Bhrigu Lake Trek

Bhrigu Lake Trek, A Solo Survival.

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Situated amidst the high Rocky Mountains where plants and flowery meadows can’t dare to make their habitat at 14,000 (4,267m) feet Bhrigu lake freezes during winters making it very difficult to climb and cast a beautiful shadow of small snow patches during the summer and monsoon. It is a popular moderate trek in Himachal Pradesh near Manali.

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Being in Mountain Sports division of Decathlon Sports India and guiding people for their hikes and treks and their essential products I saw that Bhrigu lake was frequently asked for and the trekking companies were charging way too much for the trek i.e. 7-8 k per person which covered MANALI TO MANALI.

I had Bhrigu lake on my bucket list for a long time and now I got a reason to plan it as soon as possible. And within 3 days I had an itinerary in my favourite leather coated book I got from leh.

I grabbed the essentials and headed for the solo survival.

I will soon write about trekking essentials in my blog to make your trek safe and extraordinary, that’s how they are meant to be.

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And I did Bhrigu lake trek (MANALI TO MANALI) IN 800 BUCKS. (know how? In the story)

 

Route:

Delhi-Chandigarh-Manali-Gulaba-Rauli khol (Base Camp)-Bhrigu lake

 

Enroute Manali

According to my itinerary, I was not destined proper food the following night hence when the Himachal Roadways bus stopped for dinner I made sure I had proper dinner whether I was hungry or not.

On 17 July around 10:45 in the morning I reached Manali. It was one of the rare bright sunny days of monsoon.

Now I had to catch a bus to Gulaba to start the trek and a bus for Keylong left at 1:00 PM and that bus will drop me to Gulaba and  I had 2 hours in Manali which I spent checking out some trek shops and mountain gear shops in Manali mall road.

 

Met trek mates

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After around 40 minutes of standing in the bus leaning against the pole, I reached Gulaba and the visibility was fucked up. The bus conductor asked the driver to stop the bus and told me here you go bhrigu dude. I said ..what?? he replies yes you need to enter the jungle from here, I hopped out of the bus, I was standing in one of the many turns of Manali-Rohtang pass road all by my own and had no idea the trek started from a place like this.

I came back to Gulaba check post 1km down from where I was standing as I was not aware that the trek started from such place where no one lived or there were no shops. I had to fill water and be ready for the coming 3 days.

 

 

While I was in water hunt I met Neeraj and his friends who were also there for Bhrigu lake trek, Actually they were not, they came for a road trip and decided to do Bhrigu just like that which explained his friend’s Nikes, jeans, and jumpers, Oh boy they’re not gonna make it to the top, I told myself.

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(Note: Never ever compromise on your mountain gear, don’t start off just like that.)

We started off together from the trail that bus conductor told me to begin from.

It was almost 3 hours of continuous walking and we were not sure of the route.

Arjun seemed to be an experienced hiker among his friends and his friends thought that he

is taking them for a road trip but they ended up meeting up a crazy dude like me in a monsoon trek.

So none of us knew the trails, we just enquired about the start point and we were guided to a wrong one in that.

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A monsoon trek without knowing the trails is a difficult one I tell you.

Especially when there are no signs and no cafes on the way and you are on your own.

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We were not sure of the route from the beginning of this trek and as it was getting dark we were just in search of a meadow or a camping ground to camp. We almost camped in the jungle but we kept patience and after 15 minutes climb in chest high bushes we found a beautiful divine meadow perfect to camp for the night.

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In my head, I thought we’ll wake up tomorrow morning and this meadow will turn out to be Rauli kholi and behind the hill, there will be a hut or some camps that I knew there are in the base camp. But it was the optimism in me talking to my head and I was nowhere near base camp and I was inside my tent and it was raining cats and dogs outside and I was nowhere. The feeling just made a hole in my expectations but I must admit the thrill that I felt and the chill through the spine because of being lost in the woods made me feel good in the adventurous part of my heart.

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BULLS, The king in the Meadows

 

Mountains are awesome, they’re not a flat you own or your backyard where you can play beer pong.

When we finally found the meadow to camp that was an incomparable joyous moment. But nature owned the nature and not us. There were around sixty grazing bulls in the meadow and we thought yayyy we’re gonna camp with them bulls. And believe me they are not our homies.

As soon as we begin to setup our all blue Quechua tents a couple of bulls came sniffing around and we were excited and started making videos and it was the moment of ultimate joy and freedom. Slowly the number of sniffing bulls increased and all three tents of ours were pitched up and when we tried to frighten those bulls away we forgot that we were five humans and the bulls were sixty. The sniffing suddenly turned to “Screw them intruders” from the bull’s side and we were running away holding the already setup tents in our hands and we were running for life as we had sixty bulls behind us chasing us.

Then we had to pitch our tents again in a not so good camping area and the idea of bulls running over us in our sleep kept us awake.

 

Trek mates left halfway

So it was the rainy morning in that meadow nowhere, I heard Arjun calling me from the other tent and he said “Bro, we think we’ll head back, following the trails we got here through, We can’t risk it trekking through unknown and you should head back with us.”

Going back was not an option and a solution I could opt. They gave me their food supply some water and headed back in the rain and walked up the mountain in search of the right trail for I knew I will make it.

More than the destination but the beautiful landscapes and the flowery meadow was making me go further and further.

 

CHAND JI’S Hut

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I followed the Stone signals and finally I saw smoke coming out of a hut. A hut with a wall of big rocks and a huge plastic sheet in the top to protect from rain and the hut was so tiny it was almost like a little cave, I had to crawl into it and Inside there was a man who held my rucksack and gave me a blanket and started a fire to keep me warm.

The old man was “Chand Ji” who was from Mandi district and he had a wife and two kids back home. He built his hut to graze and train his young horses to transport goods to treks like these.

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When I asked, “Does your family approves you living here like this,?” Stay in a hut like this which can fall apart any moment and you lived in here for the whole year.

He replies, “My son used to disapprove but I got him a wife” Chand Ji is a hilarious man in the hills.

After 3 cups of soothing black tea he served me rice and I was back in the trail after thanking this generous old man and followed the trail he directed me to and I finally made it to Rauli Kholi.

 

RAULI KHOLI (Base Camp)

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While approaching Rauli kholi we have to walk through two streams flowing on the trail and it has the most beautiful sound and view ever. I took a halt for some tracks of Coldplay and kygo and started the journey again. After walking for few more minutes.

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Here I saw camps spread in the green grassland and a small beautiful stream flowing alongside. The base camp was nested in the lap of huge mountains and it was so perfect that it looked like it was engineered to be the base camp.

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Chand ji suggested me to meet Sanju in the base camp and as soon as I reached base camp I asked for Sanju.

