Adventures Of Ananthgiri

We found ourselves back in our hometown after 2 whole years for Eid celebrations with my uncle and his family. We reached Vishakapatnam one day before Eid. The plan for the next day was pretty clear and everyone was all ready to celebrate the most auspicious day after a month of fasting.

So after the morning prayers and breakfast, south Indian style, we headed to our respective homes and exactly 2 hours later, 6 families, were off to Ananthgiri, a hill station 4-5 hours from Vishakapatnam. We had a heavy lunch enroute, and still found the courage to embark on the well-trodden road ahead.

The road ahead of us was breathtakingly bewitching. The mountains on one side stood tall, showing off their taint less, lush green allurement. On the other, was the gushing river, meandering along with the road, recently augmented by the exquisite rains. The site that the nine pairs of eyes (in one car) beheld, proved to be the object of fascination much needed for elevating the pleasure of this getaway.

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It was dusk when we finally reached our destination. We parked our respective vehicles and headed for the most needed beverage of every Indian, CHAI (tea). There was nothing much to do to pass the time, as the majority of the travellers were youngsters. Before reaching our rest house we saw a bunch of locals playing volley-ball. We approached them and till dark there was a fierce match going on between the team of my cousins and the locals. The locals were indeed a tough competition.

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The Chai Stall
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The volleyball match

When the nature forbade us to loose any further, we headed to out rest house. While we were struggling to set up the tents, the most amazing dinner of our lifetime was getting ready. Tired and exhausted we ate as much as we could, and headed of to our tents. Before sleeping the biggest challenge we faced was, how to fit in 4 people in the tent, which was meant for two. Everyone wanted to experience the rough sleep of tent, leaving behind the luxury of comfortable rooms already provided. Some of us were willing to rough it out, while others just wanted to sleep it off (Mostly the elders were involved in “others”). The ones who did not get a chance to sleep in the tents, and wished to do so, made it their mission to scare us off. But we were so tired that not even a real ghost could scare us away, let alone the “ghosts” the we knew.

I woke up to an absolutely amazing view. After having a delicious breakfast we all headed out to the most Adventurous trek of all of our lifetimes. We parked our respective cars in the middle of the Ghat roads, and headed down to a path which seemed to lead to know where.

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We started on the path which was at an angle of 60 degrees approximately. The further we went the steeper it got. The path was a small pagdandhi amidst the lush green wild mountain grass. The fresh rain had loosened the mud making it slippery and very difficult to walk on. The path turned and twisted in every nook and corner. No corner was left where one of us did not slip. As hilarious the walk was, it was extremely dangerous as one side was the danger of the lush green animals and on the other side was a deep trench, going straight down, and the person on that path would go straight up. Embarking this journey was not only the risk of our legs, but our lives to! But we did it anyways!

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Tired coming down the slippery road, we saw a villager climbing up. We asked him how much further down was it to reach the falls, instead of answering us, he just scanned us and asked why in the hell were we coming down this road. Climbing further down, we could see the magnificent falls, but were not able to see the approach road. It terrified us. The last lap of the trek was, either go for it or you fall of the deep trench. We had no choice, we were already there, we couldn’t go back because of the steep climb. So each of us sat down one after the other to get to the waterfalls. The people who were already there helped us by forming a chain and giving each of us a hand while we made our way down.

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Whatever the hardship, whatever the road, the view of the destination was absolutely PERFECT. The mini heart attacks on the way down proved to be totally worth it when we actually reached the spot. Without waiting for even a single second, all of us were in the cold, beating water washing away our tiredness.

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After having a heart warming bath, we headed to the ascending path of our trip. As dangerous the descend was, it was more tiring while climbing up. We did not go back the way we came, but took a different road which was easier but longer, but safer, much safer.

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Finally after a demanding ascend we reached our cars, ate whatever we found as we were all extremely hungry and headed for the hotel, where an absolutely delicious lunch was waiting for us. We spent some time in the hotel where most of us were sleeping, but whoever was left i tried to scare them of with my singing but that did not happen. And of we were meandering down the beautiful ghats headed straight for our respective homes.


