Posts Tagged ‘Haridwar’

I kept staring at that small piece of rock (approximate 36 square-inch) which  was not reliable enough to risk my life on. I do not know how long I was staring at that but it seemed like hours . A  thousand thoughts crossed my mind . It was the first time when I felt like praying to GOD .Trust me it was the first time I prayed .Then  I thought of looking at the surroundings for the last time before I take the decision . I took a glimpse .

Well , In short I was standing at 500 ft above ground ,  15,500 ft above sea level , climbing a steep 75 degree slope of a  half naked eroded hill made of loose rocks and boulders which were rolling down frequently.  I was standing on the middle of a waterfall and waiting for the last action to cross it . If I look down I could see the Gangotri glacier stretching 20Kms long and 4kms wide. No site of greenery as far as eyes could see. It was like crossing a desert of rocks and boulders . Retreating was pointless . I looked up to get a glimpse of the lakshya (final destination). 100mts left  to reach Tapovan .

My total weight 130Kg . No am not that fat!! 75kg  is of my of  my once athletic  body and a 55kg backpack . I had to do a  full stretch to place my right foot on that 36 square-inch rock which was covered with moss and looked slippery . Then cross my left foot immediately from behind and do a full stretch again to reach the other side of the waterfall . And I had to do this real fast because  that small rock was just not stable enough.  I had to make sure I do not lose my body balance in this process or else I will  fall through the waterfall and my body will be untraceable. Unfortunately it was not a part of AXN Fear Factor, else it would have followed with a loud applause and half  naked chicks  jumping and clapping and maybe giving me hugs and kisses. Sigh …

After completing the most difficult 100mt climb of my life we reached Tapovan . And what i saw once I reach there ? You guys must be dying to know that . Well its a place which cannot be described in words.I tried write a paragraph 5 times and none of them were worthy enough.  Let it be portrayed through photographs.

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All of that would not have been possible without the help and support of the entire group which consisted of 11 guys ( Tanay, Garg, Gunjan, Jhankar, Major, Ruru-da, Achintya, Subhodip, Vineet, Khatri and me ) and 11 porters including one guide. Crossing a rapid  on 2 thin logs, walking on the edges of the mountains were one wrong step will make you fall a 1000ft , step jumping on loose rocks to cross glaciers or spending the coldest night of my life inside a cave  would not have been possible without them.

Lets give you a brief idea of how we reached Tapovan from Haridwar. We took a traveller van and after  8 hours of riding through the winding snake-like highway along the river Ganga we reached Uttarkashi,  a small town on the banks of Ganga. Next day we left for Gangotri, its a small town at 10,000ft altitude with a beautiful view of Ganga and snow peaked mountains. Its also a pilgrimage spot as this is where the Ganga used to originate according to the Purans, the source has now moved back almost 20kms to a place called Gamukh. We reached Gangotri in the afternoon after a dangerous ride through landslide hit roads. From there the next day early morning we started the trek. We walked 16Kms and reached Bhojbasa(14,000ft), the only place with human habitat between Gangotri and Tapovan. After a night’s rest in the tent we started off  for the last half of trekking. We crossed Gamukh (the birthplace of Ganga) and walked through the  cold desert of loose rocks and glaciers to reach Tapovan. The main motivation which kept us going was the view. I had to pause after every 15 minutes for a 360 degree view of the place and each time it was more beautiful, exciting and dangerous. It was breathtaking and out of the world experience, specially for city dwellers like us. It’s like a dreamland where everything is out of proportion and massive. This experience will make you realize the value of life and many more important lessons.

I am grateful to Himalaya Trekkers for this opportunity. By the way, I might write one more blog about the experiences during my 3 night stay in Tapovan and how we survived there. Don’t miss it.

Cheers to life !!!

P.S : If you want to know more please ask.

English: Gangotri/Gaumukh Namarupa Mahayatra 2...

English: Gangotri/Gaumukh Namarupa Mahayatra 2009 (Terminus of the Gangotri Glacier, Gangotri, Uttarakhand, India) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)