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Old 11th May 2011, 17:43   #16
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Default Re: Blissful, beautiful Bhabha Valley @ Kafnu

oh!! amazing again.
And wonderful piece of history and information their LOG!!
The photos have been getting better. It must be so damn cold out there. I wish that Jaypee group leave this place as it is and look for some alternative to generate more energy.
Keep posting. Waiting for more.
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Old 11th May 2011, 18:13   #17
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Default Re: Blissful, beautiful Bhabha Valley @ Kafnu

18K for 100 ml of oil I wonder what properties does that oil contain??

Your guide sure was providig you good tid bits of information on the way.
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Old 12th May 2011, 11:36   #18
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Default Re: Blissful, beautiful Bhabha Valley @ Kafnu

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Originally Posted by Fordmanchau View Post
...I wish that Jaypee group leave this place as it is and look for some alternative to generate more energy...
As usual, nature seems to be losing this battle. The Kafnu panchayat is the only one resisting the development of the area and other villages have given their consent for building dams and roads in the area. Even our guide was a bit despondent when I asked him about the near future. He was like; with the constructions, what will become of the glaciers and the forests.

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Originally Posted by amitwlele View Post
18K for 100 ml of oil I wonder what properties does that oil contain??

Your guide sure was providig you good tid bits of information on the way.
According to our guide, drinking that oil can cure a lot of ailments, even some forms of cancer! He told us that in an era gone by, the locals used to cook their food in this oil and drink it when sick.

And yes, he was a plethora of info on Kinnaur and Spiti.
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Old 13th May 2011, 09:57   #19
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Default Re: Blissful, beautiful Bhabha Valley @ Kafnu

Hi Abhinav nice to see the travelogue, eagerly awaiting more pics.
And I must say, great find - Kafnu!
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Old 13th May 2011, 16:18   #20
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Default Re: Blissful, beautiful Bhabha Valley @ Kafnu

Hey Awesome log. I never knew a place called Kafnu, Specially loved the temp glacier and water flowing from it. Just too good.

good to know the Esteem endured the grueling journey. Keep it on...
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Old 16th May 2011, 14:11   #21
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Default Re: Blissful, beautiful Bhabha Valley @ Kafnu

Great trip log! I've enjoyed reading so far and await the following posts. Jairam Ramesh needs to be brought to these areas much before the industry figures them out. We can then hope that he wont let them touch it...at least delay the destruction. :(
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Old 16th May 2011, 15:48   #22
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Default Re: Blissful, beautiful Bhabha Valley @ Kafnu

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Originally Posted by fine69 View Post
Hi Abhinav nice to see the travelogue, eagerly awaiting more pics.
And I must say, great find - Kafnu!
Hey thanks Vikram! Even I was taken aback by the raw natural beauty of the place, never was expecting what we experienced. BTW, any plans on a travelogue of yours?

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Originally Posted by Viper21 View Post
Hey Awesome log. I never knew a place called Kafnu, Specially loved the temp glacier and water flowing from it. Just too good.

good to know the Esteem endured the grueling journey. Keep it on...
Thanks mate! More interesting pics of glaciers, caves and water coming up.

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Originally Posted by Nilesh5417 View Post
Great trip log! I've enjoyed reading so far and await the following posts. Jairam Ramesh needs to be brought to these areas much before the industry figures them out. We can then hope that he wont let them touch it...at least delay the destruction. :(
Thanks mate! And amen. Destruction of such a place would be utterly disgusting. Keeping fingers crossed.
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Old 16th May 2011, 16:00   #23
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Default Day 2: The trek continues further!

Day 2: The trek continues further!

We left the "small" glacier and moved on towards its bigger (and permanent) cousins. The steep inclines of the trek were starting to affect wifey & myself by now and our pace decreased a tad. The gradient was considerable indeed!


The steep inclines!


Blissful, beautiful Bhabha Valley @ Kafnu-trek_incline2.jpg



Blissful, beautiful Bhabha Valley @ Kafnu-trek_incline.jpg



But such creeping fatigue was nothing that the truly natural mineral water of the mountain streams couldn't cure. After a few gulps of that Elixir, we got up and were all gung-ho to get to the next glacier, which Ramu had promised held a surprise for us and wouldn't tell what it was. From the glimmer in his eyes, I knew there was something interesting in store for us ahead. And it surely was. Soon we reached another glacier and this one was a lot bigger. Ramu told us that it was a permanent glacier; and you'll have to walk over it to rejoin the trail.


First view of the bigger glacier


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We're here!


