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Valley of Flowers- Hemkund Sahib Trek

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Available dates:
26-07-2024
30-08-2024

CUSTOMIZED:
Fees based on the final number of participants. Kindly contact +91-9051055011/ +91-8969336262 for the further detail before proceeding for the payment.

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6 days
Availability : 26-07-2024, 30-08-2024
Govindghat
Govindghat
Min Age : 12

Glimpse of Valley of Flowers- Hemkund Sahib Trek:

Location: Uttarakhand, India

Duration: 6Days/  5Nights

Trek gradient: Easy To Moderate

Maximum Altitude: 14,400 feet above sea level

Distance: 38 Km

Pickup/ Drop Point: Govindghat

Best Season: June end to mid-September

Temperature: Day: 12°C to 20°C and Night: 4°C to 10°C

Customized fees:
Fees based on the final number of participants. Kindly contact +91-9051055011/ +91-8969336262 for the further detail before proceeding for the payment.

Overview of Valley of Flowers/ Hemkund Sahib Trek:

Valley of Flowers (“Phoolon ki ghaati” ) trek is a beautiful monsoon trek in the West Himalayan region of Uttarakhand, spread over 87 sq km, stretching around 2 km wide and 8 km long. 

Valley of Flowers National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve has two core zones: Valley of Flowers National Park and Nanda Devi National Park.

It is bounded by Rataban peak and Tipra glacier in the upstream direction. On the clearer days, the mighty Himalayan peaks of Nilgiri Parvat, Bhyundar Khal, Rattaban, Gauri Parvat can be viewed.

Valley of Flowers is carved by the glacial action of river Pushpawati. River Pushpawati streams through the Valley of Flowers. River Laxman Ganga from Hemkund Sahib unite river Pushpawati, below Ghagaria and continues as Laxman Ganga or Bhyundar Ganga. This finally drains in river Alaknanda at Govindghat.

Valley of flowers was accidentally discovered by a group of mountaineers in 1931, while on the way back from an expedition to Mount Kamet. It was led by Frank S. Smythe. Eric Shipton and RL Holdsworth were the other team members. They reached Bhyundar valley via Bhyundar Khal Pass instead of Mana village as planned. That’s when they stumbled upon this beautiful valley covered with colorful flowers still hidden from the outer world.

.Valley of Flowers National Park was founded in 1980 by the Indian government. It was later recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002.

Mythological connection: According to Hindu mythology this is Nandan Kanan, the garden of Lord Indra. River Pushpawati was named so by the Pandavas as they saw flowers floating on this river.

Hemkund Sahib is the World’s Highest Gurudwara, situated at an altitude of 14,400 ft. The reflection of Saptrishi peaks can be seen on the snow-fed lake on clear days. This lake is fed by the melting glaciers of Hathi Parvat and Saptrishi peaks. Apart from the Gurudwara, there is the Laxman temple near the lake.

Selecting the month:

June end: Snow patches are found at the higher altitude. A few species of flowers start blooming, though the majority starts blooming in July.

July: Rain keeps on gaining pace from mid-July onwards. Mid-July is the peak flowering season and the whole valley is lush green.

August: The most of the flowers have bloomed and the valley is at its full glory. The second half of the month has clearer skies, offering a good view of the valley.

September: Most of the flowers start wilting by now. The majority of the crowd is that of the pilgrims to Hemkund Sahib.

   

Highlight of Valley of Flowers/ Hemkund Sahib trek:
  • Trekking to Valley of Flowers is an eye soothing experience for the nature lovers when the most of the Himalayan trekking trails gets closed down during the monsoon. Rain is not heavy at the higher altitude.

  • Being a “Tea-House” trek, this trek is considered an ideal trek for the first timers including family and kids.
Ghangaria as seen from the trail to Hemkund Sahib
  • Most of the trail is well paved and easy gradient. Still it is labeled as Easy to Moderate trek as the ascend from Ghangharia to Hemkund Sahib is steep and one gains almost 4000 feet of altitude in just 6 km, making that section a moderate trek.
Paved trail to Hemkund Sahib
  • Bramhakamal (Saussurea obvallata): It is an endangered specie native of Himalayas found above 4500m of altitude. Flower blooms from July till October. Plenty of these will be welcoming you as you ascend to Hemkund Sahib.
Bramhakamal
  • Around 520 species of flowers and plants can be found here. Many of them are known to bear medicinal properties. Animal gazing and camping is strictly prohibited here as there are number of plants which are threatened or endangered.
  • Mules are allowed on the trail from Govindghat to Ghangaria and Hemkund Sahib but are forbidden to enter the Valley of Flowers. (Move to the mountain side to be safe, whenever you see the mules crossing your way.)

