Monday, 30 October 2017 13:12
In the Abode of Devi
Annapurna base camp trek is famous for trekkers. The principal peaks of the western portion of the great Annapurna Himal, including Hiunchuli, Annapurna South, Fang, Annapurna, Ganagapurna, Annapurna 3 and Machhapuchhare, are arranged almost precisely in a circle about 10 miles in diameter with a deep glacier-covered amphitheater at the center. From this glacier basin, known as the Annapurna Sanctuary, the Modi Khola knifes its way south in a narrow gorge fully 12,000 ft. deep. Further south, the gorge opens up into a wide and fertile valley, the domain of the Gurungs. The middle and upper portions of Modi Khola offer some of the best short trekking routes in Nepal, and the valley is located so that these treks can be easily combined with treks into the Kali Gandaki region to the west.
In spite of the great heights of the surrounding peaks and ice walls, the valley floor between 12,000 and 14,000 ft. can provide comfortable camping spots in good weather.
Friday, 25 November 2016 19:00
Thousand lakes trek & sightseeing
Dagala is the name in general for the mountains lying between Thimphu and Dagana. These complex and mosaic of mountains are indeed paradox that there is a saying in Bhutanese, ‘even by the time the Djop (nomad) dies of old age, he won’t have understood Dagala’. Dagala is also known for having so many lakes, hence the name Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek. It is a moderate trek with mostly short trekking days, but includes a few steep climbs. The route follows ancient path between Thimphu and Dagana. In ancient days, the Daga Penlop would be seen frequently travelling this route with a caravan of retinue as he paid his monthly or quarterly visits to his superior in Punakha or Thimphu. At every halt, legends surrounding lakes, mountains, stones and cliffs abound that you may wonder whether you have become Alice in Wonderland, adorned with a multitude of pristine, crystal clear lakes. As you walk amidst the shimmering lakes you’ll be treated with stunning views of the entire Himalayan mountain range and some of the world’s highest peaks including Mt. Everest, Jomolhari, Masang Gang, Jichu Drake, Gangche Ta and many more. During the trek an entire day will be dedicated to visiting some of the more picturesque lakes, fishing and resting. The trail also takes you through several Bhutanese villages so you can get a good idea of traditional Bhutanese village life as you make your way back from the lakes.While this is a somewhat strenuous trek, it is well worth the effort because of the tranquility and beauty of natural landscape that you will enjoy during you visit.
Friday, 25 November 2016 14:31
Everest Base Camp
For the glimpse of the Magnificient..!
To know the Magnificience of a mountain you should maintain distance - is a saying related to mountains.It is a dream of every adventure enthusiast and a mountain lover to have a Glimspe of worlds highest peak Eve- Rest - 8898 M .Everest base camp trek traditionally is a route normally following the Hillary footstep which starts with a few hours’ drive to Jiri, but time and development of infrastructures has benefited this trekking region and thus has provided opportunities for people with limited time to trek this EBC trekking trail with a flying to Lukla.
The trekking route in the sherpa region of Everest base camp trekking is a feast to eyes and a endless view of mountain surroundings with curiosity over dramatic landscape. The trail, whether you take a shorter version with a flight into Lukla or the classical trek from Jiri, it all follows the same course of Dudh Kosi river as you gain altitude trekking through forests of rhododendron ( Buransh ) and magnolia into almost arctic conditions when you walk the Khumbu Glaciers into Everest base camp. This trek is even more challenging doing almost a circuit with a trek into Gokyo, crossing the Chola Pass or doing 3 passes or Gorakshep to Kalapathar and EBC or vice versa.
To be frank , to see the highest point on earth “Everest” from close quarters. The mystery of this trek is that one cannot get to see the Everest at close range as you get to see it from Kalapathar. However, the trek to base camp itself is sensational, an over whelming feeling that captures your heart mind and soul.A mountain journey with each step ; each breath worthwhile and experience to cherish for a lifetime..!
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 13:56
Kang Yatze situated at elevation 21,000 ft is a mountain located at the end of the Markha valley in the Himalayas in the Ladakh region of Himalayas. The mountain has two main summits, the lower western peak (Kang Yatze II) is easier (Alpine PD) and more frequently climbed, although lower at about 6200m. The higher eastern peak is the true summit (Kang Yatze I) although less frequently climbed as it is across a technically difficult knife-edge traverse. An alternative is to climb the North East ridge then directly up the steep snow face (Alpine AD+/D-).
