Joshimath to Govindghat & Ghangaria

Joshimath to Govindghat & Ghangaria – Day 4
You can go through journeys of earlier days in sequence.
Train journey to Haridwar
Haridwar to Rishikesh and
Rishikesh to Joshimath.

After that grueling, bone breaking bus journey sleep would not come early and when it came, it was difficult to get up early in the morning.
We were told at Joshimath that share-taxis start as early as 6 AM for Govindghat and Badrinath and they are frequent.
We got up as planned, packed and had tea at the only roadside tea cart. It helped us to recover from over groggy state somewhat. We walked to the shared taxi stand that would take us further north and further up.

taxi stand at Joshimath @lemonicks.com

A view from the taxi stand at Joshimath. I hate those electric wires.

On reaching the place we found that there were four taxis but none of them had any passengers in them and we were by far the first. The driver of the first vehicle had not yet turned up. Reason… same old lean period (oh! not again!! ).

Apparently, for lack of passengers they don’t start that early. We were guided to a taxi for Govindghat. It was regular 9 seater SUMO / Bolero type MUV but the driver wanted to cram 12 passengers (can you beat that?) before starting its journey. Lean season the culprit… to make as much money as possible on the only trip they can make every day. Hiring a cab all to ourselves would cost minimum of Rs 800 for a distance of 20 KM!

taxi stand at Joshimath @lemonicks.com

Sign board at the taxi stand.

And the wait started. Soon it was 8 AM and we were still just two of us waiting for our vehicle to fill up. We had started wondering if the decision to travel in this lean period was right.

There was another taxi with 2 passengers going to Badrinath. Slowly that taxi had started filling up. V immediately suggested that we take that taxi, pay full fare up to Badrinath and get down at Govindghat and that is what we did. Had it not been V’s quick thinking, we would have stuck at Joshimath for a few more hours!
taxi stand at Joshimath @lemonicks.com

Wait & wait…no passenger in sight.

After a brisk 45 minutes journey we had our sumptuous breakfast of parathas at the entry point of Govindghat near the Helipad. After enjoying the confluence of Alaknanada and Lakshman Ganga and disregarding all porters and ponies and touts we started walking towards the Gurudwara, the entry point for the long hike. We wanted to hire a porter for our stuff so that we could walk unhindered. The rates are prominently displayed on the board. INR 605 for porter and INR 720 for a pony. A very Nepali porter was attached to us, the same one who had attached himself to us at the helipad. 🙂

Next stop. Ghangharia. The story continues.
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23 thoughts on “Joshimath to Govindghat & Ghangaria

  1. at least you avoided the crowds, Nisha… thats the greatest advantage of the lean season…. ive been planning a trip to badri kedar, and just the thoughts of the crowd during the holiday season is enough to put me off… and at least for the next few years, i cant even think of going in an off season 🙁 but whenever i do, at least, thanks to you, i guess i will be prepared!

  2. Anu,
    Only problem with the lean season is lack of proper and timely transport. Once in the vicinity of temple, the crowd makes you mad. But I loved Hemkunt Sahib. So serene. 🙂

  3. planning to visit some of these places one day. isn’t it fun to be in an unknown place and have roadside tea?

    just checked your ‘about me’ page. you are a superstar!

  4. hi!!

    i also travelled to VOF last year in mid august. it was great reading your post…and going through the pictures!! I thought of writing travelogue…but…..!!!
    VOF trip was surely a trip to remember..its a difference experience..

    afterthoughts: it is really pain seeing all that packaged plastic stuff being sold on the way and how people don’t think twice before littering it on the entire route. it would be great if the government can take action to prevent this. its an eye sore despite the fact that govt has taken step and plastic is regularly picked up.

  5. Arvind,
    Welcome here.

    Thanks for your kind words. Do you have a blog or something where you write travelogues? Would love to read your experience.

    And where can we see your photos? I am yet to upload the 100s of photos on Facebook that I took on this trip.

    I think Govt is doing its bit, at least on this trail. I could see many dustbins clearly marked for biodegradable & other wastes. Now it is up to us citizens to keep the region clean.

    Once again, thanks.
    Keep coming.

  6. hi nisha!!

    well as i said i wanted to write a travelogue…but living in a city and being preoccupied in “advance” leaves little room for that….i hope some day….when i read other people’s blog I do want to share all my experiences.some time I think when we “source” so much of information from others (through travel blogs) its our duty to shares with others too!!

    I must have clicked thousands of pictures…problem with a person like me is when you enter VOF, its like a gold mine…you don’t know what to click, with so many things around!!

    I was not lucky with weather as the sky was overcast with clouds and I did not get views of snow peak and glacier!! but at least I was lucky enough to make it!

    yes the authorities are doing their bit…but when you look at people and their attitudes you just wonder…??? and many times I just think that best way to preserve such places is “inaccessibility”…many of don’t value such things…

    anyways, I just landed up on your blog by chance!..all the best

  7. Arvind,
    Thanks for your lovely comment once again.

    And do let me know whenever you write/post about it. 🙂 Would love to see it.

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