 

Sanju Bhaiya

I met sanju bhaiya.

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He was known as “battery” around the base camp, maybe because of his thick glasses.

Because of the bad weather, Chand Ji suggested me not to attempt Bhrigu lake alone as there is zero visibility and I may have to make way through snow patches. He told me to go find Sanju “chasme wala” at the campsite.

Sanju bhaiya works at a camp kitchen in Rauli kholi base camp who is owned by an old man from Manali.

Sanju bhaiya was welcoming and humble and soon became my mountain brother.

He was a father of a teen girl who always awaits his return at Dharamshala.

People like sanju bhaiya and chand ji keep me motivated in life and people like these make me come back to the Himalayas again and again. “People with golden hearts”.

So, I sat with sanju bhaiya and we discussed Bhirgu lake with teacups in our hands. And he was ready to take me to bhrigu lake if the weather turns out to be the next day.

We talked about his family and my travel stories sipping tea gazing at the fiercely flowing stream alongside the camp.

After certain intervals I would borrow slippers from sanju bhaiya and walk around the campsite clicking pictures and the good man would shout from behind “The slippers are not good enough, don’t slip”.

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I walked through the flowers in the meadow and the time stopped I forgot my life back in Delhi.

I have this habit of walking barefoot around the campsite wherever I go and I couldn’t resist this time also (you must try it once). I also tried to go to the stream as well but the water was deadly freezing and I had to jump out and shout ahhhhhh.!!! But that was the moment of ultimate happiness and being into the wild.

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The Curious girls

When I was buried in my diary writing about my experiences a group of Gujarati boys and girls entered the camp kitchen and we shared our stories few minutes after or half an hour later the group left and the two shy girls came back again, they were just out of high school, they were trekking with a group from Gujrat and it was their first trek.

After a minute they entered the kitchen one girl couldn’t hold it more and askes.

“How it is like to come to nowhere all alone.?” she got my attention because of her bright eyes filled with questions and excitement. They were two curious faces who were just about to get into college and get out of their conservative households.

The conversation lasted about an hour and I could tell the number of things they both wanted to do and achieve in their life but there were a lot of “What if’s” and “But’s” stopping them to do what they always wanted to do.

I got to know a lot of their world and they dig most of mine. I felt like a sage, the one that travels, telling them to follow their dreams and never look back.

THE SUN WAS UP.!!!!

I told sanju bhaiya that see how all my prayers have been answered by mountain gods. The evening sun was so soothing and beautiful there I cannot put it into words.

Sanju bhaiya, I and Vinod were now ready to summit Bhrigu lake the next morning.

As the people in camp site told me it was the seventh day that they actually saw the sun.

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Vinod

Vinod is a camp manager in a popular trekking company and he was not always the camp manager.

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He started as a potter and turned his life around by his hard work and intelligence and became a camp manager.

He belonged to Rudraprayag “Uttrakhand”.

We three enjoyed the sunset sitting on a cliff, the sky changed colour from blue to orange to dark and we settled back in our camps.

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I told sanju bhaiya that my tent is all wet and I don’t feel like pitching it up again and is it possible that I take my sleeping bag and sleep in the camp kitchen.?

Two minutes after my request a bed  was ready for me with double layered mattresses which included torn trekking mats and homemade cushions. It was a perfect bed.

It was a cold windy night and I was thinking I should have brought that silk liner to put inside my sleeping bag cope with the temperature.

All night I was praying for the weather to stay like this and not rain again.

Early morning at 4 Sanju bhaiya comes out when I was still in my sleeping bag and he says oohh its all packed the weather is not good. And I refused to hear it and I came out and checked for myself and it was good as it never was and sanju bhaiya was just pulling my leg as he knew there was no going back for me without doing it and what it meant to me.

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THE SUMMIT, Bhrigu Lake  

It took us 3 hours 30 minutes up and down the summit which is a great time as they said. Perks of trekking with the locals I guess.

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So, earlier this morning we left at 7. Sanju bhaiya had joined me just not to break my heart as he was not sure of the weather. We started the summit where there were no concrete trails, the two dudes were running like it was a trail run and they would let me take halts. But yes this climb with them is not less than a mountaineering course.

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It was a bright day but we were not sure of the weather the fog in next mountain could hit us anytime and ruin our summit. Sanju bhaiya in his sports shoes was leading the trail and motivated me and slow his pace to match mine and we move further together, the green meadow ended and we were now climbing on big rocks with the help of our hands and legs we could have used more hands if humans had more.

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Soon we were digging snow patches with our shoes to make a way up the hill.

This monsoon 70% of trekkers couldn’t reach the lake because of bad weather and turn back.

Bhrigu lake has recently started as a trek but people have been visiting this lake from ages. Bhrigu lake is a holy place and the locals have been taking holy dips in this lake a lot earlier than the trekkers discovered this place. And the locals still take holy dips in it in the holy month of “Bhadra” of Indian calendar.

 

People carry statue of vashisth nath to bhrigu lake and it is believed that the statue pulls its carriers to the lake first and then starts the holy dip and it is believed that this is the way Vasistha nath gives approval and then only the pilgrims start their rituals.

Sitting besides the lake and glaring at the snowcapped mountains I kept listening to sanju bhaiya about the lake, the unsuccessful climbs and the micrales of mountain god.

Sanju bhaiya would sing himachali folk songs and describe the meanings to me.

 

Finally this Solo survival came to an end but I made two mountain brothers for forever and we still call up each other and share stories of our lives in mountain and city.

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PULGA, The Gang Into Wilderness

It was my sister’s marriage. There were lights and people and authentic Pahadi musicians killing it like old skool. All the happiness and the amount of work a bride’s brother has to go through and at the back of my head I was planning my remaining leaves day wise for Himachal Pradesh.

My days now were not totally mine, college was over so were the unplanned trips and carefree adventure but adventure and exploring is what keeps me alive and keeps my life on a right track. So, I have promised myself to find ways to respond the call of mountains and this minute and hour wise planning that was going on my head during the wedding was a way to keep my promise to the mountains.image

After the wedding ceremony we reached the grooms place in Kumaon in outskirts of Uttarakhand hills I knew the next day I will be heading to the Himalayas, 2 days in a bus was a horrible feeling but a bunch of best of the people were already waiting for me while chilling in Manali.

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Left my suitcase and my suit, (which I am not a fan of) back at Kumaon and picked my QUECHUA FORCLAZ 50 Trekking backpack and packed some warm fleece and Quick dry Quechua shorts and some drifts and I started the 2 days of bus journey.

