Rishikesh to Gobind Ghat 250 km by
road 12 hours
Gobind Ghat 1828 m altitude
Gobind Ghat to Gobind Dham 12 km by
footpath 4 to 7 hours
Gobind Dham 3049 m altitude (10000
Gobind Dham to Hemkunt Sahib 6-7 km
by footpath 2 to 5 hours
Hemkunt Sahib 4329 m altitude (15210
Gobind Dham to Valley of Flowers 3
km by footpath 2 hours
Valley of Flowers 3500+ m altitude
The route to Hemkunt Sahib and the Valley of Flowers
normally opens on about June 1st and closes
during the first week of October. For clear skies and
views, the best times to go are June and September. For
flowers the best times to go are July and August.
There is electricity at Gobind Ghat and Gobind Dham
(mornings and evenings), but it is not reliable. Always
carry a torch or flashlight if you are out walking after
sunset or before sunrise. Also carry one when you go up
to Hemkunt. You may need it on the way back down. For
many people, the journey takes much longer than they
expect, and they end up walking after dark. Matches and
candles are available in for purchase, but consider
bringing some with you as well.
Bring good footwear for walking. Waterproof hiking
boots with ankle supports are best. At times it is
necessary to walk across snow. There may also be muddy
or washed-out sections of the path.
Be prepared for bad weather. The temperatures at
Gobind Dham and Hemkunt can be very cold. You are
advised to dress in layers which can be added or removed
depending on conditions. Bring more clothes than you
think you will need, including woollen or fleece
pullovers, a waterproof jacket, and even rain pants if
possible, a hat, gloves, and warm socks. Dress lightly
when you begin the trek at Gobind Ghat. Change to warm,
dry clothes as soon as you arrive in Gobind Dham. When
you go up to Hemkunt, bring an extra sweater or shawl to
put on after you reach the top.
Bring first aid supplies and medicines with you-pain
killers; a full course of a broad-spectrum antibiotic;
cough medicine; antihistamines; Pepto Bismol or another
remedy for upset stomach; gauze, tape, and bandages.
There are government appointed doctors in Gobind Ghat
and Gobind Dham, army dispensaries in the gurdwaras,
and an army hospital in Joshimath, but be aware that
medical care in the region is very basic and limited.
Carry sweets, dried fruits, and nuts for when you
need energy on the trek. Make certain each person
carries his or her own in case your group becomes
separated on the path. And do not forget to carry water.
It is easy to become dehydrated during strenuous
exercise, and the local water supply is not safe to
drink. Tea, cold drinks, and bottled water, while
available along the trail, are expensive. Consider
bringing some extra sweets to hand out to others along
the way who need them.
Using a walking stick will help you to keep your
balance and your rhythm while you are walking.An
umbrella is recommended. During July and August it rains
every day, sometimes all day. Expect rain in June and
September as well. At the beginning and end of the
visitor season, snowfall is a possibility at high