Underneath the angry sky, Pushing against the angry gales, I venture in the wild. I have seen a dream once, There’s something draped in gold, Waiting for me beyond . In pursuit of that reverie, I fought a war against the wild, But the war never seemed to end! When, finally the sun shone, The glory beyond seemed futile, As my heart breathed pleasures of the wild!
The pic above is of Chandra River in the Lahaul region of Himachal Pradesh. The weather turned bad and the icy gales were pushing us from the road . In spite of harsh weather and freezing temperature of -10°c or more I somehow clicked this beauty in its full glory.
When nothing in life makes sense, when you feel lost in the polluted urban jungle which you call home, then you have to go back to your roots, the wilderness from where your species evolved. That place, those mountains from where you truly belong.
After another difficult year , I decided to go for another Himalayan trek in the last week of October 2021 and my destination was Kuari Pass which lies at 3876m height (from sea level) in the Garhwal region of Himalayas ,Uttarakhand.
It was an autumn season in the Garhwal Himalayas and the entire trail was coloured in green , brown and golden colours. You can only see snow above 4100 meters at various mountain peaks that surround you through out the trek.
Some of the peaks that takes your breath away during this trek are Mt. Dronagiri (7066m), Mt Kamet (7756m ), Mt Nanda Devi (7816m) and the nearest to Kuari pass, Mt Pangarchulla (4575m). You feel their presence like a shadow through out the trek.
The trek starts from Dhak Village in Joshimath (about 513km from New Delhi) and from there the entire trail is a steep ascend. The trail takes you through beautiful Deodar and oak forest called as Tali . From your camp in tali forest , you ascend above tree line, walk through golden bushes and various ridges to reach Kuari pass summit. And from there you return back to your camp in Tali forest.
From Tali forest camp you then trek to magnificent Tali Lake and descend to Auli via Gorsan Bugyal, a breath taking green meadow. From Auli you finally return back to Joshimath via ropeway which in itself a breath-taking experience. The entire duration of the trek is 4 days.
The entire trail is covered in snow from December to march and since this trek was firstly explored by Lord Curzon during British rule, it is also known as Lord Curzon Trail.
The Glistening forests , the shining bushes, walking among clouds and the stunning view of the lake were the hallmarks of the entire trek. Camping in the middle of a Himalayan forest and the stunning milky way galaxy watching you from above during chilly nights , is an experience that you will never forget.
These wilderness pushes you towards your roots, which is free from all tainted thoughts you have spoilt yourself with. And when you finally get to know what wrong you have done it is often too late.
So travel, trek to these places and see yourself correcting yourself with each heavy breath you take during the ascend.
The following pics are from my recent trek to Kuari Pass in Garhwal Himalayas, Joshimath Uttarakhand ( about which I will write soon). It was like a fairy tale, the clouds greeted us when we were descending from the summit . It was a mesmerizing, poetic moment that took away all the pains we have gone throughout the ascend.
There is no better way to feel life in its purest form than trekking to the mountains.
The sweat, the pumping hearts, the icy headwinds, the frozen boots and the pain that shatters your ego, you feel it all. You are nothing against the force of nature, against the mighty Himalayas.
I missed it badly throughout the lockdown. And so to quench my wanderlust I recently trekked to Kedarkantha peak with 24 other adventure seekers.
The trek starts from a small village Sankri which is about 186 km from Dehradun and 432 km from Delhi. It is one of the best winter treks in the Indian Himalayas as you get a lot of snow and 360 degree view of the surrounding peaks from the summit. It is a four day long trek.
You witness the beauty of snow laden pine trees ,a mesmerizing frozen lake by the name of “Juda Ka Talab” and the breathtaking beauty of Himalayas from the peak which is at an altitude of 3800 meters. The summit push in the early morning at about 3 am in the dark is the most thrilling part of the trek.
It becomes tricky near the summit as you walk on a narrow ridge with the slopes downhill on either sides. These slopes remain fully covered with snow throughout the winters. The howling gales try to push you and any wrong step can make you fall straight down the hill, sliding through the snow.
In spite of all such ordeals you are rewarded with the breathtaking view of sun rise from behind the snow laden Himalayan peaks.
The 360 degree view of the nearby peaks from the summit makes it more special . When you reach the summit you find yourself among the surrounding peaks which are no longer above you but beside you. You are continuously hit by the icy winds and you struggle to capture the moments with your bare hands. It is a kind of adventure your soul desperately craves for !
These mountains are waiting for you, waiting for you to come out of urban chaos and find your true self in the wilderness of nature.
There is nothing in this world that can challenge the magnificence of nature. No human is above it, it will always survive the jolts of pandemic we struggle to face. It was there before our existence and will continue to thrive after we perish. Respecting it can only help us to exist a little bit longer.