I love the outdoors and trek to the Himalayas at least once a year.
Bali Pass in Himalayas. May 2019
Click here for more photos. Photo credits: Sanjay Goel and GN Mahesh.
Markha Valley Trek, Ladakh. 2011
The Markha Valley trek involves crossing Kongmaru La (17,060 ft) while traversing through rivers, rocky canyons and wildlife and offers great views of Mt Kang Yatse (21,300 ft).
Click here for more photos. Photo credits: Abhijit Dutta
Gangotri to Vasuki Tal and back. 2010
The 120 km trek from Gangotri (10,000 ft, 3049 mtr) to Badrinath (10,000 ft) would take us through Kalindikhal Pass at 19,600 ft (5975 mtr). In the event, bad weather forced us to abort the expedition from roughly the half way point – Vasuki Tal (16,000 ft, 4878 mtr).
Across the Gangotri glacier. June 2009
This trek was across the Gangotri glacier to the high altitude meadows Tapovan and Nandanvan.
Gangotri, one of the longest glaciers in the Himalayas (30.2 km long; 0.5 to 2.5 km wide, 4120 to 7000 metres – 13500 to 23000 feet above sea level), has two idyllic meadows Tapovan (4463 m, 14640 ft) and Nandanvan (4340 m, 14240 ft) on either side. They are reached by climbing the very steep and treacherous walls on the edges of the glacier, where a slip can plunge one several hundred feet below.
The sight of the peak, Mt. Shivling (6543m, 21466 ft) that rises directly above Tapovan, is awe inspiring. High altitude trekkers and climbers attempting to summit Mt. Shivling camp at Tapovan for transit. The meadow also attracts blue mountain goats (Bharal), which descend from the higher reaches to graze.
Valley of Flowers National Park & Vasundhara Falls. September 2007
I trekked to the Park, nestled high in West Himalayas and renowned for its meadow of alpine flowers and outstanding natural beauty. True to its name, the Valley of Flowers is splashed with colour as it blooms with hundreds of different beautiful flowers, taking on various shades of colour as summer months pass. The Valley is home to many celebrated flowers like the Brahmakamal, the Blue Poppy and the Cobra Lily. Located at 3600 m (11800 ft) and spread over 87.50 sq km, the gentle landscape complements the rugged mountain wilderness of Nanda Devi National Park. The Valley was declared a national park in 1982, and now is a World Heritage Site.
Vasundhara Falls, located at 3750 m (12300 ft), leaps from a height of 145 m (475 ft) in a great shower of mist and spray through a V-shaped crack in the sheer granite wall. It flows to join the stream in the valley.
Four kilometers from the temple town of Badrinath is Mana, the last Indian hamlet before the China (Tibet) border. At the edge of the village, the river Saraswati emerges with a thunderous roar from a cleft in the rocky mountain wall. From the narrow bridge above the river, the trail climbs gently for another five kilometres to the Fall.
The snow melt water is clear, sweet and cold. From the edges of the rocky hollow where the waters end, the scene is gorgeous. Across the valley are glacial moraines. Far upstream are the majestic Neelkanth peak and a glacier in its lower reaches. On a clear day one can see a number of 6000+ m peaks beyond the mountains that ring Mana and Badrinath in the East.
On the way back to Mana a stream flows along and to the right of the trail through a green and flat valley. A farmer’s cottage, grazing cattle and an occasional hiker at a distance are the only companions.
Skandagiri, Sakleshpur Railway Track and Kudremukh
I also go on short one or two-day treks in the hills of Karnataka and neighbouring Tamil Nadu. Here are a few photographs from my outings to Skandagiri, Sakleshpur Railway Track and Kudremukh peak.
The links to each of the above are below. Sakleshpur Railway Track