Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 20th November 2016, 10:55   #1
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: mumbai
Posts: 269
Thanked: 1,375 Times
Default The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons

Prologue :
The Mahindra Spacio shuffled along the path , rugged in its looks and behaviour for it had spent its life in these mountains on broken roads and was on familiar ground . The 14 occupants including the driver crammed inside each having the same thought of a successful arrival at the destination Joshimath . “Saavan ka mahina” saw the the weather and earth waltz and tango most energetically and lesser participants like the 14 souls in the Mahindra Spacio could only be feeble collateral participants dotted around the frame. Meanwhile, back on ground the Alakhnanda flowed along the broken National Highway moving at a frightful pace unstoppable with her power rippling in the form of the raging waters all over her, for anyone to see . Every movement and every twist of her, showcased the enormous destructive power and energy that she held in her fold, truly Ganga had rightly said the earth would not be able to sustain her sway and force if she descended directly, hence Lord Shiva had taken her in to his locks to contain her destructive power and what is Alakhnanda if not Ganga herself for that is how she is called when she merges with Bhagirathi at Devprayag flowing onward to Haridwar and beyond into the wide world .

Meanwhile the Spacio rumbles to a halt and finally the driver kills the engine, 14 pairs of eyes peer ahead to see the cause through the mist and rain. The cause emerges to be rock fall as the earth shakes and one hapless vehicle caught in the melee. The rocks had boxed her in and now the vehicle could neither go ahead nor reverse down the path, her occupants abandoning her to cruel faith and to the whims of mother nature . The area was known as Lambagad notorious for just this kind of incidents and the same was now being played in live technicolour for those few souls like me who were attempting to cross. As minutes ticked by and converted into hours the situation remained the same, Umeid my guide and i looked at each other deciding that its time to leave the Spacio and strike a path through the mountain slope for this was the only way to tackle Lambagad, the destination had to be reached and so the team loaded the gear on and moved out. The trek that seemed completed had started once again, the curtains had still not fallen on one of the most enthralling of all treks that i have attempted till now ..... Trek to Mandini and beyond towards the Lake of Truth “Satopanth”.


swsumit is offline   (7) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 20th November 2016, 10:57   #2
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: mumbai
Posts: 269
Thanked: 1,375 Times
Default re: The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons

Day 1 : How does one begin especially as i write after the day has passed , but still will try to organise my thoughts and begin in a coherent manner. The trip to Mandini Valley was conceptualised on a cold winter night around 5200 mts above sea level with the mercury falling rapidly as me and my guide Umeid sat inside the tent sipping on hot coffii on the shores of “Nandi kund Lake”. That tale has been told and will not be dwelt upon out here. So here we were sitting and discussing where next to venture in the coming year and his words were “sir agar flowering dekhni hai to mandini chalo monsoon mein; Valley of Flower takkar bhi nahin de payega {sir if u desire to see flowering of plants on a huge scale lets go to Mandini Valley , the famous Valley of Flowers is nothing compared to it } ). Now i had neither seen VOF nor Mandini Valley but yes was very interested to see the Himalayan flowers flowering in their natural element and the thought appealed to me. Quickly i asked him the probable month and the approximate time and his reply was it had to be monsoons and that meant August.

2. Anyways back home after the Nandi kund trek and after few weeks started researching about Mandini valley. Google did not throw much light but yes i came across three blogs which mentioned about this trek but they were all in September and not monsoons so i had no way of gauging as to how it would be like but the blogs helped me to prepare the key places on the route and i decided to cross Mandini Valley and then three ice fields to reach Kedarnath ji. Umeid also recommended the same and after we worked the day itinerary i realized that another destination could be squeezed in too and thus was born the trek to Satopanth; The Lake of Truth and Swargarohini ; The stairs to Heavens.

