Journey to Tell: On Top 10 Winter Treks in Indian Himalaya

Posted by Swairik Das on Date December 23, 2013

“A chilled beer in the summer OR
a frost trail during the icy winter
an hangover that counts nothing OR
You will go for an expedition that reverberates forever”

… I think I saw a tear drop in her eyes.

The trekkers lore

STURDY-SHIVERING-SNOWY yet the mountain trail in the winter states a sublime beauty of the vast stretch of the Indian Himalaya. En route the brown wintry grasses, passing through the frozen streams… clear blue skies and floating white castles, winter treks in India are the biggest challenge among all the adventures in India you talk about. Even if you can’t succeed the strenuous journey, still it remains a grapevine. Obviously winter treks in India are not meant for beginners; even experienced trekkers often backpack their trail back to the base. Still, when the entire stretch of Indian Himalaya encounters a freezing climate, some backpackers pen their travel diary. They pass across FLASH-FROZEN days, FROSTY BREATH and PALE BLOOD and in addition the rugged terrain. So where is the freaking fun trekking in the Indian Himalaya in winter? There you go through the top 10 winter treks in India… ‘Gosh’, I experienced once. Lemme tell you mine first, then to the rest nine.

I’ll dub it as a MORE FREEZING ESCAPE from the WINTRY BREEZE in the plains…

After the Christmas of 2011 my days were SLIPPERY and SNAPPY, just when I stepped on the blanket of a large icecap on the River Zanskar. The freezing escape to the Chadar Trek connected us from Ladakh to the snow bound villages of the Zanskar Valley, covering a distance of approximately 90-100 kilometers. My clattering teeth and frost dried eyes during the blanched nights shivered me to empathize the temperature I never experienced before.

The unholy first night at Chilling, a day before we drove to Tilad Do, read the temperature roving between 13 during the day and falling at minus 10 degrees during the night. Hence I got an ARTIC FEELING ahead even being in the Indian Himalaya. Well I was in a group of completely unknown six persons from different countries and religions. I liked the European Lady. She seemed pretty hot to me even at minus fifteen degrees… that was the only reason I kept walking and walking up the frozen river en route Gylapo. There were four Zanskaris in addition to our group, two potters and two cooks.
Chadar Trek
The trail from Tilad Do to Gylapo entirely on the frozen river knocked us the strenuous route ahead. Well, the potters guided us like sensors, stimulating their sixth sense as to where exactly to step on the icesheet. At places, it might be necessary to wade through ankle deep water, or climb on the cliffs at the side of the river. Eventually we got used to walking on the Chadar, which appeared like a cross between gliding and skating. The tents for the night were put up after passing Shingra Koma at Gyalpo.

The following morning trailed up to Tibb Cave, which is approximately 14 kilometers en route the deep ravines, mountain caves and frozen waterfalls. The unique part on this trek was the moss covered rock, which was the only greenery… and viewed at the plunge of a miraculous waterfall. After camping for the night inside one of the big caves our trail the next morning headed up to Naerak. The journey was breathtaking. Up the clear blue sky… down was the snow white slippery boulevard…passed through the snow fed walls and gorges, my FRIGID LAG seemed taken away by the colours of nature. Walking few steps up on the frozen floor was the mother-of-all frozen waterfalls – a huge instance of suspended animation several feet tall and equally wide. That was the most enticing moment with the nature and it turned RED HOT when Lin, the European lady, stood beside me. The camp and the bonfire for the night were set close to river.
Chadar Trek
The return trail down from Naerak to Leh followed the same route… covering a total of 7 amazing and tempting days even in the below freezing point. I’ll dub it as a MORE FREEZING ESCAPE from the WINTRY BREEZE in the plains and mark it as one of the best treks in the Indian Himalaya. Heard from Lin one of the winter treks she covered in the Indian Himalaya couple of years back.

 Let me now share Lin’s trekking diary from the land of Garhwalis…

Lin Bartle in the year 2009 made it through the Dodital Winter Trek, which is considered as one of the popular winter treks in India in the Garhwal Himalayan region. This was her first trek in the Indian Himalayan region after getting inspired from her elder brother, Russell, who covered most of the trekking destinations in India within his 40s.
Dodital Winter Trek

Now let me cut it short for you guys.

After her white water river rafting expedition in Rishikesh she headed for an extravaganza. That was in the month of January. As she penned, her wintry days in India in the Himalaya were mild and soothing. It was then I came to know she belongs from one of the European countries, Denmark, which is close to the Arctic Circle. Shocking to me, people here die even when the temperature is above freezing point.

