All posts tagged: Trekking

Hemkund Sahib And The Valley of Flowers Trek: An Ideal Travel Guide

In September, the peak tourist season for visiting the Valley of Flowers and the Hemkund Sahib was already far from over. I was told how the valley would have appeared totally different, draped in a blanket of colourful wildflowers, had I made it a month ago. But in the second week of September, the valley looked pretty much washed-out, just like any other ordinary valley in the Himalayas. At four in the evening, and on day four, I had already begun the last leg of my journey – the trek back to Govindghat. I was constantly praying for some sunshine and azure skies to compensate for the wet weather I had experienced in the previous few days. But as I progressed towards Govindghat and completed about a couple of kilometres, out of the remaining 8 km of the trek, the weather started worsening. Light showers had already begun. With only 3 hours of daylight now left with me, I picked a little more speed! I was disappointed for not being aware of the fact that September can be …

Valley Of Flowers Trek: All You Need To Know

“Unfortunately, you are not doing the trek to the Valley of Flowers the right time of the season. The flowers are generally found in full-bloom sometime between 15th July to 15th August,” provided the tour guide Shobhit, making me feel sorry for myself. On September 5th, the Valley had already started shedding the flowers, and with them, some of the leaves too. The monsoon was far from over too. In about one month from now, winter would hit the Himalayas hard, turning the Valley of Flowers into an ordinary and charmless landscape, with patches of white and (almost) no green. Disheartened, I realized how I had been planning to visit the place for the previous three years, and when I finally made it there, I made at the wrong time of the year – the abscission. It was clear that September is certainly not a good time to visit the Valley of Flowers. Though the valley was still looking gorgeous, with frequent waterfalls and water-crossings keeping me entertained, if I had made it in July or August, I would have …

Journey To Panchachuli Base Camp

I’ve done quite a few treks in Uttarakhand. But this time, I was doing Panchachuli Base Camp Trek, located in Darma Valley, at the end of eastern Kumaon region, in Uttarakhand. Darma Valley turned out to be my personal favourite in the entire Uttarakhand. I liked its setting. Small towns were periodically placed every few kilometres. The valley was continuously green and occasionally colourful. The many waterfalls that came my way, were also no less appealing either. Here a 3-minute ode to my journey in Darma Valley and towards Panchachuli Base Camp. Have You Tried Panchachuli Basecamp Trek? 

Panchachuli Base Camp Trek: From Itinerary to Costing

I’ve done quite a few treks in Uttarakhand. Gomukh-Tapovan, Dodhital, Valley of flowers, Stopanth Lake, Gaurikund Kedarnath – the list is long. And often the journey was concluded solo. I like the idea of long solo walks, under the magnifying beauty of the Himalayan cliffs and an open nothingness. There is some adventure in that. And this time, I was off to Panchachuli Base Camp, located at the end of eastern Kumaon region, near Munsiyari, in Uttarakhand. Panchachuli literally means the ‘five-pointed oven’. According to the locals, it was the Panchachuli peaks where the Pandavas (one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India) cooked their last meal on the five peaks of Panch Chuli (five peaks) before leaving for heaven. And that’s its religious significance. The trek to Panchachuli Base Camp turned out to be a pretty easy deal for me. Where most of the blogs, on the internet, suggested that it takes a good 4-5 days for a strenuous walk to complete the trek, I found that 2 days were just enough. Darma Valley …

My Journey Into Darma Valley

It was 1 in the afternoon, as I grabbed myself somewhere in the middle of Darma valley, riding under the rocky cliffs that mark the road till Nangling. The terrain looked quite walkable but the comfort of a motorcar was far more appealing, even if you’re to sitting on the roof. The peaks of Panchachuli glacier were still, at least, two days away from me. But I could already feel its presence. The sun was unusually bright. This was definitely higher up. At about 13,000 feet above sea level, the jeep wound up quite a bit. After a couple hours of ride, we hit a rickety local shop for some food. I was ready to order another vegetarian meal – for I was in Uttarakhand, and well aware of its vegetarian culture – when all of a sudden, my eyes caught hold of a sheep who was already butchered. A man was busy taking off her coat. Few people surrounding him on the scene. The lady serving at the shop asked if I fancy some mutton and rice. …

Sandakphu Trek — All You Need To Know

As I entered the town of Sandakphu, a signpost welcomed me with an unusual charm. “Pollution Free Zone” it read, obstructing a view to the mighty Everest at a distance. It took me three days to reach Sandakphu, while slowly galloping through flying clouds and interrupting lakes. “Pollution Free Zone” I read the signpost once again, only a little louder this time and asked myself, with a smile — how many of those are still left in the world! Singalila Ridge Trek (or Sandakphu trek, as is often called) is one of the most picturesque treks around Sikkim. The highest point in West Bengal, the trek offers some of the most fantastic views in the Himalaya. The valley beautifies itself, with clear panoramic views of snow-capped mountains, as you start your journey from Mane Bhanjang towards Sandakphu. The funny thing is, as you start waking from Mane Bhanjang to Sandakphu, you cross India-Nepal border a few dozen times because the Sandakphu trek is more or less the borderline between India and Nepal. And the towns that come …

A Walk Into The Himalayan Woods

Travelling alone has its own benefits. It gives you that control where you can set an itinerary and then you can ditch it. Spending days in solitude also makes you more eager to chat with locals, absorb their culture and team up with them to make your journey more interesting. And that is exactly what happened to me when I was on my way to trek all the way to Deo Tibba. Deo Tiba is basically a 4 to 7 days trek depending upon how far you want to go. The base camp takes 7 days. The elegant Deo Tiba peak which is 6001 m high looks like half oval shaped egg. The journey starts from Jagatsukh village (about 20 kms from Manali), in a motorcar, followed by a great deal of walking through Himalaya’s pristine and untouched beauty, laced with the amazing forests and snow-clad peaks. But let’s not waste too much time speaking about its specifications, because we aren’t even going there. So as I said, travelling alone has its own benefits. And this journey just proved me …

The Journey That Brought FootlooseDev Into The World

“It’s amazing how small life experiences leave an imprint on us,and force us to change our life one way or the other” I found this statement more truer than ever, back in 2014, while I was travelling in the lofty and vainglorious mountains of Uttarakhand, and got bit by an unsettling travel bug. At that time I had no idea that I’d soon quit my job to travel. But I guess, as they say that life experiences aren’t something to be denied, but to be celebrated, I think I just happened to celebrate my experiences so strenuously that it eventually became a way of life. My first solo-travel experience took place in 2014. It was a 2 day trek in the snout of Gangotri Glacier to reach place called Gomukh, from where Bhagirathi River originates. I was constantly feeling a certain springy keenness the day I started the trek. Though factually I was walking with a group of other hikers, whom I met in Gangorti, technically speaking I was on my own, as I hardly knew …