Chandranahan Glacier Trek from Rohru

Dhananjay Sharma

Wont let life pass by without living it
After a gap of three years my buddy Anil Walia & I finally decided to go somewhere trekking this year early come what may. Together we have done number of adventurous outings over the last 8 yrs but for various reasons missed out for the last three years. We missed one of our companions who had accompanied us in all our earlier outings but has since moved abroad permanently. Luckily this time we were joined by our ex colleague Sunil Sarin & our gang was complete and ready to go. Don’t know why but Himalayas have a mystical & intriguing attraction, every twist on the dilapidated road to nowhere in the Himalayas fills me with a child like excitement. And this time we were hell bent to go off the beaten track, we chanced upon an amazing place Chandranahan Glacier at 4500m and went ahead without much planning, its a place which is still not on the usual travel itinerary of honeymooners & yuppie travelers. There was no rush, no blaring of horns, no touts, no cheating & above all no pollution/garbage but only simple, well appointed villages free of empty chips/chocolate/water plastic packagings.Warning the entire stretch does not have a single Manali/Mussoorie type resort & food, no place to spend money & gloat, au contraire the tall huge mountains , the greenery, the cleanliness, clean springs , fast flowing river deep in the valley below, the lofty snow capped peaks & the humility of the residents has a way of HUMBLING anyone & everyone, so beware you’ll come back a notch more spiritual than you were before.
Coming back to the place & journey, initially we did a lot of research on Rohru/Chanshal pass & decided to go thru Shimla & return via Chakrata/Vikas Nagar after spending a night there. All though most of the information was couple of years old we were still able to discover that there is a tent accommodation available on top of Chanshal pass. While we were on it I came across a brief old write up/blog on Chandranahan Glacier & shared it with Anil Walia. It somehow caught our fancy & we decided to reach Rohru & enquire more about it, collect some info and keep it for a later date but our destination was still Chanshal pass..

Tuesday 23/05/2017 ( Overnight by Volvo)

Anil booked our Volvo tickets to Shimla; all three of us met an hour before departure at ISBT, rechecked & made sure that we are carrying all essentials (Mainly Blenders Pride & Old Monk) for the journey.

Wednesday 24/05/17-Day -1 ( Day in Rohru )

Overnight bus dropped us at Shimla New bus stand by 7AM, from their we reached Lakkar Bazaar by taxi (Rs300/-).Buses, Shared tempo travelers are available for Rohru from Lakkar Bazaar at regular intervals. We took shared Tempo at Rs250/- each & reached Rohru by afternoon. Their wasn’t much on the way to describe EXCEPT that the road was wide & metaled throughout save for couple of patches where it is still being under construction. All travelers feel free to drive to Rohru thru Shimla without worrying about road condition; this info was not available to us before embarking, had we known we would have probably driven to Rohru.
Anil being a Himachali has a Relative at Rohru, the young guy Dishu Walia was pretty handy & full of enthusiasm & came to pick us as soon as we reached Rohru. Young man owns an apple orchard on the way to Chanshal and a sports shop in the main market at Rohru, he got us checked into United Hotel (Rs600/- on Double) on the main road close to bus stand, being a new property rooms & toilets were clean. For info, their aren’t very many good options to stay in Rohru ,we tried HPTDC hotel Chanshal it was good with big rooms but pretty expensive at Rs 1900/- +taxes for double & no extra bed . We saw few more GH close to Bus stand but they are not worth mentioning. Since we were travelling for almost 18hrs we took a nice warm bath followed by Beer to go along with a nice Tandoori Roti's & Dal Fry lunch & off we went for a good deep sleep. Although Information on Rohru is available on the net but let me tell you that it’s a very small regular dusty Indian town, cool but nothing to do. We called up Dishu in the evening to join us for dinner & over few drinks he changed our entire plan, from Chanshal pass to Chandranahan Glacier, called up couple of his friends & got us connected to JP Bhai at JANGLIK village some 50km uphill. For him Chanshal was a daily affair, a very regular spot , reach their by taxi get yourself clicked under the sign board, spend a night if you have time or come back to Rohru, but presented Chandranahan as a challenge , a place / journey not everyone can reach/do “ Jisko Devta BuLata hai Wohi Wahan JaTa HaiN”. This place had caught our fancy at the planning stage & now we took the challenge, within 1/2 an hour we exchanged Chanshal by Chandranahan & decided to meet JP Bhai at Janglik before noon the next day. He agreed to arrange everything at Rs1200/- day/person from Janglik Onwards…. After a long night & huge diet of Meat & tandoori roti's we finally called it a day.
( View of the main square at Rohru)
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Thursday 25/05/17-Day-2

