Sunday, October 11, 2015

Trek to Rudranath Temple(Day1), Uttarakhand, India.


Rudranath is a temple dedicated to God Shiva which is located in the Garhwal Himalayan mountains in Uttarakhand, India. The name "Rudranath", literally means, "Him who is Angry." This natural rock temple is situated within a dense forest of rhododendron dwarfs and Alpine pastures located at 3,600 metres (11,800 ft) above sea level. The mountain cave of Rudranath was modified into the temple we see today. Rudranath is sometimes considered as the toughest Panch Kedar temple to reach.
This trip didn't have the luxury of planning,it was a quick decision to visit the Himalayas along with my fellow trekker Praveen who is a lead and conducts such treks to the Himalayan range.
When I looked up on the internet about treks to Rudranath, I was really not very sure if I could make it to the top as I have never trekked before. But looking at the images of the landscapes I felt I had to go and give it my best, just had to take the chance! I walked about 14 Km in Dubai just to test my fitness, also started walking  long distances to keep fit for about 2/3 weeks. Though deep within I knew this was hardly a challenge what I would face in the real world of a Himalayan trek.
The day was not far, after a three hour night flight to Delhi, and a five and half hours morning train to Haridwar, I met up with fellow trekker and lead Praveen. Then another eight hours of travel by road. Amidst torrential rains towards the end of the journey, nature popped a surprise. In the dark winding uphill terrain  on the mountains we saw a leopard climb down the hill and crossed the road in front of us, within an elapsed time of maybe less than 5 sec when it was in view. We couldn't believe our luck! Though we couldn't frame the animal in our cameras we were nevertheless delighted to say the least. The master of camouflage was right in front of us. 
We kept talking about the animal until we finally reached Gopeswar where we were putting up for the night.
A view of the town of Gopeshwar.
 
The next morning we drove down to the starting point of the trek, which started around 9am after a quick breakfast. Gradual climb through the local villages was relaxing and  a warm up for the day. Once we climbed above the human habitation, we found ourselves walking through forests, though not very dense. One had to be careful with loose rocks and boulders. Couple of hours later we came to a clearing, took a few shots, as below:
 
 
By lunch time we reached this clearing, which hid this luxury super speciality local restaurant !! Tucked away in the foothill of the mountain we had to climb. Host, Chef, waiter were all in one, one man managing the operation. Food was very simple- fresh locally grown. We enjoyed the food in the open air and provided much needed break from our trek. Took a few shots while waiting for the food. 
 
Very soon we were trekking through dense Himalayan forests, infested by shy Himalayan wild black bears. With only a camera to defend ourselves. This trek took us past stream and some waterfalls. With end in mind we did not stop to absorb only occasionally for a few shots.

 
By about 4 pm, we had reached a level where vegetation was thinning- no more tall tress and oxygen was thinning, so was out energy. The trek had become very steep. Only rocks and dominating edge of the mountain. I was walking like a zombie to say the least. At around 6pm we could see the golden Himalayas under the setting sun. Alas! was too drained to even pull out my camera from my back. Survival was priority for someone who was not used to low oxygen. Every step of the climb was a mammoth task at that stage in twilight and end of the climb not in sight.  By  6:45pm we scaled the mountain and reach a point called Panar Bugyal ( which had only grasses). Too drained to even talk to Praveen at that stage. We had the majestic Himalayas in sight. A sense of achievement was kicking in. Below shot of the Himalayas was taken in slight moonlight and stars. It was heavenly !!




 
 


60 comments:

  1. Exciting trip to Uttarkand. Beautiful and scenic.

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  2. Stunning scenery.....lovely photos......thank you!

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  3. What an incredibly beautiful place - I'd love to hike there. I can't imagine finding a restaurant like that on a trek!

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  4. Ugh vivid and bright photos. Fantastic! So glad to have found you through Our Beautiful World.

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  5. Wow, amazing scenery and images. Sounds like a great trip! Have a happy new week!

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  6. All gorgeous shots! I hope you'll come link up at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/10/a-little-bit-squirrelly.html - would love to have you join this week's Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday)

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    1. Sure will.Thank you for stopping by our blog.

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  7. Terrific photos for our prompt! Thanks so much for sharing at OBW!!

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  8. Incredible! I'm so impressed with your courage. Thank you for showing this amazing place to those of us who would never be able to even begin the trek!