  • Helicopter service is available from Govindghat to Ghangaria.

Fauna of Valley of Flowers:

Asiatic black bear, Leopard, Snow leopard, Brown bear, Civet cat, Musk deer, Blue sheep, Serow, Gray langur, Flying squirrel, Himalayan weasel, Black bear, Red fox are a few of the animals residing in the National park. Bird-watchers look for: Snowcock, Partridge, Monal, Pheasant, Vultures, Eagles, Laughing- thrushes, Warblers, Yuhina, Nuthatch, Honeyguide, Woodpeckers, Flycatchers, Magpies, Robins and Redstarts, Sunbirds, Accentors, Rosefinches. Various colourful butterflies, moths and bees also intensify the charm of the valley.

520 species of recorded and identified plant and flowers can be seen during your trek to Valley of flowers. Here are a few species to name:

Himalayan Blue Poppy (Meconopsis bella), Brahma Kamal (Saussurea obvallata), Himalayan Rose (Rosa Macrophylla), Himalayan Honeysuckle (Leycesteria formosa), Woolly Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis Triplinervis), Himalayan Mini Sunflower (Cremanthodium ellisii), Himalayan Cinquefoil (Potentilla Atrosanguinea), Silky Woundwort (Stachys emodi), Whiskered Commelina (Commelina benghalensis), European Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea), Jacquemont’s Cobra Lily (Arisaema jacquemontii), Large Bellflower (Campanula latifolia), Himalayan Milk Vetch (Astragalus himalayanus), Himalayan Monkshood (Aconitum ferox), Purple Stalked Gentian (Gentiana pedicellata), Creeping Aster (Aster diplostephioides), Himalayan Thyme (Thymus linearis), Woolly Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis triplinervis), Himalayan Rhodiola (Rhodiola himalensis), Whorled Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum verticillatum), Devendra’s Balsam (Impatiens devendrae), Purple Stalked Gentian (Gentiana pedicellata), Showy Inula  (Inula orientalis), Himalayan Typhonium (Typhonium diversifolium), Himalayan Thimbleweed (Anemone obtusiloba).

References:
Concise Flowers of the Himalaya, illustrated edition by Adam Stainton & Oleg Polunin, ISBN: 9780195644142.
Pocket Guide to the Birds of the Indian Subontinent, Grimmett & Inskipp, ISBN: 9780195651553.
Birds of India, Om Field Guides by Krys Kazmierczak, ISBN: 9788187107040.
National parks of India by R.S.Bisht, ISBN: 8123001789.
EDC (Eco Development Committee), Bhyundar

Books to read on the flora of Valley of Flowers:

The Plants of the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary by the Wildlife Institute of India

Myth and Reality of Valley of Flowers by Prof. Chandraprakash Kala

Ecology and Conservation of Valley of Flowers National Park by Prof. Chandraprakash Kala

Pick up Location

Drop Location

Govindghat

Govindghat

Price Includes

  • TransportationDrive from Govindghat to Poolna and back from Poolna to Govindghat on day 1 and day 5
  • AccomodationLodge/guesthouse accommodation on sharing basis in Ghangharia
  • RescueStretcher , Mule rescue (additional cost if availed)
  • FoodAll meals (Breakfast, Lunch, Evening tea with snacks, Dinner) during trek
  • Guide
  • MedicalPortable Oxygen cylinder, Emergency medical kit, Pulse oximeter, BP apparatus, Infrared thermometer
  • Permit
  • Fitness consultation & guidance as soon as participants get enrolled
  • Consultation & guidance on gear selection clothing, shoes, backpack, trekking pole etc.