Blissful, beautiful Bhabha Valley @ Kafnu-glacier_big3.jpg


The other option was a longer detour on the mountain. Needless to say, we took the first option. My wife was jumping with joy on this prospect and I was trying to put back some composure into her! Also gave her a few pointers on walking over the glacier but I knew my words we probably not registering. Alas, the first step she took was a doozey! And she slid for coupla meters. Ramu asked me to continue ahead while he accompanied her on her march.


Whoa, we need to cross this!


Blissful, beautiful Bhabha Valley @ Kafnu-glacier_big_crossing.jpg


The one who took the tumble!


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Blissful, beautiful Bhabha Valley @ Kafnu-glacier_big_crossing3.jpg


The river below the snow/ice.


Blissful, beautiful Bhabha Valley @ Kafnu-glacier_river_beneath.jpg


A lone mountain goat, me!


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Walking over the glacier was indeed a new experience for us. It was slippery, shifty and slightly risky. There were a couple of spots where on putting down one of my feet, the snow/ice gave away but since my other feet was deeply rooted, I always managed to hang on. While descending the glacier, we moved kinda sideways to get more grip. After crossing the glacier, we felt a sense of accomplishing something new, something we'd never done before. Oh and did I tell you, we had a small snow fight while we're on the glacier. As soon as we crossed the glacier, I saw something very interesting; something I'd only seen in pictures/movies until then. It was like a cave below the glacier into which the river was rushing into. I simply slipped into reverie!


So wanted to explore this but valued life!


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Blissful, beautiful Bhabha Valley @ Kafnu-cave_glacier3.jpg


A few more minutes and couple of inclines later, we're greeted with the view of our destination; the biggest glacier of them all. Had I not been pre informed, I'd have imagined that the Bhabha river originates here. It was huge!


The river flowing down, I thought it's originating from the glacier!


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Blissful, beautiful Bhabha Valley @ Kafnu-approaching_big_glacier1.jpg



Blissful, beautiful Bhabha Valley @ Kafnu-approaching_big_glacier2.jpg


Almost there.


Blissful, beautiful Bhabha Valley @ Kafnu-approaching_big_glacier3.jpg


We got to the glacier and our initial thought was to rest and have lunch on the glacier itself. Ramu told its not a good idea and took us to a huge boulder, sitting just next to the glacier. It was on this boulder that we had our lunch and rested for around an hour. Looking at what was around me, I was feeling so exhilarated and yet so calm.


No words, no thoughts!


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The vistas around us!


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Blissful, beautiful Bhabha Valley @ Kafnu-snowed_peak_valley.jpg



Blissful, beautiful Bhabha Valley @ Kafnu-snowy_slopes.jpg



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Wifey dozed off and Ramu and I got into a chatting session. He told me many adventurous tales of mountain climbing, rescuing and pure fun. I came to know that he and Jai, had done basic, intermediate and advanced mountaineering courses from the Mountain training institute in Solang and now are trainers/rescuers at the same. The most nerve wrecking tale was about how a foreigner had gotten trapped in the mountains during an evening and by the time Ramu was able to reach to him, he was already dead and frozen.


During the lunch, something happened that left an impression on me. We'd opened up our lunch (a simple affair of roti and aloo ki sabzi) and since we'd only two plates and bowls, I decided to share with Ramu. This gesture of mine brought a smile to his face and appreciation in his eyes. I could see that he was touched. Later he told me that it was the first time that a client was sharing their food with him that too in the same plate. His demeanor became all the more friendly instantly and left me thinking how a small gesture can bring big changes.


Anyway, the time for siesta was over and we started our journey back to Kafnu. From what all we'd seen and done that day and since most of the trek was gonna be downhill, it was a dreamy & contemplative walk back.

Last edited by lordofgondor : 16th May 2011 at 16:21.
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Old 17th May 2011, 11:35   #24
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Default Re: Blissful, beautiful Bhabha Valley @ Kafnu

Thank you your Lordship,

Here I am sitting in an office where the ac is yet to be fitted.
Have a spanking new SUV but just can't go anywhere this summer.

Thank you Lord for the beautiful pics and the story you set me free.

Regards,

Chaunfa
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Old 17th May 2011, 12:40   #25
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Default Re: Blissful, beautiful Bhabha Valley @ Kafnu

Quote:
During the lunch, something happened that left an impression on me. We'd opened up our lunch (a simple affair of roti and aloo ki sabzi) and since we'd only two plates and bowls, I decided to share with Ramu.............more friendly instantly and left me thinking how a small gesture can bring big changes.
Besides the amazing narration and the excellent pictures, this comment/act on your part touched me deeply. How often we take things for granted and how often small gestures can make huge differences in our relationships with other people.
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Old 17th May 2011, 14:17   #26
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Default Re: Blissful, beautiful Bhabha Valley @ Kafnu

lordofgondor, thats a great TL and an amazing destination. I hope this area remains untouched by manking in the name of development.

please also let us know more of the downhill trek; I am keen to know more about this part as it is more strenuous on the knees to descend than to climb
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Old 17th May 2011, 18:24   #27
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Default Re: Blissful, beautiful Bhabha Valley @ Kafnu

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Originally Posted by chaunfa View Post
...Here I am sitting in an office where the ac is yet to be fitted.
Have a spanking new SUV but just can't go anywhere this summer...
Hey mate, I hope those pics of the snow, glaciers and chilly river made you feel cooler. And thanks for the appreciation.

