My Happiest Trek Moment – Personal Stories of Gratitude, Bonding and Exuberance – Part 13

What is the My Happiest Trek Moment campaign?

Frankly, we’re tired of all the negative news around us. You must be too.

We are cooped up at home, not meeting people dear to us. All we get is bad news about Coronavirus spreading its devilish arms. Almost any conversation becomes about Coronavirus. It’s become quite frustrating.

So we have created a space that takes us as far away from Coronavirus as possible — to the trekking world where we all yearn to be.

As a trekker, we’re sure you relive moments from your trek every now and then — it could be that euphoric moment when you finally reached the summit! It could be that moment you were moved to tears by a beautiful sunrise. It could be the reflective time you spent by yourself at a campsite.

With no further ado, here are the last of the fantastic stories that trekkers sent to us! 🙂


 

Indiahikes - My Happiest Trek Moment

| The trek that brought me closer to my son 🙂

“My first trek was in the second week of January 2019 to Nagtibba with my son. It was our first travel together.

For me it was a very refreshing experience. As I could rediscover myself within and I had a great time with my son who is 14 years old.

I feel we had a better bonding and understanding after this trip. We are now more a sort friends and he shares more of his feelings than before.

I felt it was an eye opener for personally.

And I should mention the team I trekked with they were really awesome company and our trek leader LEO… What to say… Love u Leo! You made my experience better I feel.

Most importantly, again I should express that trip really changed the bonding between my son and me.

Thank you, Indiahikes.” – Santosh Pandala

Indiahikes - My Happiest Trek Moment

| A tale of youngest me on the mightiest Himalayas 🙂 

“We were on our way to Bhagwabhasa on the Roopkund trek and there was a lot of snow, so much that the previous teams couldn’t go up till Bhagwabhasa. However with full hope our trek leader and the team went ahead to give it a try.

It was 5 am and it was freezing cold! We had another trek expert named Venkat uncle who accompanied us all the way up. The struggle of waking up early, climbing steep and the biting cold was all defeated by the beautiful scenery around us! The fresh snow and the first stroke of golden sunshine hitting the mighty Himalayan ranges was unbeatable! It brought so many emotions inside me. I had never felt that alive 🙂

Being the youngest one on the trek (14 years) made this trek even more special as everyone took so much care of me.

On the same day Venkat uncle told me something which touched my heart – “you laugh so much, and that smile of yours keeps rest of the group happy too, I really love your laugh”. I was speechless! This was truly one of the best treks I had been on and I will always cherish those special moments!!” – Mrugangi Mehta

Indiahikes - My Happiest Trek Moment

| A blessing from the Almighty 

“This is about an enthusiastic, naive and annoying sixteen year old boy, me.

I had hiked Har Ki Dun just after my tenth board examinations, and just like any other rebel teenager, wanted a Goa trip with all my classmates. It was my father who encouraged me and a good friend to try trekking with Indiahikes.

With my broken dreams of another trip, I went not knowing I would embark on a journey so spectacular, nothing would compare to my former plans. This is the point where the path to self discovery started for me.

The first three days were the roughest days of my life, for it was much outside my comfort bubble. The summit day was the most challenging, and I had given up hope of any way for me to reach the summit.

The night before the summit, was strangely calm, as though an energy was compelling me to go forward. Our trek leader had informed us formerly that the possibility of the group reaching the summit was very little, as all the groups before us had to also return due to the weather.

As I woke up the next morning, to tell my trek leader that I would not be able to finish the trek, something held me back, for a reason I could not comprehend. I vowed to give it my best shot, through the storm if it may be.

We all expected the weather to worsen, but to our very surprise, it was as perfect as it can get, like a blessing from the Almighty Shiva, for us to continue. Through lots of motivation from the entire team, and the trek leader Karan, I had managed to climb till the summit.

The first breath I took there was not of victory, but of gratitude, to first the mountain, to the energy and the entire team. This was a life changing episode for me, which I cannot dare to forget how it has shaped my life.” – Abhinav Prasad

Indiahikes - My Happiest Trek Moment

| An evening of unearthliness and bliss 

“We reached Tungnath on the third day of Deoria Tal-Chandrashila Trek through the twisted mountain path covered with the shades of Pine & Rhododendron trees all around.

In the afternoon, we witnessed a heavenly moment. Its time for the sun to set over the horizon, its time for the cattle to return home. The sound of the little bells hanging around their necks could be heard from far away. Its time for the horses grazing the green pastures to return to their homes as well.

Amidst all this, another bell could be heard ringing from the top of the mountain. The darkness of the night is approaching, the temperatures drooping way faster than it should. We hurry our way in the light of the leaving dusk and gather in the temple premises along with a few other local Garhwali people and a handful of other people who wanna be a part of this experience.

The priest has already started preparing for the evening aarti. The diya is lit in the sanctorium. The dark, mysterious stone-built sanctum is glowing with a soft golden aura from its light. And amidst all this, The Tunganath Mahadev in the form of self-sustaining Shivling stands with a mysterious yet magical presence.