3. As months passed by my itinerary got refined and eventually had a 17-day trek itinerary excluding the journey time to and fro my place. The leave was sanctioned after looking for a fortunate moment to propose but till the end moment i was not sure if i would be actually going hence kept my departure a low key affair. The days leading to the trek saw the weather worsening in Uttarakhand and gave me much cause to worry but i stuck to my itinerary and decided to take things as they come.

4. The tickets were booked and finally the day arrived when i was in the vehicle heading to airport. I did refine my luggage this time to make it lighter especially the camera gear but guess it still needs to be worked upon more for the future. With a combined weight of 26 kgs inclusive of my backpack and camera gear the thought definitely projected a problem.

5. Anyways with the day finally arriving i was on my way and the route was a tiring one in itself fir the travel comprised of travelling through the day and the night followed by the following full day. The mode of conveyance included flight, train, bus, mini bus and then trekker max. The end point saw me arriving at the small villages that have nestled in the foothills of the Garhwal mountains. Raasi was one such village and the home of my guide Umeid. I was welcomed very warmly by his family and lot of village folk too dropped in or i was invited to their homes and so began endless cups of tea and discussions.

6. After a simple dinner I bade my good nights and promptly dropped off to sleep. Thus ended the journey from my place on Western Ghats to Umeid’s place in the foothills of the Garhwal mountains which act as outposts for the great Himalayan range that lay ahead.



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-64-raasi1.jpg

RAANSI VILLAGE
swsumit is offline   (8) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 20th November 2016, 11:20   #3
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: mumbai
Posts: 269
Thanked: 1,375 Times
Default re: The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons

DAY II : Towards Sandera Bugyal, the hard taskmaster .....

The next day morning i was up by around six and venturing to the roof of the house i glanced around at the Garhwal countryside or mountainside (i am not sure which term would be more appropriate) scrubbed clean and pretty draped in all of green and mist. The mighty mountain ranges had garlands of heavy mist that was a living thing in itself moving up and down. The mountain slopes were all green and dense and numerous waterfalls had sprung high up and they were crashing down hundreds of meter with a huge force and vitality which was a sight to see. For an hour i stood and soaked in the landscape spread in front of me while all around me the village came to life and temple bells began to ring with prayers to almighty. The school children were soon on their way to the school, so either thy climbed up to their school or they descended down as the case might be depending on the location of their homes which were spread all over the slopes of the nearby hills. Raasi has two schools one caters to the tiny tots or primary while the other was till metric. After a long time i saw the school assembly and seeing the primary school kids organizing themselves into measured lines and then reciting the school prayer followed by the National Anthem was a most pleasant experience indeed.

8. Soon it was time to prepare for the day and in an hour the team had assembled and after a quick breakfast we were on the way. The destination today was Sandera which was a small bugyal(plateau) on the hill top where the slope flattened a bit. It was around five kms of uphill trekking and by uphill it meant from the moment one left the house he just had to climb, climb and climb with no respite even for 10 metres. The entire five kms was a steep climb remorseless and brutal. The first day of the trek and the acclimatisation and fitness level spoke; soon after around 30 min i was gasping and struggling. The numerous breaks in between increased but there was no other way for it was up n up all the way. The sun was out in full force and the sweat was draining the salt away at a rapid pace; by the time around 3 hrs had elapsed and i was in a pretty bad shape with my progress being 25 mts of walking and 10 min of rest, struggling in every step and repeatedly asking the porter walking with me as to how much further though i already knew the answer. After close to 4.5 hrs we reached sandera. It was a small bugyal in the midst of the forest but it had a running stream which was the most important factor. The clock read close to 1330 hrs and i just sat down to recover from my ordeal .. eventually after a bit of hot Maggi and sweetened tea i felt better and soon the tents were up.

9. There was no major activity lined up for the day and while the team chatted amongst themselves i decided to indulge in some photographic activity in the surrounding hills and stream and thats how the afternoon and evening was spent. In the gathering dusk while the dinner was being prepared had a deeply engrossed discussion with my guide who was caught in the 2013 uttarakhand calamity while on a trek. Post an early dinner turned in for the night and soon the skies opened up as the rains started pouring but i was snug warm and dry ..what more can a man want, to be contd …….


