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Tumbling Rumblings

I had two options: Goa and GHNP; and I was swinging between the two. In the end GHNP was picked. (And rightly so as I would find at the end of our trip). On the morning of 4th, we reached Sairopa and were given a very warm welcome by the staff who adorned us with Himachali topis. Our itinerary for the day included a small trek to a water fall followed by rappelling post lunch. The trek to the falls tested our capacities to quite an extent. But once there, boy what view it was! Water falling down from hundreds of meters and creating jet showers all around. We had to cross over the stream which was our first little bump given the catch. The catch was ‘the water’, it was ice cold. Walking on it felt as if someone was poking needles on your sole. I was static in water after my first two steps for my feet had gone numb. Sahil, our guide for the tour informed us that the water at our camp site was chillier than this. We walked back to our guest house, enjoying the nature trail along the way. Next came rappelling and with it came the ‘fear of height’. Our instructor was quiet an expert and made sure we had fun and safe time doing it. As the evening came it was completely different scenery to savor. We were served our sumptuous dinner which was followed by a bonfire, and we sang our way into the nights glory.

Mukundi trying his hand at rappelling

Having a 'break'. :)

Next day, we had an early start as we had to trek all the way to Rola campsite. We were each given our sleeping bags, mats and most importantly our lunch packs. These lunch packs would become our ‘most looked forward to’ item in the next three days. With our bags packed and our spirits charged we were all ready for our trek uphill. With the river flowing on one side of our path we walked soaking in the natural beauty at every nook and corner. There were exotic birds to be spotted as Mr. Ankit Sood had rightly said. The pathways are lined by beautiful flowers of different smells, shapes and sizes. One that is quite common and has the taken its place on the plates of locals is the rhododendron plant. Its red flowers are used to juice, syrups, chutneys, etc. The trek was a challenge in itself. Given our lazed city lives our stamina was low, so we took breaks and admired the scenic beauty around; the serenading river, the gorgeously sitting hippopotamus waterfall, the crooked bridge, etc. We took a total of six hours to reach our camp site (Rolla: 2100m) including our stop for the lunch. Once there we sat by the stream and enjoyed the pleasant pre dawn hours. The beauty was magnified by the birds, some who were in a hurry to return home and some who enjoyed their glide over the river water. As the sun set fire was lit and mats were put around. Thus began a night of reveling the grandiose beauty around us. We were surrounded by mountains on both sides, our site was in the shape of an eye. And just in that moment it was our sky, our river, our land and our fire. And we soaked it all in.

Our tents at Rola campsite

Fireplace at the campsite

Third day brought with it the most arduous trek, trek to Shilt which was at a height of 3100m. It was a steep 65-75 degree climb all along. One big positive was we had no baggage on our backs. Slowly, slowly as we walked we realized that this would be the trek of our lives till date. It tested our strengths, physical and mental to the core. There was clear path, our lead walked ahead and we followed cautiously. With each step we were going up the mountain, further from the river but closer to the snow peaked mountains. Each time one of us saw a panoramic view of the mountains, we yelled. We yelled for it was beautiful, we yelled for nature was smiling at us and we yelled for we were happy at our small yet grand trek. At the end of our some magnificent almost four hour trek we reached SHILT. There are no words to describe the feeling that place gave. It brought in a wave of chilled breeze that settled every worry or trouble that you had brought along the way. For my friend, Minu who comes from the southern part of our country, it stood out like a still from a Bollywood flick. There were small snow masses here and there but we still dint get our true share of snow. After doing a whole lot of photography, eating our lunch, resting, posing, we started to walk down. This was the trickiest part of the trek. One had to be sure to maintain their balance and your shoes were your best friend. As it turned out one of our friend did have a shoe issue. He exchanged one of his shoes with Sahil. What followed was hand holding, sliding, slipping for Meshram(the friend). Thus began different paired shoe walk adding another little story to our wonderful travel story. Slowly and steadily we walked, slided and some glided back to our camp site at Rola. By that time dusk hours had fallen and along came our evening chai and snack. Trust you me at that point of time, it was the most sumptuous snack and tasty tea we could have asked for. Along came the bonfire in sometime and thus began a round of singing and dancing. One of my photographer friends also did a lovely star trail that night. We all lay there away from the noise and troubles of our lives, of our relations, of our studies and of our future and we wanted nothing else, no one more. Just may be another night under our sky or being tucked away in our sleeping bag in our tent.

On our way to Shilt.


Fourth day we walked back from Rola and it took us a little less than four hours to go downhill. We were put up in a homestay in Naagini. We served a tasty trout fish meal in our dinner. That night saw much story telling in the group and much relaxation of our very tired bodies. On our last day of the travel we were driven up to Jalori pass that stands at a height of 3120m above sea level to see snow, the one thing that we were still chasing. Once there, there was nothing else but snow all around. Glaring, shining and chilling snow. It seemed to have covered everything with its pretty white cover. After doing our bit of walking in the snow we came back, ate a real warm maggi, drank our chaiyas and started on our drive down to Kullu.

The view at Jalori Pass :)

View at a walking distance from the homestay

The drive was long and we had our rafting scheduled for the evening. But rain played a spoilsport and we couldn’t do our rafting that evening. We decided to try our luck the next morning and as luck would have it, it was a clear sky. We rafted down 13kms. from Pirdi to G.D. It was another thrilling experience with the chilly water splashing on us from all sides. Each rapid excited us and each splash made us happier and drenched our souls. It was a trip that most of us would remember. WE saw nature and its beauty in its grand form. It tested us, pained us but at the same time thrilled us, excited us, charged us, enthralled us and above all made us feel alive.

'US'at Jalori Pass.

I would like to thank Mr Ankit, Mr Panki and their entire team who left no stone unturned to make this trip a much cherished and comfortable one for us. Especial thanks to Sahil for being a wonderful guide and also for those wonderful musical night.

* Go in a group and try containing the size to 10 people at max.
* Keep a pair of sturdy shoes.
* Go with an open spirit and challenge yourself. J

Photo Contributors: Amit Kumar, Aditi Kumar, Apurba Chowdhry, Arjit Anand & Sahil
By: Neha Sanwal
Source: http://chinkedmusings.blogspot.in/2014/05/tirthan-valley.html

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