As I reached Manali, I went straight to old Manali as we never stayed at the crowded and commercialized Manali mall road. My friends had booked a beautiful hotel beside river Beas and the party had already started. @sudizzm @anameeca999 @anantaa0829 @1nonlysid @netsky_31 and @dishita24 had already started the party as I reached and now we were waiting for our dude @pulkitsharma95.

And arrives Mr. Pulkit and takes the party and the trip to next level. Did I mention that Pulkit is soon to be IAS. We enjoyed the night along with soulful music and beer.

Now the gang was complete and first thing in the morning we hired 4 Royal Enfield 500 for our further exploration. 3 were 500 CC standard and  1 500CC classic for myself because it gave me feeling of my own Classic 350 and it seemed like the most experienced one and I kind of felt the machine.

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The roads were same, the turns were familiar and the river Beas recognized us and sang us the best river song ever and we rode to explore as our plans changed five minutes before we left old Manali and thanks to Sudarshan (@sudizzm) he thought of a different plan then what we had pre-planned and he is the dude who knows how to make a trip memorable.

Ananta,Anamika,Pulkit,Shubham and Sudarshan were old pals. Siddharth and Dishita , I was meeting them for the first time and this couple was the coolest group couple I would say as they didn’t let us feel that we were with a couple and kept the group as a gang of 8 exploring the Himalayas.

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We took a halt at a tea shop and it was more of a herb break  😝 . some tea and maggi and omlete acted as fuel for us to ride further to kasol, where we will be taking a day’s halt and will be continuing the journey further the next day. At the tea shop all of us were soo deep into the vacation feel that the trippy JBL of sudarshan made us dance besides the busy road and my Rajasthani and Gujrati friends were throwing some bhangra moves in song Patola by BOHEMIA and several other Punjabi songs and there was time for kygo house music and mtv unplugged songs as well during the break.image21.jpeg

It was just 3-5 km from kasol and my pillion rider Ananta screamed chaaaaaaaaaaaat and we stopped for some fruit chat followed by our rest of the team. More than the fruit chat stall the aura and the beautiful road surrounded with pine trees made us stop and listen to the aggressively flowing Beas river in Parvati valley.

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Sudarshan had a homestay already fixed in outer kasol maybe fascinated from his last visits. And when we reached the place it was a lovely homestay with greenery and a wide open garden at the end of which were parked two caravans (RVs) and it was a lovely feeling to be surrounded by travelers and greenery that the homestay provided and the Himalayan dogs that the owner has were almost similar to wolves but cute.

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The night included dinner at our favorite place EVERGREEN CAFÉ Followed by the late night chit chat at our rooftop veranda and some beer and some crazy dance moves.

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Next morning included included breakfast at our 2nd favorite café in kasol i.e. MOON DANCE CAFÉ and now we headed for the unknown. And it was the best of the feelings. We rode till Barshaini and Ananta and me took a worng route up to some village and realized we were in a wrong route after it was too late and 3 of our motorcycles in the correct route and we headed somewhere we were not sure of destination and the bumpy Himalayan roads were so beautiful that we didn’t bother look behind for our gang kept on riding and the time came when we realized that we were the only two souls riding the route and we were a group of 8.

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After we realized that our team does not seem to follow us I called Sudarshan who knew where we headed to, thanks to the still available network connectivity the team could be on the same page and was back to ride together towards the destination.

After riding few kilometers after the reunion we reached a point where we had to park our motorcycles in front of a tea shop and we now  headed for PULGA .

A small 1 hour walk and we reached Pulga , it takes less than an hour as we were hunting homestays that took us an hour.

We settled in Royal Pulga guest house and booked 3 rooms whose rear doors opened to beautiful wheat field. The moment I opened the rear door, the soft breeze creasing the bundle of wheat softly ran through my cheek and the view had a beautiful homestay, which was built like an old skool Himalayan mansion with big wooden windows and white walls and stone plates used in the roof, Where we were denied for the stay because the homestay was full of Israeli travelers and they were not comfortable to share the homestay with anyone else except their group. This was not the exact denial message given by the manager but It was written all over the aura when we went begging.

The never ending jungle (Ferry Forest) behind our homestay was a gods true creation of love and serenity. The balcony  of the homestay in first floor was open to sit and throw the legs and enjoy the sunset.

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The Apple trees would touch your feet in first floor and the orange red sky during sunset and the smoke coming out of chimneys from the houses in view was like animation and the peace there was a blessing, A blessing which would active all our senses and I could literally feel my breaths and the heart played its own melody jamming with the view of snowcapped mountains and the chirruping of birds and the peaceful Himalayan lifestyle.

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When we walked the cross roads between the wheat fields and apple orchids we could observe the day to day peaceful and simple Himalayan life and that is why this trip would be in my list of best times. People working in the small fields, kids walking and grazing their cattle in the forest, the aged, working on their little farms beside their houses and the women collecting veggies for the evening was the observations of our short walk around the village. Their lives seem so sorted and simple. No one seem to be running after something, no greed and there was friendship and brotherhood among people I suppose it’s the Himalayan carefree air that they breathe.

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Listening to soft music and enjoying the serenity we didn’t realize it was already dark and the dinner was served, the chicken we had asked for during the day (they had to go to market i.e. 30 mins of hike to get chicken that is why we had to ask for it during the day) arrived and they made some amazing cheese olive pizza, the thin crunchy pizza base still make me want to go there even if it’s just for the pizza. Chit chat followed by the dinner was some quality time spent as we shared stories of faraway places and good times. We came from 42 degree Celsius and here we wrapped ourselves in blankets and signed out for the day.

Early morning Siddharth came running with some amazing photos he clicked and with some mesmerizing slow motion videos of clouds running over the Himalayas. WOW faced we ran to the terrace and the astonishing view of sunbathed Himalayas got us just like every single time we ran to mountains.

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No one was willing to leave the view and the soothing morning sun and we ordered breakfast on the terrace and we sat in a circle and had the finest breakfast of a long time.

Now it was time to go into the woods, the stories we heard of ferry forest and its beauty were all true. Although we had ferry forest in the view from our rooms but the real beauty we saw when we actually walked into it and walked deep in the woods.

Silence and peace jamming `with soft breeze `as the warm sunrays fought the leaves of mighty big trees and kissed the ground, the birds flew in all dimensions, in and out of sight. The aura had a magical pull that kept my feet frozen and I was experiencing the most beautiful things in life and I wouldn’t trade a second of it for even the whole world and miss a fraction of it. There was love and passion, the love that gave life meaning, The love for mountains and extraordinary experiences.

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The warm sun made us throw our T-shirts and let the rays wash the materialist away from our soul. We sat for hours in the woods just listening music and hopping from one place to another.