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-21.jpg

The Trek Begins ....


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-41.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-51.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-81.jpg

The path is steep and upwards....


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-91.jpg

Raasi seen below ...


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-12-sandera-1.jpg

Camp site , Sandera Bugyal


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-13-sandera-1.jpg


Click image for larger version

Name:	mandini trek 13  sandera 1.jpg
Views:	93
Size:	1.40 MB
ID:	1576656



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-15-sandera-1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-20-sandera-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-23-sandera-1.jpg


A Panoramic stitch of 07 pics to watch the twilight play a glamorous role


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-24-sandera-1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-26-sandera-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-37-sandera-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-28-sandera-1.jpg

Evening discussions as the tea boils ...


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-29-sandera-1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-30-sandera-1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-32-sandera-1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-33-sandera-1.jpg



Click image for larger version

Name:	mandini trek 37 sandera 1.jpg
Views:	84
Size:	333.3 KB
ID:	1576667


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-41-sandera-1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-43-sandera-alt-1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-44-sandera-alt-1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-45-sandera-1.jpg

Mountain Villages

The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-48-sandera-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-50-sandera-1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-54-sandera-1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-56-raasi1.jpg

The importance of Education ...


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-58-raasi1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-63-raasi1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-65-raasi1.jpg
Attached Thumbnails
The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-57-raasi1.jpg  


Last edited by swsumit : 25th November 2016 at 07:47.
swsumit is offline   (11) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th February 2017, 17:06   #4
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: mumbai
Posts: 269
Thanked: 1,375 Times
Default re: The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons

DAY III : Towards the higher reaches of Paturi ....

The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-80-paturi-1.jpg

The next day morning i woke up to heavy rain laden clouds that hung low on the Himalayan mountain peaks. soon it started raining and i just lay inside the tent for there was no possibility to venture outside , the head porter Mr Prem Singhji i had the tea can boiling away soon under the make shift kitchen shelter and soon there was a hot cup of sweet tea in my hand, around 1030 hrs the weather cleared a bit and it was decided to have a quick breakfast and make a move . Two chapattis with pickle and tea later Umeid and me were ready to move while the rest of the team would pack up and follow us later. We immediately went into the forests that surrounded us as the path lay through them , the mist had descended in full force and it presented a very eerie feeling with fallen gigantic tree trunks covered with moss with mist and rain all around ,walking slowly but steadily we made our way forward .

The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-78-paturi-1.jpg

The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-81-paturi-1.jpg

The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-82-paturi-1.jpg

11. After around 30 min the rains returned but there was no turning back as we kept moving ahead , the path lay through the forests , traversing ridges going over rocks and just about everything else , i had my photographic gear with me and the entire set up including me was covered in a poncho while the walking stick helped me to gain a sure footing over loose slippery mud and leaves .walking in the rain on the forested slopes we just kept going , step by step feet by feet towards the destination for the day . By around 1230 hrs we reached a massive rock overhang that offered some protection from the rain and we decided to wait for the rest of the team to catch up . I was shivering by this time as the sweat was now getting exposed to the falling temp outside , but there was nothing much that could be done . In around 45 min the remaining team trooped in one by one each n everyone wet and shivering. It was decided to wait here for a while to let the rains abate and we all made small talk as best as we could considering the circumstances. The cave like structure was known as Kanera cave and is around 4 kms from sandera . On occasions trekkers have camped here when unable to proceed ahead but there is no provision to erect a tent , just light the fire for warmth , prepare some food and curl up inside sleeping bags to wait out the night but we were proceeding ahead , at around three it was decided to move as the rains were not abating and camp site was still two hours away and no one had eaten anything . Eventually we reached campsite Paturi located on a narrow ridge with the ground falling away rapidly on both sides.


