Bedni to Wan, and Journey to Delhi - Last day Roopkund Rendezvous

Friday, February 12, 2010

Roopkund Junargali Pass - Summit day<<>>Roopkund - Myths, Mysteries and Magnificence

Day 7 - Bedni to Wan descent & Wan to Lohajung
Day 8 - Lohajung to Haridwar 

It is very strange. I don’t think aspirations matter much. I think it is the challenge presented by the road to our aspirations actually matters and that is the thrill we all seek. It doesn’t matter if we reached our goal, it only matters how we reached our goal. Six days we sweated it out to reach Roopkund and now here we are on day 7, victorious yet longing for another challenge to take on. 

With an easy day ahead, we were in no particular hurry. We took a lot of group snaps. Call me sensitive if you must but saying goodbyes is the hardest thing for me to do. Today we had to bid farewell to the mountains that indulged us for so long. And tomorrow I have to bid farewell to everyone else who made this trek so much more enjoyable. We sang “Om Mangalam” for one last time before we departed. It is funny how we pick up small things on trips such as these and hold on to it like there wasn’t a day that went by without doing that thing. We were a bunch of twenty something youngsters and yet we took to the bhajan like fish to water by the end of the week. 



It was a clear morning and for the first time, we got clear views of whole of Gangotri, Chaukhamba range, Neelkanth and Bandar Poonch peaks. At 9 AM we started towards Wan village from where a jeep would take us back to Loharjung. Mahendra was leading the trail. Teary eyed, I kept turning back every few steps to get one last glimpse one last time. 

There is a route going further down from Bedni towards Wan through the thick, green and moss ridden fine forests of firs and rhododendrons. We were back in the tree line after 4 days. But the insatiable souls that we were, we came up with a new way of keeping ourselves engaged on the easy way down. Instead of taking the paved zig-zag trail, we started getting the down the slope perpendicularly straight down. Now the slope being pretty inclined with lots of fallen leaves and wet soil, it proved to be an interesting ride down. A couple of us were doing this while the rest took their time.



We reached Neel Ganga River down the valley at 10.45 AM and spent some peaceful moments while we waited for the rest to catch up. After getting down to Neel Ganga, we were to climb up the mountain to reach a small settlement on top from where we had to get down again to Wan Village. 


After sometime, we started the climb up and with so much time at our disposal, we decided to take it nice and easy observing the varied and colorful flora around us. It was a beautiful place with many varieties of flowers, high mountains and drifting clouds all around. Soon it started raining heavily and we took refuge under the huge Cyprus trees near Wan Temple and Wan village was some 20 minutes away. Wan is the only place other than US where you would find those really huge Cyprus trees it seems. Each tree was so huge that it would require at least 8-10 people to completely circle the bark. After the rain receded, we got down to Wan village through the steep slippery path. Wan is a beautiful village nestled on the slopes of high mountains. It was still raining and mist was putting up a nice show if hide and seek with the houses and terrace farms on the slopes.


Everything is uncertain in the mountains and we waited a really long time before everyone made it to Wan and then waited long before a jeep was arranged to take us to Lohajung. The journey turned out to be yet another surprise with us riding above the clouds most of the time and we reached Lohajung by evening. After a scrumptious lunch and retelling of our adventures to the people at basecamp and then a delicious dinner later, we crept under the thick sheets of blankets in our rooms. 



The next day morning, used to the mountain ways for a week now, I couldn’t sleep beyond 6 O’ Clock even though it was all warm and cozy. I woke up and stood in front of the door relishing the rainy morning at Lohajung. After a week of no bathing, the thought of touching the icy cold water was weighing me down but after much deliberation, I took a headbath with the super super icy cold water at 6.30 in the morning! Yes, I should be given a bravery award for that! Wind was knocked out of me each time I poured the cold water on my head. But it passed and I survived and not to mention I was feeling fresh as a flower! 

After having breakfast, we started out by bus to reach Haridwar. It has been more than a week now since we had tasted any sort of delicacy and you cannot imagine how starved we were for the creams..kebabs..and what not! We stopped at a village and raided the small hotel there. You’ll have to believe when I say the amazingly delicious Parathas disappeared off the tawa before it even got a chance to land on a plate. To say that the awesome breakfast lighted up our lives that day would be an understatement. 

Heading on NH48, we passed through KarnaPrayag where Pindar River meets Alaknanda river which is one of the two headstreams of Ganges/ Ganga river. And then we crossed Rudra Prayag  where River Mandakini joins in and finally Dev Prayag where Bhagirathi River joins in to officially form the mighty river Ganges. Needless to say Dev Prayag holds a very sacred place in the hearts of devout Hindus. 

We reached Haridwar around 8.30 PM and we hired a cab to take us to Delhi Airport as soon as possible so that we would not miss our early morning flight to Bangalore. The road was smooth which resulted in us reaching airport on time, bidding farewell to everyone else, we, the gang of 6 returned to Bangalore with memories of a lifetime to cherish. And that marks the end of an epic journey - A Himalayan sojourn that mesmerized us and left us only wanting for more. Soon I shall return back to Himalayas and soon you shall read more adventures.

Fact File :
Descent from Bedni to Wan:
Difficulty – easy to descend. Going up might be tough with steep slopes.
Time Taken to get to Wan – 4 – 5 hours including all our long breaks.
Wan – Lohajung by jeep – 2 hours.
Lohajung – Haridwar – 285 kms , Time Taken – 10 hours
Haridwar – Delhi – 210 kms, Time Taken – 6 hours.

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  1. Wonderful end to a wonderful journey. Loved the new embossed 'C' on the pictures.
    The picture of the sunset, is it a reflection on a water body?
    And very glad to know that the road back to Delhi from Haridwar has become better. It used to be the biggest headache back in college days.

  2. Thanks Sid!
    No..the sunset is not a reflection on water.. There were clouds and then some empty sky and then the mountains below..It was a one of it's kind for sure! Very different sunset vista.
    With so many pictures being lifted off blogs these days i thought it's better to put the big C.. :D

  3. Amazing images, especially the landscape shots...Thomas

  4. can truly feel the time had from the images you have presented! makes me hungry to be there!

  5. second pic and flower's pics looks awesome. U have been to some real beautiful places, nice post.

  6. and by the way, ur blog's menu appear broken while using chrome :)

  7. Ow.. im so jealous with your adventure. Hopefully i'll enjoy my adventure next days when i'll be going to dumaguete!

  8. Great photos & narration.
    thanks for the Fact File that comes with every post.
    happy travelling !!

  9. @ Rahul - Luckily yes, i could see some very beautiful places.. thanks.. :)
    And the menu problem comes up when my hosting site bulbs.. need to buy own domain soon i guess!

    @ Unny & Bindu - Welcome to my blog and thanks! :)
    The fact files help me a lot when i plan my travels too.. Do visit again.

  10. hey... wanted to ask.. 6 days treking means.. no bath for 6 days??? or was there any arrangement for that????

  11. ## Anoop - he he.. good question.. yes, you would not be taking bath for 6 days. :)
    There is only one small stream flowing at Bedni and further up from there, the water sources reduce to trickle..
    But it's going to be so freaking cold, the thought won't cross your mind.. ;)


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