It was almost a full moon night, so no star lit nights. Wanted to go out and shoot some pictures, then decided against it. Wanted to conserve batteries, plus was very tired.
Had a quick dinner, and fell asleep soon after.
Woke up to a clear morning. Not a speck of clouds in the sky.
Rushed outside and saw that the sun was not fully out, picked up my stuff and ran over to Panar. Didn't want to miss sunrise.
Saw this on the way up....
first light -
And was just in time for this.
sunrise on Panar-
Ohh..the glory that is Panar during sunrise.
Golden light shining on the pond, the glass blades...it was absolutely glorious.
morning in Panar -
But soon enough it was too much light, is there is a thing as too much light.
Apparently, there is such a thing for the darned camera.
Chaukhamba from Panar -
just a peak-scape -
Just sat there...and feasting my eyes. Soon it was time for feasting the tummy too.
Descended to my camp for breakfast. Packed up my stuff and proceeded to leave for Rudranath.
It's great day for hiking, except I did not bring the darned sun cap and sun block.
Ahhh.. the joys of not listening to your wife's advice.
Managed to leave at almost 8:30 am for Rudranath.
time to say bye bye Panar -
Panar and peaks -
the goddess -
I had 2 hours at the max before clouds cover the peaks. So proceeded to click as many pictures as possible.
some grass-scape -
Panar is huge -
Few handhelds of the prominent peaks. Sorry don't know the names of most of them except Nanda Devi.
Sorely missed Peak finder app.
Note to self - Install Peak Finder before next trek.
peak 1 -
peak 2 -
goddess Nanda devi -
peak 3 -
Dumak from Panar -
way to Pitra dhar -
Till Pitradhar, the route is uphill. Not a killing uphill like yesterday, but a gradual climb.
Only pain point, there is no water between Panar and Pitra Dhar.
Rather water is available only at Panch Ganga, some 1km from Pitra Dhar.
Thankfully I had filled up my bottle at the camp itself. The next day, saw many people struggling with lack of water.
chasing shadows -
Anyways, did meet up with the folks from Chennai I had met yesterday at Pung bugiyal.
A brief meet and greet and we went our separate ways.
Toli taal and Panar -
The entire route was eerily quiet. I liked that, met only 3 people between Panar and Pitr Dhar. 2 trekkers, and 1 shepherd.
The shepherd was an interesting fellow. He had a flock of almost 500 sheep and 4 huge dogs. But they were such darlings.
2 of them were super cuddly, and they happen to greet by licking your face.
Apparently, there was a mini sheep jam, so I just sat and conversed with him, about his life and work in general.
Post the mini jam I was off to Pitra dhar.
sheep jam -
Had a mini break at Pitradhar as I was halfway through.
Pitra dhar -
The first thing you notice post Pitra dhar, is this huge peak.
And the second thing is the garland of rivers around a bugiyal, not sure which one it is.
garland of rivers -
As per the information I had collected, it was supposed to be all downhill now.
In reality it was more of rolling hills, up and down, to be fair its more down than up.
rolling hills of Rudranath -
Met quite a few people returning from Rudranath. Some of them had done the climb (from Rudranath to Pitra dhar) in ~ 2 hrs.
I thought that was amazing.
Reached Panch Ganga and had drank almost a bucket full of water.
Was parched, remember told you it was a cloudless day. "Ra" was at his full glory.
Sorely missed the hat and sunglasses.
Should have listened to her advice.
Boy! this place sure did have some gorgeous flowers.
few flowers potraits
Had a brief rest at the Panch ganga.
It is a gorgeous place. Wild flowers blooming everywhere and a stream of water running amidst them.
So peaceful, was seriously contemplating a nap.
Instead.... took a cold shower. Ohh.. it was so so refreshing.
It would surely be a toss between the flowers and shower
flower scape 2-
After resting for some more, slumbered along the path. It was such a beautiful pathway. A light breeze was blowing, and you could see tufts of grass waving. Felt as if they were waving to me.
Soon I reached the point from where we have the first view of Rudranath Temple.
first darshan -
What a soothing sight it is. As if all the tiredness is lost and fresh energy is flowing through you, rejuvenated is the word
mini bugiyals -
But it is still some way to reach the temple. After crossing a few mini bugiyals, soon was at the temple doors.
almost there -
Rang the bell and announced myself.
It was 2PM. Still had 4 hours before the evening aarti. Spent lot of that time just sitting silently and soaking in the divine aura.
Lord Rudranath -
Strangely, I was the only visitor at that time, not that I was complaining. That did change later on in the evening. Still we were only about 20 odd people at Rudranath that day.
Had a good discussion with Pandit ji on matters of the mortal and spiritual realm.
One important thing to note - The private hotel / guest house (paid accommodation) is the first one after the FRH (Forest rest house). I had planned to stay in temple premises, so chose to ignore it.
Stay at temple is in the dharmshalas (dormitories). And is free of charge, you only pay for food.
climb for tomorrow -
About the temple, as it is with other panch kedars, it commands a majestic view.
The temple pandit ji jokingly mentioned earlier, that their power bank is the goddess Nanda Devi. One look at her and you have all the energy you need.
goddess Nanda devi - the power bank -
Sunset was a glorious affair, but was unable to see any of the orange-red peaks stuff, they (mountains) chose to hide behind a cloud cover you see.
hide and seek -
Last one for the day -
Soon enough it was time for evening aarti (prayers).
Man! what an aarti it is. The atmosphere is absolutely electrifying.
Maybe it was just me, but I swear I could feel the raw energy surging through the temple, and through me. Had goosebumps for the entire duration of aarti (evening prayers).
Soon it ended, and we all were given Brahma Kamal (Saussurea obvallata
), state flower of Uttarakhand) as prasadam.
A magnificent end to a wonderful day.