How we blossomed ?
Or a short account of Valley of Flowers
Mountains are the same everywhere. Be it covered with snow, deserted, green, and even barren ones, they humble you. Unfortunately the mood of elation disappears the moment you decide to climb uphill. The mood evaporates and all left is number crunching. How many kilometers we have done and how many are left.
” Bhaisahab age kitna rasta bacha hua hai.”
” Chai pee jayee”
And so when evening falls ,in best of interest one should keep quiet, maintain the sanctity of the land and mind his own swollen limbs and aching back and find a roof over his head. A suit followed by my dear friend Abhishek. It was his idea to go for a trek to Valley of Flowers. And now he ‘s resting in this camp ,body aching and bum missing as I think of the passing day in the dim lit light of kerosene lamp. Today we must have trekked thirteen kilometers ,taking the whole day , bodies more accustomed to the city than the mountains. Nothing I could do about the pain than wait for the passing night and arrival of the next day.It was a sensual and sweet sensation though . We felt alive in this peaceful and still night. It was all quiet and dark. Only the river was awake. One could hear its angry roar , its the endless source of energy that as if did n’t want to be tied down never sleeps and reaches its end into the city.
Across our trek we found donkeys, horses and ponies, the usual mode of weight carrier on the trek to Valley of Flowers . The same you will find across any trek in Himalayas. With them they carried rucksacks, men, women, children and briefcases ( yes like a VIP briefcase !!) that precariously dangled on their backs. While the suitcases rattled men and women murmured name of Lord. For those who were not comfortable with animals there were porters itself. Many a times we came across groups where four porter s carried a devotee in a makeshift carriage The charges varied as per the weight they carried. An oversized man had to pay a few rupees more than his counterpart.
There were rules one must follow while on trek. One of them is to make way for any passing pony that you come across the trek. Though it looked made for the situation , the diminutive pony needs to be pushed and heckled for its next step. It is in between such moments that it might stop abruptly, lower its guard and poop while relaxing his hind legs .You really would not like to be stuck behind its tail at that moment. The pony is not a smart looking animal but knows its surroundings a lot better. Its a work horse, stocky and hard worker. But it has its own sets of rules .Miss and you will find yourself in such a mess. The trail is all slippery. Mule poo, dirt ,leaves ,and twigs occasionally mix with drizzle in such conditions to lay foundation for a soiled ground . People from the mountain don’t mind it though.They hardly stop under any condition. I didn’t see many stopping by for tea. For them it seems a caution to a social pastime which accounts for bantering and loss of time. The same time which they could have used to climb hurriedly and climb a few extra meters. Most of them wear rubber soled shoes which are cut from the sides or broken off edges. Why should they suffer ? Nevertheless working in hard conditions .they hardly complain and are always busy. So are the women. While the men take up odd jobs ,women are more into farming and picking up wood for the day. Throughout our journey questions were raised in the mind: what about the young adult population ? what do they do ? do they have any aspirations ? what is their level of education ? do they also like us in the city think of higher studies and degrees like MBA and fat salary packages ? how in earth do they keep themselves busy ? we get bored quite easily. for distractions then we keep a mobile phone, access to internet ,pubs , cinema halls and go the distance from one point to the other in the city to meet friends. Unless until we spent a major time in the traffic it does n’t feel like we have have crossed our neighborhood. And they. What if the closest friends stayed next to each other , the relatives just a few lanes away and the next major city could be seen on the other side of the mountain from the window. Would I be able to survive here had i been asked to live ? overtime i pass through these mountains questions and thoughts like these cross my mind. Also it amazes me to spot isolated homes built out from nowhere in these far way mountains that could be seen from across the valley from the other end . What made someone go that far is a question of anonymity . I would like to stay there for a while and view the world from the top.
On our trek though we passed through a village called Bhyunder. There we found out a wonderful initiative started by villagers themselves. July-Sept are the busiest days for the trek. And also a complete mess. So EDC Bhyunder‘s initiative is to keep the trek clean, propagate responsible tourism and collect solid waste from the surrounding areas.
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. ” Albert Einstein
Not even once did we see sunlight as we criss crossed our way into the himalayas ,snaking every now and then into obscurity and then emerging from nowhere, into greater heights. On that account we made a steady progress, our excitement accounting for a far . You don’t even need to aim it well. How the world changes in a span of eight hours is remarkable. All once needs to do for travel is to take a decision.
Have you ever danced in the mountains ?
And sang as well too. It’s a wonderful feeling. We did today. In sync with flowers who blossomed in the most brilliant of yellows ,pinks and blues . For first time how well we fitted with the nature .
The climb was not as tedious as the day before though the Sun did not bother to show up. By now we were accustomed to the weather so it was fine. It was difficult to photograph in the weather ,but i did manage to capture a few decent images.Suddenly the treacherous trek now shone like a silver lining in a landscape where cliffs over hanged surpassing the clouds .Though the nature never speaks you always feel like hearing it.
After close to five hundred kms of road and another twenty kms of trek from Govind Ghat to Ghangaria we finally reached the biodiverse region of Valley of Flowers. It was included in UNESCO list of biosphere reserves in 2004 and lies in western himalayas in Uttarakhand state