How you/your family plan or know about this trip? Is this self-organized or organized by some travel agencies?
‘The Trip’ we can say was more like pilgrimage, organized by the group of Late Lilaba Aanand Garba Mandal (a sort of non-profit organization of devotees). They had distributed pamphlet advertisements months prior to the trip, which had most of the information like schedule and what things to expect on this Haridwar visit.
For how many days it is?
The schedule was of 12 days – from Ahmedabad to Ahmedabad. Out of 12 days, we spent near about 4 days traveling between Ahmedabad – Haridwar & Badrinath.
What is the route of your trip?
Lok Shakti Exp. was our train. In a normal situation, it takes near about 26 hrs to reach Haridwar from Ahmedabad Jn.. In which it passes through the Aravalli mountains between Gujarat & Rajasthan. Next to it comes the wide open fields of Rajasthan. Last major junction prior to Gurgaon is Jaipur. After that train passes through Delhi city, instantly reminded why it is called one of the most polluted city of country. Before reaching Haridwar, train passes from many major cities of UP too.
Share your thoughts on one of the best destinations for your trip?
If you are traveling by bus in high altitude areas, the destination just a place. Real destination is the road leading to the place. (Unless you get sick of curvy roads and frequent altitude changes.) The mountains and the greenery – jungle area and the small waterfalls and above all you breathe some fresh air. The road is the destination… (For the place which I liked to be at was Mana, located little above Badrinath)
Where you stay and how you arrange the stay during this time?
Mostly everything – including lunch and dinner – was arranged by the organizers. Our stay was at ‘Gita Mandir’, both at Haridwar and Badrinath, and we were provided regular Gujarati food during this period.
What is the most memorable/enjoyable time for this trip?
I have visited Haridwar and Badrinath with my family when I was 13. Re-living those faded childhood memories and moments, seeing and remembering some of the places which I visited… It was the best part of this trip.
How much this trip cost to you?
The cost was ₹6000/- per person for the whole trip – Ahmedabad to Ahmedabad – all included. We just had to bear some little expanse of local travel from our stay and more if we want to do nearby site visits. Rishikesh & Mussoorie are well-known places near Haridwar.
Is there any recommendation to our reader who is planning to go for the same kind of trip? The recommendation like travel agencies, hotels, bus, car etc
Based on the conditions and what it was supposed to be (‘A pilgrimage’), it was a good overall experience. Since everything was well organized, we had no issues. Travel was okay. But if someone visit these places planned with some travel agency, they can expect much better experience.
According to you when we should plan these type of trips.
Badrinath temple is open for six months every year (near between the end of April and the beginning of November), because of extreme weather conditions in the Himalaya. Any time after April and before starting of Monsoon can be ideal to visit this places.
Is the trip worth seeing?
Yes, it was, but ‘seeing’ is not the proper word here. Badrinath is one of the four places called ‘Char Dham’ which a Hinduism follower should visit at least once in a lifetime.