As the hours past we were close to leave this beautiful piece of dream land which awaken our senses blurred with our day to day hectic lifestyle.

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Next morning we packed our bags and headed back to barshaini where we parked our motorcycles and started our ride back to Manali. The ride back to Manali was via same route but the feeling was not the same the road back home we rode with heavy hearts.

All the fun and craziness and the unforgettable experiences and the familiar roads of the Himalayas through the beautiful Parvati valley made me realize that DESTINATON WAS NEVER A GOAL, BUT TO KEEP MOVING WAS.

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We keep every mountain we climb clean and do our part. DO YOU?

 

 

 

Leh in an Enfield

“The man who belonged to mountains, his soul was full of adventures, didn’t fear any heights or depths, he was all in one Reckless,Wild,Young and Crazy”

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I kept on delaying to write about the best ride of my life and what kept me from writing about my ride to Leh,Ladakh in a Royal Enfield was the fear that the miraculous place and the amazing experience could never be put into words, Although I wrote about some Do’s and Don’ts about a motorcycle trip to leh and I hope it was useful for you guys.dscf2987

So trying to put the feel into words and tell you all about the emotional waves that this awesome trip gave me, I open my diary and on reading the very first paragraph I virtually stand in that beautiful road in the deserted land emptying that feeble jerrycan filled with petrol into my Royal Enfield 500.

JUNE’15 Haridwar, India

It was a hot June afternoon in Haridwar (Uttrakhand,India), I was hardly surviving that summer internship in a transformer production house. The tin sheet roofing and the heavy machines running day and night made the hot summer miserable for me, while my friend Aditya (@aeddy_rowdy_raghuvanshi) was having the time of his life, as he lived like he was in Vegas on holidays, A bottle of whisky would go down almost everyday weather you want it or not.  All thanks to Aditya.

After surviving some twenty days with the company and ofcourse Aditya’s whisky I got a call from Sudarshan (@sudizzm) saying “bro lets ride to Leh, let’s make the plan work this time” as the plan failed badly last time and we end up going  Kheerganga and I have no regrets about it, as the kheerganga trek (Himachal Pardesh, India) was amazing. The first thought that hit my mind during the call was SCREW INTERNSHIP, SCREW COLLEGE, JUST GO. But the mentor was kind enough to grant me leave for I had made some perfect excuses.

Manali, HIMANCHAL PRADESH

After a week from the day of that call we met up in Manali (Himachal Pardesh, India). Sudarshan (@sudizzm), Arjun (@sharma0508), Ayush (@ayush_1892) and me(@thegokulblog) spent some lazy camp days in old Manali as the café culture and peace in old manali is unbeatable.

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I have a Royal Enfield 350cc but for this ride of a lifetime we wanted nothing but the best. So, we hired three brand new Royal Enfield 500cc and took a test ride to Kasol which is 75 km from Manali, where we met Ananta(@ananta0829) and Anamika(@anameeca999) .

Except me all five of them were friends from a long time and I only knew Sudarshan. But in no time I joined the party and we all had a really good time in kasol and I bet none of us can forget that party when we laughed and drank* till 3. Next day after a nice brunch in café Evergreen in kasol and saying goodbye to anamika and ananta we head back to Manali.

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The Badass SDM

After two days we four were all geared up for Leh. We were in the queue for half an hour in the SDM office in Manali for the permission of vehicles to leh and the SDM herself came out and announced that the two wheeler riders could go without the permission from the office as she had already called the check point and granted permission for all two wheeler riders, there was cheers and applauses all over. This badass move of hers was encouraged by the huge number of riders in queue because of whom she would have gone crazy granting permission to all of them one by one.  It was around 5 o’clock in the evening when we were done packing energy bars and filling jerrycans with petrol and the machines were ready with our backpacks tied at the back.

Leaving from Manali

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We started our ride shouting and singing. It was already dark while we reached the check post prior to Rohtang pass.

We crossed Rohtang pass during the night. The meaning of Rohtang is soul torture and that we knew was for real during the ride. It  is the first pass on manali-leh highway and the height of this pass is 13,050 ft.(3,979 m) and while riding  from manali till rohtang  we attained around 6350 ft. of height in just 51 kilometers (31.69 miles). This gave us an idea what lies ahead in this adventurous journey. After almost loosing Sud’s riding gloves which would have ended our ride and Arjun almost hitting a big rock as the fallen backpack from his motorcycle misbalanced him we crossed rohtang pass and reached Koksar.

Koksar is the first point of civilization after rohtang pass which was situated in a lesser height, where we found a nice guest house for the night and the guest house owner himself was a cook and served some delicious Himalayan dinner, by delicious Himalayan dinner I mean rice and pulses that’s what you get in almost every Himalayan journey everywhere in India.

The next morning, soon after a heavy breakfast we were all set to ride again, ride against every odd and ride through every beautiful mountain.

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Guest house at Koksar
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Day 2 early morning

The bumpy roads broke our carriers and we welded them as soon as we reached keylong.

Before reaching keylong we took a halt at a beautiful turn to keep a little hydrated and ofcourse to click pictures, while we were posing and the mountains did their part, An old man was passing by and he just stopped on seeing our machines loaded with rucksacks and the carriers with petrol jerrycans. He inquired if we were going to leh as he was sure we were. He was a man of good heart and a great knowledge, usually my travel dairies has a lot of gold hearted persons I meet on my travel, maybe it’s the Himalayas that they have such a good heart. The old man suggested us some places to visit while in leh and gave us some DOs and DONTs  to have a safe ride, after a while of a great chitchat we waved cheers and good bye and continued our ride.

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Ayush thanking the old man for his kind advices

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Me  trying to listen and Sudarshan giving it a twirl

Keylong, Lahaul spiti, HIMACHAL PRADESH

Keylong is 25 km from koksar and it’s the only place where you can find an ATM machine in manali-leh highway and keylong is one of three places where you can find a mechanic in 500 kms manali-leh highway.

After crossing jispa and Darcha which are 16 and 78 km from keylong respectively we continued to ride as the aim was to reach sarchu that evening.

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The machine

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Sarchu was still 116 km from darcha and while continuing to ride towards Sarchu we encountered several streams with freezing cold water from the snowcapped mountains. Riding through the stream flowing on road with a current that could land you down the cliff with your motorcycle is really a tough job but a thrilling one and that was exactly what we were there for.

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After crossing these crazy flowing streams we took a halt at    Baralacha-La pass whose height is 16,500 ft (4,890 m). after clicking some nice pictures and having a little fun in the snow we continued to ride. Usually Baralacha-la is the pass where most travelers encounter symptoms of AMS (acute mountain sickness). Symptoms of AMS can be seen while in mountains you are in  high altitude. AMS causes headache, nausea, dizziness and vomiting. Luckily we were totally fine and there were no signs of AMS. Descending from baralacha-la pass to sarchu we were covering the last patch of worst and most adventurous road in manali-leh highway.

