ZEST OF THE HIMALAYAN TREKS…

  THAT DESCRIBES YOU THE BEST…

By Naushin Shaikh

 

‌Introduction:

 

Every human being is exceptional. The top 10 best Himalayan treks Even if we find affinity with our surroundings and people, still there is an X factor that makes us apart from others. You all must be thinking why this ‘philosophy’ in a travel blog? Before I answer this question. First we’ll ask ourselves, “why do we travel?” The usual answers will be for fun, food, enjoyment, leisure and Blah…Blah…Blah…

But have you ever thought, why do you choose specific activities and destinations for travelling. Taking my own example I’ve been to Mt.Abu more than of my age. (Now don’t ask me my age!!! ) What is there, that entice me so much? There is a quote by ‘Rumi’ “What you seek is seeking you.” Every corner of the world is seeking you, but the question is, if you are interested in seeking them or not. This blog may help you to rediscover yourself, to hear those things which your heart tries to say to your mind. So let’s follow our heart’s itinerary.

 

 

        ABCT- ANYBODY CAN TREK…

 

‘Trekking’…the moment this word hits your mind, it gives you the feeling of getting blood out of a stone. But nowadays people are making volte face on these myths. It doesn’t matter whether it is the springtime or winter of your life. Even if you are full of beans, still there is place to fill some extra beans. If life is giving you shades of grey. Trekking will paint them again in an exhilarating way.

Trekking is not just a journey, it’s a destination, where you find your self, where hardships lead to friendships, where  ‘A New You’ is waiting, where journey is as rewarding as your final destination.

 

           The zest of Himalayas:

 

Summer has come. I’ve never seen someone so educated as ‘Heat of the summer’, so many ‘Degrees’ it has!!! Poor joke! I know. Himalayas have been always an escape for Indians in despotic summers. It’s alluring beauty and bucolic climate puts it in a bucketlist. And if you are going to follow the mantra of ABCT (Anybody can trek), here there is something for you. These are the 10 astounding treks to do in Himalayas this summer. Every trek has it’s own story to tell. Find, which story matches with yours.

 

 

1.”Beauty and the Beas”…The Beas Kund trek:

 

Simple trek with blue moon hurdles…

Enjoy it like childhood puddles…

Trekking for the first time? If you’re calling the shots for your first trek, then here is a copybook trek for you. The trek is well trodden throughout. Slightly tricky at times to cross the various streams. Riveting river of Beas is the bounty of the Beas kund. Blue water and green milieues will make you fall in love with this place. The trek begins from Solang Nallah famously known for skiing and paragliding. The trails of Dhundi will make you cross winsome river streams and finally drops you at enchanting site of Bakar thach. You will find yourself surrounded by peaks like Hanuman Tibba, Friendship Peak, Shitidhar, and Seven Sisters. You will definitely start believing your childhood tales as you can pluck the wild strawberries and mushrooms from the bushes and watch shepherds herding their sheep and goats. It is believed that Rishi (sage) Vyas, the author of Mahabharata took his daily bath here. The term Beas Kund seems to have been derived from Vyas, the sage; and Kund, a lake! This engrossing history of Beas kund lures many. This summer trek is perfect for beginners for its easy trail and short duration.

 

Discover yourself:

If you are a person living a lustrous life, but love to welcome and celebrate small scale problems. Then Beas kund is your match!!!

 

 

2. Roop kund  – Divulge the Death

 

This trek will lead you to death!! Don’t worry, I am not talking about you. This Death Denying Mind is actually very curious about Death!!! ‘Roop kund’ also known as Mystery Lake or Skeletal lake is perhaps the most popular trek in India. It has got it’s name as hundreds of human skeletons were found at the edge of this lake. Trek this trail and enjoy the suspense filled stories about the lake by the local guides(who happen to be great fiction writers). Apart from the mystery the trek offers eyesome lakes, green smudges and snow white mountains that will definitely make you an aesthete. The deep oak forests of Ghairoli Patal is ‘cheery on the bottom’ as the trek starts from here ,as you crunch and hear the rustling of dry leaves. This trek gives you the perfect dose of adventure with a cluster of steep climbs and slippery descents. If you want to give some thrill to your nervous system , ‘Junargali’ is the cliffhanger, as you walk along a sharp, exposed ridge towards it, while holding on a rope. Roopkund Trek is a moderate plus level trek. I am sure this trek will become a wonderwall for the rest of your life.

 

Discover yourself:

If you are an Orphic, if people take time to understand you, if you love being a Cimmerian Shade, then Roop kund is your story.

