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Chamoli Garhwal, Uttrakhand - Trekking

Sri HemKund Sahib Trek
2015 Trekking, Travelling and Photography Andy Rawat
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The high altitude Lokpal lake, known as Hemkund lies in heavenly environs. Hemkund is 15km trek from Govindghat, which is the gateway to the Bhyundar or Lakshman Ganga valley. In Gurdwara visited large number of pilgrims from all over the world. Get the mesmeric view of the high snow-clad mountainse Saptashringa Peaks surround it. It is believed that Guru Govind Singh meditated and unified with God after prolonged meditation in his previous birth.

A steep climb from Ghangharia leads one to this spot. In 1930, devotee Havaldar Modan Singh, a part of the survey team, discovere Hemkund as he was trekking through this region. Later, with the help of another devotee Sant Sohan Singh, he laid the foundation of a Gurudwara in 1937 at present location. Gurudwara and Lakshman temple built on the bank of lake. The glaciers from Hathi Parvat and Saptrishi peaks feed the lake and a small stream called Himganga flows out of this lake. Best time to go to Hemkund Sahib Trek is May-June, the weather becomes tolerable and the snow also melts, thus making it a bit easier to do the trek. AND September-October, the weather becomes cold but the trail is lush with alpine vegetation making it a charming experience.

“To me a mountain is a buddha. think of the patience, hundreds of thousands of years just sitting there being perfectly perfectly silent and like praying for all living creatures in that silence and just waiting for us to stop all our fretting and fooling.” – Jack K.
Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: HARIDWAR TO GOVIND GHAT

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We met at Delhi ISBT and overnight Drive, early morning we are in Haridwar Bus Stand, having breakfast and arrange shared jeep to start our scenic drive to Govindghat, which will take approximately 10-12 hours via Rishikesh, Byansi, Devprayag, Srinagar, Rudraprayag, KaranPrayag, Joshimath.


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After long drive, reach Joshimath, take Short break for freshening up. The religious centre, visited by Adi Shankaracharya, which he called Jyotirmath, later came to be known as "Joshimath". Temple of Narsingh and Nav Durga also located here. Joshimath is a town in the Chamoli District of Uttarakhand, and is the start point for number of treks. After 15 minutes break start drive to Govindghat (22 km) Reached Govind Ghat in eve, Had dinner and get a good night’s sleep.



Day 2: GOVIND GHAT TO GHANGARIA

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After breakfast we start trek to Ghangaria Village (14 km). You can arrange porters also from here. The trek starts right after you cross the bridge over the Alaknanda River. From Govindghat there is a zigzag trekking trail straightens through an ascending valley and well maintained pilgrim trail to Ghangaria. Trail leads into beautiful Bhyundar valley alongside the Laxman Ganga River. Explore the surroundings in the evening.


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Its roughly 14 km trek. Half of it involves walking parallel to the river. The entire trek is full of natural splendors including waterfalls-Water Springs and dense forest. Small tea shops run across the trekking route. Ghangaria is also known as GOVIND DHAM, It is the base camp for visiting Valley of Flowers, Overnight at Gurudwara.



Day 3: GANGARIA TO HEMKUND SAHIB

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Wakeup early morning, we start trek to Hemkund Sahib. The journey to Hemkund Sahib is day bound journey. After few steps you will reach pretty waterfall on your right side, which marks the start of the Trek, where you can click pictures. Trek takes you through forests of pine and rhododendron, where wild roses, ferns and alpine flowers bloom.


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You can also catch the glimpses of Brahma Kamal and other exotic species of flowers on this trek. This imposing star-shaped structure of stone and concrete masonry is one the shores of the lake. An outlet behind the Gurudwara is source of the Lakshman Ganga. After visiting the Lakshman Temple. I went inside the Huge Gurudwara. There was morning prayer (known as Ardaas) going on. Hundreds of people including women and children were gathered there to attend the Ardaas. I was lucky to visit here. After prayer, many of them went to langar to take tea and morning breakfast.



Day 4: GHANGARIA TO GOVINDGHAT

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After relax trek, had breakfast and ready for descending trek to back to Govindghat via the same route. After reach Govind Ghat, had dinner and spend Overnight: Gurudwara



Day 5: GOVINDGHAT TO RISHIKESH

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Early morning breakfast, Catch shared jeep and drive to Rishikesh via Joshimath, Karanprayag, Rudraprayag Sri Nagar, Devprayag than Rishikesh. In the evening visit the Ganga river bank for the spectacular and moving Aarti- spectacle of sights, sounds and chanting at Parmarth Temple Ghat. Rishikesh is well known for its scenic beauty and the spiritual experience. Had dinnerm again Overnight Drive, reached Delhi early morning at 5-6 AM.



HOW TO REACH

BY AIR : Nearest airporis Jolly Grant, Dehradun, About 295 kilometers away, daily flight from Delhi to Dehradun

BY TRAIN : An excellent rail network connects Haridwar to other important cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata ctc.

BY ROAD : By road, Haridwar is well connected with major destinations of the country. NH72 connects Haridwar to Panchkula, Chandi¬garh and Shimla. NH 72 terminates at Dehardun, which is at 54km from Haridwar. Regular bus from Delhi Kashmiri Gate - Haridwar updown.


WHAT ARE THE RISK INVOLVED ?

Acute Mountain Sickness(AMS): Shortness breath, Mild headache & Tiredness are some common in high altitude trek. Risk of being hit by AMS is considerably low but you are advised to be on a course of Diamox. In case of any medical emergencies, there are easy exit points on this trek, means evacuation will generally not take more than 24 hours.


HOW TO PREPARE FOR TREK

Prepration: Fight again sub-zero temperatures, carry multi layers throughout winter trek and practice carrying packed backpack to comfortable with it. Carrying dry fruits will help on trek since they provide instant energy. The ascent-descent during the trek demands level of fitness. Begin your fitness preparation, jogging 5 Km in 30 minute before One month or two before start the trek, stretching exercises for flexibility are important so you don’t get cramps in trek.

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About the author
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Andy Rawat Very passionate about visual design. I'm enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. The point is when I see a sunset, waterfall or something, for a split second it's so great, bcoj a little bit I'm out of my brain. And I wonder if I can somehow find a way to maintain that mind stillness.
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