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Tirthan Valley Trek Story Part II



TIRTHAN VALLEY TREK

Part II

The next day dawned sunny and today we were going upto Tirath and returning back to the cave for spending another night. So only the day pack was taken and Lot ram stayed back to take care of our belongings. The walk started over the ice on the river and then crossing a small nala coming from our left we walked over a steadily rising trail. The trail soon vanished as it had been damaged during the floods and so hoping over stones we made progress up the valley. We again came to a slope and walked up avoiding the snow on the river and then the place started to open up slowly. The tree line was left behind and now we were in the open grass land. The trail was clear and it was easy walking except the fact that the altitude had increased and it was telling on our lungs. Slowly, I walked behind others and crossed another stream coming from our left, which is named Khir ganga. Though during May end it still had snow till the very end of the slope it was flowing from. The area we now entered was Ganesh bagh, where Lord Ganesh is supposed to have played during his childhood. Well the area was covered with flowers and was very scenic and could have been any child's playground. The end of the Ganesh bagh was marked by another stream flowing from our left and was aptly named Dhud ganga. Well a restricted playing field for the child God. Now we entered the area which has been named as Pandvo ka bagh, where Pandva's had grown rice during their stay. It is was also a big area but the flood has destroyed a large chunk. The tall grass which grows in front of the sacred cave does look like rice plant. The cave is known as Bhiundwari. From here one can have a good view of the valley which bifurcates into two valleys. The valley on right is the scared place and no one camps there or goes there except to perform puja at the Tirath. Well one is not supposed to take any thing across the stream to Tirath and so keeping the sensibilities of Tekram in mind we left our bags and shoes near the cave and went bare foot to the ground across the stream. The scared place has two open praying sites dedicated to Shiva and Brahma. The one dedicated to Shiva is a small stone Shivling covered with red clothes and next to it is a small pond of black water, called the Kal kund. The water of this kund is not to be touched as it is not considered good for the skin. The one dedicated to Brahma is a bigger pond where a small stream is bring in water and by another stream the water is flowing out and is considered to be the source of Tirthan river. Lots of currency notes and coins were lying in the pond, but are not touched by any one visiting the place. Only once a year, the pujari visiting the place removes the currency and coins which are reachable by hand and throw them down the stones located behind the pond. Nothing get taken back from here. Though its a very good camping ground, it is not used for camping, being scared to the locals. Tekram performed the puja on behalf of the team and as we stood there taking photos we noticed that the sand near to the incoming stream had started to move around and along with it moved the items at that place. It was quite an amazing site and according to Tekram the Gods were making their presence felt. Well Gods or not we were at a heavenly place without any worry. However, reality dawned on us and leaving the Gods behind at their heavenly abode we returned back to the cave where we had left our day packs and had our packed lunch. The valley ahead of Tirath was closed by high mountains and the ridge is called Chabti dhar according to the guide.

The valley which was going to our left goes to Saketi and the trail follows the nala. It takes one day to reach the Saketi thach from Tirath and has a hut for staying. A bit ahead of it is Chakri top or Yash ka peak. One can also go to Sirikand Mahadev from there, which takes two and half hours of walking over real tough trail as told by Tekram. Though he may be meaning exposed, so I believe. After lunch we went a bit into this valley so see any wildlife which we had not seen at Tirath. However, we were not lucky and could not lay our eyes on any, except, the blue sheep high above us on the ridge. Some time was spent tracking them and then we decided to return back. The walk back was slow and by the time I reached the Majhoni cave it started to drizzle, though not much. Back at the camp tea was ready and brought warmth back to the body. Mission accomplished we sat around the fire in the kitchen section talking about Tirath and the moving sand in the Brahma kund. The rain was falling as we went to sleep.

The dawn was overcast though there were no sighs of rain. We got ready after breakfast and took the trail with the thought of stopping at Shankha. The nala coming now from our right was crossed without much problem and the walk till Shankha was uneventful. Well since we were moving down, the team had not stopped there and so without stopping there I also kept moving. Far in distance we saw the three moving slowly over boulders. The jungle started, but now it was a known area so we took it lightly and keeping company of Tekram , I moved slowly enjoying the trail. Tirthan was flowing on our left and the jungle was dense with a cave overlooking the trail. This was perfect bear country and so looking around and making noise we left it behind. A look or two behind me were in order as I was the last member and could not lower my guard. We reached the first nala and then the second nala, ahead of which was the steep climb right into the thick jungle before Nada thach. The sun was out and it was good place for a lunch stop. Fire was started and tea was made as we ate the packed lunch. The porters thought that the water was quite inviting and so jumped into the small pool to take bath. As the first drops reached us, we realised that sun had vanished and rain was approaching slowly. Still time was in our hands and so we shouldered the packs for the climb all the way to Nada thach. Short walk brought us to the steep climb and then the climb started, but was much less of a problem than we had thought. In fifteen minutes all were on top and moving into the jungle. Well, I could not locate the marks Tekram had made on the way down but he was knowing the trail well, so we did not need the marks. The climb was good in gradient though we had not realised it on our way down. The jungle was quite and not a sole seemed to be around. The floor was wet and the dead leaves covered it like a soft carpet, though full of insects. The rain added to our miseries. And then it all started. The thunder showers came in full force. It would have been quite tough, had I been alone in the jungle with lightening all around and the loud sound of the thunder. Rain fall was heavy and we had no option but to take shelter under some big tree. Due to rotten leaves it was not possible to seat down and so standing under small branches we passed time and prayed for rain to stop for some time so that we can reach the hut, which was not far off. As the rain became weak we made a dash for the hut which we reached in fifteen minutes.