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-85-paturi-1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-96-paturi-1.jpg


Click image for larger version

Name:	mandini trek 96  paturi 1.jpg
Views:	58
Size:	1.01 MB
ID:	1607224

12. The young porters rigged up the tent quickly the moment there was a gap in the rainfall and i gratefully stepped in . The day has been long tiring and wet . I quickly organized my stuff ... cleaned my walking trousers of all the mud but could not do anything about its wetness .. changed into a fresh set of dry clothes and thereafter cleaned the entire photographic gear as there was heavy moisture all around . Meanwhile hot Maggi was prepared and by now the rains had dropped hence the kitchen shelter was set up and a camp fire was burning away to provide heat n warmth to wet souls all around .. (to be contd )

The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-114-paturi-1.jpg

The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-125-paturi-1-copy.jpg


13. After thought: In order to give an insight in the terrain that we encountered from sandera to paturi , it was primarily comprised of walking across mountain slopes traversing narrow ridges that connected the mountains together and provuded a narrow trail to walk . The entire route involved lot of climbing up and down along the trail for there was no well-defined trail to begin with. The major landmarks on this leg were Devkhark ( where shepherds stay put in their wanderings , Kanera dhar , Kanera cave and finally paturi ) .


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-126-paturi-1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-134-paturi-1.jpg

14. Interesting note on shepherds: There are shepherds that one encounters on these lonely lands who for the entire season starting from April till Oct wander out here in search of pastures for the sheep. He is generally accompanied by 3-4 huge sheep dogs. The villagers in this region give their sheep to him to rear and graze and thus he collects sheep from the villagers and takes them far from the villages into these lands to graze. He spends the entire monsoon and later part of the summer alone with his flock in these forested lands and meadows and as the winter approaches he is forced downwards further and further towards the villages until finally he reaches the village itself where then the sheep is sheared and his duty for that year done. He charges around 500 for each sheep for the season in addition to his ration from the owner and in case there are births which happen in the interim he is given an award of 200 – 300 . At any given point of time his flock numbers around 500 -800, thus he earns around 1 to 1.5 lakh in one particular season. But i just wondered on the tough life he leads, alone except for the dogs brazing out the onslaught of rains, fog, wetness, trying to manage the sheep in the mist on guard from the predators definitely needs mental will to do this for months at a stretch.

The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-93-paturi-1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-113-paturi-1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-105-paturi-1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-109-paturi-1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-111-paturi-1.jpg

Last edited by benbsb29 : 11th February 2017 at 18:04.
swsumit is offline   (9) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th February 2017, 20:12   #5
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: mumbai
Posts: 269
Thanked: 1,375 Times
Default re: The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons


DAY IV : The struggle to reach Thauli (4000 mts )


14. The next day i got up early and immediately clicked some fine pics; from paturi one can see Chandrashila as well as Tungnath ji very clearly and it was a magical feeling to look at them far in the distance. The previous night we all had a great talk next to the fire and passed away the night till it was time for dinner. This morning the weather was again misty and drizzly. The destination for the day was Thauli and i was told by umeid as well as my head porter that it was a very uphill climb all the way into the mountain peaks itself and that it would test me to the core. So armed with this cautionary advice as usual Umeid and i set out ahead while the rest of the camp would come later.