Price Excludes

  • TransportationDrive from Haridwar/Rishikesh to Govindghat on Day 1 and back from Govindghat to Haridwar/ Rishikesh on Day 6
  • Accommodation Accommodation in Govindghat & Haridwar/Rishikesh
  • Off loading of backpackCan be arranged on request during booking, on additional cost as per the local rate card
  • Mule for personal / rescue purpose will be additionally charged
  • Insurance
  • In an event of a trekker deciding on discontinuing the trek mid-way due to any circumstance/ evacuation, he/she will be escorted till the nearest road end from where the further expenses of transportation, hotel/hospital and food shall be managed and borne by that trekker. In such unfortunate event the trekker won’t be eligible for the refund.
  • Any expense arising out of itinerary will have to be borne by the trekker.
  • Any cost escalation (accommodation, food, transportation) due to unforeseen circumstances like landslides, roadblocks, bad weather, pandemic crisis, sudden government policies or regulations
  • Personal trekking gears like trekking poles, toiletry and other items mentioned later in things to carry section.Contact us for renting gears
  • Gratuity/ Tip

Advisory

  • Always carry a valid original photo ID card.
  • There is erratic phone network on the trail. Jio and Airtel phone networks work the best in Govindghat and Ghangharia.
  • Electricity is available in all the trekker's hut in Govindghat and Ghangaria.
  • The last atm is in Joshimath. Although don’t rely on this last atm and get your cash handy from Haridwar/ Rishikesh itself.
  • Trekking is an activity where there are more than 50% chances of facing uncertainty, as you see it’s mentioned “Tentative” itinerary. Weather conditions, wildlife movements, permission changes can often force the trek leader to change the itinerary, distance or place.
  • Throughout the trek, starting from the pick up to the drop, the final decision will be taken by the trek leader and all the trekkers will be expected to abide to the same.
  • All participants are expected to have minimum fitness, stamina and the ability to sustain harsh environments.
  • Every trekker will have to undergo a temperature and other vitals check-up every day.
  • Do weigh your gears post packing. It should not exceed the range of 8-10 kg – preferably on the lighter side.
Forms
  • Enrolment form
  • Medical form
  • Self-declaration form
Booking terms
Confirmation policy
  • Email on booking@meandmountain.com or WhatsApp on +91-9051055011 the following details: Name of the participant(s), Name of the event, Date of the event, Email address (Note: This is not the Enrolment form) and proceed with the online payment either via the payment link shared via WhatsApp or the payment section on the website.
  • Mode of payment: only online
  • The participants will receive the Confirmation email and Ticket via email within 48 hours.
  • Ater the confirmation, you will need to send the dully filled, signed and scanned forms (Enrolment, Medical & Self-declaration) to booking@meandmountain.com, before commencement of the expedition.
  • The forms can be downloaded from the links below or ‘FORMS’ section in the home page.
  • It is mandatory for all the participants to submit all 3 forms before the expedition, in absence of which Me and Mountain shall have a full right to deny the entry of that participant to the particular expedition.
Cancellation policy
  • Cancellation done any time after the booking of the event shall be adjusted in any event later with ‘Me And Mountain Global Adventures Pvt Ltd’ only via Adjustment voucher. The Adjustment voucher will be valid for 1 year from the date of the event cancelled.
  • Refer the section on Cancellation/Refund Policy for the detail cancellation policy.
Discontinuation policy
  • In an event of a participant deciding on discontinuing the event mid-way due to any circumstance other than medical condition requiring emergency evacuation, he/she will require to do so by signing the ‘Discontinuation form’ after which he/she is set to go on own. In such situation the participant will neither be eligible for the Refund or the Adjustment voucher.
Fitness training
  • Cardiovascular training
  • Jogging/ running
  • Free hand stretching
  • Walk daily at least 2-3km
Diet recommendation
  • Consume less spicy diet at least 7 days prior to the trek.
Things to carry:
Layering the upper body during trek
  • Layer-1: Dry-fit T-shirts
  • Layer-2: Fleece jacket
  • Layer-3: Wind + Waterproof/ Rain Jacket
  • GlovesLightweight poly-liner gloves; Mid-weight soft shell gloves – water/wind resistant
Layering the lower body during trek
  • Trekking trousers
  • Rain trousers
  • Polyester/ active-wear socks
  • Trekking bootsHigh-ankle waterproof trekking boots
Layering the upper body in campsite/ trekker's hut
  • Layer-1: Body warmer
  • Layer-2: Dry-fit T-shirts
  • Layer-3: Sweater/ Fleece jacket
  • Layer-4: Down/ synthetic padded Jacket
  • Woollen gloves
Layering the lower body in campsite/ trekker's hut
  • Layer-1: Body warmer
  • Layer-2: Trouser
  • Woollen socks
Clothing for layering upper body
  • 3 Dry-fit T-shirts
  • 1 Fleece jacket
  • 1 Down/ synthetic padded Jacket
  • 1 wind + waterproof/ rain Jacket
  • 2 pairs of Trek pants
  • Trouser/pants for trekker's hut
  • 1 pair of Rain trousers
  • A set of Body warmers (polyester, avoid cotton)
  • 4-5 pairs of Socks meant for active-wear (blend of woollen & synthetic fabric) for wearing during the trek
  • 2 pairs of Woollen socks for wearing at the trekker's hut
  • 1 pairs of well insulated waterproof Gloves
  • 1 pair of woollen Gloves
  • Undergarments
Headgears
  • Woollen cap, big enough to coverthe ears along with the head
  • Balaclava, covering the neck, mouth & nose
  • Sun cap preferably with a back flap to protect the nape of the neck
Footwears
  • High-ankle boots (waterproof & with good insulation)You will be trekking during monsoon so don't compromise on the quality of trekking shoes
  • Slippers/floaters for trekker's hut to be worn with woollen socks
Gears
  • Rucksack: 60-70 litre with rain cover
  • Daypack: 20-30 litre with rain cover to carry water, snacks and personal items
  • Sunglasses with UV protection
  • Quick dry towel
  • Trekking poles (preferably a pair)
  • Headlamp
  • Lunch box for carrying packed lunch during the treks to Valley of flowers & Hemkund sahib
  • Water Bottles: 2 regular bottles of 1 litre capacity each
Other essential items
  • Toilet kit
  • Sunscreen: SPF 40+
  • Personal medical kit
  • Snacks for personal consumption
  • Ladies: Menstrual hygiene products with zip lock bags to carry back waste for disposal. Menstrual cups are recommended over tampons /sanitary napkins.
  • A few old newspapers
Tentative Itinerary
May change as per the local authority permission