This trip, was the most exciting and nerve reckoning trip I had ever embarked upon. It taught us not only how to keep going, but to keep going with everyone. Team work, hard work, dedication and focus is all you need to achieve the best, and trust me what you get at the end of day is nothing but the satisfaction of doing something worthwhile, which may or may not have made an impact on others life, but it sure has improved your own!

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Protectors In Disguise

Background: A small travel story, i hope you will enjoy it.


Since an early age I have been volunteering for travel companies, who take children to spend an adventurous summer. My passion has always been to travel the farthest. So gathering up all my courage and my backpack, on 27th May 2017 I stepped out of my home for a solo trip to Uroli. Located 6131ft. above mean sea level, its a few kilometers above Nainital and 27km away from Ranikhet by bus. I finally reached a small village on the bus where I saw the villagers doing their daily chores. They scanned me from top to bottom, but I gave them a pleasant smile so they would allow me to stay for the night. In India the people living on the mountains are friendly and stand true to the saying “Athiti Devo Bhav” (A guest is equivalent to God) and so they took me in willingly, providing me with a cozy warm bed and a delicious dinner for the night. As I woke up to a beautiful sunrise in the morning by the sound of my alarm, I was ready to start my adventure.

I walked a few miles, in the morning confirming the address, from where the trek was to be started. When I finally reached the foothills of the mountain I was to climb, I stood there for a moment and scanned the mountain side. Though the mountains were not very tall, the pagdandi (trails) were the real challenge. The weather was mild, the sun shined above me, as I had started my trek early in the day. The whole mountain area was covered with lush brown colour, with the pine needles from skyscraping pine trees, giving the mountain its color. With clear sky above my head, I carried on with my trek, already contemplating the place to rest for the night.

It was the middle of the day and I had walked continuously for about 4 hours, taking short breaks to hydrate of course. I started feeling hungry and I could see no place where I could light a fire and cook something for lunch, because of the pine needles there was also a risk of lighting the whole mountain on fire and burning myself with it. So I sat for a while eating what could have been eaten without the requirement of it being cooked. After having sufficiently filled my stomach with biscuits and water, I knew I had a little time to rest according to my map timings.

The place where I was sitting was covered by the shade of a tree. The cool breeze, and the comfort of the shade, made my eyes heavy, and in no time I fell asleep. It must have been the weather and tranquility, and the fact that I had woken up early in the morning and had walked for 4 hours non-stop. When I woke up, it was about 3 o’clock in the afternoon, way over the time limit on which I had decided to start back. So I hurried back on my track, because I had to find the camping land shown on the map.

I am a crazy fan of sunsets, so to witness this beauty when the sun was at the bottom of the horizon, I started to walk slow, taking in the beauty that the nature had to offer. When the sun was about to disappear, I decide to stop to remove my jacket and my guiding light. After taking out the necessary equipments I started staring into the horizon, witnessing the utter grandeur of a setting sun. I hoped the serenity of the nature would calm me down, and rationalize my thinking, as I knew I was already behind my schedule.

After the sun disappeared from the horizon, leaving only a little light behind I decided to move along in my journey. Looking into the map, I realized that I had about 3-4 hours more to walk. I kept climbing at a faster pace. The hours passed by, I became tensed, my heart started racing faster, and as I had a breathing condition, I had to take more stops than I did before. Walking for about an hour now, the little light from the sun had disappeared, the moon shined brightly allowing me to see only a little in the darkness.

I read in my research that the mountains of Uroli had dangerous animals, like leopards, the most harmful snakes and jackals, but I was sure I was not going to encounter them. After walking for another two hours, I saw the camping land and in my excitement hurried to the place, threw myself on the ground and laid down with relief. As it was a set campers place for the night, I was sure that before me some campers had camped in this very place, as there was a hole dug in for the fire. I used the same hole, to light my fire and cook my food. Till the time the food was being cooked, I pitched my tent, spread my sleeping bag and waited for the food to be cooked.

