How I illustrated my Har ki Dun trek: Nanda Doodles

2nd Nov 2017

My first trek in the HImalayas

Photo of How I illustrated my Har ki Dun trek: Nanda Doodles by Abhay Aswal

Hello, everyone!

My name is Nanda. I’m an 11 years old girl who lives with her grandmother amidst the lush green hills of Uttarakhand. I’m in total awe of everything that defines Uttarakhand – the weather, the landscape, the culture as well as the people. While I may still be a child, I have always dreamt big. The walls of my grandmother’s house cannot contain my adventurous and roving soul. Often I have sneaked out with my friends to play at the meadows or enjoyed fishing in the rivulets!

So, when I heard about the Har ki Dun trek, my interest piqued. I made my mind to travel to Sankri for my first ever trek to the great Himalayas. Whenever I would look out in the morning from the village, I could only see a glimpse of the great mountains, far away, covered in snow. I always wanted to get closer.

‘This is my chance.’ – I told myself.

My plan to trek to Har-ki-Dun valley received a shot in the arm when I came to know eUttaranchal have started a homestay in Sankri. What a coincidence! I like to draw and sketch; and eUttaranchal have always shared my doodles and drawings related to my adventures in the hills on their website and social media. I got in touch with the eUttaranchal team and they cordially invited me to their Meraki Triangle homestay! I was delighted. I picked up my pen, pencil, and sketchbook and packed my bag for the great adventure that awaited me at Sankri.

H0w I illustrated my Har ki Dun trek

I boarded on a bus from Dehradun ISBT to Sankri.

Photo of Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India by Abhay Aswal

I realized there is a straight bus to Sankri from Dehradun bus stand near railway station. I hurried off and managed to board the 8AM bus to Sankri. Soon after, the bus left the city clamor and swerved on the meandering hill roads. It was finally happening. Har ki Dun, here I come!

I reached Sankri in the evening.

Photo of Sankri, Uttarakhand, India by Abhay Aswal

Although the 8-hr bus journey was tiring, the natural beauty at Sankri village made me forget that in an instant. It is so peaceful here! I waved goodbye to the driver uncle and walked towards the Meraki homestay. Thankfully, it wasn’t far enough (only 100 meters from bus stand), I could easily locate the red roof.

I was greeted by the hosts at Meraki Triangle. I sat with them and talked while sipping hot chai and munching pakodas.

Photo of How I illustrated my Har ki Dun trek: Nanda Doodles by Abhay Aswal

Today has been a great day for me. Not only I chased my dream to trek to Kedarkantha, I also braved the uncertainty.

Photo of How I illustrated my Har ki Dun trek: Nanda Doodles by Abhay Aswal

On our way to Har-ki-Dun valley!

Photo of How I illustrated my Har ki Dun trek: Nanda Doodles by Abhay Aswal

On the next day, I woke up early to get the glimpse of the rising sun. We left for Har ki Dun trek in the morning after the breakfast. I have lived in Uttarakhand all my life (all 11 years lol) but never got to see the majestic snow covered Himalayas from close quarters. Hopefully that will change! Our porter bhaiya carried our tents and cooking equipment - such a strong man!

Beautiful temple en route to Har ki Dun.

Photo of Osla, Uttarakhand, India by Abhay Aswal

As we trek towards our campsite, we came across a beautiful temple unlike others I have seen. Bhuppi sir told me about its legends and history. These temples had a very unique architecture and an impressive wooden carvings. The landscape was getting scenic with each passing step. I asked Sandy about Har-ki-Dun valley and its unparalleled beauty.

Oh, the butterfly!

Photo of Har ki Doon, Sankari Range, Uttarakhand, India by Abhay Aswal

We reached Har ki Dun valley. It was more beautiful than I imagined. The gorgeous snow-covered Himalayan mountains felt so close and so silent. We also trekked to Har ki Dun few days later. We camped at the valley which was so pretty. What a lovely trip it has been!

Finally, it was the day to bid adieu to Meraki Triangle and Sankri.

Photo of How I illustrated my Har ki Dun trek: Nanda Doodles by Abhay Aswal

We returned back to Sankri after an amazing 10 days roaming amidst the Himalayan cradle. I waved goodbye and took a shared cab to Dehradun. It was an amazing 10 days spent amidst the Himalayas. I’m looking forward for more adventurous trips in my Uttarakhand.