Friday, 19 May 2017

Tapovan : A Life Time Experience - Part 2

When I wake up in morning, it was chilly. I get ready for trek and come to the market where Amit is waiting for me. Market is still close so I find out a small restaurant finish breakfast there and start trekking. After a while sun come out and valley get life again. After crossing long stairs through the narrow market my trek starts with steep ascend which is not very long. Now it’s plain walk along with roaring River Bhagirathi. Huge deodar trees making valley green. Sunlight coming through the leaves and giving pleasant feel of warmth. I can see many trekkers actually devotees who are going to Gaumukh but no one is going Tapovan…


Soon we reach to Forest Office where we paid rent for our stay in jungle. They alert us not to keep any plastic material with us because it is punishable offense.  I fulfill all the formalities and went off… 

Amit is walking fast but I am walking slow and inhaling every bit of this beauty. Many tributaries are flowing through the mountains and emerging into River Bhagirathi. I reach to ramshackle wooden bridge, which is lifeline here. When I put my first step on bridge whole valley echoed with creaky voice. It is late October and I am witnessing autumn here. Tree leaves are turning yellow and red and making valley paradise. Below the path, River Bhagirathi is flowing and in front of me, great mighty Himalaya is showing its presence... 




Amit in only 24 yet and he has done many expeditions like Kamet, Mount Bhagirathi expedition, Kalindikhal Expedition and many more. He joined these expeditions as a porter. His family lives in village near Harsil and does farming. Amit support them financially by doing trekking as a porter and some time as a guide too. Really Courageous guy…

He becomes emotional when he talks about Kalindikhal Expedition. His two friends died there and their dead bodies disappeared into deep crevasse. He says with moist eyes – I don’t want to go there again and I never went there. This place is nightmare for me. I saw my two friends dying there in front of my eyes and I couldn’t do anything. He says – when my other friends go there they offer head cloth and shoes to them for their remembrance…

Bhagirathi is still with us roaring voice of Bhagirathi is echoing the valley. By now, we reach Chirbasa, a small resting point. One small shop is here but extremely expensive. One devotee family, two women, two men and a two months old baby, are going to Gaumukh to pay their votive offerings. Ladies are going by mules and men are walking. Women are wearing sari and cover their face completely. They are from Bihar. Man told me –my wife and me wished to Maa Ganga if we would have grandchild we will go to Gaumukh with baby to fulfill their votive. As they are from Bihar, which is plain and hot area so they are facing many troubles in hill. They never have been into hills before. I turn around to explore the place when I saw a man hanging on pole and doing some exercises. He dose exercises around 15 mintues. When he come down from pole I asked him why he is doing this ? he says cleaning sweat from brow – to keep body warm in this cold... and went off…   


I finish my food here, which I am carrying from Gangotri, and after this short break, I start trekking again. Amit has already left. After this break, trekking becomes strenuous. Scorching sun makes it more difficult. Due to landslide path is almost vanish and stones are falling from upward. Path becomes narrow and dangerous now. Here I saw few Blue sheep in group. They are running from one place to another to hide. River Bhagirathi is flowing with full volume and making landscape more alive. Two Nepali porters give me apple, which I wanted to buy in Harsil too. I am so glad and oblige to have them now. When I take first bite, it was so crispy and sweet…




By the time, I reach Bhojbasa, weather become strangely horrific and cold. Quick blizzard making it more horrible but luckily it stops soon but temperature is still cold. I pitch tent and put my bag inside. Bhagirathi is flowing near to my tent and from my tent window I can gaze the huge Bhagirathi Peak. Amit gets me tea from Ashram. I was drinking tea sitting into tent when suddenly I hear some voices. I come outside with curiosity where few locals are playing gully cricket in a field. I stand there to watch…

This cricket match is amazingly funny and extra ordinary. I have never seen cricket match in such funny way. There are different rules in this match, which is too unique, and the commentator is again a funny guy. He is comentrating in a hilarious way and implementing new rules in between the over according to his choice and mood. Political satires are also part of his commentary. Not only he but batsman, fielders and bowlers are equally funny. I was just laughing laughing and laughing. Two hours long this match is full of entrainment only… 


Temperature is freezing now. Amit calls me for Dinner at Ashram where everybody is coming for dinner. All sit on earth in a row and have food.  After dinner when I come to the tent, I saw huge galaxies in the sky. Sky is so clear and full of stars. I stand there for some time but cannot stand for long coz it is bone chilled cold. I enjoy this peace and beauty for a while then come to tent and sleep…

