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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Har ki Dun trip - day 4

Day 4 of the trek. Today we went from seema village to har ki dun. it was around 14 kms of a "tough" trek. actually, it would have been easier but there was a lot of snow on the way, so it got tougher after the mid way point...but hey - the views were some of the best you can see anywhere in this world.

early morning, after the guide had made the break fast, we left the guest house. i decided not to carry my entire luggage but just some essentials like the toilet bag, etc. the rest of the stuff was to be left in the forest guest house.

we immediately turned left, crossed the bridge and started climbing up .... today was a day of soem BIG climbs. after climbing some distance you can turn left to go to osla village or right to go to har ki dun. there were many village women in osla who were fetching a file of hay from the surrounding areas on their backs.

now, as u go towards har ki dun, u go in a roughly northern direction. so the sun shall rise from ur right hand side (that will be the true left of the rupin stream). i got some snaps of the rising sun ... it looked pretty good.

the guest house (both frest n gmvnl). we left early morning and then had to climb up .... really up...

har ki dun in early morning. the peaks get teh sunlight before the valleys

sunrise in the himalayas

kedarkanta range coming slowly into view

after climbing up, u could look down on the other side of the valley and spot the path to ruinsara tal. it was heavily covered by snow. guess very little sunlight falls on that part of the valley. it then turns right and heads towardsthe banderpoonch range.

looking back...

Path to ruinsara tal and the back side of the banderpoonch range..

Pretty soon chaukhamba/swargarohini came into view. but i could not get many snaps of it as the camera's lenses froze and did not budge. they got working again when i reached the mid way point.

as we were going up, i met a group of ppl from the naval shipyard at vizag coming down. they had gone one day before us and were one of the first ppl going up that season. also, some clouds had started gathering. it seemed as if there might be a rainfall/snowfall later in the day.

the clouds come in...

this is one of the highest points in the trek. after this, the route turns sharply to the left and the har ki dun valley suddenly comes into sight. the beauty of this place has to be seen to be belived..

the magnificient hkd valley comes into sight. wow, man, being there is an experience.

i rested at the turning point and admired the beauty of the place. the vizag team was returning from hkd and i met some of them on the way back. the guide had earlier called the forest guest house caretaker to come with us. he anmd the guide went ahead to get some food ready.

check out the snow that has accumulated over a stream. this can be a bit dangerous to cross.

i rested at the turn and then proceeded ahead. the path now goes down..thank god!!! but the snow patches became more and more frequent. i lost myself for some time..and went off a path that ended in a dead end. i saw that the correct path was below me and the hill was too steep to climb down. so i had to backtrack.

after going down for 2 or 3 kms the path now levels out and slowly slowly it starts going up again. there were many places where u had to jump across some narrow streams, which were covered with ice. can be a bit dangerous if u don't know where the ice will break.

there were some stunning views of which i captured some. but folks, believe me - a camera does not do justice to this place. u gotta go there to see it n enjoy it.

now the path stopped going down. instead, it slowly turned up. and the ice patches got thicker n thicker. normally, it would have been a normal leisurely walk, but walking in the snow was pretty touch. u had to watch out where u step (coz the ice might suddenly give way) and it was getting very very very cold. the guide had gone ahead. a small flake fell in front of me .... snow!!!

now the snow patches increased in size n frequency. and there was still the last 2 - 3 kms left .. which is a very tough climb.

slowly but steadily, the snowflakes also increased. soon, it was snowing. cold..but beautifiul. everything was soooooo quiet...and the snow fell like cotton, dancing up n down. i slipped a few times n got my gloves wet.

soon, it became very tough to walk. u had to fight for every step coz there was continuous snow and it was really very tough to walk. u had to struggle with every step. was it worth it?? oh hell yeah .. dude, the beauty of that place is worth ten more tough treks like this. that's why it's called "har ki dun" (shiva's valley). this is a place that is to be enjoyed by a God!!!.

somehow ... just somehow ... i managed to reach the forest guest house. it was looking sooo beautiful, but my hands were too frozen stiff to even take out the camera and click the snaps.
snow was falling heavily now, the whole valley was silent....there was no other human, absolutely no one else out htere, except me. i climbed on a small ridge and saw the forest guest house some way ahead. the path was now then crossed a river (even the bridge was made of yellow painted wood and it was covered with snow). the scene seemd straight out of a christmas carol. but poor lil me was too cold to click some snaps.
i struggled with every step..and finally managed to reach the forest guest house. the guide n the forest guard were already inside, cooking some food on a fire.

there was at least 4 feet of snow accumulated outside the forest guest house. only after sitting next to the fire for some time did i venture near the door n window to take some snaps.

i managed to capture the falling snow in this one

we had a mixture ofrice n maggie for supper. after the snow had stopped falling, i ventured outside abd tried to take some snaps. the scenes were mind blowing. u could see the swargarohini peak right in front of u. wonder how could the pandavas have climbed on top of such a cold peak???
the sky was forming some really strange colours. u will never se anything liek it in the plains.

the guide n the forest guard cooking food

pretty soon, with the dimming light, i also decided to turn in. i slept in a separate house n the guide n chowkidar slept in a separate smaller house. they had kept a warm rug for me. there was an adjacent bathroom. but that place does not have any electricity, and at this time of the running water. so it was a bit scary to spend the nigth in that place all alone.

there was some food left which the guide left for me. i decided to have it in the night. finally, i went off to sleep, tired by the day's walk. i was a bit afraid if any roaming leopard will walk into the guest house. so i locked up all the doors and then it was zzzzzzzz.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great photos! Great landscape! I enjoyed a lot. Keep it up AlmoraboY! Thanks for sharing-

Thursday, September 14, 2006 at 7:26:00 PM GMT+5:30  
Blogger Harish said...

Thanks for sharing the wonderful experience with us.It is a pleasure to watch these snaps and for people who can't reach such heights gives them a very satisfying feeling after they see how beautiful the himalayas and UA is.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 at 1:52:00 PM GMT+5:30  
Blogger DevilsOwn said...

i must say you are a very good photographer Prashant....some camra angle are awesome...great pictures...Arin

Tuesday, June 10, 2008 at 11:19:00 AM GMT+5:30  
Blogger Hiten Bhatt said...

can you tell me your camera medel?

Friday, July 6, 2012 at 9:23:00 PM GMT+5:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So i been here in April 2012 and stayed in GMVN hut in will not believe that situation was worse then this guy explained in form...ut at the end of the day i enjoyed my trek....and that really matters to me.....

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 7:25:00 PM GMT+5:30  
Blogger Tom Kowalik said...

Prashant! I cannot begin to tell you how incredibly happy I am to have stumbled upon your blog. I've been given a last minute opportunity to travel to Chennai via my girlfriend's employer. I have nearly a month to travel on my own in Sept and Oct. and methinks Har ki Dun will be the final bookend on my trip to Uttarakhand!

Eudaemon (Tom Kowalik)

Monday, August 27, 2012 at 4:14:00 PM GMT+5:30  

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