Friday, 18 August 2017

Tapovan : A Life Time Experience - Part - 4

After almost half-n hour, I wake up and move towards Babaji’s Hut. There I saw a man wearing trek-suit, sunglass and covered his head with white cloth. His curly and knotted hairs are poking out from the head cloth. Babaji looks me when I greet him. He greets me back with hand gesture. Amit introduce me to Babaji and says – He is Mauni Baba (reticent hermit). He doesn’t speak to anybody. He explains his feelings through the hand gestures. I know him from many years so I understand his language. After introduction, I sit at verandah where Amit serve me tea in small steel glass. With the sip of tea, I saw the group of blue sheep moving in front of Babaji’s hut where a little creek is flowing. I ask about the creek to Amit. He tells me – This is Aakas Ganga comes from Peak Shivlinga and merge with River Bhagirathi in Gaumukh. River Aakash Ganga is a real source of River Ganga...

I am so much exhaust so I only watch them moving around with the sip of tea. After a while when I get my breath back I slowly went to near the place to observe them roaming freely. I am amaze to see that they are so confident that I am not gonna harm to them. One baby Blue Sheep comes in front of my camera lens and then his or her mother come and take him off from my camera. They are running and eating and drinking water and relaxing and enjoying warmth in frosty temperature. They show every possible drama in this open amphitheater of nature. Then suddenly all went far away from my eyes. I turn back after watching the refreshing show…

By the time, I back Amit call me for lunch. I went into the Babaji’s small but neat and clean corrugated roof hut made of stones. Mud floor has covered with woolen mats. Hut is warm and cozy. In one corner, Babaji’s kitchen existing where he makes food on kerosene stove. Babaji serves Khichdi, which is no doubt very tasty. After lunch Amit show me my hut which is same like Babaji’s hut. In one corner of this hut has temple and in other corner Babaji has stored bedding for the guests who stay here. I take my bedding place it on the floor and I lie down for some time…

In the evening I went for a long walk near to the River Akash Ganga. Suddenly weather become nasty and snow fall starts. I can see the snow flacks falling on my face and on my clothes. I am far from my hut which is scary because there is no any shelter where I can hide. It is a big relief to see one hut in distant. I walk towards hut to get shelter. One more Babaji (hermit) welcome me there. I am surprise to see him because I was thinking hut is deserted. Anyway, I greet to Babaji and went near to the hut. He lit the fire and asks me to come near it. He asks me after some time – am I here for trekking ? I nodded my head in yes…

Now when I am comfortable I saw the Babaji. Copper color face normal eyes long mated locks hair tie on head sweet spoken person is a Baba’ji. I ask him about him – he says with very soft voice – I am Sai Muni. Living here for Tapshya (meditation). He invites me inside the hut, which is same like Mauni Babaji’s hut. Burning kerosene stove to make herbal tea he said – I have cooking gas too but gas has been finished and its not easy to get gas cylinder here in this altitude so I use kerosene stove too. He offers me tea and says – Its herbal tea. It will give you warmth in this weather. I take a first sip and really, tea is very flavorsome. I can feel the flavor of different herbs. With the sip of tea he tells me about him and says – Life is very difficult here in winters. In coming winter, I might go somewhere else for meditation. After spend a good time with him I turn back. However Its not snow fall now but very chilly…

It is almost dark when I reach to my hut and Amit calls for dinner. Dinner is another delicacy in 5000 mt altitude. Babaji serves me delicious green vegetable with fried yellow lentil dal and rice. Amit Tell me that babaji is appreciating my efforts to reach in this height. After dinner he gives me boil water to drink with smiling face. I wash my pots and back to hut. Sky is crystal clear and stars are shining like a diamonds though chilly temperature is making it impossible to stay out...

