The Roopkund Rendezvous - Trek from Loharjung to Didna

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Kathgodam to Loharjung<< >>Didna to Bedni Bugyal

Sitting in front of our tent, reminiscing the first day’s events, we were enchanted by the play of light put up for us by the conspiring sun and clouds. The spotlight was illuminating many objects of interest, once the ridges of the mountains, once the village and once just plain winding trails.
Day 2 – Loharjung to Didna

The morning of September 29th 2009, we woke up at an altitude of 8600 ft and we were about to do something which put in terms of simple mechanics amounts to zero work. Well, it’s zero work by no means and we were about to go all the way down to Wan river through the valley and gain the same altitude again to reach Didna – our next campsite and a cute little village and the last little village where we would come across civilization.

The team of 26 was split into three groups and 8 of us along with Rajesh started the 5 hour hike at 8.30 AM. The trail goes down along a not so steep incline and the initial stretches were looking like the forests in Western Ghats. I was longing for the feeling to resurface that I was wandering in the foothills of the Himalayas. Earlier this morning it did feel like that with Nanda Ghunti in front of us and the chilling temperature but now it doesn’t anymore. As I said, it was a bright sunny day and the heat was not doing any good to help me with the feeling that I was roaming in Western Ghats. We crossed numerous pretty streams and bridges as we walked along.  This trail passed mostly through huge trees flanking on your both sides depriving you of clear views.


At 10 AM we reached our first pit stop and the only pit stop for the day – a plain open ground from where you could see the high mountains all around you and the Kulling Village perched high above you. From here we got a glimpse of Ali Bugyal - a small patch of green on the tip of the mountain in front of us. And then we started the descent again. Now, the descent got interesting with a varied fauna at display.  We reached Wan River at 10.50 AM and a little while later we reached Raun Bagad Bridge and the tallest waterfall I have seen till date.



The ascent to Didna starts from this bridge and it is a 2 hour climb to the final campsite which is above the village. It is just a steep climb all along – tiring but nothing compared to Day 3 and Day 4 nevertheless. We spotted the first house at Didna at around 12.50 PM. It’s a beautiful sleepy village perched on the slopes of the high mountains. As soon as you enter, you would find people coming out of their houses and looking - some in contempt (?) at the invasion and some in their joyous reverie – the kids of course! They greeted each one of us “Namaste” with a super cute smile.


It was here that I met the cheerful little kid – Kalam Singh. He asked me if I had a chocolate. I said only if he lets me take a picture of him first. He obliged and I gave him one of the orange candies I had after taking the shot. He exclaimed looking at it, that this is a toffee and not a chocolate as I promised. I just smiled with an embarrassing look on my face and said that’s all I had.

We were mentally prepared that the hike ended now that the village was visible. We eased out hoping the campsite is near. But it takes a good 20-30 minute walk from the time you spot the first house until you reach the campsite. The campsite is a small clearing off the mountain ledge with a stream running next to it. Above you, there are the trees again, to the right of you lies the village and in front of you lies a vast mountain wall. It is a nice vantage point with direct view of the Wan valley and the huge mountains with mist shrouded tips. Well it was 1.30 PM and in a while most of the group reached the campsite. Sitting in front of our tent and reminiscing the first day’s events, we were enchanted by the play of light put up for us by the conspiring sun and clouds. The spotlight was choosing many objects of interest, once the ridges of the mountains, once the village and once just plain winding trails. And I thought we were super lucky to have witnessed the show but turns out it is a common sight to be found at Didna. Well, who cares as long as I got to see the sight too!

It was a Tuesday and it was 2.00 PM. What would I have been doing if not on this mountain ledge? Staring at the flickering laptop in my office at Bangalore dreaming of a fantastic day like this! It was a wonderful day indeed. Away from the modern chaos, it was like good old times when people sat in groups and spent their afternoons and evenings chit-chatting. That’s what we did - played cards, Dumb Charades and Antakshari by the bonfire. Little did we know it was the last for the days to come.