 

 

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Baracha-La pass

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SARCHU

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Our stay at sarchu

In the evening we reached Sarchu. Sarchu is all tents and desert. We found the tented accommodation we booked for that night, before we started the ride in Manali and then we realised that booking the accommodation with the company we hired our motorcycles from was a bad idea as they charged way too much than the actual rate of the accommodation. The night in Sarchu was the longest night in the ride as we were all dealing with AMS, our body refused to function at the height of 16,500 ft. and our heads were about to explode. While the AMS didn’t hit me already I thought I was just fine and only my friends had AMS (acute mountain sickness) I fixed myself some drinks from the bottle of whisky I was carrying in my rucksack that helped me sleep for few hours but around 2 at night I got a taste of what my friends were already facing. the camp bed in the tent seemed to revolve round and I could barely breathe and my head was about to explode.

Next morning (which happened soo late) I dragged myself out of my bed to check up on my friends and still we all were dealing with the problem. During the breakfast I met a rider group who were returning to Manali from leh they were 40 people with one of them injured and had put his motorcycle in the recovery van. One of the riders gave me some pills for AMS that helped us to function a little, Putting our backpacks in the motorcycle was the toughest job for the day because of the dizziness. I tied the once again broken carriers by the rope we luckily found the day before lying on the road and the rider group gave us some tools to tighten some  bolts.

NOTE: if you are hiring a motorcycle for leh, make sure you have everything you need in the toolbox that the travel company provides you. We learnt it the hard way as our toolkit had everything except what we needed.

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The day was not meant for us as we were still not well but we had to ride because we started it to finish the ride and nothing could stop us from doing that. On day 2 we passed through Nakee-La and Lachung-la. You must be wandering that why there is –La behind the name of every pass or mountain. Well we were curious and we inquired about it. In ladakhi language La meant mountain hence lachung-la meant lachung-mountain, nakee-la meant nakee-mountain and similarly for other high altitude mountains.

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After riding around 70 kms we reached pang and it started raining , the aim was to ride further but the small halt turned out to be the night’s stay at pang in a really really cold tent with stinking blankets which we did not care much about at that time.

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In the evening the sky changed colour miraculously in pang and I spent the evening enjoying sunset with tea and listening to James blunt.

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COOL BRO ROAD SIGNS

Border roads organization-BRO has done an excellent job on making motorable roads at the worst place possible.

The road signs put up by BRO are hilariously awesome and proves that they have an amazing sence of humour.

“BE GENTLE ON MY CURVES”

“DARLING I LIKE YOU, BUT NOT SO FAST”

“DON’T BE A GAMA IN THE LAND OF LAMA”

Are some of the cool road signs in Manali-Leh highway.

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Pang TO Leh (THE LAST SPRINT)

Next morning we again had a heavy breakfast and we were on the road again, this time is was the final sprint. After leaving pang we struggled with the road one more hour and then it was all easy ride. The open straight highway we always saw in movies and youtube videos was infront of us and we were actually riding on it, Even after riding half of the distance to leh just that road gave a chill to our spines as we just started .

While riding to Leh from pang we passed through Taglang-La pass with a height of 17582 ft. which is the worlds second highest motorable pass, and the conditions didn’t let us take a halt at that kind of height and we had no regrets as we had plans to go to worlds highest motorable pass after 2 days.

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The machines running on 20-30km/hr now on this road we hit 110-120 km/hr and it was amazing. Riding on a beautiful straight highway surrounded by deserted snow covered mountains and shepherds with sheeps gave us a feeling of being in an music video. After riding for a long time we started to pass by some trees like they have been planted and stupas came frequently and that was a sign that we were about reach to our destination the heaven on earth “Leh” . Soon after the stupas and planted trees we reached a bridge to cross a river, there sat a guy who was collecting tickets and charging RS 20 per motorcycle that gave us the surety that we reached Leh.

As soon as we reached leh  we booked a hotel ASAP and parked our bikes deep, as we were not allowed to ride rented bikes from any other state in leh, ladakh. We spent the evening and the night sleeping and just lying around and that may have included a couple of drinks.

Pangong Lake

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The next morning we left for Pangong-tso lake in a cab we booked last night. The 175 kilometers of dusty and bumpy road led us to Pangong lake. Enrouthr to pangong lake we passed through Chang-La pass with a hight of 17386 ft. from sea level, the height made breathing a problem there that’s why we kept moving towards our destination.Four friends riding 500 kilometers of Manali to Leh in a Royal Enfield, that is one of the best things to do in a life, that was a hell of experience which kept us thrilled and amazed. Still after all this experience our hearts pounded as faster as they could as we saw signs of reaching Pangong lake.

With a radius more than 100km, 70% of which lies in china, The Pangong-Tso lake in ladakh is a place of major tourist attraction. It is said that this amazing lake changed eight colours during one whole day as the sun changes its position.

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Arjun,Sudarshan and Ayush (L-R)

The army motorboats taking rounds of the lake, honeymoon couples clicking pictures in different poses, maybe to cherish this moment till their old age. Solo travelers taking their time alone , families enjoying yak rides, couples and riders renting camps for the night were the cheerful scenes in Pangong lake when we just stepped in.

After stepping out of the cab we joined the party for clicking photos after a moment of amazement. And I couldn’t stop myself to get off my shoes and step in the water and GOD.!! It was freezing cold and Arjun got the uncalled reactions in camera ,though I was supposed to pose cool. After some wondering we all sat and recorded a time-lapse video of the lake while we chit-chat in our happytimes.

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The Team
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I was supposed to pose nice but the water was freezing and Arjun got the reaction in camera

The time was running so fast, Its funny how time seems to run so fast on your happy days. Every new sun brought a new adventure and new destination and that’s the exact kind of life I always dreamt of. The dry weather of ladakh didn’t let us be in best of our health but who cared about that, at the time all we cared was our next destination.

 

Khardung-La Pass

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With the brave soldiers of Indian Army

The next morning was the most exciting one as we headed to Nubra valley and were passing through Khardungla pass.

Khardungla pass is the world’s highest motorable pass situated in a height of 18,380 ft. The moment we reached khardungla pass struggling through the harsh roads laid down by BRO-Border Roads Organizations at unbelievably difficult places, A feeling of accomplishment made my heart pound faster and the board at the top read “HIGHEST MOTORABLE ROAD IN THE WORLD” and even after knowing that fact my heart skipped a beat after reading it in the board actually standing there.

