A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150

Tripoto
3rd Sep 2019
Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

I might call it fate that I plan a trip one month or before, it's destined to fail and the same thing happened when I planned a trek to Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib for August. The day I was supposed to leave for Haridwar, I got a really high fever and had to cancel and I thought I wouldn't be able to go this year but then when my September salary credited, I just booked the train to Haridwar and luckily got the ticket and hence started my journey.

Day 1

I boarded the Janshatabdi Express that leaves from New Delhi Railway Station at 3.20 pm and arrives at Haridwar at 7.30 pm and it's mostly on time. After reaching Haridwar, I immediately went off to the bus station to know the timings for the bus leaving for Joshimath and it leaves at 5.30 am. So I booked a room in a hotel for a few hours and after freshening up, I ate a delicious thali at a roadside stall and then left for Har Ki Paudi. The vibe at Har Ki Paudi is so soothing and calming that I stayed there for nearly two hours, relaxing and surrendering myself to the surroundings. Realizing it was late, I came back to the room and hit the bed.

Har Ki Paudi

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

Har Ki Paudi

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap
Day 2

I boarded the bus 5.30 am bus for Joshimath from the bus stand. Though the 12 hours journey was strenuous, the views en route made up for it. Though the bus doesn't stop at any of the Prayag for sightseeing, I still got to see the Sangam at Dev Prayag and it was beautiful. The bus passes through many beautiful cities such as Shrinagar, Karnaprayag, Langsi, Peepalkoti and it finally reached Joshimath at 6 pm. Luckily I immediately got another bus for Govindghat and reached there at 7 pm. I booked a bed at the Govindghat Gurudwara and it's better to stay at the Gurudwara as it's free and you get all the basic amenities for free. You can, donate a small amount as per your wish.

Teen Dhara

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

Shrinagar

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

Langsi

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap
Day 3

People going to Ghangharia can keep their bags in the cloak room at the Gurudwara and take only the stuff they need at Ghangaria but I still decided to take my 15 kg rucksack with me. I left at 5 am from Govindghat for Ghangharia. The total distance between the two places is 15 kms but now there are shared taxis from Govindghat to Pulna reducing the distance to 10 kms and I opted for the same. I reached Pulna at around 5.30 am and started the trek to Ghangharia. From Govindghat, it rains daily from 12 am to around 7 am and so was the case this day too. Hence I had my raincoat on and my rucksack covered with a raincover.
The trail till Bhyundar Valley, which is the the mid point, is full of ascents and descents but after that it is just a descent and quite steep at some points.

A few minutes away from Pulna

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

Bhyundar Valley

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

Bhyundar Valley

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

Bhyundar Valley

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

Bhyundar Valley

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

A few minutes away from Ghangharia

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

The whole route, though exhausting, is really beautiful and seeing all the devotees, I was filled with energy. I reached Ghangharia at around 9.20 am including a few 5 minutes breaks. I had already decided to stay at the Gurudwara at Ghangharia and I went on with the same plan. I had a nice delicious meal at the langar and booked a bed for me at the Gurudwara and the bookings for the same start at 11 am so I had some time to just chill out and make a call to my mother from the PCO. I decided to take some rest and sleep since I was really exhausted.

Ghangharia Gurudwara

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

Ghangharia Gurudwara

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

I woke up at around 2 am and then again had lunch at the Gurudwara after which I decided to explore the area. You'll find mountains covered in clouds, and a big waterfall which is actually very beautiful. I ended up staying 2 hours at the place. I spent the rest of the day just wandering around here and there.

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap
Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap
Day 4

I started the trek for Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara at around 5.20 am. It was raining heavily and one must keep a raincoat or a poncho, an extra set of clothes and a sweater or a hoodie. The distance is 6 kms but it's a steep one, especially the last one kilometer. As one goes higher and higher, the trail becomes lush, green and covered in flowers, especially a lot of blue poppies.

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap
Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap
Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

I reached Hemkund Sahib at 7.30 am immediately went to take a dip in the holy lake. The water is really really cold but as soon as you take dip, you feel a rush of energy. The first ardaas is at 9.15 am and the second one is at 12.15 pm. Anyone visiting here shouldn't miss the ardaas. After attending the first ardaas and having the delicious khichdi and chai, I started the descent back to Ghangharia and was back to Ghangharia by 12.30 pm and immediately hit the bed as soon as I returned to the Ghangharia Gurudwara.

The holy lake at Hemkund Sahib

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

The darbaar at the Gurudwara

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap
Day 5

I reserved this day for Valley of Flowers and I started the trek for the same at 7.30 am. One needs to carry an ID for the entrance ticket the cost of which Rs. 150 for Indian Nationals and Rs. 600 for foreign nationals. The trek is of 3 kms to reach the entrance to the valley but the trek is steep with amazing and breathtaking views.

On the way to VoF

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

On the way to VoF

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

On the way to VoF

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

On the way to VoF

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

The trail in the valley is defined and you'll be mesmerized by the views. You'll be able to spot a lot of different birds and butterflies. Since I visited the valley in September, there weren't that many flowers but still the valley looked so beautiful and peaceful. Within the valley, there are two more places to see- Tapri Khark (a glacier) and Legge's Grave ( grave of a botanist who died in the valley). I won't write much but I'll let the pictures that I clicked, speak here.

