Rupin Pass- My Himalayan journey to Rupin Pass trek
It is my last day of Rupin Pass Trek. I am at Sangla and my knees and toes are exhausted from the long journey, which I have pursued for the last eight days and my eyes are longing for some sleep. My mind on the other hand, is trying to relive each and every moment I have spent on the Rupin Pass Trek and my heart is filled with palpable contentment. Tomorrow, I will be back to the warmth and security of my home. I will again be lost, in the hustle and bustle of my city life. But, for my entire life, I will never forget that there is something greater, something majestic and something so pure, out there, waiting to be explored. I know that with each passing day, the details of the memory will fade away, but the feelings have etched in my heart forever and they read something like this:
Nothing extraordinary had happened (if I don’t count the incident when I was about to run over the foot of an elderly lady, who glared at me as if I was doing it on purpose) in my journey from my home city to Dehradun. I had to meet my trek group in Dehradun early morning from where we were to take a cab to reach Dhaula from where my eight days’ quest to feel one with nature was going to start. The ten hours drive had given us just a glimpse of what was waiting for us.
At Dhaula, the mountain stretches immersed in the mist transcends far beyond the realm of contained beauty. The enchanting ambience and cool transient mountain air carries assorted sounds, leaving many tales and folklores from echoing history in its wake. After an early dinner, we retired to our tents to start our expedition early the next morning. I was so captivated by the beauty and the serenity of my surroundings, that I thought sleep will not come easily. But I was wrong. I do not remember sleeping so sound on the plush mattress, back at my home.
The next morning, I woke up with the chirping of the birds, gushing water of the Rupin River, and the buzzing of a few group members who were chatting excitedly about what lies ahead. We had to reach the small village of Sewa, where we had to camp for the night. The first few miles of journey was easy. We followed the majestic Rupin River upstream, and walked for few more miles to pass through farming fields and ascending trail to reach the friendly village of Sewa. Camping beneath the starry sky and gushing river water, I just mentally put a tick mark on one of my dreams.
On our way from Sewa to Jhaka, it was astonishing to see the relentlessly altering scenery, with steep mountain slopes, cascading waterfalls, over-hanging trails and streams of water. Further ahead, deep and dense forests of trees enveloped my senses. It was both thrilling and eerie to walk through this trail less taken. Jhaka, is a hanging village, with gracious villagers, who rented us rooms and treated us to the delicious and fresh apples from their backyard.
During my journey till now, I had only experienced the serenity, the beauty, the calmness and the eeriness of the nature. Now I was about to witness the ferocity, the wildness and the strength of the nature. The Rupin River had already shredded its calmness and was gushing ferociously. The terrain was becoming more challenging with denser and humid forests and snow bridges. But the sight that greeted me after reaching Udaknal, cannot be described in words. Even the most talented painter cannot paint a scenery masterpiece like that. We camped amidst the lush green trees and snow peaked mountains.
For some, white colour may provide a great and pristine backdrop to paint excellent work of art. After this quest, for me, white is a colour of wholesomeness, of power and of infinity. As we were nearing our destination of Rupin pass, with steadily fading greenery, and long stretch of pristine white snow, I could only imagine why Gods chose to make mountains, their homes. Dhanderas Thatch or Lower Waterfall Camp had given me, my first sight of spectacular beauty of the colour white. The blue sky stretched over the snow laden mountains. The heavy clouds were giving hints of downpour. I could do nothing but to behold the exquisiteness of the place.
The journey was about to end, which is why nature was adamant on showing us her great prowess. The water was splashing around with exuberance, dancing on the syrupy tune. The air was getting thinner as we were gaining altitude. We had to refrain from making any noise which may disturb the Mother Nature. The sun was shining brightly and the snow was glistening and shining under it. We were at the upper waterfall camp and trying to get used to our environment. We had to prep ourselves to take the death defying climb to the Rupin Pass. If I ever have to describe one experience of my life, while Trekking in India, which gave me the adrenaline rush, it would be the steep climb that we undertook. The treacherous trail below, which is waiting to swallow you while you are halfway through the climb, was both exhilarating and frightening.
The climb ended on seventh day. We descended down to reach the village of Sangla. There was a general feeling of accomplishment among our group members. I too couldn’t refrain myself from feeling proud for this achievement with my Trekking in Himachal. But I was a bit humbled too. Some may call it a victory over nature. But then I knew that the Mother Nature can beat us anytime and anywhere. She chose not to, because we are her loving children.