“The best view comes after the hardest climb”, this was the line that rung in my head as I lugged my rucksack to the room that was assigned to me. My love for the mountains had got me to this remote hamlet, Sankri situated in Uttarakhand. We were a small group of trekkers and Sankri was our base camp for the trek to Har-ki-dun. Well known as the Valley of Gods, I always dreamt of witnessing the spectacular beauty of its captivating environs. Here I was, wondering how it would be to eyewitness the enigmatic valley of Har-ki-dun.With musings in my head, I uttered a short prayer and soon fell asleep.
Waking up to the clouds floating in through my window infused a divine feeling in me. Situated at 1920 meters above sea level, Sankri appeared to me like a land from the fairytales. Gazing at the carpet of rolling green hills around, my heart almost skipped a beat. I knew the journey ahead might be strenuous, but undoubtedly the view is going to be great. To charge my muscles I stepped out on the winding road and walked past the towering pines that formed an enchanting canopy over my head. On my return, we drove to Taluka, leaving behind this picture postcard place. The drive was short, scenic and adventurous. Taluka a small marketplace was the trailhead, the real journey was about to begin.
Since childhood I have been a true tea lover, this was one reason I couldn’t resist myself from sipping a steaming cup of masala chai at a nearby dhaba. I actually wanted to soothe my nerves before the hike. Our journey began as we followed the trekking trail that took us through diverse forest foliage and also along the gurgling Supin River. The gradient was moderate throughout with an odd steep patch in between. It was an amazing experience as this journey offered us the chance to mingle with the locals and catch glimpses of the miniature local dwellings. After crossing few village settlements we finally reached Olsa village. We halted at GIO homestay, situated in this quaint spot and unloaded ourselves to relax. That night I slept a dreamless sleep.
Next morning when I woke up, the sky was painted deep blue with fluffy clouds that resembled a herd of sheep. There was an undulating stretch of green hills as far as I could see. I pinched myself just to make sure that I wasn’t dreaming. We reworked the contents of our backpack and prepared ourselves for the final hike, the one we had been craving for. Fuelled with surefootedness and fearlessness we clambered up the untrammeled trails. Our soul was soaked with the indefinable beauty of the wild. It was a delightful day as we got to witness extraordinary views of the Bandarpoonch & Swargarohini peaks and also of meadows and jungles towards the Ruinsara valley.
For the first time in life I realized there was more to life, there was more to this world. Wildflowers, waterfalls, meadows, streams and rivulets, we traversed them all. Passing relentlessly the dense forest of chestnut, willow, walnut and chinar trees, for a moment it felt like I was walking on an unending passage to heaven. And finally there we were, in Har-ki-dun, an unimaginable paradise.
“Ecstatic”, is the word to define the way I felt that moment. What a stunning sight it was, tears of happiness had dull my eyes. I just couldn’t believe that finally, I had made it. The place boasted of its glittering mountain peaks, lush green alpine vegetation and meadows carpeted with flowers. The mystical beauty of Har-ki-duncasted a spell on me, i could trade a billion for this moment. The sun was about to set, we slowly and steadily reached are campsite. Under the splendid star lit sky, and the sounds of the forest all around, I slithered in my sleeping back with the desire to wake up to the wonder of this heavenly place. I wish I could pause the time, never to return.
Did you know?
Going by the local accounts it is said that Jack Gibson, a teacher at Doon School, was the first person to discover this stunning U-shaped valley. He fell in love with it completely, and popularized the trekking route among his students. Since then Har-ki-dun became a famous jaunt for countless wanderers!
|Trek to Har ki Dun & Jaundhar Glacier|