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  9. What a lovely little town. And beautiful mountain views! You can be proud of yourselves for making it to the top!

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  10. Beautiful scenery and spectacular photo of the sun through the trees!! Thank you!

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  11. this is incredible.. it's a lifetime experience!!!!

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  12. Lovely shots - and what a wonderful, colourful town!

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  13. Very interesting account of your trek to Rudranath. I am planning to do it next summer. Thanks for your comment on my post of the Valley of Flowers.

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  14. I am out of breath just reading about this trek ... you are a brave soul and your pictures are wonderful even though you were too tired to take some by the end. I look forward to the rest of this story :) ...

    Andrea @ From The Sol

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  15. The views are simply breathtaking! Loved the view of Gopeshwar and the shots of the afternoon sun. I'm tempted to ask...and which off-the-beaten-track next? Waiting...

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  16. So beautiful nature photos and so interesting to read!

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  17. Fresh local food to go with the beautiful local scenery.... perfect... Michelle

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  18. This is some lovely scenery! How fun to have a restaurant half way there!

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  19. I enjoyed the cyber tour of this beautiful scenery very much. Thank you.
    JM, IL-U.S.A.

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  20. your mountain landscape is gorgeous. :) Love to see it.

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  21. What an amazing experience. I love that you got to see a leopard. Your photos are wonderful. Would love to have seen some photos of the food at the "restaurant." Keep up the traveling and blogging!

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  22. These shots are all so beautiful, but I think the night shot is my favorite! Have a nice weekend.

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  23. Beautiful photos !
    Enjoy the weekend!

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  24. that must be an exciting trek. Loved the view of the city and the beautiful mountains.

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  25. Beautiful nature, and beautiful pictures! Love the coloured houses as well!
    visiting from Skywatch Friday, greetings Hilde
    http://stapjesonderweg.blogspot.be/2015/10/i-am-eye-in-sky.html

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  26. An incredible trek rewarded with stunning views. Love the scenery in the first photo.

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  27. Lovely captures! The mountains are gorgeous.

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  28. Beautiful photos, what an amazing place to travel! Thank you for joining OBW :)

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  29. Beautiful photos. An interesting experience. Thanks for sharing.

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  30. I love the gorgeous, rugged mountains. And the multi colored houses in the first image are lovely.

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  31. I can imagine the difficulty in your condition, and the exhilarating views when you reach something at the top. But the view of the Himalayas seem so very very far yet in that last photo. How many are you in the group? I love the way you wrote your story.

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  32. what an amazing experience! especially spotting a leopard!

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  33. I love the night shot! Brilliant!

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  34. The panorama of every one are fantastic, thanks Shantana.

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  35. What an amazing sight and photo of the buildings. So colorful.

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  36. Thank you for 'taking me on the trip" ...... love this part of the meme, seeing places i've never been to before
    Every "trip" makes a choice for a real trip harder ;-)

    Have a nice abc-day-week
    ♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫

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  37. beautiful photos...I especially love the view of the town from the hills above

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  38. Enjoyed the cyber climb very much. You took some very nice photographs.
    JM, IL-U.S.A.

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  39. Bravo!!! I shall not complain about walking a mile on even terrain anymore, after reading your trek. If anything, you've inspired me to challenge myself more. Thank you.
    The View from the Top of the Ladder

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  40. Beautiful area. The mountains are so spectacular.

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  41. I really like that last shot with the stars and the Himalayas! Beautiful!!

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  42. What a gorgeous place! My best friend just came back from a 2 week trip through India and she can't say how beautiful she found it.

    Thank you for joining us for Photo Friday this week!

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  43. Thanks for posting info on Rudranath trek. certainly, the Himalays are majestic and so is everything about them! Great pictures too! I guess this post is not complete..

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  44. Wow, these photos are breath-taking! I especially love the ones with the sun. Great shots!

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  45. Gorgeos views!
    Greetings from Germany

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  46. wow! gorgeous views and terrain!

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  47. What an array of colors on those houses!

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  48. What a remarkable place. That first shot is great.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  49. I love your pics, the city scene is colorful and I also like the rugged mountains.

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  50. Gorgeous shots of a beautiful place!
    Many thanks for participating in the Friday Greens meme.

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  51. Superb photography Shantana. I'm glad I have your link again, it got lost along with others in the last blog revision for some weird reason.

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