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Hemkund Sahib, Badrinath and Valley of Flowers
Aug 28, 2006 05:30 PM 11384 Views
(Updated Aug 28, 2006 05:35 PM)

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I was accompanied by a very dear friend of mine Harinder Singh Sidhu, my would be brother-in-law Ravi and another good friend of ours Amit. Day 1We started our trip early in the morning at 3 AM on 30 th June 2006. Our plan was to cover approximately 513Kms from Delhi to Govind Ghat from where the trek for Hemkund Sahib begins. If you are planning to complete the road journey from Delhi to Govind Ghat in 1 day, it is important to start early because the last part of the journey from Joshimath till Govind Ghat (23Kms) is a one way road. You will not be allowed to continue after 17:30 hrs. After this the gate closes and you have to stay at Joshimath. The drive from Rishikesh to Govind Ghat is to say the least is very interesting. It is a very adventures and scenic drive with the gushing Alakananda by your side through out. We opted for a late breakfast at Devprayag at a GMVN guest house. We reached Govind Ghat by 07:30 PM, parked the car at a multiday parking lot and got a room for our night halt. All of us were in bed by 09:30 PM keeping in mind the early start we had planned for the next day.Day 2The plan of the day was to trek for 13 Kms from Govind Ghat till Govind Dham. It is a very tough trek over broken rocks and a continuous steep uphill winding track. You also have a option of hiring mountain horses for the journey. We started our trek at 07:40 AM from Govind Ghat. After 3 hrs of steady climb we halted for a light breakfast to satiate our growling stomachs. The scenic beauty is to be seen to be believed, with a roaring stream on one side and sheer mountain wall on the other. The next break was taken at the 9 Km mark to rest our shrieking muscles. In some places we have to walk through slush and mud due to the regular rainfall that this region gets. Let me tell you, it was by no way easy. We opted for GMVN and settled down for some much deserved rest. .Day 3The plan for day 3 was to trek for 12 Km. We had to trek 6 Km from Govind Dham till Hemkund Sahid which is a extremely steep climb. After spending some time at Hemkund Sahib we had to again cover 6 Km which was all down hill till Govind Dham. Our aim was for a early morning start at 05:30 AM which would leave us ample amount of time to complete the days journey. This part of the trek was extremely difficult because of the high altitude and exceptionally sheer climb. We covered the trek in 4 hrs and were in Hemkund Sahib by 09:45 AM. The scenic beauty was astounding. Snow covered mountains standing shrouded in misty clouds. Hemkund Sahib is nestled next to a sarovar , surrounded by sky high mountains. Right next to the Gurudwara is the Lakshman temple built on the bank of the holy sarovar (lake). Hemkund Sahib is the highest Sikh Shrine at a altitude of 4329 Mts. The first thing that we did after reaching Hemkund Sahib was to take a dip in the holy sarovar. The water was freezing cold and it is not advisable to stay in it for a extended period. All of us very completely refreshed and moved inside the premises of the Gurudwara to listen to the sermons.A word of caution, you have to be a bit more cautious while on a steep downhill trek. By 6 PM we were back in Govind Dham to rest our tired bodies. Night halt was again at the GMVN guest house. Day 4Our plan for day 4 was to visit Valley Of Flowers and trek back to Govind Ghat. The Valley Of Flowers trek is 13 Km one way. The total distance back and forth was 26 Km. Then we had to trek for another 13 Km to reach Govind Ghat. After inquiring from the local people we got to know that it opens at 07:30 AM. We reached the entry gate at exactly 07:30 and bought our entry tickets. Each ticket is for Rs 40. The 3 Km trek from the entry gate till the start of the valley is quite steep and runs along the Pushpawati River . Rolling Meadows filled with flowers of different varieties till the eye can see. The valley is surrounded on all sides by towering peaks shrouded in mist and clouds. You can see number of waterfalls all along the valley which all merge into the Pushpawati River . The total length of the valley is 10 Km and nobody is allowed to camp inside the Valley Of Flowers . Our night halt of the day was at Govind Ghat. Day 5Our plan was to visit Badrinath Shrine and drive back to Delhi on the same day. We had planned to start our journey by 07:30 AM as the barrier for Badrinath would only open by 07:40 AM. A word of caution, it is a one way road till Badrinath and the timings are regulated by the local police. If you are late then you would have to wait for at least 2 hrs before the gate is opened again. It is a 23 Km drive from Govind Ghat till Badrinath Temple . The drive is very picturesque with the roaring Alaknanda on one side and stunning mountains on the other side. Our plan was to cross Badrinath and go on till Mana village which is about 4 Km further. Mana is the last India village on this route and the road ends at this juncture. You can visit the Vyas Gufa and the Bhim Pul which is a natural bridge above the Saraswati River . After visit Mana Village it was time to head back to Badrinath Shrine. You can park your car and walk to the Badrinath Temple which is just 200 Mtrs from the road. Before visiting the shrine you can opt for a holy dip in Tapt Kund which is amazing feat of Mother Nature. It is a natural thermal spring on the bank of Alaknanda River and is supposed to have therapeutic powers. The water of the Kund is fairly hot and I could only dip my feet in it. After this we visited Badrinath Shrine to pay obeisance to Lord Vishnu. It is a beautifully made shrine and the complex has 15 major idols. After this it was time to start our return journey to Delhi The return gate for Joshimath opened at 11:40 AM and we started our journey as soon as the gate opened. It was a drive of 520 Km till Delhi .


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