Roopkund - VI (Day 4 & 5 From Bedni to Bhaguwasa & Camping at Pattharnachunia)

10/22/2009 04:05:00 PM





Oct 1st-2nd, 2009 / Day 4th & 5th.

Cis and Trans Himalaya are the two ranges of the Himalaya. The former lies south of The Great Himalaya and comprises the Lesser and Shivalik Himalaya, while the latter lies in the north and includes Zanskar, Ladakh and Karakoram. The Shivalik range separates the Himalaya proper from the Indo-Gangetic plains and is in reality the southern border range of the Himalayan Ecosystem. I found this great article on geography of Himalaya which I thought be a nice idea sharing with you all, its a good read, and with that in mind, I resume my journey back on to the Day 4th morning when I wake up to A cold yet beautiful morning! in the Greater Himalayas.

Day 4: A view of Patarnachunia from Ghoda Lotani.

after the rains in the later half of the day yesterday, and a majestic sunset with golden glimses of gangotri and kedarnath mountain ranges, The morning today is bright and clear. I could roll my eyes, macro'ing the little flowers in the brown-green grass, the plains, seems like those seen in old country movies, craters those small falls have made on our left and right, on the back side is the mountain and the trail skirting us, and in the front lies the valley. if the water level would have been high, (unlikely though) I would have thought I am in a no beach island. but this is nothing less. morning gives us clear view of Neelkanth, Chaukhamba and rest of the gangotri range, on the north-west side, and on our east is milky-white trishul and nanda ghunti, a little I go up to the sky and I see clouds almost running to those peaks, as if they were some kinds of magnets. we admire those for sometime, click shots and come back to the ground again.

One of the reason todays' morning being so cold is the heavy rains yesterday. and one of the impact that does on us, that we 10 people eat breakfast in one plate, just to save us from washing dishes in cold water. Pavan is the victim holding the plate before it goes to kunal, but I think by that time, Pavan realizes he's been monitored by Gopal, constantly till now and he's taken 10 rotis which off course we all have eaten.

Around 8:30 AM, after our bhindi-roti breakfast we start todays' supposedly easy trek to Pattharnachunia/ Pattarnachuni. It' should be a 3 hours trek, 6km i think. with only ascend to the mountain on the right up to the stone trail. once you reach the trail its walking on to the trail till Ghoda lotani, which is on the edge of two mountains, and from where we cross the ridge and trek to the other side of valley to reach patthar nachuni almost the same distance as of bedni to Ghoda lotani.

rainbow at Patthar nachunia : photo by pavan

firstly let me tell you about Ghoda lotani. In earlier days, when mostly foreigner used to trek here in this region this was supposedly the place from where mules were returned back. and only porters along with mountaineers were used to continue the expedition onwards, and hence the name Ghoda (horse) lotani (returning back). while to go to roopkund we take the right side trail, there is a trail ahead on the same side where we walk as well, which goes to Ghat (village/town), Kuari pass, Tapovan and Badrinath i.e one of the preferred paths to trek to these places.

In Sunshine we start, walking beside the Bedni Kund, first we stop at Bedni Kund temple, where our guide Mahendra ji, and Rajesh, tell us the history/stories about Bedni Kund and Roopkund, out of which the history of Bedni Bugyal I already described in my previous post. also If I mentioned that according to Mythology, the trail we are following to Roopkund or the trek we are doing, was actually said to be the path Ma Parvati used to take to reach Kailash. hence the pilgrimage. One folklore Rajesh tells us about, says, After killing the demon, in Bedni, (one of Ma Durga's name) when she returns to her normal and shiva takes her back to Kailash, She wishes to take bath and so Lord Shiva creates the crater lake with his Trishul. Devi Parvati seems to be immensely amused when she sees her image so clear in that blue water lake, even after her taking bath in it, and thats probably why the name roopkund.

Day 4: Sunrise in Kumoan valley.

