Woke up early morning, had the perfect English breakfast, guided by the humm of the running stream beside our hostel and birds chirping. We were heading for Jalori Pass, via Sojha, to experience the beauty after the first snowfall of the season. We booked a cab for Rs. 400 for 4 people and reached Jalori. The roads leading to Jalori are steep and narrow, on it, they were snow covered. Can't describe in words the beauty of the color white!
On reaching Jalori, we first saw the temple of Jalori Mata and a few tea shops. Not wanting to waste any more time, we headed towards our trek, Serolsar Lake, situated at a distance of 5 km from the starting point at Jalori Pass. We were wearing normal city boots and sports shoes and that made our walk difficult, initially. After walking for a few meters, we got the hang of it and were absolutely comfortable (so, don't worry about carrying/renting snow boots; any shoes with a good grip would work).
We walked past narrow and rocky, snow covered paths with the most beautiful view of the majestic Pir Panjal range standing tall with pride. Sunlight-kissed snow-heaped pine trees, vegetation hidden under snow, water dripping icicles, we experienced all, on our way up. We took on the trek without a guide, trusting our instincts about the route up, since there are no sign boards pointing towards the lake. We followed the foot imprints on the snow and general geographic sense when the GPS stopped working. Astonishingly, we were getting network up there!
We covered the up hill trek in some 4 hrs, walking through the picturesque landscape on our right and the white heights on our left. By the time we reached Buddha cafe we were hungry out of our wits. We ordered some pahadwali maggie there and rested for half an hour before finally covering the remaining distance of 270 meters. We were told that Serolsar lake would be frozen, but on catching the first glimpse of the lake, we saw that it wasn't frozen. That broke our hearts, but we went on tho finish the trek, and I thank my stars for finishing it. The lake was indeed frozen, the water of only one-third of the lake was in liquid state. We went close to the lake, trust me if I say this, surreal would be an understatement for the beauty. We spent half an hour admiring the satin sheet of white snow and the lake before starting to head back, as it would be dark soon.
While relishing some mountain tea and biscuits we realized there's another frozen lake just behind us but a smaller one. We were stunned at the nature's play.
Downhill, we experienced the most beautiful of the pink mountain sunsets I have ever seen. I have throughout been a sunset person, and mountain sunsets are my favorite-most. As we descended further, we saw the ever-so-beautiful moon shine up above the world so high, guiding us through the snow to reach the end point of the trek. We sipped on some tea and booked a cab towards our hostel for Rs. 800.
A quick piece of local belief; on the way, lies this little temple, where drivers stop playing music because it is believed that the 5 km radius of the temple is very dangerous and has been a hub of several deadly accidents.
Once back, we were welcomed by a galaxy of stars and a warm bonfire. But, we were maniacally tired, so we rested for a while. After a light dinner, I, along with a friend of mine, while the others slept, stepped outside of the dorm. The temperature dropped to sub-zero but that didn't deter us from gazing at the star-studded night sky; we laid our heads on the ice-covered bonnet of our car and saw all the constellations we knew of, believed to have figured out Mars and a satellite as well; satisfied of our trip and memories made we rested for the night.