Sunday, April 28, 2013

End of trail at Chorgalia (Unknown Kumoun 13)

Unknown Kumon

Nanakmatta Sahib (Unknown Kumoun: 1)
Tanakpur (Unknown Kumoun: 2)
Chalthi and Champawat (Unknown Kumoun 3)
Lohaghat and Advaita Ashram (Unknown Kumoun 4)
Pithoragarh (Unknown Kumoun 5)
Jhulaghat on the India-Nepal border (Unknown Kumoun 6)
Baitadi Nepal (Unknown Kumoun 7)
Dharchula (Unknown Kumoun 8)
Ritha Sahib Gurudwara (Unknown Kumoun 9)
Basantpur village (Unknown Kumoun 10)
Last village on the mountains (Unknown Kumoun 11)
Most dangerous Nandour valley (Unknown Kumoun 12)
End of trail at Chorgalia (Unknown Kumoun 13)
I thank the man for saving my life. He notices that my backpack is front has a nail slash on the outer lining. I find teeth holes on the top where he tried to maul me at the neck.
This man is a Gujjar and going to his camp where they have cattle. We walk together for 3 kilometers and he splits and takes a trail going on the hill. He tells me that now it is straight forward trail that crosses the river after 3 kilometers and there I will see the road to Chorgalia. He says that on the road I may find some transportation. So my misery will come to end after crossing the river. Man tells that it is the same river that is barraged near Nanakmatta.

End of Nandhour Valley

My shivering is gone now and I am feeling hot whereas I am drenching with water. My backpack is still dripping and I take off my socks to release my feet and now I am unable to fill my very hot and inflamed feet back in the shoes. With my Swiss knife I cut my shoes to insert my feet.
I have no paracetamol, I had three strips but left all medicines at the dying old man’s home. Then I remember that once my medicine pouch stayed open in my bag and several lose and expired tablets fell in it. I open my backpack and remove my belongings and find the white colored mud lying at the bottom. I scrape it all and eat it up without water because water is again a rare commodity although a full river is rushing at hundred feet below me. Feverishly I keep walking till 3 kilometers and now river is pretty large. Mountains abruptly end and rivers make a sharp turn and blocks my way. In the almost dark my trail abruptly ends below the wall of the last cliff of the Himalayas I see river touching the base and plains begin. There I see square concrete blocks in the river. I walk back and find a path to the river in the dark and I reach at the blocks. I guess I will be jumping over the concrete blocks, each is about 5 feet apart. In other circumstances I would have happily jumped those blocks or rather returned to jump again but my head is pounding and I have high fever. River is hundreds of feet wide and roaring to meet the planes. I make my first jump and then I am double minded to jump all blocks or just return. But return to where. Then somehow I jump on the next block and then onto the next. I thank God for not falling in the river because my head is spinning and I am dizzy. My head is pounding with a severe headache that I never ever felt before.

Nandhour Valley
I made it to the river and walk up to the Sagwan forest in the dark of the night. There I see a road head and I begin walking on the road. A check-post comes and a guard comes out and begins fighting with me without asking me a question. With the flashlight he inspects all my pockets and whole of my backpack and then give me a big lecture about never to wander in this forest alone and at night. He shows me the signboard that entry is forbidden. I beg him to arrest me or do something with me but he lets me go. He says that the village of Chorgalia is 6 kilometers from here and it is the level walk in the forest. Everything is always 6 kilometers to me now. These six kilometers are just sticking to me and then it is again always 6 kilometers.

Nandhour Valley
Suddenly I notice that my fever is gone away and also my headache is better. That random medicine is working. I keep walking in the dark. Only trouble is that I am very hungry and my feet are brutally hurting me. I just take off my shoes and walk barefoot and that feels better for about a kilometer and then pebbles on the road are hurting me. Now I wear my soaks and walk.
I see the lights at the end of the road and see another check-post in front of the village and more guards give me more lectures. I ask them if there is a tea shop they say the tea shops is 6 kilometers away at the main road. Oh My God. It is again six kilometers at 8.30 PM. I ask them if any auto-rickshaw or bus or just anything available to get me to the main road they say nothing is available you must walk to catch the last bus that will be arriving at 9PM.

To Chorgalia
In disbelief I walk in the village and they say the same thing. No tea shop and no transportation to the road at this time. I wear my shoes and begin running towards the road to catch the bus. Tomorrow at 7PM I must be at IGI Airport to catch my flight to New York.
I reach at Chorgalia bus stop at 9.30 and a big crowd is waiting for the last bus and lucky for me that it is arriving late. A halwai is about to close his shop and I try to stop him but then bus comes. I along with the others push myself in the already packed bus.

End of Nandhour Valley
In forty minutes I reach in Haldwani there I have a much needed cup of tea with some biscuits. I had two buns with omelet about fourteen hours ago in the village on the mountains. I find a room in a side street hotel. I have no dry clothes and I spread everything in the room and turn on fan and then come out. I buy medicines from a medical shop and then have a great meal in a nice restaurant.
In the morning I catch a bus to Moradabad and then find a fast train to Delhi. When I reach at my home at 5PM, my father is very worried. In a rush I pack up my suitcases and travel documents.
I catch my flight to Newark NJ. My fever is normal and my feet are normal.
I heal very fast.
Unknown Kumuan series Ends here
But marathon will continue ………..


  1. "Unknown Kumaon" has unfolded many mysteries which were till date, unknown to me. Be it the story of beautiful valleys, villages, the Indo-Nepal border crossing or the deadly encounter with the fierce leopard. However, the most intriguing was the one which kept me always thinking as to how come a person who mentions in his story as being 43 years bachelor but simultaneously, his profile introduces him as "I am Papa of Rishi" ! However, when I completed reading this Kumaon travelogue fully, the whole mystery was opened in front of my eyes instantly. The whole episode of chapter 11 was so interesting that I read it again and again...

    Well, I have finished reading many of your blogs now and all are so interesting and gripping till the end. I have known many trekkers who are engaged in high-alti Himalayan trekking on regular basis, however, hardly found any one so far doing solo treks at the most demanding and enduring locations at higher Himalayas like Gangotri Kedarnath treks, that too, without any guide or porter and with the help of ones own data collection and google maps route locations. That seems quite difficult a feat to digest.

    Well, your solo treks have ignited a deep routed desire in me and I am hopeful to do this particular Gangotri - Kedarnath trek at the earliest...

    My best wishes for all your Himalayan upcoming treks and do keep us all posted....

  2. I have got my sister's in laws at Chorgaliya


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