A Humble Fringe – Dhankar Lake

Photo of A Humble Fringe – Dhankar Lake 1/1 by Gaurav Pal

I recently covered the lengths and breadths of Lahaul and Spiti Valley. For many eyes, the place is simply at par with the Grand Canyons of the United States. The gorges and valleys of Spiti have everything that a traveller (not a tourist) looks for. It is the road less travelled in the highly frequently visited Himachal Pradesh where green mountains of Shimla, Manali, Kullu, Dharamshala, Dalhousie etc. become hands down favourite for anyone. You won’t be witnessing any big markets or crowds taking selfies or whatever those are called now. The thing with this part of Himachal is that it will ask your brain the meaning of your existence and at the same time will answer your heart that why you are living.

At the risk of choosing a favourite in this astonishing place, I would like to describe about a place which made me come alive. This was a trek to Dhankar Lake in Dhankar Village. My fellow travellers and I were already informed that the lake was about 2 miles from our homestay in the village. The entire mountain desert was in front of us. As we were going to trek in the late morning, it was warm. Initially, we all started the trek together but got segregated due to different energy levels. I was way ahead of everyone. My previous treks might have given me the relevant edge. As we were climbing the steepness of the mountain, my friends were soon out of sight. From this moment, my real pleasure began.

My 360-degree view had trails, sand, steepness, big stones, brown mountains, vast empty barren lands and beyond all that was a river flowing deep down somewhere. With great empty land came amazing silence which was only broken by my heavy breathings and the strong wind. The curves and zig zag paths with bright sunshine made me realize that I may had entered the movie 127 Hours! Usually, I do not even think of praising anything or anyone but in here my mind was involuntarily just uttering “wow”. 

My each step thanked me for leaving my job and coming to this trip. Refilling the water bottle from the hot water springs made me realize that my traveling life is the one and only smooth phase and its going strong. I didn’t believe that breathing and opening eyes could be this much fulfilling. After an hour of solo trek and possibly the greatest one hour of my life, I reached the lake which somehow seemed bluer than the clear blue sky. Whoever planned the view at the lake must be what we call as God. My feet were touching the lake, eyes went beyond it in the desert and heart further beyond it into the snow-capped mountains partially visible. However, my mind had crossed the barrier of anything till then leaving me with an unreasonable and undefinable smile.

This post was originally published on Orange Souls.