There is An Enigma in The Himalayas , pristine condominium’s as we sit on the banks aside Daughter of The Himalayas , The
day we touch her from origins time stood by her vivacity , we were sure this is not going to be our last junket .
Gazillion of star’s , the quietest nights , with never ending talks with myths and realities of white ghosts as we decide
to procrastinate everything else!
My Dream to get white Ghost Framed in Mt Shivling vicinity but i wish i could get out of Samsara till eternity …
In August 2015 , we all were on call’s and busy on collecting prerequisites for Tapovan , being into this area many times , we all were aware of the terrain , the climate conditions And THE ROADS !!!
Months gone in preparation , had so many stuffs handy – But we take trips as expeditions and prepare ourself for the worst’s .
As before any good work people do visit temple frequently – For us before any trip visiting Decathalon is must , best part of this store is most of their products are extremely good and live upto expectation and more than products they had an excellent staff !!
while our smallest trekker was busy in having some pop corns , all guys were in deep thoughts about Isha’s checklist !! And in the end of each trip we all always agreed “Equipment’s make or break a Trip – Prepare like a war” .
With our luggage crossing 170 Kgs , there were 4 cars with one of the biggest boot space in market were looking small .
Still Khushboo and Isha’s packaging techniques make it as a simple task , with all cars checked up we are about to leave .
There was so much adrenaline rush among participants that as soon we hit the highway we stuck in traffic jam – but who cares ??
A continuous overnight drive and half day with few stoppage like one at Mac donald ( eating at Dhabas close to 300kms from Delhi is strict no for us trips ) ,
The mornings were ever beautiful with sun rising and gadgets showings clear and promising weather ahead !! So Let’s Sail The Road !!
we started to looking out for some camping grounds and we had seen a drastic change in landscape of whole valley after 2013 , the large meadow’s were gone and replaced by big boulders and uprooted trees that depict the story of 2013 floods .
Our advice you should never miss a waterfall in himalayas , No matter how late you are but remember , “journey is always beautiful than destination”
After visiting this valley for more than a decade it was easy to find perfect camping place , but this time it was a real tough time , still with our Himalayan trip experiences we managed to find a decent place 30kms before Uttarkashi ..
And the moment we stepped out of car “Every one !! WOW what a place”
Its always advisable to search for a campsite in the afternoon , specially if you are travelling with Kids .
Pitch your tents , set your kitchen , place your Solar Lamps “And remember once it’s 4 pm , you will ask for more light but Nature rules are very strict” you will not get a single hour extra light for you work !!
Task were assigned to Each and everyone few of us searching out some insects or animals across tents after pitching them , Boys busy with cooking , solar lights and Drinking water , thanks to coleman 5 gallon tank – its a must for every camper .
And after all camp work done , everyone was feeling hungry and we all can smell the aroma of delicious food .. Menu – Vegetable Fried rice and Lintel , salad , papad , soup what else you could ask for in jungle ?
After heavy lunch we were all out for searching Himalayan beauties , and were amazed by the number of brown dippers as well as crested kingfishers in the valley , total species count were 25 in this valley alone .
The Food at camp site , camera , jungle , extremely good air and Team Indian Savanna !! We called it Heaven .
After a tiring Day Night was lazy with everyone sleeping but few members trying out star trails and there were billions of stars .
Morning started off with Birding session as well as few members cleaning utensils , then A Yoga session
and we again start our Journey towards gangotri , we all were surprised to see rise in temperature as it was October and most of us were without woolens even when gangotri was few miles ahead .
The roads these Days are surprisingly good , and with few potholes , there are no major blockades . Weather was excellent.
In the late evening we reached Gangotri , and went to the Holy Temple , it was truly a divine evening , with prayers of holy Ganges touching our ears .
Here we met our Guide for rest of the journey – weather had started playing its role and all of a sudden it was really cold winds and soon we found our self in a heavy showers and little snowfall too , but we all were prepare for this !!
Few member stay here with small baby and rest decided to leave for the Tapovan base camp trek which is 25kms one side from gangotri temple.we started our trek at 7am in the morning and the weather took another U-turn and it was one the brightest sunlight one could image in the trek . we all were happy .
Till 4 pm , we had trekked 9kms and had started looking out options for camp , and the weather was not good at all , till the time we pitched our tents , it was snowing and heavy showers , our star trails and landscape photography expedition was on stake !! Well Himalayas is all about those uncertainties .
