To trek to
Roopkund was a dream and when I got the chance, I can’t believe it! I
readily agreed to the proposal of my Orkut friend, Kalyan Majumdar and
joined their team to visit Roopkund. My dream remains a dream still as
we finally can’t reach but what I saw will remain in my memory
forever. We started on the 4th of October, 2009 from
Howrah by Amritsar Mail . There were ten members in our group. On the
6th of October, we reached Gwaldam. The weather was cloudy
and raining in the morning, but the Sun peeped out of the clouds in
the afternoon. We passed through the beautiful hill stations of
Kumayun Himalayas like Almora, Kausani Baijnath etc. I visited
these places way back in 1997.
Next morning, on 7th
October, the weather was bright; we got the majestic view of Trishul
peak. The site at sunrise was just amazing. We purchased the ration
for the next few days of our trek .We left Gwaldam around 9am towards
Wan in two jeeps. The river Pindar was our companion throughout. We
stopped at beautiful hilly hamlet of Debal. I have read so many times
about this place. Here we had our lunch and then changed jeeps.
From Debal we started again around 1 pm. The scenery was breathtaking.
At every turn was waiting new surprises! It was around 3 pm when we
were at Lohajung Pass (2850m). Earlier, the trek used to start from
Gwaldam but now the motorable road stretches till Wan village. We had
a short tea break and then started for our final destination, Wan
village. Wan(2437M)is the largest village in Chamoli district of
Uttarakhand state. It is divided in Upper and Lower Wan. We reached
Wan at sunset and got a room after much persuasion, in the forest
bungalow. The bungalow was very beautiful clean and cozy.
trek started on the 8th of October. We started at 6 am.
First we offered our prayers in the temple of Latu Maharaj. It is
mandatory to offer prayer to Latu Maharaj before starting for Roopkund.
Women are not allowed inside the temple. Our trek started through the
village roads and the forest area. The path was going up and up. Our
destination for that day was Bedini bugiyal (bugiyal means grassland
or green meadow), at a height of 12,000 ft and at a distance of 12 kms.
Past one week the weather was very
bad and many
groups were returning. We took intermittent breaks and proceeded. The
path from Gehrali patal was very steep. The whole stretch was through
forest but there was no sources of water seen anywhere. Finally around
1 pm we reached Doliadhar, the entrance to Bedini. Here, to the left
is the path leading to Bedini and to the right is the path leading to
Auli bugiyal. At around 2 pm we reached Bedini bugiyal, the largest
grassland in Asia, stretching for 20 kms. From Bedini on can get the
view of Gahrwal Himalayan peaks and majestic views of Nandaghunti and
Trishul. These two peaks appear as if peeping on Bedini! The shadows
of Trishul and Nandaghunti peaks on the water of Bedini Kund will make
next destination was Pathar Nachuni (3658M). We started on the morning
of 9th October, after offering prayers in the small Nanda
Devi temple, the Goddess of this area. The view of Bedini Kund and
Bedini bugiyal from a distance higher up is amazing, as if some artist
has painted a picture.
Pathar nachuni is
about 6 kms from Bedini Bugiyal. The path is not steep and Nandaghunti
appears to be coming close to us. On the way there was sudden snow
fall for few mins. The snow was like small white balls locally called
“Olay “. After 1:30pm we reached Pathar Nachuni. The Kaalidak Mountain
was standing like a huge wall. On way we got news that no one is able
to reach Roopkund due to heavy snowfall few days back. We decided that
we will go till Kailu Binayak Pass.
around 7am on 10th October, we started for Kailu Binayak.
We are scheduled to come back to Pathar Nachuni and have our lunch and
then back to Bedini. The trek was steep. We are going up and up and up
as if towards the sky! The scenery was beyond description. Rarity of
oxygen forces one to walk at slow pace. Finally at around 10 am we
reached our destination, Kailu Binayak Pass (almost 15000 ft). We were
spellbound. We are surrounded by the mighty snow peaks of Himalaya on
one side and below, like some coloured spots we can see our tents in
Patharnachuni. Trishul peak was so near as if we can just run and
reach the base. Nanda Ghunti was standing close beside. There are
several other peaks standing side by side on the backdrop of clear
blue sky. As if some painter has painted the snow white peaks on the
canvas of the blue sky! The Roopkund, could be seen at the base of
Trishul peak like an oval bowl filled with snow. There is a small
stone temple of Kailu Binayak (Lord Ganesh). We offered prayers,
thanking God for helping us reach there.
Roopkund still remains a dream but what
I saw here will be in my memory forever. If ever get a chance, I will
again come back here.