Travelling always gives an opportunity to have some solo time.... a time to look beyond the usual corporal needs and peek into soul's real desire, a desire to be oblivious to everything going outside. Sarpass helped separate soul from body(though for just few seconds) allowing me to delve deeper into some questions which I had before leaving for the trek. I'll not say that I got solutions but definitely I know the direction where I need to head and that makes it special...very special indeed.
We(me and two more friends) landed at beautiful city of Chandigarh on 2nd May'15 and took a bus to Bhuntar the same day. We had registered in third batch of YHAI NHTE. Many buses ply between Bhuntar and Kasol and it takes roughly 1.5 hours. Kasol surprised me...immensely!It's not called smoker's paradise without reasons. Every hook and corner of this quaint town holds testimony to the fact. :P One can go to restaurants like Jim Morrison, stone garden etc. to witness the same. However, for non-smokers(like me); the environment might be suffocating!!
From Kasol, we went through villages viz., Grahan, Padri, Ratapani and Nagaru to ultimately reach our much awaited destination...Sarpass. It's located in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. Sar means lake in local dialect. One needs to cross this pass while traversing from Nagaru to Beskeri and believe me you'll not regret meandering through it!! It's preferable to leave Nagaru early in the morning at around 4am to reach Sarpass top at 7am as it allows for easy walking (path becomes slippery post sun-rise and one is highly prone to slipping). All the pain vanishes into oblivion once you reach Sarpass. As expounded by Paulo Coelho in his novel Aleph, you witness Aleph the moment you stomp on velvety snow of Sarpass which swaddles you in its intoxicating breeze, you feel captivated and are willing to surrender to it remorselessly! Gargantuan snow-capped mountains embrace you lovingly from all the sides. The mind witnesses freedom and one feels completely hypnotised. You might feel like dancing there(like we did :)) or just go into a light slumber or close your eyes for few minutes and then open it to ensure yourself that whatever you are witnessing is not a dream but reality, at that moment ask yourself that question which is bothering you the most(believing that you'll get the answer is must :))....and voila....you do get a direction.. :) Amidst all this soul searching, do take some selfies :P, eat maggi(yes..you get maggi and tea at the top :)) and snow :P (we ate :D). Now this is just the beginning...move ahead and now you need to go down but unlike on rocky terrain, here you don't run down but "slide" down.Yeah!!Best part of Sarpass,...many ice slides which enables you to cover at least a kilometre length of distance just by sliding :) We slid for roughly 1.5 kms(in instalments!!) After this, you walk a kilometre on levelled ice surface and reach Beskeri base camp :). Next day, you need to go from Beskeri to Bandhak base camp and you'll feel blessed to be in this village. The campsite here cannot be described in words. The best I can say is that it appears like a beautiful painting which will not allow you to blink your eyelid even for a second!!
Some random gyan(might not be useful if you are a pro :P)
1. It's important that you start trek with a good pair of shoes. For me, forclaz 600 was my hero during the entire journey!M falling in love with it :-*
2. Temperature at Nagaru can go down to as low as -5 deg C. 4 layers are must. One can wear a polyester t-shirt, a fleece t-shirt, a thermal and a wind-cheater.
3. Travel light as parts of trek is physically very demanding. We had times wherein there was very steep trail for a kilometre or more.
4. You might need to go toilets in open. So, come prepared!! Well, there are articles on this :)
5. You might witness hail storm like we did in one of the base camps. Just come out of the camp even if it's freaking cold outside and collect ice pellets and take some selfies. Don't forget to wear raincoats before you step out :P.
6. Your tent might feel like accompanying mighty winds rather than embracing you at Nagaru :P. You might need to hold tent corners in such a scenario :) This happened with us and believe me it's fun and bring tent mates closer :)
Hope you witness the bliss you are searching for since long there. Go, go and go!!!