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Tapovan : A Life Time Experience – Part 1

After much confusion, I am finally packing my rucksack for adventures trek of Tapovan. It’s too dark when I wake up 3 ‘o clock and there are two reasons for this too dark. First, its night and second is no electricity since night. I somehow manage my works and off to station in wintry dark. Station is busy with buses so I struggle to find out bus for Haridwar and 6.30 am I starts journey. Bus is almost empty. In Rudrapur bus had an accident. Actually, driver left bus without lock. Suddenly bus starts moving forward but luckily, driver see and manages to jump inside and stop the bus. It could be a serious accident coz road was engage with paddlers. Bus reaches Haridwar by 2.30 and I went to Rishikesh from where I can get bus for Uttarkashi. Getting bus for Uttarkashi is another expedition coz no bus is going there and taxies are asking for high charges. After lots of struggles, I get taxi. Rishikesh is very hot but it becomes cold when taxi reaches upward. Taxi driver is less talkative short height chubby man. Road is stunning with beautiful valleys. On the way, I saw groups of nomads who are walking with their families, cattle and dogs. Nomad has always been my favorite. They walk in huge groups and every group has many buffalo. Local people always become happy to see them coz they are very lovable and trouble-free people. They sale milk and other milk products, which is only source of their income…  

Soon it become dark and villages are showing their presence through the light. Villages are blinking like stars in dark valley. Tihri Dam Reservoir is also showing presence through reflection in water. In Chamiyashoud village, I saw beautiful reflection of Tihri Dam Rservoir. I finish dinner on way and by the time, I reach my rest house in Uttarkashi it was 11.30…



I wake up 7’o clock in the morning. Temperature is pleasant yet. I went for short walk to the bank of River Bhagirathi, which is flowing, near to my rest house. River bank is dry and mining work is going on there. Far from this, I hear the prayer sound of primary school students who are singing national anthem with drumbeats. This made me nostalgic. When I was student, I used to do all these too. Hearing it again is good experience. After breakfast I off to shopping for trek in sultry weather but unfortunately, I could not get anything in Uttarakhshi’s unmanaged market. In this heat, getting taxi for Gangotri is another struggle. Though I get share taxi but taxi driver starts after 2 hours when taxi become full with passengers. Man sitting next to me is blind follower of RSS and spewing so much poison for others. This is sad to see that where we are going. What the fake reality is incubating in the brain of people on the name of patriotism and religion. Disgusting! He keeps talking about Hinduism and other topics. He is from Uttar Pradesh and going to Gaumukh…

Hence, for me it’s better to enjoy the beauty of mother nature. Bhagirathi is with us all the time. Somewhere it is broad and somewhere it’s narrow. Somewhere it is jumping through the high hills and somewhere it is flowing through the deep gorges. Somewhere color of water is bluish, somewhere it’s greenish, somewhere it is flowing like ribbon but every appearance of Bhagirathi is beautiful and gorgeous. Driver is insolent young guy. He is not stopping taxi anywhere. This valley is famous for apples. I see many apple orchards on the way and want to buy some but driver is not ready to stop. When I ask him to stop, he badly replies – I will not stop taxi anywhere. When taxi reaches Harsil, one more passenger, from Mumbai, wants to get out and see the open valley of Harsil for a while only but driver didn’t stop. Now it was height of his rudeness so I tell him – Is this the way you behave with tourists ? They are the source of your earning. You should pay some respect to them. They are not coming here again and again. But driver again rudely reply – I don’t want them to come here. You go back. We don’t need outsiders here in our area. This is unbelievable for me. I still remember the Kedarnath catastrophe when tourists stopped coming here. That time, these were the people, who were saying - We will die hungry if tourist will not come coz we have nothing else to do. How will we survive if tourist will stop coming. Now when tourists are coming they are behaving like this. Selfish people though I am not saying this to all... 




No doubt, scenario is beautiful but roads are not good. In every 5 minutes, roads are bumping like hell. However, the good part is now I can see the Himalaya. RSS follower says after watching the Himalaya first time – It’s not real, it’s not snow, mountain has been whitewashed in white color that’s why this is looking beautiful. Taxi reaches Gangotri by 5’oclock and I went to hotel, which I have already booked. I searched hotel with the help of locals, put my stuff there, and went to permit office to get permit for Tapovan... 




