Saturday, 5 August 2017

Tapovan : A Life Time experience - Part - 3

Weather was clear but cold when I wake up in the morning. I move straight to Ashram for tea and breakfast. Then pack-up my tent and sleeping bag dump them in the Ashram coz Amit told me I can get everything in another ashram at Tapovan. After done all packing I start trek. Today’s trek would be straight till Goumukh but after Gaumukh it will be difficult. I start trek in sunny and bright weather. Few small and naughty clouds are playing with deep blue sky. Though trek is plain but whole path is rocky, on which I have to be careful with balance otherwise my feet can be bend between rocks…

 Anyway keep the road aside but scenario is still beautiful. River Bhagirathi is flowing like serpent with roaring voice colorful jungle is giving the essence of springtime. Above all huge Himalayan peaks are showing their strong presences. Till the Goumukh many devotees are walking in groups. As I like walking alone, so I am trying to walk fast so that no one can bother me.  After three hours of trekking, I reach Gaumukh…

 It says Goumukh is a source of River Ganga. Shape of this source is like cow’s mouth so it’s called Goumukh. Goumukh Glacier is the largest glacier of Asia too. I want to go to near to the source but Amit told me in warning tone- it is dangerous so better not to go near. Stones fall every time from upward and melting snow pieces are making it more dangerous. Then I went near to the River Bhagirathi to touch the water, which is chilled and few saints are bathing in this chilled water. Strange…

I sit silently in one place and gaze around. Whole valley surrounded with stunning Himalayan Peaks. Deep blue sky is adding more charm in the beauty with small naughty clouds. I can hear slow rhythmic sound of river Bhagirathi. This is the only sound, which is breaking the silence of the place. I am indulging deep and deep into the spell of nature.  I am here to feel the voice of my inner, to search myself, to listen my inner sole…

 I am still in this spell when suddenly Amit comes and tell me to start trek for Tapovan, which is straight up from here. He takes me to the place from where we will start. I look upward where no any path exists. Only I can see the brown heap of mud. I confirm again but Amit says - this is the path. I place my first step on this heap and I almost shout – oh!!!  this is slippery!!!  Then I scrutinize the path intensely and find that the path is a mixture of mud and melting snow. Actually I am walking on glacier and in hot weather snow is melting and making slippery mixture with mud. Small rolling stones are making this more strenuous…

Gomukh is now leaving behind and I am moving up. Jungle has vanished and brown dry mountains have taken place in scenario. In many places, I saw deep crevasses. If anyone will slip inside these crevasses, no one can save them. These are the killer cracks. I remember what Amit told me about his friends who died in such type of crevasses in Kalinidikhal trek…

 Anyway, trek is getting tough and scorching sun is no mood of mercy. The only charm in this struggle is beautiful Himalaya and Deep blue sky with naughty clouds. I take rest for a while and then start walking again. It is too steep up and now I am struggling for every step and want to sit after every step but Amit not letting me rest. When I have trekked much then Amit told me near small water fall – You can rest here. This place is cold too. Before Amit completes his sentence I already put my rucksack down. Amit look at me with giggle and says – you may take long rest here because after this final ascend is difficult though it’s not very long…

When I sit near water I notice few black birds hovering over me. These birds are not crow. After a while birds start coming to me and trying to snatch food from my hand. This is Yellow Billed Choug bird. This is smellier to the crow but size of the bird is small and beak color is yellow. In the higher altitude they don’t get food easily so they come to humans for the search of food. Anyway I ask to Amit – Amit do you know the bird? Which bird is this? Answer he gives is the funniest answer. He innocently replied like an expert – Ma’am this is Chinese crow. In winters when china’s weather becomes cold they come here for warmth. I didn’t say anything just smile…   

After this short break I again start trekking. Though I am only few steps ahead but every step is becoming heavier. My breaths are going abnormal and I am drenched in sweat. I struggle for each step. I want to take long rest after every step. I saw upward from where Amit shouting – Madam just two more steps and you will be in Tapovan. I hear his voice and want to run but my steps are not moving. I sit down for a while and when I stand up I finish my trek in four or five steps…

 I put my last step and I was on Tapovan. I saw a huge field covered with dry yellow brown grass and huge Himalaya peaks. I sign with relief and lie down on earth. There is nothing between me and sky. Though sky has been covered by the grey clouds but still I keep watching sky and then close my eyes. I was feeling so light and relax that I fall asleep for a while…



  1. Hello Vineeta,
    Wonderful shots.
    Great the shots between the big mountains. Amazing!!

    Greetings, Marco

  2. Beautiful images Vineeta, the mountains and the Yellow billed Choug.

  3. I always enjoy reading ur travelogues! It is my dream to visit the holy Gaumukh. b'ful pics and lovely write up! :)

  4. I'm very impressed that you made this difficult trek. I know I couldn't do it, but I appreciate that you let us go along with you through your gorgeous photos. The sky is amazing, and the mountains majestically beautiful.

  5. Amazing - such beautiful scenery and it must feel like a real accomplishment to make that trek.

  6. Is the bird an Alpine Chough? If so I saw some in Switzerland last month as well.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  7. Excellent photos. Thanks for sharing. I have heard of Gaumukh. Thanks for the detailed travelogue.

  8. I am delighted to see that you have posted again and thank you for finding my erstwhile blog that I put aside intermittently in the summer. The skies beauty cannot be a distraction and it appears that one must be constantly aware of where one steps.
    There is so much meaning to life when one is living their dreams and it's important to walk fast so no one bothers you.

  9. Dear Vineeta believe me or not I waited for this post.

    Each step I felt walking along you .plain but Rocky way or melting glacier I am with you listening river (I didn't like snakes so please don't give the lovely river that name it's request )

    High peaks of Himalaya are beyond appreciation dear.

    I too love to walk and sit alone like you .
    Your last para is absorbing. I wish here where nothing is between You and blue sky you can meet you!

  10. Chinese crow! I like that answer :)

  11. Wow you are an amazing girl! Hats off to you for all your adventures! Beautiful photographs!

  12. Trekking is adventurous and so your effort is praiseworthy.Beautiful clicks.

  13. I can't believe that i missed this bEAUTIFUL piece of you heavenly journey dear Vineeta!

    and thank you for sharing these glorious sights which make my soul fresh and alive!!!
    i am really sorry that i totally forgot to wish you the happy birthday of your beautiful country ,may you see many more within

  14. एक -दो बात समझ नहीं आई ! आपने अपना टेंट और स्लीपिंग बैग पहले वाले आश्रम में क्यों छोड़ दिया ? दुसरे आश्रम में , जो तपोवन में है , वहां सब मिल जाता है !! मतलब आराम से रुका जा सकता है बिना टेंट और स्लीपिंग बैग के ? दूसरी बात , जहां क्रिकेट हो रहा है वहां कुछ दो - तीन छोटी छोटी दूकान बनी हैं , ये ही आश्रम है ? बढ़िया ट्रैक चल रहा है अभी तक तो , थकान तो होती ही है और मुझे तो ऐसी जगह हल्की हलकी धुप में नींद बहुत आती है :)