I had made inquiries and found out that, the weather changed in just matter of time one minute the sky was clear, flaunting the stars and next the thunderstorms struck and it started to rain. I had to take my food inside though I kept my tent’s door open. I sat inside comfortably and enjoyed the meal that I had cooked. I was busy eating, and suddenly I heard sounds, of something running. I panicked, it was my first time in the mountains alone, and I did not wish to die. I was too scared to sit inside and too scared to see what it was. So I opted for the latter, I gathered up my courage and opened the back window of my tent and looked. Jackals stood about 500 ft away from my tent. They did not growl or attack, they just stood there. I did not know what to do, it was still raining outside, so I decided to pull out my pocket knife, curl up in my sleeping bag, and call it a night, but as petrified as I was the curiosity of jackals standing outside my tent did not allow me to sleep.

Few hours passed away, and they did not flinch. So I decided to do something. As soon it stopped raining, I stepped outside the tent and tried to shoo them away, but they did not even cringe a muscle. So I stepped back inside. After sometime I had an absolutely absurd idea, first I decided against it. One peep outside into the eyes of the jackals I decided to go ahead with my decision. I stepped outside the tent again and I did what animals do best, I peed to mark my territory near the tent, and shouted at the jackals, “Mine, and yours” as I had seen in the movie Life Of Pie. At least this way I would be a little relieved that they wouldn’t come near the tent, I still had my doubts though, if the human pee works the same way as the animal? But after that I spent the whole night in my tent, apprehensive, yet a little calm. The pocket knife still my hand, I woke up to the sharp rays of the sun and chirping birds. With caution I opened my tent door avoiding sudden movements I first peeped out, and there were no jackals in the near site of my eyes. My eyes fell on the horizon and far off were the beautiful Himalayas. I did not know what happened in the night. I knew that I was alive in the morning and I was happy about it. Just when I had finished my breakfast, I saw cattle approaching. On arriving, I greeted the man with a smile and a pleasant good morning, he returned my greetings and asked how my night was. In reply to his question I described the whole incident of the night. He gave a smirk and told me, that I was very lucky to have had jackals, in the night. He told me that there is almost every night a visitation made by the leopard for water and because there were jackals, I was. I bid goodbye to man and he did the same. I thought about what he said, it was definitely a superstition, but the fact that the jackals were there in the night, posing as protectors was enough for me. My rest of the trek went on smoothly, and as I had peaked my trek, the clear sky showed me the beautiful outer Himalayan ranges far in the distance glorifying their magnificence. I met other trekkers at the end of my uphill battle and decided to hitch along with them for the downhill trek. The jackals posing as protectors against the leopard was the last thing I had expected on this highly adventurous trek in the mountains of Uroli. The delightful end to this adventurous trek, with other trekkers was the only add on I needed to etch this trip as the best one in my small but brave autobiography now making me a true traveler.


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Thank you for reading!

Visit the Administrative Capital of India in just 1 Day: Delhi Darshan

Delhi Darshan

Off, to travel another mile, discover another road and experience another landscape.

Super excited my family and me left from our respective places of residence to meet in Delhi. On 17th of May 2016 we landed in Delhi, we had a one day stay joint with Delhi Darshan.

The sweltering heat of Delhi did not stop us from resisting the temptation of resting and we went on to witness the beautiful capital and the administration city of India. We were staying in a cantonment area called Rajputana Rifles. After staying a night, on 18th May, 2016 we booked a cab for our day tour of the city. Early morning at around 8 o’clock we started our tour with the blessings of Nizamuddin Auliya by visiting his dargah. Along with that we also were privileged to see the dargah of Amir Khusrau, who along with being a renowned Sufi poet was also a spiritual disciple of Nizamuddin Auliya. The care-taker of the dargah, Kamran Nizam took charge of our tour and took us to the dargah of Amir Khusrau and after that Nizamuddin Auliya where he presented my mother, my sister, my aunt and me with green dupatta’s of the mazar.

After being blessed we started our tour by first visiting the magnificent Humayun’s tomb where, the second Mughal king, Emperor Humayun rests’. At the ticket counter we happen to meet 3 tourist from Paris, and noted that they had to pay 500rs whereas being an Indian we had to pay rs 30. On entering the main gate of the compound we first saw on the right hand side the house of Isa Khan, which is also remarkable because of its shape, size and the construction techniques. After a long walk we reached the main tomb. And it was too beautiful to be true. The compound was large and awestrucking.