She drove to Uttarkashi with her group and the following day she headed for Sangamchatti… where from she loaded some dry foods and liquor and left unnecessary stuffs at the trekkers’ hut. A potter and a cook joined their group, carrying the maximum load. The trail started to head for Bevra en route a tranquil hamlet, Agoda, along the bank of a river. They set their camp and night fire for the day at Bevra amid the rich verdure.

So their off ramp trail started swimmingly but was blighted the following morning when they woke up to a thick mist. Lin stared at her mates and they asked the potter…

‘What now buddy? Which way to go? We can’t even see your face properly…’. God knows what he understood but the potter showed his torch and signaled the others to follow. ‘May be he knows the way…’ though Lin was not sure where they were heading but cleared to her mates with a benefit of doubt. Slowly by morning rays that mopped up the mist, dilated a surreal panorama of the colorful nature secluded under the farfetched snow clad ranges. Clicks after clicks… for hours not wasted, Lin defined the view to me as pretty as she is. The trail thereafter headed up to a bed of snow that blanketed over the trees and the gentle meadows. Dodital, nestled at a height of 3024 meters, is one of the best trekking destinations in India that is located in the hues of Garhwal Himalaya. Lin and her group decided to set their camp at the frigid shore of the lake.

It was close to late afternoon…and you can’t trust the weather in the mountains even after a sunny morning. Lin and her group faced the same on their first trek in the Indian Himalaya during the winter. They bustle their stay at the camp site on exploring the sublime ambiance as the distant view was covered by a thick mist held like a natural curtain. She quoted, ‘THE NIGHT THAT WINTER DAY SEEMED AS CREEPY AS WHAT THE NATURE OFFERED US THE NEXT DAWN.’

The enchanting view of the farfetched snow capped peaks leads her in a pondering state… “Breaks are heavenly and give one time to soak in the scenery during the trek to Dodital”. They screamed “eureka” witnessing the Hanumanpunch peak. The eternal vista from the legendary land, where Lord Ganesha chose his place as his abode, Dodital, remains esteemed in Lin’s memory.

Down to Manjhi, Lin quoted to her first trek in the Indian Himalaya as ‘A Footloose in the Himalaya’. On her way back to Sangamchatti  she was asked by one of her mates about her brother, Russell, who once covered one of the winter treks in Indian Himalaya alone with a potter cum cook.

‘Well, that was the somewhere close to Auli and that was in his first visit in India…’ Linda replied and further added, ‘umm… I can’t recollect the trek that he made… give me a moment…’
Auli Gorsan Trek
…from the mouth of Lin Bartle…

‘Yup! Gotta…Russell’s first visit to India for a long 6 months break was in the year 2001. That was the Auli-Gorson Winter Trek in the month of January. Just after his visit to Goa with his girlfriend, Rhonda, they headed north via New Delhi to Nainital and thereafter went up to Joshimath. He said to me that this part of India, Uttarakhand, was hewed out from the state of Uttar Pradesh and was dubbed as the Land of Gods and Goddesses. Nonetheless he wasn’t that spiritual and being with his girlfriend YOU CAN’T EXPECT HIM TO BE… as both are freaking adventurous and that made them to head for this trek from Joshimath. It was a short one though. After returning back from this trek he said that even a baby can crawl to this enchanting bed of snow. Still they hired a potter as they were keen to camp there for couple of days. You know how it can be romantic up in the open nature filled with sublime ambiance. Actually the trek was a LOFTY LIP LOCKING plan. Right away a pre honeymoon as they got married later after they returned back to Denmark.

So they headed for Auli from Joshimath… but that was an easy climb on the ropeway that took them from a height of 2050 meters to a lofty height of 2500 meters. For the rest hours on that day they bustle themselves skiing at the gentle slopes. At the rest house during their wine and dine they came to know in details from Mandy, a Australian, about the lofty place, Gorson, which is approximately 500 meters up from Auli. The following morning both Russell and Rhonda… headed for the Auli-Gorson Trek to explore the words of Mandy naturally.

En route the meadows bedded in thick snow… a couple of hours trail they stepped on a land that they dubbed as ‘serenity from heaven’. I saw their snaps and that vista of the whole ranges of Himalayan’s peaks were simply awe-inspiring to my eyes. So think how they reacted being there. Guysss… they spend couple of days there camping, romancing and GAWD knows… exploring further deep…may be. Thereafter returning back to Joshimath they headed to Himachal.’

that was Russell’s story on his first visit to India covering one of the easy winter treks in the Indian Himalaya.

