- GENERAL AREA: NORTH INDIA
- STATE : UTTARANCHAL
- SEASON : JUNE AND MID SEPT
- BEST : MID AUG TO SEPT
- DURATION : 11 DAYS
- TREKKING DAYS : 04 DAYS
- GRADE : MODERATE
- MAX ELEVATION : 4450 m
The Valley of Flower lies some 450 km north of Delhi in the Chamoli District of Garhwal, west of the Nanda Devi Sanctuary. This trek takes you through dense forests of oak, pine, rhododendron, fir and deodar, traversing bugayals – wide open meadows typical to the region which serve as high altitude summer grazing grounds – and numerous streams. En route you get truly spectacular views of the Himalaya, all the way from Trishul (23,496 ft/7,120 m) to the peaks of Kedarnath (22,994 ft/6,968 m) with Kamet (25,595 ft/7,756 m), Nilkanth (21,767 ft/6,596 m), Rishikot, Changabang (22,651 ft/6,864 m), Kedarnath and Chowkhamba (23,522 ft/7,128 m), to name a few.
Through strict environmental control and tight Government of India regulations, the sanctity of Frank Smyth’s discovery – the Valley of Flowers has been carefully preserved. If you stand at the foot of the valley, grassy meadows run down to the cleft of the stream, which, even in August, is still fringed by ice. On both sides, green slopes turn to dark rock as they vault into deep blue skies. Rising gently, the valley ends as notch on the horizon, crested by the snows of the Rataban (6,166m) and Nilgiri (6474m) peaks. And underfoot, the flowers that give the valley its name.
DETAILED DAILY ITINERARY
DAY 01: ARRIVE IN DELHI Upon arrival you will be met by our representative at the international airport and transferred to the hotel in Delhi.
Delhi is the nation’s capital and India’s third largest city with a population of 10 million plus, covering an area of 1483 sq km. It is located in the northern part of India, at a height of 239 m above sea level, and is a bustling metropolis. The main languages spoken are Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi, although English is also widely understood. Delhi is also a major travel gateway and is one of the busiest entrance points for overseas airlines, being a major link to all other northern and southern cities.
Overnight at hotel, Delhi
DAY 02: DRIVE TO RISHIKESH (230 Km / 06 Hours.) After finishing your breakfast drive to Rishikesh which is located some 230 km from Delhi. Literally, Rishi’s (holy man) locks, this small town is the point where the holy Ganges crashes down in full glory onto huge boulders and creates long stretches of white sandy beaches. The banks are lined with ashrams, where saints and holy men rested before beginning their arduous pilgrimage up into the snow-covered land of the gods. Rishikesh is essentially a combination of five different districts- Rishikesh the commercial centre, Muni-ki-reti in the quiet suburbs, Shivananda Nagar to the north, Lakshmanjhula with its holy shrines and Swarg Ashram where most of the ashrams are located.
Rishikesh is the lap of Hindu philosophy and learning, with several ashrams devoted to the understanding and propagation of the faith. Signs of religious rituals can be seen all over Rishikesh – in the numerous temples lining the banks of the Ganga, the mythological tales that you hear about various spots and even the shops that sell books and religious objects.
Upon Arrival Check in to the hotel in Rishikesh.
Rishikesh acquired prominence in the west when the Beatles generation was influenced by the foray of their idols into this Hindu spiritual heartland. Because Rishikesh is where the Beatles met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and began their quest for spiritual salvation. Even today, several foreign travelers besides the steady stream of Indian students visit the ashrams to study Hindu philosophy, yoga and Ayurvedic medicine. Every year in the beginning of February an international Yoga week is organized at Rishikesh by the Department of Tourism. Rishikesh is not only popular for its religious significance, but also as a base for devotees on their journey to the Char Dham Yatra (Tour of Four Pilgrim sites). Rishikesh is equally popular with adventure tourists heading for the tougher trekking trails to be found in the higher Himalayas.