To some these folklores and mythological incidences might sound fun and merely interesting reads, but for locals, the mountains in Himalayas' are very sacred. and they treat every trip to all these peaks as pilgrimage. and thats clearly shown in their dedication and the way they help out every traveller/trekker. anyways, the climb to the trail from the kund though small, yet leaves me breathless, most of the people already ahead, we make a small stop at Ghoda lotani, and soon reach patthar-nachunia as it is called by locals. Not much later, that we reach and it begins raining again, which leaves us with no option but to stay in our tents and find topics to talk to which we fails in, therefore looking at the pictures we have clicked so far, which offcourse Smita finds boring, and finally once the rain stops, we are blessed once more with a beautiful rainbow down below us, and the bug Huge view of Kaalidak mountain. not enough reason if it is to stay in paatharnachunia?, the Maiktoli mountains from where the Pindari glacier originates, opens up slowly and seems so close as if we could just pull our hand and touch it with.

Day 5: & whats goin on, in the grounds?

though a short trek, but long hours of rains and a little hailstorms, the day passes off quickly, around evening hours, we get in another kitchen size tent, where our porter friends sleep. I pull mahendra's ji in, bring my notebook and pen, realizing soon That I am going to forget all the details and information he's told me very soon, if not penned down, I take all the info, from him and put it in a haphazard way in those pages, I am still trying to figure out my handwriting in. :P but forget that, this is good fun, till may be yesterday I was a soft target to tease only for my friends in Bangalore, who were reaching new limits everyday when it comes to making fun of me, Now there is almost everyone including Mahendraji and Rajesh (in bold), our trek leaders. what did i do to invite 'em? well, I can't guess, so I accept to be the flavor of the trek, keep me cool, through out the trek and later!. Oh btw there is Ram too, and jagadeesh and up to one extent , Kunal and pavan as well, those turn up as supporting targets to tease. and they support well.

spend our evening talking about Kumaon Mountains range in front of us, and the stories of king of kanuaj, and Patharnachunia. Mahendraji identifies those mountains for me, Panalidwar, Maiktoli, Mrigathuni, Topi parvat, these are the mountains we are looking at, all part of Kumaon Himalaya range. Then He tells about the King's expedition to Nanda devi/Homkund. Well, i am not sure, how much it is correct, according to my knowledge Kanuaj Kingdom should be spread around the now Kanpur area. 
Going to the mountains is like, going home.

How I remember this, the ancestors of my family, thats Parihar, were supposedly one of the rulers there and there are many villages of parihar rajputs in that area. So Kanuaj which is what is been told in many of the internet writeup is one place, and then Mahendraji tells me that the king was from Rajasthan. Ok, putting controversy apart, the king came here all the way partying with his court dancers, and in his amusement he forgot his entourage was for to reach homkund and pay his homage to Goddess Nanda devi ( I believe this could be part of 12 years jat yatra), Well, So In the night, Goddess express her anger to him in his dreams, which upsets the king and he buries all the dancers alive, Mahendraji tells. In another story the Goddess turns those dancers in to stone. and so is the name Patthar (stoned) nachunia (dancers). the same king is what famously been said invites the wrath of the goddess in further journey and his team get perished to death in roopkund, for multiple reasons of making the goddess angry including having brought along his pregnant wife to the holy mountains.

Day 5: Well, Start late! only if you dont mind missing something like this.Stories over, and so does the dinner, in all the talkings and we go back to sleep quick. Oh! may be I am missing one very important note while I am hurrying up to sleep. the briefing sessions by Rajesh has not been less scary than the annual performance reviews at work for me. "You all did a good job, you reached on time, we'll all make to to roopkund, however some people I have been observing had been slow". Rajesh's words haunt me.

"this guys' not gonna let me hike roopkund" I crib,
why shouldn't they write it as a requirement earlier only, if they want only so called "high speed" trekkers? I wonder.

Those who can't complete roopkund this time, Indiahikes has offer for them to do the roopkund trek free next year, Rajesh adds..

I am not doing it next year, I am doing it now. I keep blabbering to myself. and guess, I loose my patience.
Why dont you tell me directly Rajesh? .. you dont have to say some people. You can address me the slowest. I tell him and he just smiles. huh!


In the end of the briefing there comes an order for us. The four/five of us, Including Mr. & Mrs Mukherji and Nitin Uncle, are supposed to start tomorrow's trek earlier than the rest of the batch, and reach Kaluvinayak before everyone else does. if failed the verdict shall be presented to us in Bhaguwasa. oh so here it finally comes, I sigh!. I quickly ask Rajesh and Pavan and manage Pavan to get up at 5 in the morning, and come along with me. while he' blames me to making him run before the whole batch and with out breakfast. (guess what, even i dont get breakfast)

Day 5: The Closest I got, from Kalu vinayak.

