Pretty postcards from the hills

Travel tales
Last Updated 19 May 2016, 18:38 IST

It is said that even a 100 divine epochs are not be enough to describe the marvels of the mighty Himalayan range. I found this statement to be true during my first Himalayan trek to Kedarkantha.

      My parents finally agreed to let me trek with my friends, after I convinced them by
saying that I will meet Lord Shiva. I reached New Delhi with numerous inhibitions about my trekking abilities.

     We explored the walled city before boarding our bus to Dehradun. In the excitement, I misplaced my wallet and umbrella, while clicking selfies but managed to find them later. They were with a few boys who were trying to locate my phone number. Kindness does exist in the ‘rape capital’ after all!

We reached Dehradun at 5.30 am and started our journey to Sankri in Uttarakhand. We crossed 5 hills — Mussoorie, Barkot, Purola, Mori, Netwar and Motwat. The bubbling river Tons kept us company. Scary curves and hairpin bends snaked up the hills.

     Motwat was dotted with thick pine and apple trees and the Yamuna river sang throughout our ride.

When we reached Sankri by evening, we were warmly welcomed by our trek guide Neil. Some of us explored the peaceful terrain, interacted with locals, and understood the lifestyle in the Himalayas. It pleased me to know that they were leading extremely happy lives with so little.

      Later that night, Neil briefed us about our trek. It seemed like we were discussing a case in the underworld don’s room.

Not wanting to waste any time, we started our ascent early next morning. After 2 km, we took rest at a small shop for ‘masala chai’. It was smack in the middle of a thicket with tall huge trees and hills in front of us. Our camp site ‘Juda ki Talab’ was also set in an excellent location. It was near a small pond and surrounded by hills.     Like children, we started jumping and clicking pictures with our reflection in the pond. We got back into the tent only when we froze and whiled away time by playing ‘Chaos Governor’, a game conceptualised by Neil.

He also asked all of us to wake up at 3 am to look at the ‘Milky Way’ but only Ramya and Mona got up.

The next day we trekked to Har Gaon base camp. Three of us went to the nearest stream and sat by a bed of wild, purple flowers. It is something I will never be able to experience in the city. We all came back just to create a hype about the view and said that we saw the ‘Valley of Flowers’. I also had my first sight of fresh snow here.

Neil told us about summit day and asked us to be up by 4.30 am. He also gave us gators and micro spikes for our trek.

     So next day, after oats and cornflakes, we started our journey. I was dressed in
thermals, two T-shirts, a heavy jacket, two caps and gloves and after 100 meters, I was sweating.

     It was not at all an easy trek. We finished climbing more than 6 hills but grew tired soon as the sun was at its peak. My friends were leading. There was just one more
hill to go.

I stopped and saw the peak; which was just a little ahead. The snow was melting and we all started losing our grip. A smart guy, who was ahead of me, suddenly slid down. I immediately held his bag and helped him. He was safe! I finally reached
the peak at 9.10 am.

     I knelt down and thanked god for keeping us safe. My friend told me that she
almost saw death. Yes, it was a hard climb but the view was worth it! When it was time to get down, my legs were buried in the snow but we all managed to reach the base camp.

     That night, I slept peacefully and the next morning, we all started descent to Sankri village. It took a full night to sink in that I had actually finished my first Himalayan trek.

How to get there

I flew by Jet Airways from Bengaluru to New Delhi and back by IndiGo. The round trip came up to Rs 9,500. From Delhi, we went to Dehradun by bus. The round trip cost me Rs 1,288. We went to Sankri village by a Tempo Traveller and the cost was included in the package.

Where to stay

We stayed in Swargarohini Hotel in Sankri village. The room tariff was Rs 999 for two people per night. We spent the rest of the nights in tents. 

(The author can be contacted at

(Published 19 May 2016, 16:07 IST)

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