This ONE word brings goosebumps onto me.
The majesty, beauty and mystery around the Himalayas always attract me to travel there every year.
My whole life changed when I went to the Himalayas and took bath in an Ice-Cold Freezing Lake 14000 Ft high in Hemkund, Himalayas.
This happyness retreat journey helped me to heal my Karmas by dissolving them in the pure air and water in the Himalayas and being truly blessed for higher success, happiness, health and wealth.
Now, I have taken this as a mission to heal 1000 people in next 5 years!
As a part of my mission, this year(2017) I organized this happyness retreat one more time to the Himalayas along with 18 participants from various parts of the country.
This post is all about our group’s recent trip to the Himalayas and key learnings’ from this life transforming journey.
So, are you ready to travel with me to The Himalayas through this colourful article filled with photos, videos and graphics?
Seat Belts ON…Vrooooomm….
The starting point of our group is Dehradun Airport and all of us planned and reached at the same time. Our Itinerary was an interesting one. I take my group to 5-6 different destinations – each one unique in its own experience.
- Haridwar Ganga Arthi
- Valley of Flowers
- Hemkund Lake
- BONUS – Joshimath – Adi Sankaracharya Mutt and the 2500 yr old Kalpa Vriksha Tree
Day 1- Haridwar Ganga Arthi
It is very difficult to say when the tradition of Ganga Aarti started. However, the Ganga Aarti at Har Ki Pauri was started by Pundit Madan Mohan Malviya in the 1910s. Recently he was awarded as “Bharat Ratna” highest civilian award by Indian Govt. The small island in front of Har Ki Pauri Ghat is named after him.
You must see the energy and the power this place accumulates on a daily basis. The sound of the mighty Ganges, the Chanting of music and mantras, bustle and hustle of thousands and thousands of devotees here is a mesmerizing scene.
Check out this video
You can even take bath in the Ganges here…it’s worth cleansing your body and soul. This is a healing water and yes, it heals your karmas. Ignore when someone says, its muddy or dirty etc….It is flowing in super high speed and no way for any impurities and contamination. But just be careful to hold onto the railings to avoid the water current take you to a different dimension(Lol)
Day 2: Was a full day road trip from Haridwar to Joshimath where we stayed over night in an amazing resort. Check out this quick video tour…
Day 3: Joshimath to Gangharia
From Joshimath, we travelled by road for 45 minutes to reach Govindghat from where the Trekking begins.
On our way, you must visit Vishnu Prayag – which is a beautiful and blissful location. The local people do their final rites for the deceased ones here and float the body in the Ganga later. We even did a small prayer for some of our beloved deceased here…
Remember to buy your ponchos(use and throw rain covers) before you start your trekking. This is the starting point of trek from Govindghat to Ghangaria…Here we come the Himalayas…It takes approximately 5-6 hours if you walk slowly and steadily to reach Ghangaria village.
Day 4: Gangharia to Valley of Flowers Trekking
There is an amazing place in this trek, where you should sit and meditate under the river bed of Pushpawathi. You will find yourself taken to another dimension of existence when you sit and meditate here. Watch the video below to know more about this.
Many get tired after reaching the valley of flowers entrance itself. It is a 87 sq km valley and the beauty of this valley lies deep inside. When you start early, you can trek 4-5 kms inside the valley to see innumerable flowers all across. The flowers keep changing every fortnight too. That’s why you cannot see all 500+ species of flowers at one time.
Day 5: Gangharia to Hemkund Lake
The best recommendation for this day is to take the Pony Ride to Hemkund due to two specific reasons
- Your legs are already aching from the previous day trekking
- Hemkund is a very steep trek and you have to climb additional 2000ft high altitude
Traveling in a pony is a skill and an art. Pony will always walk on the ridge only. But don’t worry, nothing will happen because these are well-trained ponies and you have to trust them. Just be cautious when you come down from Hemkund.
In any trekking, coming down will be more strenuous and dangerous than climbing up. Trekking down takes a huge toll on your knee cap, inner thighs and your toes. Remember to clip your toe nails before you attemp to trek down.
Taking 7 dips in the Hemkund is one of the primary reason for the trip itself. It’s ice-cold freezing water and hence mental preparation is required before you take your holy dip.
I took the whole group through a small orientation on Chakras and a basic Chakra Meditation before the holy dip.
BTW, don’t forget to have the yummy Langar and hot Chai in the Hemkund Gurudwara…
Day 6: Ghangaria-Govindghat-Badrinath-Mana
The best option is to quickly descend down from Gangharia to Govindghat so that you can visit Badrinath if the roads are open.