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Originally Posted by gtonsing View Post
...How often we take things for granted and how often small gestures can make huge differences in our relationships with other people.
Very rightly said mate. And guess what, I just got a call from Ramu bhai who was asking me how I was doing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
lordofgondor, thats a great TL and an amazing destination. I hope this area remains untouched by manking in the name of development.

please also let us know more of the downhill trek; I am keen to know more about this part as it is more strenuous on the knees to descend than to climb
Yup, Bhabha valley was truly amazing. Though we only did a 3-4 Km (one way) trek, we're longing so much to go ahead. Alas, lack of time and our limited trekking skills didn't allow that.

On the downhill trek part, I never felt much strain on the knees. It was the uphill part that taxed my thighs and knees. Maybe it was the euphoria of climbing over glaciers and the views. The real danger was losing balance as it happened a couple of time with wifey (once she almost fell, only I was there to grasp the straps of her backpack). But yeah, on long downhill treks, stress on knees would definitely come into picture. I guess having a walking stick would be pretty helpful. Also one's posture while trekking also helps in reducing stress on thighs/knees.
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Old 23rd May 2011, 15:02   #28
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Default Re: Blissful, beautiful Bhabha Valley @ Kafnu

Day 2: The end of a wonderful day!

By the time we got back to the car, we'd decided that we're coming back to Kafnu and coming back soon. The trek to Mulling (and maybe beyond) was definitely on the cards now. The time was around 5 PM and it was just starting to get dark. The peaks were getting a healthy dose of the sunlight though. I decided to click a few more pics of the river and the peaks around us.


Blissful, beautiful Bhabha Valley @ Kafnu-getting_dark.jpg


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Blissful, beautiful Bhabha Valley @ Kafnu-getting_dark3.jpg


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Blissful, beautiful Bhabha Valley @ Kafnu-snowed_peak4.jpg


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As the sun went down and the breeze turned chilly, we decided to head back. Drove back to the hotel and quickly located the cook. I was in a mood for some good chicken dish for dinner and let the cook know the same. Luckily I'd told him as we're leaving for the trek that I'm a non-vegetarian, so he'd stocked chicken. More on the preparation later. While wifey was having a word with the cook on veg options, I saw something interesting happening in the hotel's lawn. Coupla mutts were playing with a piece of cloth and try as he might, the black one wasn't able to achieve his objective. Ultimately he played the art of deception and did the ever so cute doggy stance of helplessness. I patted and played with them for a few minutes and the black one scared the bejesus outta wifey when he went running towards her. I guess her scream was enough to make him turn back towards me.


The fight sequence!


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Please, please lemme have it!


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Moved back to our room and after a quick bath, we settled ourselves in our private balcony. The walk on the glaciers still had us in awe and the conversation flew on those lines. We'd indeed been exhilarated, big time, by the new experiences. Soon night fell and the cold was starting to seep in. Wife's two sweaters and a shawl and my t-shirt and jacket were failing in their tasks. So she went inside the room and I made use of some warming beverages. Sitting in the chilly breeze, with feet up on the table, surrounded by snowy peaks and the sound of the river, gazing at the umpteen twinkling stars; it was PERFECT!


I called up Ramu bhai and asked about options for tomorrow. He told me he'd come over in coupla minutes and I was kinda surprised. He told me that the hotel also served as a hangout for many village folks and he was there only. He told us that tomorrow we can do rappelling, river crossing and village walk. River crossing would have been great, had the water not been so darn freezing. So we decided to go for rappelling and a walk into the Kafnu village. That decided, he went back to his comrades and we decided to have dinner sent up to our room. And it was a dinner I'd just love to forget but can't. The chicken wasn't properly cooked, the gravy was too watery and it was kinda bland. Wifey's veg food didn't fair any better too. When I expressed my feelings about the food to the cook, all he could express was his helplessness. After eating just enough to avoid hunger pangs, we decided to call it a day. So with a plan set for the coming day, I said a fond goodbye to the wonderful day that today had been.

Last edited by lordofgondor : 23rd May 2011 at 15:05.
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