Valley of Flowers: Reaching Govindghat


Following my Introductory Post, I shall continue to write hereinafter some more posts on the details of my journey to the Valley of Flowers.
 
Map borrowed and modified
Route covered so far:
DelhiHaridwarRishikesh – Devprayag – Srinagar – Rudraprayag – Karnaprayag – Nandprayag – ChamoliPipalkoti JoshimathAuli Govindghat
 
I take a night train from Delhi to Haridwar. Haridwar early morning is enigmatic. Then I embark on an almost 300 kms journey up the mountains that includes a morning stroll and a tuk-tuk ride to Rishikesh and a long bus journey of almost 6 hours via Devprayag and Srinagar to Rudraprayag for an overnight stay in the Government-run GMVN hotel.

The next day, in a ‘sharing taxi’ the rest of the journey from Rudraprayag through scenic Himalayan landscape keeps me spellbound through Karnaprayag and Nandprayag – at the confluences of the beautiful mountain rivers. The tributaries of the Ganges River gives company most of the journey. Reaching Chamoli, and overcoming the landslide episode, I reach Joshimath and have the choice to continue up to Govindghat. But something within me opts to stopover at Auli.

Locals chatting up – a long range shot from moving cable car
 

 

That has been a good decision I must say for the awesome experience in Auli from the time I ascend to the place in a cable car till I return through the same ropeway next morning.
 

 

Auli at 5:35 am


 

The trekking day begins on a beautiful morning from Auli. The Nanda Devi National Park is about 20 kms away from Joshimath, from where the trek to the Park can begin. A ‘sharing jeep’ that squeezed in about 10 people from Joshimath covers a distance of 21 kms to Govindghat. At each turning I feel like pulling out my camera and shooting photographs. But give up on the thought of doing so from the moving vehicle and then simply begin to enjoy the passing mountain scenery and the cool breeze.
Reaching Govindghat
 

I reach Govindghat and sit down to have some maggi noodles and tea as I am soon to commence the first leg of my journey to the Valley of Flowers by foot. From the window of the tiny roadside restaurant I can see the mesmerizing views of the majestic mountain and it is surprising to see quite a few people in this small mountain town.

Govindghat
 
 I can see most of them are pilgrims who are either: going to or returning from the Hemkund Sahib, holy to the Sikh religion; or on their way to or from Badrinath, holy for Hindus. So Govindghat is an important junction for pilgrims of Hindu and Sikh religion. A minor road branches off as the roadhead towards Ghangaria, so it is an important point also for nature loving travellers like me heading to the Valley of Flowers.

Finishing tea, I walk the one kilometre stretch ambling through shops selling souvenirs, trekking gear, colourful warm clothing and a lot of fancy items to catch the eyes of tourists. I pass through the bridge under which the Alaknanda flows churning its waters into white foam.
 
View of Govindghat from a height
 

The rest of my plan for the day is to ascend a distance of 14 kms from Govindghat to Ghangaria to reach before sunset, and after a night’s rest to trek further right into the Valley of Flowers early next morning.

 
 
To be continued…

How to Reach Govindghat:


 
By Air: The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun at a distance of approximately 270 kms.
By Rail: Rishikesh is the nearest Railway Station to Joshimath, which is at a distance of 250 kms connecting to all the major cities of India.
By Road: Govindghat can be reached via Joshimath which is well connected by surface network with Dehradun, Haridwar, Rishikesh and Nainital.
 
  

[ Published under the author’s permission ]  

[ Original publication at http://indicaspecies.blogspot.com/ on April 27, 2009–the readers are requested to express their comments on the original Blog as mentioned above ]

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3 Responses

  1. I am waiting to know how beautiful were the flowers? What colors?
    Your trek pics are lovely.

    Like

  2. Soulful regards from “Wandering souls” team for your kind visit….we are much delighted to find your pages that bear seeds of flowering reminiscences of India travel sown in vast meadow of its literary contributions.
    Before the authoress, Celine, expresses herself (she is on a brief trip), you may enjoy snaps of some lovely flowers on her blog…link: http://indicaspecies.blogspot.com/2009/03/flowers-of-valley.html
    Best wishes,

    Wandering souls…..

    Like

  3. Christine,
    Thank you for your kind visit and leaving behind a comment. I hope you’ve got your answers in the following posts. If you require any further information, please feel free to email me: celine.suares@gmail.com.

    Saibal,
    Thank you for your response to the query and the blog link provided. I’m back from a trip to Egypt.

    Like

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