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Deep in the gorge that it carves through the Himalayas, the Alaknanda River rushed beneath a footbridge. On the right bank sat a busy Indian village, Govindghat, its one street lined with spartan hotels and shops brimming with Sikh religious items and souvenirs. On the left bank, a man wearing a frayed sweater-vest and a ski cap greeted me imploringly.
“Horse?” he asked, hoping I would hire his mules to haul me and my pack up the path to Ghangaria, an isolated mountain hamlet in Uttarakhand state. Ghangaria is the base for visiting the legendary Valley of Flowers National Park — where... (more)
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