Day 4Another night survived! Last night was a bit scary. All those negative thoughts and my long term friendship with rain, everything was awful.But रात गयी बात गयी , there was a beautiful day with another steep trek of 7km to Hemkund Sahib in front of us. Gurudwara Shri Hemkund Sahib is located at an altitude of around 4600m and is covered with snow during most of the year. Hemkund is a Sanskrit name derived from Hem ("Snow") and Kund ("bowl"). Dasam Granth says this is the place where Pandu Raja practiced Yoga. In addition, the Dasam Granth says God ordered Sikh Guru Gobind Singh to take bath while he was in deep meditation at the mount of Hemkund.The trail from Ghangria to Hemkund Sahib is much better, broader and steeper than the Valley of flowers. Being a pilgrimage, there are a number of pony services available as well. The Gurudwara closes everyday at 12noon after the last ardaas so we had to ensure we reach there in time. Everyone was made to leave the campsite by 7P.M but being a difficult trail, the group got scattered. I was again wandering alone throughout the whole route. I encountered people of all ages, regions, languages as if I was traveling through my India. It took me about 2.5 hours to reach the top. The whole hike was truly amazing and challenging.Tip: Don't take the shortcuts and stairs during the ascend.After reaching the top, I took the shelter in gurudwara, sat in silence for a while, had the langer and started the descend after 2 hours.
Woke up at 5 AM and Quickly freshened up, had my breakfast and headed out. After a 1 KM trek from Ghagharia , comes a diversion which divides trekking route of VOF and Shri Hemkund Sahib. Finally I was about to reach the place which I have yearned for so long. But as soon as I reached the entry point, I saw too many people were already waiting. I got to know that VOF is temporarily suspended as the bridge connecting the valley might have washed away in last night's downpour. And it might take 3 or 4 hours to confirm and repair it. Some people started trekking for Shri Hemkund Sahib instead of waiting for repair to happen which was also not sure how long it will take. I went for that decision too and started trekking for Shri HEMKUND SAHIB ji. It's around 6 KM from GHANGHARIA and quite steep. Got some amazing views of snow capped mountains and glaciers from above. The flowers were blooming in monsoon and added enchanting view all around. It's really a heaven for a botanist. There are n numbers of species all around. Came across some glaciers too for the first time in my life.
Sri Hemkund Saheb TrekkingWe started our trekking for Sri Hemkund Saheb at 7 AM. The trek is 7-8 km long and you are not allowed to trek to Hemkund after 12 PM as there is place at the top for staying at night and after 2 PM they start sending people down to Ghangaria.
26 June 2019- Ghangaria to Hemkund Sahib and back; 6km trek one way
Details & Itinerary of Valley of Flowers trek:Day 1- Took bus from Rishikesh to Joshimath. Overnight stay at Joshimath.Day2- Departed from Joshimath to Govindghat (1 hr. journey). After having lunch at Govindghat, started trekking to Ghanghariya.(14 km trek) overnight stay at Ghanghariya. You will easily find hotel there. We (4 person) booked a room for 3 days at 400 RS per day.(Gurudwara is also there , you can even stay there).Day 3- From Ghanghariya there are two treks one for Valley of flowers and one for Hemkund sahib. First day we did Valley of flowers. From check post, main valley start after 3 km and you can go as far as you wish but have to come back by 5 pm. We went till river belt (around 10 km).There are no shops or anything to eats on the way. So take chocolates dry fruits or lunch with yourself.Ticket -150 RS for 3 days.Day 4- Hemkund sahib is 6 kms from Ghanghariya. But due to steep trek will take more time. There are shops along the trek.Day 5- early morning started from Ghanghariya towards Govindghat. Reached there by lunch time..After lunch, took a shared taxi for Badrinath. That same day, after Darshan, went to Mana ( last indian village) on foot which is just 3 km away from Badrinath.Day 6- Go to Vyas gufa, sit on any nearby rock and watch mesmerizing sunrise.After that, see Ganesh gufa Vyas gufa Bhim pul, which hardly take 1-2 hrs.Then after having breakfast, started trekking towards Vasudhara falls. (6 km from Mana)There are nothing along the trek so take lunch with yourself.PS- There are water streams along the way everywhere on this route, so no need to buy water bottle. You can refill it.Travel Route: Haridwar- Rishikesh- Srinagar- Rudraprayag- Chamoli- Joshimath- Govindghat- GhanghariyaThis is the route for valley of flowers and Hemkund sahib. In case you miss direct bus for Joshimath, take shared taxi / private bus. You will easily find that for your next stop and try to reach Joshimath same day. Post and Photo Credit: Yogesh Soni