All You Need To Know about Valley of Flowers and Sri Hemkunt Sahib Trek

Tripoto
31st Jul 2016
Day 1

With my internship at Zostel, Rishikesh coming to an end, I had two choices to make, take a solo road trip which I eagerly wanted to as it being my first one or to go back to Delhi, back to the old daily routine.

The travel bug had bitten me so strongly that I started looking for travelling websites and shot them mails asking for sponsorship for my trip to the last village of India, Mana. I didn’t expect anyone to reply but the unexpected happened, and I received revert from Tripoto.com

I planned with Team Tripoto and it was made certain about the trip’s happening. It was monsoon season and Uttarakhand was experiencing cloud bursts and a lot of landslides. Unluckily, the way from Badrinath to Mana was closed and no vehicles were allowed to enter the region. So, I made alterations and decided to go to the Valley of Flowers and Sri Hemkunt Sahib.

The Route from Rishikesh

Rishikesh-Devaprayag-Srinagar-Rudraprayag-Karnaprayag-Nandaprayag-Chamoli-Pipalkoti-Joshimath-Govind Ghat

It is a 270 Km long journey.

Getting to Govind Ghat from Rishikesh

You can reach Govind Ghat only through road. There are a lot of buses and shared taxis that go to GovindGhat from Rishikesh on regular intervals.

Take any bus from Rishikesh bus stop in Adarsh Nagar that goes to Badrinath to reach Govind Ghat. The buses start from 4 in the morning and a lot of buses leave until 7 am.

The bus ticket would cost you around 200 INR per person.

The shared taxi will charge around 500-600 INR.

The bus ride will be approximately 12 hours long whereby the taxi would take only 10 hours.

Where to Stay in Govind Ghat?

Stay for Free

Yes you read it right, you can stay for free in Govind Ghat if you wish to accommodate yourself in Gurudwara Gobind Ghat.

Hotels-Not an Issue!

There are some hotels in Govind Ghat that provide you accommodation for 500 INR and above for a night.

As there are only a few hotels in Govind Ghat, the sellers play the market. So, do not hesitate to bargain.

You can look on AIRBNB.COM and BOOKING.COM for better deals.

Reaching Ghangaria

You have to register yourself at Govind Ghat after crossing the bridge that connects Govind Ghat with the trekking trail of Ghangaria.

The motorable road from Govind Ghat is till Pulna on the trek path.

Those who travel in car or bike can park their vehicles in Pulna, a village along the trek route to Ghangaria 4 Kms away from Govind Ghat.

So, either you can trek 14 Kms from Govind Ghat to Ghangaria that would take around 6-7 hours or you can take a taxi from Govind Ghat to Pulna for 300 INR (bargained price) and trek 10 Kms from Pulna to Ghangaria for 5 hours.

If the trek seems an impossible challenge....

If the trek to Ghangaria seems a big issue you can hire a mule/horse/donkey from Govind Ghat for 1000 INR or from Pulna for 800 INR and reach Ghangaria in only 4-5 hours.

There are a lot of refreshment shops along the way, so buy a water bottle and take rest where ever you find it suitable.

TIPS

* Carrying heavy luggage was the biggest mistake I made. Keep your bag as light as possible.

* Carry a raincoat along or be wet as I did.

* Carry a water bottle.

* Take a trekking pole or a stick along for ease in trekking.

* Check the weather in and around the region online before leaving home and carry suitable clothing.

The Best Alternative

Though its the best but its not the cheapest. You can take a helicopter ride from Govind Ghat to Ghangaria for 3000-3500 INR and reach Ghangaria in just 15 mins.

Where To Stay in Ghangaria?

You can stay at Gurudwara Gobind Dham for free. You may even ask the authorities there for a private room or else stay in the common hall. Food is all time free here and its the most preferred choice.

But electricity and charging your gadgets is a big problem as there are no plugs in many rooms and only a few in the common hall.

Next, you may rent a room in the infinite hotels present there. Here the customer is the kingpin and you can get a room for as low as 200 INR a night.

There are a lot of restaurants available too.

I stayed at Adarsh Guest House and I would personally recommend this place for all the comfort and services the guest house manager provided me.

Near the helipad in Ghangaria camping tents are also available so you may look for it too.

