I had been looking forward to this trek for a long while, yet always finding some reason to postpone it until finally one day I and a couple of my girlfriends decided to tackle this trek over the weekend. The opportunity arose because of ghoomophiro.com and since it was already on my bucket list to trek here, I took my chance. The four-hour journey from Dehradun railway station to Panthwari village which is the starting point is no short of delight either. At first, I was amazed at how changed Dehradun looked every time I visited it. Then there was the road took us into Mussorie and over the Yamuna Bridge with beautiful sights all around us. The Lush greenery with amazing wind and warm conversations with a packet of chips is what started the trip on a positive note. I am a big fan of road trips anyway for the sheer reason of enjoying the company of people as well as the views outside the window. The weather constantly kept changing and I often wondered if it would start raining. We made a few pit stops to grab food while on the road at roadside dhabas and I ate Maggie at a local shop which felt divine considering the cold climate. But even that didn’t stop me from munching on snacks along the way and finally having a delicious cup of tea at a local stall as we reached Panthwari village.
We gathered around and were assigned a trek leader from ghoomophiro.com. It was a total of ten people and after a brief conversation, we began the trek from Panthwari village. We were told that there were three different paths leading to Nag Tibba but this one was the shortest one of only 8 kilometres to Nag Tibba summit. As we began walking on a cemented trail in the heart of the little hamlet, a 'Naag Devta' temple appeared on the way and most of us stopped to pray before continuing on our trail. After walking for a couple of hours, we finally entered the grove and were surrounded by oak trees. The sights on the way were breathtaking and since the altitude wasn't much, we felt rejuvenated instead of having any problems. From there onwards, the view just kept getting better and better and we across some wild squirrels on the way and a dog that kept following us for a while before he stopped near a stone. We had conversations on the way and occasionally stopped to click beautiful pictures. Reaching the top wasn't the biggest agenda, it was the fun we were having along the way. But once we did reach there, it was quite a wonderful scene. We saw snow-capped mountains and were awed by the fresh air that gave us an out of the world feeling. The views of Bandarpoonch, Kedarnath and whole of Geharwal Himalayas gave us an accomplished feeling as we sat there staring at the magnificence of the peaks. By this time we were hungry again and began to unload our backpacks and whatever food we had in it, being careful to put the wrappers back in our bags instead of spoiling the beauty of the place. Our laughter echoed from the top as we continued to enjoy being present in the lap of nature, messing with each other’s pictures and running after taking the camera. Usual childish stuff that we love to do.
The ghoomophiro.com trek guide was also very sweet and supportive. He taught us how to set camps and light a bonfire. As the sun started setting, the views got even more mesmerizing. It was just something about the whole aesthetic and the warm feeling in the pit of my stomach mixed in with the cool breeze that made it an amazing experience. The way the sunset made the tree’s silhouette look was something so out of this world. We fell asleep in our tents dreaming about starry skies and horizons.
Then the time came to retrace the steps back to the base. It was true that we were having so much fun that we didn’t want to leave but the weekend was ending and with it, the stopwatch on our fun trekking time was turned on. Looking back at that ‘Jhandi’ on top of the trek, it felt so amazing to have seen such a great place. We all started walking back through the same trails amidst the grove of oaks and I wished that we came across that dog. Unfortunately, I didn’t see him anywhere.
Somehow on our way back, it felt like the path had changed a little even though I knew it hadn’t. Maybe it was me who had changed. Another memorable thing that happened was that one of my friends slipped and twisted her ankle. So the way back consisted of us basically helping her walk back and listen to the moaning and groaning and yet motivating her to keep walking while she took support from our shoulders. The whole deal kept us going as well and made us forget the melancholy of having to leave the place. So when we finally reached the base, it was a victorious thing for her and for us as well. From there onwards, the first thing to do was fill our bellies with delicious food and then get back on the bus for our way back. Don’t worry, we got my friend the medical attention she required and a painkiller for the journey back. But we didn’t let that single moment ruin the positive experience we had on the whole trip.
It surely was something memorable and while all the others slept on the way back because they were tired, I kept my eyes open for a little while longer to capture the last moments of the journey. I stared out of the window and rejoiced in the beauty of trees in dusk. Then I fell asleep too, tired but content with the whole trip, all thanks to ghoomophiro.com