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After doing some photos with the army officers and thanking them for the bravery they show protecting us from such difficult places, we saw something standing even higher than the board, it was kind of a praying pillar and a bit higher from that painted were army slogans in the stones with their battalion names and we saw no living soul up there that questioned the authority to go up there. We asked a soldier if we may climb up there, he replied “see if you can make your way through snow and big rocks”.

It was 18,380ft and breathing issues increased when we used our hands and feet like a monkey to reach the top. At the top there was no one else except us. I can’t describe the emotional waves that hit me at that peak. We decided not to do a lot of chitchat and take a little time for ourselves. 5-10 minutes of silence at that top with myself and I had my life figured out, the things I wanted to accomplish and the way I wanted to live. Something in me just got alive, the rusty old engine of dreams got fuel to function, since that day I crave such emotions and travel places and there is peace in every destination and every new place made me dream higher.

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What saddens me most is people don’t respect environment, they take it for granted and keep destroying it. If for only one day the environment took us for granted, as I assume the day will soon come if people didn’t respect environment there will be no people and no environment to talk about.

Even at the top of world’s highest motorable pass we saw plastic wrappers and plastic bottles thrown all over, descending from the top we collected the trash as much as we could and while we were disposing at dustbins at the army post down the hill, the so called tourists gave us a look like maybe we were crazy or members of some NGOs to clean others trash.

“I REQUEST PEOPLE TO PLEASE RESPECT THE ENVIRONMENT AND CARRY A BAG FOR YOUR NON BIODEGRADABLE WASTE WHILE YOU ARE IN  A TRIP AND DISPOSE IT AT A PROPER PLACE”

 

As we move further to Nubra Valley while descending from Khardung-La pass, we took a halt at a beautiful place where a lot of bikers were having their brunch in those beautiful cafés, I missed my 8283 (my Royal Enfield 350) so very bad at that moment, while I was deep in thought of my machine an old man knocked on the glass of our cab  and I struggled with the manual glass roll down window and it took ages to roll down the glass as it was jammed, the first thing the old man did after the window was down is, he joined his hands and said “khardung jana hai,mujhe chod doge khardung tak” (will you please drop me to khardung village) in a very weak and shivering voice. I said “hop in” in a fraction of second but still he won’t get in. I enquired “what happened?” he said “the driver will not like it and will yell on me” he was such an innocent old man it took me 5-10 minutes to assure that the cab driver will not be angry and the driver was back from his small break and we gave the old man the front seat alongside the driver and the old man told a bit about his village, his grandchildren and the culture in khardung village.

Soon after we passes through khardung village the amazing road to Nubra valley gave us the feeling like we were some actors in a music video and the cab driver had some amazing old Bollywood records which rocked our ride.

 

Nubra Valley

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Like oasis in the desert, like a shelter to a homeless and woolens to a poor in December. The  Nubra valley in Ladakh is a lush green valley in between the cold desert.

Major attraction of the place is Double-humped camel rides in sand dunes in Nubra valley.

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After roaming around barren land for a week and then going to a lush green valley and stay in very economical guest houses who serve food grown in their own backyard is a bliss.

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After taking a walk in sand dunes in the evening, The night in Nubra valley I spent jotting down some feels on my dairy and the morning called for a U-turn to Leh.

We were back in leh the evening and after some shopping and dinner we were soon asleep like dead men as the plan for next day was Crazy.

THE LAST DAY

Early at 5 we woke up and started packing, by 6:30 we bid Au revoir to this beautiful heaven on earth and we were on our way back to Manali as soon as we filled our motorcycle tanks and Jerry cans with petrol.

The mixed feelings accelerated our motorcycles on our way back to Manali, the joy on being on that thrillingly beautiful road and the sadness of leaving Leh  fought within us.

After a while, as soon as we were out of leh, the big rocks, the small creeks, the road signs and even the small pits in the road were now known to us, the route now was like our daily route.

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Indian army providing tea and snacks on a holy occasion

After a little while we were struggling with the conditions of our motorcycles as we did not give it a touchup in Leh, the carriers were almost off the machine and were tied with a strong rope that we so luckily found on our way to leh from manali and good thing that I always carry a knife while I’m traveling, which helped us to cut rope into three and keep all the carriers in the motorcycles attached. As we rode further the bungee ropes that we strapped our backpacks with started to shred into threads and soon our backpack rolled in the road with no mercy and we had to divide the remaining bungee ropes per motorcycles and try not to break them as we were already short of bungee ropes.

We didn’t even reach to Sarchu and one of the motorcycles mysteriously stopped, when I tried to inspect the problem, the motorcycle was not taking up the load to start and I figured out the spark plug is the problem and pulled out the plug below the fuel tank and removed the plastic covering over the plug wire and tried to start the motorcycle again but I failed badly, then it was obviously sure that the side spark plug was faulty but one needs a special tool to take that plug out.

We sat on the ground hopelessly in the middle of nowhere and there was no one coming or going as far as we could see.

The flood of thoughts drowned all happy vibes and negative thoughts conquered all happy souls. We were now stuck in a cold desert with a broken motorcycle with no mechanic nearby and no tents and sleeping bag to spend the night, if it came to that.

Telling ourselves that the machine will start working itself if it cooled down was of no use as we waited far more than it took to cool a machine down. The hope and efforts were now slowly starting to accept the reality that we needed specific tool to take out the spark plug from the engine of the motorcycle.

Out of hopes and out of tricks/efforts we now sat in the roadside after pulling the heavy Royal Enfield 500 to the corner. My eyes started to look for any passing by truck to load that motorcycle on till manali but there was no other soul passing by which was strange as we waited enough time for someone to pass by.

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After checking the toolkit upside down almost 8 times I cursed the rental service for not giving the tool we then needed and giving everything else to increase our load, maybe our luck was that bad or maybe it was the part of experience that this trip holds.

Hopeless we sat at the ground drawing dragons on the desert and we saw three bikes approaching us they were riding with no luggage and they seemed like racing.

One of them inquired about our problem, all of the three guys looked teenagers maybe one of them was 20-21 and the first thought in my mind was, they may have stolen someone’s motorcycles for the machines were brand new and they were not carrying any luggage in a 500 km ride of a barren land and also they were not dressed in proper gear for the ride, while I was between these thoughts Arjun told them about the problem with the motorcycle and one of them already started fixing it and the motorcycle was as good as new in no time and we resumed the ride with those three guys and I was still in doubt about them but I kept it to myself.

After riding for an hour we all stopped for some lunch and that’s when my soul felt relieved, Because they were no thieves but localities of Ladakh and they were going to deliver those bikes to Manali because someone who hired them from Manali was not able to ride it back and paid them a handsome amount to deliver the bikes to Manali and they told it was kind of a part-time profession for youngsters in Ladakh.

