Wordless Wednesday:Nature

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

This is a place on way to Valley of Flowers.
It is tough to find a place looking more peaceful.

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Wordless Wednesday: Sunset

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Russian Sochi is the place for Winter Olympic Games 2014.
Who can believe that in a place like this winter can ever take over.

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Hemkund Sahib-In the lap of Mountains

Saturday, March 20, 2010

September 30th 2009 (Ghangaria)

We woke up at 5.30 A.M in the morning, after having covered yesterday a track of around 14KM, we were unable to find when the next day arrived. Once we woke up we started to prepare ourself for one of the toughest track in the whole journey. Today we are going to Hemkund Sahib - a popular pilgrimage site for Sikhs. We started our journey around 6.30 AM in morning.

Hemkund Sahib
Hemkund Sahib is a place associated with
Sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh

When we started from Ghangaria, it was really good to see how beautiful nature is, in our such a busy life we have forgotten about sunrise, chrirping of birds, that cool and clean winds which seemed  to say good morning to us.

              Morning @Ghangaria

Total distance from Ghangaria to Hemkund Sahib is around 6 KM but this track is really one of the toughest ones. Somewhere track angles were around 60-75 degrees. With some places there are simple stairs and some places are made up of rock stones. Porter or mule are available at a price of around 250-350 INR.

Its highly recommended to carry with yourself
 instant energy provider drinks (Glucose),
dry fruits and biscuits etc. Prefer not to go
 if you have any kind of breathing problems.

If you have any kind of problem in travelling or any kind of breathing problem, we recommend you not to opt for this track, due to high altitude (Hemkund Sahib is at an attitude of around 4200 Meters), oxygen level starts decreasing and people sometimes find problems in breathing.

.   Track @Hemkund Sahib

As we have already suggested in our previous post about Ghangaria, one should be ready to face different colors of weather. Please make sure you are carrying  a raincoat or any alternative for such conditions with yourself.

We reached Hemkund Sahib around 10.30 AM in the morning, in short it took us around 4 hours to cover some 6 KM which indicate the level of the track. Whole track up to Hemkund Sahib is going with great Himalayas and one can see and admire the beauty of these snow filled peaks

 @ On way to Hemkund Sahib

Hemkund Sahib
Hemkund Sahib is associated with the Sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh. Situated at an elevation of around 4200m and is only accessible by foot, Glacial lake is surrounded by seven peaks. Apart from the place of pilgrimage Hemkund Sahib is a place where one can come close to great Himalayas. Hemkund Sahib also has Laxman temple build beside the gurudwara.

@Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib

The journey to Hemkund Sahib is day bound journey. No one is allowed to stay over night at gurudwara except the members of gurudwara who are taking care of the place, one needs to come back to Ghangaria for  night stay.

@Lake Hemkund Sahib

Due to a high altitude, it's recommended that 
one should start journey to Hemkund Sahib as early as possible
during late afternooon temperature starts going down and ice chilled
winds start their work which can cause a lot of problem.

Eating Out
Gurudwara is the only place where one can get food to eat. Kichdi (rice dish) is served to all pilgrimage and others who are visiting Hemkund Sahib along with tea and we are really thankful to all those people who are providing it at this place. If you are not a kind of a person who can opt for this than it's highly advisable to carry your food and other eatable stuff with yourself as you will not find any kind of restaurants there.
Cost of eatables are very high on the way to Hemkund Sahib,
we got a bottle of cold drink at 50 INR (500 ML) that too in off season 
as this was the closing time of this area.

 No communication facilities are available at Hemkund Sahib, any if available is only at Ghangaria. There is also no medical help available  at Hemkund Sahib if anyone needs any kind of medical helpyou  can only get it at Ghangaria.
Hemkund Sahib is a place close to the snow bounded Himalaya, one can feel the great height of these at such a place

This was all about Hemkund Sahib, in the next post we will cover one of the most beautiful place on this trip as well a place gifted by natur ,Valley of Flowers, a place where one will feel that nature is painting with all its colors. So stay tuned with out trip.

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Wordless Wednesday: Winter

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

View from last village on India-Tibet border, part of Sangla Valley in Himachal Pardesh (India)

 If you liked this post, make sure you do not miss the previous one - click the link Ghangaria - Gateway to the Nature, or just scroll down to enjoy breathtaking views of Ghangaria. 

