” The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
Day I : Haridwar
Time : 5.30 am
Finding myself lost amongst the eternally flowing myriad of people I glanced towards my wrist watch. Time was 5.30am and the crystal clear, turquoise colored sky above me was gleaming with freshness. I was eagerly waiting for my trek mates, who were supposed to reach Haridwar railway station by 5am. Seemed their train might have got late. My empty stomach started to rumble with hunger.
With another 2 hours gone, we finally meet, hired a 4*4 Mahindra Bolero and loaded on to it with all our trekking stuffs. We hardly would have gone not more than 20 kms when the temptation of savouring Parathas from a famous dhaba could not be resisted.
Oh , you might be wondering where I am heading to ? okay ! Okay ! We were heading to the Valley of Flowers National Park in the district of Chamoli in Uttarakhand ! As The name suggests ‘Valley of Flower’ is a sprawling expanse of 87 square kilometers of virtual paradise at a minimum height of 3352 mts. Locally named as the Bhyundar Valley ,’Valley of Flower’ is richly diverse with flora and fauna which are found no where else in the world.
Declared as a world heritage site, it encompasses a unique transition zone between the mountain ranges of the Zanskar and Great Himalaya which is full of rugged mountain wilderness. The renowned mountaineers and botanists, Frank S Smith re-discovered it, in the year 1931 a vast potpourri of wild species booming with bouquet of multi hued, lively and beautiful flowers along the gentle slopes of the lower reaches of magnificent mountain ranges tipped with glittering glaciers.
Roads to Govindghat
Debris from Landslide getting cleared
It was already evening when and after 11 hours of drive via the meandering mountains roads we reached Govindghat, our first base camp. We had our Lunch at one of the many eateries. Sitting on the porch of our homestay which was quite on the edge of the confluence of the Alaknanda and Lakshman Ganga rivers we witnessed one of our most eye soothing view of sunset. Rest of the night was passed chit chatting.
Confluence of Alaknanda River and Lakhman Ganga River
Summary of the Day
- Altitude: 1,030 ft (315 m)
- Time taken: 12 hours drive to reach Govindghat from Haridwar.
Day II : Govindghat to Ghangria
Time : 6am
My over enthusiastic trekmates could not have a good night sleep. I did blame them to make me leave my warm blankets by waking up sooooooo early in the morning. The hangover of the sleep and shudder out of coldness was still overcoming my will to start the day.
Beautiful flowers in the Hotel’s garden
We left Govindghat for Poolna via hired jeep. The distance was hardly 4km from Govindghat but the ride through the pine tree lined roadways was salubrious. By the time We reached Poolna, I was all charged up. I ditched my lazy feets and paced up ahead on the paved path toward Ghangria. The 9 km trek from Poolna to Ghangria took us on along a beautiful stretch along the Alaknanda river. It was a constant uphill climb throughout and there were some section where the topology of the land was almost flat and somewhat sloppy. The Sun was playing around behind the clouds and it was alternately sunny and shaded. On way we crossed across the Alaknanda river to reach a tabular flat land and finally reaching the Ghangria.
Dead tired and damned hungry I threw up our backpacks and took a warm water bath at my pre-booked rooms at Hotel Kuber. We then had our early dinner at the Ghangria Gurudwara’s Langar. Other than a lazy stroll around the village, rest of our evening was spent doing nothing. We decided to retire early to our respective rooms at.
Summary of the Day
- Altitude: 6,000 ft (1828m)
- Time taken: 30 min for a 4 km drive to Poolna and thereafter 6-7 hours trek to reach Ghangria covering 9 km.
- Trek gradient: Easy – moderate.
Famous for/as: Wildlife, Trekking
Languages: Pahadi, Hindi, English
Best Season: Mar – September
Weather: Summer 13 to 27°C
Winter: 6 to 22°C
In my Next Part of this blog we will be visiting the Valley of Flower . Please Click on the Link to my Part II of the Blog – Valley of Flower Trek Blog – Part II