I also met my guide there and went into the office. When I entered, I saw huge pictures of blue sheep, which is, I can say the specialty of the Tapovan.  Permit officer is a nice person. He gives me form and asks about my guide because I cannot go without any guide. I introduce my guide to him and then he gave me permission with few important advices…

After finishing this I stroll in the small market of Gangotri. Worship paraphernalia, warm clothes, shoes, and food products are available here but prices!!! Price is what shopkeeper wants to take. They sell 10 rupees Maggi in 40 to 50 rupees. 15 rupees chocolate is around 50-60 rupees. Reason behind this loot is that it becomes very expensive due to transportation. I can understand the logic but cannot believe that it could be that expensive. Anyway strolling through the market, I reach to Gangotri Temple...


Constructed with white tiles Gangotri temple is far away from my imagination. When I reach, only few people were here but slowly devotees are increasing. Arti will start in a while. Main temple has covered with curtain before arti starts. Priest will do the arti in honor of River Bhagirathi. When arti starts, one more priest starts beating drum in rhythmic high volume and other priest holding huge wick lamp in his hand and moving it into circular movement. He is doing this with the drumbeats. All temple campus is echoing with this sound and it was so soothing that I sit peacefully until 45 minutes when arti stop.  Now I come to market again and finish dinner for which I paid two times more money… 

River Bhagirathi flowing just next to my hotel with gushing and roaring sound. Flow of the water is amazingly speedy. I spend whole night with this roaring sound…


Monday, 17 April 2017

Fine Winter Morning

It’s a fine winter morning when I was strolling around the Sattal Lake with my friend Muni, who is here in hills to cover the election news. Sattal is a beautiful place near Nainital…

After crossing few restaurants which are close in off season we reach near the lake. In winter morning lake was so calm and peaceful. Layer of fog was hovering over it and making it more attractive…

We took a long walk and enjoy the beauty of this beautiful lake in winter morning…

Few pictures of this lovely morning… 









Saturday, 25 March 2017

Brahmtaal Trek Through my Camera

I already had many most challenging and adventures experiences in Himalayas, but going into Himalaya again and again is not only challenge or experience or adventure for me. Himalaya is a place where I can unload all my brain-garbage and reconnect with me and my soul...
So I suddenly planned Brahmtaal trek and I proud my decision coz the trek was incredibly beautiful, pleasant and relaxing. Later on due to heavy snow fall trek became adventures too...
Situated at Chamoli district of Uttarakhand in altitude of 4000 meter, Brahmtaal offers a beautiful scenario of vast Himalayan peaks like Trishul, Nanda Ghunti, dense forest of Rhododendrons and huge meadows, locally know as Bugyal…
Here I am posting few pictures of my unforgettable trek. I Will write detail treklogue soon… 













Monday, 9 January 2017

My First post of new Year with full of memories


I was in Mussoorie, my Granny’s town after very long time.  When I reach there it was evening time and city was crowed for Christmas celebration. When I was child I used to come here every winter but since last many years I couldn’t come here…

My memories are stuck with my childhood days so I was still imagining something like that but when I first entered into city I was so amused.  I kept calling to myself – this is not my childhood Mussoorie. This place is some other place…

Crossing a long haphazard colony when I reach to market place, I was again amused. Nothing is there which I could recognize.  Everything is new, every construction is new. That old Charm of Mussoorie has been lost somewhere in the storm of development. Only few names are there which I am recognizing like Kulari Bazar, Landhor Bazar, Library, Kingrat Bus Station and only few old structures are there which are reminding me of old Mussoorie…

In my childhood I used to come to the market with my grand pa and he took me to the Paan (betel) shop from where he brought me a meeta paan (sweet betel) in every visit. But unfortunately no shop was there or maybe I could not recognize. I also used to go to deer park in mussoorie where we played with deers and my grand pa told me how to make friends with them. But now nobody could tell me anything about that deer park…

I got few things from there for me like hand-made leather shoes. When I ask to cobbler – once upon, few Chinese cobblers are also here – he said all are gone coz no business now. I am also thinking to close the shop. I got one coat and Ruskin Bond’s written story book too. Ruskin come to the shop every Saturday to the shop but this Saturday he is not able to come due to bad health.  I wish he will get well soon and next time I will surly meet him…

Jharipani road was muddy root but now its highway road and completely developed with lots of resorts and hotels. Even Barlowganj, where I am staying now, was jungle that time but it’s a complete town now…

Everything has been changed only few black & white memory remains…

 I turned back with heavy heart. When I was returning sun was going down and this is the only thing which is still not changed…     

Happy New Year To all my Blogger Friends.