Kazan Cathedral, Saint Petersburg

Monday, 17 June 2002


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.