In the middle of my sleep I vaguely experienced something terribly cold slowly piercing inside my body. When I was fully awake, I observed water seeped into my tent, drenched my sleeping bag and other belongings. When I came out of my tent, it scared the hell out of me. I was standing nowhere in a valley, pitch dark and howling wind carried torrential rain almost flooded my little tent. I somehow managed to pack my things, leaving behind my tent and ran towards the village but I lost that guy’s room whom I met in the evening. Finally an hour of running and screaming, I finally knocked his door in the middle of the night.
|In the evening from Lohajung (forget about the date)|
The inaccuracy and ambiguity of our own rational knowledge in a way dangerous, but on a deeper perspective, it gives a fighting spirit, and to accept infinite varieties and complexities in our own multidimensional characters. My fiasco with my first camping experience was my inability and inexperience, and also certain level of lack of confidence but defying my rational explanation of proper camping techniques actually instilled me a courage, which I inadvertently used in my latter trips.
|The valley in Lohajung|
During my 6 years of stay in Delhi, whenever I felt to travel but unsure where to go, I always went to Rishikesh first. I was not fully confident in my first solo camping trip; however, I decided to rent an alpine tent, a backpack and bought a sleeping bag for the first time in the year 2009. It was several hours before I managed to sleep that night. I put all necessary items including a lamp, some food, books and lots of woolen. The bag became heavy, but the tent looked uglier. It was heavy, clumsy and difficult to pitch.
I stopped at Haridwar before Rishikesh in the morning. There were shared taxis lined up for different places in mountains. In the bus I had decided to trek to Bedni Bugyal, a high altitude meadow, perfect for my camping.
|after night ordeal|
My thought process was eccentric enough but people tolerated and encouraged my eccentricity in general. I must admit a little grossly, a bit flamboyant attitude inspire loathing, disgust but it also sometimes calls admiration from people around me. So I found a travel companion in my taxi who first raised eyebrows seeing my travel alone but then patted me for my so called bravery. The nice guy gave me his phone number and cited direction to Lohajung from where I had to start my trek to Bedni.
|Ajan Top in Lohajung|
I reached Lohajung around 5pm. A small village with some shops and a lone hotel and restaurant surprisingly invites trekkers from all over the world to trek to Bedni Bugyal, Roopkund 'Skeleton' Trek and others. As I dropped my feet from the bus, a young guy came to me and asked me whether I needed guide, tent, kitchen etc. for my trek. I politely refused and asked if I could pitch my tent anywhere outside the village.
|Village woman in the field|
At first he asked me to rent a room in the hotel, but after my insistence he invited me to his room. He later carried my tent to an open ground overlooking the whole valley and helped me to pitch my tent. He once again asked for any guide etc. but again I humbly refused.
After the night disaster morning I was sitting on the porch looking at my drenched tent. That night the guy and his friend went to the ground and rescued my tent. He came to me and asked whether I would like to go to Ajan Top, a big ground that locals called it haunted ground. I readily agreed and walked 5-6km through village fields and houses to reach Ajan Top.
Lohajung though just a stopover for trekking, a beautiful hamlet with nice solitary places to sit and see the Himalayan range. I spent two nights there and the place reflects me as a queer mixture of great warmth and great aloofness.
You may like to read
How to reach Lohajung?
Lohajung is a small hamlet perched at 2350mt, 7700ft in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. You can take either Ranikhet Express that leaves at 10:40pm or Sampark Kranti from Old Delhi (leaves at 4.00 pm) and reach at night. If you come from Ranikhet Express you will reach at Kathgodam at 5:45am and start your journey at the same day. Otherwise, you have to stay in Kathgodam for the night.
There are lots of other stay options in Kathgodam or Haldwani. Kathgodam and Haldwani are twin towns (5 kms separate them).
From Haldwani you can get buses to Gwaldam, which is 174km and takes around 4hrs to reach. And another 2 hours to reach Lohajung via Tharalli and Debal.
Some trekkers prefer Rishikesh route rather than Kathgodam because of proximity and connectivity between Rishikesh and Delhi. You can take bus from Rishikesh bus stand on the Joshimath/Badrinath route and booked a ticket to Karnaprayag. It is 6-7hrs journey so take the bus as early as possible.
At Karnaprayag you can find shared jeep to Tharali, which is 47km. From Tharali to Debal you can find bus or jeep till Debal (14km) and from Debal to Lohajung (24km) you need break another bus or jeep. From Karnaprayag to Lohajung is around 3-4hrs.
There is a direct bus from Rishikesh bus stand that goes directly to Mundoli/Lohajung. Alternatively, if you are coming from Delhi, you can take a direct bus from Anand Vihar ISBT at 9:15pm, which directly goes to Lohajung via Kathgodam.
Get updates and read additional stories on the Wacky Wanderlust Fan Page.
For Sponsored posts and other details, please go to ‘Contact Me’