Tag Archives: himalaya

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Inspiro India Official

Blog | Travel

21 October 2017

Chandernahan Trek: A Hidden Paradise in Himachal Pradesh

Intrigued by an Instagram post on Chandernahan trek, our adventurous traveller friend Harish Sharma was fast to elope into the throes of beauty at Chandernahan. With backpacks, a childhood friend and a cooked up story about leaving for a friend’s sister’s wedding to convince his parents,  Harish left home with quite an itch in his feet.

 

He boarded an HRTC bus from Shimla to Rohru and the journey was filled with bumpy rides, unplanned night stays, the random surprise of a new company, and unknown paths.

After a bus to Rohru, then Rohru to Chirgaon followed with another two-hour journey from Chirgaon to Tagnu village, they commenced walking to a nearby village called Janglikh. That is where they had to start trekking for Chandernahan via Dyara Thach and Litham.

 

It hadn’t been a smooth journey as it is, with collapsed bridges, long walks, heavy rainfall and unplanned delays. It had already been half-past five in the evening and the villagers recommended that they stay the night there as they can’t reach Dyara Thach the same night. Being the rebels they are, Harish and his entourage started trekking right away and they were glad to have done so as the trek up was lush with greenery and the beautiful landscape enveloped them with magnanimous streams of water flowing down the mammoth mountains. The dense forest with deodar trees and the green meadows were worth the trouble.

Finally, they reached Dyara Thach around 8 pm and set camp with packed paranthas from Chirgaon and a sky full of stars. That’s everything they needed to devour!

After a well-deserved slumber night, they started out early the next day to reach Litham and yet again, everything around left them spellbound. It was no less than the landscapes they see in the movies, except it was even better to experience the cool breeze and the raw beauty of nature, in reality, the trek seemed easy and upon reaching Litham within two hours, they got into a conversation with an amiable Shepherd with interesting stories to tell. He guided them further to reach Chandernahan. That 2 km trek was a steep climb up the mountains and took them about an hour.

 

 

Finally, Harish and his friends reached Chandernahan and what they saw from up there can’t be put into words, they say. At an altitude of 4000 metres, they were surrounded with snow in the month of June. Except for beautiful brooks flowing with a delicate magnanimity, there was nothing to touch their own sweet solitude.

 

There are seven lakes in Chandernahan and mostly, the people of the valley walk on the frozen lakes barefoot and never go beyond three lakes because of a religious belief that all their Gods originated from these lakes. When Harish and his friends went to the frozen lakes, there was nobody to see if they went without shoes but they decided to respect the beliefs and launched into the lakes bare feet.

They were like kids running and chasing each other on the glacier with feet all bare and well, it was indeed fun and adventurous.

 

By noon that day, they had found and enjoyed all the lakes, breathed in the stupendous view, filled their lungs with air as pure as it gets and finally, decided to head back.

 

The journey back was as eventful and tiring as before, or even more. But this time these boys were taking back what they had come for. An experience where they followed their heart, treated their eyes with everything heavenly and satisfied their souls.

Words by Aishwarya Choudhary | Photos by Harish Sharma

 

Check out his full feature in July’17 Edition of Inspiro India Magazine issue#40 – Download Free.

 

 

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By

Inspiro India Official

Blog | Travel

17 June 2017

A trek to remember – Chadar Trek on the frozen river of Zanskar

Situated in spectacularly jagged, arid mountains of Ladakh is India’s coldest river Zanskar. And come the winters, this incredible body of water transforms itself into a carpet of thick ice, locally referred to as Chadar.

Over the years, this frozen wonder has been attracting countless adventure-seeking enthusiasts for what we now know as the Chadar Trek. Named in Lonely Planet’s list of the world’s top 10 treks, it is one of the most thrilling experiences in the Himalayas. To complete this trek means to be able to claim to have walked for over 150 kilometres in temperatures dipping 35 below 0.

The only way to reach here is by air, followed by a 4-hour journey from the city of Leh. Once you are at the starting point, a small village called Chilling, you are on your own to brave nature’s amazing and extreme form. Not for the faint-hearted, it is a full-scale winter expedition that will test you at all twists and turns and the occasional thin sheet of ice. Never having walked on ice before, the first couple of days will ensure you develop a strong resistance to falling with a loud thud. And when finally you get used to walking, you can start appreciating the impressive white landscape all around you. It is something you will have never seen before.

The full-scale trek is 15 days long and will make you stop at three villages over the entire journey. Each village is different from the other, and the warmth of the people is in stark contrast to the weather you will face every day. You will bunk at village guesthouses, at caves, tents where the luxury of a cave is not available and learn to admire the things often forgotten with the fast-paced metro life. Never will you get a chance to see so many stars amidst the sweet music of a flowing river and crackling bonfire.

The guide and the helpers are all excellent cooks, so be ready to enjoy a sumptuous hot meal every day. With their piping hot black tea to the sour and warm butter tea and the quintessential Maggi, you are always left asking for more. Those get even better at guesthouses, where you meet other trekkers and share stories of your life and times. The villages on the way are Nrerak, Lingshed and Padum. Each has its own monastery situated on the hills above. The Karsha monastery, a couple hours away from the village of Padum, which is the last stop of the trek before you start the journey back, is one of the biggest monasteries in the Zanskar valley.

 

 

 

Not only the monasteries, but the spectacles of huge frozen waterfalls greet you at every other turn. You can only look in amazement as to how something so utterly majestic is waiting to welcome you.

Along the way, you will encounter really thin sheets of ice, and that is where the experience of your guide will be a making or a breaking factor. There are certain parts where there is no ice at all, and you have to negotiate such a sector going around the mountains.

Be it the snow-clad hills on your way to Lingshed, or having warm lugdi (local alcohol) to keep you from freezing, every day has something new to offer and you are left wondering as to how this simple frozen carpet of ice finds something different every day to fascinate you.

You can call your loved ones from the village of Padum, but by the time you reach there, this surreal path has you enchanted enough that you forget about the world you left behind. And by the time you are back, having walked more than what you manage in a city in 6 months, you cannot help but have become so fond of the place that saying goodbye brings tears to your eyes.

For anyone who is trying to find something that will give them a sense of fulfilment, a huge adrenaline rush, and a chance to experience winter like you never have before, your search ends, and the Chadar Trek begins.

Words by Nisarg Malde

 

Photos by Bharat Baswani

 

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