Although we wanted to start early the next day but our local young man woke up late so we could only start for Janglik at about 11AM in his Gypsy 4WD. Road to Janglik is about 50KMS one way from Rohru & goes through Chirgaon, Tangnu & few other sleepy villages and ends at Janglik. Entire stretch beyond Rohru is like a pristine Himalayas, untouched & unpolluted, huge snow capped mountain range on both sides, tiny hamlets with sloping shining roofs, no hurry, every now & then you’ll pass by small grocery shop selling all the essentials, being an apple belt people are better off, no bhangra playing tourists, no rush of large PB/DL/HR vehicles, no horns , no resorts & not even dhabas ,at least we didn’t see any except for a few tea shops in Chirgaon which is a slightly bigger town. There are no amenities for normal Indian tourist ( I want to seriously discourage them) & pray to Chandranahan Devta to let it stay the way it is. Janglik is the head end & is situated at approx. 1800/2000M height, Just before Janglik there is an iron bridge to cross the fast flowing river which was washed away sometime earlier this year & in its place a kuccha bridge was temporarily erected by the company building a power station at the site but the young man Dishu Walia being an adept & courageous hill driver ,drove his 4WD over the kuccha bridge and took us right up to the village.
Janglik has about 100 families, no motorbikes, no four wheels & good part is no roads to drive either. There are passages between houses for humans & cattle’s only, only option is to walk within & beyond Janglik .
We reached at about 2pm & met JP our guide, his knowledgeable father, two other porters at his house. He was kind of ready & waiting for us with tents/sleeping bags/ration etc. & within an hour’s time we were on the way. Among the three of us I am the oldest at 49 & Sunil/Anil younger & nobody not even our guide/porters expected me to make it to Chandranahan Glaciers (4500M).
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( Janglik View )
Our plan was to camp at Simba Thach on day1 (Bugyal/Meadows), Litham Thach the day 2, climb to Chandranahan early morning return to Dayara Thach to camp on day3, return to Janglik early on fourth day. Airtel voice & data both work fine till Janglik but lost contact after some 15mins of trekking. It was one uphill trek & after a grueling walk of 2hrs we reached Simba Thach. I was like dead tired & wanted to camp but both Sunil/Anil conspired with JP guide to fool me & literally pushed me to push myself more & walk till Dayara. After another uphill climb of 90 mins over huge boulders, flowing streams & fallen trees, I reached a corner , beyond which that was like Jannat-a -Firdaus. Huge expanse of green Alpine meadow, two streams of white glacial water flowing through it , purple Burans flowers, yellow flowers & grass as green as a soothing green could be. I sat there, took pics & wanted to imbibe as much as I can , I was feeling so fortunate to be here in this life , the mystical mountain rising towards the sky holding within their fold the nectar of life, small streams merging together to give rise to fast flowing, thunderous Pabbar river. It was like my own, Pabbar meets several other rivers in its journey to form holy & mighty Yamuna It is then dammed at Hathiwala Barrage & from their thru several major/minor canals irrigate our lands in West UP & Haryana. Since 100s & 1000s of years our generations/civilization in the plains flourished around the waters from these mountains. Every drop is so precious, part of our daily life our beginning & the end, we wash our newborns with it & our dead's too, we pray with it, cook in it & always believed ( rightly so) that rivers have souls hence revered it as a deity.OK..Sorry! I became emotional but probably this was the reason I went there to appreciate & pay respect.
I reached the camp probably 45min later than everyone else & was about to hurl choicest of Galis but then I restricted myself as the place was too good & divine for petulance. There we met a Gujarati group returning from Chandranahan, they were a mix of old & young , gave us lot of confidence which was otherwise pretty low after 4 hrs.' of grueling trek. JP Bhai cooked us a good soup, Aloo/nutri with rice for dinner, it was cold almost freezing & raining intermittently but the only thing I had in mind was to get into the sleeping bag. JP Bhai was carrying a couple of JBL Bluetooth speakers & all three of them made merry & danced on the local Himachali songs till late but nothing came in between me & my deep slumber no.. Not even the high decibel snoring of Anil Bhai..
( On The Way to Janglik)
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( At Dayara Thach )

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Dhananjay Sharma

Wont let life pass by without living it
Friday 26/05/17-Day-3
Woke up early as probably day breaks early in the Himalayas, JP Bhai provided some warm water for morning rituals followed by a cup of tea & sweet Dalia with generous amount of badam in it. All of us took a glassful & were ready to move again. The walk to Litham Thach , just at the base of Chandranahan Glacier is longer but not as steep , we crossed two more Thach ( Mounty & one more) enroute to Litham Thach, vegetation was practically nonexistent at Litham so our porters carried fire wood from Dayara Thach. By 11am we were at camp site, our plan was to eat some lunch & start climbing towards Chandranahan as it usually takes about 2 hrs. to climb to steep glacier & am hour to return with and some time provisioned for clicking/lake viewing in between as we intended to come back by 7pm. Par Khuda ko Kuch Aur Manzoor THa because as soon as we set up the camp, bright sunshine gave way to dark clouds & within no time it was sleeting so hard that we could barely see. It went on till 6pm , meanwhile it gave us time to relax and finish of our BP bottle which we promptly did with some boiled Aloo, papads, Maggi Masala & one green bhooji JP Bhai made of Methi/Palak type plant growing wild there. People who have been on such treks can relive the enjoyment we had that evening & who have not are missing life moments by many yards. We called it a day after dinner of rice rajma washed down with a cup of hot tea at around 9pm as we were looking forward to a long & exciting day tomorrow.
( At Litham )
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( All pics above are when we were going towards Litham Thach )
 

