Day 0 (11-Aug-2009):
Ghaziabad to Haridwar
Journey started with me and Saurbh leaving from Ghaziabad in ‘Dehradun Jan-Shatabadi’ at 4:00 PM while Naveen leaving from ‘Ambala’ at 3:00 PM.
We all met at ‘Har-ki-Paudi’ around 9:00 PM and went for dinner at ‘Choti-Wala’. After dinner we took bus to ‘Rishikesh’ which further took 45 minutes to reach there. We were supposed to take bus from ‘Garhwal-Bus-Stand’ so after reaching bus stand we took auto to ‘Garhwal’ bus stand. First bus to ‘Gobindghat’ was 4:00 AM. We stayed at ‘Arvind-Lodge’ near Bus stand only, for that night.
Day 1 (12-Aug-2009):
Rishikesh to Gobindghat
Bus started on time but we waited for some passengers on the way. In ‘Rishikesh’ there is gate to go for Hills and it opens at 5:00 AM. So we again waited and came out of ‘Rishikesh’ effectively by 5:30 AM.
Next stop was ‘Dev-Prayag’ where we took our breakfast. Journey again started and we were following ‘The Ganges’ throughout. At Dev-Prayag, there is ‘Sangam’ of ‘Alaknanda’ and ‘Bhagirathi’ which are two major tributaries of ‘The Ganges’ which we see in Haridwar. After this we were back-tracking ‘Alaknanda’ on our whole way . Bus was quite slow on the way due to landslide prone areas. After crossing one more barrage at Joshi Math, we reached ‘Gobindghat’ by 5:00 PM.
This is the last place on the route upto which any vehicle can go. Huge number of bikes, cars and buses were parked along the riverside. Number of lodges and hotels are available here for stay. If you are interested you can stay in ‘Gurdwara’ as well that is free of cost. Eatable things are costly here. For example: Rs.20 ‘Limca’ bottle was Rs.30 here.
‘Food’ is provided free of cost at ‘Gurdwara’ as well. We took a lodge and took a bath. After having dinner at ‘Langar’ we were ready to roam around and went for a walk. Also from here starts our regular after dinner sessions of 3/2/5(playing cards) in which I used to be favourite ‘bakra’. We slept around 9:30 PM to wake up early in the morning.
Note: Rain Coat and Stick can be bought here which are really helpful for trekking.
Day 2 (13-Aug-2009):
Gobindghat to Ghangaria
This was the first trek for our trip. It was 13 Km trek and we started around 8:20 AM with all our stuff on our backs. We started with all jackets on which came off as we started trekking. Initially we were resting a lot in between. At one place our trek came near ‘Alaknanda’ and we clicked some beautiful shots.
After this point me and Saurbh started following some short-cuts and reached ‘Ghangaria’ by 2:30 PM. Major portion of trekking was now completed and time was to have a night stay here.
To stay numbers of options are available over here as well which are not very costly. To eat you can get everything (Dosa,Paranthas etc). We went out to find some room and found a nice camping tent to stay.
Naveen stayed in his comfortable sleeping bag while Saurbh and I went out for sight-seeing and took food at ‘Gurdwara’. At camp we met Mr. Lal KK and his friend Mr. Abhilash who were from ‘Kerala’ and on a kind of ‘North-India’ trip.
Price of eatables was rising along with height. Now that ‘Limca’ bottle was costing Rs.40. But our favourite Gulab-Jamun was still at Rs 5/piece.
Day 3 (14-Aug-2009):
Ghangaria to Valley of Flowers
We started at 8:00 AM and permission for entrance was obtained at start of trek for valley. From there it is 3 Km trek and it took us 3 hours to reach valley entry point (Time include photo clicking time as well).
Inside the Valley
I and Saurbh planned to go inside the valley and Naveen opted to stay behind near valley entrance. There was good variety of Flowers available and certain small tributaries of ‘Alaknanda’ was there on the way. After walking around 4 Km, we reached a place at which river bed and flowers was making beautiful scenery. The valley was looking nothing less than ‘Heaven on earth’. Saurbh was interested in walking more and we trekked 3 Km further in hope to reach ‘Tapda Glacier’. But even then glacier seems too distant and we started back trek.
When we were around 2.5 Km away from entry point, it started raining. Our rain coats were with Naveen, so by the time we reached him, we were completely drenched. There was small bonfire set up by some local people so we sat there and left the place around 2:45 PM. It took 2 hours to reach back.
