Saturday, July 11, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

VALLEY OF GODS






day 5 : 23 dec ,2008
Today was the day we were going to reach the har ki dun .we started early around 7 am.crossed the bridge and took the slope up against the mountain facing us.about 20-25 minutes of vertical climbing we reached a ridge.it gave beautiful views of the river running to right of us.we had already gotten a taste of things of come.we then had a narrow path to traverse.the other way lead to osla village.on the way we stopped at the temple and accepted prasadh and continued our journey.then came a turn and a lonely house was in sight and our guide pointed to massive cliff ahead and said "thats where we were going".this time i felt i should make it somehow.probably i had gained confidence or because i had come so far there i knew there was no going back.whatever be it , we ploughed on and we steadily climbed the cliff.about 45 mins of climbing finally we came to a ridge.the views from the ridge was awesome.the deep valley and the river seemed so beautiful.we sat there enjoying the view for few minutes.then came the call of our porters "chalo chalo".we were driven like animals.they knew it was tough to make the last leg in winter and they were pushing us hard.again after another 50 minutes of climbing,we reached a level track.boy!did i feel happy.we rested a bit and moved along to find a camping settlement nearby.our guide had a chat with camp men as they were fellow guides and i enquired how much do we have to go .the guys cooly said just another 4 kms .my mind quickly comtemplated how difficult it would be if the 4 kms was the like terrain we covered.my head spun.i just sat there for few minutes enjoying the scene and when i got up i was ready.the way then, luckily was a terrain that went up and down .i quickly covered the down part and struggled with up part.soon we both the sides of track was covered with ice and thickness grew.it had happenned so quickly i hardly took a notice.i was walking through track in middle of sheet of ice.after considerable distance there came a cluster of trees giving looks of thick vegetation.it was amazing to walk through the trees.i wished i had lived there.it was like a dream land.And when we emerged from thicket the ice under our feet had gained in thickness.now it was ankle deep.slowy we covered ground.on way we met campers from settlement returning from har ki dun.the news was in the last leg , ice was knee deep.we ploughed on.After emerging from the mound earth i was finally able to see the har ki dun guest house.now rest of path had no track and ice was knee deep. i had no energy and provisions had gone before with the porters.then we realized the mighty mistake we had done.we had kept the gaiters in main bag and sent it along with porters.now there was no clear track and every step went into knee depth snow.walking had become a herculian task.my feet felt the chillness and shoe froze.i needed rest but could'nt stop for the risk of having snow bite.still it was a good 200m meter walk.neither could i shout nor would it be useful.slowly i walked towards the hut .I felt numbness in my feet and to make things worse i tripped and fell on my face .luckily i did'nt fall into the riverside .now my hands were full of snow and i started shivering .i just stood there for a moment i could see no porter coming back for me.all my mates had reached the house.i was the last.various thoughts rushed into my mind.for the first time i thought about my family .the harrowing thought of frozen to death shivered my bones.i took a deep breath and started walking agin.step by step i was close.i could sense the feeling of achieving something.the situation worsened my leg was completely numb now.i felt like my legs had become stone.i was going step by step with small targets in mind.my next target was a turn.i was on cloud 9 when i got to the turn.i could see the guest house clearly but happiness died soon as the path was not straight but winding.more distance.i felt a pang in my stomach. the guest house was 50 mts away.i yelled out.,no response.all were probably before fire or deep in blankets.with no response i continued my journey.as came closer ,my heart beat rose .i knew i was going to make it.the purpose of traveling all way from chennai , the himalayas will be conquered.childish for 3600 odd peak.but the sense of achievement in my mind pushed me till the door of guesthouse.i let out another yell "what the hell are you guys doing." my friends rushed and finally i had made it to the har ki dun.............TRULY THE VALLEY OF GODS .



TIPS:
dont forget to keep gaiters,ice axe in bag you carry on final day.drink as much water as possible.

GENERAL TIP:
dont engage any agency for har ki dun trek.in any season you can show up in sankri get a guide ,get rooms booked in sankri,taluka,seema,har ki dun.except har ki dun where guest house is like 20 bedder others have quite a big capacity (may be 30).you can get kerosene and stove in sankri.utensils the porters cum cook willl take care.bring toilet roll if you come in winter.you can get eggs in sankri.buy them.proivisions stores are avilable in sankri,taluka and osla.

