Surya Narayana Manoj Kotamarthi is a young Financial Consultant living in the IT Melting Pot of the country, aka Bengaluru, and he happens to be a big travel enthusiast. He wants to explore every nook and corner of our beautiful country and has already travelled to more than fifteen states. He loves traveling, trekking and exploring the unexplored, going on adventure trips with places of historic importance and exclusive climatic conditions. He loves adventure sports and indulges quite frequently on his travels.
This is his recent tale of adventure trek through the Valley of Flowers. When asked as to why he chose this particular tour for trekking out of all the available treks Himalayan region, he says it has been his dream to trek through this piece of heaven which is claimed to be the most beautiful high altitude trek in the world. “India has a world of variety within itself and there is plenty to explore there that a lifetime can’t begin to accomplish. And when I think of exploring, I think of forests, flowers, trekking, waterfalls, snow and mountains etc. And Valley of Flowers fulfilled each and every checklist of mine”.
The Trip That Made It All Happen–
The whole itinerary of the trip is mentioned in the link below where the details of the stay and trek through various places are mentioned. And when asked if he would recommend this trip to his family and friends, Surya emphatically said “Yes of course and I might be the first person not only to just recommend the place but also Thrillophilia for making it happen”.
Valley of Flowers
The Journey- When Strangers Become Friends For Life!!!
The entire journey etched in his memory as if fresh off his trek, Surya describes the entire trip in painstaking detail. With a group of 12 members in his tour, meeting and greetings immediately made them comfortable in each other’s company.
He says, “There were people from all walks of life like a renowned music teacher, a DRDO professional who was instrumental in developing NETRA- the mini unmanned drone, few people from a healthcare start-up, a couple about to get married, and three ladies from Maharashtra amongst which one of them was the youngest of the group. There was also one travel enthusiast whose experience of travel doubled my age and with whom I had the pleasure of sharing the room for the entire journey”.
Finally The Beginning Of The Sojourn-
Surya describes his journey with elaborate detail. His journey started from Haridwar where everyone collected and together they started their onward journey to Joshimath from where the actual trek was going to begin. He says- “It was indeed a good journey despite an 11-hour long road drive. With an experienced driver and a few breaks here and there, we soon had a good understanding of each other on that long journey. The arrangements made in Joshimath was perfect for us to start the actual trek the next day. We were also joined by another enthusiastic troop from Bangladesh.
“With the perfect weather backing us up, we started our day with a little bit of shopping and went to Phulna from where the actual trek began. It was a comfortable trek and the small waterfalls on the way gave us lovely respite. We finished the first 7 Km of the trek within 4 hours and then broke for lunch. The second leg of the trek was around 5-6 Kms and a bit steeper with raindrops midway through. I enjoyed it although for a few they were not welcoming rains. After a good trek the food and the rest at the base camp was a blessing.”
“This was the D day of the tour, where the rains played hide and seek and made the trek beautiful and filled the surroundings with a freshly washed look. The lush green and the flowers made the trek easy and by the time we reached the centre of the valley, the rains had started pouring but I continued alone till the end point of the trek”.
“The journey back from there was a bit challenging since the descent was slippery due to the rains and there were people taking it a bit slow for fear of slipping. And then the bridge got over flooded with the rising water and so we had to wait some more. We eventually made our way down to the base camp to a cool temperature of 10 degrees. Had hot refreshing bath and tea and made our way to the local market. After which my roommate and I went to an auditorium to watch an educational short film about the Valley and the variety of flower species.”
Day – 3
“The rain played peek-a-boo the third day as well. Today most of the tour people didn’t join for the trek to Hemkund Sahib due to rumours of heavy rainfall there. Some people took the help of horses for a ride on the upward trek so as to reach early before getting caught in the rain. Once we reached Hemkund Sahib, I realized it to be one of the most mesmerizing places that I had ever seen. I saw the Glacier, amazing Brahma Kamal, Lakshman Mandir, a lake about to be frozen which was right in front of the Hemkund Sahib and finally the Gurdwara which is at the highest altitude in the world.
“Fell in love with everything there- the holy shrine, the waterfalls, the beautiful valley, the lake and the lovely refreshing pure smell in the air. After having lunch at the Gurdwara’s Langar, we made our journey down and returned around afternoon”.
“We had to make our descend back to Govindghat/ Phulna and for a change enjoyed an amazing weather, with clouds hanging low, we were in Heaven. After reaching Govindghat we made our trek to Badrinath, with a lot of stops in between due to road blocks, which was not open in the afternoon when we reached. So we made our way to Maana, the last village of India”.
“It was fantastic to see the force and flow of river Saraswathi and Vyas Guha, Vinayak Mandir, proper wool shops and tea stalls and after making our darshan back at Badrinath temple we started on our way back to the camp”.
“Here we got stuck due to bad weather, which I wasn’t too hazed about. The police declared it unfit for us to cross the river and so we were left with only options. Either to sleep in our vehicle overnight or to cross over two mountains through a longer trek to reach the other side to safety. This was an amazing unexplored adventure”.
“After reaching the other side, special Police Forces came to our rescue and helped us pick up another vehicle to reach our hotel back in Joshimath.
“With our amazing driver we started back to Haridwar early and enroute halted at Dev Prayag, Rudra Prayag, Vishnu Prayag, Nanda Prayag and Karna Prayag before reaching Haridwar ghat for the Ganga Aarthi in the nick of time.
It was a perfect trip with interesting new people to meet, amazing places and unplanned surprises. This trip had everything”.
The highest point of Surya’s journey-
Surya says his highest point was when he was the only person to reach the dead end of the Valley amongst his group people.
These are a few things that Surya feels one should know before embarking on this trip-
- 2 sets of shoes if you are going in June/July.
- Extra sweatshirts in case of rains.
- One extra bag for carrying just food and water.
- Extra batteries and chargers for the camera.
- Timings of the shows at the auditorium at the base camp.
- Weather conditions at the top before starting your onward journey to prepare yourself.
- Timings of Badrinath Temple, distance and road and weather conditions of the route.
The most Awkward/Funny/Memorable moment of the trip-
When asked about his memorable moments he says- “We just started calling a fellow traveller by another name, Ujwala, since we forgot her real name and from then on for reference that name got stuck”. Also I missed the people and the place the most after returning”.
When asked about his bucket list Surya mentioned doing Everest Base Camp soon.
Some crazy fun facts from his many travels-
Surya is an avid adventure sports fan and has done bungee jumping twice, scuba diving once, countless river rafting trips, and has travelled to more than ten National Parks in India.
His Favorite Quote-
“Exploring the unexplored is the best learning.” This is what best describes our star traveller.
To follow our ambassador traveller on his many adventures, kindly follow him on his social media profiles, the links of which are given below–