A Sudden Plan


Recently, I came across a post on Instagram regarding the Adventurer Blog Contest organized by Bikat Adventures and thought of giving it a try. Bikat Adventures is a learning based adventure group that offers experience in Trekking, Rock Climbing, and Mountain Biking etc. Check their site for upcoming events.

It had been a very long time since I shared any travel experience after Adi-Kailash Trip. So here it goes –

One day, one of my friends pinged me on WhatsApp saying that she has not travelled for last few months and desperately needs one trip. I replied, asking her to suggest some places after which I would plan the travel. Shimla, Manali, Dalhousie and many more places were discussed. At last, we both agreed for Triund trekking in next 3 days. It is near Mcloedgunj in Himachal Pradesh. As travelling in group is more fun, I asked a few friends and cousins to join. So, the final count turned to 5 members for the trip.

As planned, we left for the bus station in Delhi on Friday night but our bus was 2 hours late. Hoping, the driver would cover this and reach Mcloedgunj on time, we happily took our seats and chit-chatted. We reached Mcloedgunj on Saturday morning by 8am. We freshened up and after having breakfast, reached the starting point of the trek and followed the trail to reach our destination. We saw few people had hired a horse/pony to enjoy the ride and reach the top. Most of them had kids along them. Otherwise, it is best to hike all the way.

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The initial path towards Triund…

The trek is full of rocky steps, stony path and tiring curves. We came across the best views of mountains and forests. We also relaxed in between the trek under the shade of trees and at refreshment shops that offered water and snacks. And you know the joy of eating a bowl of Maggi in hilly areas. The ambience was very calm and fresh. We also saw small streams throughout the trek.

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Oldest Chai Shop as it claimed since 1984!

On the way, while 2 friends were a bit behind rest of us, I thought of waiting for them and sat under a tree which was on the valley side. As 2 thick branches were at the back of me, I loosened my backpack. Then, assuming that the bag was resting on the branches, to relax my shoulder muscles, I literally took my hands off the straps and pheww… My bag rolled down the not-so-slant valley. I told my friends what happened. On hearing my situation, one of the local person asked me in which direction did it fall and whether it was light or heavy. I guess he was a lead of some travel group. As soon as I told him, without wasting a time, he went down jumping. We watched him as far as our eyes could and then he was not visible. We were discussing whether he is safe or not and whether he could find it or not. My friends were scolding me for my foolishness. And he appeared with my BAG… yeyyyee…!! He told that it had got stuck on some tree downwards. Thank god for that tree and big thanks to that unknown person who helped me. Who says without a motive, people don’t help these days. Selfless and helpful people still exist. After spending few minutes on this incident, we continued our trekking witnessing the flora and fauna of that area.

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This is where I sat and my bag rolled… behind me.. down the valley..

 

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Dense forest with different variety of trees and plants.

We walked for an hour or two more. At last, we could view the grassy meadows and breathed a sigh of relief but there was still a kilometer to reach. Enchanted with the scenery, we just sat on a big rock for some time. We got up and felt that we were struggling more to complete that last one kilometer.

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Relaxing though just a kilometer away and enjoying the beauty!

Finally, stepped into Triund by late noon after 4 hours of our start. These 4 hours included many breaks for pictures and actual breaks and of course that bag thing. Though it was a bit crowded due to its peak season, the panorama was amazing. We decided to explore more towards its other end adding a few more miles to our trekking. Triund is surrounded by astounding mountain ranges and appealing valleys.

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We hiked more from those huts seen at the left side to find less crowded area.

After a while, found a place with less crowd and put our bags in tents. Enjoyed our evening by roaming around with a cup of tea watching the beautiful hues of sunset and inhaling THE FRESH AIR which we normally don’t in cities. I realized that fresh air makes us happier.

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Waiting for Maggi.. and getting some warmth!
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Isn’t it a picture perfect?? Everything is so beautiful around us.
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Ideal place to meditate… 😉

While moving towards our tent, it started drizzling and in those few minutes only, a rainbow appeared too. It’s truly said that some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. We saw the beauty of the whole region from the top. It was a treat to our eyes. What a relaxation it was!

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Got blurred…
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Towards the other end of Triund, found this small temple.