‘So Lin… where is Russell nowadays? What’s his next plan with Rhonda?’ I asked her after hearing out her stories.

Well… they broke up after returning back from India. Rhonda fell in love with an Indian and Russell got married with a woman from Austria. They met each other at a meet in Trekkers’ Hub, a mountaineering club in Sweden.’

I was bit shocked with lots of pranks playing on my mind… I controlled myself and asked, ‘so where are they now?’ 

‘Well… here I’m with you in the Frozen River… and they are now for the Har Ki Dun Valley Trek in the Garhwal region…he had also sent me some snaps’.

‘Oh…Wow…they are in India! Well… I’ve heard about the trek. One of my friends went for this trek and he showed me some beautiful captures. It is one of the tempting treks in India especially during the winters… and obviously me being a dreamer to reach out every trekking destination in Indian Himalaya, this trek is something to come true in future. According to my research the trek takes approximately 10 days to cover, from New Delhi to New Delhi and the altitude stretches from a height of 1900 meters to 3566 meters.
Har ki Dun Trek
The trek starts from a quaint village, Sankri, and one can reach it hiring a cab from Dehradun or from Mussoorie. Thereafter from Sankri the trail proceeds toward Taluka en route some steep slopes and waterfalls. On this trail along the river Supin you can even enjoy a thrilling and refreshing walk amidst the dense forest and there you head up to Osla followed by another quaint village, Gangar. The trail from Osla to Gangar is filled with uphills and downhills giving you a rollercoaster day.

From Gangar to Seema the trail turns bit strenuous for couple of hours and thereafter a smooth walk on the lush green meadows and therein as you move up to a height on to the thick bed of snow… the trail stretches for approximately 6-7 hours covering a distance of 12-14 kilometers approximately. If you are lucky enough… you can enjoy the beautiful sight of the Swargarohini Peak during the late afternoon.

The trail thereafter turns through Kalkatti  Dhar and the panoramic view towards Ruinsara Valley and Kalanag peak is just jaw breaking. The whole trail has snow, ice, waterfalls and deodar trees which give a heavenly sight. As you reach Har ki Dun valley, the sunsetthat you will see will be an eternal sight making the horizon colored with orange tinge falling on the snow capped peaks and the valley. But yes for us Indians the sub-zero temperature and lot of freezing wind will make the trail difficult and deadly.

On this winter trek in the Indian Himalaya you can even explore the jaw breaking Dun Valley… nonetheless the trail descends thereafter to Osla and there to Sankri.’  I detailed Lin on the Har Ki Dun Valley Trek and then I discovered something when Lin said to me, ‘Swairik… actually I had been to this trek last year with another group from college…’

‘PHEW’…I realized my stress of words uttered and thrown to the Frozen River.

Snow Leopard Trek

‘But Swairik, have you done this Snow Leopard Trek in Ladakh?’ Lin asked.

‘Well no… those are again a dream and have heard about this trek from my boss, who shared with me most of his trekking expedition in the Indian Himalaya…’

‘So…’ Lin paused and her face told me she wanted to hear a brief on another winter treks in India in Ladakh region.

Let me cut it short for you guys.

‘Just after his camping at the shore of Pangong Lake amidst the serene views of the high altitude desert dotted by snowy peaks, my boss joined the local crew and the Snow Leopard Conservancy staff at Leh for a brief on the trek. Thereafter he visited few of those ancient monasteries and the local market. But his major attraction was the Hemis National Park, which is set at an elevation of 4100 meters. The following day he and his crew set for the trail along the River Indus towards Zingchen George en route claw traces left by the snow leopards at the base of rocks surrounding the cliffs. It was a 5-6 hours of trek… though it can be more than that if you start exploring the ambiance on your trail.

Well, after he reached Hemis National Park, his mind changed on just to sight a snow leopard. On his trail he first acquainted the Tibetan Wolf, which is a rare sight. There after he encountered a herd of blue ship, which is a common sight. While he moved deep into the zone, the large horned sheep, aka argali, greeted him with a jaw breaking sight at the vertical ridge. His shivering days turned out pulsating being in the wilderness… and according to him, his winter trek to the Hemis National Park succeeded. For the day they didn’t encounter a snow leopard but according to the locals at the camp… chances were high for the following day.

