|Pictures On the Indian Side|
A person with good health and sufficient money qualifies for the journey but only his guts and mental make-up wade him through the deep Himalayan valleys and gorges with gushing waters, brilliantly cut by the confident strokes of Nature to elevate a rational human mind more and more into the kingdom of wisdom, where Shiva(Brahman: Nature personified) seems to say, “I am Brahman, that thou art”(Brahma-Sutra)!
But all this is not of the ilk of city rats like me; our kind generally goes there fortified with blind faith and fervor created by the chants of Har har Mahadev, Jai Bhole Nath, etc. and Bhajans(devotional songs). Returning back, we expect more selfish aggrandisement, prosperity and glory, being the select Punyatmas (blessed souls) amongst the redundant, pauper, Papi(wretched) Indian population!
At the outset I congratulate the Ministry of External Affairs for conducting this fantastic dream journey with meticulously planned stop-overs spread over the thrilling but feasible trekking routes, even for a fifty-year beginner like me! Our Liaison Officer, Mr. Somesh Goyal, a young and enthusiastic friendly guy, saw that we all ate well and had good time and harmony throughout. Thanks to him, who also yelled and created hell when necessary, that our batch of thirty five, happily and successfully completed the glorious Yatra. Ten days of slow and steady journey through different ascending heights finally takes us to the 5100 meters high Lipu Lekh pass and by that time one is completely acclimatized to overcome the high altitude hazards and tread on the highest plateau of the world, Tibet. Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam is the competent organization which courteously and successfully manages the stay, food and transportation of our luggage by ponies throughout the journey in the Indian side. After every trek (with good and friendly government security) we used to be welcomed by,”
Namah Shivaiah” and a refreshing cool drink of herbal flavors. Then we
would rest for the remaining part of the day with a wholesome lunch, tea and
dinner with plenty of soup, at appropriate times. We slept well in cozy, pucca,
accommodations in most of the places with beds, warm quilts and blankets. Yes,
it was around 0 degree C all nights!
Bidding good bye to stately
New Delhi, we started at
on 5th of Aug 1996! For
Almorah, in a comfortable bus playing invigorating Bhajans of the
colorful, Bhang addict Lord Shiva! Maintenance of time and schedule was
absolutely necessary for the success of the unusual voyage through five
different ranges of the Himalayas. Had breakfast at
Gajraula guest house at 7a.m. and reached Rampur
(of the Rampuri knife notoriety) at
to be felicitated by the people with garlands, sweets, khara and tea!
Slowly, the importance of the journey began to seep in my mind! I never new
that every day henceforth would be a dream day of my life in the folds of lofty
Himalayas where jubilant healthy clouds played like children holding Bal
Mithai (a famous milk confection of Kumaon) in their hands, in the laps of
the saintly looking unperturbed mountains surveying all directions. They seemed
to deliver the message, “Let noble thoughts come unto us from all directions (Aano
bhadrah rutvo yantu vishwatah….)”, to the humankind!
Then we arrived at Bhimtal, at an elevation of 1370 meters; a lake larger than lake Nainital 22km away, existing since the days of Maha Bharat. This huge, perennial lake with an island at its centre has a variety of marine life. This scenic tourist spot with some ancient temples is also a winter recess for fascinating Himalayan birds. Spending some pleasant time here, we moved on to Bhowali, a major fruit market and health resort (also has a T.B. sanatorium where Kamala Nehru, wife of late Jawaharlal Nehru, spent some time) at an elevation of 2050 meters and just had a healthy lunch of Rajma n Rice. Of course, Papad n North Indian style Mixed Vegetables Pickle in mustard oil, were a treat everywhere!
We reached Almorah, 400km from
and at an elevation of 1680meters. at ;
a handsome, horse saddle shaped hill surrounded densely by pines and firs, in
the southern ridge of Kumaon Hills of the Himalayan range. After having a
refreshing bath in our spacious guest house, we walked around in the Bazar in
the cold late evening and returned to have a nice dinner of hot puris,
steaming hot dal fry, curry and rice followed by the dessert, Gulab
Jamun. Then we slip under warm quilts in cozy beds to slip into a heavenly
sleep. In Delhi the night before,
we barely managed to sleep, in the stuffy hotel rooms, with fans at full speed!
