Valley Of Flowers & Hemkund Sahib Trek
Valley of flowers is situated at an altitude of 3800 meters and stays under snow for most of the year except for a short duration from July To September when the whole place bursts in to an explosion of countless colourful flowers. The whole of valley floor is overrun by flowers of thousands of species and from a distance, it just seems like a big colourful carpet. This valley was declared a national park in 1982 and is now a world heritage site. The locals believe that the this place is home of fairies and going by the looks of it, it might very well be. Valley Of Flowers trek is an easy one and can be attempted by anyone in good physical condition.
Once you are in Valley of flowers, Hemkund which is famous for it’s famous Sikh shrine is not too far either and can be covered in 1-2 extra days.
We’ll leave early morning in car to Govind Ghat (altitude 1900 m). This is the place where actual trekking route to Valley Of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib starts. The trail divides in to two at Ghangria with one leading to Valley and other to Hemkund. The drive takes around 9-10 hours and we can either stay in a hotel or guesthouse in Joshimath or in Govind Ghat.
DAY 2 Govind Ghat to Ghangria
Alaknanda river flows on the way and we’ll cross the bridge to begin the actual hike. It’s actually a pilgrimage route and there is a proper stone paved trail and a number of shops along the way serving snacks, meals, tea etc. We’ll walk for 13 km on a slight incline till we reach comparatively flat area of Ghangria, a small village by the side of LaxmanGanga river at an altitude of 3000 m. We’ll either stay in our campsite or any of the small guesthouses here for the night.
Day 3: Ghangria to Valley of Flowers and back
Staying in Valley of Flowers isn’t allowed and thus we have limited time for any sightseeing there. We’ll begin early next morning towards a bridge over Laxman Ganga about 3 km from Ghangria. After entering our names in register and paying a nominal entry fee, we’ll begin our trek to the valley. As soon as we cross the river, the crowd and noise of pilgrims is replaced by peace and amazingly nice smells of forest and flowers.We’ll spend a few hours in the valley feasting our eyes on an amazingly diverse varieties of flowers such as Brahma Kamal, Trollius, Codonopsis and countless others. The valley is about 10 km long, 2 km wide and a small river flows through it in addition to numerous small streams. After enjoying the sights for a while, we’ll come back to Ghangria for the night.
DAY 4: Ghangria to Hemkund Sahib and back
Hemkund Sahib is a Sikh gurudwara on the banks of picturesque Hemkund lake which is the origins of Laxman Ganga river.The lake itself lays frozen for more than 6 months in a year. The altitude of this region is 4300 m and is a tough trek with steep inclines. It can get a bit tiring and some rest stops are advisable. The tough walk is rewarded by the beautiful views of the crystal clear waters of the lake and majestic mountain ranges surrounding the area. After spending a few hours in the area, we’ll walk back to Ghangria to rest for the night.
Day 5: Ghangria to Govind Ghat
After an early breakfast we’ll walk back to Govind Ghat which will be 13 km walk on a down slope.It’s an easy walk and shouldn’t take more than 5-6 hours at a leisurely pace. We have the option of staying there for the night or proceed to Joshimath.
Day 6: Back to Rishikesh
We’ll get back to our car and drive back to Rishikesh or any other destination.
- TRANSPORT : Trek on foot and car for long distance.
- ACCOMMODATION: Campsites, small guesthouse.
- ENDURANCE LEVEL: Low to Medium.
- ACTIVITIES: Trekking, Camping, Mountain climbing, Bird watching, Meditation, Hiking
- DURATION: 6 Days
- MEALS: All meals
- COST: INR 8400 (US $ 140 ) onward (At 1 US $ = INR 60)