I must say that night camping at Triund top is one of the best experiences even better than the day. There was cold breeze flowing during dinner time. The aroma of food wafted on the breeze and we savored every morsel of our food. Everyone was enjoying the night, singing, dancing, drinking and having a gala time with their dear ones. Sitting and gossiping beneath the starry sky, we admired the beautiful night.

I slept like a baby in the cozy sleeping bag and woke up to a fascinating sunrise. Asked my friends to wake up to view the morning beauty of Triund. We had experienced the shades of sunset followed by a night with billions of stars and then it was time for the warmth of sunrise.

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How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains!

After having hot yummy breakfast and clicking few more pictures, it was time to retrace our path back to Mcloedgunj and it was easier on the way back.

Triund trekking is relatively an easy trek, a beautiful walk and climb through forests. I believe, the trek is not too exhausting even for the first timers. It was one of the memorable treks I had and enjoyed every bend of its trail.

We came back to Delhi, mesmerized with a great feeling despite of tiring journey.

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Hum Paanch…..

Contest entry for The Adventurer Blog Contest May 2018 by Bikat Adventures“.

 

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MT. ADI-KAILASH : DAY 6 and Day 7… “JOLINGKONG”


“The poetry of the earth is never dead.”

After having our lunch, we packed our bags for Jolingkong. Finally, the day arrived to visit Mt. Adi-Kailash for which I waited so long.

While leaving KUTI.

It is a walk of 14 km to Jolingkong (4280Meters) from village Kuti.

Village Kuti was the last village to reach the Mt. Adi Kailash (6191 Meters).

Mt. Adi-Kailash popularly known as Chhota-Kailash, an ancient holy place and a very sacred peak is in Indian Territory, close to the Indian Tibetan border. It is an area of great natural beauty, peace and sovereignty.

Mt. Adi Kailash and Parvati Sarovar are the replica of Mount Kailash and Mansarover in Tibet.

An image resembling God Hanuman on the rocks!
An image resembling God Hanuman on the rocks! Can you see??
The initial path was a bit rocky.
The initial path was a bit rocky.
... upwards
… upwards
people of Satyuga (first era)  turned to stones..
people of Satyuga (first era) turned to stones..
variety of flowers!
variety of flowers on the way!

We were in the high Himalayas and 14km felt more like 20km, but the scenery was unbeatable. We stopped for a break and had snacks that we brought from the village. I felt really nice on relaxing on the lap of nature after trekking for few km. The flowing ice water was very clean and chilling! 🙂 🙂

snacks-time...
snacks-time…

No sooner we finished our snacks that the rain started. We quickly packed the things and put on the sheets and raincoats. Though it rained only for 15 min yet  a beautiful colorful rainbow appeared across the sky that is hardly seen in the busy big cities even after 24 hours rain!

beautiful rainbow after the rain.
beautiful rainbow!
All in a queue... Above is a flock of sheep and below are people!
all in a queue on their respective path… 🙂

Jolingkong  is one of the highest campsites on grassy lands and a spectacular view. At Jolingkong, we were welcomed by the snow clapped peaks all around and strong cold winds. We reached at late evening. There was a seasonal ITBP (India-Tibet Border Police) check post and rest houses. It was the Himalayan summer in the month of July, so there were long pleasant days and colder nights. We stayed there overnight at Fiber Huts. Those fiber huts were very warm, it did not seem as if there was cold outside. The dinner was damn tasty and after dinner all elders sang devotional songs of Lord Shiva! 🙂 🙂

Dinner time and Fiber huts.
Dinner time and Fiber huts.

After a sound sleep, we got up early morning and left the place for experiencing the morning sight of Mt. Adi-Kailash.

It's 6am
It’s 6am

As it rained at night also, the surroundings looked beautifully drenched. There were endless meadows full of flowers and snow covered peaks all around. I was very happy and believed myself too lucky to visit the God’s Abode!

Diamond dews...
Diamond dews on a wild plant…
Nature at its best!
Nature at its best!

