'Unforgettable', is all I can say about my first trekking experience. Beautiful views, mountains, greenery, the trail itself, weather, far away from crowd and boring daily routine and probably most important.. travelling with friends made this experience a memorable one.
We all wanted to go a trip and were planning for a long time. Back in Sep-2016, we decided we will go at christmas time. Now the search was on for the place. One of our friends suggested this place Nag Tibaa. We started looking for various travelling companies so that our trip can be easily organized and we can enjoy the time. Then we found a package with Bikat Adventures. Best thing about Bikat is that apart from the details mentioned on their website, as per our need there is option to customize your trip. It was supposed to be 3-4 day trip but due to office and all, we wanted to cover it during weekend only. We contacted Bikat and they customized the plan as per our need.
Since it was first trek experience for most of us, we were confused about what to pack and how to prepare. Bikat had solution for this too as they have mentioned all the details on their website.
Few joined gym, few started running daily and that's how we started preparing for trek. Since it was winter trek, we had to keep in mind about woolen cloths, jackets and all.
We booked seats in Nanda-Devi Express from Delhi to Dehradun. I was in working in different company and rest were all working together. So, on that day when we were going to start this trip, we met in after noon in a mall and decided how will everyone reach at station.
On the day when we were going to start the trip..
Delhi-Dehardun-Pantwari Village - Base Camp Site
At 10.30 in night, we boarded the train and our journey started. We were total 11 friends. 10 of them were working together in same company. I left that organization 6 months back, so there were couple of new faces for me. As the train moved, we started chatting. I got to know that a new guy Utkarsh was a story teller. So we asked him to tell us a story. One of the girl Aditi and me, were frequently asking stupid questions (deliberately) and Utkarsh was answering them.. he thought that we are asking questions out of curiousity. But everyone was literally rolling on floor laughing and we did not allow him to complete a single story.
After laughing for almost 2 hours, we decided to sleep as we had to start the trek the next morning.
At New Delhi Railway Station...
We reached Dehradun by 6 AM morning. From here on, the transport was arranged by Bikat. We waited for approx 20 min. for the traveller. There were some tea lovers in our group, so we had tea and biscuits at station.
Devendra@Dehradun Railway Station...
Finally our traveller came and we started the journey for Pantwari Village, from where we had to start the trek.
Going for trek...
The other side...
En route Pantwari Village..
One after another, we could not take our eyes off the breathtaking view. Mountains on one side and the other side dominating the picturesque view of a flowing river, we gasped every encounter with nature.
Before pantwari village we stopped at a restaurant for breakfast. It was delicious..Aloo Paratha, Tea, Dahi, Maggi.
We met our trek leader Jeelani and We clicked some pictures as we started ealry and had some time.
View From Restaurant..
Beautiful View en route Pantwari Village..
Pantwari is a small village in Tehri Garhwal district in Uttrakhand, located 95 KM from Dehradun. Last 1 hour journey was quite difficult as road was not good.
We reached our starting point (Pantwari) at approx 10 AM. There we had 20 min introduction session wit hour trek leader Jeelani. He provide us some useful instructions about how to walk on trail and stone. Our assitant trek leader Subhash gave us packed lunch, frooti and oranges.
We left some of our luggage in traveller as some of us were carrying lots of clothes which were not required.
And finally we started the trek..
Down but NOT OUT...Aditi with Trek Leader Jeelani...
En route to Base Camp..
After almost 2-3 hours, we reached our first water point, where everyone filled our bottles, took 15-20 min rest and most importantly clicked some pictures.
View from first water point..
We started again and next stop was our lunch point. There was one more group with us. Since they had the regular package, they first camp site was there only. Oustrip was 1 day short from regular package, so our camp site was at almost 5 km distance from lunch point.
After lunch we started again and next stop was our camp site. Everyone was almost exhausted and we were pushing/motivating each other, so that we can reach at camps before dark.
We witnessed beautiful view of sunset before we reached camp...
We reached camp site at approx 7 PM. It was almost dark. After 10-15 mins of stretching, subhas ji served us soup with pakoras.
Then we put our luggage in our tents. Our trek leader then showed us how to use sleeping bag. After that Jeelani ji arranged a bonfire for us. We played couple of games like Guess the Captain, Anatakshri. We sang songs and Jeelani ji presented his gazals for us.
After that we had our dinner. Egg curry, Dal, Sabzi and kheer, It was very delicious. The night sky was full of stars and it was amazingly soothing after our very long Day1 . We were in our tents by 9 and dozed off quite quickly after all some rest was definitely required for the adventures to come.
Base Camp - Nag Tibba Summit and Back - Nag Mandir - Base Camp - Pantwari Village - Dehradun
We woke up around 7 AM. Weather was not good that day and we could expect rain anytime. It was very cold and wind also was very strong. We freshen up and breakfast was ready for us. Tea, Microni and Upma. Experience of having such a tasty breakfast at such height was one of its kind.
Its BreakFast Time
Base Camp Site...Vishal as usual ...got up very late
After breakfast we started our journey to summit. We had no luggage this time as we had to come back same day. The oxygen thinning was catching up with us, in order to avoid AMS, we were staying hydrated and drinking at much water as we can, a trick suggested by our trek leader.
The trail was through the forest and in abesence of sun light, the view was amazing. As we move slowly towards summit, we kept clicking pictures.
En route summit point..
Resting before summit point..
En route Nag Tibba summit..
Aditi..seems fresh at start of day 2..
Just Before Summit...
Finally, everyone reached the summit. It was very cold and waether was very cloudy. Even then we were very excited. I could see a sense of achievement on everyone's faces. For that moment we forget the pain which we was experiencing just 30 min back. Everyone was happy and we clicked some memorable pictures there.
@Nag Tibba Summit..
One more pic with the flag..(I was not in last pic )..
With our Trek leaders Jeelani and Subhash ji..
Group Photoshoot started..
Group Photoshoot continued..
Group Photo..full on attitude....
After a long photoshoot...we started descending. As we had to catch the train from Dehradun same day. It was not easy descending in such bad weather. We did not stop, continued slowly towards our base camp.
Descending from summit.....
a SRK moment..
@Nag Mandir..En route to Base Camp..
Base Camp View from height..
Finally, we reached base camp and had our lunch. Weather was getting worse. We packed our bags after lunch and started descending towards pantwari village.
Now the worst part, rain started and the trail which was beautiful while ascending, turned into slippery. Rough and rocky trail made it more difficult for us. We did not stop. Raincoats and pochos were out as we moved slowly towards the village where our Traveller was waiting for us.
As we reached the village, rain stopped. We reached earlier than others. We changed our clothes and waited for everyone to come and change too.
We started our journey back to Dehradun railway station. We started discussing about the journey and their experience in traveller. Our trek leader jeelani also accompanied us this time. After some time...everyone fall asleep as we were tired and exhausted.
Me and Anurag, sitting on last seat, were listening and singing songs. It was very cold and we wanted to have some tea. So our driver stopped the traveller at a tea shop, where we had tea, biscuits, omlet and maggie.
Just before railway station, we said goodbye to our trek leader Jeelani. We reached the station and it was almost 2 hours before our train time. We decided to have some dinner as everyone want to sleep as soon as they get their seats in train. After the dinner, we boarded the train and fell asleep.
In the traveller...going back..PK sleeping
In the train..
Our mantra on the trail was to “enjoy the walk”. I guess until we’re attempting to complete another long distance trail, “the walk” is just day to day life. In some ways that’s a pretty daunting challenge, but I think we’re up for it. Through hard times and good, we’re pretty good at walking now. So that’s what we’ll keep on doing.