After we had climbed down from Khulara(3000m) to Tapovan(around 1900m), our knees were almost giving up. It was a continuously running, steep downhill climb. At times it was even getting difficult to stop your momentum with the heavy sack on your back... We had to start our next trek on the same day. i.e. the Baghini Glacier trek.
We bought few vegetables from Tapovan, had 'Chicken-Rice' :-) for lunch, cooked in local style, and then set out for Jumma, our last motorable point for this trek. The sudden view change from green bugyals and forests to the typical Garhwal kind of sharp cut mountains kept our energy flowing. The drive to Jumma was excellent with eye-catching views on both sides of the road. It just got wilder when we saw 3 - 4 vultures eating a dead cow in the middle of the road with another cow watching from a distance. What a start to the trek!!!!
... And The Trek Begins
trek starts with crossing the suspension bridge in Jumma
the trail leading to the village of Ruing
A very nice newly built overhanging bridge started our second trek. After 5 hours of unstoppable downhill trek, it felt good to be climbing up again.. within some 90 odd hours, we reached Ruing post-sunset.. We were back to 2800 meters again, and this part of Garhwal was completely different to the Gorson's bugyal and Khulara.
The next day was an easy walk to Dronagiri village. This is a village I will never forget in my life.. the people were so lovely and welcoming!! They welcomed us for tea and I had a very interesting conversation with many of them. There were very few people in this village than the houses it had. No young boys/girls were found. There were few kids who were spending their summer vacation.. and mostly middle-aged or old people living there. We camped in the village beside the 'in-construction' 2-storyed concrete building. That building definitely was the odd one outstanding there amongst the village huts made with wood, rocks, mud and some used rock slates as roofs. It highly was some resort to be for the new trend and business of eco-tourism. Good or bad?? I don't know, time will let us know.
a dreamy village scene - Dronagiri Village
a lovely and welcoming family
An Interesting Story Of The Dronagiri Village
From the villagers, I learned that this village had quite an interesting story related to our Hindu epic - Ramayana. It is said that when Hanuman fetched the Sanjivani for Lakshman, he uprooted the entire mountain behind the village. It is for this reason that when the villagers celebrate Ram Leela( dramatic enactment of the Ramayana by the people) ceremony during their festivals, it is only played till that plot of Hanuman fetching Sanjivani comes. The village has only one temple, where no one except the Pandit is allowed to go. People pray from distance. Now there is a new concrete road made, but our guide Kushal said that during the 5 yearly religious rituals of the Mata (the mother goddess), when he was one of the carriers of Mata's chariot, the goddess denied taking the new road and forced her carriers to take the old road to the temple.
the village of Dronagiri
free wild yaks roaming around the village
Baghini Glacier Expolration
After reaching the Upper Baghini Glacier, the view of the Glacier was not a good sight. It was not a vast glacier but had many cracks in it. I could not resist the curiosity and climbed down to go closer to the cracks. In one of the cracks, I saw Rishi Ganga flow ferociously beneath the glacier. That was a mixed feeling of fear, respect and excitement winding up my body and mind... The photographs which I got remain very special to me.
We did not get clear weather to view all the peaks around that place. Later, I learnt that lots of peaks are viewable from that site.. specially Trishuli and Trishuli West. We just saw Hardeol and Rishi Pahad.
crevasses of baghini glacier
crevasses of baghini glacier
lost in wonderland
magical plays of the elements of nature
Rishi Pahad and Hardeol
A Sad Return
It felt very frustrating when the weather cleared to open out all the peaks, we were heading back to Dronagiri village !! It took us little more than 2 hours to reach Dronagiri village back. The pleasant aunty welcomed us all for tea. I gave her my tulsi green tea bags in return and clicked some photographs of her. It was marking the end of our trek. Some self-cooked starters kept the energy flowing. Later in the evening, I had a discussion with a very old man who had lost one hand and was the caretaker for the 'in-construction' building. We were discussing marriage which I was against, and he was continuously supporting it. As our argument continued, he gave me quite some points which made my mind weaker to support my own thoughts :-) though I did not let him feel that.. :-)
The next day we headed for Jumma, booked sumo from Ruing, and reached Joshimath the same day. The hospitality of the Dronagiri villagers will be remembered forever.. and has definitely impacted my life.
Some journeys change you as the person you are.. some journeys make you a better person... Trekking the Himalayas is a very special sport...