The Gigantic – Queen of Mountains!!!
Quite late to write about my last trip. (Jan 18 – 23)
Yet I wish to share my view about this place, people and locality that I fell in LOVE with 🥰🥰🥰
This trip was all about flying/running/walking away from the usual boring life 😀
In Tamilnadu mountains are compared and called as “Malaigalin Ilavarasan or Malaigalin Ilavarasi” meaning “Prince or Princes of Mountain”. But this trip is not about a South Indian prince or princess.
This is my first time to cross the South Indian border and flew a little high to this hilly area where my friend recently got his job transferred to this location. I wish I had such opportunity 😛 jealous of him. Oh!! Let me reveal the location…. I would like to call it, “The Gigantic – Queen of Mountains-Uttaranchal”. Now it is called “Uttarakhand” but few people still loves the old name.
I had early morning flight from BLR to DED around 6.25 am and reached Dehradun Airport by 9.20 am. Though the flight was smooth, it was damn boring to travel for 3hrs.
3hrs flight is nothing, because my journey has just started in cab from Dehradun to “Srinagar” located in Pauri Garwal district which is approximately 152.4 km (4h 34 mins). However because of road works in UK it took me 6hrs to reach the home.
I absolutely had no idea about the place, for few distance the roads were quite normal and that’s when I received a call from my friend with warnings like this…. “Don’t panic”, whatever happens in the road, stay calm, don’t leave the cab, you might see lot of rocks and stones on the road, you may even notice rocks falling of the mountains…. Don’t panic and stay calm. You will be safe!!! 😀 😀 😀 😛
Yet I was fine after the warning, exited and watching all around and looking out to see something new. We were going through forest zone and started noticing empty waterways filled with numerous stones and absolutely looking dry and empty, surrounded by trees. That’s when I started talking to Anup bhaiya (Cab Driver). Asking what is the other official language they speak apart from Hindi, he said Garwali and the journey became interesting since then, me asking lot of questions about the locality and he patiently answering all of it. We stopped at Devprayag where two Rivers(Alakanandha and Bhagirathi) join and ganga river starts.
We stopped at Biyasi, Uttarakhand for breakfast and had Parata. Hmmmm….it was yummmmm!!
You travel, travel for hours, travel alone, but what makes the journey more interesting is the scenery around. I was amused to see everything this place had. How on earth a place is so beautiful like this, the rivers, scaring mountains, falling rocks, unusual traffic because their cutting the mountains, color of the river, hmmmm yet more.
What I saw was something like this…. gigantic mountains stacked one after other, some close to each other, one high and other low, trees grew on the edges of the mountains making the border line yet standing still, some in green and some dried. The Valley in between the mountain, where the river water looked teal blue color, roaring through the stones making rhythmic sounds and in some places quiet and calm…moving like a snail. The scene was mind blowing!!
Amused by the beauty of the mountain and its heights, I was stopped at many places because of the road construction works and landslides due to rain. Every few kilometers there were these gigantic vehicles drilling the mountains, JCB’s filling the truck with debris, which was the main cause for the traffic.
Finally by 2.15 pm I reached my friend’s house. Had little food and buried myself inside the quilt since it was damn cold and I was shivering. I wore all possible clothes to cover myself from head to toe and rested for some time.
By evening we went to a nearby shop to purchase some items for dinner, to my surprise it was drizzling out!! Drenched a little and yet trying to adjust to the weather. Day 1 completed by having a great dinner mutton & chicken curry with hot Idli’s 😀 Yaam Vazhvadhe Unbadharkuthan!!
How about a day starting with bed tea I thank my friend who never fails to show such great affection. Since it was tooooo cold, I never wanted to leave the bed but we had plans to visit the nearby attraction “Chandrabadani – Day2”.
I was damn exited as it was my first time to witness snow, all frozen movie scenes were running in mind, singing “Do you wanna make a snow man”, olaf ,…. 😀 Polo boy(Car) rounding the mountain, showing us all beauty around, as we were nearing the place, our eyes were filled with disappointment . Because the place was looking lush green and there is no spot of snow. Yet keeping little, a very little hope to spot some snow in the bush, Polo boy took few rounds to reach the hill top.
Parked the car, inquired locals and walked towards the forest that’s when the cool breeze from the snow aroused us and gave us a little hope to go forward. In few distance we could see trees topped with snow making all the fantasy go real and my moment for “Do you wanna make a snow man” come true though we didn’t make one. Amazed by the beauty of trees submerged in snow, roads filled with snow making us skate, dance and surrounding mountains and its depth was beautiful also scray. Finishing our lunch (Maggie) we went back to Srinagar for shopping. Bought few very good winter clothes for reasonable price especially sweatshirts in “Bharath Singh Rawath’s” shop was damn cool.