We reached on the feet of Mt. Adi-Kailash soon but were not able to view it because of the morning fog. At 4600 Meters, Parvati Lake or Parvati Taal with its 1 km width is located nearby. It looked like a mirage in the high Himalayan landscape of snow peaks, glaciers and moraine.  There were water streams which seemed narrow from far but were not so when we went closer. We crossed the water streams naked feet for completing the circumference of the Lake. And believe me our feet became like ice,  insensitive and feeling less. Have a look!

the flowing water streams seemed narrow but weren't...
the flowing water streams seemed narrow but weren’t…

There is also a temple near the Lake. We also saw an animal found on those heights but seen very rarely. It’s named as “PHEA”. I was lucky to see it.

temple near the lake and an animal "Phea".
temple near the lake and an animal “Phea”.

After completing the round of the Lake, we went temple for prayer. The people have preserved their heritage assiduously. The offerings like God’s statue, metal diyas and sacred cloth were seen inside the temple. People also offered bells that were tied on the temple gate. The Parvati Taal was very quiet and calm.

Temple
Temple was built in 1972.
Parvati Lake or Parvati Taal
Parvati Lake or Parvati Taal

We finished our prayers and waited for the fog to get vanished. And after few minutes our long cherished dream fulfilled as we looked up on the magnificently crafted snow clapped peak of Mt. Adi Kailash. The view was very astonishing and breath-taking. 😀 😀

Mt. ADI-KAILASH... beautiful
The sacred Mt. ADI-KAILASH.

So, the main aim of the trekking was achieved. Then, we descended slowly relaxing on the carpet of leaves back to the village Kuti.

relaxing on carpet of leaves.
relaxing on carpet of leaves.
Glacier
Glacier
a log bridge to cross to reach the other side!
a log bridge to cross to reach the other side!

Next day we left village Kuti. We retraced our path back to Dharchula and its more relaxed and easier on the way back, even with longer distances, trust me. It took only 2 days to return unlike 3 and a half days while going. We came back  satisfied and mesmerized with a divine feeling despite tiring journey. 🙂

I hope the readers remember that during the Adi-Kailash Yatra, we came across the mighty splendor of the snow peaks of Himalayas, the gushing Kali river, thick Forest, rare variation of flora-fauna and number of waterfalls.

 Hope you liked this trip and its related posts!

It’s a long challenging trek, yes; worth it, YES YES…!! 😀

Would you like to visit??

//

MT. ADI-KAILASH : DAY 4 and Day 5 … Village “KUTI”


” Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”

So true the above saying is. One who sees the nature so close, comes near to a life!

We left Nabi in the morning and the panoramic view of snow clapped peaks was really beautiful.

How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains!
How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains!

I have so much to write and just a post seems less to do so. Still, I’ll try.

From Nabi we walked along the bank of  Kuti river viewing peaks and forests. There was no more climbing further but a plain path next to the river. That path follows the river closely as it heads through pleasant scenery towards a place called Nayal. Nayal is a stoppage/rest place between Nabi and Kuti where people have tea and food. But during our time, the shop was closed due to some important work of the shopkeeper. This journey to Nayal was amazingly great. Crossed the ways by talking, laughing and eating the last pack of chocolates. 😛 😉  As we were moving towards the higher altitude, the drinking water seemed like a LIMCA because of its color. I thought it was dirty water but my mother told that the water was coming from the melting glaciers that’s why its color was milky white! 🙂 🙂

From village "NABI" to a place called "NAYAL".
From village “NABI” to a place called “NAYAL”.
Meeting of "JANKUNG" river and "KALI" river.
Meeting of “JANKUNG” river and “KUTI” river (right side).
"JHIPPUs" quenching their thirst...
“JHIPPUs” quenching their thirst…
Beside the river "KALI"
Beside the river “KUTI”
Variety of flowers on the way...
Variety of flowers on the way…

We walked for many hours. In the afternoon we saw the entry gate to the village Kuti and breathed a sigh of relief. So happy I was. 😀 😀

But something different was stored in for us. No sooner we saw the gate than it started drizzling. I was feeling too tired to put on the raincoat but the surrounding was looking incredible. And lost in its beauty I forgot to take snaps while drizzling. 😦

But it stopped after a while. 🙂 🙂

After we walked for hours, saw the entry gate to the village "KUTI" and felt so happy!
The entry gate to the village “KUTI” or GATEWAY TO HEAVEN.

After I entered,  what I saw…  OMG! Yes, a beautiful village is fine but OMG was for that there were 3kms more to reach the village. That meant earlier I got happy without knowing that I have few miles more to go. So, anyhow completed those few miles.