The Hemis National Park is also known for sighting varied species of mountain and migratory birds. My boss, Mr. Joshi… spotted few of them that include Golden Eagle and some species of vultures. That day he also noticed a Eurasian Brown Bear, though it was miles away…still zoomed and sighted near. So don’t forget to carry a binocular. He headed more deep into the Rumbak Valley for further couple of days and explored the folklore at the local villages and even experienced a hospitable home stay. On his way down to the base… yup! He spotted a snow leopard far at the slope. It was a surprise visit and was just for a moment.’

‘That’s interesting.’ Lin said.

‘Hmm… well you can go for it after this Frozen River trek…’ I tried of motivate her.

‘Aah… naah… I can’t… because I will be off to Dayara Bugyal Trek from here with another group. What’s your plan ahead?’

‘Well, after returning back to New Delhi… I’ll be off to Sikkim for the Dzongri Winter Trek. It’s a moderate trek and takes approximately 7-8 days to cover. The approximate altitude ranges from 2300 meters to 5000 meters.’ I cleared and asked her, ‘so you are aware of this Dayara Bugyal Trek? I guess you know that you were once close to it when you had that Dodital Trek.’

‘Ya… but again my brother motivated me and he shared me his story on the Dayara Bugyal Winter Trek’.

‘I see…’

Lin continued, ‘that was when he was in India for a rafting expedition in Rishikesh with an Asian group. He was camping at the Alaknanda River Adventure Camp when he met his old friend Jonny who was going for the trek. So he decided to join him. It was one of his short treks in the winter in the Indian Himalayan region that made him so MERRY MERRY MERRY…
Dayara Bugyal Winter Trek
The trek starts from a village called Barsu that is on the Uttarkashi – Gangotri Road and it can be reached from Rishikesh by road. So from Barsu they headed for Dayara Bugyal, which was a mere 9-10 kilometers of trek. So you imagine how short the trek is and still it flashes in his mind. Anyways… that 7 hours of trek via Barnala kept him bustle on photography and exploring the local hues, talking to the paharis (people belonging to the mountains) and slurping local cuisine and sipping drinks. I think being with heart of Garhwalis made him more exciting on this trek. The thick forest of oak and Rhododendron trees was dried up and looming behind was the Mt. Srikhanth. It was kind of a walk in a desert for 3-4 kilometers till they stepped on to Barnala where they found thick patches of snow and trees all dressed up in snow as well. After few meters they acquainted another local village having a settlement of Gujjars.

Nonetheless they also discovered a semi frozen lake near Barnala and the sunny day offered them a fantastic view of the distant peaks. I remember he gave me a call from there… he was carrying a local BSNL Sim card then. Thereafter the trek involved a steep climb, slippery and bit challenging and finally they stepped on to the grandeur of Bugyal also known as Dayara. They thought of it as a perfect skiing destination for the beginners… as the ambiance was nestled with a thick layer of snow covering the gentle slope of the meadows. For the night that day they spend it in one of the Gujjar huts.

The next morning they had a glimpse for the first time the snow capped peaks of Bandarpoonch-2, Bandarpoonch-1 and Kala Nag.  On their way moving up towards the highest point of Dayara Bughyal to Bakaria Top they witnessed a panoramic view of Mt. Shrikanth, Gangotri peaks, Jaonli and Draupadi ka danda.

God knows why… but they spend another day at the Gujjar’s Hut to sight the same view. LOL… they followed the same route back to Rishikesh via Barsu’.

‘Ya Lin… there are many such short treks in India that one can cover up in the winter comfortably and pen it as a short weekend escape… this was just 3-4 days trek in winter in the Indian Himalaya.’ I concluded.

Just after the Frozen River Trek… and since then…

January 2012

Sikkim is beyond the nature. It’s a bouquet of diverse climate, jaw breaking ecosphere, panorama of Himalayan ranges and diorama of ethnic culture. I experienced the whole lot of it on this trek last winter to Dzongri.
Dzongri Winter Trek
The Dzongri Winter Trek starts from Gangtok. Couple of hours drive from the capital of Sikkim, you will step on to the historical town, Yuksam. The major attractions can be the Pemayangtse Monastery and Pelling.

