Abort Mission! Flood!

Tripoto
Photo of Abort Mission! Flood! by Osho Tiwary
Day 2


  
After deboarding and grabbing a cup of coffee at the station cafeteria, I took a cab to my friends' place in Gurgaon. The first complication arose when I reached Rohit's flat. Rohit, unfortunately had to drop out because his last minute request for leaves wasn't approved.  Despite some intense dialogues, and a futile attempt at persuading him to stand up to his overlords (read: managers) , he didn't cave in. He had sold his backpacking soul to the corporate netherworld. Which, by the way, left the two of us; Raunak and me. We still decided to move along with the plan which wasn't much to begin with. A few hours of brainstorming and a couple pegs later we zeroed in on the trek. By the time we sorted our itinerary, the sun had gotten low, so we decided to hurry up. A quick meal and a taxi ride later, we were at Kashmiri Gate ISBT. Luckily, We found an AC sleeper bus going to Mandi. Already tired from the first leg of my journey, I fell asleep as soon as the bus started moving. I'm sorry but there are no photos from this day.

Day 1

𝙊𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙫𝙞𝙚𝙬-

2 people - Osho ( Narrator)
                    Raunak ( friend/companion on the trip)

Items taken on the trip -
- Rucksack
- Medicines
- Tent
- Thermals (2 pairs)
- clothes + undergarments ( normal+ woolens)
- snacks + soup + maggi + dry fruits
- mini saw/cleaver
- elastic cords
- Emergency lamp
- Novel (Asura- Anand Neelakantan)

𝗧𝗟𝗗𝗥; Went on an impromptu trip/trek. Got our posteriors handed to us by Mother nature. Barely escaped a landslide and flood.

𝙉𝙤𝙬, 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙚𝙡𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙧𝙖𝙩𝙚 𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙨𝙞𝙤𝙣-

The trip begins:-

The first leg of the journey was uneventful. Travelling on an RAC ticket in the Mahabodhi express , I had to share the lower berth for a while with another passenger till Deen Dayal Upadhyaya station. From there on, I had the entire berth to myself. Believe you me, being able to comfortably lay down on your side lower berth is an under-rated pleasure we take for granted. The last stop of the train and my next stop on this trip was Delhi where  I was to meet two of my friends who'd accompany me on the trip. Hours flew by listening to songs, reading the novel and talking to my co-passengers. The resfeber for the trip kept me up all night, and before the break of dawn, the train had reached Delhi, it's final destination and my pitstop for the next few hours.

Day 1 : Reading Asura by Anand Neelkanthan

Photo of Gaya Junction by Osho Tiwary

Day 2: Wee hours. Delhi.

Photo of Gaya Junction by Osho Tiwary
Day 2

The Maharana Pratap Inter-state bus terminus popularly known as Kashmere Gate ISBT, located in Delhi is the oldest and one of the biggest Inter State Bus Terminals in India.

Mandi, also known as Choti Kashi or Varanasi of the hills, is a major town in Himachal Pradesh and also the starting point for our trek from Bagi to Parashar Lake.

Day 3


I woke up in the early hours before dawn and was greeted with the winding hilly roads of Himachal. It was a sight to behold. Leaving behind the chaotic hullabaloo of the city life, the scenery outside our bus window was a welcoming sight for our sore eyes. We reached Mandi while the sun was still on the horizon.
Mandi is also known as Choti Kashi or Varanasi of the hills. We had decided to stay there for a couple of hours, stock up on food and miscellaneous stuff, and then proceed to Bagi. But, as luck would have it, we missed the only daily bus from Mandi to Bagi, which left early in the morning, by half an hour . With no other option left, staying the night in Mandi seemed like a viable solution. After some asking around we found a cheap accommodation beside the  Beas river, which flows right through Mandi. The view from the room's window was beautiful.

After freshening up, we headed out for some nourishment and supplies, and to explore the local market while we were at it. We explored the town and  bought foam sleeping mats  and snacks for the trek, and returned to our hotel. At the hotel, dinner was ordered in and we filled up on the lip smacking food served to is by the staff. After dinner, we headed out to take a short walk along the river and on our way back, grabbed a couple of beers. We were satisfactorily intoxicated by the time the sound of river lulled us to sleep.

Day 3: Beas River, Mandi, Himachal.

Photo of Mandi Himachal by Osho Tiwary

Day 3: Mandi, Himachal

Photo of Mandi Himachal by Osho Tiwary

Day 3: View from our room.

Photo of Mandi Himachal by Osho Tiwary

Day 3: 24 kms wa the total distance walked on foot while exploring Mandi.

Photo of Mandi Himachal by Osho Tiwary

Day 3: Me walking down the road, looking for an accomodation. Photo by: Raunak

Photo of Mandi Himachal by Osho Tiwary

Day 3: Momos and Thukpa in Mandi.

Photo of Mandi Himachal by Osho Tiwary

Day 3: Beas river, Mandi.

