If you are interested to read it from its beginning, you may please click this link here.
In the previous post, you have read about the itinerary of this trek and now, we would start our Trekking journey from this post. We actually were two persons from Delhi – NCR, me and my friend Amit Tiwari from Gurgaon. Our third companion of this trek, Srikant would join us in Ransi or you might say we would join him there as he was waiting for us since last 2-3 days in the guest house of our friend Bhatt Ji. Amit Ji is master of the trekking art. He left about one hour earlier than me but I reached before him at Haridwar Bus stand. We both started our journey to Kund from Haridwar via Rudraprayag by the very first bus which was going to Sonprayag. Most of the passengers were going to Kedarnath Darshan, even a family with their 2-year-old child was traveling with us. I was afraid as many of us could not dare to go to Kedarnath as we thought the survival in the severe cold in that divine place would be difficult and troublesome, but that family was happy and was very hopeful as they believed that the Lord Kedarnath have been calling them to visit. Salute to that unknown family for their beliefs.
In the afternoon we were waiting at the Jeep stand of Kund after we got down from that bus. A jeep was there luckily to take us to Ukhimath. Ukhimath is the place where Lord Kedarnath is being worshipped in Omkareshwar temple in winter for long long time. It was about 2:30 PM and we did not eat anything so far. So, at first I only took two Samosa and Amit Bhai does not eat anything on the way as due to indigestion he has been constantly puking. We have a jeep in front of us for Ransi, but It would start only after all the seats get occupied and anyhow we reached Ransi by 5 PM in the guest house of Ravinder Bhatt Ji. Actually, in some articles written by other trekkers, it states that the starting point of this trek is Uniyana village but now please update the fact that, it has frequent Jeeps running and also one bus is running up to Ransi now, so the starting point has shifted ahead from Uniyana to Ransi. Jeeps are available from Ukhimath and one only bus is available from Rudraprayag to Ransi via Ukhimath but locals say that they could not trust much upon the bus timings. Ravinder Bhatt Ji is a Government teacher in his village Ransi itself, a trained trekker and of course a nice and social gentleman. His brother runs a guest house and trekking company there, so if you are willing to trek near Ransi, you may contact him. I hope you will not be disappointed with his courtesy.
That day was 17th June and was Saturday, the weekend. We have reached the guest house of Bhatt ji, where our third partner of this trek, Mr.Srikant is waiting eagerly since last 2-3 days. It is our first meeting with Srikant but the second one with Bhatt Ji as we have met earlier for few minutes on the trek of Satopanth last year. After that, I took a blanket and went to sleep, rest of the management would be now on the mighty shoulders of Amit ji and Bhatt ji as Amit ji is an expert in all these things:). By 9:00 PM everything is ready like, our tent, sleeping bag, mats, porters and of course ration for next few days. I was yet to go for a long trek like this, and I felt I was only the weakest point of this chain so I needed some more rest and took some. So after having a delicious dinner with all the friends, I again short nap to make sure I am feeling absolutely fine for the trek.
Next day, it was Sunday i.e 18th June 2017. It was important to take bath in the cold water of Ransi as we would not get a chance in next 8 days. We both, I and Srikant had Rakeshwari temple Darshan and meanwhile, Amit Bhai had taken all the necessary permissions from the forest department. It can be noted here that Nandikund trek from Ransi to kalpeshwar is under the forest department of Uttarakhand and they charge a fee of Rs 150 for a day per tent. After having Aloo Paratha with Mix pickles and hot tea for breakfast, we all were ready to go for 90 kilometers lengthy trek in next 8-9 days. There are two young Bengali boys here with us, they are going to Mandhani Bugyal, which is a very beautiful bugyal on the route of Mahapanth Col., a tough trek which ends at Kedarnath, but we did not try it yet. Bengali people are supposed trekker by birth and they always love to trek new and unexplored places mostly. Today we wanted to reach Nanu Chatti which was about 10 km from here, Ransi.
We started our trek at about 10 AM from Ransi and after about 2 hrs of easy walking, we were in the village Gaundhar. It is often being said, Gaundhar is the last permanent village on this trek route. Ransi is at 2100 meters from MSL while Gaundhar is at 1900 meters, so the walk of 5 kilometers was easy. There is a Hydropower station near Gaundhar from where power supply is provided to this village but it does not have any dispensary. There were all basic facilities available to stay there and many peoples took their halt here when they trek to Madhyamheshwar . We have to walk parallel but opposite to Madhu Ganga river . After crossing this village we found another temporary settlement named as ‘Bantoli’. Here too, you might get stay and food. This way is the actual trek of Madhyamaheshwar , so many people in the Yatra Season trek up to Madhyamaheshwar . So the people from nearby villages like Gaundhar and some from Ransi come here and make their temporary settlements and they(villagers) provide basic food and lodging for the Yatris( Travelers) at a very nominal rate. So, if you are planning to go up to Madhyamaheshwar, you don’t need to carry your heavy tents, sleeping bags or food items. You can have all the basic needs in these temporary stay points and these are open right from April ( the date is announced by the authorities to open the doors of Madhyamaheshwar ) to Mid Nov. After the yatra concluded, these peoples go
back to their permanent residence.
After crossing that village, steep ‘Bantoli’ mountain started and yes we had to go beyond this and for that, we needed to walk mightly a long distance. There were countless hills as we crossed them; we had to go round and round. We were reaching Nanu Chatti, which is about 5 km away from Gaundhar village but gained sloped height after some distance and so it was little difficult to reach there in this leg of 5 km. Nanu Chatti is also a temporary settlement which has limited options to stay and food. It was about 3:00 PM when we reached there. We requested for some tea and Maggi but the young boy was busy on his radio. Oh! it’s a cricket match commentary between India and Pakistan. It was the final match, so we too were listening with him now. He went inside and prepared tea and Maggi, Meanwhile, we were there listening to the radio and saying shouting our funky Indian slang in between to Indian Batsmen, as they were throwing their precious wickets in a jiffy. Nanu Chatti was our that day’s stay point and we would pitch our tent there. Some very beautiful Garhwali children wanted to come close to us but they felt shy, giggled and went away. But after some time, I have found a little friend in them. He was so cute and sweet! In the evening I and Amit Ji played with them a great game of catching a rolling Bicycle Tyre. It was a tremendously fun, we never played before in our childhood:). As India lost to Pakistan in that final match, we are quite sad being a cricket enthusiast but the surrounding view and accomplishment of the day made us feel merrier.