At sundown each evening there is a service at the side of the river, at the bathing ghat in the middle of the town, at which tiny candle rafts are lit and let out into the choppy water to float away into the dusk. This is highly recommended as there is a very special ambience at this time.
Overnight in hotel, Rishikesh
DAY 03: DRIVE RISHIKESH TO JOSHIMATH (1890 M) -254 KM / 8 HOURS Shortly after breakfast, you head towards Joshimath on 7 to 9 hour drive. Alaknanda River can be observed through out the drive. At a perfect vantage view you can halt to capture mesmerizing view of the magnificent confluences of Garhwal Himalayas namely Devprayag, Rudraprayag, Karanprayag and Nanda Prayag. Upon arrival check in to hotel in Joshimath relax, enjoy the dinner and overnight amidst the superb ambience.
Joshimath is an ancient town – some say 3,000 years old — of great religious importance as its many temples will testify. It is the winter residence of the Badrinath as well the access town for the Badrinath temple. It also offers the visitor some unusual attractions such as the popular Auli Ropeway and trekking opportunities apart from ancient and mythic sites.
Overnight in hotel, Joshimath
DAY 04: DRIVE GOVINDGHAT& TREK 14 KM / 6 HOURS TO GHAGHARIA (3048 M) From Joshimath, drive north for 14 km to the road-head at Govindghat. Trek from Govindghat to Ghangaria for 14 km. We start our trek to Ghangaria (3048 m) heading eastwards It’s a gradual uphill trek. The trail is well defined and leads through pine forest. Crossing the Alakananda bridge, the trail through tall fir, Oke and Pine trees, follows the right bank of the Bhyundhar torrent. The winter retreat of the Bhyundhar villages falls on the way. The Kakashbhushandi torrent joins the Bhyundhar here. Continue the ascent to Ghagharia, the tree line constantly giving you company.
On the way we were rewarded with stunning views of Hathi Parbat and other peaks over 6,200 m. Since camping and overnight stay is not allowed in the Valley of Flowers, Ghangharia serves as the base camp for this trek and gets quite busy in the tourist season.
Overnight stay in Camping/Lodge, Ghangaria
DAY 05: TREK 3 KM ONE WAY, GHAGHARIA TO VALLEY OF FLOWERS (3,650 M) Early morning wake up call followed by breakfast. Post breakfast we start for the trek to the Valley of Flowers (3650-3965 m) with a packed lunch. The valley boasts of more than 300 species of rare wild flowers including the blue Poppy, pink Geraniums, blue and yellow Pansies to name a few. A gentle walk up to the log bridge of the Pushpawati torrent; its edges are covered with flower stems. The trek then leads through a narrow gorge with birch trees. The Meadows of tall wild flowers are a glorious sight on a sunny day rippling in the breez and framed by mighty 6000 m mountains which have glaciers and snow decorating their peaks round the year. In the afternoon trek back to the Ghangaria camp.
Return to the campsite/Lodge at Ghangaria for overnight stay.
DAY 06: TREK GHAGHARIA TO HAMKUND SAHIB (4329 M) 6 KM ONE WAY After breakfast trek to HamKund 6 km one way. Hemkund Sahib- a famous and revered Sikh shrine. It is one of the holiest Sikh shrines and the highest Gurudwara in the Himlayas. Hemkund is a bluish green lake flanked by snow covered peaks. The 5-km trek to Hemkund is a steep climb along the Laxman Ganga torrent, which emanates from Hemkund. Picnic lunch. Post lunch we trek back to camp.
Overnight stay in Camping/Lodge, Ghangaria
DAY 07: TREK GHAGHARIA TO GOVINDGHAT 04 HOURS & DRIVE JOSHIMATH Same way back till Govindghat, downhill trek for 3 to 4 hours and take a short 10 km drive to Joshimath.
Rest of the time at leisure exploring the small town.
Overnight at Hotel, Joshimath.
