We seldom forget our destination, but sometimes the journey is so beautiful, that we wish the path never leads to the destination. Because the end point marks the end of the fun, and what keeps us going is the journey. A journey to search one’s own heart. A journey to find solace. Himalayas, my second home, a place where i can go, when i’m in bitter need of peace.
This time we had planned for Brahmatal Trek, a winter trek in the hills of garhwal range. This was my 4th trek with TTH. The journey started from kathgodam. Of all the stations that i have visited so far, none could take the position of kathgodam. The station is right at the base of the Himalayan hills. The last place where you can buy all the stuff that you need before heading off towards the mountains. The drive was long yet lenient as we were enjoying the sweeping lawns and landscaped vistas. We had our breakfast at Dewal and headed towards Almora, Kausani and finally reaching Lohajung. As we crossed Kausani, cold breeze started engulfing the warmness inside the car. It was dark as we reached Lohajung base camp. Lohajung was completely blanketed under snow. It was cold, and we settled quickly into our rooms. We had a briefing session about our trek. Due to bad weather, the entire trail was sunk under the snow, and a new route was chopped down with shovels in the snow. Brahmatal summit had around 4 and a half feet of snow, that made it difficult to reach the top.
Itinerary was changed and the camping at Bekaltal and Brahmatal was changed to Daldum. It was not possible to camp at those sites because of the snow. Next day we headed to Daldum. A small 4km trail that was completely covered with snow. We reached at around 1pm and had an amazing lunch at top. We took our tents, and the fun started. At 4pm we had our tea, followed by soup and snacks. The place where we had camped was completely into snow. It was around knee level. That took an extra effort every time we had to move around the tent. Weather was clear and we could see the setting sun. The colors intermixed creating a fabulous skyline. The temperature dropped down to negative and soon we had our dinner, played an amazing game of UNO and at around 11pm we went to rest. The sky turned out to be cloudy and we were not lucky to see a star lit sky. But nevertheless we had an amazing weather. Next morning, we headed to see the Bekaltal. It is one of the high altitude frozen lake, that is attached with many local stories. The route towards Bekaltal was just magical. The snow turned out to be powdery now, and it looked as if the the powder was just sprinkled upon the trail. It was literally soft and gave an soothing effect, when touched. The trail was so damn beautiful, that it was hard to be captured into a lens. Standing on the shoulders of the frozen lake, we realised how much less we have seen nature, and how beautiful our country is. We had our lunch and came back to Daldum campsite.
Post tea, soup and snacks we enjoyed a sumptuous dinner. It was jalebi for dinner along with roti, sabzi and chawal. Next day we headed to the jhandi top, a summit at 11,500 feet. The trail was a continuous ascend of about 3hrs, that took us to the summit. The moment we reached summit, we were speechless. The view that we were seeing was beyond any imagination. We saw Mt Nanda Ghunti, Mt Trishul, Mt Mana, Mt Maitoli and so on. Also we could see Bedini Bugyal and the Roopkund trail, which lies just besides the Brahmatal trail and can be clearly seen from the top. We enjoyed the beauty, took some photographs and headed towards Daldum.
We were surprised to see ‘garma garam samosa’ at the base camp for us. We enjoyed the snacks and had amazing dinner that night. This time the menu was gulab jamun. The next day, we headed towards Lohajung and that marked an end to the wonderful journey we made into the mountains. We had a great group and all the team members now became a part of the family. We started our journey to Kathgodam with heavy heart and sack full of memories , with a promise to return back to the mountains soon!