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap
Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap
Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap
Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap
Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap
Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

On the way to Tapri Khark

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap
Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap
Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap
Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap
Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap
Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

Legge's Grave

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

Legge's Grave

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

I was there in the valley till 1 pm and then stated the trek back to Ghangharia. After having the lunch at the langar, I started the descent back to Govindghat. The trail was fine until Bhyundar Valley but after that, there trail was broken at some points because of the landslide last night. Though the people there made some workable arrangements it was still dangerous especially when you're also carrying a 15 kg rucksack. I reached Pulna at 4.30 pm only to find out the situation is even worse. Actually there was a cloud burst last night because of which there were severe landslides near Govindghat. Luckily there was no lifeloss but still, the damages caused were serious. A whole section beside the Govindghat Gurudwara slides and the road leading to Badrinath was also destroyed. Seeing this for the first time, I got really scared and immediately reached the bus stand at Govindghat and took a shared taxi to Joshimath where I stayed the night at a hotel.

Day 6

Since my plan to go to Badrinath had to cancelled, I decided to go to Rishikesh instead. If you're planning to go to Rishikesh or Haridwar, it is advisable to get the tickets the previous day itself because the buses are usually full and leave on time. The bus that I boarded left for Rishikesh at 3.30 am from Joshimath and reached the destination at 1 pm. I decided to stay at Zostel as it was really close to the Lakshman Jhula and even the bus dropped me right in front of it. I thought I'd be tired but after freshening up, I decided to explore Rishikesh. I started off with a lunch at The 6os Beatle's Cafe and I have to say, the views and food at this cafe were amazing.

View from The Beatle's Cafe

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

The Beatle's Cafe

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

After a delicious and satisfying lunch, I decided to go to the Beatle's Ashram which is situated very close to the Ram Jhula. One can easily find shared tuktuks from Lakshman Jhula to Ram Jhula and I decided to use the same. Walking on the Jhula, with the sound of  Ganga flowing under you, is a spectacular yet calming experience.

Ram Jhula

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

The Beatle's Ashram is just at a 10 minutes walk from Ram Jhula. During the 1960s and 1970s, as the International Academy of Meditation, it was the training centre for students of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The ashram gained international attention between February and April 1968 when the English rock band the Beatles studied meditation there. The Ashram is full lush with greenery, varieties of flowers and birds, giving the place a quaint vibe. It is now full of graffiti dedicated to yoga and meditation and the band.

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap
Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap
Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap
Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap
Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap
Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap
Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap
Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

After the Ashram, I went to attend to the evening Ganga Aarti at the Parmarth Niketan Ashram. There is a huge crowd to attend the same and it is advisable to reach the location at around 6 pm to get a spot with a good view of the Aarti. The Aarti starts at around 6.15 pm with bhajans, kirtans, chalisa recitation with the main aarti starting at 7 pm. The chants, the sounds of bells, the young saints, and the aarti fill the environment with a mesmerizing and pious vibe. But one can stay at the Ghar as long as they want.

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap
Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap
Day 7

For the past week I have been waking up at 4 am daily but today I woke up peacefully at 8 am. For the breakfast, I decided to go to the Pyramid Cafe, located close to the Lakshman Jhula. The cafe is serene with little to no crowd, and delicious and mouth watering food.

The Pyramid Cafe

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

The Pyramid Cafe

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

After having a fulfilling breakfast, I decided to hike to the Garud Chatti Temple and Waterfall. One can also take a shared taxi too. For those deciding to hike, just be careful of the monkeys. Don't intimidate them and if you see a big group of monkeys, it's better not to take a chance.

Garud Chatti Temple

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

Garud Chatti Temple

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

After this, I hiked back to the Lakshman Jhula and visited the Trayambakeshwar Temple. This 13 storey temple is dedicated to almost all the gods and goddesses in Hinduism.

Trayambakeshwar Temple

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

It was almost 2 pm and I got extremely hungry after hiking for almost 8 kms. I had already decided to have to my lunch at Little Buddha Cafe, situated very close to the Lakshman Jhula. This cafe too offers a very beautiful and mesmerizing view of the Lakshman Jhula and the Ganga with an equally delicious food. The food might take time to be prepared but it's better because you also get to rest.
After spending some time at the cafe, I took a shared taxi to the Triveni ghat to attend the Ganga Aarti there.
The ghat is always swayed with the cool breeze and by the time, the aarti starts, the Ganga is also engulfed in mist giving it a beautiful and soothing vibe. The aarti at Triveni Ghat starts at 7 pm so it's better to reach there by 6 pm and get a spot from where you can get the best view of the aarti. One can even perform the aarti for which there is a registration centre at the ghat itself.

Ganga Aarti at Triveni Ghat

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

Ganga Aarti at Triveni Ghat

Photo of A budget trip to Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in just Rs 3150 by Kshitij Pratap

After the aarti, I got back to the hostel, relaxed a bit and left back for Delhi. Luckily, the hostel has arranged a vehicle for the same and I got from Rishikesh to Noida in just 4 hours.
There's always this sadness when your trip is about to end but the trip also fills you with a hope and a lot more enthusiasm, so many memories and a positivity to get back and also enjoy your routine life but also, a wish, to go for another trip to experience the exuberance.

And here's how I managed to complete the trip in just Rs 3150
-- Delhi to Haridwar train - RS 170
-- Hotel at Haridwar - Rs 300
-- Haridwar to Govindghat - Rs 520
-- Stay at Govindghat and Ghangharia - None but you can donate at the Gurudwaras as per your wish
-- Entry fees for Valley of Flowers - RS 150
-- Govindghat to Joshimath - Rs 100 ( it's actually Rs 30 but the driver took Rs 100 because of the landslide at Govindghat )
-- Hotel at Joshimath - Rs 200
-- Joshimath to Rishikesh - Rs 360
-- Hostel at Rishikesh - Rs 350
-- Other miscellaneous expenses ( including food and everything ) - Rs 1000
-- Total - RS 3150

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