Now we were left with no energy but to sleep at 4:30PM to wake up only at 9:30 PM. We took our dinner and took one ‘Crocin’ each and went to bed again.
Day 4 (15-Aug-2009):
HAPPY INDEPENDNCE DAY
Ghangaria to Hemkund Sahib
This was exciting day as all our clothes were all wet and this was supposed to be the coldest part of the trip. And the rain which started the first day was not ready to stop now. Any how I and Saurbh left the place around 7:30 AM while Naveen left on ‘Khachar’ (Ghoda) at 6:45 AM.
This was really a very steep trek with not even a single downward slope. We were following short-cuts and covered first 4 km in 2:30 hours and we ate something on the way. After 4 Km there is short-cut of around 1000 steps through which we reached the top within 40 minutes.
Now we were at Hemkund and the place was very cold. But good thing was ‘Langar’ availability from ‘Gurdwara’ . We took tea and ‘Khichdi’. We sat in front of kitchen fire for 45 mins so that the wet clothes we were wearing get dried up and then went to ‘Gurdwara’.
We were in 2nd ‘Ardaas’. There are total 3 ‘Ardaas’ done daily at 10:00 AM, 12:00 Noon and 1:30 PM. After ‘Ardaas’ we went for ‘Laxman’ temple that is near ‘Gurdwara’. There is a beautiful lake in the back of ‘Gurdwara’. Now last thing at the top was to drink cup of tea and we started back trek.
Now back trek was quite steep and main problem was wearing raincoats due to non-stop rain. We were like falling during whole trek but covered all distance in 2 hours and then came to our room (Tent we had booked for 2 days only). On the way we bought some radish for ‘Mooli Paranthe’. Eating that was last thing on that day and we slept to wake up early morning.
Day 5 (16-Aug-2009):
Ghangaria to Gobindghat
This day again started with raining. As usual I and Saurbh wake up after Naveen and he was about to left for back trekking to ‘Gobindghat’ .
We left half an hour later than Naveen after having our favorite breakfast of Corn-Flakes and Plain Parantha. Raining stopped and we were more than happy. On the way we were searching for him (Naveen) but we were not able to follow him. We met Mr. Lal who was also going down on the way and clicked some good photos which he will be mailing us soon.
After first 8 km that we covered in 2 hours we drank ‘shikanji’. Then I decided to run and in last 5 km I ran for almost 3 km and was able to find Naveen in last 2 Kms. It was 12 noon by the time we all met at ‘Gobindghat’. Local men told us gate is open now for ‘Badrinath’ next time it will open at 3:00 PM. So we left immediately.
We easily found a bus for ‘Badrinath’ and we left the place. During first 15 km way of ‘Badrinath’ it seems every rock wants to come down on the road and there was good probability of land-slide. Fortunately we didn’t found any blockage on the way but some repair works were going on due to recent damages. Anyhow, we reached ‘Badrinath’ by 2:00 PM.
Major relief here was the low prices of food items(at MRP) and mobile network coverage(only for post paid connections). This was practically off-season for Badrinath tourism. There are number of lodges and hotels available where one can stay. Naveen was having some booking at ‘Jagadhari-Dharamshala’ so we stayed there. Panditji at Inn was a nice guy. He took us to temple where we saw ‘Nar-shila’,’Narayan-Shila’,’Barah-shila’ and took bath in ‘Hot-water-kund’. He was acting as our Guide during the whole ‘Mandir Darshan’. Then we completed pooja and went out to eat something and booked our tickets back to ‘Rishikesh’. Now it was time for me to sleep (no 3/2/5 game this time). While Saurbh and Naveen took their dinner with Pandit ji.
Day 6 (17-Aug-2009):
It was raining whole night and we were suspecting some land-slide on the way. By 5:30 AM we were at Bus-stand and had a quick breakfast of tea-biscuits . First bus for ‘Rishikesh’ leaves at 6:00 AM for which you can either book a tickets a day before (like we did) or on the spot. But to get a seat of your choice it is advised to book a day earlier.
Bus left on time. Whole day went in travelling and fortunately there was no major landslide on the way. Our driver was quite expert in handing small ones. Reached ‘Haridwar’ at 6:45 PM as Naveen correctly guessed on the way. There we three departed from each other. I started for ‘Ghaziabad’. If you have read my first my first blog, you must be knowing, it is not possible for me to travel without encountering a bus puncture. Finally my bus got punctured which delayed me. I was back in Hostel by 1:30.
I came online and found Saurbh also online from his home. Then I went to sleep. That’s how a good trip ended.
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