Thursday, April 05, 2007

Kalindikhal Wrapup

Two more days of the Kalindikhal writeup have been overdue for months. After crossing the pass, we headed down the beautiful Arwa valley, first fording ice-cold rivers (you could see the source glacier a kilometre upriver, and one particular raging, thighdeep torrent had blocks of ice floating in it and threatened to sweep us off our feet), then crossing moss-covered boulders and lovely smaller streams (camping for the night at Arwa Tal), and finally walking through river meadows filled with grey mist and green grass and flowers until we got to the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) camp at Ghastoli, a beautiful place with an absolutely surreal little pond a few hundred metres before the camp. The armymen welcomed us and provided cups of tea, and after some pleasant conversation we headed further down to Mana (a little village just above Badrinath). Halfway down, we managed to intercept a construction truck just where the motorable road starts, and took a riotous little ride down the winding road, being tossed around like sacks of potatoes in the open back of the truck. We crossed the Saraswati river over a narrow bridge below which the stream plunges so steeply that the water level is perhaps a hundred feet higher on one side than on the other. From Mana to Badrinath and its sinfully relaxing hot-spring-fed tanks, and then homewards via Hrishikesh. Goodbye, then, and here's the last lot of pictures.


8 comments:

olidhar said...

that first photograph is particularly lovely.

i a still marvelling at how green your lands were after rajparav. do you know, our first, only and extreme bad weather was on the last day, and the snowfall was so heavy and the wind so high that by the time we got to the construction workers' truck in the afternoon, visibility was no more than a few metres. in badri that evening we heard say from many mouths that here, then, was winter, because weren't the hills around now finally gone white?

expiring_frog said...

Yes, it was really green and misty and pretty, a fairy valley, almost, and very soothing after the harshness higher up. Of course, we needed something to compensate for the frequently poor visibility :D.

StandbyMind said...

wow..awesome pics man..ganna go to this place for sure

Anansi said...

Ran into your blog and I love the pictures, though the penguin does take centrestage, for the time being inspite of the kalindhikal scenery :) On a completely unrelated-to this post note, I loved the Wikipedia entry on Haight-Ashbury, that's one neighbourhood that really fascinates me in SF, not to mention the Amoeba store there... and the Bresson interview!

expiring_frog said...

@standbymind: Tenku :). And do go.

@anansi: Uh, the penguin has a certain significance :P. The Haight is a fun place unless you're looking for parking... I read your SF post -- sounds like you had fun :).

Anand said...

Excellent buddy !!!
eloquent description....astonishingly beautiful pictures....
really felt that i just visited Kalindikhal...
i wud certainly need ur help if had to go there ...i hope i wud make it to Kalindikhal some day :)

expiring_frog said...

@Anand: Thanks :). I too hope you manage to go.

Prashant Joshi said...

hi..just happened to read the blog on google..and its just awesome!...is there a mail id we can keep in touch? are you on any of the sites like orkut or face book? I would need guidance when ever i plan somethng like this in the very near future.

My mail ID: prashantj1081@gmail.com

Cheers! and God Bless!
Prashant Joshi