In summer of this year, I trekked to the beautiful undulating meadows of Dayara Bugyal. This classified “easy” trek brought me face to face with the mighty Mt. Bandarpunch. It was an emotionally uplifting experience. So, when I planned for my post monsoon trek it was fitting that I chose to go to the Har ki Dun valley and witness the beauty that Mt. Swargarohini is. Classified “moderate” this trek promised the big mountains, two summit climbs, ancient villages and a high- altitude lake, as a cherry on the cake.
After months of preparing for the trek, I landed in this quaint little, one street village of Sankri, a base camp for most treks in the region. The journey next day began with a ride to Taluka, from where we started our trek in the Govind Pashu Vihar National Park and Sanctuary. The first day I was undeniably a spectator to the way of life in the Himalayas. The bright pink amaranth a.k.a. rajgira, locally called cholai terrace farms were in full bloom. I didn’t mind being held up in traffic jam on the slope when the local shepherd whistled to his livestock, on their way back from the grazing pastures. We got a glimpse of the village Datmir, nestled high up, when we took a break near the banks of the river Tons. Locals of all age groups from villages from further up the trail, Gangad and Osla, went about their day navigating the terrain with such ease, it put us, the head to toe trekking gear laden city folks to shame. The light had started to fade in the evening and I was happy to see the tents up at the campsite of Chillurgad for the night. It was a long and tiring day but was well worth it.
No need of an alarm here up on the mountains as I was woken up by the chirping of the birds. Never have I ever seen sky so blue. As a Mumbaikar who is so used to grey skies, I couldn’t believe my eyes. After a hearty breakfast, garma garam chai, quick warmup and endless cuddles with all the mountain dogs, we set our eyes on our next campsite, Kalkatiyadhar. We had to cover shorter distance than the first day, but, it was definitely the toughest in mine opinion. Some gradual and some steep inclines brought us to a vantage point, where one could clearly see the cradle shaped valley with Har ki Dun on the left and the route to Ruinsara tal on the right. Slow and steady, huffing and puffing at times, we reached the campsite when the weather took a turn that evening and I saw my first hail storm in the Himalayas.
I was up and early the next day all excited for the summit climb to Har ki Dun. We came across a waterfall where the sunrays were just kissing the top of the mountain and the day looked promising weather wise. The views were absolutely stunning with the entire mountain side covered with pretty wild flowers. It was an easy day on the legs and the final push brought us to this vast opening to the valley, with Hata peak on the left. I felt an overwhelming sense of achievement when I saw Mt. Swargarohini I, II and III glistening in the morning sun with a clear view of Jaundhar glacier on its left. We raised the tricolour and sang the national anthem, saluting the massif. After we had our hearts content, the walk back to the campsite of Boslo began.