Valley of Flowers & Hemkund Sahib

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#1 Jun 17th, 2007, 22:35
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#1
Hi everyone,

I've been to the Valley of Flowers twice - it was sooo very enchanting that I just had to go there again. And I still have to go there a couple of times more to really be in a position to say that I've seen all the flowers...!

The season at the VOF lasts for around 2 months or so - and there is a plus and a minus at all times...! In July, the Sun flowers are in full bloom but the paths can be slithery. And, most of the other flowers are yet to show their colours. But again, July is when you have to be prepared for the rains - one moment it will be bright and sunny and you would be thanking the gods for such lovely weather. And then, all of a suden, the clouds march right into you, and the heavens fall down with vengeance...! There is no best time - some flowers bloom in July and some in August-end too...!

The second time around, I ventured much further ahead of the valley where the Pushpavati spreads out like a delta in the high mountains. The trip could be called great as I managed to see and shoot three flowers - the cobra lillies, the blue poppies and the brahma kamals (the last in hemkund).

About what to carry and what not to - well, carry whatever you want to till Govindghat (thats the junction where the road carries on to Badrinath and the trek for the VOF and Hemkund Sahib starts). Leave Joshimath early in the morning and get off here. There is a facility to leave your stuff in the Gurudwara-managed luggage area. Ideally, one should carry things for three days - the first day you trek to Govinddham (also called Ghangharia).

There are scores of hotels here catering to the pilgrim rush - but if you wanna stay at the GMVN joint, you should have a booking. And then, there is always the Gurudwara...! On this trip, make sure you visit the VOF the first day and Hemkund Sahib the next day. The VOF is just a bit higher than Ghangharia and so it helps to acclimatise. One has to come back to Ghangharia for the night as camping is not allowed - the fee is now 40 bucks for a 3 day period for the VOF. Hemkunt Sahib is just a torturous climb - one covers a distance of 6 km with a change in altitude of 1.2 km...! I have seen a bunch of NCC cadets who did the Hemkund Sahib the first day and quite a few of them couldn't make it - So go to the VOF first.

I did the unthinkable at Hemkund Sahib - took a dip in the freezing waters - one could see small frozen parts of the seven glaciers melting into the lake...! I took a dip for less than 30 seconds as any longer and I would've got hypothermia and wouldn't be around here telling you about it...!!!

The Prasad (kadha), khichdi and tea and the soothing prayer songs inside the Gurudwara (which is in the shape of the Brahma kamal - Lotus-flower) help in removing all the pains and the strains. The place is inundated with Brahma kamals (this was in the latter half of August) - which mostly grow only near high altitude lakes. Hemkund is over 4300 m.

Au revoir.
#2 Jun 17th, 2007, 22:47
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#2
Hi,
Good write up of the trek and should be helpful to people moving on this trail in the coming months.
VSK
#3 Jun 19th, 2007, 22:11
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#3
Thanks for posting your experience. VOF looks to be a good trek. I have added the same on my list. But don't know when i will be able to go.

Ronak.
#4 Jun 19th, 2007, 22:17
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#4
Hi,
When its raining everywhere and you have time on hand plan the trip.
#5 Jun 20th, 2007, 19:11
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#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by solo_trekker View Post Hi everyone,

I've been to the Valley of Flowers twice - it was sooo very enchanting that I just had to go there again. And I still have to go there a couple of times more to really be in a position to say that I've seen all the flowers...!

Au revoir.
Solo_trekker ... thanks for your post ... this was useful info for my upcoming VOF-Hemkund (and also Har-ki-dun) ... I have them lined up for this monsoon season between 7th July to 4th August. Also plan to roam around a bit in Gharwal's upper regions.

I have been told to go to VOF and Har-Ki-Dun, as late in July as possible, to get the Best of Flowers. Also learnt from your account to carry a good rain-coat and non-slip trekking shoes.

Any other tips/advise welcome .... from anyone ... thanks
#6 Jun 23rd, 2007, 00:42
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#6
You must have taken care of it but still,keep a dry pair to wear once you reach the night halts, because if it rains you will get wet whatever you wear
VSK
#7 Jun 23rd, 2007, 19:43
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#7

Cool Cheers to 'Ponchos'...!!!

It's best not to bother carrying raincoats. If it's too technical a trek, then ofcourse, carry them by all means. But for a trip to the VOF and Hemkund Sahib, it is best to make do with a Poncho. It's easily available, doesn't cost more than 20 bucks, and you can just leave it and not carry it around. Raincoats add to the weight you have on your shoulders. It's a risk you have to take. Ponchos manage to keep your head and upper half dry - which is what matters. And think about it - thatz what most raincoats also do.
Moral of the story - Cheers to Ponchos...!!!
#8 Jun 27th, 2007, 14:36
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#8
Hi! I have been to Hemkund Sahib & valley of Flowers 3 yrs back. Solo trekker you have once again reminded me of those days yet again.
#9 Jun 30th, 2007, 20:57
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#9
hi adventure north...
well, though i've been to the vof twice, i just have to go there a couple of times more - to see the beauty of all the flowers... the sun flowers in july... even with the rains, the idea is irrestible...!
cheers...!!!
#10 Jul 12th, 2007, 20:55
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#10
pics of valley of flowers and hemkund sahib to be added here next week...?
the problem is the size of the pics - gotta reduce them to put them here...
#11 Aug 11th, 2007, 23:25
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#11

the valley of flowers pix...!

These pix are some of my favourites taken on my valley of flowers' trek. The month was August. The trip - just too good...!
Attached Images
F1070004.jpg F1070011.jpg F1070017.jpg F1070025.jpg F1070031.jpg F1070036.jpg F1080025.jpg F1080034.jpg 
#12 Aug 11th, 2007, 23:41
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by solo_trekker View Post These pix are some of my favourites taken on my valley of flowers' trek. The month was August. The trip - just too good...!
Excellent pictures!

I find it significant to point out that the pictures of VOF uploaded by Solo_trekker, KS, Somnath and others, by and large, have not overlapped. This is a pointer to the propective trekkers that there is lot to see in trek to VOF .

Sadanand
#13 Aug 15th, 2007, 10:55
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#13

Weather and road conditions: Haridwar - Joshimath

I am all set to leave this weekend for VOF, but the weather reports are giving me worries. As per the TV and news papers, last two days were pretty bad and likely to remain like this for another 2 to 3 days.

Anybody, by chance happen to be there now? If yes, please share your experience.

Thanks
#14 Aug 15th, 2007, 21:15
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#14
hill man... i would suggest u postpone your trip till the end of this month... one of my trips to the vof has been towards the end of august, and rest assured - the flowers were a plenty...! the valley has a whole gamut flowers and all the flowers do not bloom at the same time - so even if u go in the beginning of september (august-end would definitely be better), u will see a lot...! and hemkund sahib can be even more tricky with these rains - so postpone your trip for a while.
this time, the landslides have been rather bad, and the routes for all four dhams, viz., yamunotri, gangotri, kedarnath & badrinath have been blocked.
#15 Aug 17th, 2007, 10:53
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#15
Hi Solo_trekker, Unfortunately I don't have a choice... office leave, other arrangement etc.. I am taking the plunge. Leaving for Haridwar on Saturday night. Will post the experience later.. especially weather and road conditions... Thanks
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