Never done a trek before. Never caught sight of snow. Never been on a mountain. Never slept in a tent.
I am born into a middle-class family where every penny has to go into my education. My parents never took the luxury for them to travel to places if they did, would have had to compromise over my education. I never have gotten outside my own hometown till my college.
But I was that kid who secretly wished to travel all around the world. I didn't have the money but had the faith that someday I will. I started studying in a college which is in Central India. How can I forget to mention that I am born in South India? That successfully evades us from even having the hope to see snow.
It was the last semester of our college, clearly, we couldn't go on a trip together until many more years. That's when I and my friends started to skim through all the places in North India.
I was destined to go there!
When I was thirteen years old, my cousin posted pictures of him in the snow in a place called Mcleodganj. I couldn't even pronounce 'Mcleodganj' then but memorized it hard that someday I am going to that place to see the snow and the mountains. Thanks to my cousin, for being the indirect guide to my Triund Trek.
Hence, I being the instigator in my group to get Triund Trek into the picture. We went through pictures of the place on the internet and youtube being the criminal for many unplanned trips which creates an exciting surge in all of us. We are all excited to soon check off this box of experiencing snow for the first time.
We boarded the train from Bhopal Junction Railway Station to Delhi, which is the major nodal point to Himachal Pradesh, the state we are heading to in India. We reached Delhi in the early morning and the next bus to Dharmashala is again an overnight journey. So we have a good fifteen hours to kill and we didn't miss out on visiting all the historical, cultural places in Delhi. About that, I will write another blog in detail.
Himachal Pradesh is the most beautiful state in India!
People may say don't state something unless you see all of them. But I couldn't resist. I slid into sleep thinking of how it's going to be tomorrow. How is the place going to be? Will I fool myself with high expectations I had on the place? I slowly opened my eyes to the chatter of people on the bus as we had a little five minute stop on the way to Dharmashala.
Beautiful. Beautif. Beau.
Sorry, that was when I lost the words. Don't I have enough vocabulary to describe something beautiful or there were no words in literature fit enough to describe it.
Enroute to our stay, we could see amazing landscapes spread all over the place. As we reached, freshened up and got ready to start up with the trek. We booked a trekking package with a team online prior to three days. We traveled in March, were not expecting to see snow, but we enquired the travel team. They confirmed that it is snowing in Triund the day before our visit. Yaaayy! That was a happy sign.
Always enquire the weather with the trek organisers before you leave for the trek. Its for your own good and safety when you go to mountains.
The organizers of the trek gave us safety instructions on what and what not to in a trek. They said there would be a captain leading the team and every one of us should go in a single line one after the other. As this is our first trek, we are much attentive to it and curious how narrow the trail may get.
We started the trek approximately at nine in the morning. The way which we are leading into turned out to be beautiful. In no time, we were walking along with the long trees, those were the longest trees I ever saw, to be noted.
We were passing through these gorgeous houses resting on the mountains away from all the chaos of the cities we live in.
The terrains kept changing from long trees to colorful gardens decoring the houses, from rusty rocks to small little bridges made of stones with water flowing under them. As we are gaining the altitude, we came across this cute little cafe called Shiva cafe. This is the last stop where you can get food, so stop here and grab some food and snacks for the next day to come.
We took a break here for a while and explored the place a little bit. We got good views from this place as well.
We were skeptical of these views if we would be able to experience the snow. Nevertheless, we enjoyed trekking up these rocky trails as well. I realized we need to get out of our comfort zones while treks and in life to witness the beautiful views and moments. As we are gaining the altitude the views got to change.
We were getting to see the snow more evidently. These pictures aren't able to depict how giant, enormous these mountains are. They were huge. I never do believe god, yet felt there must be some power in the world to create such things. It might be god, or power or science. But whatever it is, mountains tend you to take closer and closer to them, physically and mentally. More mentally I would say.
This was the spot where I actually first touched the snow. It was quite exciting to do it. Glad one of my friends clicked this picture, which I could cherish all my life.
Okay! Now I am going to spam you with some of the beautiful views we saw till we reached the top.
After five hours of tedious trek, the tents were set up by the organizers. In few minutes, the cold temperature started getting colder and we were even not able to see what is in front of us. It started snowingggggggggg!!!!
Man! How many years I might have waited for that moment!! It was special. It started snowing heavily hurting us a little, soon we went into the tents, closed the zip of it, but the sound of snow hitting the ground was so soothing, we couldn't let our tent closed, opened up a little and were watching the snow to rain in the backdrop of the snowy mountains.
It stopped to snow, we came out of our tents and then the magic happened. It was all dark. There was no moonlight. There were no lights around. It was horrible to stand in the open with even all the gloves, jackets on. I was freezing. The mountains are shining with snow even in the darkest night and the sky was full of stars. For a moment, I was scared. It felt like there were none around me, except me, the mountains, and the stars. That moment was horrifying yet satisfying, peaceful. I had the moment.
That was when I knew I had the moment from this trip to take back home.
It was so freaking cold, I wasn't able to bear it, and couldn't take the hands out of my jacket pockets, that's why there is an awkward smile of me in the picture, just posing for the sake of memory, Of course, I do cherish it now. As the hour was passing by, the temperature is falling rapidly, I know deep inside that my body isn't going to tolerate that. There was a plan of a campfire by the team with which we trekked there, but due to the snowfall and all the woods got wet, now there is zero possibility of that.
I still can feel that moment, and I feel the same what I felt there when I was actually living that moment. It was magical.
The organizers made rajma chawal and chicken in a small stone hut. I was amazed for their effort with the minimal resources and I ate the best rajma chawal in all my life that day. I don't know it tasted more than good as we were very hungry or it was really good.
We went to our tents to sleep. We were given the sleeping bags so that we get into that and zip ourselves. It was a horrible night, the temperature was pretty low and felt like I didn't sleep for a minute all night. I think a few hard moments for these stunning experiences are worth it.
The sun started to hit our tents, it felt amazing to be in the sun after a cold day watching the mountains, with chai, and Maggi in hands.
Ending up with few thoughts about what I learned from this trip to Trind!
This was my first trek. I didn't even consider the thought while going for it, will I be able to reach the top, am I fit enough to complete the trek? Being honest to myself, I was not fit enough, I didn't have the strength to do it. I used to walk or climb twenty steps and rest for a while. All that while one thing was going on in my mind, how good am I treating myself? Am I doing justice for all the time I had to myself? I was twenty years old, and a long way to go, a lot of many to see and I am failing at the most basic thing, to be fit! I realized God made me do this trek only for the fact that I get to know myself more and to tell me that it feels good to get to know yourself more than anyone else you would love to know.
Love yourself more. Know yourself more.
Thank YOU for making it till the end. Wish you a lot of travel.