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Old 26th October 2010, 18:05   #1
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Default The Great Himalayan National Park : A trek/Photolog

We are vehicle tourers. We see a lovely destination, find out if it can be driven to. If it can, we drive there, if it can't be driven too, we forget it.
The Dusshera weekend put us in such a dilemma.
3 days... where to go?
All places which can be driven to in three have been driven to. UK we did not want to go, so where in HP.
Well easy, we will go to Tirthan again.

And then an idea crossed my mind. Why not take left from Larji and go to Sainj, instead of going right to Tirthan valley from Larji?

Well the plan was finalized. We will stay atleast one night in Sainj, or maybe 2, or we will do 1 night in Sainj and tirthan

This gave us a day in the GHNP, and this time we decided to do something we normally never do.
"Trek"

It is a strange word, and frankly speaking I have always found people who did this "weird". Please pardon me, but I am quite lazy, and my idea of ultimate fitness is to run 2kms on the treadmill in 12 minutes. Nothing more nothing less.

So here we were, on the silly NH1 heading towards Aut.

I would not bore you with the gory details of the plains travel, which involved pressing the brakes more than the horn, and the horn more than the accelerator.
I am told this is all for road widening, which will finish in 2011 November.

However, the boards do not say whether the road widening work will finish in november, or whether the road itself vanish by November 2011.

I suspect the latter, going by the speed of progress, but those are all philosophical questions.

Coming back to topic at hand, it was afternoon that we hit the mountains, and the ardous task of slow moving truck navigation started.

Finally around 6pm, we were near Sainj
Or to be more precise what was left of Sainj.

You see, govt is building a Dam. A real big dam. and when dams are built the roads get ruined, the vegetation gets ruined, and the entire area looks like post apocalyptic nightmare, more so at night.

As luck would have it, every local told us different directions to our rest house.
And I was worried that even a days stay at this place was a bad idea

But what to do. We had come there, night had fallen, and we were still searching for the rest house.

Somebody guided us up a narrow dirt trail, a pretty rocky trail, and precisely after climbing 2kms, I realized 2 things.
The right suspension/tie rod whatever was making some real loud khat khat noises. And that we were on the wrong path, going to some village somewhere else.

Well that meant U turn, which is quite a task on such roads in the safari.

After more going in circles we found an Alto(God bless Maruti), and they guided us to our FRH.
Unlike most other FRH, it was smelly and not very "scenic". Heck, it was not even in a forest.

Though night had fallen, it was only 8pm or so, and we had plenty of time to plan
First thing I did, confirmed our Tirthan booking for the next day. It was just a 1-2 hour drive from here.
Secondly we decided, we will go to neuli (further upriver some 10kms), park at the road's end, trek into the forest.

Now where will we trek into? And what will we see.
Well you see, we are not trekkers, and I do not have any ideal about this trekking business.
All I know was google, and google showed pics of meadow when I keyed in Sainj.
The Google earth satellite image suggested this was located right at the top of the mountain next to the road end.

So thats where we will go. As for route, etc., etc., that was something we will check out at Neuli

With that it was time to sleep

Sorry, no pics of the the day.
We were mostly driving and getting lost.

However, in order to not get abused, I will post some which are called "Teasers".

The Great Himalayan National Park : A trek/Photolog-1059689192_ejvvhxl.jpg

The Great Himalayan National Park : A trek/Photolog-1059642355_c34bjxl.jpg

The Great Himalayan National Park : A trek/Photolog-1059081141_uiu5axl.jpg

The Great Himalayan National Park : A trek/Photolog-1059092581_xqxpjxl.jpg

The Great Himalayan National Park : A trek/Photolog-1050995542_xheygxl.jpg

The Great Himalayan National Park : A trek/Photolog-1059146386_dkwrqxl.jpg
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Old 26th October 2010, 18:25   #2
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Loved the last two pics.
Was an IR filter used for the second last pic??? Lovely effect!!!
Now waiting for main course
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Old 26th October 2010, 18:30   #3
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WOW the last two snaps are amazing.

