Valley of flower is a beautiful ground where variety of flowers blooms in the summers. Valley is famous for multiple species of animals as well and has been declared as World Heritage Site.I have been to VOF in 2009 along with my friends from college and have documented the information below.
Day 1 : Gobindghat
Early mornings buses are available from Rishikesh to ‘Gobindghat’, First bus leaves around 5 AM and reaches Gobindghat at 5 PM.
Bus traces The Ganges throughout the journey and you can see beautiful scenery created from Water rushing down to plains and then to Bay of Bengal. Bus stops for breakfast at ‘Dev-Prayag’ where ‘Sangam’ of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi is visible from the road itself.
Gobindghat is the last stop for vehicles and is also the starting point to trek for VOF/HemKund Sahib. There is beautiful Gurudwara here where you can eat Langar and stay for night otherwise there are multiple hotels/lodges available to suit your budget.
Note: Rain Coat and Stick can be bought here which are really helpful for trekking.
Day 2 :Ghangaria
Trek of 13 Km to Ghangaria starts by crossing the bridge over Alaknanda from Gobindghat, Trek is little steep and good fitness level is required if you are carrying your own sack otherwise porters/mules are available. On the route trek comes near Alaknanda and you can capture some memories.Trek is a well laid path and takes about 5-6 hours to complete with breaks in between.
To stay, number of options are available over here as well which are not very costly. To eat you can get everything (Dosa,Paranthas etc) at nominal price. Price of eatables keep rising along with height.
Day 3: VOF
We started at 8:00 AM for VOF trek and took permission for entrance.It is 3 Km trek and takes about 3 hours to reach valley entry point.
Natural flowers make picturesque scenery with mountain and multiple tributaries of ‘Alaknanda’. Further 4 KM inside the valley you can see river bed and flowers making beautiful painting on nature’s canvas. The valley looks like ‘Heaven on earth’ and you can trek further to Tapda Glacier.
Day 4 : Hemkund Sahib
This is a very steep trek and took almost 3 hours for us to cover first 4 km and there is shortcut of around 1000 steps through which will directly take you to the Top..
Hemkund Sahib is very cold however the Hot Food (Langar) is available free of cost from ‘Gurdwara’ . We took tea/‘Khichdi and dried our wet clothes by sitting in front of kitchen fire.There are total 3 ‘Ardaas’ done daily at 10:00 AM, 12:00 Noon and 1:30 PM. There is a beautiful lake near ‘Gurdwara’.
Day 5: Gobindghat & further
It was an easy part now since most of the slope is downward and can be covered in 3-4 hours.You can head to Badrinath from here if you reach back before afternoon to catch last bus.