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  The Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib      

   
  Nestled high in the Garhwal Himalaya, the Valley of Flowers National Park is an outstandingly beautiful high-altitude Himalayan valley renowned for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers and outstanding natural beauty, this richly diverse area is also home to rare and endangered animals, including the Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, brown bear and blue sheep. Its ‘gentle’ landscape, breath-takingly beautiful meadows of alpine flowers and ease of access complement the rugged, mountain wilderness of the the surrounding Nanda Devi National Park.
The valley is splashed with colour as it blooms with hundreds of different beautiful flowers, taking on various shades of colours during the month of August. Declared a national park in 1982, it is now a World Heritage Site. The locals, of course, always knew of the existence of the valley, and believed that it was once inhabited by fairies.

Hemkund, a glacial lake surrounded by seven peaks, is located in the Garhwal Himalayas at an elevation of over 15,200ft (4,632m) in Uttarakhand and accessible only by foot from Govindghat on the Rishikesh Badrinath highway. It is most known for a gurudwara, Hemkund Sahib, associated to the Sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh, and is one of the most sacred of Sikh shrines.

Considered as one of the most sacred centres of pilgrimage in the Himalayas, Badrinath has been mentioned as a holy place in scriptures and legends for thousands of years. According to the Bhagavata Purana - "There in Badrikashram the supreme being (Vishnu), in his incarnation as the sages Nara and Narayana, had been undergoing great penance since time immemorial for the welfare of all living entities."

There is a cave in Mana village to the north where the great sage Vyasa is said to have narrated the Mahabharata, and a day hike to the pristine "Vasudhara" water falls. The areas around are known to be abounding in spiritual treasures.

Trip Highlights:
- Hike through the pristine forests and environs of the Bhyundar Valley.
- Visit the Valley of Flowers when it is in full bloom!
- Visit the holiest of Sikh shrines, Hemkund Sahib, by the glacial 'Hemkund' lake.
- Three nights of camping at Ghangaria, base for the trek.
- Visit and explore the area around the Holy Shrine of Badrinath.
 



 
 
  Itinerary:    

   
 
Day 1: Rishikesh
(Elevation: 372m/1,220ft)
 
The trip starts in the morning at Rishikesh. We spend a leisurely day, preparing for the trip ahead and exploring the Ram and Laxman Jhula areas, with ashrams, yoga and massage centres, temples and small cafe's along the banks of the Holy Ganga. Overnight at a hotel near Laxman Jhula.
 
Day 2: Rishikesh - Pipalkoti/Joshimath
(Distance: 220/250km, Travel Time: 7-8 hrs;
Elevation: Joshimath – 1,875m/6,151ft)
 
Departure from Rishikesh early morning and commence our drive to Joshimath via Devprayag – Srinagar – Rudraprayag – Karanprayag - Chamoli - Pipalkoti. Lunch enroute. Joshimath is the winter home of Sri Badrinathji. It is situated on the slopes above the confluence of Alaknanda and Dhauliganga. It is also one of the four original 'maths' established by Sri Adi Shankaracharya.
 
Day 3: Pipalkoti/Joshimath - Govindghat - Ghangharia
(by road – Distance: by road - 55/25km / trek – 14km, Travel Time: 7 -8 hrs;
Elevation: Govindghat – 1,828m/5,997ft, Ghangharia – 3,048m/10,000ft)
 
By road to Govindghat at the confluence of the Laxman Ganga & the Alaknanda rivers. Trek from Govindghat through dense vegetation to Ghangaria, the base camp of the Valley of Flowers. Rivers Pushpawati and HemGanga meet here to form Lakshman Ganga.
 
Day 4: Ghangharia – Valley of Flowers – Ghangharia
Distance: 7km, Travel Time: 4 hrs;
Elevation: Valley of Flowers – 3,500-3,962m/11,483-12,998ft)
 
Early start to the day. Start the hike to the Valley of Flowers. The valley boasts of more than 300 species of rare wild flowers including the blue Poppy, pink Geraniums, blue and yellow Pansies to name a few. After spending the day exploring the whole area, we head back to Ghangharia by the evening.
 
Day 5: Ghangharia – Hemkund Sahib - Ghangharia
(Distance: 5km, Travel Time: 3 hrs;
Elevation: Hemkund Sahib – 4,632m/15,200ft)
 
Trek to Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib – famous and revered Sikh shrine. One of the holiest and the highest Gurudwara in the Himalayas, Hemkund is a bluish green lake flanked by snow covered peaks. The 5-km trek to Hemkund is a steep climb along the HemGanga, which emanates from Hemkund.
 
Day 6: Ghangharia – Govindghat – Badrinath
(Distance: trek – 14km /by road – 25km, Travel Time: 5 – 6 hrs;
Elevation: Govindghat – 1,828m/5,997ft, Joshimath – 1,875m/6,151ft)
 
Trek back to Govindghat from Ghangharia in the morning. From Govindghat, we drive further into the Himalayas to the Holy Shrine of Badrinath. Arrival at Badrinath by lunch, evening at leisure to explore the temple, hot springs and surrounding areas
 
Day 7: Around Badrinath
 
A day in the Badrinath valley. After spending the morning at leisure, we take a drive to Mana village, where one can visit the Vyasa and Ganesha caves, where as per the local legends the great Indian epic - Mahabharata - was recited and written. We also have the option of a 6km hike into pristine forests to the famous and huge Vasudhara waterfalls.
 
Day 8: Badrinath – Rishikesh
(Distance: 292km approx, Travel Time: 7-8 hrs)
 
Early morning departure from Badrinath. We drive back to reach Rishikesh before sunset. Open option to catch the evening train or bus out of Rishikesh or extend the trip with an overnight stay.
 
 











 
 
  Package and Pricing    
 

8 Days / 7 nights
- Comfort plan - INR 26,300 /- per person
- Standard plan - INR 19,800 /- per person

Inclusions:
 
- Accommodation on twin share in luxury hotels and camps for comfort plans.
- Accomodation on twin share in comfortable guest houses and tourist lodges for standard plans.
 
- Transportation from Rishikesh and back by SUV(Scorpios/Xylos/Innovas).
- All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) for the entire duration of the trip.
- Trip leader for the entire duration of the trip.
   
Exclusions:
- Any Air/Train/Bus fare to Rishikesh and back.
- Entry fees/Camera fees for the Valley of Flowers.
- Any refreshments, eatables or extras consumed while hiking or traveling.
- Any expenses incurred due to delays by unforeseen circumstances such as storms, road blockages, landslides etc.
 
- Personal expenses like laundry, telephone and fax calls, alcoholic beverages, medical expenses, temple donations, gratuities etc.
 
- Any Insurance
- Any expenses for mules or riding horses.
- Any other services not mentioned in the inclusions.
   
 
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