 

 

 

3. Triund – The Nemophily

If you are the one who is fond of forests or smell of the woods, then keep reading!!! Triund is a concert of nature; soothing, mellifluous and ineffable. In the lap of Dhauladhar Range, 18 km from Dharamshala, gives you the astounding views of Dhauladhar ranges on one side and the enthralling  Kangra valley on the other. The Triund trek is a moderately challenging trek, popular among adventure enthusiasts of all ages. The eyesome views from the top at different times of the day – dusk, moonrise, and dawn – is the integrity of this trek.  The evening sky will insist you to stay here. And you won’t be able to deny the invitation. Camping here is an indescribable experience. There is no Wifi here, but I promise, you will find a better connection.

Discover yourself:

If you love to divagate in nature and materialistic things doesn’t float your boat. If you are missing a place you’ve never been, may be this is the one.

 

4. Hampta pass and Chandratal Lake- The Divine Contrast

What will you call a place where you can find a forest, a river, a desert, grasslands, valleys and snow together? Dream? Or fairytale? But, India is a country of wonders. And ‘Hampta pass’ is one of them. Trekking here is an indelible experience. The highlights are Chikka Campsite which offers Riverside camping near a beautiful waterfall, the alluring maple forest of Jobra, the river delta camp of Balu Ka Gera offers some of the astounding views of Indra Qila and of course the  stunning trek which will make you fall in love with it’s each moment. Trekkers also have a bonus of the Chandratal trek if it is accessible to go. A  ‘B L U E T I F U L’  lake with desert landscapes. So, this trek is a perfect opportunity to do something new, something bold, something beautiful!!!

 

Discover yourself :

Bored from your monotonous life? Craving for some change? If you are a creature being a surprising personality all the time. Then, Hampta pass is calling you!!!

 

5. Kheerganga Trek- The Nature’s Spa

Tired? Yearning for some relaxation? Then contact ‘Kheerganga’! Kheerganga is an easy to moderate level trek, or I can say a ‘Therapy’! It’s a beautiful day trek with narrow cliff side path going by numerous waterfalls, small villages and all heart people! Mountains covered with herbs and shrubs will give you euphoric feels. Imagine a trekking for 4-5 hours in rough mountains and then to be welcomed by a luxuriating jacuzzi! Enjoy the hot water bath in Natural Sulpher Springs watching the gleeful scenery of the valley. Savour the camping here with ‘The Sky Full Of Stars’! So, Kheerganga is a complete Spa package with a life time membership!!!

Discover yourself:

If you are a person who does not believe in reward without hardwork. If you are a person who stays hungry or eat less just to enjoy the next meal fatly. Then, Kheerganga awaits you!

 

6. Kareri Lake Trek- Find it’s calling!

There are some things which are knowingly unknown! Kareri lake is one of them! This moderate level trek is one of the most stunning treks in Himachal Pradesh. But still it is less explored, because most of the trekkers in Dharamshala or Mcleod-Ganj prefer Triund trek as it is a more commercialized spot. Kareri is kind of a hidden trek! It starts with the trail through Kareri village as you pass mixed pine and broadleaf forests. The trek is a bonus for the nature lovers as it offers graphic flora and fauna to explore. Black Drongo and Red billed blue magpie are the commonly seen birds. The Kareri lake is a high altitude shallow fresh water lake. The lake it self is glacial and close to the snow line. Camping under the stars with bonfire, majestic views of Dhauladhar ranges, and interesting people and culture of the Kareri village are some of the highlights. This trek has a lot of potential. The need is to find it’s calling. So, do not underestimate the power of Kareri lake!

 

Discover yourself:

If people underrate you and your capabilities. If you have a lot to show them. Then share your story with ‘Kareri’. Because sometimes it’s good to be underestimated!

 

7. Sar pass Trek: Every moment matters!

There are some things in life which we undertake not because that is our ultimate goal, but to enjoy it’s process, it’s journey! ‘Sar pass’! Located in Parvati valley of Kullu district in Himachal Pradesh. ‘Sar’ in the local dialect means a lake. While trekking across the path from Tila Lotni to Biskeri Ridge, one has to pass by a small frozen (normally) lake (Sar) and hence the name ‘Sar pass trek’! The trek starts from Kasol which is a celestial place for trekkers. It’s an easy to moderate level trek through forests, meadows, arty-crafty villages and snow covered mountains. Sar pass is an astounding trek in terms of the journey. But if you are a ‘Goal oriented’ person may be, this is not your cup of tea! But I would say, we should enjoy each moment of life! Savour the little details! And to learn that perspective ‘Sar pass’ is the best teacher!

Discover yourself:

If you believe in acting without any expectation, if your work, your journey is your ultimate reward. Then go! Pass the Sar Pass!

