Writing another post on trekking and nature after nearly a year. What kept me away for so long?????Nothing much other than a writer’s block. Now that I have overcome that, let me take you to an enchanting or a better adjective would be thunderous waterfall far away amid snowclad mountains.
When I proposed the idea of trekking to my friend Tina, she jumped on the idea and brought in another friend. And there started our long conversation and planning for our trek to valley of flowers (which will be documented later).After having successfully trekKed the valley of flowers, five of us extended our tip to visit Badrinath and trek again to Vasudhara. We started at 6.A.M from Govindghat, our base camp for valley of flowers and reached Badrinath by 7.30 A.M , directly went to the hotel Sarovar Portico, made an early check in, grabbed some breakfast and set out to Mana, the last village of India, which is 3 kms away from Badrinath in our vehicle. The last point to the motorable road is the entrance to this village. Here we got down and started off our early sight seeing by going to Ganesha gufa which is a small temple dedicated of Lord Ganeshji. Few hundred mts of climb from this temple is your next tourist visiting spot and that would be the Vyasa Gufa. Here Sage Vyasa is said to have meditated and written the Mahabharata while Lord Ganesh was narrating it. Since Vyasa couldn't hear much due to the thundering sound of River Saraswathi near by, he is said to have cursed her to become silent, and so she mixes with Alankanada in few hundred mts and then the mighty river is definitely less thunderous. This place of confluence is known as Keshava prayag. Our next stop was a Bhim pul. This spot literally stops any visitor with the compelling sound of Sarasawathi gushing out of the caves with her milky white water. The sheer amount of water that comes out makes you think, from where could so much water keep coming continuously………. You can sit in the last tea shop , situated near the bhim pul looking her , trying to unravel the mystery behind the caves. Then we do some photo shoot of the bhim pul
|ENTRANCE TO THE LAST VILLAGE OF INDIA-MANA|
|BHIM PUL ACROSS RIVER SARASWATHI|
|RIVER SARASWATHI GUSHING OUT OF THE CAVES|
After we had a strong kadakh chai at the last shop here in Mana, two of our friends decided to go back to the hotel and we three decided to proceed ahead. Now everyone was surprised at our decision to plan a trek after the strenuous Valley of flower trek. Questions like this started coming in
Are you by any chance mountaineers? - Obvious the answer was a No
Do you at least belong to the mountain? Well again except for a fake pahadan among us, we are close to beaches. Why is Tina called as Fake pahadan…. because she hails from mountains but I guess she has forgotten all about that and takes avomine while travelling in the hills ☺
Then why this trek at an altitude????? Well we wanted to have fun and explore the nature at our convenient pace and we happily succeeded
Mythology says that Pandavas with Draupadi walked this way after the battle of Kurukshetra renouncing everything. When Draupadi could not cross Saraswathi, Bheem is said to have laid a stone across the river as a bridge to facilitate her crossing the river. You can see this here
The trek started at the Bhim Pul that is nearly 6 kms away from the waterfall. Each of us took 2lts of water, some energy bars and chocolates and we set out on our trek equipped with our trekking pole and hiking shoes. The first 3 kms was comparatively easy. There was a well-defined path, though a rocky one and muddy at some places. We slowly trekked taking in the beautiful and awesome sceneries all along the way, clicking a lot of pictures, selfies and groupies. It was so much fun especially when we are with friends. The ascent was not strenuous as it was not very steep.
As we were falling into the comfort zone, Vaish heard a sound above us. We felt it was from a helicopter but she asserted that it was from a plane. We looked up the sky to unravel the mystery only to realize the noise was from the wind howling scaring us with not a single soul around in the vicinity. With Alakananda flowing beneath in the valley, hovering mountains covered in mist and snow, a river roaring behind the mountains, it was an overwhelming and at once a humbling moment. It was then we decided that we quicken our pace to be back before the sun sets.