Trek report from Tanveer - Something new

I'm waiting. Keep it coming.
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Old 27th October 2010, 13:51   #4
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Default The morning

I was out before 7:30am, which is indeed a rare thing for me. 7:30 is still deep into the night.
But due to the din and noise, which could be heard till here, there were hardly any birds.
Talk about paradise lost

Views from the guest house
The Great Himalayan National Park : A trek/Photolog-1059624807_e4vr6xl.jpg

The Great Himalayan National Park : A trek/Photolog-1059063152_bub7yxl.jpg

And there were lots of flowers
The Great Himalayan National Park : A trek/Photolog-1059065518_qymt6xl.jpg

The Great Himalayan National Park : A trek/Photolog-1059067187_tzyjxxl.jpg

The Great Himalayan National Park : A trek/Photolog-1059069834_jnojjxl.jpg

The Great Himalayan National Park : A trek/Photolog-1059644329_ols92xl.jpg

We ordered tea from a shop, and set out before 8:30am

Plan of action was to rush to Neuli, ask the whereabouts of the meadow, and then trek up as far as we could.
We would also have our breakfast there

TO Be COnt...
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Old 27th October 2010, 14:15   #5
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Wow! Another weekend trip. Was waiting for this one to come up.

This place does look beautiful but, IMO not as beautiful as Tirthan Valley.

Maybe you should have stuck to your earlier decision of going there. Or maybe, i better wait for more pictures to come up before deciding if this is better.

Nevertheless, as you know i am also a big fan of HP and every inch of this state is beautiful.

P.S: I can safely comment that the last picture in your first post is like your signature picture ( havent seen anyone click a waterfall in slow shutter speed better than you )
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Old 27th October 2010, 14:19   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srinivas.rao View Post
Loved the last two pics.
Was an IR filter used for the second last pic??? Lovely effect!!!
Now waiting for main course
Yes, i experimented a lot, however it did not turn out as expected!
Quote:
Originally Posted by atulmuley View Post
WOW the last two snaps are amazing.

Trek report from Tanveer - Something new

I'm waiting. Keep it coming.
Thanks
Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Wow! Another weekend trip. Was waiting for this one to come up.

This place does look beautiful but, IMO not as beautiful as Tirthan Valley.

Maybe you should have stuck to your earlier decision of going there. Or maybe, i better wait for more pictures to come up before deciding if this is better.

Nevertheless, as you know i am also a big fan of HP and every inch of this state is beautiful.

P.S: I can safely comment that the last picture in your first post is like your signature picture ( havent seen anyone click a waterfall in slow shutter speed better than you )
Yup, its not as beautiful, however trek deep enough, and you do find some interesting things.
The dam has ruined the valley!
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Old 27th October 2010, 15:07   #7
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Oh Boy, are these in India?

You and your White elephant are going places. Is there still any place your white elephant has not visited in those hill? I doubt.
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Old 27th October 2010, 15:28   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
The dam has ruined the valley!
Hey Tanveer, could you please elaborate on this statement of yours. I am feeling scared, very scared, reading this.

And it seems you weren't using the CPL, is it?

Plenty of other questions in my mind, but will hold on to my horses for now.
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Old 27th October 2010, 17:53   #9
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On an ultra wide using a polarizer is not an option.
As for the Dam, well if you build a dam you bring in lots of construction trucks, lots of trees are cut, and it becomes dry and dusty.
Thankfully, Tirthan valley is unaffected as locals agitated a lot against dam. Moreover, the feasibility team realized there was no suitable spot for dam, unlike the Sainj valley which has narrow hills which can be reinforced.
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Old 30th October 2010, 12:13   #10
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Default The trek from neuli

The valley has been plundered to quite an extent, but after Ropa, things improve drastically, as dam construction are is left behind.
We did not take many pics, it was 10am already.

Except this one : Dinner running across the road.
Q. Why did the chicken cross the road
A. To get in to the frying pan
The Great Himalayan National Park : A trek/Photolog-1059629051_huwt5xl.jpg

At neuli we had a heavy breakfast, and asked around from directions. I did not have any idea about what we were looking for, but anyways I asked the locals that we want to go to a meadow on top of the mountain.

Well the answer was something that made us happy.
There was indeed a meadow, and it was just 2.5kms away by foot from neuli.
However the trek would be steep, and locals pointed to cell phone towers more than 500m up on the opposite hill. "Thats the height you would climb to"!!

So cameras were packed, and with the backpack on, we started trekking.

no pics for the first km or so as we tried to make pace.

Time for break and photography now
The Great Himalayan National Park : A trek/Photolog-1059074428_22b4dxl.jpg

This is how steep it was!
The Great Himalayan National Park : A trek/Photolog-1059689192_ejvvhxl.jpg

Fall colors
The Great Himalayan National Park : A trek/Photolog-1059081141_uiu5axl.jpg

A local shrine, which locals told us we would encounter shortly before mid way
The Great Himalayan National Park : A trek/Photolog-1059737302_macjnxl.jpg

Sun through the trees
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It was 11am, and I figured we had covered around 700m or so in the past 30 minutes or so. Not so bad considering we are not the trek kind!

