The first Journey of its kind where i didn’t even plan the itinerary was this Journey of mine to Meru. Was Planning to go to Bangalore to try Skydiving. Got to know just a week earlier that Local authorities have prohibited skydiving for a month due to bad weather. Taking a privilege leave in corporate is an onerous task.”Manager se chutti mango toh aisa lagta hai jaise uski ek kidney maang li ho”. So I didn’t want to put all my efforts of earning my leave go in vain. And I called up Girish. ”Bhai 9-16 May my leave is planned ,I don’t wanna cancel it. Plan something thrilling. I’m set for it and 2 days later we had a plan. Gangotri to Gaumukh to Tapovan and Then to Meru and Vasu ki Tal.
AWESOME- was my immediate response to it. Himalyas are pretty holy to me. That may be the prime reason why for last 5 years my priority has always been Himalyas. Each time its more thrilling,more magnificent and more Heavenly out there. Gangotri,Gaumukh and Meru are Holy to us Hindus so the Journey was worth taking.
3 Trekkers Aditya,Waqeel and I started off from Delhi ISBT on Saturday eve. The biggest problem with Planned Itinerary is that it rob you of your common sense. Waqeel’s planned Itinerary included direct Bus from Delhi to Rishikesh, so even when there was not even a single seat available in Bus Waqeel boarded it.”Waqt bhi masoomo ko hi maarta hai,Waqeel ko front ki seat mil gayi,aur Mujhe aur Aditya ko Bus Floor” Waqeel jaise chain ki need so rha tha,aur Adi aur Main apni Gaaliyon ki Doctionary mei se uske liye appropriate words dhoond rahe they.
We reached Rishikesh by 5 am. Got fresh at Public lavatories there and again the planned Itinerary came into our way. The other plan was to take direct bus from Rishikesh to Gangotri. Thank God waqeel could sense that if he dared to give the same idea of Boarding a filled bus again to us I and Adi would Kick the shit out of Him.:@ and Common sense prevailed and we took a shared Taxi From Taxi stand. Its 6 hours from Rishikesh to Uttarkashi and from Uttarkashi we took another taxi to Gangotri that further takes 3 hours.
So basically after 18 hours of hectic Journey we were in Gangotri. Gangotri Dham has it own aura,Its own divine ambience. We were lucky to attend Ganga aarti in eve .After Worshipping Ganga,prayers are then Offered to Maharaj Bhagirath who own the credit of Bringing Maa Ganga down on Land from heaven.
Next day was quite challenging as we planned to reach Tapovan which was 24 kms from Gangotri Dham and its all trek . The route is as follows-
Gangotri to Chirvasa- 7 Km – Rest place Only – Easy trek
Chirvasa to Bhujvasa- 7 km- Rest and Stay both available- Easy to Moderate
Bhujvasa to Gaumuk- 3 km - Moderate
Gaumukh to Tapovan- 3 km- Difficult
Tapovan to Meru- 3 Km – Difficult
As soon as we started in first 2 km itself we felt that Adi is not comfortable. He was not able to match up the speed I and Wakeel were heading with. He started realizing how important is pre trek workout especially when u r taking an arduous trek like Meru. We however moved together and tried to gain a regular rhythm.
As obvious we reached Chrivasa, our first destination some 2 hours later than scheduled time but the slow pace helped us all enjoy the beautiful and magnificent mountains all around us. Just beside us was flowing the Holy Ganga and the view was just breathtaking.
The trek from chirvasa is a bit narrow. There are points when u won’t even find a clear way to tread upon. Just a single footstep space and the moment u err u could be some 50 metre down the hill.;)
We reached our next Stop Bhujwasa at 2 pm. Its 14 km from Gangotri and Gaumukh was just 3 km from here. Not just Aditya,I and Wakeel also felt exhausted and we then revised the plan. We enquired from our guide and thought of going straight to Tapovan next morning from Bhujvasa bypassing Gaumukh.
Going through Gaumukh will take 6 hours while bypassing Gaumukh and going straight to Tapovan will be a 4 hour trek. So we spent a night in a ready made shelter available in Bhujhvasa and started early morning next day to Tapovan.
Journey to Tapovan either from Bhujvasa aur Gaumukh is an ardous and challenging One. What amazed us the most was that Aditya who started having fatigue right from Start was moving at pretty Good Pace. We didn’t expect him to do so well but probably that’s how you compensate your physical fitness with your will Power.
The moment we reached Tapovan it was just awesome. For the first time in my life I had seen a frozen river. For the first time i could see the Glacier. Only in my dreams i could imagine that i will reach Gaumukh. And today i was standing over the Glacier beneath which the River Ganga flows out. That was a very Pleasing Moment.
At Tapovan we put up our camp. It was all soft snow out there. At Night the temperature drops to -7 or -8 degrees. No wonder the water we kept out in open got frozen till morning.
Next Morning we scaled Higher for Meru Glacier which is equally tough. What make it different though are the crevasses. Remember you are walking over a glacier. You may never know where there is a deep split only marginally covered with Snow. So we took due caution in walking over ridges.
At the base of Meru we felt the real sense of Achievment. Yippie Journey Accomplished ! And we could feel like winners. Not everyone dare to reach Meru. We were lucky to explore the great Glacier.
The next day we scaled down and took bath in Holy Ganga at Gaumukh. The water at Glacier is just chilling. But it’s a lifetime Moment so I couldn’t miss the opportunity of taking a holy dip in the Ganges.
We covered 24 kms down to Gangotri in single stretch with our ultimate fighter Aditya. I ‘m Still surprised and wondering how could this man complete the whole Journey solely on Will Power. I really need to take some wise lessons from this sluggy laggard ;)