The evening aarti starts, the sounds of bells ringing and the priests singing together fill up the air with a new kind of energy and excitement. The foot-long Shivling is decorated with wild mountain flowers of different colors. A Tripundra or Trishul is drawn with red & yellow sandalwood paste to the Shivling.

I look outside to see how many people have gathered in the temple precinct when I get stunned with what I see in front of me – its something so amazing and unearthly that I can only sit and stare at the view in front of me, the loud ringing bells around me now a soft, sweet tune in the background.

It seems as if Mother Nature has also prepared for her evening aarti as well – the mighty mountain shrouded with darkness acts like the Swayambhu standing there in all its glory – terrifying yet mesmerizing. The setting sun has left the sky a beautiful canvas painted with different strokes of blood red, yellow, orange, blue and so many more colors. The twinkling lights coming from the small villages in the distant mountains act like the jewels adorning the mountain.

It is a beautiful experience, it feels unreal, it feels so overwhelming yet so calming at the same time. I sit there watching until the curtain drops and the mountains are covered in darkness of the night sky.” – Subhankar Ghosh

Indiahikes - My Happiest Trek Moment

| The moment that brought a smile of love and absolute bliss

“I was working when I received a mail from India hikes describing a superb idea regarding coping up with this pandemic. And even before I could finish reading the whole mail, amidst all of my patients a small but enthusiastic, rainbow filled smile was all over my face. My mind had already gone to the mountain top I had trekked on 21-2-2020, on the auspicious day of Shivratri.

It will always be one of the closest moments to my heart, a trek which made me super happy like literally a child and I wish I could show my emotions through words but I am afraid I can’t. Brahmatal trek, the reasons it will always be my happy place to go in my mind are numerous but to share a few, firstly it was my first solo trek.

Simply the best. It’s rightly said when you travel alone you always and always discover something you didn’t know existed in you. And on the day of our summit, it started snowing and I was sad as everyone at the base camp was saying the trek won’t happen and like a child I sat thinking coming up till here and not being able to see the top, Shalini what did you do wrong? And then suddenly my trek leader Hari said the impossible that me and him will start our trek and see and leave it to Mahadev.

Of course it was Shivratri. We had reached half our way when the snow started falling with a speed I had never seen or felt but something in me told me I couldn’t stop. And by the time I reached on top with snow kissed abrasions on my cheek all I could feel was bliss, gratitude, love, pure happiness.

I was literally smiling like a child, just smiling. I clearly remember something was very pure about my own smile that morning.” – Shalini Sachan

Indiahikes - My Happiest Trek Moment

| A trek of innumerable firsts and a lasting peace! 🙂

“There were an innumerable firsts for me at the Kedarkantha trek. For things I thought would be the most easiest were the most difficult ones. For things I thought I couldn’t survive without were the ones I grew off.

It was difficult to find one image to justify all the stories that the entire trek gave me. There is a whole lot of nostalgia about the yellow tents – snowfall – starry nights – burbling of little streams – little dhabas on the way up – tiny houses on my way to base camp – tall and bushy conifer trees – extremely great food – eclectic fellow trekkers – toilet papers to the orange and purple tents – black soil – brown soil – mica soil – pine cones – slippery trails – no pause on this trail – shooting stars – knee deep snow and a lot more.

I would have never thought if a place can really ever make me feel complete and peacefully happy. But then the summit occurred. There couldn’t be any more peace I would have looked forward to and maybe nothing so happy that my eyes felt it as well.” – Aayushi Parakh

Indiahikes - My Happiest Trek Moment

| The day I whispered to the Himalayas – Until next time!

“Himalayan trek Hampta Pass offers a contrasting image of lush green forests of Kulu and deserted Spiti, it attracts trekkers and hikers as ‘ Honey attracts flies’.

In 2019, the story was somewhat different, the year when snowfall was so high that the crossover was almost unachievable. Meanwhile I stood in front of my mirror and looked at myself as a budding trekker.

From Manali we reached our first campsite Jobra , the mystical views of the valley could be observed. The terrain was breathtaking, believe me the memories will stay with you for your lifetime. Wait that is not the coolest part.

There was another side to it “the adrenaline rush”. Walking over glacier having crevices with river flowing alongside , the famous river crossing after Chikka , paving path through a big glacier just before reaching Balu-ka-ghera campsite with rain drizzling making snow slippery, all this was making me think like “I will never come again” but my trekking team and trek leader boosted my confidence.

On the day of summit we started climbing towards our goal the Hampta Pass. The morning was good with bright sun and no overcast . With a lot of energy we started climbing the snowy pass like the Disney movie ‘Frozen’.

Gradually the steepness hit us hard, though we were ready for it. 14,100 ft was what we had to climb. After hours of trekking we reached the Hampta top and just then suddenly there was an overcast. It was like nature is celebrating our achievement and greeting us with open arms.

The sky shrouded itself with clouds and it started to snow. We wore our ponchos. All pain and hard work felt like a deed, it was the time to rejoice. The grandeur of the mountains was utmost. In our judgemental society it is believed, “A man crying is not a good thing” , but that moment almost made me break into tears, hence I controlled.