Well I didn’t waste my time on sightseeing as I had been to Sikkim earlier couple of times earlier but for trekking… that was the first time. So my major focus was to see Mt. Kanchenjunga glittering right in front of my eyes. The major obstacles were the freezing climate and dawning alarms after the nights that went on bon fires and boozing.  Yuksam being popular for Beer manufacturing… we bought cartons of it for the trek.

Right away from Yuksam our winter trek to Dzongri headed towards Tshoka, which is nestled at an altitude of 3000 meters. Following the river Rathong Chu the up trail to Tshoka was as gentle as we had a magnetizing moment exploring and capturing the dense forest and encountering little wildlife and several species of bird. At Bakkhim, a small village that we came across, we had tea and breakfast and few hours of rest at the Bakkhim Rest House. Thereafter the trail steeply climbed through the forest of magnolia and rhododendron to Tshoka. Our halt was at the Trekkers Hut… and the ambiance was just perfect for us to camp overnight.

En route the alp of Phedang, at an altitude of 3650 meters, from Tshoka the trail had some major ups and downs though most of it was a steep climb. Waking up at the blanket of mist, we started our trail from Tshoka at around 5 in the morning. It was around 8 and the thick mist still followed us. The potters conveyed us that from this point one can get a clear view of the snow capped peaks. Our luck for the moment was not with us and hence we trailed up towards Mon Lepcha. That time we were lucky enough as the sun rays after several hours of fight defeated the heavy mist and resulting us to enchant the breathtaking sight of Mt. Pandim. Spending an hour there…our trail headed down towards the Dzongri Trekkers Hut, at an altitude of 4030 meters, and on the way (being lucky once again)… Mt. Kabru gave us a peek. By then my fourth trek in the Indian Himalaya became successful but I had more to see.

The following day was like being in a state of Nirvana. Up the hill to Dzongri Top the view let me to stay there for the entire day till the day light faded. I expect you to feel the same way just when you will get to see the panoramic view of Kabru, Ratong, Kangchendzonga, Koktang, Pandim, Narsing and Jopuno. LUCK PERFECT, DESTINATION PERFECT, VIEW PERFECT, CLICK PERFECT and after all PICTURE PERFECT.

It was hard to leave behind the scene but the following day we had to head down to Tshoka and the following day back to Yuksom and thereafter to Gangtok.

November 2013

I was on an official trip to Rishikesh with my team and all of a sudden an overnight decision made us to break the freezing climate once again. This time it was the

Kedarkantha Winter Trek, which is another short and easy trek in the Indian Himalaya belt.

We drove to Nayagaon, where we took an overnight halt and the following day he headed to Sankri, a village in Uttarkashi, wherefrom our trek started. We were at an altitude of 1900 meters wherefrom one route heads up to the Har Ki Dun Valley Trek and the other to Kedarkantha Trek.

The following day passed through the pristine and dense forest zone dotted with pines, fir, Cyprus, Rhododendrons and Oak trees to Juda Ka Talab, which is nestled at an elevation of 2060 meters. From Sankri to Juda Ka Talab there was a steep climb but it offered us a picturesque valley all throughout. Juda Ka Talab is a lake that was encircled by a sprawling green meadow and patches of snow. We held our camp for the overnight close to the lake and went for a ROAST and GLASSES OF TOAST.

From Juda Ka Talab the trail headed up the following day en route a thick alpine forest to Shepherd’s Hut that is set at an altitude of 2900 meters. Well one can head up straight to Kedarkantha on a same day from this point but we decided to enjoy and spoil the tranquil ambiance by liting up a bon fire and once again glasses of TOAST

overlooking the Kedarkantha Peak peeking behind the pine jungle.

Slowly as we climbed up to reach our destination the following day our trail acquainted the thick layer of snow. We could feel the steep rise, right from 2900 meters towards 3815 meters. Out of the snow patch we were on a ridge, which climbed further and a short walk from there took us past another “deserted Shepherd’s hut”…on the back are the mighty views of the Himalayan range. So finally we reached our destination. From the summit one can get 360 degrees view of the mighty Himalayan range and can point the peaks like Nandaghunti, Swargarohini (Chaukhamba), Bandarpoonch. The potters also pointed us the routes to Har-Ki-Doon, Barasu pass, Yamunotri i.e. through Bali pass and Gangotri. The freezing cold weather was turned comfortable with the arrangements done by the potters and our camp for the night was set right at the base.

Down goes the trail the next day to Hargaon where we set our camp with the locals and thereafter to Sankri.

