Sometime back, while the GoMissing think-tank was sitting and pondering life in general, a completely brilliant idea came up! As can be imagined, the idea came up while sitting and having a few drinks and laughs by the river on a GoMissing Expedition!
Well… we thought it was a brilliant idea, till you put it in perspective against life, the universe, creation etc… more about that later.
For now, the idea was to do a GoMissing expedition to the Valley of Flowers.  Since we had not been to the Valley of Flowers before, and the peak bloom (and landslides – on route) season was approaching, it was the perfect time for a monsoon trek in the valley.
So off went the GoMissing team on a reccee mission to the Valley of Flowers. Our explorers tackled bad weather, broken roads, crazy rains, long treks and came back with the first hand report that it was do-able and the valley was in full bloom.
What we also understood on the reccee trip was that carrying big rucksacks is a BAD idea! Tripods and camera gear is HEAVY! **rejoinder, but after seeing the pics after the trip… it seemed like it was worth it**
And the law of mountain rains… it stops raining about 30 seconds after you put on your rain-jacket, and starts 30 seconds after you take it off!
The other big learning was, that after the trek when you sit on the terrace overlooking the river, and stare into the mountains with the cool mountain breeze caressing you, life seems blissful.
The reccee trip, in pictures…
We reached Haridwar way before scheduled arrival time, and we happily sleeping in the train before we were jolted awake by the helper in the compartment.
As soon as we got out, we got into the waiting car and were on our way towards the base of the trek.
Our first encounter with nature was thanks to a landslide just ahead of Rishikesh. The news was that work on clearing the landslide would begin at 8AM (we reached there at about 5AM). Backup plan = change route and head out in a different direction.
The new route had much lesser traffic, and seemed a lot more picturesque. Couple of pictures from the drive…

Confluence of Alaknanda and Pindar river at Karnaprayag. The fog on the river actually hid the water underneath. It looked like clouds had descended on the river.

Children going to school

Children going to school

Devprayag Confluence

Devprayag Confluence of Alaknanda and Pindar

Finally after the long drive, we reached our hotel at Govindghat (situated at the confluence of Lakshman Ganga and Alaknanda). The place turned out to be simply beautiful. Hardly any people, neat and clean, and our room had an awesome view of the river.
Room with a view - Govindghat

Room with a view – Govindghat

Aftr hogging on some delicious sandwiches, butter toasts and chai (tea) we decided to head out and take a look around.
A little distance from Govindghat is Padukeshwar, where the historical Pandukeshwar temple is located.
Legend goes that the temple was built by Pandavas (Bhimsen) several thousand years ago and had massive single columns of rocks supporting the structure.
Pandukeshwar temple

Pandukeshwar temple

After visiting the temple, we decided to take the crazy path instead of the road. The path turned out to be a great acclimatization walk to prepare us for the long climbs over the next few days…
Coming up… the trek to Ghangaria and Valley of Flowers…
Experience the Valley of Flowers yourself,