During the lunch, they told that they are planning to ride straight to Manali without a night’s halt the plan seem challenging because on the same route we took 2 nights stay while riding to leh and now they were trying to do it without a single night’s halt, but thrilling it was! And we all flashed a green light for the plan and we were on road in no time with a comparably greater speed and those guys became a real help when our carriers broke from every joint, they carried our fuel ,they waited for us if one of us was left behind and I felt guilty for making a wrong perception about them and we thanked them tons while we departed at Keylong because they had a deadline for delivery and for sure we were slowing them down.

We continued the ride and as we reached koksar we were out of fuel, we had some fuel left in the tank but ahead lied Rohtang pass to cross and being stuck in rohtang pass at night is inviting devil for dinner. We approached the man who ran the guest house where we stayed while riding to leh and he recognized us in the first look and he was so generous that he arranged us some fuel from his competitor guesthouse owner and when we left from koksar the generous guesthouse owner and his wife both stood in front of their canteen alongside the road and waved us goodbye and blessings, it was an amazing feeling but in the same time the way they waved goodbye I kind of felt bad for departing from such nice human beings.

VISITING DIFFERET PLACES AND CULTURES I FOUND PEOPLE ARE NICE INFACT THEY ARE AMAZING AND THEY JUST WANT PEACE AND HAPPINESS AMONG PEOPLE. I FOUND THE BEST VERSION OF HUMANS IN THE LEAST DEVELOPED PLACES, ARE WE DEVELOPING.? OR KILLING THE HUMAN IN US.? FIGHTING FOR MERE MATERIALISTIC THINGS ARE NOT WHAT WE WERE MADE FOR.

SPREAD PEACE AND HAPPINESS FOR THE WORLD IS AN AMAZING PLACE.

 

While descending from Rohtang pass it was zero visibility because of the fog and as soon as we reached Solang valley from where it was still 13km ride to Manali it started to rain cats and dogs thanks to our waterproof jackets and Arjun was most relieved one as he had Quechua rainproof jacket. We reached Manali at 1am and slept eating biscuits. The next morning after breakfast we left Manali to go back to our lives with new destinations in mind.

 

 

Triund Hill Trek

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Triund trek is one of the most refreshing treks that the beautiful state of Himachal Pradesh (India) has to offer. It is a 9km gradual trek which offers a mesmerizing panoramic view of bhagsu village and Mcleodganj while walking through the lush green rhododendron forest. It is a moderate trek which can be accomplished my almost all age groups.

To trek to Triund hill, it is  advised to stay a night at Bhagsu nag which is just 2 km from Mcleodganj main bazar so that one could enjoy the trek to its fullest by starting early morning. There is an option to book a cab to Galu temple which is the last motorable point to triund hill but i’ll suggest to save your hard earned money and start the trek from bhagsu nag itself via Rakkar village.

and also the night at bhagsu nag is far better than mcleodganj main market as bhagsu nag has the ambiance and cafe culture like old manali.

THE START:

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Just a kilometer above bhagsu nag is Rakkar/rakkad village, it seems like an international habitat rather than  a normal Indian Himalayan village.

A cafe owner at rakkar village who was very shy to tell her name told us that the locals rented rooms to the travelers for months also which attracted backpackers and it was the major source of income for villagers.

Rakkar village along with home-stay and cafe offeres facilities like cyber cafe and a shop to buy mountaineering equipments so that the travelers do not have to go to mcleodganj or bhagsu nag for these essential services.

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A cafe cum home-stay at rakkar village

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After passing through the streets or call it trails of rakkar village which sometimes walked us between houses of beautiful Himalayan architecture we reached to Galu temple.

and the decision to trek through rakkar village instead  of taking a cab to Galu temple from the motorable route was totally worthit.

INTO THE WILD:

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After taking a little break at a shop near galu temple and grabbing some water for the journey we headed on our straight way to Triund hill. The adventure yet to be witnessed thrilled us from head to toe, after just a few moments of leaving the human habitat behind,the slideshow of beautiful rhododendron forest begun and the feeling of setting journey into the wild took us over._MG_0087.JPG

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The charismatic view of Himalayas and the lush green oak and rhododendron forest almost made us camp the half way but the day has just begun and the journey just started and there laid many more amazing surprises that nature had to offer.

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Triund hill trek offers easy and pleasant trails (if you trek in summers) and the view of mountains and a little fog over it will take your breath away along with the tiredness.

Just 30 minutes prior to the campsite of Triund hill there is a chai shop. oh! i’ve never had such an amazing tea in my life and the view in front of the shop and the natural rocky sitting doubles the taste of anything you order from the shop.

THE TALKING CLOUDS:

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The Old Shepherd

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Mountains with big hanging rocks almost the size of a houses, waiting for the magic touch to set them free made me fall in love with the Himalayas all over again in a even greater scale and the mountains here reminded me the mountains of Beijing,china which i always saw in pictures and dreamed to touch and feel them at least once in  my life.

After having two chais at the plastic roofed temporary shop we continued our journey to Triund hill campsite and the weather changed suddenly in the loveliest way possible. The clouds surrounded us as if they were waiting for someone to hear them out for a very very long time and in their stubbornness  to express themselves they didn’t even hesitate to conceal the mighty and sessile Mountains.

and while the romance between the cloud and us continued we didn’t realize that we never covered any distance but stood firm and heard the clouds roar and suddenly a voice in the background  broke the romantic spell which said “bhaiya baarish aane wali h jaldi jaaaao” this was the shop owner warning  us about the rain.

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The adventurous sheeps

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THE CAMP SITE:

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When we sat foot on the camping ground it was little foggy and the second we entered the plastic roof and threw our backpacks the clouds welcome us with a pleasant shower of rain, that chilling weather demanded some tea or being a tea lover i just wanted too many of them and with the tea the rain vanished too and uncovered the layer of fog and presented in-front of us the crystal clear snow covered mountains of Snowline.

The chill went through the spine to the knees to toes. I was confused for weather i should capture the magistic view by my camera or keep staring without wasting a second as i was doing.

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The watch dog at triund

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After getting our tent set up we moved to the sitting area of the cafe at the campsite and after some story sharing and chit chat it was dinner time already. daal rice here tasted so good, i don’t know if it was the food or the aura that was amazing.

After dinner we moved to our tents which were shaking badly due to the hilltop wind and i already had a plan in my head for if the tent flew off.

I slept to some lovely Passanger and James Blunt songs and i thought i would wake up directly next afternoon but sit awake when the tent begun to hit my face at 2AM. Now i couldn’t go back to sleep, All i did was to wait for the tent to go off and find a place inside the cafe hut for the night.

