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Kalpeshwar - Rudranath Story Part II

Kalpeshwar and Rudranath - Part II 

Since lots of time was available I opened up the shoes and lied down in the sun which was trying to break in from the gaps in the clouds. The construction activity was progressing with good speed. Few kids were playing in the open place where I was lying down. Suddenly the loud voice of a lady was heard  from above. I looked up to see a lady sitting atop a  big stone beating and rubbing some bushes on the stone. In response to her another lady shouted from some other place and this long distance conversation continued for sometime. I asked  Indra Singh as to what was going on and he told that it was normal conversation going on while the work was also being done. The lady was making the paste from the ganja leafs which grows in this valley in abundance. Well this is Shiva's region and so his prasad is available in large quantity. In the meantime the lunch was served and as I sat there eating it. The kids who were playing there were given woolens to wear including cap and they put on semi torn shoes. Thereafter they vanished from there and much later I saw them again. Having had food to our fill we decided to hurry up as Dumak was still two and half hours away. I was not able to understand as to how it would take so much time as from above the two villages seemed quite near. The  trail moved down hill from the village and then I realized that we were supposed to go down all the way to the river and then climb up to reach the village of Dumak. The village of Kalgot was way behind us and we were slowly moving into the jungle.  Suddenly I heard the sound of kids playing and few minutes later they were in front of us. Well, the children who where playing there were the same whom I had seen playing in the courtyard of the house where we had stopped for lunch. It had taken us half an hour to reach the place and such small kids were playing so far from their homes. Well the training starts automatically while they are quite young.

We kept moving down hill and finally the roar of the fast flowing water reached our ears and along with it came in view a huge land slide . The recent rains had been very destructive at this section and had taken off the bridge. So slowly we moved along the landslide section and crossed two make shift log bridges over the Jhangna nala. As we climbed up a group of girls in school uniform came along. The school for the two villages is at Dumak and as such children have to move on this trail for attending the school. The climb ended with a small temple on the side, but without visiting it we continued on our way as it was getting late and I was feeling tired. Thereafter it was a straight walk along a good cemented path. The green fields were on both sides of the path and it was a big village. We straight went to the hotel run by Prem Singh Bhandari which was on the main path itself as we entered the village. I was too tired  to move about and so entered the room on the first floor and sat there. Two men and one lady were occupying the next door room and had come from Rudranath side. They told that the route was very bad and the guides were not telling the truth about the condition of the trail and were painting a rosy picture of the same. Tea was served in the room and as it became dark, dinner was also served there itself. It was a bit cold and so we slept off without unnecessary moving around. The place had a phone and so one can always call Dumak and set the things at the village for the team.

The dawn was not as clear as we had wished for, but it was not raining so it was OK with us. We got ready and were on the trail by 0720 hrs. The trail moved up a bit along the mountain side and then the zigzag trail moving down to the river started. The sound of the rushing water was a pleasant sound and slowly after  500 meters drop we sighted the bridge on the Maina river. A minute or so later we were on the bridge and across it. A few minutes rest was in order and we were again on the trail which was now climbing up. The trail climbed gently through the jungle and we were the only ones on the trail. Huffing and puffing we kept climbing through the jungle with our heads bent as lots of climb was still left. Well the climb was in stages through the jungle and open spaces. We reached an opening where a small water channel ran through it. Some splash of water on face was quite refreshing and we now walked along a stone wall. A languor sitting on the wall was surprised to see us and jumped off and climbed high up a tree. Rest of the group which was out of site till now followed suit and we crossed the place without any further wild animals crossing our path or we crossing their path. The open space finished and once again we were in the jungle with some steep climbing on the zigzag trail. The jungle was deep and so we moved together. The clouds were helping us with all the shade and I was wondering what would have happened if it was a clear day. As I raised my head I could see the sky peeping through the thick jungle. The thought of reaching the open space brought speed to the legs and soon we were in the opening and what an opening. We had reached the Toli meadow, and by any standards it was vast. The lake which forms with the melting of snow was drying fast and thus we could walk across it to the other side where the tent of a Bakriwala was located. As we came out of the jungle and entered the Toli meadow, there was a hut belonging to  the Forest department. When the lake is full the trail moves along the side and one has to  turn left and pass the huts of gujjars who bring  buffalos and then we reach the tents of the Bakriwallas. Two or three groups of Bakriwallas camp here during the season. We reached the tent of the Bakriwala as they were about to leave. The goats had already left the place, so it was peaceful and I requested the last man to let us use the fire so that we can make some soup. As he was also in a hurry to join the goats he told us to hurry up. Another man joined us at the tent and the Bakriwala knew him so tea was prepared for him and we also got more time. We sat there talking about the place and its beauty. I mentioned that this place would have seen lots of people had the road been near by, to which the last man to arrive said that in that case the place would not have remained so scenic to which I could not but agree. I have seen Solang nala turning into what it is today. Though we were rushing towards Rudranath, I thought it was sheer stupidity. It would be great to spend a day at this place and soak in the beauty, before moving upto Rudranath.

