August 13, 2008

A Tryst with the Himalayas


Someone rightly described: The more remote and inaccessible a place is, the greater is its magic!




I'm back after a bit of travelling to some distant parts of the Himalayas. My travels involved two flights, three train journeys, quite a few bus and cab journeys, around 2 hours of horseback riding and about 60 kilometers of trekking (mountain hiking).


No doubt the most interesting part has been the trekking, because it's the best way that I enjoy nature. The environment to trek has been remarkably beautiful. So often I've stopped on my tracks, stood in silence, gazed at the magnificent mountains and taken in its beauty. Nature has so much on display and I felt it's a shame that I have been so busy, sometimes with petty cares, instead of being there to appreciate and enjoy what it offers. Towards the end, the mountains have appeared nearby, yet not close enough not to be in awe of them.



Having returned, I sense right now what I could call is the feeling of re-entry – a feeling that occurs after returning to place of work after a fabulous holiday. It's like how one feels homesick. When I see the pictures that I've shot, I am filled with a strange sense of melancholy. I miss the mountains. As usual, for a few days, I'll have a bit of trouble settling into a normal routine, and that's kind of expected, since nothing can replace the fresh and exotic feeling I've enjoyed the past weeks.


The travel to mountainous Garhwal has been an exhilarating experience. I have enjoyed the majestic beauty of nature where I've taken utmost delight in the picturesque narrow mountain roads, the scenic Himalayan landscape, the ephemeral clouds wrapping the mountains, some green, some bare and a few snow-clad.



I can still picture the scenes of the mist on the trails, with a transitory tone of its own, and also the awesome valleys and ravines, the intriguing melting glaciers, the gushing mountain streams some of which I've waded through, the interesting and at times challenging trek paths, the green meadows, some dotted with wild flowers, the rich vegetation and forests interspersed with craggy rocks, the meandering rivers shifting their shape in the valleys, sometimes serene, other times turbulent and with the fury of the monsoon waters, the gusts of winds, the drizzle and the persistent rains. I've watched the life of the fauna blooming up being nourished with those rains.



As usual, the Himalayan mountains have had an impact on me, rather, on my psyche. I've been captivated by the valleys, meadows, trees, streams, rivers, glaciers, peaks – nature in its unsurpassed splendor! Just a bit of travels for a few days and I can sense it has altered something within me. And I can't help reflecting on just how each of my trips to the Himalayas does that.

I am certainly richer with experience, but I find it hard to accept that a short tryst with the Himalayan mountains gives me a feeling as if there has been a change in direction of my life!


Related post: Garhwali Bears with Tiny Bells.

30 comments:

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

Welcome back dear! :)

Such mesmerizing pics,I can imagine how wonderful the experience must have been.Truly the abode of the Gods!

Cuckoo said...

Glad to see you back with amazing pictures and I know wonderful stories are to be followed.

Priyank said...

WOW, I'm so happy to see you back with a basket of wonderful pictures and stories. We have to catch up, I missed you. This series is going to be smashingly interesting with that journey to the interiors :)

kumkum said...

WOW! absolutely fab. I can't wait for my trip to Valley of Flowers to start. And, thanks for all the help.

Cheers,
KumKum

AJEYA RAO said...

Wow! Next year i would like to join you on these expeditions!

Iona said...

Beautiful and magical Himalayas! The pictures look surreal and I find it hard to believe such places do exist in reality. Your pictures and words have enveloped me with the magic of mountains.

Saibal Barman said...

Back from His Abode...where clouds stoop low and dark...weeps on while mountains consoles...and slender trees sway in melancholic rhythm of some unheard dirge aired around....

Welcome back, my friend...
We all missed you, wished best to see you back and soon again...

Let us have glimpses of those hills and vales...( seems VOF snaps so far )...

indicaspecies said...

Sameera,

Thank you for the warm welcome.:)

Yes, the place is indeed mesmerizing!

indicaspecies said...

Cuckoo,

Thank you for the nice words.:)

Amazing places they were, will list them soon. Hope to recount in due course some of the wonderful stories.;)

indicaspecies said...

