Me and my best friend Deep started from Kolkata for twin trek this year October, 2007, i.e. Kedar Tal and Tapovan. Though we faced lots of snow on the route of Kedar Tal and couldn’t reach upto the lake, but I’ve till now never seen such clear and blue beautiful sky that we saw during Kedar Tal Trek.
3rd to 6th October —– Howrah – Haridwar – Hrishikesh – Uttarkashi
So, it was a part of our 16 day long tour and where from should I start? We, me and Deep, started from Howrah on 3rd of October. As usual, after attending my office I was late and we started at 6:10 PM to catch Doon Exp. from Howrah scheduled at 8:35 PM. We both put extra effort and money to reach on time and badly exhausted ourselves before boarding the train, ha ha.
I took some snap shots near ‘Ayodhya’ and ‘Haridwar’ station but couldn’t capture Peacock and Nilgai, not a single one.
Doon Exp. “was – is – and will be” the most embarrassing train and the journey was too boring. We prepared our mind that we will reach Haridwar around 10 to 10:30 AM though the train is scheduled at 4:20 AM to reach Haridwar.
8th October —–
Gangotri to Bhujkharak:
Guide Ramesh and porter Bikram Sing arrived at our hotel at sharp 7:00 AM. We told them to come around 8:00 AM and in between we will be ready. We both took a cup of tea, freshen up soon and after that packed our sacks which was little bit pending.Ramesh & Bikram came at 8:00 AM and they started to pack the loads – foods, water, kerosene, stove, utensils etc. After all the packing done, we four finally started forKedartal at 9:15 AM.
To reach the main trail we have to cross the Bhagirathi river. Two bridges are made over Bhagirathi to cross it from Gangotri. One is in front of Suryakund, which brings you to GMVN gate and another is in front of the joining of Kedar Ganga and Bhagirathi river. We took the second one. This way we have to cross another bridge which is over the Kedar Ganga river. The problem is there was a signboard having written that the bridge is old and broken, should not be crossed with much load. In spite of going to the first bridge further, we decided to cross it taking the name of God. Around 9:30 we reached the main trail to Kedartal.
There was a waterfalls created by Kedar Ganga at the starting of the trail.
The trail was steep and very narrow having a rocky ‘ I ‘ shaped canyon of Kedar Ganga aside. We initially were worried and feared. But after crossing a very narrow way with a overhang rock, our fear had gone. We gradually ascend and after half an hour climb the steepness seemed to have reduced a bit.
The trail up to Bhujkharak, 8 Km. from Gangotri, is very monotonous. Only bhuj trees, Kedar Ganga in one side, rocky mountain wall in another side and steep trail were there to give us company.
We took rest and drink some water after a 20-30 minutes walk. But the strange thing I noticed, our porter Bikram Sing – a 60 year old man – is a change smoker. He smokes Bidi and coughs and walks, amazing.
Before reaching Bhujkharak we met some Bangali who didn’t make up to Kedartal due to havy snowfall. They told us that the area after Kedar Top was covered with waist high snow. We still had a hope that may be we can make it. But after a few minutes we met two heavily equipped foreigners who also couldn’t make it. After listening to them we were very upset and the trail became more monotonous.
After walking around 3.5 hours we were badly exhausted. Now the addition was that, it started drizzling. We couldn’t afford resting anymore and started walking in double pace. The drizzles became rain and soon it became snowfall. We took shelter under a very big overhang rock. But thanks to God, it stopped within a few minutes. Lastly crossing a dangerous rock we reached Bhujkharak. It was raining again. Me and Ramesh started to camp the tent, Deep and Bikram started to make khichdi for lunch.
At night the sky became very clear that the stars dominated it We took only chicken soup for that night and sat in front of fire so long that after going in tent we sheered ridiculously.