 

8. Rupin pass trek: Nature’s Topper!

Rupin pass is a brilliant student of God! Who has grasped all the beauty given by ‘Him’! In the merit list of consummate treks in India, Rupin pass tops with flying colours! This moderately difficult level trek is an all rounder! At every step there is a new scenery to unfold. It consists of trails dug out of rock faces and wooden bridges, cut through deep dark folds in the mountain glaciers and icy slopes. Along the way there are white Rhododendrons and stretch of green meadows. The azure waters of Rupin works as an incentive for the trekkers! As you go higher, you pass the snow caped fields which is an echoing canyon which echoes your nearby success with the winning chequered flags! And as I said, this scholar has got all: Hanging villages, gigantic forests, glacial meadows, countless water falls and of course the intoxicating pass crossing!

 

Discover yourself:

If you are a smart worker and believe in getting best of both worlds with dinky effort! Then this scholar Rupin pass is the best thing since sliced bread!

 

9. Bharigu Lake And The Animated Scenery!!!

Love drama? Guess what? I’ve got a thing for you! ‘Bharigu Lake’! Sounds out of date? But once you will get to know this place, you will definitely fall in love with it! ‘Bharigu lake’ or ‘Brighu lake’ is a high altitude lake located in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh. It is in the east of Rohtang pass and is around 6 kms from Gulaba village. It is named after Maharishi (Sage) Bharigu. It is said that the sage used to meditate near the lake, and thus the locals believe, due to that the lake never freezes completely. It’s a heaven for nature lovers and adventurers. The best part of the trek is that you can climb a challenging height of 14,000 ft in just 3 days, which is usually achieved on the 4th or 5th day of other Himalayan treks. Now what’s the drama? The oval shaped Bharigu lake changes colours with seasons. The stunning scenery around the lake is worth living for! You will surely think back on ‘Yash Raj films’ as you can enjoy a thrilling jeep ride for around 3 hours in that beautiful region before starting the trekking, the clouds will be floating around you because of the soaring height. And while descending to the rice fields of Pandu Ropa, you will come across grass that is taller than you. This will surely make you miss your lover even if he/she doesn’t exist! In the last part of the trek you can explore the traditional villages and apple orchards. The trek ends with the relaxing hot water spring of Vashishth temple, where you can take a dip and refresh your self. Thus, Bharigu Lake and it’s animated scenery becomes a complete theatrical work!

Discover yourself:

If you are a big, bright, sparkling personality, who keeps looking for drama in each moment of life. Then Bharigu lake will satisfy your thirst!

 

10. Tarsar Marsar: The duo of the gorgeous sisters!

Still single? Then I have someone amazing for you to change that status! To fall in love with it! No no…it’s not the gravity that will make you fall in love, it’s the beauty!

Kashmir valleys are very famed trekking region in the world. The name ‘Kashmir’ is enough to lure anyone, and trekking there makes it an intoxicating experience. Tarsar and Marasr must be gratified being a part of it! It’s one of the highly opted treks of the Kashmir valley. A trek encompassing a journey to the two beautiful twin lakes, Tarsar and Marsar surrounded by the peaks of Kolahi mountain. These two almond shaped lakes flow in the opposite directions. The famous Dachigam National Park is in the territory of Marsar lake. It’s a moderate level trek with the highest peak of 13,000 ft. The trek can be easily accomplished without the need of acclimatization. What makes it so special is it’s indescribable beauty, which will definitely turn you in a philocalist. The lakes are surrounded by astounding alpine trees and the Summer makes it more beautiful, as the alpine flowers form a radiant sheet reflecting on the water. The flora and fauna makes the place more fetching. Some of the birds and regional animals seen there are: Golden eagles, Bar headed geese, Black Bulbuls, Musk deer, Snow leapord, Brown bear and many more. Camping there near the lake in flat grassy lands in the fluent silence while counting stars is an ineffable feeling. So, this duo of gorgeous sisters is waiting for you to make you lovesick!

Discover yourself:

If you are a person who admires beauty in everything, appreciates little things in life, who takes the life at a little slower pace. Then, this exquisite trek is for you.

Caution: Can cause inner peace!

At the peak!!!

So, now you know that things that excite you are not random. They are connected to your purpose, to your inner soul. And trekking in Himalayas will be a perfect option to reach that state. So, now tell me which is that trek that describes you the best in the comment section below! And just “Adjust your Altitude” and “Live the journey”…

 

                                                                                                                        By,

                                                                                                            Naushin Shaikh,

The Tern Travellers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOOD-THE DAILY OSCAR OF AN INDIAN

By Naushin Shaikh

Introduction

First of all, if you are reading this blog in the hope of finding what to eat in Himachal Pradesh or on the streets of Delhi and Mumbai, the secret behind the Bali food theory, or what is the best thing to eat in Indian xyz region.. Unfortunately this blog is not about “what to eat in India”….It’s utterly about “How to eat in India”? And I am sure if you know ‘How’ ,you will definitely find the answer for ‘What’…This may not be my ‘Magnum Opus’ but it will help you to know ‘The Status Quo’ of Indian Food. So let’s start the beginning and see where we end up…

Food….What is that?A filler? A maintainer? A stimulator? An addiction? A tonic ? or for that matter… A fuel? World has associated food with so many words. But when I talk about ‘THE INDIAN FOOD’…I repeat “THE INDIAN FOOD”…It’s a different story. We are hard wired to take food as a treasure trove. Indians are known as  ’emotional clods’… Our hearts are always ruling our minds..And with that astounding fact, our food becomes an emotion, a party, a celebration….