Yes, it was a promising beginning and morning as we started for Dharchula at , after a good breakfast, breathing in the beauty of the snow capped
Himalayas from Almorah
itself! We moved along giant but genial looking Deodars by the roadside,
and soon reached the nastier and narrower road that led us to the Chaukori
Road, vista of the great Himalayan peaks like Trishul, Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot,
through ripening corn fields!. After a sumptuous lunch at , we proceeded to Bageshwar, a holy temple town,
with temples dating back to 10th century, at the confluence of Gomti
and Sharyu. It is also the base for treks to world famous glaciers Pindari and
Sundardhunga. Some of us developed vomiting sensation due to the very bad route
and I soon realized that we were near the point from where the bus would bid us
good bye! After visiting the ancient Byghreshwar (a form of Shiva) temple, on
the way we were received by the gushing foamy white waters of the confluence of
the rivers Kali and Gori near Jauljibi, a significant trading centre bordering Nepal.
From this place onwards we followed the course (up) of the river Kali through lively,
resounding valleys and gorges till Kalapani. On the right we had deep valleys
and it started raining for some time and then rain with sunshine, and a
beautiful rainbow in the valley! I could never imagine a rainbow for which I
had to look down! We reached Dharchula(a stove with various peaks around) , a
small valley resembling a stove, around ,
had tea in the guest house and then crossed a small bridge on the river Kali to
get into Nepal,
a pleasant surprise! Spent some time and money and came back as the bridge
would be closed by After a
good dinner I tried to sleep, brooding over the fact that, next day, we would
start our trek from Tawaghat, 26km. away, which was discussed while we were
having soup. For a complete month, we moved at a snail’s pace through the most
scenic, verdant, unpolluted, virgin places of the world; I think jet-setters must
be already feeling like worms!
Next day, we had our tea at , the specified time of our program and we all came out of the guest house to pick up our sticks for the trek. The use of the stick was great once you know the technique; which you usually learned yourself. Using the sticks alternately with both hands exercises your chest and shoulders and perhaps that was the secret of Mahatma Gandhi’s good shape. After breakfast, I strolled around leisurely with my new stick, listening to Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma’s morning melodies played by my walkman. It was just like a connoisseur giving make-up to a beautiful woman: The beautiful, huge, green mountains belittling the clouds at dawn and the thunderous hum of river Kali at a distance.
At we reached Tawaghat bridge (an elevation of 2220 meters.), from where we started our introductory trek of “Thanedar ki Chadhai”, a steep climb of 1000 meters through a distance of only 9km., mischievously welcoming us, laughing in its sleeves. In the south, the said-to-be-difficult well laid Tirumala trek is 2200ft high. Well, as a legend at the temple goes, His abode is just a small peak, blown by Vayu, the God of winds from the thousand peaked mythological Meru Parbat (present
“I’m the Same, made easy for you”, the Lord seemed to say to the people of Kali Yuga, repenting the deed!
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Chanting the Gayatri mantra the universal Sanskrit prayer by a person for the benefit of all: ‘O Protector of all, Dearer than life, Destroyer of all sorrows, Joy personified, Begetter, worthy of worship, of pure scientific form making Thy abode in us; inspire us for noble actions”, and begin amidst the tranquil, awe inspiring altitudes of The Himalayas for the thrilling trek-journey of Kailash-Mansarovar! Our first trek from Tawaghat to Pangu(2210 meters)began on the 7th of August. Paths paved with cobblestones, wound up and up through mountains like never ending lazy pythons in succession. The width of the path varied from a comfortable 8ft to a dangerous 3fton curves; and the traffic of people with ponies, though scarce, from the opposite direction, also followed the same path. Sometimes, the slimmer curves seemed to threaten us, “If you err or misbehave, we will just jerk you into the valley.” Yes, we were already instructed by Mr. Gupte, the under secretary (to
to respect the mountains with slow and steady climb throughout. When we moved
up, we should concentrate on the unsteady path without looking around to devour
the natural beauty, which perhaps, several of us were seeing for the first
time! The lush green mountains and vibrant gorges and tall waterfalls here were
simply breath taking and to devour such beauty, we better stopped and look
around, taking our own time, to assure safety.