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Ghangaria - Gateway to the Nature

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

September 29th 2009 (Govindghat)
We have started packing our luggages so that we could start towards Ghangaria-a gateway to the nature.

                                                                Ghangaria is the base camp to
Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib.Its the last human habitation

                                                                                      @Ghangaria-a view from the top of our room 

From Govindghat we started our journey around 8 AM in the morning and reached Ghangaria around 3.30 P.M, Total distance from Govindghat to Ghangaria is around 14KM.It is a track which is full of natural beauties and eye catching views. One has only few options for this track either on his own feet or can opt to hire a porter or mule. But if you want to enjoy nature and love adventure we must advise you to go on your own.
The road to Ghangaria is not a clear and a good road as we have already pointed it's' a  track/road made of rocks. Also its highly advisable to take as few things as possible, carrying lots of lluggage can be a problem in the track.

                          Cost of things will start increasing and due to the medium level  track
its advisable to take with yourself some Dry fruits, Glucose
 (any instant energy provider drink),
Biscuits and don't forget to taken your medicin kit with yourelf.

On the way to Ghangaria

It took us around 6 hours to reach Ghangaria and this track was full of natural beatuties including green valley, snow covered peaks and rivers/streams.

Track was really a tiring one and we were almost half dead when we reached Ghangaria, one mistake we made that we packed a lot of clothes which increased the weight of the bags, nights and morning temperature at Ghangaria is very low so one must keep this in mind while start packing but on the track you will feel hot and humid.

                                                        Eye catching view on way to Ghangaria
Being at an altitude around 3100 Meters, this place is unpredictable with respect to the weather condition and one must pack a rain coat for dealing with any such kinds of conditions. Ghangaria remains open from the month of May to the end of Sepetember and for rest of the time it is covered under 8-10 feets of snow.
Ghangaria is situated at the bank of the river Lakshman Ganga which is coming from Hemkund sahib lake and its also the meeting point of the two rivers Lakshman Ganga and Pushpawati which is flowing across the Valley of Flowers.

                                                                 Another capture on way
One can find a number of accomodations at Ghangaria and rates depend upon the time one is visiting Ghangaria, if someone is visiting Ghangaria in peak season then rates are quite high. Here are some of the accomodation options for anyone visiting Ghangaria.

  1.  Gurdwara
  2. Local Hotels (Rates are varaibles)  
  3. GMVN (Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam) accomodation (Recommended)
GMVN hotel can be booked online and this is the most preferred accomodation in terms of facilities and comfort.

                                                              Eating out
There can be number of options for eating out at Ghangaria but being a basepoint for popular pilgrimage site for Sikhs one can find good numbers of Punjabi dishes but one can also find number of restaurants offering variety of options. Here is a small list for the eating out options
  1.  Gurdwara : Best if one want fresh and good food
  2. GMVN : They also have a restaurant where one can find fresh and hygenic food.
  3. Some Local eating out points : Not sure about the food quality

In order to get one connected to outside world one can find number of PCO at Ghangaria where one can make STD/ISD calls but rates are quite high like 10 INR per minute. Beside that BSNL have their mobile connectivity even at Ghangaria so you can also get your self equipped with BSNL simcard.
Ghangaria is only the gateway for the Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib. We will cover Hemkund Sahib, a place which is surrounded by 7 peaks in our next post. So stay tuned for a visit to the Great Himalaya with us.

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Wordless Wednesday: Winter

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The winter does not want to step back yet in some parts of the world.
The view from Nizhny Novgorod (Russia) Kremlin
to the longest Europe’s river - Volga.

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Badrinath - true gift of nature. Part 2

Saturday, March 6, 2010

September 28th 2009, we started out journey from KaranParyag at 6 AM in the morning for Badrinath. It was really a beautiful journey along with snow bounded mountains on one side and Alaknanda river on the other side, a place close to nature.

We reached Chamoli, a beautiful valley in Uttrakhand around 8 AM in morning and it was really an eye caching morning in the valley.

We felt like we were enjoying the nature in its most beautiful way. Chamoli is a district under Gharwal division, a true gift of nature.

Morning view of Chamoli valley

Morning view of Chamoli valley


Birth place of "Chipko Movement".
Badrinath, Valley of Flowers National Park, Auli
and Hemkhund Sahib - all these places are the parts of Chamoli

In your Journey to Badrinath, Valley of Flowers
or Hemkhund Sahib Chamoli is the best place
if you need any kind of help or assistance
as it is the District headquarter
one can find all type of basic facilities here,
but one needs to go to the city
as it is on the outskirt of the road.


