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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 ft)

Gobind Dham to Hemkunt Sahib 6-7 km by footpath 2 to 5 hours

Hemkunt Sahib 4329 m altitude (15210 ft)

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 altitudes.

 

 

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