Valley of Flowers Trek
This trek has been on my bucket list for some time.I had been waiting for the best time to visit valley of flowers in august. Long weekend of 15th August made my wishes come true.
For company I had my cousin.We boarded a metro train in late evening to ISBT Bus Stand Delhi on 11th August.Two seats marked “For Ladies Only” were waiting for us.We had a fear vacating the seat as soon as any lady could locate these seats.Soon we realised all the females passengers were drawn to a coach next to ours without noticing us. Because the next complete coach was ladies only, I got my first lesson that is you can occupy a ladies seat in a coach only if it besides a ladies coach.
After reaching the bus stand we booked an overnight bus to Haridwar. This was a private AC bus with equal number of seaters and sleepers seats.Bus was so congested that it made me claustrophobic.Adding to my pain it started 2 hours late from its scheduled time of 9:30pm.
We arrived at 4:30am in Haridwar.Haridwar is a place where drops of AMRIT, the elixir of immortality, accidentally spilled over at Har Ki Pauri Ghat.Pilgrims bathe in the spiritual Ganga at this ghat to free from sins.This place is the gateway to Char Dham Yatra(Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath, Kedarnath).
For the next part of journey we took a bus going to the Badrinath Dham.Journey was filled with scenic beauty of Himalayas. Serpent road neatly cut on the rocks, one side supported with morning bathed mountains by rain, other opening an abyss to rhythmic music of flowing Ganga. Swinging bus made this eventful with bliss of a pure and cold air through lungs.
Bus dropped us at Govindghat, base camp to trek Valley of Flowers, at 4:00pm. We opted the Gurudwara for the night stay. Billowing Gurbani, The Holy Scripture, verses in air with peaceful environment made our fatigue being away.
In the morning, We started trek of 13 km long from Govindghat to Ghangaria. You can share a sumo ride for first 3 km to Meluna village for rupees 35.Trek winds round the Ganga most of the way.A lot of palkis and horses ply on the way.This trek has an interesting mix of devotees to Hemkund Sahib with trekkers to Valley of Flowers.It is a cemented trek, having sheds for the rest with eatery shops at every corner.Most of the way is a gradual uphill with markers all along the trek for distance.
It took us around 7 hours to reach at 4pm in Ghangaria. It is a gateway to the Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib.Surprisingly, Food at this place was superb.Pakoras, spiced vegetables coated with graham flour fried in oil, and Dahi Chaat cooled our stomach burning with an appetite.
Again we chose a Gurudwara for the night stay. For the First time, I slept in a dormitory hall having capacity of 300 bunker beds.People having different cultural and religious backgrounds all under one roof, this was the perfect example of unity in diversity.
Next day in the morning we bought two tickets to Valley of Flowers from government booth.It costs 150 rupees each.For the first 4kms this trek is steep uphill, afterwards you enter the heaven named as Valley of Flowers stretching on a 8km marked trek.
Trek is bloomed with varied flowers on the both sides of walking trail, surrounded with greenish painted mountains covered in vanilla clouds.We dipped our soul, captured with mind and breathed from lungs into it.Finally we pay our homage to Joan Margaret Legge, explorer of this place.
We completed this journey on 15th august midnight. This was an eventful journey with hilly rides, by foot or bus, having tiring mornings with peaceful evenings at Gurudwara and snorting nights.