Trekked the Himalayas - Roopkund

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Roopkund is a lake in the lap of mighty Himalayas at the height of 4800 mts. Apart from its spectacular beauty, it is also known for the mysterious presence of human skeletons.

While we struggle and work hard for a living in a city, often we find life after travelling for three hours in a flight, six hours in a train and eleven hours in a car away from the city. At least that’s where I found it!

After delaying the plan to trek in Himalayas for almost six months, on one evening sitting on my terrace with a cup of tea, I thought who is stopping me from doing it and realised that it was no one but me. Life is too short to delay the things you want to do and that scared me as well as inspired me to pack my bag for this unforgettable experience into the wild.

I, with 23 other trekking enthusiasts, reached Indiahikes base camp in Lohajung (Chamoli district, 2350 mts) by the evening of 3rd June. We were warm welcomed by Indiahikes trek leaders and other coordinators with hot tea and pakoras. Such a delight it was after an eleven hour car ride in the mountains! The sun was about to set when the whole group was called upon for a briefing on do’s and don’ts on the trek and a small round of introduction with our trek leader. As we concluded the day after dinner, packing bags and endless conversations within the group, there was a little anxiety and a lot of excitement within me for the next six days to come.

A week far away from hustle of the city with no mobile network made me connect with myself even better. There was a moment at Bedni Bugyal campsite, when I and one of my friends from the group, stood for fifteen minutes without saying a word, just gazing at the waterfall and listening to the sound of it. I never felt this close to my own self. It was a meditative experience as I was absorbing all the purity and beauty of that meadow. It felt like time has come to a still!

From the first day of the trek till the last, each day presented me a different challenge altogether. Some days, it rained heavily and then there was a rainbow in the sky. Some days, it was freezing cold and then there was a warm sun I could feel on my skin. Some days were too exhaustive and then we relaxed and laughed together. That’s how the trek was and that’s how life is too. Life has given me worst of the times but it has also given me the best. What is important is that you have to face the hardships and embrace the goodness that follows. It is only when you see the bad, you can appreciate the good.

The day of summit was the toughest day of the trek. At one point of time I felt I can’t climb anymore. I wanted to rest but there was no time for it. We had to keep moving, slow but continuous. And then, a minute later, I felt no pain. It was like there was this moment where I could have given up but I survived that moment and then it was alright. That’s why they say never give up because you don’t know if there is just one more step left that will open the door to success.

At the debriefing, everyone was asked about one moment that was the best. When I thought of it then, having completed the trek successfully was obviously the best part of the trek. But, couple of days later I realized that I am not missing being at the Roopkund lake. What I missed later on was the journey I was on, the people I was with, the conversations I had and the jokes that made me laugh. I missed the beautiful but tough trails, the ruthless cold winds, sleeping uncomfortably in the tent,witnessing the jewelled sky in the night, waking up to the first rays of the sun. I missed every single part of the trek more than completing the trek. Someone has said it right, journeys are more fulfilling than the destination!

Going for a Himalayan trek was there in my things to do list. Having completed it, I understand that you don’t climb the Himalayas, they should let you climb them. If you are not prepared both physically and mentally, if you are not ready to face and accept what they have to offer you, it is less likely you will be able to do it. Isn’t that the case with everything in life? All you have to do is to make yourself able and then there is nothing in the world that you cannot achieve.

Neelima Singh