We reached Joshimat also known as Jyotir Math, one of the pīthas established by Adi Shankara around 11 AM in the morning. Joshimat can be considered as a base point for Badrinath, Valley of Flowers, Hemkhund Sahib and Auli. On the way to Badrinath one can find last petrol pump at Joshimat.

Way to BadrinathOn way to Badrinath from Joshimath

From Joshimat to Badrinath the road is one way (Bikes are exception), a total of 42km stretch, authorities use to release traffic from one side at a time to avoid any kind of problem and yes one must say this is the scariest road we saw in the whole trip.

last 20Km road stretch to BadrinathLast 20Km road stretch to Badrinath


We reached Badrinath around 1 PM and all were tiredness gone after seeing this beautiful and holy place, we got to know that temple gate will open at 3 PM as it was closed in afternoon. At Badrinath we took bath in the tapt kunda (a natural source of hot water). This source of hot water is really a wonder of nature as along one side there is chilled water of River Alaknanda and on its bank one can find hot water spring, one will be forced to think what nature has more in its treasure.

PeaksIn the lap of Mountains

Road conditions was ok, a road full of land slides and rolling stones but BRO has done a great job taking in to account the hilly area they are operating, There were some streams in the road which we need to cross without languages and with utmost care, mountains were cut to make the road and it was really a breath stopping road. We highly advise you to please follow every possible traffic rules on this journey as any of yours or other’s mistake can make this wonderful trip to worst.

We clicked some snaps of this place, we drew some money from SBI ATM and than waited outside the temple for its opening, Inside the temple Photography is prohibited also you are not allowed to use mobile even.Badrinath is a Hindu holy town and one of the India’s Char Dham pilgrimage. It is situated at an altitude of 3,415 meters. It is located near to indo-china border.

Badrinath TownA view of the town


In Badrinath it is believed that Lord Vishnu has done his penance, seeing him doing this in open, her wife Goddess MahaLaxmi provide her shelter from the always changing and most adverse weather condition by taking the form of Badri tree due to this it is named as BadriNarayan.

Badrinath TempleBadrinath Temple

According to one more belief as per Hindu literature, Lord Vishnu told Narad that Nar and Narayn are his own two forms.


One can find good and cost effective accommodation in Badrinath. Many small guests houses are there in Badrinath along with some rest houses provided by Garwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd (Booking can be done online from their website) and Shri Badarinath-Kedarnath Temple Committee Rest House.


Doors of Badrinath temples get closed around Diwali
for the winter and than they reopen in summers
in the month of May. For more information
regarding the Opening and closing of the temple’s kapat (doors),
please visit the official site
of Shri Badarinath-Kedarnath Temple Committee


One more of picBeautiful valley near Badrinath

Due to a high altitude area weather at Badrinath is really unpredictable, one must do packing taking into account the ever changing weather conditions.


From Badrinath we left to Govindghat or Govinddham, we can call this place as a gateway to the valley of Flowers and Hemkhund Sahib, around 4 PM, no vehicles are allowed to go out from Badrinath temple area after 4 PM due to the Road and the area, it's better to follow this as in case of any problem you will not able to find any help if you over ride these rules.


Last point we would like to mention and it's really important to all regarding the communications, these places are not well covered by the most of the mobile service providers though at Badrinath we were able to get some signals from Airtel and Vodafone we highly recommend that if you want yourself to be in touch just go for BSNL or any other provider who has tie up with this service provider.

In the next post we will start our journey to the valley of Flowers and Hemkhund sahib. So stay tuned.

We want your feedback so that we can improve and provide you the better information, so looking forwards for your feedback...

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Beauty of Uttrakhand - Badrinath

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

One of the reasons why we started Travelling Rants is that we wanted to describe our own trips throughout India so that everyone who plans their trips could use our experience as help for their journeys.

Each trip will include a series of posts as it is impossible to cover all the useful information in one post.

And we start our journey today with Uttarakhand.

Uttrakhand became 27th state
of the Republic of India
on 9 November 2000.
The word Uttrakhand is made up
of two words Uttar and Khand,
if we refer to old literature,
this word is derived from two Sanskrit words
uttara meaning north, and khaṇḍa - part.
Uttrakhand - a part of north India has its capital at Dehradun.