After climbing for an hour I started sweating profusely, breathing loudly like a blacksmith’s bellows and the person by my side, Vishwanath, a thin, bald headed chap in his early forties, who smoked Charminar(a very strong cigarette) a lot commented, “Something seems to be wrong with you”. But to my chagrin, he climbed very well! Later on we became good friends and once in a way he used to offer me a cigarette for fun with his charming smile. At a point I might have tripped into a valley as I lost balance; but the stick came to my rescue. Deepak, the young, flamboyant loudmouth, started broadcasting it and obviously getting angry with anyone mentioning it to me, I retorted, “Of course I was sure footed, that chap didn’t get me right.” After another ten minutes I tried to relax on a stone with green shrubs around; but a shrub brushed against my elbow, causing alarming inflammation and I panicked not knowing what went wrong? But the porter, understanding, assured me that,” Saab,fikr mat karo, ye to bicchu patta ha (sir, don’t worry this is the scorpion-leaf shrub).” The leaves that gave a scorpion-bite sensation for minutes would actually be good for health!
Moving further up for another thirty minutes, I met fourteen yr old Disha, the youngest member of our batch. “Hey, you shouldn’t keep your mouth open when you are exerting”, I advised her like a teacher that I was. Her father, giving me an apricot (all of us carried lots of dry fruits and candies to suck occasionally, as they were supposed to strengthen our knees and joints for trekking in the heights) good naturedly advised me back,”Mr. Atre, when you are in high, unpolluted altitudes, unlike in the cities; it is advantageous if you inhale plenty of air through the mouth but exhale slowly through the nose, thus gaining maximum oxygen”. He and his comely wife Dipti were already veterans with an earlier trip to their credit! I felt very happy the way he advised me and by the time I returned I was a hit trekker! Remember readers, Mr. Atre boasts a lot! Slowly and unsteadily I reached the post “Thanedar”, exhausted. Behind it was the ineffective family planning slogan, “kam Santaan, Sukhi Insaan”. We spent the evening and night in the high altitude Pangu valley, where huge clouds sometimes engulfed us causing excitement when there was rain also, along with them! Of course we had a warm shelter and a nutritious dinner of hot rotis, soya nuggets curry, dal fry and rice in the KMVN guest House.
Starting at next day, we moved on to Sirka (15km, 2450 meters) and I was feeling as fit as a fiddle as we reached Narayan Ashram, where we relaxed for some time with Suji Halwa and tea offered by the courteous ashramites . Then we smoothly reached Sirka around , as compared with the first day’s sapping experience. Had a refreshing bath, lunch and then relaxed for the whole day. Good programming of the tour made us feel at ease and leisurely in every place.
Next morning we started for Gala (14km, 2400 meters), with a strenuous climb to the Rungling Top (3140 meters) the highest point so far, from where a romantic British personality Mr. Rungling committed suicide, being in love, as we were told! I climbed slowly, breathing hard and jealous as the young porter Surjit sped past me with some luggage, singing a full blooded folk-lore of the mountains and also enjoying a cigarette! Yes, he was a native boy of the mountains with a liter or more blood in him, a physiological advantage! Again it was just exhausting for me due to the height and as I brooded over the knees buckling, more than 610 meters of uneven slope ahead, with unfriendly stones all the way; with a coffee-toffee in the mouth and a bottle of water in a hand! As I started climbing down after some time the feet were getting hurt even through the shoes, even with a much better use of stick. But the lush green environ all-round with huge pines and the local river Simkhola snaking through the dense forests with the usual gush soothed and comforted every one. Hmm…this was also a bear infested area. As we advanced, we came across enormous trunks of Deodars with moss on them, laid here and there, struck by lightning. No one has any say; even the world infesting human being is a scarcely spread lot here at times, at the mercy of the, unpredictable, ruthless vagaries of the beautiful, life giving, sublime Nature!
Next morning at we started for Malpa (11km, 2060 meters); a fantastic, tense fiction like journey along a dreamland gorge with roaring waters of river Kali on one side and huge brown cliffs on the other, sometimes looking down at us as if to say, “Run fools, we don’t want to crush you with boulders and stones”. The security led us through the naturally artistic paths, with water streams in several places falling over us. We reached Malpa in the evening and though instructed to keep our bodies covered with weather proof jackets, we used to uncover ourselves sometimes, to cool down after the last fast lap of our trek in those heights of the
As I come out carrying a refreshing herbal sherbet and move around in
the nearby areas, the river thundered beside our guest house, making its
presence felt as I watched the magical movement of the clouds against the
mountains and the fading light.