My favourite choice is Helicopter ride from Ghangaria to Govindghat. What it takes 4 hours of trekking, can be completed in 4 mins(It additionally costs Rs.3230/- per head) – Totally worth buying this unique experience. Check out our video below…
Visiting Badrinath highly dependent upon the climate and landslides. There are few landslide prone areas on the way.
Previous two days the roads were completely closed due to multiple landslides. But our group were very lucky, they just opened the roads on the day we had planned.
Road trip to Badrinath and Mana involves mind blowing scenic views and worth taking the risk of travelling there. But you need to quickly finish the darshan and descend before it rains. Check out our tour video below
Mana is an amazing place to see – The Last Indian Village and the place where Pandavas ascended upwards from here and attained their samadhi. You can also visit Ved Vyas cave where he sat and dictated Mahabharatha to Lord Ganesha.
Day 7: Auli – India’s Switzerland (This is the Dessert of the whole trip)
Auli is one destination that all Indians must visit. It’s an International Skiing Destination and you can learn skiing in Jan-Mar of each year.
Auli will enthral you with lush green meadows everywhere. You can even view 180 degrees of Himalayas from here…You can view many Himalayan Peaks like Nanda Devi Peak, Drona Giri Peak etc.
The best section of Auli is the 800 mts travel in ChairLife. Can money buy happiness? Check out this video and you will learn that yes, money can unique experiences which are worth savouring..
Bonus Part of the trip was the unplanned visit to Joshimath from Auli.
There is Auli-Joshimath ropeway cable car available and it costs Rs.750 per head (up and down) and its a 22 minutes ride from the top of Auli to Joshimath below. I will strongly recommend you to take this ride and you will love this cable car ride.
We all came down in this ropeway and visit Adi Shankaracharya Mutt and the famous 2500-year-old Kalpa Vriksha Tree where Adi Shankara attained Enlightenment.
When you pray with complete surrender & faith under this tree, your desires gets manifested. That’s the power of this tree. The cave beneath the tree was full of energy and you can feel it even today.
Next day is again a full day road trip back to Haridwar where we all took rest to catch our return flights next day to our hometown.
This is just not a trip or trek, this is a journey of a life time. That too, when you travel with like minded people, the feeling and memory never go away.
Key Learnings from few participants of this year trip:-
I personally believe that Mother Nature is the best teacher and hence I asked my tour-mates to share some of their key learnings from this Himalayas 2017 trip.
Kalyani Hariharan- Zero Limits Coach, Corporate Trainer from Chennai
- Be extremely fit. So that as you trek, you do not miss the grandeur of nature.
- Our group met as strangers but by the time our trip ended, we came back bonded as life term friends. group dynamics matters
- The group leader has to be extremely balanced and lead us till the end of the journey. In Murali Sundaram, we had an apt leader and guide. Calm n composed, fun loving, tolerant, gave us space and at the same time was disciplined. He led by example and it was a smooth sailing all the way from start to finish.
Amruta Sumathi, HR Professional, Thyrocare, Mumbai
- Use the power of mind when your body doesn’t support and you will be surprised by your own potential
- People who travel on the journey are the ones who make the journey beautiful and joyful
- It doesn’t take days to build relations but the meeting of just 2 good hearts and few beautiful conversations
Few things which photos can’t depict and trip itinerary cannot cover
This trip also means
- Access to one of the purest forms of oxygen available on earth
- Beyond bisleri quality water flowing everywhere
- No AC for a week and yet feeling more than chilled
- My skin quality though tanned has become better than ever before (of course Mumbai water will get me soon)
- The cleanliness is indeed next to godliness and you realise India can be beautiful if kept clean
- A single eye contact and the locale are happier to welcome you to their place with very less calculation of what will I get from you
And most importantly, the world can run without you easily. So stress less and live in the moment to make yourself happy while you make others happy
Rakshanaa, Event Management, Chennai
- U can never become lonely anywhere around the world especially with people you don’t know before.
- I learnt how mentally strong when I trekked up and down the valley of flowers( ego played a major role in that as well)
- Love is everything and everywhere. Each and everyone in the group showed all in the love within self and towards each and everyone in the group
- And top of all the above..the world which our parents have taught us is entirely different from the real world out here. Travelling helps us to learn more about the real world.
Aldrin, Civil Construction Business Owner, Chennai
- NEVER FAIL TO PREPARE – For any new venture, we have to prepare. We cannot pride over our past successes and achievements.
- ENJOY AND ADMIRE NATURE AT EVERY STAGE – Even if we don’t reach great heights as other trekkers, it’s good to enjoy the views at every stage. Don’t forget to celebrate small successes in your life.
- BE IN THE RIGHT GROUP – If you don’t surround yourself with the right kind of people, you will not be motivated by the things that you aspire to do.