Kang Yatze (6401m) is the highest peak in central Ladakh and centre of a range of interesting and accessible 5000m and 6000m summits. Ladakh is one of the premier trekking destinations in the Himalaya, a land of stark and stunning beauty. Its jagged peaks and richly coloured rocks are punctuated by valley oases filled with green willows and hilltop monasteries. The climate is generally dry and the mountains lie in the rain shadow of the greater Himalayan range, so are rarely affected by the monsoon.
On the mountain we offer two routes: Kang Yatze I (6401m) is a challenging alpine climb of AD (Scottish grade II/III) standard with slopes to 55deg and some pitched climbing, suitable for mountaineers with previous technical experience in the Alps. Kang Yatze II (6245m) is an easier trekking peak, physically demanding but suitable for trekkers and novice mountaineers. The trip is pitched to suit a wide range of experiences and interests, and is an ideal first Himalayan Climbing venture.
Thursday, 09 January 2014 14:00
Gar Firdaus rōy-e zamin ast, hamin ast-o hamin ast-o hamin ast
If there is ever paradise on earth, it's here, it's here, it's here! This famous Parsi Couplet of Aamir Khusrau quoted by Mughal Emperor Jahangir hundreds of years back, at the exotic beauty of Kashmir. Francois Bernier, the french physician during his visit to Kashmir fascinated by it called it paradise on earth, but indeed Kashmir outstands all the stunning places on earth even today. Srinagar, set around the infamous and magnificent Dal Lake, has house boats, Shikaras,surrounded by snow clad mountains, still stands Synonymous and truly , albeit the time and age. Kashmir Valley is the beautiful crown adorned on top of India of the tourist attractions in Kashmir. Hence, Kashmir makes the idlest place for trekking.
Trekking in Kashmir gives the trekkers a feeling of sheer joy and pure calmness. Kashmir has many astounding lakes which gives an additional beauty to the valley. Few of the lakes frequented by the trekkers are Dal, Nagin, Anchar, Ganbar, Wular, Manasbal Lake and the twin Lakes Vishansar and Krishnasar.Kashmir Great lakes is considered by far the best trekking one can experience. The trek is a walk in garden with Kaleisdioscope of colors.The season to enjoy the trek is from June to August since the places will be filled with lush greens and covered with beautiful flowers.
Thursday, 21 November 2013 14:08
A spiritual Journey within..!
Mt. Kailash the striking peak standing in the remote south-west corner of Tibet in the Himalayan Mountains. Rising to an elevation of 6638 m (21778 ft) it is one of the highest parts of the Himalayas and serves as a source of some of the longest rivers in Asia. Known as Gang Tise or Gang Rinproche in Tibetan it is a precious and prominent symmetrical peak. Made up of black rock Mt Kailash is a wonderful diamond like shaped mountain that is surrounded by beautiful landscape which is rugged and dry.
Mount Kailash is known as one of the most sacred mountains and has become an important pilgrim for four faiths : Buddhists, Jains, Hindus and Tibetan religion of Bon. Every year thousands of people from all over the world make pilgrimage to this place. Followers from various beliefs have been visiting Kailash from thousands of years and have been circumbulating this holy mountain on foot. It is believed that visiting Kailash and following this tradition would bring in good fortune and wash away sins of ones lifetime. However the journey of 52kms/32miles on foot in a single day is not easy and one needs to be strong both physically and mentally to complete it. Generally people take 3 days to finish this walk. The Hindus and Buddhists pilgrims walk around in a clockwise direction but the Jain and Bön followers walk around counterclockwise.
According to Hindu legends, Shiva, the god of devastation and rebirth, resides at the pinnacle of this famous mountain named Kailasa. Mount Kailasa is considered in many sects of Hinduism as heaven, the ultimate destination of souls and the holy center of the world. The narrative in the Puranas, Mount Kailash's four faces are made of crystal, ruby, gold, and lapis lazuli. Refereed as the pillar of the world that rises 84,000 leagues high. From it flow four rivers, which stretch to the four quarters of the world and divide the world into four regions.