The situation was ominous from Malpa to Budhi (12km, 2700 meters). It was raining heavily as we dressed; putting on our rain suits and within no time we set out, our shoes were soaked with water and heavy. To begin with, we climbed some distance, and then it was a level or a slope for some kilometers on the heavily mudded path, and then “Lo”, there was a heavy, threatening landslide from the upper levels on the left in front of us! The path was completely blocked and overflowing with chocolate colored thick, mud with stones and boulders still pouring in from the top! At that moment, even the dogs of the territory did not dare to cross it! We retreated 2km back to a small tea-house as the danger lurked over nearby distances. After three hours we returned to the spot as the rain had stopped and our L.O. took the decision of crossing the landslide area from a lower level, one at a time; with the help of agile, native porters. Struggling and focused, with shoes in one hand, , and the other hand in the hand of the porter, feet still sinking to knee levels in the thick mud and the danger of landslide from above, I crossed a distance of about 50 yards to the other side, with a sigh of immense relief as I saw the intact path ahead! Everyone, from 65yr old Mr Patel to Disha crossed the area safely. Around this area in Malpa, the international Kathak maestro Protima Bedi, perished with another 380 people two years later. I would like to point out to the enthusiasts that, after all accidents are accidents and the intelligent and the brave are the lucky either way, as their foot-prints lead the rest to greater heights! Then with another climb upwards we reached scenic Budhi with a variety of wild flowers where we happily and peacefully spent the night after dinner.
On the morning of 12th we started our trek for Gunji (15km, 3200 meters). To begin with, we climbed for three kilometers to reach the highest point so far at
(3450 meters) from where we
slowly moved into the pleasing, welcome
plains with a variety of wild
flowers and shrubs allover; This was another Chialekh
Pass in the remote Valley
of Flowers Himalayas!
Kumar Gandharva added magic to the environ with Raag Basant Bahar on my
walkman. Reached Gunji at
and each one of us had a brief medical check-up by a doctor of the Indo-Tibetan
Border Security Force (ITBSF). Sugar or B.P. happened to be a good reason for a
team mate to be sent back! From this place onwards the medical aid and security
was provided by ITBSF, who also provided tea on the way sometimes.
Gunji to Kalapani (10km, 3600 meters) was an easy trek with verdant pine, Himalayan birch (bhojpatra) and juniper forests around and flocks of healthy, energetic sheep coming across, for us to pass through them merrily! Also known as Byans valley locally, it is said to be the place where the Great sage Veda Vyasa, the author of Mahabharata lived. Here, our long time companion Kali Nadi flowed with all its charming nuances and at a distance in the bed of the river, there was a hot sulphur spring by the side, where we all had a luxurious hot water bath in the tub like formation. Refreshed and invigorated, I walk back to our guest house singing, “Vo gori nadiyon ka chalna ucchal kar, ke jaise allhad chale pee se milkar…… (The bouncy flow of the fair rivers resembles the gait of a naughty girl after meeting her beloved…..)”. We have a nice dinner of Chhole puri, Rajma-rice with plenty of vegetable soup topped by Gulab Jamun as dessert; and then sleep well.
Next day,at after a good breakfast we headed for Navidang(8km, 4200meters); reaching there at 11a.m. quite exhausted as we were moving in high altitude zones with oxygen becoming scarcer! I this higher level of Himalayas we find the rare musk deer and also monals( pheasants with brilliant colors) Most of us also had an aching head as we sat chatting in the open to watch the Om Parbat display the Hindu philosophical symbol OM in ice on its top. For some time it was visible but soon disappeared under the heavy, unpredictable clouds. Retiring to the guest house we had an early dinner, and prepared ourselves with woolens, wind-proof jackets, to leave for the Lipu Lekh Pass( 7km, 5334 meters ),early in the morning at 3a.m.; the next day!
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Under the expert guidance of ITBSF staff we slowly climbed in the darkness with torches to begin with and then as the day rose, steadily gained a height of another 3000ft. Though we had an experience of climbing sufficient heights by now, most of us were mildly affected by the high altitude causing headache and nausea. One of the lady members also fell unconscious at the Lipu Lekh pass for some minutes. Well, we were on the Roof of the world,
Surprise and curiosity prevailed over my
headache as I was welcomed by the sight of a small group of rugged, jolly
Tibetans, one of them with a bottle of
liquor in his hands (pouring it to others) looking unearthly in their
dirty clothes, eating, drinking and smoking(ganja?) in the most unusual
place! Perhaps they were the living Bhoots (reckless, lively devils)
with whom Lord Shiva lived in Kailash as the mythology goes! The whole
description of Shiva tallies with the mountainous atmosphere, where the hermits
lived (population density, less than two per sq. km) and allowed Him his
addictions and pranks and unfathomable equations of Reality with full devotion.