Tomorrow, you are in for a visual treat! Stay Tuned.

Fact File -
  • Distance covered from Loharjung to Didna - 12 kms
  • Time Taken - 5 hours 
  • Water Sources - plenty on the way
  • Difficulty Level - moderate. Easy descent and a tough ascent
  • Any Snow Capped Peaks Today ? - No, only mist covered tips.




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  1. A very impressive post. Take a bow Neelima! :)

    P.S. I was just wondering, since you have travelled to and within Bastar quite extensively. A place which is renowned for among other things... dacoits! The legendary ones as well as the unsung ones... but who too could be the protagonist for some riveting tales.

    There are many aspects of these dacoits... many details, customs, behaviour, contributions... etc., that have not been brought out by the ubiquitous Bollywood movies.

    We have just celebrated Kali puja... and Kali puja without dacoit tales are just not done. They still invoke childhood memories and a kind of romanticism within us all...

    Why don't you write a post on them or may be a series of posts on them... ???

    Bengal too has had several legendary dacoits. I have written a post on them... titled, "Tales of Dacoits and one unique story... dating back three centuries!" Do let me know your thoughts on it... if you can.

    I have already asked three other blogger friends.. hailing from U.P./Bihar/Bhilai... to try and pen down some tales from those regions too. And then we could link them up... maybe. What say... ???

  2. Hi Neelima! 8600 feet? I'm tired just of hearing... ;)
    Look forward to seeing the visual treat!!!

    Blogtrotter is now at Santa’s Homeland, an anticipated gift before Christmas ;) Enjoy and have a great week!

  3. Short and crisp! Nice one :-)

    But, but, said "Not very tiring". I know you are a good trekker, but hell, it was tiring!

  4. oh this one really make me want to be there!

  5. Wonderful! I am going there at the earliest!

  6. Wow... Exquisite place... Amazing trip it seems to be... U must have enjoyed a great deal...
    My Travelogue

  7. @ Roshmi - That's a very nice idea. To write about the stories of people as well. But unfortunately i did not ask for any of those stories from the locals there. :(
    But good point.. next time i shall ask about this too.. :) I will definitely go through your post and let you know. Recently i read "My India" by Jim Corbett. In that, he has a nice story about a dacoit. Will write about that in my book review section now that you've pointed it out and Thanks. :)

    @ GMG- Thank you.. well went up till 16000ft! :) Will try to publish the rest ASAP. For the record, i am getting very fast in publishing my travel tales unlike before when i used to take months. :D

  8. @ Pavan - Thanks.. :)
    Well i thought Kalu Vinayak climb and Last stretch before Roopkund was tiring as hell. This was quite manageable - more so coz we were all high spirited on day 1 may be? anyway better to change it to tiring so that no one gets the wrong impression
    about the climb. :D

    @ Joshi Daniel - Thanks.. More to come soon. :)

    @ Mocha - Yea.. surely do go there! it was awesome. :)

    @ Mitr Friend - Bhushavali - Oh it was beyond words. Very very beautiful :) Thanks for the visit and keep commenting.

  9. Again, a very impressive post. A great account of your hike and the pictures are just fantastic. My friend and I did the Valley of Flowers trek this summer and I am yet to blog about it. Reading about your hike reminded me about that. Maybe I will take inspiration from you and write about it.


  10. Great! Look forward to reading them :)

    I have 2 more posts on the 'Bengal dakats'. That makes it 3 posts as of now. All of them can be found under the label: "Tales of Dacoits".

    btw... I may want to use the 2nd pic (among the two titled: "Rays of Hope or Enchanted?") for one of my future posts. I will certainly provide the link back. Let me know if that works well with you...

  11. @ Vamsee - Thank you so much again! :)
    wow! i have been waiting to do VoF since a year.. It must be so pretty..will wait for your posts.. A preview before i venture.

    @ Roshmi - great. this weekend i shall read them all. And Sure.. you can use that picture for your post.. :)

  12. What stunning imaged. Spellbinding.
    And Kamal Singh is a very intelligent boy indeed.


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