Day 3 & 4: Chopta
That snow mountain which glitters like a diamond in sunlight, can be seen from my friends residence was eye catching since day 1. Chopta located at an elevation of 8,790ft above sea level in Himalayan range, includes rare species of birds which I did witness. Distance between Chopta and my friend’s house was approximately 60kms only. But as you all know roads are the enemy here, making such small distance long yet never boring but, but, but time consuming. 😛
We packed our bags and started from home at around 7.45am, though we were late, we knew there are lot of obstacles ahead of us, the rock falling zone, blast zone, road works, bridge constructions, lots us tourist vehicles rushing to cross the road in between the gigantic road construction machines(or I would call it mountain destruction machines).
Throughout the journey I didn’t wanna sacrifices the front seat in the car for anyone and for any reason which almost lead to 3 panic attacks which I will be sharing in sometime. As you all know by now Uttrakhand is all about rivers, mountains, and this is what I am gonna repeat again and again. Left side of the road mostly was a river bed and on my right was the mountains. I was stunned to see something different about these mountains, it looked like somebody stacked all big size pebbles weighing between 5 to 20kgs and made icing with sand and topped it with plants and trees, when you cut the mountain you will end up seeing all cute pebbles in big sizes, it was astonishing.
Stopped at a restaurant for breakfast, the place had river behind, power plants, some mustard plantations around for few kilometers made the view amazing apart from the food they served. There comes one of my panic moments, when the car started moving I saw sign boards telling something like this, “Blasting area keep away”, “Landslide or rock fall zone” 😀 😀
How about driving on a road which is razed on a river bed only with sand. It was a narrow road allowing only one side of the vehicle to pass through for about 800 meters long, scary isn’t it 😛 nope not at all, we crossed this zone and were stopped by the road construction work again, seemed like it was a long wait, got our self out to see the amazing view of the river singing melody for us. There is this animal at river side drinking water, by height it looks like Horse but works like Donkey but called “Khachar”, is used as a working animal in UK to carry things in hilly areas.
When the traffic on the other side cleared, we started moving, that’s when everyone started screaming at us asking to stop the vehicle, one said it loud with action “Pathar girahahey” (rock falling), we were supposed to stop but our driver wasn’t having patience to wait and he was going still, 😀 luckily nothing happened.. Oh…. I had my first panic attack.
We were quite tired because of the ups and down in the road but still we were just half the way to Chopta, going high, jumping between mountains, the scenery was awesome yet scary also. We were at the peak of heights, on a narrow road, right side was too deep surrounded by mountains made the place look still deep, and that’s when my heart started to beat fast and obviously we cannot turn back 😀 For quite a few distance it was scary and we entered the snow zone, my goodness I haven’t seen something beautiful like this before, houses were submerged in snow and looking damn cute like mushrooms 😀 😀 😛
Roads were filled with heavy snow, so the driver gave us warning that he will stop the vehicle anytime soon since the road was icy and difficult to drive. At last that movement came, where there was a car stopped before us and forced us to wait. When we thought of moving after them, our car started moving back, breaks are not working, car is not moving forwards, too deep on the other side was damn scary. Finally the driver stopped the car and suggested us to walk further. Had our lunch (Maggie, Maggie Maggie) and we planned to go forward in car since there is a lot of distance to cover and by walk it is difficult. We reached Dugalbita by evening around 4pm and planned to stay there overnight.
We rented a tent house and went for a walk. This is place is also called “Mini Switzerland” and no wonder in that, travel makes us independent and fall in love with everything. Went for a walk and explored the places around, clicked a lot of photos, and videos. By night the temperature was -8 and didn’t we were all buried inside the quilt again. Any place, morning walk is damn awesome, especially alone on a road, enjoying the scenery, birds, and monkey, a cute stray dog. About food at this place… wow… was damn tired of eating roti and finally ended up having some rice and dal, even roti’s here was really soft and tasty 😀 Vazhavdhe unbatharkuthan 😛
Yet another day just went in going back to my friend’s house, rested on Day 5, and Day 6 went in reaching Dehradun Airport with heavy heart not wanting to leave such an amazing people and locality. Everyone I met here was kind, loving and amazing people. Thanks Uttrakhand!!