Peeping on the other side of the pass, I saw the ghastly sight of the
descending pass with enormous chunks of ice here and there and gravel and rocks
shrubs for miles together. Nobody could tell when a blizzard could zoom over
and blow off a person into the abyss!
It was the 15th of August 1996, a memorable Indian Independence Day as we trek down the pass. Though the courteous Chinese government had arranged ponies, I liked to walk all the way to the bus, and being among the last, sat in the hind seat, unaware of the condition of the route and the bus! Within minutes after the bus started I was mesmerized by a huge, smooth hill with shining pink, blue, green, grey splashes, as if on a Chinese work of art on silk! My eyes got glued to it, unmindful of the seat by my side giving way, the person sitting by my side shifting to another seat and the heavy jolts! But soon, as the hill was fading into distance and the young Tibetan women in front began to sing folk songs, I was very much into the bus again, grumbling about the bus shaking me from head to toe in spite of holding the bars by the side! We were taken to the Purang Guest House in the only nearby
at Purang (meaning a ‘horse’s head’) is the Tibetan
name of the county, very near to the Indian side. It is known as Taklakot by us
and Nepalese; being an ancient trading town where the pilgrims to township
of Taklakot also stayed. We were
received in a stately drawing room with spacious, leather-upholstered sofas,
beautiful Chinese paintings all around and artistically painted wooden tables
Kailash Lhasa in the centre. Colorfully
dressed Chinese girls wearing dainty hats served hot, nutritious Tibetan tea
with flasks as we relaxed in the cozy sofas. Then the passport and customs
formalities were completed by healthy, robust Chinese officers in olive greens
and a tall, dashing Chinese girl, with soft, straight, dark brown hair on her
shoulders. I envied their looks and confidence; of course, they belonged to the
only other Super Power of the world, China
due to their sincerity, hard work and brains!
We were accommodated in comfortable rooms with two beds each. All the rooms were provided with two huge thermos flasks which could keep the water hot for two days consistently; a requirement of the people n the cold region. In the evening and next day, we moved in the Nepali bazaar and around the river Karnali (a river from the ‘mouth of a pecock’!) trying to befriend the people verbally; but more with gesticulations We could also sight the dilapidated Tegla Kar( the Lying Tiger fort) on a ridge from Taklakot most of the time . Had good time drinking energizing Tibetan tea ( cha suma made with Chinese tea, barley, soda and yak butter churned in deep, decorative bamboo containers and stored in flasks to be taken a number of times during the day). Returning to the guest house, we had a wonderful Chinese dinner, but only vegetarian and sans chopsticks!
We were divided into two groups for the Parikramas(circumambulation) of Mt Kailash and Mansarovar. I was in the group going to Kailash first. We set out for Kailash(Gang Rimpoche’: meaning the precious jewel of snows) at by trucks due to the failure of the bus, dropping the other group at Hore for Mansarovar. Moving through the Gurla Pass(16200 ft) near Gurla Mandhata, the highest peak of a Himalayan sub range in Purang ( Lake Mansarovar is roughly between Kailash and Gurla Mandhata) we reach the beautiful Rakshas Tal where, as the mythology goes, ten-headed Ravana performed relentless penance on one of its four islands; offering one head each day in sacrifice to gain the blessings and favors from Lord Shiva. Rakshas Tal, said to be created by Ravana, happens to be a salt water lake without aquatic life though it is connected to ManasTal(
) by a short river Ganga
Chhu. The mighty river Satluj originates at the eastern tip of Rakshas Tal! From
here we sighted Mt Kailash(representing Shiva) in all its glory. Perhaps Shiva
could not escape giving Darshan(to appear) to the adamant demon king
Ravana; I humorously thought. Then we moved on to Darchen (110 km,16200 ft) at next day, crossing two flooded streams
and a very bad route. This was the starting point of our Parikrama.
Getting up late in the morning due to the tedious, tiring journey; we had tea
and then soup prepared by our group mates as we had to manage our own food
during the Parikrama. Then we leisurely resumed for Dhirebu 22km away by
truck, reaching there at
and waited for the porters with yaks, at the starting point where severally
colored stripes of cloth were tied by the visitors to the slanting ropes with a
flagpole (Tarboche in Tibetan) in the centre, to ward off evil spirits.
