We (myself, Deshpande, Jambukeswaran and Krishnamurthy) reached Lucknow by Pushpak Express. We were joined by three more persons from Lucknow – Bhupal Singh (Team Leader), Rastogi and one teenager (whose name I am not able to recollect). Next day, we had briefings about the trek from Ashish Roy Chaudhary, General Secretary, MONTREK. Incidentally, he happened to be our colleague from Lucknow Office. After collecting haversacks, sleeping bags, tents etc, we boarded Doon Express in the evening and reached Dehradun the next late morning. Next day, we boarded an early morning bus and reached Purola ( 150 kms) early afternoon. After lunch, we got a bus bound for Netwar (1380m). Unfortunately, due to a landslide, we had to abandon the bus about 4 kms before Netwar. After crossing the landslide, we got a jeep which dropped us to Netwar. By the time we could complete the formalities with Forest Office for the trek, it was already dark. Hence, we decided to stay at Netwar.
We got up early in the morning to a overcast sky with light rains. Our plan was to reach Sankri by Jeep and start trekking to Taluka after engaging two porters. But we came to know that due to massive landslides - one at very close to Netwar side and the other mid-way to Sankri – jeeps would not ply to Sankri. We had no option but to trek to Sankri. It was drizzling when we commence our trek at around 7.00 in the morning. After crossing the first landslide point about 2 kms from Netwar, we covered about half the distance to Sankri when we encountered the second landslide point.
Waiting for a jeep somewhere on way to Sankri
As we were alighting from the jeep, a young handsome man introduced himself as the caretaker of GMVN Rest House. We were not aware of the existence of this Rest House in Sankri. We checked in the Rest House and after lunch at the road side dabha, the afternoon was spent in arranging two porters as Bhupal Singh and one teenager accompanying him could double up to pick up some of our loads in their sacks. In the event, the problem propped up when so called leader of the porters based in Sankri resented for our bringing 'outsiders' as porters. We had to convince them that the two persons we brought with us were not porters but had joined us for trekking from Lucknow.
Sankri village was located about 1 km down the road. As usual, the GMVN had a superb location being perched on a high hill surrounded by tall trees. The area was very quite as if everything had come to a standstill. Since GMVN had no electricity, we finished our dinner early and retired to beds. As the night fell, the road side suddenly came to life with lots of commotion. We came out of the room and noticed that some men, apparently drunk, were quarrelling among themselves and to our surprise, one of them happened to be the Caretaker of GMVN. The nuisance continued till midnight after which we could get a sound sleep.
Fields on the bank of Tons river
Crossing a wooden bridge over Tons on way to Seema
Tons river in spate on way to Seema
A pine tree balancing precarously on a tree trunk
In to the dense forest on way to Seema
A local in traditional dress - and.....
local girls near Seema
Seema GMVN seen from the Osla side
Mist and the silhouette of huts make a good contrast on way to HKD
A waterfall on way to HKD
Wildflowers in HKD
Me near HKD
A loghut at HKD
Har-ki-Dun valley in misty weather
Har-ki-Dun in sunny weather
Carpet of flowers near HKD