Tibetan Buddhists trust that Kailash is the home of the Buddha Demchok who symbolizes supreme harmony. They also state it was on this sacred mountain that Buddhism relocates Bön as the primary religion of Tibet. According to myth, Milarepa, winner of Tantric Buddhism, arrived in Tibet to challenge Naro-Bonchung, who was the spokesperson of Bön. The two magicians engaged in a great sorcerous battle, but neither was able to gain a crucial advantage. Buddhism in Tibet known as the religion “Bon” believes Mount Kailash as the abode of the sky goddess Sipaimen.
In Jainism, Kailash is known as Mount Ashtapada and is the place where the creator of their faith, Rishabhadeva, attained freedom from rebirth.
Places of Interest during visit to Holy Kailash
Tirthapuri, positioned northwest of Mount Kailash in Western Tibet are intimately associated with Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche). It is one of the interesting places near Kailash, pilgrims particularly come here after completing their kailash pilgrimage. They bathe in the pools fed by the holy springs and also pay a visit to the cave and monastery which is connected with Guru Pinpoche and has his footprints. The barren landscape around the Tirthapuri hot spring is filled with steam and colorful prayer flags stretched across the river gorge makes this spot a scenic & magical view for all.
Gauri Kund, a water body that is also known as the Lake of Compassion, lies on the way while going on downwards from Drolma - La (Drolma la Pass). This steep descent from Dolma Pass is a wonderful lake which is at an altitude of 5608m. As per Hindu mythology, there is a fascinating tale about Gauri Kund and has been described in legend “Shiva Purana”. The lake is also famous as “Parvati Sarovar” as this was the place where goddess Parvati had acquired her son Ganesha (Elephant headed God). Goddess Parvati had formed an image of Ganesh from the soap lather on her body and breathed life into it. She placed Ganesha at the entrance of her home as her janitor to prevent anyone from entering while she was bathing. Now Lord Shiva happened to return at this point of time and was stopped by Ganesha. Offended by this disrespectful act from Ganesha, Lord Shiva cut off the boy's head. Pravati was grief-stricken by seeing it and insisted that the boy needs to be brought back to life. Lord Shiva took the head of a wandering elephant and placed it on the body and life was restored and Parvati had her son back.
Yam Dwar is situated in Tarboche which is approximately 30 minutes drive from Darchen. The exact meaning of the Yam Dwar in Hindi lingo is “the gateway of the God of Death”. It is the initial point of circumambulation of Mount Kailash. Known as Chorten Kang Ngyi which means two legged Stupa in Tibet.
Located at a height of 17000 ft, Asthapad is the bottom of Mt. Kailash and one of the main holy places for the Hindus and Buddhists. It is also considered a major Jain Tirths as the first of the 24 Jain Tirthankara “Shri Adinath Bhagwan” had attained salvation (Nirvana) at this place. The literal meaning of Asthapad is “Eight Steps” as Astha means Eight and Pad means Steps in Sanskrit and that’s how the place derived its name.
Just around 2 hours walk from Deraphuk Gomba situated on the way to Dolma – La is Siwastal. Many pilgrims visit this place as it is known a duplication of the magical funeral ground at Bodh Gaya. Pilgrims here experience ritual death and enter into the dreadful presence of Yama, before being reborn on top of the Drolma La. One can easily notice the ground which is laid out with unbelievable collection of clothing, shoes, and bags along with terrible things like bones, hair and even blood. These things are mainly the offerings which are made by the people who pass from here. Above the burial ground is a red foot print of Milareppa (Tibetan yogi & poet) on the surface of a rock.
Tarboche flagpole, is one of the most important aspect of Tibetan spirituality. On “Saga Dawa” which is an impressive and capturing annual festival of Mt. Kailash this giant flagpole which has numerous prayer flags on it is brought down and replaced. This annual festival or one can also mention it as a carnival attracts Tibetans from all over along with other tourists and pilgrims. This ritual is performed every year on the full moon day of the fourth lunar month of the Tibetan calendar, to celebrate Sakyamuni's enlightenment”. During the flagpole ceremony as the poles tip is raised and pointed east towards Gyangdrak Monastery, monks of that monastery carry out a special ritual. A cacophony of music from long trumpets, conch shells and other instruments welcomes the rising flagpole. It is like a magical event that captures one’s senses. People gathered there attach there prayer flags and help in making the pole rise again. The flagpole should be standing in a perfect upright position or it is believed that things will not be good for Tibet.