If anyone asks me now, I will say “I’ll go again and again”, because I know each time it will be different. Camping under the sky from where one can watch the whole galaxy, the picturesque sunset at Balu-ka-ghera , drinking chilled mountain water and sliding down from the Hampta top is what I truly miss now. When we were leaving Manali, I was like “Until next time, Bella Ciao”” – Rohit Roy

Indiahikes - My Happiest Trek Moment

| Anticipating the first ray of light at Sandakphu

“This photograph was taken the morning after we reached Sandakphu. Our trek leader had already informed us about the beautiful sunrise of Sandakphu and there was no chance I was going to miss it.

We woke up early and walked about a kilometre stretch from our tents and arrived at the view point well before time. The first ray of light hit and it was the most magnificent view ever.

I thought about the mental and physical preparation, the difficult paths and the courage it took for me to finally get there. I also saw how small we are compared to all creation and how we take it all for granted. The sheer joy, exuberance, lesson and knowledge made it all worthwhile and it was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. Thank you Indiahikes.” – Nilay Chowdhury

Indiahikes - My Happiest Trek Moment

| The day of adrenaline filled adventure! 

“We were on our third day of the Hampta Pass trek in the middle of July. It was also the day when we summited the highest point, enduring the cold and the altitude. It was the ultimate moment of the trek, one for which we waited for weeks, and we were finally there.

Soon after the summit, we had to descent fast into Spiti Valley. However, the drop into the valley was quite a steep one and we had to follow a zig-zag route along the walls of a high cliff. But, the final stretch of the descent turned out to be the pinnacle of adventure in the whole trek. Due to the heavy snowfall that year, the final drop of the cliff was under thick snow. The only way to get to the valley was to sledge down the incline following a make-shift snowy path.

However, it was easier said than done. To reach the starting point of the slide on the snowy patch, we had to stride along a 45-50-degree incline, with extreme caution, and barely any grip. There were many risky moments by that time on the trek, but this one really managed to petrify me the most.

I somehow managed to make it to the point where the slide begins. Finally, with the support from the trek leaders, I managed to sledge down the 80-100-meter drop, with my backpack, with a few tumbles on the way, and a fascinating experience to share. In the end, it turned out to be a really accomplishing experience! Today, whenever, I look back to that trek, which also happened to be my first one, that particular day comes to my mind right away. I hope to be there again soon!” – Soudipan Maity

Indiahikes - My Happiest Trek Moment

| A wedding of the clouds 

“The worst thing you can have during a trek is a diarrhoea and mood swings.

I should make it clear in the beginning itself that I am not an avid trekker and while signing up for the Sandakphu-Phalut trek, I was fully aware that I wasn’t in my best physical fitness. However, being tempted by the chance of getting some photographs I did board the train.

We had reached Sandakphu and started the day with the trek towards Phalut. I could realize that the treks for last two days had me tired, yet I didn’t want others to stop for me. However, while on the trek, I realized the half-cooked food of trekkers hut has also affected and I am having a mild diarrhoea.

It was raining in bits and parts and I, tired and feeling sick and having to retreat to the woods on the sides once or twice, found myself alone. And as the route was completely covered with clouds, I couldn’t find my friends either. My spirit was completely down.

I felt depressed. I felt consumed by the silence around me and wanted to go back to the hustles and bustles of the city I belong to. I wanted to lie down and have my mother take care of me. However, I had no choice and had to go on. Then, the best thing happened.

At a turning, suddenly, I got rid of the cloud cover and met with this breathtaking beauty! Green valley in the front and blue ranges in the background entangled with clouds. The sky was heavily covered with clouds, yet there was a red of the sunset somewhere. It seemed as if the clouds from beneath are in a voyage to wed the mighty cloud cover on the top, leaving their possessive mountain-partners.

I cried with joy. It was really the happiest moment I had. It lifted my spirits. All my woes were suddenly gone and I was like a colt, good to go again.

Soon after I found my comrades. Even though we couldn’t complete the trek and stopped somewhere near Moley, that moment I had towards the evening, was the best and happiest trek moment in my life!” – Siddhartha Banerjee

And just like that, we’ve reached the end of My Happiest Trek Moment campaign

We have so many more beautiful stories shared by trekkers. But, we couldn’t feature them all as there’s space only for the last 10 stories on our website!

If you’d still like to contribute your photo and story, send them to [email protected]

Use the subject line: My Happiest Trek Moment

We’ll be featuring the best of entries that we get on social media.

Meanwhile, stay home, stay safe. While we’re locked down physically, let’s allow our minds to wander and feel the joys of trekking.  🙂

Gautam Singh

Gautam Singh

Gautam Singh is the Finance Manager at Indiahikes. He is a B.Com graduate who realized Chartered Accountancy was not his cup of tea, a bit too late. At heart, he is an adventure seeker. He loves riding bikes, travelling solo, exploring places, and meeting new people. He is an avid runner, and it took him on the journey from being 'Fat to Fit'. He was also one of the lucky few who saw Kashmir both as a State and as a Union Territory on his first Himalayan trek - Kashmir Great Lakes. You can write to him at [email protected]

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