Har ki Dun- Having Kickstart to Dreamland
Feels like Lord Shiva resides in this dreamland Seems like this magical beauty is done by a wand Rises like, it is unreachable to even telephone and broadband Prizes like here your heart and soul will only expand.
TREKS AND TRIPS
“THE HARDEST CLIMB GIVES YOU THE BEST VIEW”
Eagerness was exploding when we were sitting on the train to Dehradun. Just not a break from the rush of the city but also being in the lap of nature was what my soul was awaiting and the heart was desiring. Just when looking down the valleys from the canopy of mountains might send chills down your spine, the alluring bliss of the lush green meadows and slopes might send a message up to your nerves-"This is the place where the beauty of Uttarakhand lies."
Little did we know then that we may get some lifelong friends that not only made our journey joyful by involving us in some of the other games like Mafia, TDS, or so but will also be a very cherishing part of our trek. Just as the bus moves towards the snow-perched mountains, the mind starts saying that you are closer to living your dream.
1. The Trek From Taluka To Gangad
Most trekkers know Har Ki Dun for its culture and history and trek to only Har Ki Dun but end up missing out on the beauty and variety the Ruinsara Tal has to offer. This is one of the most underrated sections of the trek. In less than five minutes of starting your trek, you find yourself on an undulating trail right beside the Thamsa river. You are constantly under a canopy of fresh green. Quaint old wooden bridges across the river appear out of nowhere giving you great picture opportunities. You cover miles on this trail without breaking a sweat. You’ll notice that the coniferous forest gets denser as you go further. The narrow trail snakes through this dense dark forest for a good hour before opening up to the traces of civilization — the ancient village of Gangad. We are not used to such leafy starts on treks. It was almost like a walk in a picture-perfect pine tree park.
2. Swargarohini- The Way to HEAVEN
You never hear trekkers talk about any campsite on the Har Ki Dun trek. Like everyone else, I assumed Kalkatiyadhar to either be a small settlement or just beside it. Quite contrary to my expectations, Kalkatiyadhar turned out to be a vast green meadow. What blew me away was the expanse of the valley. We were in the middle of multi-level cricket-field-sized meadows, set at a vantage height. To my distant left, the trail climbed towards Swargrohini peaks, which were just peeking on the horizon. To my far right were dense jungles with mountains rising behind them. This was the trail to Ruinsara. To my right across the river was a meadow set amidst a boundary of pine trees. Behind me, I could trace the trail all the way down to Seema and even see the Kedarkantha summit miles away behind Kotgaon.
3. The stories of the ancient villages
A lot has been said everywhere about the ancient villages of Har Ki Dun. You spot these villages from a distance, spread out on the mountainside, with houses almost hanging in the air. I could not wait to climb up to them and see what the interiors looked like. Spending a night in the village home takes you back hundreds of years. The stories of the village elders and the smiles of the youngsters are something that you want to capture and take back with you. The villages complete the famed Har Ki Dun experience. On our trek, you get to stay in at least two different villages – Gangad and Osla.
4. Har Ki Dun and Ruinsara Tal valleys
I loved the expanse of the Har Ki Dun valley. The valley has everything going for it. Big snow-clad mountains towering right in front of you. A big river flowing right in the middle. Lovely green meadows stretching far and wide. I could sit there and just take in this scene the whole day. Ruinsara Tal on the other hand feels like a faraway world. The isolation grips you. It’s just you, the mountains and the lake. Looking at the mountains reflecting in the clear blue lake had a big calming effect on me. Devs Thatch turned out to be the best-kept secret of the entire Har Ki Dun – Ruinsara trail. You hardly see much of this meadow from anywhere else but when inside it. The secret is indeed well wrapped around by pine trees! I loved the meadows because they flow down from top to bottom for 600 meters and stretch for almost 2 km in length. Flowering bushes border the meadows throughout while tiny colorful flowers grow from the ground almost everywhere in spring.
Last but not the least...
The splendor of nature, the stillness in the valleys, the astounding views of the night sky, the ardent display of colors during the sunset, the delight of staying in the tents out there in open, etc. had always fascinated me. However, I had not realized that a trek experience can teach us so much about LIFE!
It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.
- Ernest Hemingway