Fujiyama, Japan

Saturday, 22 June 2002

Badrinath

Google Maps: Badrinath, Uttarakhand, India
Glacial landscapes on the way@Badrinath

Char dham of Uttarakhand

Thursday, 20 June 2002

Kedarnath

Google Maps: Kedarnath, Uttarakhand, India
Kedarnath valley
Jyotirlinga temple@Kedarnath

Char dham of Uttarakhand

Tuesday, 18 June 2002

Gangotri

Google Maps: Gangotri, Uttarakhand, India
Trip: RishikeshYamunotri > Gangotri > Kedarnath > Badrinath > Rishikesh

We started from Hanumanchatti (Yamunotri base) for Gangotri at 10 and only stopped at Uttarkashi for lunch. En route to Gangotri we found a dam, the flowing water from which was creating a permanent rainbow. There was also a hot water spring some 40 km before our destination where we had bath.

Ganges@Gangotri

We reached Gangotri at 5 in the evening and booked a modest lodge. Our plans to trek 10 miles all the way up to Gomukh was rejected by elders. At night we payed tribute to Ganga Mata at temple which was established at the edge of this holy village. River Ganges flows at full fright few meters from this temple and even in the month of June the water was ice cold.


Char dham of Uttarakhand

Due to an absurd reason of close proximity to China the village was devoid of electricity. The place called Lenong is 15 miles from Gangotri and is in China. I had heard about several treks near Gangotri like Tapovan and Bhaironghati but could explore none. I managed to get a double maggi and a coke bottle for dinner and we slept smoothly. Our next destination was Kedarnath and it was again going to be take entire day to climb the 9 miles uphill trek.

Monday, 17 June 2002

Yamunotri

Google Maps: Yamunotri, Uttarakhand, India
Trip: Rishikesh > Yamunotri > Gangotri > Kedarnath > Badrinath > Rishikesh

We hired a Sumo from Rishikesh for 1500 a day. It was going to be a long trip. The first morning was beautiful with a good weather and a mild drizzle. Passing Tehri was an event. The driver indicated demarcation up to which the reservoir will be filled. Our road was below that mark.

We reached Hanumanchatti the same evening. It was getting dark and the place was not exactly accommodating. Garhwal Tourist Lodge was spacious and at the bank of Yamuna but was rejected due to high price. We rented a lodge and the nine of us settled side be side on four aligned beds. Next morning we took a jeep to Phool Chatti which was around 4 miles from our lodge. From there started our 5 miles uphill trek on foot to Yamunotri Glacier.


It was my first long trek and what a trek it was ! My love for uphill treks date back to this one day when I conquered Yamunotri.  Our next halt was Janki Chatti. One and half miles of decent gradient took our breath away because none of us was used to such exertion. Views en route were mesmerizing and we would halt now and then just to fill our eyes with beauty of the Himalaya. At one point I saw a series of eleven mountains stacked one after another on a backdrop of thin waterfalls and lush greenery.

Nearby glacier@Yamunotri

We reached Yamunotri after another four hours of steep trek. The glacier area was barricaded but there was enough space for people to bath. There was a small ancient temple with a unique ritual - rice bundled in clothes are boiled in a sulphur spring was located nearby and offered to Yamunotri goddess ! After a hot water bath at a height of 3385 M and completing the rituals we found another glacier some distance away which was not barricaded. I found it amusing to stand on a remarkable natural structure about which I had read since class 6th. The 'white river' was slippery and at one point broken also. We peeked inside and saw how small drops of melting ice gather to form an unstoppable Yamuna.

Char dham of Uttarakhand

We started walking down at 3 and managed to reach our lodge at 8 in dark. I just hopped into my bed and slept as my legs refused to feel anything. We slept for more than 10 hours before it was a bright day. Our next stop was Gangotri. We were done with the first of four legs of journey. The Char Dham were planned in following manner as per the Hindu tredition: Yamunotri > Gangotri > Kedarnath > Badrinath. Gangotri was accessible through Uttarkashi and that was our next halt as well.