The Area was one of the most promising in entire trek with many finches ,partridge and tits , we had seen Himalayan Bear with a cub in this zone, and it was raining Cats and Dogs whole night .
The Morning was again very silent , with loads of birds chirping and aroma of ganga tulsi as well as (Pinus roxburghii (known as chir pine) making this valley no less than a paradise . The sky was breathtaking ocean blue , the sunlight was magical !!
we started our journey towards Bhojwasa , and the trek had started ascending rapidly , till chirbasa it was a cake walk and everyone laughing about the ease of trek. Weather after the last night rains was something every trekker could dreamed of .
Till Late evening after stopping at many places for birds and landscapes, there are alot of camping locations so its never hard to find camping places in himalayas , we had pitched our tents in bhojwasa and started roaming here and there with aroma of Bhoj patra , or Bhoj trees , the valley was none less than a pristine paradise.
This was the only time we had food inside a permanent dome shaped room , which is constructed in bhojwasa by researchers specially who are studying about ever changing gaumukh . Evenings can’t get better than the below image , you could had never imagined Mt Bhagirathi’s Peaks can be so beautiful from Bhojwasa , Betula utilis (Himalayan birch, bhojpatra ) were all around as far as eyes could see . And the Ganges flowing like a roaring Goddess and our soul was as calm as we had found treasures from The Kuber .
The valley was in deep silent till late evening and it was like someone watching was all and thinking how we are feeling after coming from a city of chaos and pollution !! The Night was even more dramatic , the stars were moving like a real life time lapse , and truly there were millions and billions. Wind was whistling in the whole valley like an approaching engine , we move into our tents and was rarely able to sleep , it was one of the coldest nights we had spend in himalayas , temperature was minus 14 with 20 miles an hour winds .
Morning was Again very quite and very bright sun shining and we started a walk in valley for those landscape shots.
The views from this trek will left you speechless !! we started off our trek after having breakfast and our guide told us to wear heavy woolens and prepare for the worst stretch of trek . So brands like Solognac , North Face , Caterpillar , Quechua were at stake and luckily they know what camping gears mean . Most of our gears were meant for minus 50 and we were prepare for the worst !! So in full confidence we all started . It’s Not been First time we had been to Himalayas , but we always respect nature and try not to fight but to survive with it .
The Way from Bhojwasa till Gaumukh is full of Bolders and big stones with many narrow paths where one mistake can lead to injury or even death, So be careful while walking in this region . There is No chance at all to survive once once you fall in mighty chilling Ganges which is flowing 100 meters deep across the 2 feet wide trek !! No Photography in this region as this region is famous for excessive landslides as well as shooting stones.
Reaching Gaumukh was another achievement for the group and after stopping few minutes we started our trek again as we had to reach Tapovan BC and in between , no one allowed to camp , due to moving glacier as well as heavy landslides .This area is surely not for weak hearten people.
We keep on moving ahead after a few quick shots , and had seen few big stones falling , landslides are quite common in this area.
The Journey was getting tough and we keep on pushing our self to the limits . The below image shows the last stretch of Tapovan Base Camp trek , the region is horrible with big boulders all around , and you need to walk very carefully.
The hurdles in your path is inversely proportional to your desire to reach destination . We had such a strong desire to see Mt Shivling from Tapovan Base camp , that the hurdles en route were a cake walk for us ! Till evening we reached tapovan base camp and we were speechless to see the meadows.It was as large as few Olympic grounds .
As soon as we reach Tapovan Base camp we started running like wild ass in kutch !! we all were excited to see such big grounds after crossing an area where chances of falling down to an area where we can play football was something out of world experience .
This was the first glimpse of base camp , and after placing our gears safely as well as pitching tents we went for a walk to find perfect location as we had carried out many equipment’s for few pre visualize shots.
After few hours it was about to sunset, and we were already set with camera gears mounted on tripod as well as all settings done as we know golden hour at the top of Mt Shivling will be for few minutes.
And everything goes well the light was excellent on Top , we had our telephoto lens mounted , and the below shot was the result !!!
This was the shot which was we were dreaming from past three years , in 2013 due to Uttrakhand floods we were unable to reach Gangotri , in 2014 , still Gangotri was not recovered well after floods , in 2015 October This was the dream come true .
After this shot , we were extremely satisfied and walk around for other shots too . The below stream of water also known as Akash Ganga flows slowly through Base camp , which proves an excellent source of water for campers and hikers.
The water flowing was best in taste we ever had.
After spending a night at base camp we departed back to Bhojwasa
Will get back more on return journey !!