All of us were to do the 50 km Parikrama riding yaks; as the porters
arrived, we saw the long haired, domesticated Tibetan oxen possessing great
stamina and strength. It proved to be a boon as one could look around sitting
on the normally mild animal, minding its own business of regular movement,
whosoever was on the back. Our L.O. had a dialogue with the porters through the
interpreter Tensing, and then we slowly walked into the Parikrama and
within sometime, unbelievably, Mt Kailash( meaning crystal: from Sanskrit) in
all its glory was before us! lake
The resplendent, rounded peak standing at 7394
meters was a part of the brown mountain resembling a Shiv Ling in the
Hindu religion. The enthralling peak had different effects on our minds as
heavenly clouds passed over and around cuddling it. Most of us ran here and
there to have different possible views of the peak as the porters settled for a
leisurely lunch and decided to start our trek on yaks at ; I found their lazy indifference comic! At last I
mounted the yak which started moving with its head down, nose almost touching
the ground! It was first time I was riding an animal myself, of course under
the guidance of the porter, and I cautiously held the wooden support on its
back. The yak moved, stopped to graze grass and shrubs, again moved for a
distance. That was the way it usually moved and I was comfortable within no
time. The mountainous terrain with river Lham Chu led us slowly to Direbu by , where we stayed at night.
Next day at we continued for Zonzerbu (17km), the toughest section of the circumambulation. Around us we could see the snow clad peaks of Gurla Mandhata The eight km trek to the
(5800meters), the highest
point of the whole journey was arduous, even on yaks. Dolma
Here, even the yaks seemed to lose their
surefootedness and seemed very much irritated with us, on their backs! Near the
top, I just slipped down my yak and inched to the top. It was
and incidentally the place was calm without the anticipated high velocity winds
and suddenly a festive mood developed amongst us with the colorful flagpole
adding jubilance. As many of us performed Puja at the site
further down with frozen Gauri Kund nearby, I moved around as I saw a charming
holy Buddhist monk sitting in saffrons without any woolens in the biting cold;
it seemed as if he would be there forever unmindful of rain or storm!
Unexpectedly spending an hour at the hazardous top, we descended by feet to the
other side, and after the steep slope again mounted the yaks, again becoming
aware of our headaches! I also enjoyed a fall from the yak as we moved, as it
gave a mild shock to my whole body without any hurt! We reached Zongzerbu by
evening and had dinner at , made
by extremely helpful ladies of our group.
|The Affable Yak|
Next day at we continued for Zonzerbu (17km), the toughest section of the circumambulation. Around us we could see the snow clad peaks of Gurla Mandhata The eight km trek to the
|With Our L.O. Somesh Goyal|
Most of us felt tense, aching and slippery as the yaks too seemed to helplessly climb towards the steep unapproachable top in the atmosphere with paucity of oxygen. Everyone developed a vice like gripping headache, dryness of lips and face. Towards the end, the colorful Tarboche appeared again, registering the religious significance of the place.
|Descending over a Glacier|
Started leisurely in an open truck for Hore on the 21st of August for the dream
Next morning at when it was still very dark and cloudy, we started for Chugu(40 km) with torches in hand. We mounted the ponies at when the sun rose, presenting us with one of the most beautiful lakes in the world on our right. A huge lake, rather rounded from all sides, has a circumference of 88 km, maximum depth of 90 meters and a surface area of 320 sq. km.!
But the distance being long and
monotonous, we moved on listlessly except at the three streams of water which
we crossed on ponies with some excitement, but without much difficulty, unlike
our friends of the other group for whom the waters in the streams were very
high and rapid due to heavy rains.
I had some lively moments with the lively,
hunchback porter Thondup before we reached Chugu at . Next day I was on the same pony with Thondup as
we started for Zaidi (37 km). The day was colorful with the energetic porter
singing folk tunes most of the way. Golden boulders of rock on hills of gravel
to our left and the lake’s golden shores spread with shrubs of various colors
to our right made good variety with some birds (not swans) in the water. At
different places we get different magnificent views of the blue, clear, lake
with backgrounds of different sections of mountain ranges.
|The Mighty Sweet water Lake|
|Golden Boulders, colorful Vegetation, Lake|
|A View of the Lake|
|With A Foreign Visitor|
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