The first day trek was 8km long and we climbed 400 ft, now we had to do something similar, 8kms but 4000 ft. So it was pretty much 10 times harder. But 100 times more beautiful.
After a short round of warm up , complaining about snoring , collecting dry rations and gearing up for the cold, we started on our trek. It was way tougher than the previous day but personally I felt it was easier, oh the paradox. It was certainly steeper today, no doubt about it. However it was cold and the sun was on the other side of the mountain, which made a huge difference. So i guess what i am trying to say is that sun vs steep climb, I choose steep climb.
It was quite a dense forest and muddy at places. yet there were no leeches. However there was moss everywhere, on trees, on stones, and it did look beautiful . We also spotted some wild mushrooms.
The most irritating aspect of trekking here was the temperature. It was so cold that i had to wear a lot of layers to feel warm. then we start trekking and I had to get rid of them as I was feeling too hot then. then we stop at some place and i have to layer up again and the cycle continues. It takes some time to understand how many layers are actually needed.
|Pic Courtesy - Amarnath|
What looked like a small patch of plain land on a mountain from didina lived up to its reputation of being one of the largest in Asia. We finally reached the top and when I saw the view there were only 3 words that came out - windows xp wallpaper. I had no idea such places even existed in India. It was the size of a couple of football grounds and completely covered in grass that looked well maintained. nature had done a good job here.
After some photoshoots we had a mini lunch which had a surprise element to it - one egg per person. This was the only thing close to a non vegetarian food we got in this entire trek. So obviously there was a sudden need to be good to all the pure vegetarian folks. We also spotted a couple of Himalayan Griffons flying around. I wish they had come closer.
Then we started walking and we reached the end of the meadows to discover that it wasn't the end, and this went on for hours . It was not huge, it was humongous, we trekked and we trekked but the meadows were never ending. It was getting colder. We saw a cloud engulf our path and we trekked though a cloud. That is certainly a bucket list item ticked off right there.
Finally after a long trek through the most beautiful land I have ever seen we reached Ali Bugyal. Bugyal is nothing but meadows in local language. And Ali was a Shepard from Tibet who got a stone from Tibet and placed it here. A temple was made and this place is known as Ali Bugyal since then. There is a local saying that if anyone can lift the stone from ground and touch it to the chest and wish for something it will be fulfilled.
Some of the brave and strong folks in our group tried and some succeeded. Hope whatever they wished for was fulfilled.
We also had rasna here, though what I wanted more than anything else was a hot cup of tea, the cold rasna did taste good after a long trek.
Camp - Bedini Bugyal
Finally after some more trekking we reached the camp. everything around the camp was covered with clouds so we didn't realize how beautiful it really was. This is where we got our first tent experience, and it was anything but comfortable. It made me realize how awesome a bed is.
The weather took a bad turn and it started raining heavily and then out of nowhere it started hailing . This wasn't the first time I saw hails but it was certainly the first time I saw it from inside of a tent.
Soon the hails stopped and we had our lunch part 2. The food was pretty good as usual.
To pass time everyone gathered in a big tent and started singing. And I mean literally singing . old songs, new songs, regional songs, rap, you name it. It was a lot of fun and sometimes misery. How some of these guys knew the full lyrics of so many songs is still a mystery to me. Knowing anything more than the first two lines of a song is a feat for me personally.
Suddenly the sky cleared up and we could see Trishul, the one with three peaks. We were told that early in the morning when the rays of the sun hits the top of Trishul it looks beautiful as it looks like there is smoke rising from there. The locals call it Trishul ka bhog .
No one has been able to climb the second peak of Trishul yet.
These are my personal favorite pics of our trek lead Saran and asst. trek lead Raj that I have clicked.
Today was the toughest day of the trek and the next day to Patar Nachauni was a pleasant walk compared to it.