Hey, folks! so here I am back, filled with the same excitement to share with you all, the third and concluding part of my travelogue trilogy “My First Trek: A Lifetime Experience”. I would like to begin this with two mind-blowing, very beautiful pictures. The first one was clicked in wee hours of the morning, by our ATL Siddharth. He is a wonderful guy, a bit reticent (as I felt 🙂 ) and very passionate about trekking and driving.
The second picture, resembling a painting, as the sun kissed the peak of Mt. Trishul, was clicked by our co-trekker Kanchan, a software engineer by profession.
Like last two days, we started the day with the same routine; dismantled our tents, had breakfast, followed by the stretching session but this time a brand new hoax by Gourab, “Agar koi 7:45 tak ready nahi hua to main use yahi chor kar nikal jaunga!! Views miss kiya to meri koi jimmedari nahi. Main pictures kheench kar WhatsApp kar dunga. Mujhe mat bolna baad me.” (“I shall leave those here only, who don’t get ready by 7:45 am. I will not be responsible if you miss the views. I’ll click the pictures and forward to them using WhatsApp. Don’t blame me afterward”). 😀 😀
Soon, we left our tents and started towards the meadows again. The first grand view, we were blessed with, belongs to Mt. Choukhamba. It is a mountain massif at the head of the Gangotri Glacier. Its main summit, Choukhamba I, is the highest peak in the group (23,419 ft) followed by Choukhamba II, III and IV at 23,196 ft, 22,949 ft and 22,487 ft respectively.
Now, we were in Bedni bugyal. Our destination for today was Bedni Top. It was the highest point of our trek at an elevation of 11,686 ft. Bedni bugyal is considered among the largest meadows in Asia. It’s quite familiar to the trekkers as it lies on the route of famous Roopkund trek, whereas Ali bugyal is a relatively new trek.
Walking slowly but steadily, we reached the Bedni top. The views of the great Himalayas from there were beyond our wildest imagination. I was completely lost in this captivating beauty of Mother Nature. It was like coming out of a charm when Gourab warmly congratulated everyone, but the most touching experience for me was sitting for almost 20 minutes in solitude in front of Mt. Trishul. I was fully mesmerized, spellbound, overwhelmed, silent like in the state of meditation, literally shivering with some unknown pleasure. Although I’ve seen Mt. Trishul from the Kausani side but this time it was entirely different and so grand and close. The entire face of Mt. Trishul (almost 6000-7000 ft.) was just in front of me at a stone-throw distance. It was simply divine.
Here I remember a famous quote ‘When everything seems like an uphill struggle, just think of the view from the top.’ And here follows the views.
We spent quite memorable time there. Gourab gave a postcard and pen to each and asked us to write something whatever we feel and to whomever we want. Siddharth took some shots from his drone too. Now was the time to say a bid adieu to those glorious massifs.
After the summit, we were going to camp in the dense forests of Gehroli Patal, at an elevation of 10,515 ft. It was a descend of around 1200 ft. During descent, we took a halt and refilled our water bottels at Bedni Kund, which is a sacred place for the locals.
Follows here are some pictures, taken while descending to Gehroli Patal.
If Abin Kharak was the the windiest campsite on the entire trek, this one was the greenest. In the late afternoon, we reached the campsite, the kitchen staff was ready with the lunch. We had our lunch sitting on the ground itself rather than going to the dining tent. Soon after it got over, now was the desending time for the sun. A simple sunset looked magical on the second consecutive day. We couldn’t take off our eyes away from the giant pink beauty.
For the night session, we went a little bit deep in the forest with minimum lights. There we switched off even those dim lights. In pitch dark, we tried to create a connection with nature by hugging and talking to the trees, spent some time there, watched a shooting star and took a pledge to save trees and nature to our best. It was an overwhelming experience for all those attended.
The last day in the wilderness started leisurely. We trekked to reach Wan village (motorable road starts from here) and boarded the cab for onward journey to the basecamp at Lohajung.
We crossed a rivulet Neel Ganga en route.
A commitment of Indiahikes is, ‘Not only leave no trace but leave the trails better than we found’ through their Green Trails project. To support the noble responsibility undertaken by Indiahikes (and now ours too) to leave mountains cleaner, we all had been provided a trash bag. We collected empty chips packets, chocolate wrappers, sharp pieces of broken glass, plastic water bottles, liquor bottles (even at Bedni top too) etc.
At every campsite and the basecamp, we segregated the trash, collected by each trekker. Our team did a fantastic job as our collection was the second highest. Kudos and proud for the team efforts but it was disheartening to find trash on such heavenly places and for that I’m ashamed. How people could do this..??
After dinner, we assembled for the last time for a debriefing session. It was a very emotional session in which everyone shared their experiences, findings, how the trek had changed them, gratitude towards nature etc. It was so intense that despite being so tired (few people had to leave early morning, the next day), the session lasted till 12:30 am.
Exploring the outdoors through a trek or a hike is one of the most stimulating experiences one can encounter. Being close to Mother Nature and experiencing its sights, smells and sounds leaves a lasting impact on each traveler.
I experienced an entirely different lifestyle, learned to live with the concept of minimalism, meeting and staying together with all unknown people, cleaning the trail, everything was wonderful. It gives you so much satisfaction. Finally, I want to admit that it was my most memorable trip. It was like a lifetime achievement award for me. I’m thankful to the Indiahikes team, Gourab, Nandana (the trek manager), Siddharth, Bhagat chacha, kitchen staff and all those behind the curtain.
Siddharth has recently returned from the same trek again. He shared some pictures with me. It is quite evident from those pictures when comparing with my pictures, how uncertain is the weather in the mountains. I clicked those pictures between 30th March to 2nd April, and Siddharth clicked them between 19th to 23 April.
Please let me know about your views for this article series as the comments.