Although Dev Bhoomi (Land Of Gods) Uttarakhand has many treks and religious spots to visit, but trekking to Valley Of Flowers along with offering prayers at Shri Hemkund Sahib Ji and Shri Badrinath Ji has its own adventure as well as religious significance.
You can plan this week long journey any time after monsoon, around August and September. I’ll guide you here, how can you plan a suitable trip while visiting places including Rishikesh, Joshimath, Auli, Gobindghat, Ghangaria, Valley of Flowers, Sri Hemkund Sahib Ji and Shri Badrinath Ji.
Though I’ll be mentioning the accommodation and travel plan, you can of course amend things as per your convenience. Since Delhi is the nearest Metro city, let’s begin the journey from here.
Day 1 (Delhi – Rishikesh)
Board bus or train in the morning from Delhi for Rishikesh and you’ll reach sometime around afternoon. Rishikesh itself a beautiful place to visit, so spend your time visiting Ashrams and of course witness the Maa Ganga aarti at evening.
Day 2 (Rishikesh – Joshimath)
Get up early and board bus for Joshimath. Start you journey with the morning breeze and after 8-9 hours of hilly journey, you’ll reach there around afternoon. It is always suggested to eat light food during travel in hills. You can get Uttarakhand State Roadways buses from Rishikesh to Badrinath or Joshimath early morning (b/w 6-7am). There is no option to reserve your seat online at the moment.
There are many hotels in Joshimath, find one and check-in, or you can stay at GMVN guest house or Manik Resort in Auli (prior booking required as there are limited options to stay in Auli). To reach Auli Bugyal, you can either get ropeway service from Joshimath or take Chair lift from the Guest house.
Auli is a perfect spot for ice skiing and best time to visit is between December-March. Though you can reach Auli by roads, but riding the ropeway will give you 360 degree view of the mighty Himalayas and Nanda Devi Peak, the second highest mountain in India.
You should also visit Narsingh Devta Temple in Joshimath. Spend your evening there at Auli and further relax in Hotel after dinner.
Day 3 (Joshimath – Gobind Ghat – Ghangaria)
Wake up early with the scenic beauty of Himalayas and now leave for Gobind Ghat by bus or shared taxi, a 30 km journey from Joshimath. After breakfast, here your first trek begin, a 13 km trek from Gobind Ghat to Ghangaria, it’ll take approx. 6 hours to finish it and you’ll reach there sometime afternoon. Although, shared taxis, horses and even helicopters are available to finish it quick, but trekking has all way different fun. Ghangaria is a beautiful small village on the way to Hemkund Sahib, here you can stay overnight in hotel as well as in camps organized by locals.
Day 4 (Ghangaria – Valley Of Flowers – Ghangaria)
As sun rises let’s buckle up for a stretch 5 km trek (will take approx. 3 hours) to see the heaven on Earth. Yes! I’m talking about The Valley Of Flowers. I’d actually call it Valley Of Colors, everywhere you can see just red, yellow, blue, green and various colors of nature as rainbow is lying in the valley. Well interestingly, the flowering pattern of this entire valley changes in every few days.
Mark my word, once you see this mesmerizing beauty of nature, you’d like to stay here forever. After spending a couple of hours witnessing this unmatchable beauty of Himalayan valley, time to reach back Ghangaria by evening.
Day 5 (Ghangaria – Hemkund Sahib – Ghangaria)
Start your day as early as 7 AM, passing by the beautiful mountains, flowers and waterfalls, you’ll reach Hemkund Sahib around noon after finishing 7 kms of trek. Time to take a holy dip at Hemkund Lake and offer prayers at Gurudwara and of course don’t forget to taste the Langar.
Situated at an elevation of 15000 feet from the sea level, Shri Hemkund Sahib Ji is a pilgrimage site for Sikhs. Spend your entire day there witnessing the beauty of that place and then reach back to Ghangaria before sun sets.
Day 6 and 7 (Ghangaria – Gobind Ghat – Badrinath)
Start your journey at early morning to reach Gobind Ghat by afternoon, get lunch, a little rest and then step forward towards Badrinath. It is around 30 kms journey, where shared taxis and buses are easily available.
By evening you’ll reach Badrinath, find a hotel or homestay, watch the sunset from the mountain and go to sleep after dinner.
Next day early morning, visit the temple of Shri Badri Vishal (dedicated to Shri Vishnu Ji). After Darshan, get breakfast and spend your entire day visiting nearby places including Mana – the last Indian village, only 5 kms from Badrinath. Stay overnight.
Day 8 (Badrinath – Rishikesh – Delhi)
Leave Badrinath as early as 7 am to reach Rishikesh by evening 6. Since you’ll only have light breakfast and lunch in the entire journey, have your completed dinner a bit early at Rishikesh, do some shopping, if you like and then board bus for Delhi.
Here your journey end with countless memories and amazing experiences of the Himalayan valley!