Day 1Reach Govindghat (6,300 ft) from Rishikesh/ Haridwar

Drive- 11-12 hr

You start your journey along river Ganga and would see how the holy Ganga is formed as you cross Panch Prayag or the 5 confluences that forms Ganga: Dev Prayag (confluence of Bhagirathi river and Alaknanda river), Rudra Prayag (confluence of Mandakini river and Alaknanda river), Karna Prayag (confluence of Pindar river and Alaknanda river), Nand Prayag and Vishnu Prayag.

Day 2Drive from Govindghat (6,300 ft) to Poolna (7,200 ft)- 4km; Trek from Poolna to Ghangaria (9,600 ft)- 9 km (5-6 hours)

You start the trek from a place called Poolna. The trek is on the stone-paved path with stairs intermittently, along the river Laxman Ganga. After 5 km of distance, you will reach Bhyundar village from where you can get an amazing view Hathi Parvat. The second half of today’s trek, from Bhyunder village to the Helipad ground has steep flights of stairs. Ghangaria is another kilometer from the helipad ground.

Day 3Trek from Ghangaria (9,600 ft) to Valley of Flowers (11,500 ft) and back to Ghangaria- 3.7 km each way (6 hours)

As you start from Ghangaria a forest check post arrives after 30 minutes where they make the entry. There is Laxman waterfall beside it. The trek to the valley is stone-paved and well-defined. You will come across several cascading waterfalls and roaring streams with wooden/asbestos bridges. The water level of these streams increases in the second half of the day. Hence it is advisable to return before 2pm as these streams might be riskier to cross with raised water level.

 

Day 4Ghangaria (9,600) to Hemkund Sahib (14,107 ft) and back to Ghangaria- 6 km each way (8-9 hours)

Today’s trek is a bit strenuous as you gain an altitude of 4000 ft in just 6 km of trek. Its stone paved ascend with stairs. You will find many mules on the way. Be careful to walk on the mountain side when you see them crossing you. Avoid stepping on the mule dunks as these make the ground slippery when rain water washes them.

Visit the Gurudwara and have hot tea with steamy hot khichidi served as a langar. Take a dip in the holy lake of the gurudwara.

 

Day 5Trek from Ghangria (9,600 ft) to Poolna (7,200 ft) Drive from Poolna to Govindghat (6,300 ft)

Day 6Depart from Govindghat to Rishikesh/ Haridwar

Photos