Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One)

Tripoto

Our friend, guide, as we start our journey from Haridwar.

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Day 1: We board the only Govt. bus to Chamoli at 5:00 a.m.

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Our first breakfast stop after Devaprayag

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

We enter the Shivalik ranges. The roads are ridden with landslides.

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

As we enter Rudraprayag. There are five Prayags; confluence points of two rivers

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Wherever you go in Uttarakhand, rivers are your guardian angels

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

We finally cross Karnaprayag. Confluence of Alaknanda and Pindar rivers. I am in

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

It's an eight hour tiring bus ride

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Rakya asks the waiter here, "Kitne saal se hotel khula hai?", "Khane mein namak

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

From Chamoli we take a cab to Gopeshwar (12 km). The drunk guy on right asks us

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

From Gopeshwar we head to Mandal (13 km), where we're supposed to start our trek

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Locals at Mandal warn us about heavy snow deposition at Rudranath.

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

We're tired, but we trek 5km uphill to Anusuya Devi, which'll be our halt for th

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Dense jungles start and the path gets steeper. We're heart broken, Rudranath was

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy
Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

It gets darker and more beautiful. Damn date stamps.

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy
Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

This is our stay for the night. Hardly five people stay in Anusuya Devi

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Our dinner's being cooked by Ranuji, the one man force behind Hotel Lodge. Dal,

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

It's cold and we make ourselves warm. We meet a jovial hippie Maharaj ji.

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Rakya looks for his cozy spot. The ceiling is ridiculously low.

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Day 2: One of the most beautiful mornings I have woken up to. You never hear bir

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Anusuya Devi temple

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Pose to banta hai

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Rudranath next year! We head towards Atri Muni cave. It's a 2 km walk.

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Posers

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

This part, near Atri Muni cave is dangerous. One slip to the left and you're don

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Maharaj ji helps us

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Waterfalls besides Atri Muni cave. You can trek behind the falls.

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

On our way back we meet Swami Akhileshwarananda, who's been doing saadhna here s

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Swamiji asks us questions in electronics, as he has a keen interest in it. He he

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

We trek back the same day to catch a bus to Chopta, where we'll trek towards Tun

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

A bridge has broken down on the way, and everybody in the bus lends a hand

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

The bus makes it :)

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

We reach Chopta. It's freezing here and there's no electricity. We stay without

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Day 3: We trek up to Tungnath at 6:00 a.m. A dog joins us. Tungnath is at 12,073

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

There's snow along the way. Makes the path extremely slippery

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

This, THIS is priceless

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Long way to go. We're already taking breaks because of less oxygen.

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

We finally see the village.

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

It's dipped in snow. Locals are clearing up the place. They leave this place fo

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Trekking on snow without the right shoes can be dangerous. The dog leads the way

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Jai Tungnath! A 'save the girl child' campaign.

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy
Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

12,073 ft

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

The dog shall be pampered, for it has loyalty, and we have food. Soon after it j

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

We try to trek up to Chandrashila from there (13,000 ft), but lose our way becau

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Posers pose - 2

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Posers pose - 3

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

We decide to climb up Chandrashila anyway. It's a 70 degree climb as we can't fi

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

By the time we reach the peak, our lungs are exploding.

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Moon God spent time in penance here, hence the name.

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

You get a beautiful 360 degree of Chaukhamba, Nanda Devi, Kedar peaks. You're at

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

The temple at Chandrashila peak

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

A local helps us find our way down, as we can't trek down on snow.

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

The tip is Chandrashila

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

We come down to Chopta.

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

The Shahi Paneer at Bugyaal hotel here is delicious. The higher you go in the Hi

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

We head to Joshimath, the same day. Cabbies don't travel after sunset because of

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Day 4: Next day we head to the Tehsil office for a permission to travel to Badri

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

We sit and plan the next two days. Nagar Palika elections full power in Joshimat

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

We head to Auli.

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

We take a ropeway from where, it's 4 km to the top.

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Auli is very touristy and not much fun

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

The bugyals are beautiful though. There's snow in the jungles above.

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Our maggi stop. We learn about the 4-day Dronagiri trek here.

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy
Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

There are flags full power everywhere in the Himalayas

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Day 5: We trek up to Bhavishya Badri. It's the most steep climb we've done in th

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

There's step farming everywhere. Reminds me of Aizawl days

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy
Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Meeting locals along the way

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

You look back after a while, and it's difficult to figure out where you started

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy
Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

We reach the Bhavishya Badri village. It's a 3 km even steeper climb from here,

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Mountain water is the tastiest water can get.

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Dronagiri and Nanda Devi peaks

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Bugyals on the way

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

We finally make it to the top. Here, at Kali Shankar Math, we meet Tyagi Baba wh

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy
Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

We talk to Tyagi Baba about faith, spiritual-materialistic balance, yoga, and li

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Bhavishya Badri is 500 m further uphill

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

As per mythology, the Nar and Narayan ranges will move towards each other making

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

As we trek down, maggi beckons again. We meet the shopkeeper's kids. Kailash and

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

We head to Helong (15km from Joshimath) the same day, which is in the middle of

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

We're lucky to get an under construction room. There's electricity only after 6:

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Day 6: From Helong we head to Kalpanath via Urgam and Devgram villages. It's a 4

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Everyone's so nice in the villages. Kids greet you with a Namaste.

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy
Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

People call tourists as Bangalis in many villages there. Talks about their love

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

We cross Devgram village

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

There are thousands of these along the way, in houses at Devgram

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Flag full power

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

We finally reach Kalpnath. The first Kedar in the Panch Kedar circuit.

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy
Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Locals tell us about a Sundervan Baba who stays further 3 km inside Sundervan de

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

We decide to explore the jungles. They're dense and scary. Kalpaganga river gush

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

We spot Baba's kutir. He's nice. Baba is an IIT Kanpur grad who loved travel bef

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

We have two more visitors. The man on left was Rajiv Gandhi's PSO. There's a you

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

Baba knows lead vocalists from Shillong based bands like Mojo and Soulmate. We l

Photo of Himalayan Hiking Chronicles (Part One) by Sarthak Satapathy

There's always a reason. In the Himalayas, experiences happen to you, you don't plan them in advance.

Be the first one to comment