Having had the soup and some small talk we lifted our pack and I thought that I will have some more talk with the man who had followed us from Dumak, while moving on the trail. However, that was not to be as I came to know that he was going to Gopeshwar and there was a trail which went straight to it in two hours. So Toli is only a tough two-three hours from Gopeshwar and would be a good way to reach Rudranath.  Anyway leaving that trail for a later date we took our trail, which started to climb immediately. We passed another Bakriwala camp and his ferocious dogs kept barking at us till the time we had cleared their area. The man who had tea with us was far on the opposite trail and was about to enter the thick jungle on that side. Another group of three persons were seen moving towards us from that direction. We kept moving with good speed as the trail wound its way through the jungle. Some parts were quite soggy due to the recent rain, but apart from that there was no problem with the trail. May be we found the things alright as we were moving up, but a party moving down on the slippery trail would have had more difficulty. I was thinking about the group I had met at Dumak and their description of the trail. The climb was quite a bit and when I saw the light increasing my sprit also rose. Sometime later we were out of the jungle and into the grass land. What a pleasant site to the eyes and also for the limbs. Indra Singh told that the climb was more or less over and the trail was much more gentle now onwards. We were at around 10,000'. Few big horses were grazing around the trail and did not bother much about our presence. We also did not wait there much as cold wind  blew and it was a bit chilly for our wet bodies. The trail circled around the grassland and rose at a gentle gradient. It was a good walk and suddenly a big group of buffalos who were grazing around the trail went berserk as a bull chased them around.  Luckily the bull left us alone and only chased the cows so we were able to move without any trouble. It was lunch time and the stomach was giving the indication of the same, but Panar was still a while away. The trail was along the ridge and now I was cursing the clouds which had made our climb a pleasant one all this while. The clouds obscured the view of the Himalayan giants which are supposed to be visible from this trail along the vintage ridge. Well with no chance of clouds melting away we continued on the trail. Far away a red flag came in site. Indra told me that it was the Panar where a hotel is located which provides shelter and food. Soon the Panar meadow opened up in front of us in all its beauty. I could feel what it would be when the sky is clear. A Forest department hut is coming up nearer to the hotel. The work was still in progress. We reached the hotel and got respite from the cold wind blowing along the ridge. Having ordered our lunch of dal and rice we moved to the spot across the ridge just below the flag where the mobile can pick up the signals from Gopeshwar. Having contacted the family members we again moved back to the hotel hut for hot lunch. Here at Panar a trail takes off towards Sagar village, which is five km short off Gopeshwar and is around 21 km from this place. So this is another way to reach Rudranath if one wants to do the circular route from Gopeshwar to Gopeshwar. Well, climb up from Sagar to Panar and reach Rudranath which is another seven km from Panar. On return from Rudranath take the Nyla pass route and get down to Ansuiya Devi and from there reach Mandal which is 06 km on the main road.   


Kalpeshwar - Rudranath Story Part III

Kalpeshwar - Rudranath Photos Part I

Kalpeshwar - Rudranath Photos Part II

Kalpeshwar - Rudranath Trek Plan



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Published on: 2009-01-11 (1619 reads)

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