I wake up early morning stars are still in the sky but soon it becomes sunrise.  Peak Bhagirathi, Peak Shivling, Peak Meru and other peaks are gleaming in the beauty of morning rays. I again go for a little walk. When I back Babaji gives me porridge for breakfast. After breakfast I pack my stuff and start return trek. This time trek would be steep descent. I cross this glacier patch fast before it gets hot and glacier start melting…

 From Goumukh trek is easy so I walk like a lazy girl. I can again feel the sound of River Bhagirathi, sound of cold chilly wind. I can be a part of huge mountains and snow peaks. I can again see the color of jungle. Now it’s time to leave everything behind, so not feeling good. I sit in a place to inhale this beauty inside me. I see the River which is bending between the valley here and sky is busy with nomad clouds. Everything is so pure and so beautiful. Yesterday when I was going to Tapovan all were coming near to me but now all are going away slowly slowly. This is the part of every trekking. With the very slow speed, I reach the campsite…

I reach ashram by lunch. After lunch, I pitch my tent. In dusk, I went for short walk near River Bhagirathi. Peaks are blazing in evening light however chilly winds are making temperature freezing. When I back entertaining and hilarious gully cricket match has been start but soon all went to the Ashram as it was seriously cold. I too went to Ashram for dinner. Sky is shining with lots of stars and galaxies but temperature is killing so I went into tent… 

Whole night I struggle with cold. When I wake up in the morning my tent had layered with frost. When I saw all around, it was frosty everywhere. Night must be chilly no doubt. Due to frost, my fingers get numb even inside the gloves. I try to fold my sleeping bag and remove my tent but my hands are still numb. I went to Ashram for the breakfast. When I back, sun has spread rays over the valley and white layer of frost has start melting slowly. I roam around in sun light to warm myself, then pack up everything, and get ready for trek…

 I am walking slowly as if I want to make distance longer. Its tough to get back from such places. With my every forward step, everything is leaving behind and I am going near to civilization again. Colorful jungle, huge peaks of Himalaya, River Bhagirathi everything is leaving behind. Though River Bhagirathi will be with me till Uttarakshi but yes this is the most beautiful part of River Bhagirathi with roaring voice. I am walking walking walking and just thinking of all these only. I am in my own when Amit stop me from behind and says _ we reached Chirbasa. Now take little rest then will move forward. I wanna tell him that I don’t wanna move but I know I have to go…

I stop in Chirbasa and I start getting the sign of civilization. In a small hut-restaurant I wanna drink tea and eat something but due to price issue I haven’t eat anything though I am badly hungry. I saw Maggi’s Noodle packets here, which have been banned in all over India. Anyway I walk further and get away from the place. Trek is easy now and I am near to the Gangotri.  Soon leaving everything behind I reach Gangotri… 

In Gangotri I ate lunch and then after lots of struggle get taxi for Uttarakashi. I will stay in a same place at Uttarakhsi and next morning I will go to Dehradoon and then to Nainital. Bus and taxi journey is more tiresome then the trekking... 

After all struggles I spend, a beautiful and memorable time in trekking and now its time for rest at home…



  1. Hello Vineeta,
    This must be fantastic to be in real. So great to have this view.
    Wonderful shots!!

    Kind regards,

  2. Beautiful images of the mountains, lovely veiws.

  3. Nicely written. Beautiful pictures!!

  4. Wonderful photographs! You are leading a blessed life! Good on you!

  5. Awesome. Thanks for the beautiful photos.

  6. I want to visit India so bad now.

  7. What an extraordinarily beautiful place - it sounds like quite an adventure.

  8. Oh my your story is captivating and thank God i was able to enlarge the pics ,they are remarkably BEAUTIFUL!

    you will not forget a man with sign language ,how interesting na

    eating khichdi and then dal rice on such height is really a treat ,hope they reached to your mouth until they were hot :)

    You are sharing your mesmerizing journey so beautifully.
    sometime i want to join you .
    hope and wish and pray that your next visit to dehradoon would be more glorious .
    i wonder why the noodles are banned in india vineeta

  9. Very beautiful shots of the place. Nice snow peaks.

  10. Lovely pictures and nice write up.

  11. glorious...
    some places just sink deep in our emotions..

  12. Magnificent photographs.I enjoyed them.

  13. Wow ! I got the answers of all my questions in this last episode of the trek . Very well written and definitely encouraging me to go there once . Thank you for sharing details of a beautiful trek .

  14. Awesome blog, i always enjoy & read the post you are sharing. Thank for your very good article...!

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