TIPS

* There are no moblie networks anywhere in and around the area for the next few days you are going to spend there so STD is the only alternative left.

*The STD charges are as high as 10 INR/min.

*Rooms are an easy bargain.

*There is a dispensary in Gobind Dham Gurudwara for any medical assistance.

Day 2

Sri Hemkunt Sahib Trek

Sri Hemkunt Sahib, is a 6 Km long trek from Ghangaria. In 6 Km only you incline from 10,000 ft to 15,000 ft. This is the most difficult trek here as you are always on an inclined path.

Reaching Hemkunt Sahib from Ghangaria would take 4 hours on foot and 2.5 hours if you hire a mule. The mule would cost around 500 INR.

Those who have trouble in breathing have to take extra precautions.

The temperature at the Gurudwara gets very low so be properly covered all times.

Trekking down back from Hemkunt Sahib is easy and if you wish to hire a mule pay not more than 400 INR on return.

TIPS

* Take camphor along just in case of heavy breathing.

* Check the weather and wear suitable jackets or sweaters.

* Carry a rainshield along.

* Don't forget the trekking pole.

Day 3

The Valley of Flowers Trek

The Valley of Flowers is at 11,000 ft with trekking distance of 3 Km. It would take a good 3 hours of time after you register yourself at the ticketing desk. The entry price for Indians is 150 INR for the first three days and 50 INR per add on day after the first three days. For foreigners it is 600 INR and 250 INR, respectively.

Mules can not take you to the Valley of Flowers so you are on your own, However, you may hire a person who carries you on his back or you may hire a palanquin that would cost around 800 and 1500 respectively.

You have to start trekking down last by 3 pm so that you can reach back by 5-6 in the evening.

TIPS

* Raincoat

* Trekking pole

* Stay careful along the trek path

Day 4

Further, you may stay in Ghangaria if you want to explore the valley more or may start trekking back to Ghangaria the following day, take a bus or a taxi to a new location and share your story on Tripoto, I am eagerly waiting to read more!

Photo of Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India by Nishesh Singhal
6 Comment(s)
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Heyy Nishesh. I didn't understand what you meant when you said that you started sending mails to websites for sponsorship of your trip? Can you please explain?
Sat 01 27 18, 22:50 · Reply · Report
would valley of flowers be suitable for a trip in december?
Mon 10 17 16, 11:09 · Reply (1) · Report
Hello Saurabhi, Valley of Flowers remains closed in winters.
Tue 10 18 16, 09:47 · Report
any power supply in ghangaria ?
Mon 08 29 16, 00:20 · Reply (1) · Report
Yes there is enough power suppy in Ghangaria, specially after the floods in Badrinath and Kedarnath a few years back, the govt. has been supplying free electricity in the region. In the gurudwara at Ghangaria, the power plugs are a few and one may face problem in getting space for charging batteries. I would suggest what I did, rent a room that is cheap and has a power socket.
Mon 08 29 16, 10:02 · Report
Hello Nishesh, You have given a nice account of your travel & EXCELLENT VIDEO !!! You have not mentioned details of sponsorship provided by TRIPOTO, I mean such assistance is News for me. Take Care...
Thu 08 25 16, 04:20 · Reply (1) · Report
Hello, Ankur, If you check in the info, I have mentioned my trip cost and it was the generosity of Tripoto. :)
Thu 08 25 16, 08:52 · Report
Hi Nishesh, What time you visited? Also, when is the time one gets to witness the maximum flowers in the valley of flowers? How much time it takes to trek back from hemkund sahib to ghangria? And like valley of flowers, is there a time stipulation for hemkund sahib as well that you have to leave by 2-3 to be able to make it back to ghangria?
Sun 08 21 16, 10:04 · Reply (1) · Report
Hello Raghav, My trip was dated between 31 July- 3 August. Maximum flowers can be seen in July starting as told by the locals there. It takes around 3 hours to trek back from Hemkunt Sahib to Ghangaria. The last prayer ~ Ardaas starts at noon and finishes by 1:30 at maximum. So, everyone leaves the place by then. However, you may stay longer, but as it takes 3 hours to trek back, you have to be back before it gets dark.
Sun 08 21 16, 10:22 · Report
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