My Himalayan trek experience with TTH- Har ki Dun Trek
Name- Puja Sarkar
Female. 27 years.
Job Description- Working offshore as a Field Geophysicist
Trek- Har Ki Dun
Duration- 8 days.
It was by far one of the most awesome experiences I ever had in my life. I’ll never regret my decision to go for this trek. Though initially a bit sceptic about it; especially my fear of tolerating intense cold, but all went well and I am glad that I went for this trek with Trek the Himalayas.
We were a group of 10 young trekkers, all but one were first time trekkers in Himalayas. We were a great group with all of us getting along well with each other right from day one. I think one of the best things about our group was we were a full team, with no intermediate groups. For me I was with a group of all strangers except for my sis (Sucheta), but I can’t remember a moment when I felt lost or out of place, thanks to the entire team.
Me(Left ) with my sis and Dehradun in the background.
Day 1- Our bus trip from Dehradun to Sankri was a cheerful experience, with the entire team getting to know each other, paired with good hard rock music from my ipod (which some didn’t appreciate;) but some loved it :D), antakshari, dum-sha-rads, our stories, chai breaks and the beautiful scenery to look around. We reached Sankri after 8 hours journey and were met with our trek leaders there. The rooms in the guest house were a treat to the eyes, with the setting sun and the dawn visible from the wooden windows of my room. We were briefed about what we will expect for the next 6 days of the trek. Smokers were given a killer blow that they need to quit smoking for the entire duration of the trek starting from that moment. We were introduced with our trek leaders Sandeep and Dinesh, cook- Billo Negi. Bunty later joined us on the next day in the trek. After the brief we had our dinner followed by some card games in the night.
The full team
Day 2- After I managed to take a bath in the morning, and eating some breakfast, we all set off for the trek in couple of SUVs. One of the dogs for Sankri actually followed us to Taluka which was 11 kms away. We later named the dog- Whisky, as alcohol was prohibitedJ. We then started our trek from Taluka after some of us decided to give our luggage to the mules. The first day trek was a 14km long stretch which included passing 3 mountains. We passed beautiful shady mountains, Yamuna and Tonks rivers, farmlands and lots of intense walking. We also had carried lunch that day which we ate in some nice shady lunch spot. When 2 kms to Osla village, it started raining. We took a shade in one of the government guest houses at the base of the Osla village hill. Here we even found some wood for bonfire and had a break of half an hour before resuming our trek. Reaching Osla was a bit of a struggle owing to the intense rain and the animals and kids returning back to the village slowing down the traffic . We reached Osla around 4 pm, when mostly all of us were severely tired. We were later rejuvenated by Billo Sir’s food and chai (the maggi we had there was the best maggi I ever had in my life) followed by few amazing card tricks by Sandeep Sir. We were provided with sleeping bags and informed about its usage. We had a good night sleep with our first experiences in sleeping bags. The rain kept pouring through the night and Whisky the dog was still guarding us all night!
Trek from Taluka to Osla
Day 3- We woke up with Bed tea which is yet another of the few luxuries we were offered in the trekJ. After having some breakfast, we were informed that the weather went worse than the day before, and trek for the day was shortened to 5kms instead of 11kms. We were also informed that one of the trek leaders Sandeep Sir will leave us here to join another trek. We trekked that day to reach our camp site. Here the tents were set up before having the lunch. Post lunch we went hiking uphill. This was a steep climb and not everybody made it. Here I did face some trouble towards the top of the hill and one of the trek leaders- Dinesh Sir came to my rescue. I cannot thank him enough for saving me that day. After we reached the top, we saw the first snow. The delight was immeasurable. The smiles were all over our faces, with some snow fights and lots of photography to go with. We came downhill later, followed by collecting woods for the bonfire. Later we were surprised with some pakoras for snacks and antakshari to go with. After dinner it was time for Bonfire. Here Bunty Sir came up with the great idea of sharing our reasons for joining this trek.
Everybody had their own reasons, few personal, few spiritual and few just-for-funJ. After the fire went off, we all went off too to our tents for another good night sleep.
When we first saw the snow
Pakoras and Antakshari in Tent
Bonfire in the night
Day 4- Another bed tea woke us up only to find out that ice had formed over literally everything. It was both surprising and a bit scary, but I was happy I had survived the night of immense cold. When the sun came up, we attempted drying our clothes. After having another good breakfast, we all set off for Har-Ki-Dun. It was 6km trek that day, but was the most difficult 6kms of the entire 6 days trek. Snow was everywhere, where we had many snow fights. Each step was challenging as the snow kept increasing. I remember there were few times when my entire leg went inside the snow only to be rescued by some mate to be taken off the snow. This day once again I was about to fall into the river Supin when I was saved by Dinesh Sir; always my saviourJ. After motivating each other on the way and 6.5 hours of trek, we finally reached our summit Har Ki Dun. Truly speaking we were all too tired to celebrate! There were a couple of guest houses, one for us trekkers, and other for the staff and trek leaders which was also the kitchen. Reaching from one house to the other had 10m stretch of 4 feet snow which was both funny and challenging. We had our much awaited lunch followed by chai and antakshari. Dinner was fantastic and we all slept like a baby.
