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राजनीति नहीं, निर्णय करो, राजधानी गैरसैंण गोषित करो.....!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Part 1.3 NA

sunset in Nepal

a small part of the peak can be seen

now it starts getting dark

day 10

night # 9 was extremely cold. just too cold ... maybe it was a sign of the things to come. heavy rainfall in bona for three-four days. then this spell of bitterly cold weather....i should have sensed..a snowfall is imminent. i had a lot to eat for dinner, so i had to really get up early for the loo. so i got up at around 4:30 to go to the bathroom. brrr...the water was bitterly cold....then i just thought of roaming around and checking out the beauty of that place at dawn. it was still pretty dark with some orange coloured bulbs lighting up the place slightly. so i placed the camera on the tripod and opened up the shutter for 10 seconds. the result is the "night photo" of narayan ashram.

in the hills i have a reason to get up early - to catch the wonderful sunrise. well, that day was slightly cloudy, so not much of a sunrise could be seen. however, even the cloudy morning was very beautiful. the mist was dancing around the mighty api-nama peaks of nepal.

the views from narayan ashram are a nature photographer's delight ... in all seasons (since the hills look beautiful even when covered with mists). imagine yourself standing on narayan ashram...a small outctop of flat land on an otherwise steep hillside ridge. i mean, it is not as if narayan ashram is like a normal huse in the hills (with a drop on one side and the hill on three sides). since it is on the edge of a ridge, you have a drop on three sides and the hill on one side. so it is almost a 270 degree view that you can see. First look towards the tibet can see the Kali river flowing down from a very narrow valley. then u have, on the true left of kali nadi, a peak which resembles a shivling and the next peak which resembles the forehead of lord shiva. om parvat is behind this peak. it will surely be a wonderful place to is from here that the kali nadi originates (from a small town known as kalapani). now, as u trace the flow of kali nadi, on one side will lie the mountains of the kingdom of nepal and on the other side is india.....from where u r standing and have a bird's eye view of the surroundings. The major mountain in nepal is the api nama is around 25000 feet high (that is pretty high by any standards). it towers above the other mountains in the region. now, follow the kali nadi further down, as it heads towards dharchula. the peaks on the nepal side give way to grassy bugyals, covered by snow at this time of the year. wow, what a sight. and some people think that the scenes of james bond in her majesty's secret service are very beautiful (where he goes secretly into blofeld's clinic). well, they should see this....nepal looks so beautiful from the top. it is a pity that its politicians have made life miserable for the people of nepal. these bugyals then give way to the deodar, rhododendrons and bhojpatra trees.

now, turn a bit more and cross the kali river. have a look at the peaks on the indian sides. first, you see some bugyals above dharchula which lead to the massive chipla kedar peak. it is around 17000 feet high. below the chipla kedar peaks, you can see the entrance to the darma valley. narayan ashram is a bit high up, otherwise you could also have seen the confluence of the kali and the gori ganga. there are many small villages and fields (terrace farms) around the kali and dhauli ganga rivers. then, the villages give way to forests, which finally give way to bugyals (meadows). above the bugyals are the snow capped peaks. the major indian peak next to the kali river is the chipla kedar peak, which is surrounded by the chipla kedar bugyal. this leads to the jimba glacier, which finally leads to panchchuli nad nagling peaks. you cannot see panchchuli from narayan ashram, but i was told that a small trek to narayan peak nearby yields a view of panchchuli and gurla mandhata (in tibet). gurla mandhata is the highest mountain next to lake mansarover in tibet and is also the highest peak in the kailash mountain range, which is the home to lord shiva and the holiest site for hindus, buddhists, tibetans, jains and bons (original tibetan faith). on the way to narayan ashram, you pass the villages of pangu and soso (or sosa). from these villages, the himkhola peaks are also visible ... in fact, they are around 4-5 kms walk from these villages..will definitely try them out someday.
i enjoyed my early morning view thooughly..even though the sun was behind the clouds. there is something magical about the views from this place, something that puts you on a higher spiritual plane. after some time smira also got up and joined me in exploring the temple. soon, the staff (the three guys who look aftert he temple in the winters) also got up and went around with their daily chores. pretty soon, the small doggies also got up and were jumping all around the place. the small ones were in a very playful mood and were bothering the big one. finally, the big doggie got angry and barked loudly at them....(coz they were biting his tail). that drove them off - for some time at least. the folks at the ashram made some hot chai (tea) which was followed by a breakfast of paranthas. yummy.
there was a windmill also present at the ashram. on climbing a little way up, we found another small temple inside the woods. there was some thick layers of snow at some places. we made a small snowman from this...but it was very cold on the hands. and finally we put one of my gloves as his hat and a piece of wood as a nose. some small black berries growing around in the bushes served as his eyes. :-)
after having explored narayan ashram, we decided that it was time to leave back for dharchula. there was the afternoon jeep, on which we hitched a lift back to dharchula. there were some amazing scenes of the river dhauli ganga fromt he top. we reached dharchula without any incident. however, on reaching back, we found that the whole TRC had been booked because some politician was coming there for a rally. Mr. Arya, however, utilised his resources and booked a room for us (he simply said that to fight with the politicians is his job, we should just take the room and rest).

my favourite pic of narayan ashram, taken at 4:30 am.
shutter time = 10 secs, self timer, tripod used to minimise any shaking of the camera by hand

first rays to touch the chipla kedar range

chipla kedar range..leading into darma valley

close up of the chipla kedar range

close up of the chipla kedar peaks...bona is on the other side

these peaks lead up to panchchuli

now i have turned the camera towards nepal side...tjhis is nepal...api nama peak

it is almost 25000 feet high

this is the shivling peak...the stripes in the snow seem almost like a shivling and hence the name

more close up of the mountains in nepal


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