Though there were hardly any birds at this time, there was some local wildlife. Those who have lizard phobia, please cover your eyes!
The Great Himalayan National Park : A trek/Photolog-1059649457_lnhpcxl.jpg

The Great Himalayan National Park : A trek/Photolog-1059696307_ujokwxl.jpg

In this short distance, we had left the valley far down below
The Great Himalayan National Park : A trek/Photolog-1059655018_6xg7zxl.jpg

Can you spot the sainj river?
The Great Himalayan National Park : A trek/Photolog-1059099797_tuxsyxl.jpg

As we progressed, the trek become tougher and steeper
The Great Himalayan National Park : A trek/Photolog-1059760166_b826axl.jpg

A local transport system. This is a fixed pulley system. There are villages on top of the mountain, and stuff comes either via small "cable cars" or via mules
The Great Himalayan National Park : A trek/Photolog-1059106952_9gjmrxl.jpg

due to steepness, my neck was aching already. Time to put the cam inside the bag, and trek to the top.

No pics for now, I will do that during the return journey. For now, it was climb climb and climb.

We passed a small village, where they told us that we are almost there.
And after what seemed like an eternity, we reached a second big village!

And right next to the village was the open meadow.

To be frank I do not even remember what all we so. Such was the trek. I think it was around 2.5kms, and we had climbed 500m in altitude, maybe even slightly more!

These 2.5kms felt like 25!

As a comparison we did the 5km serlosar lake trek in 1.5 hours.
This 2.5km trek had taken us 1 hour and 40 minutes uphill!

Time 11.55 am
Place : Somewhere on the top of a hill
The Great Himalayan National Park : A trek/Photolog-1059108937_72wbhxl.jpg

Time to rest and catch our breath!
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Old 31st October 2010, 11:15   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Time to rest and catch our breath!

So do we.

Wonderful travelogue as ever.

The master and his white elephant at it again.

This is Incredible India, Thanks for letting us know all these places Tanveer. Deep inside me , i feel, "will i ever be able to see all this places" But no problem the Awesome Twosome have given us enough insight into these places for us to be happy for the timebeing.
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Old 31st October 2010, 12:09   #12
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Thumbs up

Well its always wonderful to know where the white elephant is going because the result is always quite splendid and absorbing. This one is the same.
I know what treks are like, being born and lived in Dehradun, but it surely is fulfilling to see what lies at the end.

Beautiful photographs and a brilliant travelogue as ever. Glued for the updates and many more pics.
A question : Where did you park the white elephant, did you find a safe place at the foot, parking etc or was it left at a decent, safe-expected road side?

OT: is it that all great travellers at TBHP are great photographers too!
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Old 2nd November 2010, 16:14   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Q. Why did the chicken cross the road
A. To get in to the frying pan
, and I am having hunger pangs!

Hey, any guesses about whether it would start snowing at Jalori jot by December first week?
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Old 2nd November 2010, 16:35   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAVAN KADAM View Post
So do we.

Wonderful travelogue as ever.

The master and his white elephant at it again.

This is Incredible India, Thanks for letting us know all these places Tanveer. Deep inside me , i feel, "will i ever be able to see all this places" But no problem the Awesome Twosome have given us enough insight into these places for us to be happy for the timebeing.
Thanks Pavan
Quote:
Originally Posted by justwheels View Post
Well its always wonderful to know where the white elephant is going because the result is always quite splendid and absorbing. This one is the same.
I know what treks are like, being born and lived in Dehradun, but it surely is fulfilling to see what lies at the end.

Beautiful photographs and a brilliant travelogue as ever. Glued for the updates and many more pics.
A question : Where did you park the white elephant, did you find a safe place at the foot, parking etc or was it left at a decent, safe-expected road side?

OT: is it that all great travellers at TBHP are great photographers too!
We left the white elephant parked in Neuli. Most villages in HP are pretty safe places, and incidences of theft etc., from vehicles parked in villages(not at remote locations) is rare
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordofgondor View Post
, and I am having hunger pangs!

Hey, any guesses about whether it would start snowing at Jalori jot by December first week?
I cannot see the future
Its all luck. If a major western disturbance happens before dec first week, you will see snow. Its all your luck.
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Old 2nd November 2010, 16:48   #15
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Nice T-log. Beautiful Photos too. BTW what route you took, NH22 ?
Is this Manu temple in Sainj ?
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