Sunday, May 27, 2007

Badrinath-Vasudhara-VoF- Hemkund

The Pindari trek had left a vivid impression and I was longing for a go at it again. The legendary adventure (some by providence and some created by our complete lack of planning) had got us new friends in the batch who either had similar experiences or similar ambitions.

Posting the skeleton now for information of aspiring trekkers in the route

First the route...Day 1 (evening)- Delhi-226(overnight)- Rishikesh (Hardwar-208)Day 2- Rishikesh(hardwar)- 300(320)-Badrinath(Overnight)Day 3- Badrinath-12 (Trek)- Vasudhara- back-12-- Badrinath(Overnight)Day 4 Badrinath – 25- Govindghat- 14- Trek-Govinddham/ghanghria- 5+5 (Trek-)- Valley of Flowers and Back to Ghanghria(Overnight)Day 5 Govinddham/Ghanghria-5(steep trek)- Hemkund Sahib- 5- Ghanghria(lunch)-14 (trek down)- Govindghat(Overnight)
Day 6 Govindghat- 280- Rishikesh- 220 (overnight)- DelhiDay 7 Early Morning- Delhi

Day 0 Ex- Delhi - Catch bus from Anand Vihar bus adda from Delhi which will make u reach Hardwar/Rishikesh early morning. Or you catch some evening train (there are some that go) ...reach Hardwar that night, check into some hotel and rest in the night. You can book GMVN guest houes called Rahi Guest House that you can book over the net ( This guest house is near the bus stand/railway station at Hardwar.

Day- 1 -Buses start from Hardwar and Rishikesh early in the morning 430 AM onwards for badrinath. Cath an early bus (as early as possible). The bus would reach you at Badrinath around evening 6 PM. ( I am suggesting a change in the route to do Badrinath first). Check into some hotel /dharamshala for the night.

Day 2- Next morning do temple darshan and hire a local guide to take you to vasudhara. Start for vasudhara latest by 830. Trek to mana or you can hitch a ride may be. The distance is 5 Kms of levelled road on the banks (true left) of Alakananda. From Mana to Vasudhara is 8 Kms. The trek isnt steep...more or less probably gain just a few hundred mtrs over badrinath. If I am not wrong- its alti is about 3400 mtrs. You should take around 2.5 Hrs to reach there (12 Noon). Have packed lunch (which you should take with you in the morning) shoot pics and start back positively by 200 or so. So that you are back at Badrinath by 5. Spend the evening lounging around...may be take a hot bath in the Taptakund there...should sooth your nerves.

Day 3- Next day early morning have darshan /morning aarti (temple opens at 430) and catch the first bus down (say at 600) to Govindghat. You should be in Govindghat by 700. Start for the trek immediately. Even if your start by 8 accounting for any delays, you should be at Ghanghria (GovindDham) by 12 Noon or Max by 1230. The distance is 14 Kilometers. The route up is on the other side of the river (where the bus drops You). Its easily recognisable as lots of pilgrims would be on their way. Rest at Ghanghria in some dharamshala...I dont know if Hotels have sprung up now. If you are feeling up to it, you can try doing the excursion to VoF that evening or at least do a little recce of the way. Just as you go out of Ghanghria village on the route to Hemkund, about half a kilometer later, you have this road leading off to your left....thats the road to VoF. In my opinion you should attempt doing this between 2 to 6 that day permitting, very much doable.

Day 4- Next day early morning start off for Hemkund Sahib. The climb up is steep and takes about 2 hours to cover the 5 kilometers. You basically gain an alti of about 1000 mtrs in 5 Kms (thats steep!!). If you start around 7 (dont make it too late...u dont want sun to beat down on you...neither do u want to be at Hemkund beyond 12) would be there by 930 and after darshan and a dip you can start back around 1030/11 to reach Ghanghria by 12 for Lunch. Start back for Govindghat around 2 and reach by 430 may be. You might just catch one last bus to take u till Joshimath. Night buses dont ply in Mountains. It might be a good idea to stay put at Joshimath for the night.

Day 5- Next day you would get buses to take u till Hardwar. Reach Hardwar in the evening and you can get an overnight bus to Delhi to reach delhi next day morning. Or you can break journey at hardwar, rest for the night and catch train/bus for home.

Day 6- Morning – Reach Delhi ISBT Bus terminal or railway station

I have not considered the option of reaching at Hardwar directly from a non Delhi location which is very much possible. . If such an option is available, modify the tour accordingly.

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