66 km Together: Kyuki Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani

21st Jul 2018
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The nutsos at Pushpawati Riverbed

(Before I start, one of the prominent persons who pushed me round the clock for completing this is the undomesticated friend of mine–Rakesh Gaur. Although I don’t want to but THANK YOU)

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When insanity reaches its peak... towards Vasudhara Falls

I am 27 and on the peak of grabbing different flavours of travel to spice up the boring yet “have to live” life of mine. Having an insane zeal for seeing the unseen gems was not my cup of tea since the beginning, but my cravings couldn’t stop once I started savouring the palates of the mesmerising landscapes... especially mountains! And no matter how the diverse and visually appealing panoramic aesthetics will surprise me every time I’ll meet them, mountains would remain endearing to me.

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Pure. Peace. Picturesque

To add credits under my fun umbrella, which my 9 to 5 job keeps debiting, this time, I, with my only group of wandering nutsos, underwent a seven-day trip to some sought-after places of Uttarakhand. And people, I just couldn’t derive a definition other than drop-dead gorgeous for how this heaven, without a hitch, spread the magic to make me believe what it is!

The glowing green

Photo of 66 km Together: Kyuki Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani by Himani Nandwana

Our itinerary sure enlisted some heavenly destinations to “brag about”, but it was the journey that made the “all about”. The journey of indelibility, the journey of accomplishment, the journey of “66 km together”!

Wondering what these 66 km would be? Let’s get on the ride and envisage the fanatical odyssey that we experienced.

India's last tea shop

Photo of 66 km Together: Kyuki Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani by Himani Nandwana

Haridwar railway station was amid the constant hustle and bustle in the morning when we settled ourselves in the clamour. A place that happens to be known for its religious heritage sure grabbed our eyeballs, but we had the mindset to unbox the hidden whereabouts that we had already opened in our souls before it all started, and thus we shelved it out and took our cab which we’d booked for the itinerary.

Initiating with a quick mention of Muneer Bhaiya without whom, the journey wouldn’t have been, perhaps, as mesmerising as it was. We could call him our cab driver or a young lad with an unadorned outer profile who wouldn’t do anything but took us to the world unseen to date.

Confluence of Alakhnanda and Bhagirathi

Photo of 66 km Together: Kyuki Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani by Himani Nandwana

More worthwhile becomes the destination when you enjoy the journey to the fullest. You can find joy, make connections, and feel moments along with the path and that is the best part about travelling. It makes the amazeballs tying you up all the way. Beating the boredom with control on wheels and exploring things at our own pace, we left from Haridwar.

Soothing it was all around as we led off to Joshimath. We couldn’t take the sight off the white sheets of clouds draping the jebels. Train lag had made each one of us dozy, however, the atmosphere outside knew how to keep our eyes wide awake and was making us wow in every 5-10 minutes. Muneer Bhaiya had his list of some Punjabi songs, which he kept on rolling for the entire twists and turns in the whole route. To absorb the beauty, we would often tell him to put the brakes to seize the visuals entirely until we stop the car next time.

Had we not planned to take a road trip for the entire day to reach Joshimath, we wouldn’t have captured in our eyes what we still miss today like hell. It struck around 8 as we reached the destination and checked in one of the hotels out there to reshape our bodies for the next day.

66 km together: The beginning


Towards Ghangaria

Photo of 66 km Together: Kyuki Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani by Himani Nandwana

Some life experiences create magic in minutes and memories for the lifetime. The blend of magic and memories for us was those 66 km, the beginning of which started from Govindghat. Located at the confluence of Alakhnanda and Lakshman Ganga, this small town in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand is amazeballs amid the giant mountain range.

For around a km or two, one can avail the services of Gypsy cars as there’s a motorable road till Pulna but the path afterwards remains a footslog. Trekking poles, rain ponchos, water bottles and edibles became our companions for the long trek of 9 km which would take us to Ghangaria. Enthusiasm among each five of us was at its peak as we were entirely wrapped up with nature. Tons of talks, laughter, dancing, short breaks, new fellas in the pathway kept the fervour up and strong. Those 9 km in 9 hours couldn't be the same if any of the aforesaid took a miss. Weather, on the other hand, was thoroughly interested in coquetry with us, making us fall for it with every step.