Har Ki Dun
Our Guest House in Har Ki Dun
Day 5-Morning was another bed tea- breakfast session, where we were informed that hiking to the glacier/lake was cancelled owing to too much snow. But we made our way uphill so as to have some real snow fun. We had many snow fight game, we slide both forwards and backwards on the slopes. It was amazing fun. Later we came back for lunch and some warming up in the fire place. In the evening the weather was getting worse but some of us enthusiasts went down to the bridge over the river Supin for some firsthand experience in snow fall and photography. It was a beautiful evening. When we came back soup was ready and we had “palank-tod” Antakshari performance. We literally broke the leg of the bed when some of us (including me) got over enthusiastic about the songs and started dancing on the bed. Later we had dinner and then we drifted to our rooms for some sleep. At midnight I was woken up along with all the other trekkers so as to celebrate the birthday of one of our trekkers. I think waking me up was quite a challenge for the trek leaders, nevertheless all of us had a laugh about it the following morning. The birthday cake was an innovative orange coloured Suji Cake topped with dry fruits. It was a beautiful surprise other than been woken up from the sleeping bags, we all enjoyed it very much. In the night Whisky the dog actually slept besides me in our room, albeit below the bed.
Picturesque landscape in Har Ki Dun
Birthday Suji Cake
Day 6- Next morning we had a heavy breakfast so as to start the trek back to Osla village. Earlier I was highly doubtful that we will be able to complete the entire 11km stretch in one day which has taken us some 10 odd hours while getting in. But all of us were pleasantly surprised that going back took just 5.5 hours including maggi break and lots of other breaks. We reached Osla with a smile although still heavy hearted that we have left the snows behind us. In Osla after having our refreshments we went out to see the village, as this time unlike the last visit it wasn’t raining. We were welcomed by the village people and some of us even played volleyball with the village kids. I spent some good time with the village kids and took some of their pictures after taking their permissions. It was a very pleasant evening. At night fall we came back to our rooms and had some Dum-sha-rads session along with some horror stories to go with. Dinner was good and sleep was perfect in our last night of sleeping bag sleep!
Volleyball game with the villagers in Osla
Village kids in Osla
Day7- After daily morning rituals we set off for the trek back to Taluka. As we all knew this was the last day of the trek we wanted to make the most of it. It was a fun filled relaxed trek that day with lots of stories and gossips on the way. One thing worth mentioning for the day is Billo Sir’s stint with Whisky the dog. Billo actually took Whisky up on his arms and put him into the river. We all got scared, but Whisky made his way back, though a bit annoyed with Billo. Though Billo thought it was a good idea to get Whisky a bath after 6 days of trekking! Really Billo Sir has a different level of sense of humour. We reached Taluka at around 3:30 pm when the rain had just started an hour before.
The chai shop at Taluka was a place of rejoice. We were all happy and proud to have completed the trek without many injuries. We took the SUVs back to Sankri from Taluka. In Sankri we had the guest houses ready for our arrival. We partied the night with some filmy songs and bollywood dances along with sharing our pictures with each other. Later our trek leaders brought in the feedback forms for us to fill and gave us certificates from Trek the Himalayas for have successfully completed the Har Ki Dun Trek. We were also asked about our experiences, joys and sorrows in the treks, of which the sorrow was only that we were missing the snow. It was a great nostalgic moment for me and I will always remember and cherish those 7 days of my life. Later for dinner we bought some chicken as all of us really craved for some non-vegetarian diet by now. It was a great night.
The Entire team
After we completed the trek and reached Taluka- Rejoice is in every smile
Day 8– In the morning we got ready for our departure for Dehradun. I really missed my bed tea that day which I was so used to for the entire trek period. Morning was full of emotions with the memories we had all gathered in the last 7 days. We were leaving the trek leaders behind who have became our great friends in this entire span. I bid adieu to Dinesh, Bunty and Billo and although heavy hearted we left for Dehradun in the bus. Going back was also fun as by now we all knew each other well. We reached Dehradun at 6 in the evening.
I loved Har Ki Dun trek and will surely miss it