After visiting the Humayun’s tomb we drove of to see India gate which stands strong in honour of the fallen soldiers and along with that we also saw the Rashtrapati Bhavan and the administrative buildings where the most important decisions of the country are made.

After an exhausted morning we were way too hungry to go any where except for Karim’s. The finger licking, Karim’s food was amazing and can’t be forgotten once tasted. Just behind the Jama Masjid, you can give your taste buds a great treat. After a heavy lunch we still had place left in our stomach for an amazing desert at Giani’s which is located in Chandni Chowk. Sleepy, after lunch and desert we took a drove through all the remaining attractions including Cannaught place and finished our day by taking a good night’s sleep after spending an informative and historical day in Delhi! 

Sorry I have so less pictures, more indulged in actually visiting than clicking! 

Kaas Pathar — The Valley of Flowers

20 people, one bus, at 6:30 am we were on our way to Kaas Pathar — the Valley of Flowers.

 

The drive was for about 4-5 hours. From the eldest generation in Pune to the youngest generation we were all in one bus, playing, talking and listening to music. After driving for about 2 hours on an empty stomach it was bound that all of us started feeling hungry. To feed our hunger stricken taste buds we stopped at a small dhabba. There we had home cooked kheema freshly made by Nargis Bhen, with rotis and some superb chai.

Drive from there was quite soothing. Mostly people slept, but some of us were entertaining ourselves. After hitting the ghats, even if I wanted to I couldn’t get myself to close my eyes. I switched my seat to that of a window one with Saqib, because I did not want a perfectly amazing view passing us by.

Every turn of the ghat made us shout out in awe (literally). Lush green mountains on one side and Kaas lake parallel to us on the other. The road could not have been better than this. I was excited, if the approach road was this amazing, where would my jaw be when we reach the destination!

After we reached the destination, because it was a little bit of a walk to the main plateau, I had to wait in the traveler because of my recent operation.  Hahaha.. kidding you think I of all people would let my health affect the serenity my eyes were about to witness, never in 7 hells!! So to say my jaw was nowhere to be found because it was dropped dead at the scenes my eyes beheld. Wonderful lush green plateau on both sides what it lacked where flowers, I mean there were flowers but we were early in the blooming season to visit the plateau so there were not as many.

Tip: 1. If you have decided early in the year to go to Satara, make sure your trip is well planned and that your visit is not to late or early in the season.

2. Pre-book the tickets and parking spots through the internet so that there, you are not face to face with to too many problems.

3. If you are going all the way to Satara make sure it’s a 2-3 day trip because first of all there is a lot to see in Satara than just Kaas, and second of all, it is too long a drive from any major city so might as well stay there for a while.

We walked for quite sometime, and in the end found a nice place to sit and start our photo shoot. 2 of us carried DSLR camera and I carried my possession, the Nikon digital camera (the photos on this page are from the same). After about an hour or so, hanging out in the lush green serene plateau, with the sun shining bright just above our heads, we decided to head out to the Kaas lake, where we had our delicious lunch. We had a very late lunch at about 4 o’clock or something. With our stomach full with multiple delicious dishes, for a little bit of relaxation we headed to the Kaas lake, which was walking distance from our lunch place. There were a lot of people inside the water so we decided against getting wet and for sleeping outside on the heated rocks for sometime.

There for sometime, with Tazeen’s bag underneath my head, my legs stretched out and my complete body at rest, I closed my eyes and tried, amongst all those noises to make this journey a journey within.

As once a far off dervish called SHAMS OF TABRIZ said: ” East, west, south or north makes a little difference. No matter what your destination, just be sure to make every journey a journey within. If you travel within, you will travel the whole wide world and beyond.

And alas it did turn out to be a journey within, in a small way, but it did.

After the raindrops started to fall on our heads, we took that as an indication to head out and hit the road, and go back to Pune. The rains in the end made a perfect ending to a perfect day.