“The Himalayas are an inexhaustible source of natural beauty. How long is it possible to wander in the depths of this huge mountain range, in the sky-scraping peaks, or to see it! Quotes are from the revered Umaprasad Mukherjee.
Salta 2008, autumn, I see the anagona of white clouds in the thick blue sky, and reading his writings is mind-boggling! We set out in search of a new path in the Himalayas. How many new passengers did we have? At the behest of the leader, I reached Chamoli on the banks of the Alaknanda river with my luggage. Sleepless nights, when will we see one after another the snow-capped mountains of Nanda Devi Sanctuary — Maiktoli (22,320 ft.), Mrigathuni (22,491 ft.), Trishul (23,360 ft. 21,950 ft.), Nanda. ), Ronti (19,692 ft.), Betarthali (20,600 ft.) … etc.
The next morning, the freighter got up, talked to his grandfather, bought all his belongings, packed up, and left. At nine o’clock in the morning, he drove along the banks of the Birehi river, 13 km away, with a lot of blankets. ‘Are you tired of this? That is Mohan Singh’s tea shop in front, I will see him for many days, I will wet my throat and we will talk about the happiness and sorrows of our grandparents. ‘ ‘Why? Don’t you want to walk? ‘ ‘Hey, why are you impatient? Danny hasn’t arrived yet. ‘ That’s right! Our guide Danidadai has not come yet. Necessarily wet the throat, eat top lozenges (what else to do with a 12-year-old son). Eventually, chatting with tea-lozenges, Danidada hugged him and started walking east along the left bank of the Birehi River in the blazing sun with all his belongings including kerosene.
On the first day, however, the walk is a little, 5 km to Durmi, the climb is not too much, in this defense. On the side of the thin Birehi Ganges, sometimes crossing a small bridge over the river, I go to the village of Durmi, but my mind is on that ‘Gona Tal’ (also called ‘Birehi Tal’ in the name of Birehi River). Although there is a place like the night in the forest bungalow in Durmi, I would like to go a little further when there is time – because the history of Gonatal has been read in Prasadji’s writing! A huge boulder of 25 crore cubic feet of stone) collapses in the Birehi river, closing the mouth of the river. A year later, in the same rainy season (August 25, 1894), the natural embankment collapsed and the adjacent settlements began to overflow, but the water level of the lake remained low. Gradually, bungalows, boat-houses, naval monasteries, trout fishing, etc. were built around him during the English period. But in the next century (July 1970) another catastrophe broke the Tal Dam and flooded the lower reaches of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi, flooding many areas including Chamoli district, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Gangetic valley towns, cities, villages, and even rivers. The direction of movement also changes. After a lot of damage, the river regains its rhythm, but the birehi or gonatal disappears.
So I walked across the river with surprised eyes and saw the skeletal body of the lake a little ahead! I reached the middle of the belly of the lake by treading different water lines! Now it’s time to be surprised – far away, in the distance, I see the sign of the boathouse in the gap of the trees! There is trouble. What a bizarre nature, what a bizarre game of breaking it down! Obeying this trend of change, the night dormitory is built in a relatively clean and relatively safe place in the belly of the cauldron. It’s nice to wander around the tent in that spacious space under the clear bright starry sky. Where there was such a deep water body centuries ago, due to the natural changes in nature, today it is just a semi-dry wetland!
After a night’s rest, I start the day with the sunrise at Danidada, Darshandada, Chamudadar Dakadaki, the ascent path from the very beginning of today. After drinking tea and biscuits, we wrapped up the deradanda with food and started walking on the road. Chir, rhododendron, somewhere along the side of a big tree, we proceeded towards the northeast -Bhimchula to relieve fatigue by adding toffees (It is said that in the Mahabharata, the middle Pandava Bhima, on his way to Mahaprasthan, cooked and rested in a stone oven at this place, hence the name). We also have a little water supply here because in the bright daylight we see the snow-capped Nanda Ghunti peak from here and don’t want to move fast, so after a short one-and-a-half km climb, Pana village stays away for an hour or two. On the other hand, there is a new family arrangement for everyone, making hot rice, pulses and egg broth. All these people are nurtured in the lap of nature with their simple, straightforward, simple life
Celebrated, so they have no misery for it. But we? Breathing mortgages all year round is a compulsory livelihood in the concrete jungle.
