Archive for August, 2009

When we left Uttarkashi, I had asked Vijay to see the Laxman Jhula. I had heard so much about the Laxman Jhula that it was one of the most famous bridge in India.

Laxman Jhula is an Iron suspended bridge in Rishikesh. Built in 1939, its used to cross the River Ganga. A twin bridge called Ram Jhula was built some years back.

However we took a wrong turn again and and we had to come back all the way again to see the Laxman Jhula. Laxman Jhula is huge and for a foot-over bridge, its certainly huge. Its 450 Feet long and would take awesome time to cross it. So that’s why we didn’t cross it.





A monkey sitting on the bridge high above




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It was a long journey from Uttarkashi to Delhi and till Haridwar it was through Mountains. Once we reached Haridwar, the journey was much faster. Till then we saw mountains and more mountains


Village women resting after a day’s work


A bright orange road roller makes its way on the mountains













Finally Haridwar

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I was so eager to use the new Nikkor 50 mm lens I bought that I totally forgot not to use a lens not made for that purpose. 50 mm is a great portrait lens with no zoom factor. While it works great for people and has a tremendous depth of field but when taking landscapes, it fails miserably.

On our journey back, I went on a clicking spree but the success of good photos was very less although it looked quite good during clicking them. Pictures clicked randomly, without control and without a theme.




When we painted scenery in our drawing classes in school, the river was always like a wave or “S” shape, twisting and turning. I mean always and everybody drew the river like that.

The picture is an actual river shaped like that



Took a similar picture at the start of this year. Again a cropped picture and a more clearer one.



Elephant Tree






Indo-Tibetian Police!!

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Uttarkashi is a small town and the last stop before you go uphill to Gangotri. Based on the river Ganga, its a bustling small town. We had stopped to collect the permit from the forest officer’s office in Uttrakashi and then gone to Gangotri. As things were much relaxed now, we decided to take a halt that night in Uttarkashi.

We had already read about a hotel there. Only question was would we get place to stay there?

However we did get place to stay and the rates were quite nominal too. But we had reached quite late and there was no food for us in the hotel. At almost 9:00 PM, we were trying out different restaurants in Uttarkashi. The first one we just walked out after tasting the food once. We had dal-roti again in the second restaurant.

We came back to the hotel to find that everyone was having their food. Apparently the food was made as per order and we had missed the deadline for ordering. the hotel was actually small one with non-formal ambience. There was no room service as such but there were people to help. We had two rooms with a big balcony in front of us.

Vijay and Raju were very tired and they went to sleep immediately. There was a cool breeze blowing outside and Mathew and I decided to enjoy the breeze. In our room, a painting hung on the wall of a lady holding a lamp. The black background and the bright red color made it kind of creepy. We both agreed that it gave us the creeps.

It was a classic horror situation with a house on the hills, strong wind blowing with the curtains flying and not a soul in sight. Yes! Its a horror story all right and Mathew and I went on a clicking spree. I am not a professional photographer so clicking at low light requires certain technique which I clearly don’t have. So photos were blurred. It took us lots of time to get a perfect picture


A curtain separated the bed and the wall. It was this curtain that we pulled to hide the painting while we slept. Out of sight, out of mind

As we sat in the balcony, Mathew captured the poster from the open window. The low light gave it an eerie feeling.


The hotel is on a small hillock overlooking the ganga and a tall mountain. Its close to the main road and yet its quite. It has a kind of cafe/canteen where you can sit and have coffee/food/snacks. The big windows of the cafe from where the morning light seeps in gives a fantastic view of the mountain and Ganga.



It was a great concept. Giving a non-formal ambience to the guest and let them relax and enjoy the beauty around.


The sun rising over the mountains


The Ganga flowing below




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When we reached back to Gangotri, we decided to start immediately our decent back to Uttarkashi. We guessed it might take us 4-5 hours to travel the 92 Kilometers road to Uttarkashi. Unlike 2 days earlier, the return journey was without any pressure to get anywhere on time.


The winding roads as seen from above. These winding roads slowed our progress a lot


The river making its way between the valleys around


Who would have thought about a traffic jam at such height. But we did see one when buses and cars were on the edge. A little wrong turn and it goes straight down



Small and big waterfalls on the mountains ultimately join the river below


Driving on the edge, these buses and cars made their way down to Uttarkashi coupled with the danger of landslides. Thankfully we did not have major rainfall here. Although it looked liked it would rain heavily for some time


Cloud Explosion


A Snake on the Shiv Mandir


A village nestled between the mountains. Wonder what they do for a living and how they move around?

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Although we had to return after a disappointing incomplete trek to the Gaumukh, we did bring lots of memories from there. Few years back, the glacier existed till the gates of the Gangotri National Park, from the place where we started our journey. Global warming has pushed the glacier more than 20 Kilometers back.


The snow clad mountains will be remembered forever


We had to reach there. Not exactly there because somewhere near the foot of the mountains is Tapovan, where the glaciers actually melt and whose water comes out from the cave in Gaumukh



That is a really big rock


Animals survive in this difficult habitat


That’s called balancing with confidence. A small rock supporting a very very big rock


That’s a long way down


I had trouble carrying my own bag but these porters carry hundreds of kilos of weight and climb these treacherous mountains. Horses are banned in these mountains and everything has to be carried to the top by men.


It was still a long way back!!

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The water gushed from small-medium streams before joining the river Ganga below. The water in the streams is much clear that the main river which carries a lot of mud from the mountains


The path somewhere had barricades which had probably seen better days. Now there are just poles and a steep fall down.



The steep fall down into the river below


I was totally exhausted. The thought of walking more than 9 kilometers was taking a toll on me. It was scenes like above which was the only inspiration to walk forward.

As we kept walking, we had finished our water and for the last 1-2 kilometers, we had no water. It was difficult to believe, but 7000 meters above sea level, I was sweating and thirsty.

Vijay and Raju were walking ahead of Mathew and I. Finally they had to stop to let us catch up. I was totally exhausted but not ready to go yet. I had never came back from a trek even though I had huffed and puffed. This time it was different. I was out of breath and I had a terrible headache which was slowing us completely.

Vijay looked at me and he knew that I had big problem going ahead. He just wouldn’t allow me to carry on and convinced me to go back. I had to be eventually shouted at to go back. I had to admit I was terribly disappointed. We waited as people were moving ahead and some were returning back to Gangotri.

With much reluctance, we walked back. Even coming down took more close to three hours. Coming down all tired up, it really looked like a good decision abandoning the trek rather than be a hero


The roofed road to Chirbasa


The dusty and green road!!!

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