Laka - a glacier in paradise.

Tripoto
Photo of Laka - a glacier in paradise. by Sayandeep Roy

This series of photos have been taken on a trek, almost to the Indrahar pass in Himachal Pradesh. I say almost, because I had to return from a point very close to the pass due to some unavoidable circumstances. However, I realised it's not always important to reach the specific point that we have in mind while starting a journey, because the journey often is equally rewarding. From the beautiful Triund peak to the mesmerizing Laka glacier, and the mysterious Lahesh cave, every moment of this trek, though physically daunting, was worth the effort. This journey made me fall more in love with the process of travelling than reaching a destination.

One has to start the trek from Mcleodganj, a beautiful and peaceful town in the foothills of the Himalayas.

Photo of Laka Glacier, Illaqa, Himachal Pradesh, India by Sayandeep Roy

Throughout the trek till Triund, one would often find themselves in the company of our four-legged friends.

Photo of Laka Glacier, Illaqa, Himachal Pradesh, India by Sayandeep Roy

From Triund, the trek gets daunting. I had to give my rucksack to my guide, Mr. Kuldeep, as I wanted to climb upto Laka glacier and spend two an extra night there, instead of spending it in Triund. However, it's advisable to take rest for a night after reaching Triund.

To my astonishment, Mr. Kuldeep carried two bags, including mine, and climbed as if we were going downhill. I had to take a break every 15-20 minutes, and found myself almost crawling on four, after an hour.

Photo of Laka - a glacier in paradise. by Sayandeep Roy

At Laka, my phone was totally out of network coverage. Interestingly, there are certain spots where Reliance Jio works, and those spots have been marked in red for convenience. Mr. Kuldeep took me to one such spot, but my phone couldn't catch network

Photo of Laka - a glacier in paradise. by Sayandeep Roy

However, it was a beautiful night, and a part of me was happy to not have the distraction of a phone.

Photo of Laka - a glacier in paradise. by Sayandeep Roy

Next morning, it was time to leave for Indrahar pass. A group had been unable to reach the pass the previous day due to bad weather, and my guide wanted to start a bit late as the weather was not very supportive on that very day as well.

Photo of Laka - a glacier in paradise. by Sayandeep Roy

Around 8:00 a.m, we left for Indrahar pass.

Photo of Laka - a glacier in paradise. by Sayandeep Roy
Photo of Laka - a glacier in paradise. by Sayandeep Roy

I took this photo from inside Lahesh cave. The cave, to me, looked more lile a hole in the mountains than a cave. The ceiling is so low that one can only crawl into it. We had our lunch here, took some rest, and started moving towards Indrahar pass a

Photo of Laka - a glacier in paradise. by Sayandeep Roy

As we proceeded, it started sowing time to time, and we could see clouds moving towards the pass and to my utter disappointment, the sole of one of my shoes started coming off. But everything around looked so beautiful! 

Photo of Laka - a glacier in paradise. by Sayandeep Roy

At this point, we were about 300m away from the pass. But given the bad weather and the condition of my shoes, Mr. Kuldeep suggested it's wise to head back, as it would be practically impossible to climb back to Laka in this weather with snow inside my shoes.

So I sat there and had snacks, and it was the best snack-having experience of my life.

Photo of Laka - a glacier in paradise. by Sayandeep Roy

As we headed back towards Laka, the weather cleared up a bit and everything started becoming visible. But the upper regions were still covered in dense fog.

Photo of Laka - a glacier in paradise. by Sayandeep Roy

As we got back to Laka, Mr. Kuldeep prepared some Maggi and a cup of tea for me; a staple food in mountain treks.

Photo of Laka - a glacier in paradise. by Sayandeep Roy

As the sun was still up, I started wandering around.

Photo of Laka - a glacier in paradise. by Sayandeep Roy
Photo of Laka - a glacier in paradise. by Sayandeep Roy
Photo of Laka - a glacier in paradise. by Sayandeep Roy

It's mesmerising to see how fast the light, and along with that the feeling of the space, changes in the mountains!

Photo of Laka - a glacier in paradise. by Sayandeep Roy
Photo of Laka - a glacier in paradise. by Sayandeep Roy

The base camp at Laka, where the guides stay and food is cooked. Every few months, the necessary resources are transported to these camps. As the snow increases, they get covered up, and need to be partially re-made every year. This hut was apparentl

Photo of Laka - a glacier in paradise. by Sayandeep Roy
Photo of Laka - a glacier in paradise. by Sayandeep Roy
Photo of Laka - a glacier in paradise. by Sayandeep Roy

A night in the mountains without a bonfire is almost an impossibility.

Photo of Laka - a glacier in paradise. by Sayandeep Roy

And stargazing is a must.

Photo of Laka - a glacier in paradise. by Sayandeep Roy

Next morning, I woke around 4:00a.m up to a deep grumbling sound. Peeping out of my tent, I saw that the whole area was covered in clouds and it was thundering. I took my sleeping bag and went to the hut, woke my guide up, and went inside to sleep in there. I was worried that the wind might spoil the tent. After sometime, it started raining hard.

I woke up to this next morning!

Photo of Laka - a glacier in paradise. by Sayandeep Roy

And was happy that I did not stay inside the tent.

Photo of Laka - a glacier in paradise. by Sayandeep Roy
Photo of Laka - a glacier in paradise. by Sayandeep Roy

It was one of the most beautiful mornings I have ever seen.

Photo of Laka - a glacier in paradise. by Sayandeep Roy
Photo of Laka - a glacier in paradise. by Sayandeep Roy

After sometime, the fog cleared and it was sunny, and we headed back towards McLeodganj.

Photo of Laka - a glacier in paradise. by Sayandeep Roy

Mr. Kuldeep tied a prayer flag to a broken tree that has become a gate like structure, on our way back.

Photo of Laka - a glacier in paradise. by Sayandeep Roy

The journey ended well. I was happy even though I could not reach the destination I had in mind. I end the series with a self portrait I had taken at Laka, a place that has kept me yearning to go back.

Photo of Laka - a glacier in paradise. by Sayandeep Roy
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