Abirami, Teacher, Chennai
Wow.what a trip!!.journey to heaven and back, with a bunch of naughty angels👼🏻.Hats off👒 Murali sir for who you are.
1)This trip has proved that prayers are answered.
2)Take baby steps; if u cannot run
3)Bless everything and everyone
Shiny Suren, Sports Nutritionist, Chennai
Key learning from this trip
1) Nature is pure, overwhelming. Respect it. The valley was kept so well. Sweepers kept the place tidy. Truly commendable.
2) The pony guy, guide, staff in Ghangaria were helpful n caring. There s goodness everywhere.
3) Go with the flow. All that happens is for good.
Eswar, Financial Planner & Investment Advisor – Chennai
Learning in 3 Ps…
1) your body, a couple of months back with right breathing practices and also putting it through some strides, ideally doing a couple of 10kms gradient walk till you leave for the journey
2) your office, by adequately assigning the jobs to your 2nd line
3) your clients, by informing them of your absence (also activate out of office mail message before you leave)
1) your body, by buying the right gear (clothes, boots, storage) for the trek
2) your health, by carrying the medicines and the health snacks
3) the environment, by being disposing of the garbage you generate in the designated place.
1) by listening to the team leader instructions to the dot (pls keep your intelligence subdued for sometime)
2) by being the Skateboard which can carry people and not the deadwood people need to carry
3) by enjoying every experience we come across, may it be the rains when you climb, or the fog that engulfed the glorious view, or the potato & Magi food options, or the careless horse that tosses you while getting down the slope (stop cribbing and start living – because we all came for the experience of the wild and not the air-conditioned comforts of a resort)
Thank you, Murali, for the meticulously planning and executing this tour. It is god’s desire we visit these places holding you as our crutches.
You have been very patient with our rowdy gang.
Thank you, team, for the fabulous moments that you all gave me and Eswari. I never felt all of you were strangers. It seemed as if we knew each other for many years. It was just one big family with No Ego (oxymoron for sure)
Balaji, Software Professional, Chennai & Kuwait
Top three which I would want to implement in my life would go as below :
1) Never give up: The barriers are not real and are only imaginary. Break your barriers and go beyond …Set the target and achieve your targets even if you take baby steps. Plan your targets, use the resources provided and take actions to achieve your milestones:
2) Plan your targets, use the resources provided and take actions to achieve your milestones.
3) Energy in the group drives you to achieve what the group/individual has desired for:
Arti Kagodu, Software Professional – Bangalore
This trip has been an amazing experience..and as the itinerary mentioned “Cleansing of your Karma” and “Experience of your life Time ” it did cover all
The 3 key main points to take from this journey is :
- Never give up attitude” God has a purpose for your pain, A reason for your struggle and a gift for your faithfulness…Don’t give up, Especially the Hemkund 7 dips in the ice cold water.
- “Calm and composed nature and the correct attitude can win million Hearts”. This special learning I take from Murali Sir.
- “Doing what you like is freedom and Liking what you do is happiness”This trek gave me time to spend with my self especially without phone☺☺enjoying the lashing green nature, The mountains, The fresh air and the rains..wow the picture will remain fresh in my mind for days to come.
I would sincerely like to thank Murali Sir for this great experience which words cannot express.
Ganesh, Visa & Immigration Specialist, Chennai
My top 3 learnings from this Himalayas trip are:
1) Get out of your comfort zone once in a while and enjoy Mother Nature at its best
2) Be yourself completely with no worries and expectations
3) Be brave, take risks. Nothing can substitute the experience
And finally, our group is the best of the lot with positive energy all around
Thanks to Murali for organising a great 👍🏽 tour which is priceless, limitless and stress-less
Sasipriya, Home-Maker, Coimbatore
My top 3 learning from this trip are
- There is nothing like diving out of our comfort zone to make yourself realize that you are a newbie in life and no matter what of your age
- You are never alone. You can make friends anywhere
- You meet unforgettable people. Understood a different way of life and learned to change quickly
Watch some Video Feedback from participants below…
My special Gratitude to my great friend Devkanth & his wife Seema for living out their passion in life. Being a company secretary he resigned his job and fell in love with this Himalayan beauty spot. Every year Dev and his team of highly commited guides help me and my team go through a fabulous mind blowing experience.
BTW, you should for sure, check out his new resort in Auli – Blue Poppy Resort. It’s a jaw-dropping experience staying there in his Auli Huts…Thank you Dev!
If you are interested to be part of this experience, join me for the Himalayas 2018 tour from Aug 04 – Aug 12th 2018.
For more information, comment below with your name and email address. I will mail you details regarding the next year program.
Remember, this is a once in a life time experience for many and hence you need to plan well in advance.
If you think you can, YOU CAN!
Himalayas 2018 Calling YOU…