I had heard a lot about village Kuti and when I reached there I discovered that all of it was even more beautiful, even more amazing than I had imagined. Until I came here, I thought the words beginning with “un” referred to things negative… But on seeing this place I uttered few words like UN-believable, UN-imaginable, UN-spoilt, UN-stressed, UN-usual, UN-expected, UN-rivalled… 🙂

Kuti (3600 Meters) is the last village on this trek. It is said that the village is named after Kunti, the mother of Pandavas who stayed there for some time. The picture of the Pandava Fort is below.

The "PANDAVA FORT"
The “PANDAVA FORT”

Village Kuti is wow.. picturesque! It is a world out there in the high Himalaya, a world very different from ours, away from pollution and noise, covered by greenery and quietness, secluded by default, ways away from any road, a world that defies physical boundaries, where people live to live and not anything sophisticated, a world beyond all else. 🙂

Above is the view of village "KUTI" from the entry gate and below is the view of the way we crossed after entering gate.
Above is the village “KUTI” and below is the way we crossed after entering gate taken from the village (look the entry gate itself is not visible).
Snow covers only one side of that mountain.
Snow covers only one side of that mountain.

Near the village, we saw a crowd gathered. After a while, I got to know that people were bidding adieu to a couple and so praying together and wishing for their safe journey. Great example of togetherness. Isn’t it?? The meeting ground was named after the memory of a person whose name was engraved on a large stone (Late Shri Khipaal) in 1980s. This meeting ground is also given a name as “CHYAKTI GROUND” by the ITBP ( Indo-Tibetan Border Police).

This meeting ground is given a name as "CHYAKTI GROUND".
The “CHYAKTI GROUND”.
As voice can't be heard far off so they prefer waving their shawls to say good-bye...
As voice can’t be heard far off so they prefer waving their shawls to say good-bye…

Meeting all the people there and bidding adieu to the couples, I reached my mother’s home. Then was the actual sigh of relief than the one I took looking at the entry gate.  😛  Not to mention, the exquisite wooden homes with beautiful engravings were at least 200 years old. Small rooms with small doors and windows looked cute.

My mom's house with beautiful engravings and a kitchen.
My mom’s house with beautiful engravings and a kitchen.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Here comes the cute princess...
Here comes the cute princess…

Met my grandmother and all the relatives. I felt really glad meeting them after such a long time. Then had hot Marjya(butter tea). It is produced by continuously boiling the tea twigs till it achieves the brown color. It is then poured into a cylinder (tea churns) with fresh butter and salt which is then shaken and served. Tea churn can be seen in the picture of kitchen above. When a churn is not available, a bowl and rapid stirring is suffice. It is a very warming drink, providing lots of energy and is particularly suited to high altitudes. Besides, we had the local cuisine ideal for that altitude and environment.

I couldn’t have asked for a better location and a better time for rest and acclimatization. 🙂 🙂

"MARJYA" or butter tea
“MARJYA” or butter tea
Meal for all..
Meal for all..
ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) always present for help.
ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) always present for any help.

Next morning, we went to the worship place to attend the important event. The worship place or the Dev Sthal was very clean and quiet. Group of people came to perform acts of religious honor or devotion. In the main worship area, people tied pieces of white cloth to the branches as their prayers. Food and sweets were kept as offerings to the God. Animal sacrifice is the ritual killing of an animal as part of a religion. Mainly goats and roosters are sacrificed.

"DEV STHAL" or "ABODE OF GODS" ,  a place of worship!
Above is the view of “DEV STHAL” or “ABODE OF GODS” , a place of worship! Below is the view of goats on the hill…
Main worship area and the "LAMA" or high priest sitting in between.
Main worship area and the “LAMA” or high priest of the village sitting in between.
Offerings to the God. The head of the cock/rooster is offered to the LAMA of the village..
Offerings to the God. The head of the cock/rooster is offered to the LAMA of the village.
All gathered for worship. Above are the brides for their after-marriage ceremony which is a compulsory.
All gathered for worship. Above are the brides for their after-marriage ceremony which is compulsory.

After completing the prayers, we all returned back with prasad (food that has first been offered to the God). It was a great day and a good opportunity to see the religious rituals.