DAY 08: DRIVE TO RUDRA PRAYAG (4 HOURS / 107Km) After breakfast drive to Rudraprayag. Upon arrival check in to Monal Resort. Evening at leisure.
Rudraprayag is situated at the confluence of Alaknanda River and Mandakini River from where Alaknanda River proceeds to meet Bhagirathi River to form the sacred Ganges. The meeting of Mandakini and Alaknanda rivers has a unique beauty of its own and it seems as if two sisters were embracing each other. It is the only confluence situated on Alaknanda River which is also considered as state district. Rudra is one of the 108names of Lord Shiva. The famous and notorious man eating leopard was killed here by Jim Corbett. Rudraprayag is a holy place where the two holy rivers coming from Kedarnath and Badrinath region meets together. The road to Kedarnath Dham and Badrinath Dham diverts from this point and therefore this place is popular amongst the people to make a night halt and explore the charm and beauteousness of this sanctified place.
Overnight in hotel, Rudra Prayag.
DAY 09: DRIVE TO RISHIKESH (5 HOURS / 135 Km) After breakfast drive to Rishikesh. Upon arrival check in to hotel Ganga Kinare. Evening at leisure.
Overnight in hotel, Rishikesh
DAY 10: DRIVE RISHIKESH TO DELHI (230 KM. 6 HOURS) VISITING HARIDWAR After Breakfast drive to Delhi Visiting Har-ki-pairi in Haridwar, King Vikramaditya constructed this sacred Ghat in memory of his brother Bhatrihari who it is believed had come to Haridwar to meditate on the banks of the Ganga. This ghat later came to be known as Har-Ki-Pauri (also called Brahamakund).
Lunch will be served in the mid way restaurant Cheetal Grand, continue your drive towards Delhi. Upon arrival in Delhi check in to the hotel in Delhi.
Overnight at hotel, Delhi
DAY 11: ENJOY SIGHTSEEING OF OLD & NEW DELHI & FLY HOME Your guide will collect you from the hotel and take you for the sightseeing of Old and New Delhi.
There is Old Delhi and New Delhi, although the demarcation between the two has begun to blur and areas to the north, south, east and west of Delhi are becoming increasingly popular. New Delhi was designed and built by the British and remains the hub of major political and commercial activities giving the city a cosmopolitan air. It is graced with wide roads, stately monuments, government buildings and embassies, and green parks and gardens.
Begin with old Delhi by visit to Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque, built of red sandstone and white marble in the middle of the 17th Century. Then enjoy strolling around Chadni Chowk (Silver Street), once the Imperial Avenue down which Shah Jehan rode at the head of lavish cavalcades, and endless little alleyways, today bustling with silversmiths’ ateliers and shops and stalls selling almost everything! You may also like to visit the Red Fort, built in 1648 during the reign of Shah Jehan in red sandstone, which gave the fort its name. There is a museum that houses a 14th century manuscript of the Holy Quran.
Sightseeing of New Delhi includes a visit to India Gate, built in memory of Indian soldiers killed during the First World War. Rashtrapati Bhawan, built in the early 20th century as the Imperial residence of the Viceroy is today the official residence of the President of India and Parliament House a unique circular building with huge colonnades, houses the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament.
End your tour with a visit to Humayan’s Tomb; the first Mughal garden tomb, built by his grieving widow, Hamida Begum, of red sandstone and white marble. The tomb houses 100 graves within it. Visitors are immediately struck by the tomb’s resemblance to its more famous cousin, the Taj Mahal, with its four grand gateways, octagonal base-plan, soaring niche-shaped arches, lofty double domes and the symmetrical garden with its central canal. Wander round the gardens, the air filled with the sounds of peacocks and a wide variety of birds and sit quietly on a bench watching the sun go down.
Return back to the hotel after completion of your sightseeing for dinner. According to you International flight schedule our representative will collect you from the hotel and transfer you to the international airport to board your international flight for homeward journey with some sweet memories.