Monday, October 10, 2016

रूपकुंड (Roopkund Lake) -- Day-1


This was definitely a "call of the mountains".

It started with "Valley of Flowers" trek in July-2015.  I felt mesmerised and intimidated by the sheer size of the mountains, the snow covered giant glaciers and the possibility to drive body (and mind) beyond it's limits.

**I did not know, there is a song by this name: "call of the mountains" in the album "Eluveitie".  Its lyrics fits the sentiments very well...

**There is a Marathi Natyageet with similar mood as well.  "साद देती हिमशिखरे शुभ्र पर्वताची", complete lyrics here.  But here, the hero is wishing to leave for Tapasya leaving the worldly pleasures behind :-)


Apr-16, started hunting for a Himalayan Treks that I should attempt this year.  After a few searches, finalised Roopkund.  The "lake-with-skeletons" attracted me in addition to a lot of fellow trekkers talking about it.  1 more team member of mine Yash agreed to join + 1 more friend of his from Pune as well.  Sometime in May-16, paid visit to Decathlon, the sports shop and spent ~6K :-(.  Started preparation by walking 4 - 5 KM each day, 5 days a week.  Like last year, this year also did a few rounds of Nandi Hill to test my stamina.

The unexpected:

4 days before the departure, on a WED morning, I was casually looking myself in the mirror and suddenly my lower back started paining, some kind of sprain.  I guess the me in mirror did not like the real me for some reason :-(.

I thought it will go away with more movements or bit of walking so continued with my routine and reached office, while the lower back was still paining.  After a few hrs at office, the pain did not show any sign of reducing.  Now, it was not allowing me to sit or stand either.  Something was seriously wrong :-(

Went to the Doctor's room, took a painkiller + used hot-water-bag.  No relief !  Luckily, later that day, an orthopedic was to visit our office.

He examined and told me -- this looks like some weak muscle has sprained -- or this can be "disk" related issue -- take medicine for a few days, if the pain does not go, you'll have to get an MRI done -- this is typical of "modern" Doctors -- they make it look like they are not hiding anything from you -- and they scare you royally...

Dr. gave me 5 days medicine and asked me to watch myself.  When I told him about my trek plans, he blasted me saying, do not do any adventures, just cancel the trek...

Came home and started taking the painkillers.  Luckily, in 2 days the pain reduced and 4th day, it was gone :-).  Meanwhile, parents were worried.  Kept calling me 2 times a day, asking me to check back with the doctor.

This sudden development had potential to derail my trek plans.  But I survived...


Day From To Distance Mode Elevation Elevation
Day-1 BangaloreDelhi---Flight


Day-2 KathgodamLohajung240 kmBy Road2300 m7500 ft
Day-3 LohajungDidna10 kmTrek2450 m8000 ft
Day-4 DidnaBedni Bugyal12 kmTrek3600 m12000 ft
Day-5 Bedni BugyalPatar Nachuni5 kmTrek3750 m12300 ft
Day-6 Patar NachuniBagubasa5 kmTrek4300 m14000 ft
Day-7 BagubasaRoopkund4 kmTrek4850 m15900 ft

RoopkundBagubasa4 kmTrek------

Bagubasa Patar Nachuni 5 kmTrek------

Patar Nachuni Bedni Bugyal 5 kmTrek------
Day-8 Bedni BugyalWan17 kmTrek------

WanLohajung15 kmBy Road------
Day-9 LohajungKathgodam240 kmBy Road------
Day-10 KathgodamDelhi---Train------



Took an early morning BLR - DEL flight.  As usual it was pleasant and little cold morning at Bangaluru.  When we landed at Delhi, around 10:30 AM, the flight attendant told outside temp is 36 °C.  The moment I stepped out of the aircraft, it was evident that I was in Delhi.  It was hot !  Not like 36 °C of Bangaluru...

1st we had a little mix-up of terminal at Airport while we caught up with Chirag.  Then took Metro to reach Chandni Chauk.  Target was "prathewali gali".  Actually, last year I had been here and felt that this place has lost its charm and taste.  But still attempted it again this year.  Now, I'll not dare it again next time.  It is not worth the efforts anymore :-(

Post lunch, reached Old Delhi Rly Station to catch 4 PM train to Kathgodam.  Spent time in waiting room on 1st floor.  Age old ceiling fans from this age old building were completely useless.  Same in the train.  It was HOT all the way till 8 PM.

Finally reached Kathgodam by 11 PM.  We were not sure if we'll get food this late.  Two of our trek mates helped us with packed dinner.  They had reached Kathgodam earlier that day and would be joining us for the Trek next morning.

I had been to Kathgodam during Jun 2011 for Nainital - Kausani - Ranikhet trip.  That time, this Railway station felt real small.  We in fact spent that night at the station as taxi did not use to run between Kathgodam & Nainital during night.

This time, it was a complete change of scene.  The railway station has been renovated.  A new reservation counter, quiet many restaurants and shops that were open late night.  Taxi and buses to Nainital running late night as well.  The lighting at railway station looked impressive and this is the 1st photo that I took for this trip.

Kathgodam Railway Station

I had booked KMVN Guest House that is next to the railway station for night assuming it to be the safest option.  This is located next to a Masjid and we were sure of waking up at 5 AM :-).

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