The Real trek-taluka to Seema






day 4 : dec 22 ,2008
we started from taluka early ,expecting a long day.14 kms was ahead of us.we hadnt done much walking yesterday.i wished for a jeep track like i had wished never before.i had never trekked 14 kms and fear was in my mind than fun.i had done the exercises yet i could not stop getting the feeling i would get broken down half way through and my friends would have to drag my bum all way to seema. slowly i walked and today it seemed a lot easier.the demons in my mind were gone by sight of har ki dun -"the valley of gods".At the river crossing we tooka stop and again we continued .It was noon and the sun shone.but hardly the light pierced the thick vegetation.we met a french guy along the way who had come as solo traveller.He knew hindi which kind of makes things easier i guess.the route was tough it was constant gain of elevation and it looked like i was climbing an unending staircase.i would sit from time to time and my friends and porters would lift my spirits and i would walk.the day continued.finally after we reached a certain elevation village of gangad came into view.this was the first setllement i had see since i left taluka.it was perched on slopes of hills ands without transport and probably no electricityas well . i wondered how difficult the life of the people would be.But at the same time life couldnt be complex for them.they are'nt bound too much to achieve greater than thier neighbour's kid or thier cousin.there must be no greed amongst them as thier life is simple and rewarding..Everyday in thier life is just another day and days can easily roll into months and months into years.living here one forgets about time.To me they are the people who seemed to know the purpose of life and the way to live it .Nature though didnt give them the luxury of city life, had thought them lessons no iims and harvards could get into head of city brought ups.back again we continued our journey .after 4-5 kms we reached the settlement of seema.osla is the village which is perched on hill slopes about 2 kms away from seems.that is where you can get something.Seema consist of guesthouse,pwd and non functional shop(winter).

ambling to taluka







Day 3 : dec 21 ,2008
As the title suggests ,we ambled to taluka today.we got up nice and early at 7 but got ready around 9.we met our porters had our breakfast.started around 9:30 slowly we made our way through vistas of beutiful unknown trees.we could hear chirping of birds .the ground though rocky , was a jeepable track.i would have walked hardly a kilometer, my bag started pulling me.now i realised the gravity of the situation.i am going to trek to har ki dun at 3566 m and i was kind of feeling tired.sign i had overpacked.not good. slowly we made our way to taluka.One blunder we did throughout the trek was not to pack lunch.so we had to starve and trek .Not even biscuits.i had bought some amount of dry fruits and mixed tang in waterbottle.we saw jeeps plying between seema and taluka and i readily voted for taking them.in the rickety ride,i was contemplating how the hell am i going to finish the trek .salt to injury the guide showed me a towering peak and said that's where we are going to go.for the first time it looked ominous.we reached taluka around noon.got into guest house and went for photography session of the tons rivers.the children were disciplined and ready to pose with thier cute smile.the day ended witha good dinner prepared by our porters.there is dhaba at taluka also and it was functional.

Start of the trek





day 2 : 20 dec 2008
Today we a started early to catch the bus.it was a typical village bus.It was rickety from wear and tear.we found out why the bus was so from our journey.the journey was for 12 hours.first the roads were good.as we proceeded i could see valleys and river flowing parrllel to the bus .from time to time unknown peaks showed thier icy caps.the air was cool while the sun was pleasant.As i enjoyed the Scenary the time flew.the bus stopped at few places to pick up people and continues its journey.i took no notice of whats happening until my stomach grumbled aound 11.thank god the bus stopped for lunch.except the ashirvad of a pujari when bus stopped at a nowhere temple we reached govind national park.we were asked to get down and fill paper s and pay fee for trekking in the park.We had a little quarrel as how much we should pay and then we started the journey along the rocky mountain terrian.the last 10 kms was harrowing.the roads were so bad, i bumped so frequently into my neighbour he was pushed to edge of seat.finally around 5:30 we reacjhed sankri to just get the info the last jeep to taluka our next destination has just left..we opted to stay at sankhri and chowkidar was more than happy about our arrival.we got bed in the dorm for 150 but we were the only guys then.there is private lodge which i guess contains two rooms and dhaba ,good one, operational even in december.we had rotis and sabji for night from the dhab.they were just finger licking good.

The Arrival

Day 1,Dec 19 2008
This was the day we arrived via doon express to dehradun.The base for the trek.It was early in the morning.soon enough we were covered by autowalas.Soon we found a decent hotel to dump our bags.still it was 6am and since no shops would be oipened by then ,we decided to doze off.I never slept ,but laid in bed thinking about my himalayan trek.this was first of many to come perhaps.We started for moti bazaar around 9 am after after having parattas. we bought quite a lot.vegetables (quite cheap there),oil,potatoes,peas,rice,dal,stove,even ghee.we also enquired abiout terekking goods in many shops .notable is paramount.the guy boasts too much.let him talk you wil know.we got three down jackets from him.had no option.we also enquired about the bus from dehradoon to sankri the base.there are two buses that leaves d'doon for sankri.one at 5:30 going in roundaboutway to sankri.traveltime 12 hrs.another leaves at 6 00 am from main bus stand to sankri via mussorie.this is the short route.we took the 5:30 one thinking we would reach early.

info:
paramount enterprise :
contact for jackets,trekking goods.personally i recommend you go to shop and look for yourself.in my opinion he boasts too much.
91-9719511199
91-135-2658037

for buses contact Rajeev transporters
9837055997
0135624012
opposite to old bus stand.