It grew dark as we covered the final few kilometers and the river, now a deafening roar reminding us what lay in wait, should we slip. We reached Govindghat at about 8PM, tired and sore from sitting upright all day. It’s a quiet little town which is a transit-point for pilgrimages to Badrinath and nearby places of religious interest. We checked into our rooms overlooking the river through the valley and waited patiently for dinner. Most cellphone networks have no coverage from Govindghat onwards. BSNL is the only one that caught a fluctuatingly faint signal. I had a week without notifications, calls and texts to look forward to. A much needed digital detox after a year in advertising.Pro-tip: As always, avoid over-eating and do your stomach a favour through the winding roads. Skip the lassi, pakodas or really anything heavy.Anil joined us all the way from Lucknow. One of the fittest and most uplifting people I’ve ever come across, he’s a marathon runner and yoga expert at an unbelievable 50. He was pacing himself for a quick run just before dinner as I saw him on the road below adjusting his fitness tracker. Dressed in flip-flops, a polo tee and heavy tracks, I decided to join him. And off we went, jogging in pitch dark with nothing to guide us except instinct and the faint glow of the stars. As he glided effortlessly over the steep terrain, I found it hard to keep pace. The conversation made it even harder to breathe as my sweat stained tee turned into a clingy mess. I somehow managed to save face as we returned to the hotel after about five kilometers and thirty minutes. I hadn’t run in two weeks and I was certain my legs would curse me tomorrow. Satiated by a hot dinner and Indiahikes’ famed hospitality, we turned in for the night excited for what lay ahead.Pro-tip: Do yourself a favour, train and get in shape. It'll help you enjoy the trek without getting winded every 3 steps.
Best Time To Visit
Best time to visit Govind Ghat is from October to March