I was about to finish my research and now wanted to go for a break. After exploring at least a dozen of destinations, I had lost all the hopes that I would be able to make it anywhere. Then suddenly, within a day, we made a plan to go for a trek. We looked for mountain biking but I was not sure if I would be able to cycle in mountains. Therefore, we opted for hiking. We did all the last minute shopping and were really excited. We were going to ‘Har ki Doon’ Valley. I had heard of it earlier but did not know exactly where it was and how to reach there. So, we contacted a guide who gave us all the details of the trek. We reached Sankri Village by car and rested in a pre-booked guest house. The view from the guest house was so enchanting that I felt like staying there for a few days before starting our trek. However, next morning we left for the trek, as planned.
Next morning, we traveled to Taluka by jeep for about 12 km. There are regular jeep services from Taluka to Sankari (and vice-versa) run by locals. During this half an hour ride, we crossed many small and big waterfalls and enjoyed Bollywood and local songs. At Taluka, we tasted delicious local kidney beans, green vegetables, and red rice.
It was time to start our trek. After few minutes, we had to just follow Supin river on our left, for the first few hours. We kept it slow; snacking, photographing, smelling the jungle and enjoying the weather.
Climate changes fast in mountains. It may range from sunny to cloudy to misty to rainy weather in an interval of just a few minutes.
The first day passed smoothly after we trekked for about 10 km. In the evening we took bath in chilly Supin river. Although it was not a good idea because I self-invited fever by doing so. I took medicine and rested for an hour to come out in the dark and see the sky full of shining stars; a sight you do not see in populated and polluted places like Delhi. That moment shed all my temperature and tiredness. We had food and called it a day to start early in the morning next day.
On day two, we could see snow-clad mountains. The temperature was changing and also the terrain; it was getting tough to climb. On our way, we saw many famous mountain peaks like Bandarpunch, Black peak etc.
Day three was longest and toughest. There was a steep patch called Kalkatiya Dhar, which I could cross fast but because of a sudden change in altitude, I was feeling extremely tired and short of breath. There were clear signs of mountain sickness which demanded rest. I somehow reached the camp when there was still daylight. And we had reached ‘Har ki Doon’. The snow-clad mountain, fast flowing river, chilly breeze and moving misty clouds- it was an amazing site.
It was getting colder by each passing minute, so we went to the tents and ate inside.
Heavy rains during the night really tested the durability of our tents. They worked perfectly. However, the temperature dropped down in the night and raindrops turned into the snow at our nearest gray mountain. I spotted some pretty local birds and wondered how fast they could fly in this cold weather. If it was this cold during may end when we have extreme summer in Delhi, what will be the situation in winter? Right now I am not ready to explore that 😉 After an hour, when it was time to climb up and touch the snow mountains, mist covered the entire area resulting us to not able to see even the nearby mountain ranges. We waited for it to clear up but it was already afternoon. Therefore, taking time, environment and health into consideration, we decided to trek down. It was a short and slow day today.
Our helping staff was really good. They made sure that we got food on time, reached well every day and were safe. They also arranged dry firewood for the bone fire on our request. We had fun lazing around in the lap of mountains. This was one of the best feelings, away from city life and tensions.
The last day of the trek was again long. Firstly because we had to cover a long distance and secondly because climbing down is a real testing of your knees. I could feel swelling in my knees. I was wishing I had done some exercise before making this trip. However, at the same time, the sound of waterfalls, slow wind, whistling of leaves, sporadic rain, rainbow, multi-colored butterflies, wild Roses and aura of the jungle made it a perfect place to be. It was a trek overloaded by nature with an occasional encounter with humans and animals.
We reached Taluka by the evening to be taken back to Sankari village by the jeep. We stayed in the guest house for the night and started for Delhi the next morning. It was a packed and engaged trek with lots of walking and climbing amidst nature with no mobile or internet connection. All in all, the trek was a complete treat to the senses 🙂 🙂