Adventures and Sports :
1) White Water Rafting
A rare flower at Valley of flowers Long known to the local villagers of Bhundar Valley as Nandankanan, this enchanting place was discovered by T. G. Longstaff and Frank Smythe by sheer chance in 1931. The locals had feared venturing into the valley because of the spirits that were thought to be haunting it. The villagers feared that the spirits would carry them away. More than a thousand varieties of flowers, ferns and Himalayan herbs grow in the valley. The most beautiful of all Himalayan flowers, the Blue Primula, can be seen blooming in thousands. The best time to see the valley in full bloom is mid-July to mid-August. To reach the valley, trek from Govind Ghat on the route to Hemkund Sahib up to Ghangaria, 12 kms ahead. A few furlongs ahead of Ghangaria the trek route to the valley takes a detour towards the left. The valley is at a distance of five kilometers from Ghangaria.
The Khatling glacier is a lateral glacier at the source of the River Bhilangana. Sahasratal and Masartal are on the west and east of it respectively. The Valley of Bhilangana affords a panoramic view of the snow-capped peaks and hanging glaciers. The Jogin group, Kirtisthamba and Meru are all sublime and magnificent. The entire trek passes through thick forests and beautiful lush green meadows in the beginning. Later it crosses two passes above 17,000 ft and negotiates glaciers, morains and a snow patch.
Har-ki-doon, the hanging valley of Gods is a treat for trekkers. This moderate trek takes you to one of the least explored regions of Garhwal. The best time to go for this trek is either June-July or October. During the rest of the year, the region is either very cold or wet or the valley is mostly shrouded by clouds. The beautiful scenery and the glistening snow clad of Swargarohini peak are the main attractions. As Har-Ki-Doon falls within the Govind Pashu Vihar, chances of seeing wildlife here are very bright. In September-October, chances of seeing wild flowers are also good. Osia, one of the most beautiful villages in the Fateh Parvat region should not be missed. Here, you have a beautifully carved temple dedicated to Duryodhana, the Kaurava Prince and if you are interested in glaciers, then Jaundhar Glacier, at 4300 meters, is just five kilometers from Har-Ki-Doon. It is a steep climb and requires some mountaineering skills.
Roopkund is situated at a height of 5029 m in the lap of Trishul massif. The mystery lake of Roopkund has attracted many besotted travelers since the discovery of human skeletons in the lake and the glacier descending into it was made. For many years the origin of the skeletons remained a mystery. Some thought it to be the remains of General Zorawar's army that lost its way while returning from Tibet. But the popular belief, narrated in the folk traditions about the pilgrimage to Nanda Devi undertaken by Raja Jasdhaval and his wife the Garhwali Princess Rani Balampa, who perished in a hailstorm at Jurangali, appears to be closer to the truth; especially since the carbon dating of the skeletons and its anthropological studies point towards the authenticity of this folklore. The lake surrounded by rock strewn glaciers and snow clad peaks, is magnificent.
This trek provides you with one of the rarest views of the entire range of Yamunotri - Gangotri - Kedarnath - Badrinath mountain peaks. In the process you pass through the seven bugyals of Panwali Kanth where if you are lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the blue mountain goats. This trek is part of the ancient pilgrim's trail from Gangotri to Kedarnath, in the tradition of vamvrata yatra that begins from Yamunotri and ends at Badrinath after paying respect at the Gangotri and Kedarnath shrines.
Lakhamandal is a large village on the banks of Yamuna known for its temple ruins. The ruins at Lakhamandal give an indication that in the past it must have been part of a major temple town. Many believe that Lakhamandal is the same Lakshagriha that is described in the Mahabharata. Kaurava Prince Duryodhana had built 1 lac (one hundred thousand) palaces here in which he tried to burn the Pandavas alive. The villagers believe that there is a secret passage that emerges few kilometers downstream. Today in the center of the village there is a temple dedicated to Bhagwati and Lord Shiva. In the temple complex stand two life size stone statues. Perhaps they are the dwarapals of a much older temple. This connects with the legend of Jay and Vijay, the dwarpals at the gates of heaven. But most of the villagers believe the statues to be those of Bhima and Arjuna. The best time to visit the temple is during the local Diwali which is generally held one month after the Diwali in the plains is celebrated. This is a cultural and historical trek in the Jaunsar-Babar region, at the foothills of the stately Garhwal Himalayas, between Rivers Yamuna and Tons. The tribes here, known as Jaunsaris, practice polygamy as well as polyandry. The village’s enroute are worth seeing for their cultural and architectural richness. The trek is rich with flora and fauna and is an unforgettable experience for ornithologists.
Lord Curzon made the trek to Kuari Pass and since then it has come to be known as Curzon's trail. The main attraction of Curzon's trail is the majestic view of the twin peaks of Nanda Devi, Kamet, Dronagiri, and Hathi-Ghodi Parvat. It is very popular with European and American travelers. In 1905, Lord Curzon reached Kuari Pass from Ghat via Ramni. Today many trekkers prefer to undertake the trek in the reverse direction. They climb the ridge above Tapovan and reach Gailgarh to meet the trail coming from Gorson. You can also reach Kuari Pass from Auli Bugyal through Borson Top. The trek should not be undertaken in winters as a major portion of the trail is covered with snow. Along the trek are forests full of rhododendrons, oak and deodar. Rare Himalayan flora and fauna abound. At Tapovan there is a massive sulphur spring, whose waters are said to have excellent medicinal properties.
Reach Thailisain via Pauri which is an enchanting hill station presenting a panoramic view of the stately Garhwal Himalayan peaks. From Thailisain the trek trails through very rich forests of deodar, silver fir, pine and oak all teeming with wildlife.
Nagtibba as the name suggests is the abode of the Nag Devta (Snake God). The shepherds of the Aglar Valley on the north side of Mussorie hills known as Jaunpur, come to this ridge top to worship the Nag Devta. Nagtibba offers an excellent view of the mountain peaks in all directions. To reach to the top you have to pass through dense forests and it is advisable to take a guide lest you get lost on the way. There is enough space for camping in the meadow and the water source is nearby. Nagtibba can be climbed from two sides. Most trekkers prefer the Pantwari side which has a beautiful village symbolizing the culture of Jaunpur. From here begins the climb to the Nagtibba top. You can get down on the other side to the village of Devalsari. From here the road to Thatyur is not far away. You can also take the trek in the reverse direction climbing from Thatyur and coming down to Pantwari.
In the Tons and Yamuna valley woodcraft has reached its pinnacle. Wood is the medium through which the people of the region fulfill their creative urge. The wooden houses and the temples dedicated to Mahasu and Sumeshu abound in decorative details that recreate the myths and the socio-cultural past of the region. The decorative motifs include beautiful depiction of the flora and fauna of the Himalayas. The multistoried wooden houses employ a unique architectural design known as kham that has proved to be earthquake proof. The range is wide including gable-roofed, composite roofed, and canopied-circular roofed structures. There are even multi-storied tower and pyramidal structures. The wooden temples standing in the middle of the meadow symbolizes the spirit of man and the heavenly beauty of the Himalayan landscape.