As we trekked further, there were times, when it was just a pile of rocks ahead of us. We would ask ourselves where could be the path to move ahead?????? Then it struck us that there was no clear way and we must climb the rocks climb to forge ahead. The daring trio accomplished this too with no fuss☺. After another km we came across a small waterfall to be crossed. Since we were wearing forclaz 500 shoes, there was no fear of water entering into the shoes, and our fake pahadan took the lead to cross it. Next I followed suit though with some trepidation. It was then Vaish’s turn and as we waited for her to cross, she stopped midway pleading her inability to move further. As we were wondering why she feared, we realized that she was overcome by fear remembering our mishap near Govind ghat the previous day where we were lucky not be to washed away by the river. It just took a minute for her to overcome the fear and we were soon huffing and puffing as we walked and walked with no end in sight.
When Vaish asked Tina, how far was the waterfall, Tina replied to former’s disappointment that may be we need to cross another two mountains but as we walked we realized to our dismay that it was more than 20 mountains. Finally, to our great relief, we did sight the Vasudhara in the distance and that spurred us to walk faster. As we neared it, we heard her thunderous sound as the fall descended from a massive tall mountain What an enchanting beauty she was worth all the trouble one has to undergo to have a look. No camera or words can capture her magnificence and splendor. You just have to walk all the way to feel and devour the scene personally as she falls from a height of 400 ft, cascading down to finally join Alakananda
Anyone who has seen Vasudhara will agree that she is a beauty from far and scary as we near her. She falls on the rocks below with a thunderous sound,If you have some time to watch her, you can watch her rhythmic fall on the huge rock below her, with intermittent misses. There is no way you can go below the fall to take a shower. You can watch her from few hundred mts and if you are lucky she droplets shall fall on you. At this minute, a realization will dawn on you, that there is so much more to life then our mere everyday bickering and there is so much more to explore and the time is so less. Here I think each of us made a oath to ourselves to come back to the mountains soon. The sheer magic of these pristine mountains pulls everyone and we are not spared too
After savouring slowly her visual feast for some time, we just sat there to munch on some energy bars and drink water to get over the tiredness even as we let her tiny droplets fall on us. Mythology avers that her droplets fall only on people who are pure in heart and we three were delighted at the drops falling on us.. The time we spent looking at her and enjoying her, we were speechless. We just enjoyed the moment in silence. We would have loved to spend more time but we had taken nearly three and half hours one way and now we faced the daunting task of reaching Mana in two hours.
While Vaish was happy with the return, she was named the descent queen as she found it easy to climb down. Tina was fine with both ascent and descent at her pace, I was a little skeptical because I was good with the ascent while descent brought some vague fear in me. But with friends around, I guess fear had no place. While both of them took turns to hold my hand to give me confidence, I tried to remain calm. They knew I was trying and let me do it as we descended fast till one wild buffalo decided to stand right in our path and would not budge. We had no choice but to wait, as one side was mountain and the other side was a deep valley. While it just kept standing right there, Tina decided to make some sound to scare it away. Did her sound scare it? Nope, it was amused and turned to look at us and give us a dirty stare for solid two minutes. While Vaish was exploring possible escape routes, Tina was engaging the bull in the stare fight, I prayed intently☺. Luckily for us, one local guy emerged and helped us by shooing away the bull. Thanking him profusely, we continued with our descent to reach Mana in a record 2 hrs.
Having skipped lunch, we were so famished that we had hot noodles at a tea shop along with some chai. Without the pangs of hunger and refreshed well, it started sinking in us that WE Really DID IT!!! An arduous trek we planned and accomplished successfully all alone by three of us without any outside guide or help.
After completing this we concluded that we will be back to the mountains soon as It was not about the destination, but about journey!!
When your friends are as crazy as you,any journey is bound to be stupendous.!!
HIP HIP HURRAY TO OUR FRIENDSHIP!!
TO REACH VASUDHARA, YOU WILL HAVE TO TRAVEL BY ROAD TO BADRINATH AND THEN MANA
START EARLY AND MAKE SURE YOU RETURN BEFORE SUNSET
TAKE ENOUGH WATER AND FOOD AS THERE ARE NO SHOPS ON THE WAY
ENJOY THE NATURE AND BRING BACK ALL THE PLASTIC WASTE