Dhananjay Sharma

Wont let life pass by without living it
Saturday 27/05/17-Day-4

We woke up early again, it was a bright & sunny day & after our Dalia Break Fast we started early, it wasn’t very long walk but very steep, half of it over huge boulders & the rest was like wall climbing. It was easier for Sunil/Anil but it took lot of huffing /puffing, hosla, commitment, positivity on my part to finally reach the summit/plateau. It was breathtaking on the top, valley with snow everywhere & mountains on both sides rising to the height of 6K Meters, Pabbar river originates from here & it is the abode of Chandranahan Devta , the most powerful , benevolent yet destructive if not respected. Apparently as the snow melts in summers, water starts collecting in puddles & pools, in the beginning of May about three such pools are formed & by June /July all nine lakes/pools are formed. Smallest one was as small as a swimming pool & the biggest one was probably like 50-100M long. Excess Water over flows from one to another as a stream & finally over the cliff as huge water fall & is being called river PABBAR from here. We removed our shoes as a mark of respect & walked barefoot on snow for a KM to see 2&3rd lake, Sunil/Anil went ahead another 200m till 5th lake which was bigger. We spent an hour on the top & started our descent by 10am,within a few meters downhill to my utter surprise I found out that going downhill is more treacherous than climbing up J at 85kgs my toes & knees were crushed under my weight at every step and the only solace was that it took less time to descend .We reached our camp by 11am & after a quick cup of tea & plate of Pulao which our team of porters had prepared while we were away we moved on by 1pm.Our plan was to camp at Simba Thach today , it was good 4 hrs. from here & as earlier Sunil/Anil & JP Bhai had hatched a plan to fool & trick me to Janglik, I could smell it & had my own plan to subvert theirs. In the end it was one all .
( View of the Stream rolling over the cliff to form river PABBAR)
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( Chandranahan Glacier top-View from Litham Thach)
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( Sunil/Anil & urs truly On Top of the World) Left to Right
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( Our guide JP Bhai in Green Jacket)
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( View from the Glacier)
 

Dhananjay Sharma

Wont let life pass by without living it
Sunday 28/05/17-Day-5
Again we woke up early, clicked ,packed & moving towards Janglik by 6am.We reached JP Bhai's home in two hours & were extremely happy to accomplish what we had set out to achieve. JP Bhai has a beautiful three storeyed house & and an extremely loving family. His father cooked a nice tea for us as soon as we reached, provided us with a bucket of warm water oh boy.. what a bath it was in wintry cold conditions after three days followed by a very tasty homemade Rotis of local whole grain with wild and the tastiest honey I have ever had , a locally grown Saag ( it was different) along with a hot cup of tea. It was a divine climax in a remote beautiful village inhabited by simple & loving folks. Not just the Himalayas but even the people, their love, simplicity, giggling of young lovely children were pristine. Finally JP Bhai arranged for a taxi (Rs 2000/-) & it was time to bid good bye to the wonderful people we met, the nature & everything else … I wish Chandranahan Devta may call me back again..

We trekked for another 2kms downhill till the broken bridge, met another two wonderful souls driving us to Rohru & were back in United hotel for lunch by 2pm. Dishu Walia despite being busy joined us for lunch & finally dropped us at Bus stand for onward journey to Shimla. We reached Shimla by 10pm, immediately boarded the A/C bus from New Bus stand & reached ISBT by 6AM on the Monday morning to carry on with our DOG’s life in Delhi weekend to weekend.
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( Simba Thach )
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( At JP Bhai's home in Janglik )

WHAT AN AMAZING JOURNEY IT WAS..

In the End Special thanks for Dishu Walia for making it possible for us.. & JP Bhai for being a wonderful guide … Both of You Rock

JP Guide mobile number is 7807205752.. Feel free to call him
 

Sunil sarin

New Member
Very well covered it all reminds me all the moments we live there. No doubt it was a wonderful experience with such a wonderful team except few conspiracies where I was being be forced to be part of, well never mind what starts well ends well. I always believe going unplanned itself is an adventure... hence proved this time.
Hope our fourth buddy sorry me the new and fourth one among this group .. well we all reunite soon and trip again.
Awaiting new plan without any plan...take care all.
I believe me must travel at least twice a year with different weather experience.
 

Dhananjay Sharma

Wont let life pass by without living it
Very well covered it all reminds me all the moments we live there. No doubt it was a wonderful experience with such a wonderful team except few conspiracies where I was being be forced to be part of, well never mind what starts well ends well. I always believe going unplanned itself is an adventure... hence proved this time.
Hope our fourth buddy sorry me the new and fourth one among this group .. well we all reunite soon and trip again.
Awaiting new plan without any plan...take care all.
I believe me must travel at least twice a year with different weather experience.
Conspirator in chief is yet to comment
 
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