When it comes to holidays, we are happy! There is no rush, I slowly walk in the middle of the beautiful nature of the Himalayas. After a while, our body and mind cooled down and we proceeded towards the Panchayat Bhaban of Pana village, on the way we met the grandmother of the school there. I continue to tell stories. Pana is one of the largest villages in the region. The cultivation is good and the number of school children is not very low. Talking about them, I reached the door of the village. After eating hand-made food and walking from side to side, the village sisters and brothers are engaged in farming, weaving woolen blankets and tumbles, we are talking about dancing and singing at a village festival, it is very cold … In fact, Suryadev is drowning! Darshandada called out and grabbed a cup of smoked ginger and cardamom tea in his hand and ran to make dinner. I think, our comfort, living in the Himalayas, a little hobby ‘trekking’ is standing on the hard work of these people!
In the old house of the village, the father and son are having a good time, this sleepless idiot is thrilled when the Mahendrakshan will come when the snow-covered peaks will be spread across the 180-degree sky! How many different names — Dunagiri, Elephant Mountain, Gauri or Horse Mountain, Nilgiri, Nilkantha, Chaukhamba, Kedarnath, Chai Ki Chai Ki Jhanskar Range is not seen even in the east … B, B, this is not the end. But my Nanda Devi? Where is he with the council? Yes, yes, Molla’s chalk yogurt on the last leaf at once! Ahh, whatever he does, if he has a good fortune, he will stay with me till the end of the walk! O Baba: It’s too late to think. Anyway, after washing my hands and drinking tea, I say to Chamudadas with a little embarrassment, a little bit of love – today’s menu has me yo haluya hai hai na, o maya banataungi )!
In the morning, I made the charm of Bengal with hot fried semolina on the stove and broke the war by making the grandparents a little late. It was eight o’clock in the afternoon when I started packing bread and potatoes. On the way, I spent half an hour with many of my friends from yesterday and continued to climb the northeast. The path through the dense jungle, the occasional squeaking sound of the occasional call of unknown birds, I climbed up the slope of the steep hill to a beautiful buggy filled with 9,500-10,000 feet high grass. Nearby is a small waterfall, a cave on a high hill, a good camping ground. Sitting on the ground, sniffing the bread and potatoes, sticking to the manda of North Kolkata itself and lying on the grass bed! Ah, the thick blue sky above the head, the green forest around the mountains and the waves of white snow in the distance, who will go to walk today? But no, the leader’s instruction is ‘there is no rest today after only 5-6 km, there is still enough sun, let’s go ahead but there will be no difficulty in reaching Dakwani tomorrow.’ Hi, no, brother. Action is the will of the leader! Let’s go beyond Sartoli. I keep walking in the face of the badger, this time I go down the slope of a hill and climb the grass of the hill to the north.
There are also colorful small hill flowers in the space of some big stones. Black clouds can be seen in the sky from side to side, maybe, because the day is not less. But due to the violence of this cloud, the ‘Pilkhunta Range’ in the far north could no longer be seen. Standing for a while and enjoying the surroundings, zero to zero, crack to crack! In the front, in the back, the sky quickly became cloudy. Come on everyone, no matter what, walk fast. With drizzle of rain on our heads, we climbed another two km along the north and covered ourselves with raincoats. When it was almost raining, we came to a green field again. I can’t do it anymore, I try to run with a sigh, almost gasping for breath for fear of rain. In this way, I see my grandparents welcoming me with a smile.
Their tents had been pitched long before we reached Dunikhar, and the coffee water sat in the saucepan when we saw them. But today, not only in tea and coffee, but also in the rain, chop-onion thuri pakora kai? Cook stopped Grandpa and I sat down to sift the besan onions in the rain but the rules left! With the head of the temporary plastic kitchen, big drops of water fell in the hot oil of the pan and began to simmer. I ate boiled rice and went to spend the night in a half-wet dormitory.
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