The state is divided into 13 districts which are grouped into 2 divisions - Kumaon division and Garhwal division having a total geographical area of 51,125 km² out of which 93% are mountains and 64% are covered by forests.

State is full of natural beauties and has a lot of tourist places:

Jim Corbett National Park at Ramnagar in Nanital
is India's oldest national Park,
Valley of Flowers, Nanda Devi National Park
are both a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Two of India's most worshipped rivers - Ganga and Yamuna both have there origin point (Gangotri and Yamnotri) in the state of Uttrakhand.

Another gem of the state is Haridwar, counted as one of the seven holiest places for Hindus.

Two others most spiritually auspicious pilgrimage places of Hindu's are Badrinath (Lord Vishnu) and Kedarnath (Lord Shiva) and also situated in this state.

And a prime pilgrimage for Sikhs Hemkund Sahib is also a part of Uttrakhand.

But mind it if you think this place is only about spiritual and religious places. Uttrakhand is place of great culture, a natural beauty and a must destination for all those who have passion to explore nature, those who want to be inspired by nature, those who need a getaway place from all the problems and troubles of day-to-day life.

We started this blog because at some point we realized that in this crazy run of time, fast life rhythm many of us fail to see the beauty around, fail to contemplate nature, fail to find their place in this world. Maybe it is a good way to find yourself again when you connect to the nature. What we try to do with this blog, is trying to help you bridge yourself with the nature.

And what can be better way to do this as to start our journey with some of the most beautiful places in Uttrakhand which though have their significance in Hindu piligrimage, but beside this they are really wonderful places where you can enjoy a great time one-on-one with the nature and its magic..

We will start our journey with one of such places - Badrinath.


a Hindu holy town,
a place devoted to Lord Vishnu
and one of the Chaar Dham.

After that we will explore the Great Himalayan Range by visiting two not less beautiful places situated at the leap of mountains - Valley of Flowers National Park and Hemkund Sahib.

Let's start our journey as we recall it.

Time and Central Figures

Today is September 27th and we are in KaranParyag. Yes, KaranParyag, Uttrakhand, India. And when we say we, we mean Umesh, Manjeet and myself. Initially Sanjeev planned to be a part of our trip but due to fever he was to return home from Rishikesh.


Actually we are on the trip to Great Badrinath. Yesterday me and Umesh started journey from Vasundhra, Gzb. And Manjeet from Chandigarh. We went by bikes, Karizmas. Having started from Vasundhra right at 2 PM we reached Rishikesh at 8 - 8:30 PM. The road condition in Uttar Pradesh was not good.


Mannu arrived early in Rishikesh and booked rooms in Guesthouse. Accomodation is in Rishikesh was not costly we got 2 AC rooms with a total of rs 900. In addition we packed the dinner from a local restaurant/dhabha.

Next Day

We decided for KaranParyag as our night stay point. We started from Rishikesh around 9 AM in the morning. For around 10-15 km from Rishikesh the road was in bad condition with lots of patchy and bumpy sections but after the first 10-15 km a good road was waiting for us. Big thanks to BRO (Border Road Organisation) for doing wonderful work, we must say that the road was really a charm, wide and smooth as opposite to the National Highway Road we faced from Delhi to Rishikesh.

Aireal View of River Ganga Near Rishikesh


We took breakfast at Devparyag the holy Hindu place where river Alaknanda meets with the most worshiped river of Hindu's religion - river Ganga, one must stop here to enjoy the beautiful place of where two of the 2 rivers meet.

Devparyag, Alaknanda meeting with Ganga

If you are going by your own vehicles
then make sure you should have full tanks
from Rishikesh as there is only one pump
at Devparyag but when we reached there
was no fuel in the Pump.
One more Pump we found before Srinagar
but again it was not working and finally we
were able to get 2 petrol pumps at Srinagar
and could continue our journey.


is a beautiful valley and one of the most developed towns that we had found on the way, after the Rishikesh we found ATMs there (Thanks to State Bank of India for wonderful network).


After filling the tank we continued our journey and reached Ruder Prayag and then Karanprayag. Karanprayag was our night halt station so we took a room there and it again was not a costly place. We managed to get a room for only 200 rs.

Karanpaaryag  - Our First Stop on the Way to Badrinath

To be continued

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