At an altitude of 3800 m and under the snow for most of the year, from July to September, you actually get to see a heavenly paradise in the form of the Valley of flowers. An explosion of color and beauty, with countless flowers, the floor of the valley looks like a carpet, from heaven, with all its grandeur. It is a World Heritage Site and is also declared as a National Park in 1982. An abode of fairies according to the locals, this legend might be true. An easy trek, not very rough; if you are physically fit, you can attempt it. From the Valley of flowers, Hemkund is not very far. It is a Sikh shrine. We can cover it in 1-2 days.
DAY 1 From Rishikesh to Govind Ghat
From Rishikesh we leave early morning to go to Govind Ghat (Altitude 1900 m). The trek commences here and the trail for the Valley of flowers and Hemkund Sahib starts. Reaching Ghangria, the path divides. One leading to Hemkund and the other to the Valley of flowers. After a 9 hour drive we can rest ourselves in a guest house at Govind Ghat or Joshimath.
DAY 2 From Govind Ghat to Ghangria
We will find the Alaknanda River accompanying us as we cross the bridge. The hike then starts. A pilgrimage area, this path is streamed by a number of shops and there a paved path. Snacks, tea and meals are available here. A 13 km walk on a little incline and reach a relatively flat area of Ghangria. It is a small hamlet along side the Laxman Ganga River, situated at 3000m. Altitude. We can opt to stay in a guest house or we can camp here.
Day 3: From Ghangria to Valley of Flowers and back
We cannot stay in the Valley of Flowers as it is not allowed. As a result much sight seeing is not possible. Early next morning we cross the Laxman Ganga River by a bridge about 3 km from Ghangria. We enter our names in the register provided, pay a fee (nominal) and commence our trek to the valley. Soon the crowd, the noises and the commotion vanish and we are surrounded by the forest flowers as peace descends. A few hours in the valley give a treat of a lifetime, as we see the amazing array including rare sights of Brahma Kamal, Trollius, Codonopsis and others. 2 km in width and 10 km in length, the valley is a breathtaking sight with a river and some streams flowing through it. We return to Ghangria for night stay.
DAY 4: From Ghangria to Hemkund Sahib and back
Hemkund is a shrine for the Sikhs and a Sikh Gurudwara rests near the banks of the Hemkund Lake. This lake originates from the Laxman Ganga River. Remaining frozen for about 6 months, it is very beautiful, otherwise. The altitude is 4300 m and the trek is rough, with some steep slopes to climb. We need to take some rest stops to relax the tired body. But the view remains breathtaking, with the mountains surrounding the clear waters of the lake. We spend a good time here and then we go back to Ghangria as we will spend the night there.
Day 5: From Ghangria to Govind Ghat
We start the trek back post breakfast, a 13 km walk downwards. This is an easy walk and takes about 5-6 hours at a moderate pace. We can stay there or go to Joshimath.
Day 6: Rishikesh return journey
Going back to Rishikesh in a car, and then to your chosen destination.
Tour Package Services:
TRANSPORT: Trek on foot and car for long distance.
ACCOMMODATION: Campsites, small guesthouse.
ENDURANCE LEVEL: Low to Medium.
ACTIVITIES: Trekking, Camping, Mountain climbing, Bird watching, Meditation, Hiking
DURATION: 6 Days
MEALS: All meals
COST: INR 8400 (US $ 140 ) onward (At 1 US $ = INR 60)