With a lot of disappointment after cancellation of the Phulara Ridge trek due to the verdict of Uttarakhand Government, I decided to go for the Bhrigu Lake trek. As the days dawned closer, the excitement grew steady and here I was in Manali all set to conquer the Bhrigu Lake.After an hour`s drive from Manali, the vehicle dropped us the Gulaba checkpost. The drive through the hair pin bends and the mesmerising views of the breathtaking mountains, I deep down knew I was up for something exciting. The trek guide Bunty and Hrishi guided us through this narrow trail next to the checkpost and we disappeared in an array of Golden-oak and Cidar trees. A short 1.5 hour hike through the forest and the blanket of small white flowers we reached our first campsite Jonkar Thatch. In early September, with the clouds all around and intermittent showers the site was a like a vision in paradise.
After a surplus breakfast, we started ascend for the day. Within minutes of starting the trek amid the tall trees we were welcomed by meadows. There was a continuous carpet of green grass spread up to the horizon with clouds dancing and playing with us as we made our way. There were wild horses running to and fro which seemed like a scene from a movie. Intermittent drizzles of rain mixed with the clouds gave a chill to the air. The walk was comfortable and enjoyable. Far-off in the adjoining mountain I could see a waterfall, excited by sight I even took a picture of the same from a distance. Little did I know that towards the later part of the day we were going to cross that waterfall and it would be source of water for the journey. There are a total of 3 streams that we cross on this day. The last 45 minutes was a walk on plateau after which we welcomed by this magical place called Rola Kholi. A campsite straight from heaven; surrounded by mountains all over, the continuous sound of water flowing in a beautiful stream and sheep and horses all around. It was a rainy day and the place was all mushy. In spite of the mud my spirits were not hampered and we were lost in the beauty of nature and explored the surrounding area of the campsite all evening.
Today was the day we were to trek to the Bhrigu Lake and come back to Rola Kholi. We started our day early around 7. The walk today was a steep ascend all through. The last few kilometers were small boulders which had slowed down our pace, which was compensated by a short level ground walk. Around 11 am were had reached the beautiful Bhrigu lake. The lake is calm and serene region with a green waters and small flat pebbles all around. The lake is situated at an altitude of 14100 ft and is said to be the place where the Indian saint Maharishi Bhrigu meditated. The lake is considered sacred by the locals and hence our trek guides warned us to take our shoes off if we wanted to go near the lake. After an hour and half of exploring the region and taking pictures we resumed our trek back to the camp. As it as the day for packed lunch we took a break after completing the boulders ascend. A tasty lunch of pulav which we had packed in the morning and fresh water from the nearby by stream and we were set again to complete the day. We reached the camp site by 2.30 pm all happy and content as we had conquered the Bhrigu lake trek. The evening was spent playing fun games with the group and sharing experiences and rewards about the trek. Delicious snacks of noodles were our reward followed by mouth watering gulab-jamuns as desert post dinner were a perfect end to this beautiful day.
Today was the final day of the trek which comprised of ascend back to Gulaba checkpost. It was like a leisure day where we had fun on the way, took pictures, took breaks together, laughed, snacked and it felt within minutes we were down. We all thanked and said our good bye to our trek guides and headed to Manali. Through the journey back I had already started missing the mountains. As a rule I reflect back on the trek when I am heading back to the city leaving the mountains behind. Every trek, as you encounter the mountains teaches you something, makes you a different human being. This trek had taught me the importance of cleanliness in our life, importance of keeping our mother nature clean and green. Thus a big shout out to Indiahikes and their Green Trails programme where a small initiative by each one of us to get trash back at an individual level will eventually will make a big difference.