After coming back from a trip, what do you mostly do? You unpack all the stuff you had taken with you followed by giving gifts that you brought for your loved ones and finally, you then gather everyone who you know will listen to your stories with enthusiasm and joy!
But, in between these meetings, gift giving and photo sharing on social media, the utmost thing that will last a lifetime is that you made memories; beautiful, enriching and soul filling memories of the days spent at stunning locales with people who eventually, became family.
That is the magic of traveling. You take an unexplored path, get out of your comfortable couch, get into mood-boosting environment and extend your limits to live the moments that have everlasting effects on you. Vikas Kumar with his family of over 40 strangers took the Valley of the Flowers and Hemkund Sahib Trek and made memories that are going to cherish him for a really long time.
“We came in contact with Nikhil from Thrillophilia from the time we made the booking and he readily solved all our queries via calls and emails. Our trek was arranged fantastically. Overall, it was an amazing and an enthralling experience where we had the time of our lives. Never before had we taken such a closer look at nature. We enjoyed a lot!”
LET’S TREK CLOSER TO NATURE
Vikas with his family arrived in Haridwar to begin the trek that took him close to the mighty Himalayas. The Valley of Flowers is a World Heritage Site that is loved by trekkers, adventurers and nature lovers from across the globe. Set amidst the Garhwal district, this valley offers stunning views, scintillating flora and snow clad mountain peaks that will make anyone forget their names.
“Onset of the trek, we moved from Haridwar to Auli which was a 8-9 hour drive that amazed us with gorgeous views. The high altitude drive led us to the holy towns of Rishikesh, Devprayag and Rudraprayag. The Ganga was flowing alongside our drive and we also saw the beauty of Alakananda River. This was just the beginning and we were already so enthralled by the overall vibe that we were getting high up in the mountains.”
From Auli, the skiing destination of India, the group traveled to Ghangria via Govindghat which took it around 5 hours to trek. Vikas and his family crossed the Alakananda river over a bridge and walked towards the Bhundar Valley. En route, the travelers came across few villages that welcomed them with warm tea and treats and thick forests that showed them exotic species of flora.
After an overnight stay at Ghangria, Vikas reached the Valley of Flowers on the next day where an unending meadow covered with the rare Himalayan flowers awaited him. At the entrance of the valley, the snow-clad peak Ratban Parvat towered above him with Nar Parvat on the left separating Badrinath Valley and dense Birch forest on the hillside; all open to be captured with eyes and camera rolls.
“The Valley of Flowers was an ecstatic experience and it didn’t fail to amaze its visitors. Our group consisted of 40+ people from various age groups who flocked to witness the enriching beauty. The pristine beauty mesmerized us all. We came across waterfalls, Birch trees, little blooms and never seen before views on our trek that reminded us how important it is to save the nature around us because of the magic it does to your mind, body and soul.”
SPIRITUAL BLISS AT HEMKUND SAHIB & BADRINATH
The travelers and Vikas coming for the Valley of Flowers took a detour and decided to visit the Hemkund Sahib, a popular Sikh Shrine which is built next to a beautiful lake. The lake was surrounded by wildflowers out of which the Brahmkamal was the most popular. The pilgrims took a holy dip in the freezing cold water despite inhospitable weather conditions and entered the Gurudwara where they were served hot tea.
After a spiritual journey to the shrine, Vikas also visited the small Laxman Mandir located next to the Gurudwara and took the blessings. After an overnight stay back at Ghangaria, Vikas decided to touch another spiritual destination before heading home: Badrinath.
“In the morning of the 5th day, we trekked back to Govindghat and took a drive for about an hour to reach the temple town Badrinath which is situated on the banks of the Alaknanda River. Upon reaching, I could see the Neelkanth peak at the backdrop of the main temple that also had hot sulfur water pools. The air was so clean that I could literally feel the fresh air gushing into my lungs and scraping off all the impurities of the city air. It was a wonderful destination to end the trip with.
“After coming back from the trip, all I could think of was the beauty that nature had spread in those mountains up above. The Valley had the most exotic flowers that I had only seen in films, and online photos such as saxifrages, sediams, lilies, poppy, calendula, and daisies. Even the wildlife was worth watching and I heard so many tales about the adventures of the local people that I met along the trek in the villages. I got to know that the valley was declared as a National park in 1982 and according to mythology, this is the place from where Lord Hanuman had collected Sanjeevani Buti to cure Laxman. If only I could find it myself, I would have got bags of it on my return; just in case.”
“Another highlight of the trip was the visit to the Hemkund Sahib. I had heard a lot about Gurudwaras but this was apparently the first time of me visiting a shrine in the mountains. The hospitality of the people is of no comparison. In the freezing cold weather, we were given such warmth by the locals there that I felt so blessed to have visited the place. I recommend everyone, irrespective of the caste, religion, color or race to visit Hemkund Sahib and Badrinath, both to feel the power of spiritual bliss there. It was divine.”
With a trek so beautiful with vivid memories to cherish for a long long time, Vikash’s bucket-list is to only explore more and more such treks that promise a whole lot of adventure. He descries himself best with the quote-
“Never forget to have fun”!