Photo of Mandi Himachal by Osho Tiwary

Day 3: view from our hotel room.

Photo of Mandi Himachal by Osho Tiwary

Day 3: One of the many local eateries lining up the streets of Mandi.

Photo of Mandi Himachal by Osho Tiwary

In frame: Mandi, Beas and Osho.

Photo of Mandi Himachal by Osho Tiwary
Day 4

The day started pretty early because we didn't want to miss the only bus. All this while, our only reliable source of directions was Google.  We weren't aware of the exact route to Bagi and decided to ask the people travelling with us. The conductor, a very helpful guy, was new and he didn't know where our stop was supposed to be. But the other passengers guided him and we were dropped 4 kms from where we were ideally supposed to start the trek. We walked along the road for a little while and then decided to go down to the river, probably Beas river,  and walked along it's bank. It was already past noon by the time we reached bagi and stepped foot on the mountain. We initially lost our way up the mountain, but the locals we came across  guided us.

THIS IS WHERE THINGS TOOK A TURN FOR THE WORSE.

It got cloudy before we had covered  even one third of the trek and it started drizzling soon after. We decided to pitch our tent in an elevated clearing besides a stream of fresh water. After setting up the tent, I went to fetch wood for cooking. Meanwhile, Raunak made a makeshift chulha( stove) and washed the utensils. After sawing off some wood from a nearby tree-stump , and collecting the branches strewn across the clearing, the bonfire was finally lit. We had soup, and while maggi was being cooked, the intensity of raindrops increased and by the time our maggi was cooked, heavy rainfall had started. Even though the bonfire was shielded from the sides, it stood no chance in the torrential rain. We packed everything up and rushed to our tent. The rain went on and on and on until the next day, and the day after and the day after. We were witnessing a natural calamity in the making. This  torrential rain was just a precursor to what was about to come.

Day 4: scenic view.

Photo of Bagi by Osho Tiwary

Day 4: Taking a break by the stream.

Photo of Bagi by Osho Tiwary

Day 4: Na hathi hai, na ghoda hai.

Photo of Bagi by Osho Tiwary

Day 4: The riverbank and Raunak's legs.

Photo of Bagi by Osho Tiwary

Day 4: crossing the river near Bagi.

Photo of Bagi by Osho Tiwary

Day 4: Bagi Government School.

Photo of Bagi by Osho Tiwary

Day 4: View from inside the tent without the flysheet.

Photo of Bagi by Osho Tiwary

Day 4: The tent after being completely set up.

Photo of Bagi by Osho Tiwary

Day 4: Our bonfire/stove

Photo of Bagi by Osho Tiwary

Day 4: This was the last pic I took before rushing back into the tent. You can see the raindrops on the flysheet.

Photo of Bagi by Osho Tiwary
Day 5

We woke up to the the sound of rain falling on the flysheet. The view outside was mesmerizing. I ventured out in the rain to get water from the stream. Some trees had fallen a few metres from our tent. I didn't think much of it then.  The rain didn't want to go away. After waiting till 4 in the evening, hungry and disappointed, we packed our bags and tent and started the journey downhill. As luck would have it, we were in for a ride. More trees had fallen along the path and barely 200 metres from the camp, we found our way blocked by a tree. After crawling underneath the tree to the other side, the sight that lay infront of our eyes gave us goosebumps.

Due to the uprooting of trees, landslide had occurred in the night and our way down was gone! But we still had to go down because going up wasn't an option. We decided to slide down the mountain, on our backs,  a couple metres at a time. The trek route was intact at some places but most of it was blocked by the uprooted trees or had been partially washed away in the rain. Slowly, after several bruises and cuts, we got down to the river.But our bad luck hadn't just run out yet. We were greeted by an overflowing river which seemed impossible to cross. After a lot of contemplating and weighing in the pros and cons of stepping in a flooding river, I decided to risk it. Facing towards the oncoming flow of water, I stepped in the river and started walking sideways. I lost my footing a couple of times, fell face first into the river but holding on to dear life, I finally crossed it. My clothes and almost everything in the bag was drenched by the point. I tied two elastic cords and threw it towards Raunak and pulled him to the other side. After crossing the river, we found a homestay in Bagi where we took shelter from the rain. We were informed of the flood warnings by Hem, the guy who ran the place. The bus back to Mandi had also been cancelled and the next available bus was one day later.

There was seemingly no way out of this fiasco until the day after tomorrow. We were exhausted and fell asleep right after having a hearty and warm dinner,
with our wet clothes drying all around the room.

Day 5: scene from our tent.

Photo of Bagi by Osho Tiwary

Day 5: View from inside the tent.

Photo of Bagi by Osho Tiwary

Day 5 : Selfie in the tent.

Photo of Bagi by Osho Tiwary

Day 5: Stone Stairs in the homestay.

Photo of Bagi by Osho Tiwary

The passage leading to our homestay.

Photo of Bagi by Osho Tiwary

Foggy night.

