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…


  1. Ohh my God Such wonderful photoes!Just like i have been dreaming the place looks like:)))

  2. Brilliant Vineeta, fancy waking up to heaven.

  3. Wow!! Brilliant photography!!

  4. Hello Vineeta,
    What a fantastic place. So great and impressive to see this area.

    Greetings, Marco

  5. Magnificent captures, Vineeta.

  6. Excellent narration. Breath taking photos. Thanks for sharing with us.

  7. To be so laughingly entertained with a cricket game is a final salute to the evening. I know
    how delicious a crisp apple can be as I have an apple every morning. I enjoy the hotos.

  8. Oh dear Vineeta i am so excited to be part of your amazing journey!!!

    Thank you for sharing your experience in such intriguing way.
    you succeeded to made me feel to be there among these marvelous mountains and along with singing river,all is so overwhelming and captivating.
    i felt sorry for Amit who lost his friends in one his expeditions ,may his heart get peace .
    i never saw blue sheep must be wonderful to watch them.
    your match story is so amusing! glad you enjoyed and also glad that finally you got your fav apple too.
    i can imagine the enchantment of night view ,must be magical!!!

  9. Wow - what an extraordinary trip. Those are mountains I'd love to see.

  10. Beautiful images, standing up high, thanks Vineeta.

  11. What a fabulous variety of scenery! It is so amazing to see these lovely vistas! Thanks for sharing them.

  12. What a fabulous place for trekking!! and amazing pictures of tapovan. Thank you for sharing this article.. Thank you so much Vineeta.

  13. In this trekking, the thing I love most is "the galaxies in the sky", but I also enjoyed all the nature through my senses, though nature can be neutrally unkind sometimes. So sad about the disappearance of the dead bodies into the crevasse.


  14. Great experience and great pictures.

  15. I really do need to get further away from Delhi the next time I am in India.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne