Tuesday, May 23, 2006


The camp nestled deep in the valley .. in an apple orchard.. the trees had just started to bloom.. A view from the back of the tent.. our tent was only about six feet away from the river..

A walk along the river bed.. note the millions of stones..

Ganga in the predawn darkness..

It was the sound of flowing water that woke me up... The quilt and the blankets felt soft and warm... Images of last night flashed across my sleepy mind..

The biting, bone chilling cold… Walking in faint light to our tents. Whisky was a must to heat up our bodies.. Even Taj was given half a peg.. Hot dinner.. Crawling under the blankets..


Peeps lay fast asleep..

Ooooh..! I was at Harsil..!

I felt so excited..!!

Then I heard a scampering noise. A head peeped into our tent..


I smiled to myself..

Gautam and I always got up early during holidays.. We were too excited to sleep..
Peeps and Taj always slept and slept..

I jumped out of the bed, snatched my camera and pulled on my shoes..

I wanted to explore..!

I zipped the door open and got out..

Oooh..! It looked ethereal..!

About ten tents stood facing each other in an apple orchard.. A faint mist hung all around..

Gosh..!! We were surrounded on all sides by huge mountains.. Most of them snow capped..!

The fresh cold air whooshed into my breath and filled my heart with exhilaration..!


Gautam's eyes glowed in the faint light.. Mist blew out from his breath as he spoke..

I followed him.. He was taking me to the back of the tent..


My heart stopped.. The visual splendor that lay out before me was spell binding..

Ganga flowed..

She looked so pure and divine..

So Crystal clear that you could see millions of white rounded polished stones on the river bed.. She was milky white in areas as she flirted with the wind and silver grey as she danced along the bigger stones... . Her skirts seemed to be silver tipped as she rose in spray and foam here and there....

Pure soft silvery white beach stretched out on both sides.. Studded with the same amazing white stones..

Deep dark pine wooded mountains surrounded on both sides. Their peaks frosted with pure white virginal snow..

There was a pregnant silence all around..

My heart danced… I wanted to float ….. And gather all the loveliness around me..

I wanted to surrender myself to the glory… the splendor..

I walked as if in a trance. Wow..! There was a bridge.. ! I crossed to the other side.

Dark deep woods.. Huge pine trees.. Deodars.. Silver firs.. I walked on. There was only the sound of birds chirping.. And the musical sound of Ganga flowing..

I sat on a fallen bark.. And sipped in the silence the enchanting, bewitching, ravishing Mother Nature showered on me..
Ganga was beckoning me.. I started to walk along the beach.. Her dry river bed… Studded with millions of stones, she had polished out from the mountains..

I removed my shoes..

“Acupuncture walk..!” I told myself..

The camp was soon far off.

I was alone.. Not a soul to be seen.. Only the river, the mountains, the birds and the deep pregnant silence..

It was then I noticed the driftwoods. Lovely pieces.. Huge ones.. With hundreds of stories to tell if you cared to listen to them..

Some of them smelt so mysterious and sensuous..

I saw a temple ahead on the bank.. Over a piece of land jutting into the river..

And wow..!

There were steps leading up to it..

I walked up.. A local woman and her daughter were offering pooja..

On the east side of the temple,another set of steps lead down to the river.. An arch was seen over the topmost step from which hung a huge bell. The arch looked as if it was the frame of the most beautiful scenery I have seen in my life..

Dawn was breaking out on the eastern sky.. The view was spectacular.. Ganga was broad, deep, dark powerful, wild and majestic.. With mammoth mountains as backdrop.The mist gave mystic air to the whole scene..

I seemed to be floating..!!


Few log cabins set in an apple orchard formed a village near the temple.. Probably the families who looked after the temple ..The poverty was stricking..

I noticed something there..The local people seemed to be very spiritual.. Maybe the struggle against the harsh terrain, the climate and the stricking poverty made them seek spirituality as a comfort..

Few young women came out smiling.. Light skin, grey eyes, nubile bodies.. I wondered if Raj Kapoor had chosen Mandakini from this area.. They all seemed to resemble the pure heroine in his film..

I grinned at them..

“Main from kerala..”

My Hindi is horrible..

“Keral..?”.. They looked at me with wide eyes.. As if I was an alien

“Thumara jagah bahuth acha..” I smiled at them..

They giggled ..

I clicked their photos, they clicked mine.. With the mountains, the temple and the Ganga as the backdrop..

"Kal ayega main." I grinned at them as I waved goodbye.

I walked back slowly. Embracing, savoring and saving each tree, each stone, each driftwood and each drop of water in my heart. I filled the pocket of my sweater with the beautiful polished stones…to be used as paperweights. I would have collected some driftwood also, but I knew that I would be ragged terribly if I turned up at the camp carrying stones and twigs. besides i would need a lorry to take the huge ones home..

The camp was stirring awake... The generator was running

Peeps was sitting and sipping his tea. . I zipped open the door to the toilet. Thank god….! There was hot water!!

Gautam looked fresh after his bath. Taj was still sleeping….

It was time to get ready, have breakfast and visit Gangotri…

(To be contd…)

ps. plz click on the pixs for better view..


Dhanush | ധനുഷ് said...

Ennannu Aa Parishudhiye onnu thottariyaan kazhiyuka.
Always wanted to go to North. Never Happened. But there is time alle. Enjoy it there !!

silverine said...

You should be a travelogue writer. The place was described so beautifully! I am glad that your holiday turned out great :)

Dew Drops said...

that is a beutiful description..

very nice post ;)

Sarah said...

I always wondered how water can wash away our sins.. when i read your blog and saw how close we can get to nature and how beautiful it is.. it occured to me, water may not wash away the sins..but the moments you spend..walking, relaxing, understanding..near the river, close to god.. then you are indeed free from the sins tht tie you down

Jiby said...

wonderfully written...after this post my plans to hit uttaranchal are back on track...i gotto show this post to my buddies and tempt them out of their laziness!!! problem is its gonna be so hot in delhi and i've so little room in my baggage to stuff in a sweater!!!

starry said...

Nice post ,love the pics especially the ganges at dawn just beautiful.

Bhavesh said...

reminds me of the ganges wen I once went to Rishkesh for rafting some 5 years back...its beautiful.. i can never put to words that feeling.. that peace u get wen u r surrounded by mountains away from the noise and hurry of civilization..!!

U got hot water.. and a generator??.. we had no electricity.. no phone..!! was amzing.. try living without all these things for a while.. and u ll be amazed at how beautiful life can be..!!

Mind Curry said...

excellent doc..amazing..i wished i was there besides ganga. glad you are enjoying. the kids and p too.

by the way, am trying to imagine what "There was a pregnant silence all around.." is like..

hope and love said...

hmm there is time..
i have not done full justice to the place...
txs a lot..
txs. that was a great compliment..
actualy it was a special experience for me.. and i wanted to shate it..i got a thrill writing it.. as if i was experiencing it again..
hmm very true.. i really felt cleansed.. i dont know how to express it.. is was a really spiritual experience..
u must go there.. it will be better if you go in tourist buses.. there r night drives.. our journey was too tediuos..
starry nights,
txs.. the photo didnt do justice.. i really felt that i should learn photography after going there.. i was not able to capture the splendour of the place..
just me..
really what u told is rt.. its very difficult to experience the feeling..
ours was supposed to be a delux camp.. hence the generator for two hrs in morning and night..
hmm.. true the break from everything was a real break...
infact i felt disoriented after i came back.. i didnt remeber many of the hospital intercom numbers..!!
actually i dont know how to express the pregnant silence.. it was as if i could feel the source of all this beauty as a presence... but it was a silent presence..
actually justme is rt.. its difficult to express it..

Bhavesh said...

infact i felt disoriented after i came back.. i didnt remeber many of the hospital intercom numbers..!!
hahaha :-) am off for a trek next weekened..and I hope I dont forget my code wen I get back to office.. if i do. beleive me I am dead man..!! :-)

Sujit said...

wow after a disasterous start.. the enjoyment in the hills and the nature must have given far better relief!! and the amazdement might have taken you away from everything!!.. nicely written!!

the Monk said...

hey, great pics...enjoy... :)

pophabhi said...

Awesome travelogue. We were almost there in Ganga...
Waiting for the continuation!

hope and love said...

have a great break.. and submit a report in ur blog..
sujith u with ur tremendous love for nature MUST GO THERE..
monk, pophabi,
txs for the compliments..
actualy it was the place that did it..

Scoot said...

acupuncture walk...awesome!!
great writing on the travel.
looks like you had a really fun time:)

Nikhil Narayanan said...

hey doc
some pics side il entho patches...u aint using a digicam???

I wanna go see Ganges....get me the tour operator's number :)


hope and love said...

hmm.. u must go there..
my usual cam always worked out fine.. but i was not happy this time..
i was told that it was cos of the mist and dew..
i dont know..

hope and love said...

hmm.. u must go there..
my usual cam always worked out fine.. but i was not happy this time..
i was told that it was cos of the mist and dew..
i dont know..

Sam!! said...

Beautiful post , nicely described.

Waiting for the remaining part:)

Hope u doing fine there.


Dawn said...

Amazing pics ...

Jo said...

Nice reading your travelogue. :-) And the pics were good too. I think you should seriously think about buying a digicam.

Movie Mazaa said...


it wud suffice to say that it kinda stuns me the way u render those splendid flourishes to anything that u write abt. way 2 go!


Geo said...

ganga kandu aake poetic aayalloo :)

aa Dr kuppaayathinullil oru kavi hridayam olinjirippundarunnu alle... :)

nice to know u really enjoyed...

Anonymous said...

txs samrina, dawn ,velu and jo..
txs a lot..!!
nee entha vichariche..?!
njagal docs r all poets..

Deepu George V said...

Came here via Jithu's blog. Gone through some of your wonderful postings about nature. Will be visiting again to read more.
I too love to love nature, love trekking, traveling and all to wonderful places.