Luckily the tent was set up to withstand that kind of weather and it bravely fought for its existence with the wind and rain.

THE MORNING:

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The morning had a freshness i never felt before.the crystal clear snowline and the sheep peeking into our tents (i don’t know what for) made me feel i was really INTO THE WILD.

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And in this trip i made friends and  never fading lovely memories.

But like every bright sunny day is followed my a haunting dark night,like every spring has a fall. we had to come back, come back to the same insanely fast running world where we all are programmed to do certain things and run on certain tracks.

 

 

Beatles Ashram,Rishikesh(photo gallery)

Maharishi Mahesh yogi Ashram also known as Chaurasi kutiya (eighty four huts) also known as Beatles ashram in Rishikesh,Uttrakhand (India).

The ashram got its name “beatles ashram” when in 1968 the band “THE BEATLES” travelled to india to seek spritual wisdom from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

It is now open for tourists while once it was just a abandoned ruin.

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Grahan village, Himachal Pradesh

Grahan village is situated in kullu district of Himachal pradesh state of India. Its a 8km trek from kasol to  Grahan village. lets take a photo journey first 🙂DSCF3676.jpg 2.jpg

The start:

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Mid Way:

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Grahan village:

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It was a calm,early august morning and was a bit hard to know what day it was as every one of us had burried our cell phones in our rucksacks and moreover no one bothered to find out.

The first sip of my ginger lemon honey tea,ignited the urge to pull out my leather coated dairy i bought from ladakh. Lying on the siting area at first floor of the guest house i could see the whole grahan village and the clouds over it, come and go as the guest house was in new grahan ,that’s outer part of the local residential grahan village.

The view had me occupy the spot where i could sit on the edge of the sitting area throwing my legs hung out, while facing the beautiful mountains.

Gazing at the view again trying to write what i felt, i realised that no one could actually give the description or bring the feels to words, that this beautiful place deserved.So i tried to come as close as possible.

The clouds over the beautiful mountains of grahan village acted as over protective boyfriend, they came and went away in certain intervals as if the way we were looking at the view would ruin its beauty.

the dew grops over the maize field and apple trees had a sparkle in them like diamond crystles, the sound of chirruping birds and flowing water were the only audible sounds. Yes! no traffic, no honking, no hrash daily life running and no offfices to be at.

The loud speaker played James Blunt and Kygo tunes in a low volume which just gave life to every dead cell in my body.it was a constant fight that weather i gaze the view with that lovely background music or read my book. Doing both the lovely days passed in no time.

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As per the local residants the Grahan village was originally formed of two kind of people.

The first kind were migrated from Malana village(kasol) they were very few in number and after wandering for a long time they found a plane piece of land in between mighty hills, the people who migrated from Malana were saints and the malanese people believe that they are desendents of Alaxander and their rituals involving purity and pollution are as stringent as their faith. The people of malana impose fine on non-natives if they touched the walls and their belongings, the entry to temples for non-native is prohobited and they dont even eat food cooked by a non native.

Entry in temples of Grahan village is also prohibited for non-natives as they comprise of malanese people also.

During the time of malanese people settling in not yet formed grahan village, arrived another group of people who followed Matamahai Temple. these people were in a greater number than malanese people.

A young man from malanese people had a child with a girl from another group of people in grahan village, there was a great conflict the unmarried couple was in exile for a long time and hence the days passed and they all became a single community including the couple in exile. and hence formed the beautiful Grahan village.

NOTE: please bring back your trash or dispose it at proper disposable place.Be a responsible traveler help in keeping those trails evergreen.

 

 

 

 

Best short getaway destination near Dehradun

People  from many parts of the country come to dehradun for holidays to explore Dehradun and Mussoorie, they come here to relax and let go the work stress and daily life stress.

But these holiday destinations are too hyped and commercialized which sometimes instead of reducing stress, increases it and if you guys follow me on instagram (www.instagram/thegokulblog) you know how much i hate those stay at a hotel and take a tour to market and go home kind of trips.

so,solutions to all these kind of problems,i take you to the best short getaway near Dehradun.

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The roads:

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I started my journey from Rajpur,Dehradun. I fuled my Royal Enfield and start to ride on Dehradun-Mussoorie highway, It was the month of july and the sky after the rain was mesmerizing.the highway showed me some nice view that i couldn’t resist clicking.

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After riding 16-17km from Rajpur on mussoorie road and about 5-6 km earlier to mussoorie mall road i took the diversion road to Dhanaulti (NO the destination is not dhanaulti, have patience :p). the road was amazing, the road conditions are well and the the greenery with the sound of birds chirruping and wind blowing were the signs that i was riding to the lap of nature far from hectic city life and that killing pollution,crowded roads and the unnecessary honking.

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While  travelling through Uttrakhand  if you dont try some Maggi and tea at  those Maggi points it would be a crime.

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that cool sitting in a Maggi point in dhanaulti road

Stops on the way:

Dhanaulti is a hill station 24 km (15mi) from mussoorie, and it was on the to my destination. the major attraction of dhanaulti is the Ecopark and surkanda devi temple.

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Eco park in dhanaulti
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A locally prepared fruit drink shop in dhanaulti
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Surkanda Devi Temple

Surkanda devi temple is up in the mountain in Mussoorie-chamba highway just 7km from dhanaulti Eco park, being up in the high mountain its a 3-4 km trek to reach to temple through nice trails.

Admiring these stops on the road i was riding closer to the destination, every turn in that sometime foggy, sometime crystal clear highway was making me want to take a halt.

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The best work place
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that lovely village on the way

The Destination:

After riding 75km from dehradun i finally reached to my destnation “PAHADI HOUSE”

A himalayan homestay/resort in Kanatal, which is 75 km from dehradun , nearly 290km from delhi and 240km from Chandigarh.DSCF3349.JPG

Pahadi house as the name suggests is an authentic himalayan theme resort situated in Kanatal,Uttrakhand, just 7km before the Chamba main market if you go through dhanaulti.

Pahadi house provides you the real himalayan lifestyle with the cottages with ancient himalayan architecture with a modern touch and healthy organic food grown in the resort’s own organic farms.

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I loved the nice organic local food served my nice and friendly staff.

 

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Places to see around Pahadi House:

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Just 7km from the Pahadi house is chamba main bazar, where i loved the local sweets Bal mithai and Singori (also known as Patpeda).

and the tehri lake is 30 km from pahadi house which is also frequently visited by tourists but due to lack of time i could not visit tehri lake.

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Walk through Ecopark in Chopriyal village in kanatal is  bliss. the sky high deodar trees seem to touch sky in the park and the adventurous heart gets its fuel here.

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