Valley of Flowers Treks Uttarakhand
Valley of flowers Trek Uttarakhand was my first ever trek in the month of July 2017. I knew through my friends who are travelers that mid July is the busiest time for Valley of flowers. But I was also aware that that this is the time when Valley of flowers is in full bloom so I booked myself for this trek in March of 2017. I was trying to look for a reliable organization and was suggested by one of my colleagues about Wanderers. I got in touch with them through their website www.wanderers.in which I also found very informative on valley of flowers. I made the advance payment and was happy to get a slot in the July batch. We were all leaving on the 18 th of July.
About 15 days before, we also got a list from the Wanderers team on things to carry. Believe me it was a long list of things that I required as it was my first trek. I got in touch with Jai from Wanderers to check what to buy and from where. He helped me throughout my shopping of things. I knew it was an investment I was making so I did not mind spending money on buying best in class stuff. I knew I was going to explore the world of trekking after this trek.
Came the day: I boarded the train to Haridwar and reached early in the morning. The traveler was waiting for us. By 8:00 in the morning, the bus was full. Everyone arrived and introduced them. I must admit this thing about the travellers who also became my friends for good. There was this warmth in the way everyone communicated. Within a few minutes everyone was comfortable. Jai was also our trek leader for this trek. Very hard working team member from Wanderers I must say. The journey to Govind Ghat where we were going to spend the night was long but extremely scenic. The Ganges was our companion throughout the journey and the confluences were simply amazing. We made it to Govind Ghat in the evening and checked in. The rooms were ready and everyone took sometime to get ready for evening chat and the dinner later on. The view from the hotel terrace was already very interesting and inviting. Lest I forget, there is also a chopper service from Govind Ghat to Ghangaria in case one wants to skip the first day of the trek (which is about 10 kms of trek). BUT, one should not as this trek is beautiful all throughout and not very tiring either.
We were briefed by Jai and Lokesh (Lokesh was already at Govind Ghat to receive us) about the trek next day and the trekking pattern was set. Both Jai and Lokesh were very interesting guys to meet up with. I think it comes to them with years of experience. Very entertaining really
We started our trek from Ghangaria early in the morning. Our lunch was packed and given to us before we started. It was a beautiful morning and sun was shining bright. Through a rocky carved out trail after the forest post, we started our ascend. It was a beautiful trail with a river flowing on our right. As a group we all chatted along the way and reached the top within a few hours. Would have been about four hours or so. E crossed a stream on top and were invited to some incredible sight. A view that it was, it could take one’s breath away. The valley was so colorful that it cannot be expressed. Huge fields of some rare flowers welcomed us.
We spent a few hours there and had our lunch in the meadows. Just like the best meal at an open-air magical location. Around 1 in the afternoon, Jai asked us to start returning to the base location of ghangaria. We all started together and were down at Ghangaria in a few hours. In the evening we were tired so we relaxed for a couple of hours and later met up over some drinks that one of our friends Ajay was keen on. He wanted to celebrate our trek. Everyone had a great time enjoying the weather, bonfire and drinks and sang along.
The next morning was for Hemkund Sahib. We were briefed that it is going to take about 5 hours till the temple and the ascend was going to be slightly difficult. We were all prepared accordingly. Jai and Lokesh continued to follow us and keep us along through the steep ascend. Somewhere between the trek (half way up), Lokesh suggested it will be better if we take the steps up. There is a long stone stairway that brings one right at the top. He suggested it is dangerous to take that while coming down so we all agreed. Lokesh suggested that everyone takes a 5-10 seconds break after every 10 steps. Now, I can say here that it is one of the best tricks that helped me reach the top. It isn’t easy but because we all aligned to it, it was easier than we thought.
Once on the top, it is a different world or heavenly if I may say so. The pond (sarover) was clear blue and some of us took a dip in the pond. We were served khichdi (rice and lentils) and given tea. Nothing beats this kind of meal. Coming down was easier. We took about 3-4 hours coming down to Ghangaria. There were small shops all along the way for a quick bite or a cup of tea. That really helped us too.
These five nights and six days were for sure the best time of my life. I also would like to take a moment and appreciate Wanderers for making such nice arrangements and keeping us engaged throughout. I am going to go to Stok Kangri and Chadar Trek with them in 2018.
Also, thanks to Jai and Lokesh especially for all the hard work they had put in.