My handsome Uncle.
My handsome Uncle.
cuteness personified!
cuteness personified!

The next day was planned for Jolingkong (4280M) where the Mt. Adi-Kailash is and which is the main theme of these posts. It is 14km from Kuti.  I was very much excited to visit Jolingkong. After having dinner had a good sound sleep mixed with excitement. 😉 😛

How about taking a short trip to that world?

Till then wait for the next post! 🙂

MT. ADI-KAILASH : DAY 2


“Great things are done when men and mountains meet.  This is not done by jostling in the street.”

After spending night at Malpa, we continued our trekking in the morning…

We enjoyed the numerous springs and water falls with awesome surroundings…
Can you see a person going through that slippery path??
We saw many beautiful creatures on the way!
Age is a question of mind over matter.If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.
We enjoyed hot tea at a place named “LAMAREY”.
Wild and beautiful…
After a steep climb we crossed a beautiful hill jungle and reached a village “BUDI” (2740 Meters).

Wooh… tired of walking.. time to rest!

And the beautiful place was “CHHIYALEKH” (3350 meters) which is a vast plateau full of colorful wild flowers and marvelous view of mountains , peaks and glaciers.
Enjoyed a nice and relaxing descent on a carpet of leaves!
“NEPAL” is situated on the other side of river and presents a splendid view of “Adi-Nampa” peaks.
After few km from Chhiyalekh there is steep descent that led us to a village “GARBYANG”.
In the late evening we reached “GARBYANG”, a village with leaning houses that goes 2 inches beneath ground every year, a village with cream-powder kind of soil…

So, after having dinner, we spent that night at Garbyang.

Wait till next morning for further trip! 🙂 🙂

Hope you liked this day.  🙂

MT. ADI-KAILASH : DAY 1


“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.”

Few time back due to a cultural ceremony, I got a chance to trek to Adi-Kailash. My mother told me that I went there when I was 3 years old. So, re-visiting Adi-Kailash after 18 years was full of excitement. Truly speaking, I enjoyed the journey more.

MT. ADI-KAILASH – popularly known as CHHOTA-KAILASH, is in Indian territory, close to the Indian-Tibetan border. Adi-Kailash is situated at an altitude of 15500 feet and is the replica of the MOUNT KAILASH.

Here, I would like to share one of the most exciting and adventurous trekking I experienced.

From LUCKNOW (Uttar Pradesh) we reached KATHGODAM (Uttarakhand) by train in the morning and took a jeep to DHARCHULA, as road is the only route to travel thereafter. Dharchula is situated on the banks of Kali River. On the other side of river, it is NEPAL.

The trekking begins and ends at TAWAGHAT which is the confluence of KALI and EAST DHAULI rivers and there is a trek of about 100 km. In this very exciting trekking region of Adi-Kailash Yatra, you will come across the mighty splendour of the Himalayan peaks, lush green valleys, the gushing KALI and KUTI rivers, thick forest, and rare variation of fruits and number of water falls. You also get a chance of understanding the social and cultural life of BHOTIA people living in the BYAS valley. Travel permit is required from the District Magistrate, PITHORAGARH.

After a night’s stay at Dharchula, we left for Tawaghat by jeep. But on the way to Tawaghat, we saw-

Landslide at CHETAL DHAR… few meters before we reached TAWAGHAT. Landslide occurred due to the drilling of machines used for building road!
We walked through the dangerous marshy path… But thank God, there was natural running water to clean the mess! 🙂
Reached GARBA DHAR and started trekking to reach the top, way to which is through the plants!
Then, at BINJUKUTE we had an awesome breakfast! 😛
Often found there… from the family of CHAMELEONS.
Miles to go before I sleep… Miles to go before I sleep!!
People tie piece of cloth and keep stones in the name of the Almighty God and pray for their save journey! These can be seen throughout the way…
Waterfall tucked between the rocks and forest.
Beautifully grown WILD MUSHROOM…
We walked courageously beside the KALI River’s roar.
Quite Quiet! 🙂
Spent a night at a small place named “MALPA”. Food was really delicious. And the total cost for fooding and lodging for 7 people was only Rs.700/-. Isn’t it Unbelievable!

Hope, you liked it and find the further posts more interesting!!