sriram continued the journey as planned to Simla.

I had to take a break from the planned journey and reach Delhi as something important came up on my work front.

Even though this is the most toughest and tedious journey I made up my mind to visit this place again – during the best season!!!

Those who cannot trek for long distances,can book the Helicopter ride to reach Ghangaria.However one has to do atleast the last 3km trek into the Valley of Flowers by foot.There are people who can carry you in baskets on their backs as well!!! Bharathi AddepalliUncategorizedBadrinath,Bharathi,Ghangaria,gounesco,Govindghat,Haridwar,heritage,india,Jai Bharathi,Joshimath,Rishikesh,Srinagar,travel,Valley of Flowers
Journey Continues.. Day 2 – 30th Sep 2012 Delhi to Haridwar – Train – 11.30 -17.30 Hrs After our visit to the Humayun’s Tomb came back to the Station,took UNRESERVED ticket ( hoping to convince TT and get a seat) for 11.30AM train to Haridwar.Got freshened up and had nice breakfast.Thanks to...