Photo of Bagi by Osho Tiwary
Day 6

Day 6 was spent exploring the quaint little village of Bagi. The rain had slowed down to a drizzle and the river water was receding. We spent the entire Day roaming around Bagi, playing with dogs, and talking to the locals. This place had no to very little signal, so we had to walk for a few metres to keep our folks at home updated on the situation.

At dinner, the host served us  roti and paneer ki sabzi in the comfort of our room. We called it a day after drowning a couple of beers with Hem, the owner-caretaker-cook of the homestay.

Day 6: Found this guy sleeping outside the homestay. Apparently, it's his home too.

Photo of Bagi by Osho Tiwary

Day 6: Somebody's grumpy.

Photo of Bagi by Osho Tiwary

Day 6: Raunak walking on Parashar road.

Photo of Bagi by Osho Tiwary

Day 6: Customary selfie.

Photo of Bagi by Osho Tiwary

Day 6: Cloud factory.

Photo of Bagi by Osho Tiwary

The mountain behind the fog is where we came down from.

Photo of Bagi by Osho Tiwary
Day 7

We left Bagi early in the morning and reached Mandi by 10. There were warnings being played on loudspeakers advising people to stay away from river because the rain had started again and water level in the Beas river was rising. We luckily found the same hotel, same room that we had stayed in on the way. We didn't go out much because of the rain. I finally saw the news after 5 days and apparently people were being airlifted from different areas of Himachal; some due to flood, some due to snow. Shimla was the least affected, so we decided to leave for Shimla the next Day.

Day 7: This was taken enroute to Mandi.

Photo of Bagi by Osho Tiwary

Day 7: another pic enroute to Mandi.

Photo of Bagi by Osho Tiwary

Day 7: The bus from Bagi to Mandi. Our only means on conveyance out of Bagi.

Photo of Bagi by Osho Tiwary

Day 7: The river has breached the danger mark.

Photo of Bagi by Osho Tiwary

Day 7: Compare it with the photo from Day 3.

Photo of Bagi by Osho Tiwary

Day 7: Before and After

Photo of Bagi by Osho Tiwary
Day 8

Bruised and battered, we didn't realise that it was almost time to check out. After hurriedly packing everything up, we left the hotel. There were buses leaving for Shimla at regular intervals, so we boarded one and reached Shimla by evening. I had already booked an Oyo on the way to avoid anymore hassle. After checking into the accomodation , I decided to cook something scrumptious. We went out, got some rations and cooked our dinner in the kitchen in our Oyo. We decided to stay in Shimla for a day and explore the city.

Somewhere in Shimla.

Photo of Himachal Pradesh by Osho Tiwary

Masterchef's in the house!

Photo of Himachal Pradesh by Osho Tiwary

Nighty night.

Photo of Himachal Pradesh by Osho Tiwary
Day 7
Day 9


There are videos from this day but, unfortunately, not many good photos. We went to Mall Road, which was quite busy. Further beyond Mall road, we decided to go to jakhoo temple. It was already past 8 pm when, rain decided to play the spoilsport again. It started raining by the time we reached the final flight of stairs, and we were forced to turn back. Going downhill didn't take us very long and as soon as an auto was in sight, we hailed it and went back to our hotel. There was a quarter kilo raw paneer leftover in the fridge from last night's ration, and some veggies. Putting everything to good use, I cooked paneer bhurji and parathe. Sue me for liking paneer! Paneer whets our vegetarian appetite!

After filling up on more parathas than we expected, we hit the sack. Sleep came to us soon as the lights were dimmed.

With a view like this from the window and balcony, it indeed was a good morning.

Photo of Shimla Himachal Pradesh by Osho Tiwary

View from the balcony

Photo of Shimla Himachal Pradesh by Osho Tiwary

The accomodation.

Photo of Shimla Himachal Pradesh by Osho Tiwary

Mall road.

Photo of Shimla Himachal Pradesh by Osho Tiwary

Mall road dobara.

Photo of Shimla Himachal Pradesh by Osho Tiwary

Mall road.

Photo of Shimla Himachal Pradesh by Osho Tiwary

Photo mein photo.

Photo of Shimla Himachal Pradesh by Osho Tiwary

Let Google Maps be thy guide.

Photo of Shimla Himachal Pradesh by Osho Tiwary

Good Night, Shimla.

Photo of Shimla Himachal Pradesh by Osho Tiwary
Day 10

I won't go into much detail here since the adventurous part of the trip ended when we reached Shimla.

After ordering our breakfast from the in-house kitchen,we packed up our belongings and left for the bus-stand, from where we took a bus to Kashmiri Gate ISBT. Once we had reached Delhi, Raunak went to work and I  caught up with a couple of friends in Delhi. And then back to Gaya, it was. Back to the dull, non-flooded ,  non-adventurous city life. But,  I got permanent bruises as a memento and a story worth telling.

I   SURVIVED   A    FLOOD ,    Y'ALL!
✌🏼