Holy Mansarovar Lake
Lake Mansarovar situated about 2000 kms from Lhasa is world’s highest freshwater lake. Known as Lake Manas Sarovar in Sanskrit and Mapham Yutso in Tibetan this huge lake with the mirror like image of snow capped mountains in its crystal clear waters is just fabulous. The lake is located at the southern foot of Mount Kailash, stretching up to 55miles (88kms) in perimeter it goes 330 feet deep and about 120 sq mi of total area. Lake Mansarovar has exceptional beauty that varies from crystal clear blue water near the shores and a deep emerald green colour at the center. There are a few monasteries on the shore of the lake and most striking of all is the ancient Chiu Gompa Monastery, which has been built right onto a steep hill.
This holy lake is one of the important pilgrimages for Hindus and Buddhists. It attracts thousands of tourists and religious people towards itself every year from various parts of the world, but mainly from India, Tibet and its neighboring countries. The best to visit the lake is during springs as it is during this time the lake melts and allows people to bathe in its holy water. As believed by bathing and drinking this water one becomes fortunate and clears all his sins. Many travel agencies have annual pilgrimage group tours to this place and are often known as “Mansarovar Yatra”.
As per the Hindu mythology it is believed, Lake Mansarovar was formed by Lord Brahma, who is the creator god. He found it to be an appropriate place for religious rituals. Hid 12 sons, who were also holy men performed rituals and austerities on the dry land at the site. And to give them a more appropriate place to earn value, Lord Brahma created a wonderful lake which today is known as - Lake Mansarovar. And as per Buddhist religion, they relate Mansarovar with Anotatta Lake. It is said that Lord Buddha was conceived at this very lake, as stated in the legends Lord Buddha's mother was brought on the lake by the gods and as she bathed in the sacred waters of Mansarovar her body was purified. Later she saw a white elephant running to her from Mount Kailash and Lord Buddha entered her womb
Wednesday, 06 February 2013 13:52
A Trek to the Himalayan Mystery Lake
Roopkund is situated in the Chamoli district of Gharwal at a height of 5029m and is set beneath the towering summit on the lap of Trishul massif (7120m). Here you can find over 300 mysterious human skeletons and remains of horses which are more than 500 years old.
Hence, this area is usually referred to as the ‘mystery lake’. Various theories have been proposed about the skeletons. One of them goes as a group of pilgrims en route to Hemkund to worship Nanda Devi, lost their footing and tumbled down to the icy depths of the lake. The trek of Roopkund passes through lush green grassy lands and coniferous forests clinging onto the slopes of hills. The trek thereafter winds its way along the Pindar River. The highest Point is 4620m in Roopkund trek. Come to witness the mystery unfolding before your eyes.
Tuesday, 25 December 2012 14:37
Retracing footsteps of Zanskaris
Walking on Frozen river of Zanskar is an ultimate experience for adventure lover. The traditional name of the trek is "Chadar trek" the frozen sheet, which was the only way in and out for Zanskaris in winter when all other ways are closed due to heavy snowfall at high passes. Therefore, it had been trade route for centuries for Zanskari People. Now the route is also famous as winter trekking among adventure lovers. For the last several years, we have been organizing this winter trek in three different options with trained local Zanskari porters and our well-experienced guide and staff.
The most isolated and made inaccessible for nearly eight months a year due to heavy snowfall resulting in the closure of all the access passes, Zanskar has the distinction of being the least interfered with microcosms of Ladakh, and thus one of the last few surviving cultural satellites of Tibet. This geographical isolation together with the esoteric nature of Buddhism practiced here has enabled its some ten thousand inhabitants to preserve and perpetuate their cultural identity. This Chadar trek allows you to penetrate this isolation and to examine some of the villages along the Zanskar River in the midst of winter and thus catch a glimpse of the lifecycle during this unique time of the year. A visit to the ancient monastic establishments of Karsha and Zangla promises to heighten your insight into the mysteries of this Shangri-la, a land and culture frozen in time behind the ramparts of the Zanskar mountains. Chilling and Lingshed are the only sizeable villages on this trek until Hanamur and Pidmo before Pishu and Zangla in Zanskar, all the rest are names of places and caves along the route.
Tuesday, 25 December 2012 20:07
A Far Away Jungle Retreat
Namdapha National Park is the largest protected area in the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot and is located in Arunachal Pradesh in Northeast India. It is also the largest national park in India in terms of area.
