How I Book Advance Bus Tickets for Joshimath from Rishikesh

GMOU inquiry office is nearby Chandrabhaga Bridge, Rishikesh and bus stand approx. 100 meters further. Char Dham yatra was about to begin, and Badrinath temple opening day was 16th May, 2013. I inquire GMOU office via phone about Rishikesh to Joshimath bus ticket availability.

GMOU office hours: 7 days open 8 am – 8 pm

Enquiry: (0135) 2430076, 0 – 9412347367

I was told to visit GMOU bus stand.

Next day 5 pm I was at the GMOU bus stand next to inter-state bus terminal.

At GMOU bus stand there are three ticket counters run by different-different bus operators. I was standing at GMOU bus ticket counter. Upon the query about tomorrow’s Rishikesh to Joshimath bus ticket, I was told currently they cannot confirm about advance bus tickets availability because buses coming from Joshimath yet to arrive. Only after their arrival they will issue advance tickets.

Another question: Rishikesh to Badrinath and Rishikesh to Joshimath bus timings?

There are two buses for Badrinath – 4 am and 4:30 am And for Joshimath there is one bus at 6 am.

Only two buses – I question.

Yes, because buses are already booked for yatra in-advance.

Anyway, the wait was over after an hour. Buses finally arrive from Joshimath. A bus conductor visited the ticket counter and requested the ticket counter person to hire his bus service for next day Rishikesh to Joshimath journey. He requested the ticket counter person to start advance ticket booking immediately.

Ok – He said.

How much for tomorrow’s ticket for two passengers journeys to Joshimath? – I question.

Rs. 670/- He said. That means Rs. 335/- per passenger. Paid. I was happy because during yatra days it is not easy to get tickets specially when there are only three buses.

Note: Badrinath is 44 Kms approx. from Joshimath. If in case you are getting advance bus tickets for Joshimath do not worry because from Joshimath one can hire a sharing jeep to reach Badrinath maybe same day or next day depending upon arrival of the bus.

G.M.O.U. Ltd. also provides bus services for Nandaprayag, Pauri, Gaurikund/Bukhhadtaal, Jaurasi/Hapla, Kandi, Sabdarkhal, Gopeshwar, Chamoli, Kotdwar, Chailusain/Devikhet, Srinagar, Amola and many more…

Share Jeep Journey Time from Govindghat to Rishikesh

This photo was taken at Govindghat, Chamoli, Uttarakhand.

(Distance/Altitude from Govindghat in Kms)

Ghangria 13/3650
Valley of Flowers – 17/3460
Hemkund Sahib – 19/4329
Rishikesh – 271

After completing Ghangaria to Govindghat journey, we decided to stay for a night at Gurudwara, Govindghat. At 2 pm (opening time of counter) we were provided dormitory for a night stay by the counter officials. And it is Free service. No charges.

Next is to search availability of share jeep for Rishikesh?

Upon the query with locals we were told to visit Badrinath highway but as per our findings there was no such sharing jeep available. We were guided towards the main market, Gurudwara Road.

Yes, there was a shop that runs sharing jeep service. We decided to pay in-advance to book front seats but we were told to visit early morning between 4:30 – 5:00 am and pay on the spot.

Next day early morning wake up and a visit to langar inside Gurudwara for tea and at 4:30 we arrive at the same location. The jeep (yellow number plate) was parked. At 4:45 am the driver of the jeep was there. Within minutes eight more passengers arrive and by 5 am we were on our journey towards Rishikesh. Before the start of the journey, I purchased one litre mineral water bottle for Rs. 25.

10 am the driver stop the jeep opposite Nagrasu Gurudwara. We had bread butter breakfast.

1:30 pm we were at Devprayag.

4:00 pm we reached Rishikesh.

Total journey time by share jeep from Govinghat to Rishikesh was 11 hours including break for tea, breakfast and snacks.

Helpful Friends during My Journey to Hemkunt Sahib

(top left) Veer Bahadur (center) is a Kandi wala originally from Nepal. He was carrying my luggage during my journey to Hemkund Sahib.

(bottom left) Anup Rawat takes care of the mule. He helped me to cross the first glacier. He is from a village nearby Pipalkoti, Chamoli, Uttarakhand.

(top right) Kishan is a porter from Ghangaria. He helped me to cross the glacier during my return journey from Hemkund Sahib.

(bottom right) Shyam Bahadur is a Kandi wala originally from Nepal. He was carrying my luggage during the return journey.

How much Time I took to Trek from Ghangaria to Hemkund Sahib?

This photo was taken at Hemkund Lake, Hemkund Sahib, Chamoli, Uttarakhand.

4:30 am we were getting ready for next 6 km steep trek.

Had a bath with Rs. 50 hot water bucket.

5:30 am we started Ghangaria Hemkund trek.

5:45 we were walking nearby a waterfall while having a look at frozen water.

We cross a bridge over Pushpawati River flowing from Valley of Flowers.

(Valley of Flowers is 3 km from Ghangaria Village. The trek is nearby. Currently gates closed)

7:20 am i.e., after almost 2 hours of steep trekking we stop for breakfast.

7:45 am we re-started our journey. Many times during the trek I thought of hiring mule but NO.

10:20 am we reached the first glacier. This is the point where mules/horses journey ends.

Note: One can reach Ghangaria Village from Govindghat via Helicopter, trekking, mule, kandi or palki but from Ghangaria trekking, mule, kandi, palki is the only option till you reach the first glacier.

The first glacier was approx. 20 meters in length and maybe 6 feet wide. The valley down below was clearly visible. I tried to cross on own and slipped in the middle of the glacier but I was in control. I stop self for further walking. Anup Rawat – a horse man was standing alone on the other side of the glacier. I requested him to come. He helped to cross the first glacier.

Thank you – said I and a small amount of donation for his help.

Second glacier was not too far. The stony path was clear with no snow. Easy cross this time. Further stony trek from both sides was covered with thick layers of snow.

One can hear Shabad Kirtan the moment one is nearby glaciers. Nishan Sahib (Sikh holy triangular yellow/orange color flag) is also visible. The distance to trek is approx. 2 – 3 km yet. The 5 – 6 feet wide path is one sided covered with snow and other side is a deep valley also covered with snow. It was a new experience because I haven’t trek within snow till-date. Thoroughly enjoyed.

12:30 noon hours we reached Hemkund Sahib.

Total Trek Time from Ghangaria Village to Hemkund Sahib was 7 hours approx. including break-time.

While returning Hemkund Sahib to Ghangaria we started our journey at 2 pm after listening Ardās.

Nobody is allowed to stay at night at Hemkund Sahib. Most of the pilgrims start their journey after 2 pm.

3:10 pm I crossed the second glacier with the help of a porter – Kishan.

3:30 pm we stop for Aaloo Paratha + Tea (Rs. 40 + 20 each)

6:00 pm we reached Ghangaria.

Total Trek Time from Hemkund Sahib to Ghangaria Village was 4 hours approx. including break-time.

In short I haven’t done trekking a lot, but I have to say Hemkund Sahib visit was the best I had till-date. Little costly because hotel rates the minimum I found was Rs. 800 for single bed with attach bathroom/toilet. Food was costly too but still picturesque trek indeed.