Sunrise on the edge of Kalu vinayak mountain, and the valley grass shines in the morning rays. more to my surprise so does the soil, mixed with some metals and shining stones if, we pick up a little of it, and keep climbing. after those green echo huts once we stop to take a look on the gangotri range, which some how keeps getting better and better. towards our right we see the enchanting kumaon mountains, and kalidak, down below on the same side is a fall named Bharad toli, which is named after those mysterious goats who appears and disappears in big bunch here and are considered very holy. 2 hours exact and we reach Kaluvinayak. the group is still quite far behind, which makes me very happy. soon we climb up to the top of mountain and enjoy the 360 degree view which till now we haven't have got. we are almost at 15000ft height. and this ascend is sure an achievement. and no doubt we get the best reward for it too. 3 valleys, the trail behind up to Ghoda lotani, Chaukhamba, The Neelkanth, The Nanda Ghunti, The Trishul, and what not, here we get the first glimpse of roopkund craters. :) shouldn't we smile. offcourse we should!.

Day 5: Mt. Chaukhamba.  7140 mtrs
This should be second place, after bedni from where I should have taken most of my shots. So inviting so serene, so calming. well, one should be left out of words when describing something like this and so I am here. hence I move further. soon everyone arrives, and we do a good pooja, at Lord Kaluvinayak temple, ( Details of Kaluvinayak) more than that my hungry stomach enjoys the sweets brought by Goutam/Kunal uncle. deliciously delicious those are. from kaluvinayak we reach Bhaguwasa pretty quicky, also spot some white flowers bramha kamal (which is used for worshing lord bramha) and another called fan Kamal.

If you aint fed up of my mythological stories of each places, then here comes the last, of all, Bhaguwasa/Bhaguawasa, is the place where Ma Parvati left the tiger and went ahead to Kailash. short n sweet this time isnt' it? :) anyways, Bhaguwasa is some 2 km from Kalu vinayak and should be 5 km away from our lake of dooms. the place has very unpredictable weather and hailstorms and 5-6 feets of snow is common. it doesnt take us long to experience that though! while Patthar Nachunia was a bit lonely in that sense, in Bhaguwasa the tents are already pitched in. there are humans to be seen around as well! New faces offcourse. we meet and welcome 27th Sep batch who climbs roopkund and come back around 1:30 PM and soon they leave to bedni taking along the mountain dog sheru and sleeping bags too. well its us again, and the not so surprizing hailstorms which we enjoy the most. there are some of us who'hasnt seen hailstorms earlier. the ground full of red fallen leaves of small plants and white snow makes us feel like we are in some sort of wonderland. the day ends with some bhajans and the prayer, and a good news that all of us are going to roopkund tomorrow. Ah! such a relief.. yesterday I couldnt sleep all night, today I am at peace.

'Tis distance lends enchantment to the view, And robes the mountain in its azure hue!

Next post - adding up soon.

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7 comments

  1. Nice one.. Worth taking all the details in the kitchen tent in return ;-)

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  2. Thank you ji! yes it was worth jotting down all the details, else in the wilds were forgetting our names 'em selves. sure difficult to remember what we heard! add more to it.. decoding info from those 4 pages, was so difficult that m so happy whatever I had in there is all posted in these 4 posts...

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  3. Your every Sentence is creating perfect picture front of me i can feel the moment...Thanks so much for detailed writeup.

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  4. Thank you Vijay,, I was watching a documentary in Nat-Geo Yesterday.. "Trek Into the wild world.. " that reaffirmed my belief of writing in present tense, I hope I was able to create the real pictures out of few simple words and sentences.

    thanks again.. keep commenting..!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nice one.. Worth taking all the details in the kitchen tent in return ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you ji! yes it was worth jotting down all the details, else in the wilds were forgetting our names 'em selves. sure difficult to remember what we heard! add more to it.. decoding info from those 4 pages, was so difficult that m so happy whatever I had in there is all posted in these 4 posts...

    ReplyDelete

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