Sar Pass Travelogue -1

(The preview post is over here)

Jingle Bells: This is a long post. And the first post on Sar Pass

As I had blogged earlier, I had been on a 11 day trip (15 days, if you count the travelling to and from Bangalore involved) to Sar Pass, tucked away in the Himalayas. 4 out of 5 of us had immense luck in getting 10 working days leave. The 5th one, Punarvasu, was a velai illaa pattathaari, in short, vetti then. So didnt have any leave problems. Anyway to give due credit, she was the one who initiated the trip and J jumped on the band wagon first. I joined and then Chi and Ragi hopped in. The gang was formed. But (warning: A lil bit of trumpeting here) most of the planning was done by me and Punarvasu and J chipped in. Ragi, poor guy, had lots of work. But Chi, U are the laziest guy in the world (Coming from me, that is a gr8 compliment).

Group: 5. (There were 44 ppl in the YHAI base camp.)

Date: 31st May to 10th June.

Trek done thru: YHAI

Base Camp: Kasol, a very small town at an altitude of 6500 feet.

Max alti reached: Sar pass, at an alti of 13800 feet.

Food served: Mostly Rotis, Aloo and Dal. Lots of tea, soup and bournvita also served.

The plan for 4 of us was to go to Delhi from Bangalore. Punarvasu joined us in Delhi as she had some other work in  Mumbai. We then proceeded to Chi’s place where we had superb food. On that evening, we took a bus (Raj travels) to Manali. The bus started at 1730 hrs from Delhi. It was very good and we stopped at a posh Dhaba for dinner. In the morning, we got down at a place called Bhuntar at around 0745 hrs. Kasol was around 20 kms from Bhuntar. You have 2 options of going from Bhuntar to Kasol, a taxi  or a bus. If you want to stop at regular intervals and take photos (the way is very scenic btw), a taxi is a good option. We took the bus though and reached the base camp at 1000 hrs. Kasol is at an altitude of 6500 feet. Which meant that, it was f…. I mean freezing cold during the nights. 🙂

(The base camp at Kasol. The plan view)

Once we were done with the registering formalities, we found that we had nothing to do on the first day. The schedule was

Day 1: Vetti (Doing nothing, for the Non Tamilians)

Day 2: Acclimatization trek. This is done to get u used to the bag and stick routine.

Day 3: Rock climbing, Rappeling and River crossing.

On day 1, we headed to Manikaran, a 15 min to half hour ride from Kasol.

(Manikaran, with its hot water springs)

It is very famous for its Natural hot water springs. We were greeted by a Ram Mandir and a Gurudwara there and were initially confused as to which place to visit. The OC food at the Gurudwara tilted the scales in its favor. (Pssst…. the halwa they give is out of the world). Once we had taken bath in the hot water in the premises, we had some good food at the Gurudwara. The whole experience of tying a head scarf, and eating food at a common place was new to me. Though the whole concept of giving free food to all was good, I couldnt help but think that it might make many people lazy. After all, these places satisfy one certain need of man. Once we had food, there was nothing else to do and we headed back to the base camp. Day one ended with a camp fire bulb. The camp is effing eco friendly and so no fire. People were either forcing others/ being forced by others to perform and it was lucky that we had 2 gr8 singers, J and Punarvasu in our group (Note: Genuine compliment). They performed and we sat back and relaxed 🙂 . YHAI serves a lot of liquids (nope, not what you think) as liquids serve to thin the blood, making it easier to flow to the brain.

Day 2 saw us heading for a small trek with our bags. The bags were packed with blankets and filled water bottles so that we could get a feel of the actual trek. It was a good walk, though it helped us in no way for the actual trek. Once we reached the end of the acclimatization walk, we were served juice and made to introduce ourselves to the entire group.

(Acclimatization walk. The kiddo, aged 15 and his dad on that walk)

We went back to the base camp after that and were free for the entire day. So we had a good hot water bath (Chi wanted to acclimatize to that as well and refused to have a bath 😛 ) and went around the town. Kasol is predominantly an Israeli settlement and you get a nice mix of culture here, not to mention, hippie like Israelis, puffing away at their chillums. I expected them to go “Boom Shiva” any moment, but was disappointed.

(Israelis with the “Chillum. Puff, pass, puff, clean, puff……)

We went to an Israeli coffee bar, but the coffee was pathetic. Day 2 ended with the usual food and bulb routine. We wanted  to have Israeli food as well. More on that later.

It was rock climbing and rappeling on day 3. Enroute to the place, we came across one of the most picturesque places I have ever seen.

(A beautiful place)

It was snap time and after some snaps, we reached the rappeling spot. We ditched the rock climbing and went through the rappeling routine.

(Ragi walking rappeling 🙂 )

It was good fun while it lasted. On our way back, we stopped near Parvati, the river for some more time and this time, drenched our feet in water. It was freezing cold. We then headed back to Base camp, and were told that there were no more activities. It was then time for some Israeli cuisine and we went to a place called “Little Italy”.

(Dont ever try Falafel here 😦. Pizza is good though)

Israeli cuisine is one cuisine where u dont find a veg dish at all. In the end we managed to find one dish called Falafel. Horrible dish. Absolutely pathetic. This was followed by the bulb and dinner + bournvita routine.

The actual trek started the next day. And this will be followed in my next blog post. 🙂

Please click Part 2 to read on 🙂

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Comments
10 Responses to “Sar Pass Travelogue -1”
  1. Punarvasu says:

    Quite informative dude! and I think we were freezing at the base camp not just coz of the height but more coz of the river running right behind the camp. coz, I don’t think the weather at the 2nd and 3rd camps was unbearable which it would have been had altitude been the only factor. Just a thought!

    Gans: Well, you maybe right 🙂 But the trekking might have also helped keep us warm.

  2. Maddy says:

    Thought you were the one who was vetti 😛
    Well written.. 🙂

    Gans: I wrote this yesterday night. 🙂
    THanks for the compliment

  3. Punarvasu says:

    @Maddy,
    He is vetti with a job! I am vetti without one right now (coz I am joining only in July)…thanx for talking in my favour 🙂

    Gans: AM paid to blog here 😛 😀

  4. Ashwini says:

    Dude! Very nice blog 🙂 Liked the Ragima snap.
    No more comments coz i’m really jealous 😦 😦

    Gans: Cheerio…. WHens the next India trip?? 😀

  5. Prima says:

    “liquids serve to thin the blood, making it easier to flow to the brain.”
    Ahem! Ahem! Did it hit you directly to the brain??? Looks like it must’ve coz noone in the world who knows you well would believe you actually trekked this distance!!!! [:D] [;)]

    Very descriptive blog.. Looking fwd to the next one!!

    Btw… does vetti also mean getting short leave after long leave?? [:D] For those who dont know he again took leave after coming back from the trip!!

    Gans: I have trekked before. So what if its from Wipro office to Cafeteria, from my parking lot to my house, etc…. 😀 As for leaves, I am fortunate to get a benevolent VP 🙂

  6. Avinash says:

    ganz.. i am still reading it while am postin this!!! U shud have dragged into different parts like a soap!!!

    Gans: ithu verum trailer thaan Ambi…. 😛

  7. Avinash says:

    cool… expecting more on israeli chicks later!!!snaps wud suffice too!!

  8. J says:

    Dude u missed the “liquor would be returned with same quantity/quality” statement 😉

    Gans: Ahaa…. The field director, right?? Also, “Nature keeps calling again and again” 😀

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