Priyank,

Now that's a sweet welcome. Thank you.:)

Good to be in touch with my good friends once again. The journey to the interiors has been truly interesting and I feel like abandoning my writings on the MP series for now and starting with the Uttarakhand one. What say? Let's see how it goes.;)

indicaspecies said...

Kumkum,

Thanks. You are welcome anytime for any further info you may need and I must say you have chosen a lovely lovely place for travelling. All the best and enjoy yourself.:)

indicaspecies said...

Ajeya,

Haha..I like the word: expedition.
Please do join, you are welcome. As the saying goes: the more, the merrier.;)

indicaspecies said...

Iona,

Let all the lovely words of praise go to the places I visited, rather than my writing or pictures.

Thank you, your words did warm my heart.:)

indicaspecies said...

Saibal,

Thanks for a warm welcome my friend. I am aware you have enjoyed some parts of the Garhwal, and so you could sense well what my words try to convey in this post.

More pictures shall follow. Some of these are of Auli in addition to the VoF ones.

Shantanu said...

Awesome pics! I am curious... which places are the best and what do you recommend for places to stay.

Crazy Me said...

Oh my goodness, those are some unbelievable pictures! Welcome back to the real world. I'm sorry you had to re-join us!

jeana said...

cella... lovely pics.. !! send moreee!

sheru said...

show me the rest of the pics!!! loved it! but still swiss in bachna ae haseeno looked more tempting! :P

indicaspecies said...

Shantanu,

It's not easy to answer your question as it would be unfair to limit myself to naming a few places.

For me "the best" is the entire Himalayan region and that includes Sikkim, to the remote areas and the hill stations of Himachal Pradesh, and Kumaon to Garhwal of Uttarakhand right up to Leh and Ladakh at the borders with China and Pakistan. (I believe the rest of J&K and Arunachal Pradesh is as good but I haven't been there yet).

These small mountain towns and villages do not have the most comfortable places to stay. The more remote a place is, the greater is its beauty, and lesser could be the comfort. One ought to be ready for rough times in those remote rugged mountains unless the trip is arranged through some star holiday planners meant for tourists in which case perhaps you can expect comfortable tents.

indicaspecies said...

Crazy Me:

Thank you, and am glad you liked those pictures.:)

Yes, it's time in the "real world" world after holidays.

indicaspecies said...

Jeana,

Thanks. I will.:)
*hug*

indicaspecies said...

Sheru,

I'll put up more pictures as and when I can.;)

I do agree that Switz does look tempting on "big screen." But why don't you for once go and check out some of those exotic mountain areas of Himachal Pradesh "in real" and then tell me what you think of it?

I invite you to join me on one of my trips. Are you ready for HP next year?;)

Shantanu said...

Thanks, Celine. I have been trying to figure out a route which can cover the 'best' spots and still be covered in about a week to ten days.

Ram Dhall said...

Welcome back. Good to see you with a basketful of some of the most exotic pics.

Badrinath Dham, Hemkunt Sahib and Valley of Flowers are few of the most exciting places. Would look forward to your detailed posts on all these.

And thanks for calling us from Rudraprayag.

San said...

Celine, such majestic scenery would alter anyone's life and I can see how the re-entry process would prove a bit of a challenge.

Here's hoping that your Himalayan "tryst" has made you fall in love all over again with everyday life. May your eyes see beauty everywhere--even in the workplace!

indicaspecies said...

Shantanu,

NH 58 up to Badrinath and beyond, right to Mana.;)

I'm glad to have been of some help, and you are always welcome.:)

indicaspecies said...

Ram,

Thank you for the welcome, and am delighted that you liked the pictures here. Oh yea, the places I went to were fabulous. I shall write about them in due course.

I must say it's been a pleasure chatting up with you.:)

indicaspecies said...

San,

Your words are heart warming and I am so touched with your wonderful wishes. I love them!

Thank you, my sweet friend.

shooting star said...

wonderful pics..and it must have been quite an experience for you.....i will definitely take advantage of the fact that my sasural is in haridwar..and visit the himayalas as often as possible!!!....

indicaspecies said...

SS,

Thank you, and am glad you liked the pictures. You must grab every opportunity to travel up north from Haridwar, and all the best.:)