An advice: We did a mistake of taking a 2 hour break after first 6 kilometers assuming that it’s easy and it would take another 3 hours at max to cover the rest, what we did not know was that the real trek starts from there only. And trust me, you don’t want to be in that jungle after dark. It gets really dangerous after the sun has set.
The slope was quite steep after Rudranag Waterfalls from where the core jungle starts. Moreover because of the snowfall just a day before, it was very slippery and was really difficult to make out the way. Every way looked the same and there was nothing with which we could be sure that we were heading in the right direction, moreover it was getting dark. Unsure of ourselves, we continued assuming the way up to be the right one.
When it went dark, we had to turn the flashlights of our phones on as it was not at all possible without that to tread even a single step because the snowfall did take place a day before and it was slippery AF. Thankfully we had enough battery in our phones, what if we did not?
We reached at about 8 in the night. Man, it was freezing out there.
Let me try to help you visualize what i saw and what it felt like. As soon as i took a turn during the trek, i could see few lights from the structures what looked like huts, 7-8 maybe. But as soon as i looked up in the sky, i was dumbstruck, literally. It was like there has been another layer of sky between us and the sky we usually see. I could see each and every star in the sky there is, and it was the most beautiful thing i had ever seen in my life. I don’t seem to have enough words to describe how it felt like. We could not even make out the constellations as there were so many of them, so bright.
As we walked ahead, those huts were actually cafes where we could eat and stay at Rs 150 per person. There were mattresses and blankets, for around 30 people in one hut. Also, there is a dharamshala at the top, which has 6-7 very small rooms (about the size of a double bed) which i highly recommend, and they charge you just Rs. 300 per room with dinner included.
By the time we got there, it was freezing out there. The rooms were quite small, i guess about 6*7 feet. We could not be more happy as we were tired and we were excited and we were fortunate enough to get those rooms. We had food, went to a cafe down and chilled there for sometime, quite literally.( ???? )
Those cafes (See the pictures above) were really good, they did not have any concrete walls except one. People come there and do whatever they want, they paint on the only wall, or they sketch it on a sheet of paper and put it up there. We could play our songs there, we were provided the angeethi to sit around for. Most of the people were completely stoned, and it seemed like the dope was in the air of Kheer Ganga. We sat around the angeethi with 15 other people already there for around an hour before leaving.
Did you know that Lord Shiva is believed to have meditated there for 3000 years in the Kheer Ganga?
After an hour or so, we went back up to our rooms. There were 8 blankets provided per room and still they were not enough. Anyhow everyone fell asleep, and i was the only one with my eyes open wide. So I decided to go out and explore the night as well.
Next morning, as i was already awake, woke everyone else up to witness one of the most beautiful sunrises we have ever witnessed. We sat at a place watching sun coming out of the snow clad mountains. It was a breathtakingly mesmerizing scene Every part of it was so awesome, we just loved it.