These fifteen minutes were also good enough to make us wet and so the fire in the kitchen was welcome. Nothing better than having tea with biscuits seating next to fire on a cold and wet day. As the thundershowers had started they stopped and soon the sky was clear with the sun out again. The snow covered peaks were also out in full view with a new coat of fresh snow. The camp fire was started and relieved on having finished our climb back to Nada thach, we sat there making plans for the next trek.

Today was the last day of the trek and so everyone was lazy in getting up. However, sun rays hit the hut early morning and so there was no choice but to getup and get ready for leaving. It took long time and finally we left Nada thach reluctantly with Dewan leading the group. He wanted to be at Aut by evening and in the Delhi bus so as to be at Delhi early next morning. The walk upto the high point was the only climb of the day and was through the jungle. The point was reached and the climb down begin, with a bit of level walk and then the steep trail. I moved slowly behind the group and Dewan kept up the pace. Tekram and party were enjoying the trail and were moving joking about the things back home and in their villages. We were moving cautiously, keeping in mind the condition of our knees and whether we would be able to move out of Sai Ropa the same day. This time we passed the mobile signal point without stopping so as not to waste time. Tekram and party stopped for taking out a good stick for me and I moved ahead. Suddenly a loose foot and I went down on my back, though the fall did shake me up I was not hurt due to the sack on back which took the impact. Looking behind to see if anyone had noticed my fall I was relieved to find myself alone and so got up and walked off as if nothing had happened. Dewan was nowhere in site. he was in real hurry. Turning around a corner I saw something hanging on the side bush and released that it was Dewan's mattress. So taking it down I carried it all the way down where the express train of the three joined me. The mattress was hidden in the sack and we caught up with Dewan near the tree God. A prayer by Tekram was in order and so we stopped there, while he finished the job. The Chalocha hut was reached without any further problem, but we did not stop there. We had been to much better places and wanted to reach Rolla at the earliest. The walk back was along the good trail till we reached the landslide region and again went over the bridges on the river to cross the hurdle. Finally we all were at Rolla and I sat down for having lunch. A quick half an hour break was sufficient at the place and we left for Gushaini. Tekram and party again sat down at the hut for some chat and for leaving the camping items they had carried up from there. We kept on moving and reached the gate of the park, where the chowkidar was sitting. Well we were moving out and another small party was moving in and the chowkidar was there to receive them. Saying our bye to him we happily moved out of the park and reached the bridge on the nala coming from our left. The sun was out and it was very hot, but since we were walking on a good trail we did not release it. Immediately after the bridge the climb started and by the time we reached the top point the clothes were all wet of sweat and the other party was sitting up on the rock enjoying the surrounding view. Another two hours walk brought us to a closed and dull Gushaini, it being a Sunday. There were no taxis available to ferry us to Sai Ropa and one driver who had his taxi was playing cricket and was not ready to leave the game for some money. A bus was sited coming down and as it reached the place where we were sitting we took charge of our bags for boarding the bus. Alas, it was not to be so, as the bus was not fit for public and did not take any passengers. So cursing our luck we sat there. Another bus came from opposite side and went up to the last village. Lots of time went by and when we enquired about the bus it was told that it has had a puncture and the wheel change was in progress. Any way the bus finally came and we boarded it and reached Sai Ropa. Picked up our stuff which we had left behind and changed into our city clothes. Paid Tekram and his men and boarded the taxi to take us to Banjar and we reached the bus stand so as to catch the last bus to Aut. The bus took its time in moving out of the stand and stopped right below the stand on road. It had broken down. Lots of up and down running around and shouting between the roadways staff resulted in the replacement bus reaching us. All jumped in at the same time and finally with everyone onboard it left the place with us praying for no further trouble. Gods listened to us and we reached Aut safe and sound before all the down buses had gone. Dewan was able to get a seat on a Volvo going to Delhi and I stood there watching the bus vanish past the turn. My luck also stood by and I was able to get on a crowded bus in which I also got a seat. Reached home without any further problems in slight drizzle. Another fine trek had come to an end.

Tirthan Valley Trek Top Story First Part

Tirthan Valley Trek Photos Part I

Tirthan Valley Trek Photos Part II

Tirthan Valley Trek Photos Part III

Tirthan Valley Flower Photos

Tirthan Valley Trek Plan

KEEP THE MOUNTAINS CLEAN










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Published on: 2008-08-17 (1151 reads)

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