One more thing to note about the Indian population is ,that we are self rewarding people. And the dangling carrot is always the ’food’. It is used as a reward from ages. Or I can say Food has been celebrated  daily as a reward in India.

The Food choices in India are predicated by one’s income, health condition, Living circumstances,  knowledge of food, storage facilities etc. Main factor that affects the preference , quantity and

quality of food is related to the demographic, socio-economic background .It also depends on the level of Intelligence, instinct, desire and most importantly “hunger”…..For example most of the Indians are indulged into emotional eating. Eating in a huff is the most common. We Indians also believe in awards. Food is a daily award for us….And we receive that award with such pride… here is the award receiving speech…..

 

Feed your self…Its Charity…

The sweet Indian craving

An Indian craving can be very dangerous. It can make you drive 10kms in midnight, just for a cup of “cutting chai”, or it can be as wild as eating 8 Motichoor Laddus one after another from that ‘diwali ki mithai ka dabba’. Or as hilarious as changing the colour of the ‘beef’ from red to black. Biryani in Indian homes is not a one time meal, the craving will make you open the ‘Handi’ anew. Taking my own example, I will definitely cross the line of control to reach the fridge just to eat my Rasmalai. Talking about ‘free food’ , we love the concept of ‘free food’. It can be associated with weddings, birthday parties, functions, niyaz, prasad, langers and sometimes funerals. We are always ready to eat. Basically we are “freelance eaters”

 

THE GOBBLER MIND

The indian thought process starts with food and ends up with food. We search every trick in the book to fulfill our cravings. Whenever a group of friends call the shots to where to meet, it is always a place where edible materials are sold. It doesn’t matter whether you are born with a silver spoon or an iron rod, the mentality is always the same. The grandeur of an Indian wedding is always judged by the food served there. Talking about my self, the minute I enter the wedding, the first thing I search for, is the food counter. The savour of  biryani puts me into a conflict of interest whether to meet the bridegroom or just attack!!! If you are getting married to an Indian guy and want to be in your In-laws’ good books, just become a good cook. Indians believe in cooking up a storm as our hearts are as big as our stomachs. This classic and adorable culture and tradition makes the ‘Indian food’ remarkable.

Sharing my personal experience, I dropped by delhi a year ago. And being a gobbler,I was not giving a toss to see those world famous monuments and forts. My one and only concern was to find that restaurant which serves the best seekh kebabs in delhi, highly recommend by my ‘paternal uncle’s nephew’s daughter’ (or whatever). And that day I definitely became a ‘Delhi trotter’ to find that indefinite restaurant. My self was gotten into a pickle, just to try those seekh kebabs, and my cab driver’s goat was gotten because of passing hundreds of traffic signals and irritating T points. But at the end of the fatigued day, I was over the moon, as I took the first bite of that luscious juicy seekh kebab. So this is how it feels being a Gobbler!!!

 

 

 

THE MUST EAT CONCEPT

The thought process which makes the Indian food so huge and grand is the concept of ‘I must eat this’…For instance, if you are in Gujarat, your  bucket list be dhokla,fafda,thepla,the gujarati thali; in punjab it becomes dal-makhni, makke di roti, sarso da saag; in South it comes with dosa,idli,sambhar. And some usual must eat statements are….Bambai ki chowpatty kulfi aur Pavbhaji ,Delhi ke chandni chawk ke kebab(of course!),Bangali Rasgulle,Rajasthani Daal-Baati-Churma,Indore ki Kachori,Garma garam Vadapav, Samosa pav etc…etc..

 

But Indian food is far more classic and elegant than we think and  know. When you dig more in the world of Indian Cuisine ,you will find the art, creativity, it’s incredible history and most importantly ‘the love’ in the form of those astonishing indian recipies.The vegetables, cereals,spices, herbs, fats used in the indian recipes are the witnesses of the stunning indian journey of food. So before thinking about what to eat in india….Breathe in the pride of indian food.

Because at the end the oscar for the best food goes to ‘You’…To ‘Us’…. ‘To India’… Daily…..

So, tell me which is your sweet indian craving that makes you a gobbler with a must eat concept? Share it in the comment section below!!!