November  2013

The Garhwal Himalaya always greeted me with sweet memories even during the freezing winters. One I had on Kuari Pass Winter Trek, February 2013, and I was longed to experience such once again (there was an IF). So I decided to go for the Nag Tibba Winter Trek, which is one of the easiest and shortest treks in the Indian Himalaya region.
Nagtibba Winter Trek
Actually headed for a weekend for Mussoorie but I ended up to hit the tracks to the highest point in the Lesser Himalayan region of Uttarakhand state. So I joined a crew of 6 people as arranged by my organization based in New Delhi for the Nag Tibba Winter Trek from Mussoorie. It was a short trek of 4 days. One can even do it in 3 days. Actually we camped there for a day more just to enjoy the eye catching stretch of the snow clad mountains.

After an hour or so drive to Thatyur, our trail winded for Devalsari Village en route the serpentine tracks shadowed by Rhododendrons forest and sprawling grassland rolling down the hills. That was the nature I was talking about and to add up the trail also offered us an arresting sight of bountiful nature.

After crossing Oothad, following day, the steep climb headed us towards Chhanni where we acquainted a small settlement of Gujjars. We hired a local from Chhanni and headed for Nag Tibba. Moving up on to the snow bed our trail slowed down a bit and we managed to reach our destination within three hours.

It was approximately 10 in the morning when we noticed the flag that marked the highest point “Nag Tibba” overlooking the vast stretch of the Swargarohini range, Bandarpoonch, Kala Nag, Srikanth, and Gangotri ranges. The panoramic view beautifully carpeted in snow made it a true winter weekend trek in the Garhwal Himalayan region. We set our overnight camp at the summit and were accompanied by two other groups.

The down trail followed to Pantwari, which is approximately 10 kms from Nag Tibba, and thereafter the following day we headed down to Dhanolti and then back to the foot of the Himalaya, Dehradun.

 February 2013… there’s something to talk about

A view that will be eternal once you fight the icy winds and rough terrain…

The dream of trekking in the Indian Himalayan region during peak winter season where icy winds cuts over the snow bound ridges is more of a nightmare. But I didn’t give a second thought to touch again the Himalaya and headed for another winter trek and that was to the offbeat of Kuari Pass having its own lure.

Right away from the crowded town of Joshimath one can enamour the tranquility in the air. Palpable and to everyone’s knowledge silence is sacred in the Garhwal Himalayas. So I was on to the Kuari Pass Winter Trek that headed from Joshimath. I recollected the words of Lin once again on Russell’s expeditions during this trek.
Kuari Pass Winter Trek
An half an hour drive to Dhak village, which nestles in between Joshimath and Tapovan route, our trek to Chitrakantha started approximately 6 in the morning. With our rucksack behind, a guide and two cooks the trail followed the rugged terrain keeping below the sight of Vishnugad Tapovan Hydel Power Project. A refreshing morning that became energizing when we sighted the peaks of Drona Giri and Kamet right on our way. Along a stream the journey crossed a beautiful meadow and there we were accompanied by a group of monkeys.

No harm… we headed for our campsite en route the barren valley on the left and thick oak forest on the other hand. It seemed that the Dronagiri peak was nearing us as we climbed up to a local village where we had our breakfast.

CURIOUSITY, HOSPITALITY, SMILES and PHOTOSHOOTS were followed with the paharis (people belonging from the mountains) and I acquainted a beautiful girl named Mauni. Our crew spent couple of hours there in the village and I went for some little talks with Mauni. Her name came from one of the Garhwali festivals, Maun. She was very much fluent in speaking Hindi as well as had little bit knowledge of speaking English. So my quixotic conversation with her wasn’t that difficult… nonetheless eye contacts were part of that relationship. She offered me a wristlet (better to say a dhaga kind of thing) made of a root and said, ‘isse apka sehat sahi rahega’ (this will keep you fit). Just before leaving the village I turned back to bid Mauni a goodbye and I think I saw a tear drop in her eyes.

That was a bit emotional part of the trek but I kept a whole lot of it for the nature to enchant. We headed for our campsite, which took approximately 3-4 hours further. Lucky we were even during the late afternoon… we got a glance of the peak Nanda Devi.

From Chitrakantha our trail for the following day winded towards Tali Lake, which took us approximately 6 hours en route a steep climb. The heavenly vista of Nanda Devi and Dronagiri Peaks in the front, Gauri Parbat, Hathi Parbat, Kamet in the left which is North and Trishul in the South side… was simply an eternal capture. It real


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