The uproar of the river

Photo of 66 km Together: Kyuki Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani by Himani Nandwana

Ghangaria, a small village nestled in the arms of icy mountains was busy with people. The clock struck around 6 in the evening and the temperature now had the audacity to intimidate us. We had to pamper our pockets for the next three days in Ghangaria as the place demands funds at any unspecified moment. Booking a low-budget hotel seemed fine to us and we soothed our bodies and legs that needed much relief. The morning the other day was freezy and fresh. We marched towards Valley of Flowers.

NOTE: Do carry substantial ready cash when planning to trek areas with minimum amenities. Plastic money is a big NO for places like these.


The rich and diversified Alpine Valley

Photo of 66 km Together: Kyuki Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani by Himani Nandwana

The start of the most challenging trek in the itinerary started with some hot cups of tea and light brunch. A home to a rich diversity of flora and some rare and endangered animals, Valley of Flowers is a high altitude valley beautifying the renowned mountains. Different colours, shades, sizes and species of flowers make a rush in the heart as one steps towards the 11 km long trek.

While the emerald mountain ranges and the meadows shining with a myriad of flowers create a fascinating sight to behold, it is the Pushpawati riverbed, 6 km ahead of the Alpine valley that pulls like a magnet even from the far. Amid the grassland, the uproar of the river bestows peace. Should you be finding a place to calm your heart and mind, this mystical beauty has the astuteness to decoy you towards itself and snatch your hour or two.

Pushpawati Riverbed

Photo of 66 km Together: Kyuki Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani by Himani Nandwana

Entitled as a world heritage site, this pristine eclat is a reviving eye-treat to the young masses, a knowledge bank to the Botany students and a serene beauty to the aged trekkers. The round trip made the footslog 22 km long but a walkabout truly worthwhile.

NOTE: Your backpacks should be filled with comestibles to keep your belly unstarved for the whole-day journey.


With each passing day, the zeal to walk more had been shoving up. Enroute Hemkund Sahib the third morning, we hiked the 6 km trail to reach the highly revered Sikh pilgrimage. The beauty of Garhwal Himalayas becomes even more prominent when you see a form of purity nestled amid the mountain range. It's also famous for Brahma Kamal, a species of a flowering plant that you'll find in the whole way till you reach the Gurudwara. Touched by several devotees every year, Hemkund Sahib is a dinkum meditational ground having a lake in close proximity. Serene, calm and pleasant!

The revering, Hemkund Sahib

Photo of 66 km Together: Kyuki Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani by Himani Nandwana

What made the trek still glued to our eyes was the blurriness all around as we were misted up completely. Watching anything beyond 10 or 20 meters was arduous for us. Raindrops and fog had blocked the pathway but that’d extract the enthusiasm at its peak from us. Drenched in sheets of rain, we made to the sacred sight and spent a few hours.

NOTE: Rain is like an uncalled guest, which can come your way anytime. Do settle ponchos in one of the empty pockets of your backpack.

On that note, the chief destinations of our itinerary and a footslog of 52 km were blissfully completed.

“66 km together: The conclusion”


The serene, Mana

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Be it a journey full of fun, drama, struggles or sacrifices, what makes the core happy is the happy conclusion. The people of Mana, the last Indian village, their humble dialect and their way of assistance was truly heartwarming. Little did we know that the cessation of this dreamy excursion would keep us dreaming for it for the lifetime as the simplicity just blew our minds away. The stories of ancient times these folks relay and their modest living standard is just adorable, making one feel listening to them forever. Mana is 4.5 km ahead of Badrinath, near to where the nectar sweet, Vasudhara Falls surge. One can barely visualise the enchanting sight without witnessing it through the naked eyes.

The ineffable, Vasudhara Falls

Photo of 66 km Together: Kyuki Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani by Himani Nandwana

It sure took several paces to reach those 6 km ravishing waterfall away from Mana, but when the eyes can’t believe what they watch, the toil disappears in a few seconds flat. I wouldn’t be wrong to use ineffable to the naturalness of those droplets coming from a height of 400 feet. Pure and clean, it felt like the ambiance was making us unstained from any guilt. The 66 km ended with that surge of unadulterated and undiluted happiness, which took our bodies back to our “have to live” lives but snatched our souls for the rest of our lives.

Picture Credits: Rishi Raj Maken & Rakesh Gaur