The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-137-thauli1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-138-thauli1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-139-thauli1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-144-thauli1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-150-thauli1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-145-thauli1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-182-thauli-alt-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-193-thauli-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-194-paturi1.jpg


15. Immediately the climb started and step by step we climbed ..huffing and puffing and chugging like a steam loco all the time . We took a number of breathers in between in order to stabilise the heart beat a bit but the views; Oh !!! the views they were simply marvellous for as we climbed higher the horizon kept increasing and now i could see the mist covered mountain ranges one after other and far in the distance shimmering rivers in valley below while the mist moved all the while obstructing something while revealing some other aspect. It was truly magical and i find it so tough to describe. We continued climbing and once we reached the peak Umeid showed me the ridge on which we had to walk and then climb another even higher peak slope. So this was how to was going to be as we caressed mountains by climbing almost to the summit and then using the ridge to shift to the next range and then climb even higher, i was tired and sore by this time for was climbing and doing this for the last 4 hours and to add to this the cold rain was not making things any easier. Finally, umeid showed me al mountain higher than all the surrounding ones and said that thus is the last climb. I gritted my teeth and started the climb on soaked shoes and socks all cold to the bone. Finally reaching the top he guided me towards aa ridge and explained that we had reached Thauli situated at an altitude of 4100 mts.

The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-197-paturi1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-201-thauli1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-205-thauli-alt-alt1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-221-thauli-1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-224-thauli-1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-243-thauli-1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-242-thauli-1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-234-thauli-1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-237-thauli-mandini-3-alt-1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-225-thauli-1.jpg



16. The team had overtaken me by this time and the tent was up as i gratefully unloaded my photographic gear and sat down on dry mats for a change. Soon hot Maggi was served and nothing could have tasted more heavenly at that point. It started raining soon enough which drove everyone inside their tents and into the sleeping bags. The rains subsided in the evening and i came out to click a few pics of both sides of the ridge. But what interested me the most was the right side where the great Himalayan peaks were located right from Chaukhmaba , Mandini , Neelkanth , Sujaal to name a few that I could recognise and in the far distance for a few fleeting seconds I could even have a glimpse of Budha Madhmadheswar which was soon covered by the mist. I spent the daylight hours indulging in some macro photography and as the darkness came so did the rains which drove me back to my tent . Got myself comfortable waiting for dinner while the kitchen tent was all warm and buzzing with the entire team crowded out there. Dinner was served on time and consisted of hot chapatis , dal , vegetable , papad , pickle and rice. After the dinner it felt great to have a cup of tea and then retire for the night.


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-152-thauli1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-166-thauli1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-174-thauli1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-178-thauli1.jpg


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-181-thauli1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-180-thauli1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-173-thauli1.jpg
Attached Thumbnails
The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-184-thauli-1.jpg  


Last edited by benbsb29 : 14th February 2017 at 06:04.
swsumit is offline   (18) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th February 2017, 06:12   #6
Team-BHP Support
 
benbsb29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 7,971
Thanked: 3,388 Times
Default re: The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons

Thread moved to the Travelogues section.
Amazing pics!

Thanks for sharing!
benbsb29 is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th February 2017, 13:06   #7
BHPian
 
rav11stars's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: RJY->PUN->DXB
Posts: 285
Thanked: 542 Times
Default Re: The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons

Brilliant narration, amazing pics and superb macros! I can only imagine the efforts you've put in.
An experience for a lifetime. Wish such such beautiful locations be preserved for the future generations.
rav11stars is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th February 2017, 17:36   #8
Senior - BHPian
 
jacs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Kochi
Posts: 1,444
Thanked: 706 Times
Default Re: The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons

Those landscape photographs are brilliant. Enjoyed reading through.

Looking at the date of first few posts, I was thinking how this went out of sight. Please keep it flowing
jacs is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 15th February 2017, 00:32   #9
BHPian
 
saishivaj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 46
Thanked: 174 Times
Default Re: The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons

Absolutely brilliant pictures! It was a visual treat and beautifully written as well. Thank you for thread.

Awaiting more such ones
saishivaj is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 15th February 2017, 10:00   #10
BHPian
 
srinitdas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Daman
Posts: 42
Thanked: 72 Times
Default Re: The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons

Quote:
Originally Posted by swsumit View Post
Day 1 : How does one begin especially as i write after the day has passed , but still will try to organise my thoughts and begin in a coherent manner. ...
Believe me... This is one of the best travelogues I have come across. Brilliance is what I would describe it as. Superb narration and out of the world photographs. Not to mention, the amount of effort and time you put to bring this masterpiece to the many BHPians - Hats off to that.