It spans an area of 1985 kms with 177 kms in buffer zone and 1808 kms in the core area. The park is located between the Dapha bum range of the Mishmi Hills and the Patkai range with a wide altitudinal range between 200 m and 4,571 m.
The park has one of the largest untouched areas of prime rainforest in the Indian subcontinent. The lush green valley is home to several endangered species of flora and fauna. Namdapha is the only park in India, and probably the world, with four large cat species – tiger, leopard, clouded leopard and snow leopard.
The thick forests are broken only by azure rivers meandering through the mist laden landscape. The park is home to two main rivers - the Noa-dihing and the Namdapha and several other smaller rivulets that feed these rivers.
Come to Namdapha. Come to a lost world.
Tuesday, 25 December 2012 14:37
In the abode of Gods
Snuggling amidst the cradle shaped Fateh Parvat, the valley of Har-ki-Dun is located at an altitude of 3566 meters and is one of the most gorgeous mountain valleys of Western Himalayas. It is situated in the district of Uttarkashi of Garhwal in Uttarakhand State. It is surrounded by densely populated endless forests and snow-clad mountain peaks. With abundant flora and fauna at a close range, the valley has caught attention of many bird watchers and nature lovers since decades.
Har-ki-Dun is popularly known as “Valley of Gods”. ‘Har’ is another name of the Hindu God, Lord Krishna and this mesmerising valley is widely known to be the Valley of Lord Krishna. It is also called as the valley where fairies meet. The valley holds of tremendous value according to the Hindu Epic of Mahabharata. The Swargarohini peak which is located at an altitude of 6096 metres is believed to be the place from where Pandavas proceeded to heaven. Har-ki-Dun is the only place in the country which has temples of the Kaurava Prince Duryodhana and his allies Karna. Local residents and communities of this region worship Duryodhana as their God.
The beautiful alpine meadows along the glacier basins and spectacular moraine ridges surrounded by medicinal herbs and shrubs of Ayurveda have enchanted trekkers and holiday makers from all around the globe. The picture perfect location is best suited for photography and bird watching. The houses of the region have carvings depicting tales from Mahabharata. Rice, Rajma, and Potatoes farm are seen every-which-where and they can be found in local delicacies as well.
The trekking trail to the valley of Har-ki-Dun was found by Jack Gibson, a teacher at Doon School in 1940’s. He often brought his students on trekking and camping expeditions in this location and has been given the credit for the inception of Indian Mountaineering. Even till date, school kids can be found in a large number especially during summer vacations. Trekkers of all age can handle the difficulty level of this trek as the trails are well defined and are not very steep. Wooden bridges are constructed at water stream crossings and the average distance to be covered does not exceed 12 to 14 kilometres per day. Camps set up by the forest department come in handy for campers and trekkers.
The valley of Har-ki-Dun is situated within the jurisdiction of Govind National Park which gives an insight into the stunning variety of wildlife present in Himalayas. You may spot Musk Deer, Indian Porcupine, Himalayan Brown Bear, Himalayan Snow Cock, Golden Eagle, Parakeets, Minivets, Himalayan Palm, Snow Leopards, Common Otter, Cuckoos, Hodgson’s Fly Squirrel, Steppe Eagle, Black Eagle, Tits, Warblers, Sikkim Vole, Finches, Goral, Civet, Buntings, Himalayan Rat, Wild Boar, Bearded Vulture, Thrushes, Koklas Pheasant, Western Tragopan, spot Hedgehog and Monal Pheasant. If you plan your trek during the month of April and May, the Rhododendron trees and wild Himalayan flowers are a delightful sight. Large number of flowers including Lilies, Primulas, Orchids, Blue Poppy, Anemonies and Potentillas are found during the stunning summers. The high altitude flower Brahma Kamal or Saussurea obvallata can be found close to Har-ki-Dun.
Har-ki-Dun is an abode to many of the purest streams and rivers. During the trek, you will witness the source of Karmanasha stream which graciously flows to meet the Obragaad stream beneath the village of Sankri. The stream forms into River Supine which proceeds to merge with the sparkling Rupin River which flows from the state of Himachal Pradesh. At Netwar, River Rupin combines to emerge as Tons River which is a major tributary of the legendary River Yamuna.
Taking a stroll in most breath-taking landscapes surrounded by Mount Swaragrohini, Kalanag, Fateh Parvat and Bandarpoonch will be a life-altering experience for every visitor.