Could you share with us the details of your camera gear?
srinitdas is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 15th February 2017, 10:21   #11
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Nashik
Posts: 15
Thanked: 41 Times
Default Re: The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons

Beautiful, brilliant, tranquil, mesmerizing - location and photography both. Thanks a lot for sharing. Made my day. Sometimes I want to own a room in Joshimath, the region around Joshimath is a paradise.
swapnil.awate is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 15th February 2017, 12:12   #12
BHPian
 
EPMV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 66
Thanked: 268 Times
Default Re: The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons

Just one word... Enthralling !

I started the reading the first few lines when the first photo started peeping through bottom of the window which grabbed my eyes off the alphabets. That's it, I started reading the photos pixel by pixel till the end of the travelogue. What an amazing photography, unbelievable locations, thanks for the visual treat.
EPMV is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 15th February 2017, 14:21   #13
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: mumbai
Posts: 269
Thanked: 1,375 Times
Default Re: The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons

Quote:
Originally Posted by rav11stars View Post
Brilliant narration, amazing pics and superb macros! I can only imagine the efforts you've put in.
An experience for a lifetime. Wish such such beautiful locations be preserved for the future generations.
thanks a lot , appreciate the warm words

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacs View Post
Those landscape photographs are brilliant. Enjoyed reading through.

Looking at the date of first few posts, I was thinking how this went out of sight. Please keep it flowing
the TL could not be made LIVE earlier view admin had requirements which were met after prolonged deliberations and i gave in ... my view is that a TREK based TL is different when compared to a road trip based TL but then tough to get the perception accepted , but then i wanted to let the members see and read what i had seen and experienced , hence agreed to the requirements

Quote:
Originally Posted by saishivaj View Post
Absolutely brilliant pictures! It was a visual treat and beautifully written as well. Thank you for thread.


Awaiting more such ones
thank you for the warm encouragement


Quote:
Originally Posted by srinitdas View Post
Believe me... This is one of the best travelogues I have come across. Brilliance is what I would describe it as. Superb narration and out of the world photographs. Not to mention, the amount of effort and time you put to bring this masterpiece to the many BHPians - Hats off to that.

Could you share with us the details of your camera gear?
glad for the warm words ,

the gear centered around two camera bodies , one full frame out of the two, the lenses were 11-24 , 70-200 , 100 mm macro and a fish eye along with filters n tripod .

Quote:
Originally Posted by swapnil.awate View Post
Beautiful, brilliant, tranquil, mesmerizing - location and photography both. Thanks a lot for sharing. Made my day. Sometimes I want to own a room in Joshimath, the region around Joshimath is a paradise.
truly said

Quote:
Originally Posted by EPMV View Post
Just one word... Enthralling !

I started the reading the first few lines when the first photo started peeping through bottom of the window which grabbed my eyes off the alphabets. That's it, I started reading the photos pixel by pixel till the end of the travelogue. What an amazing photography, unbelievable locations, thanks for the visual treat.
heartiest thanks for the warm words and encouragement
swsumit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th February 2017, 14:38   #14
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: mumbai
Posts: 269
Thanked: 1,375 Times
Default Re: The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons

DAY V : The uncompromising climb to Dagla

17. The next morning i got up to a quiet morning with no wind or rain, the mist played her games in the distance on both sides of the ridge as i sat in my sleeping bag watching the same. Premsingh ji soon served me two cups of hot sweet tea to get the circulation going and to get me the inclination to leave the warmth of the sleeping bag and the tent. The next hour or so i kept myself engaged clicking pics as the mist revealed one peak after the other and i tried to get them visual in the lens. Chaukhmaba , Mandini even Neelkanth and Sujaal ..what an hour it was as we were all caught up in the excitement , Finally it was time to move for the day and i quickly went about the preparations to begin the day’s trek . Today we were supposed to climb even higher towards DWARA KHAAL ( PASS) located at 4400 mts above sea level and thereafter descend the other side into Mandini region. The trek was again a series of one step after other carefully placed amidst fog and rain through trails built for either the Bharal ( The mountain goat) but now mankind was also using it . Most of the time I was walking on the edge of the land with maybe a feet of earth available on any one side before the land just fell away into the depths. I would definitely like to say that in monsoon doing this trek there can be no lapse of concentration for even a minute of it would either result in a broken ankle because of a misjudged step or worse a drop over the side. The guide cannot do much because he is some metres ahead in the rain n mist looking at the path ahead and it is just not feasible to connect each other with ropes for there is no straight path even for 10 mts .

18. Finally we reached the goddess of the pass and paid obeisance to the shrine there, rested for a few minutes and then once again moved ahead towards the pass. The pass was finally reached after 1.5 hrs of trek from campsite. we waited for the rest of the team to catch up and then a small prayer was done to the guardian deity and we moved ahead thus leaving one region and entering into the Mandini region. The route was now downhill for around 2 kms crossing a boulder region which definitely fatigued me even more, for today i was tired do not know why but the strain was telling in each step that i took. Onwards we went in the rain and mist each huddled in his own thoughts, my guide Umeid understood that i was having trouble walking and he stayed very close to me. After we left the boulder region behind we now were walking on slopes of small mountains that were interconnected. After around 4 kms I finally reached campsite at around 2 in the afternoon, the team had already reached and set up the tent and i gratefully stepped inside.



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-260-dagla1.jpg




The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-261-dagla1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-263-dagla1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-262-dagla1.jpg




The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-296-dagla1.jpg




The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-308-dagla1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-310-dagla1.jpg




The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-303-dagla1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-300-dagla1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-257-dwarakhaal1.jpg



19. Dagla that the name of the place where we had camped, a meadow on the mountain slope all covered with grass and flowering plants for they were all in full growth in peak monsoon Dagla sits on a small ridge and towards the left of it are the valleys that lead to kalimath and Guptkashi quite a distance away while to the right are the big Himalayan peaks of Mandini and Hembook . In the evening the rains abated and after some hot Maggi and a cup of black lemon tea i definitely felt much better. I was invited to the kitchen shelter and with Umeid and Premsingh ji where i warmed myself in the heat of the wooden sticks that were burning merrily. Soon soup followed as the discussion flowed on many topics, slowly i too was recovering especially my right knee that had a history of its own.


20. After a while I wandered to do some photography with Umeid in company as we walked among the foliage clicking and talking till it started to get dark . After an early dinner I turned in for the night curled inside my sleeping bag as the rains built up outside .



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-259-mandini-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-264-dagla1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-267-dagla1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-271-dagla1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-272-dagla1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-275-dagla1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-276-dagla1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-287-dagla1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-291-dagla1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-304-dagla1.jpg
swsumit is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 15th February 2017, 15:00   #15
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: mumbai
Posts: 269
Thanked: 1,375 Times
Default Re: The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons

DAY VI & VII : Reaching the Valley which started it all .... Mandini

Morning arrived and found me awake raring to go, Uemid made some hot upma and chana for me to eat to gain strength also to have a change from what i had been eating since the past few days . They forced me to eat well for it was important that i has the strength to walk. Soon we started ahead while as usual Premsingh ji would wind up the camp and follow with the rest of the team. The path was gentle unlike the previous day and we made good progress walking in knee length foliage which made seeing where the step was being placed a major concern for many a time we had to walk on stones stepping over them for many metres as the path led ahead, hence once again the key word in monsoon when the foliage is in full growth and everything is wet and slippery, watch where the step is placed. After around 2 kms we reached DANGJA, a local landmark which was a small bugyal next to a flowing stream. The shepherds normally stay here as was explained to me. It was a very pretty place with flowers and grass all around. After a short break we again moved ahead, there was no rain this morning so we were quite comfortable and after crossing three more ridges Umeid finally pointed to me Mandini valley up ahead. I think the entire area may be called as Mandini valley and not just the place where he was leading me to but then again i am not sure, but yes the place was right at the end of the green valley for up ahead the giant mountains of MANDINI I II III rose harsh and straight with mighty glaciers between their folds. But for now i had to descend from where i was, to go down into the valley floor and it was again a tricky proposition in the monsoons. Eventually did reach down but had to cross a glacial river as the bridge had been washed away. Umeid and Premsingh ji went along the banks searching for a safe area to cross. After some time, they came back with a possible site and we all walked towards it which lay in the direction of the peaks from where the river was coming. The plan was to find a place where various streams joined to make the big river. The site they had chosen definitely was possible with water coming till thigh level. Soon the two young porters made their way cautiously with the stores and then premsingh ji and the remaining porter followed. I opened my shoes slung them around my neck tightened all the camera gear on me taughtly and stepped into the water; the chillness took my breath away. In an instant my feet numbed from the drop in temperature as the team members urged me to keep moving as one felt the force of the gushing water, slowly by slowly step by step i made my way as did Umeid and finally we crossed the river which was around 30 mts in width.



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-314-mandini-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-316-mandini-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-322-mandini-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-323-mandini-alt1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-326-mandini-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-325-mandini-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-329-mandini-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-333-mandini-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-335-mandini-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-337-mandini-1.jpg



22. Ohh the pain in the feet it was exquisite agony as the blood flowed back again and i so badly wanted to sit down right then and massage them but i just stamped them around, wore my shoes and looked around. I was finally in MANDINI VALLEY, as we then made our way back towards the area where the camp was to be erected. On reaching the campsite we paid obeisance to MANDINI Goddess who is one of the forms of Durga herself .


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-338-mandini-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-342-mandini-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-349-mandini-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-351-mandini-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-352-mandini-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-354-mandini-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-357-mandini-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-417-mandini-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-400-mandini-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-426-mandini-1.jpg



23. There is a temple built here and we erected our camp nearby. MANDINI VALLEY, truly someone had written that if you wish to sče nature smile and deck herself up go to Mandini and that is what i was seeing, surrounded by flowers after flowers ..rows of them growing in wild abandon . I had entire following day devoted to exporing the place and i will let the pictures do the talking (to be contd ..)


The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-317-mandini-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-319-mandini-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-372-mandini-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-368-mandini-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-385-mandini-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-389-mandini-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-398-mandini-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-407-mandini-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-368-mandini-1.jpg



The Mandini Valley, Garhwal Mountains & Monsoons-mandini-trek-395-mandini-1.jpg


24. Mandini Valley. Truly a place to see in the monsoons, tucked away from prying eyes it was nature at her softness. Shielded by towering mountains on three sides and a dreary path on the remaining side, it has been spared the onslaught that Valley of Flowers has been subjected . The remoteness ensures that only determined few come out here and hence there is no commercialization till date. I am lucky to have seen this place and truly Umeid’s sentence held true “ sir agar flowering dekhni hai to mandini chalo monsoon mein; Valley of Flower takkar bhi nahin de payega “
swsumit is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Valley Run 2015 - 10th & 11th Jan @ Aamby Valley kryptonite Indian Motorsport 13 9th January 2015 20:08
The Valley Run @ Aamby Valley Air Strip. 25th & 26th Jan, 2014 insaneroller Indian Motorsport 84 28th July 2014 01:30
The Valley Run : Drag Races @ Amby Valley on 9th / 10th March 2013 GTO Indian Motorsport 156 13th December 2013 16:54
A day in the mountains - Elan Valley (Wales) dgupta Travelogues 4 6th November 2012 18:02


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 07:17.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks