Class 11 Trek to the Himalayas


The class 11 students finally left for their Himalayan trip on the 7th of February. The trip started with a bang – literally –  as the region we were to trek in had suffered an earthquake, and we were instructed that our future plans were in question.

Our stay in Rishikesh was jam packed with fun, even with the uncertainty looming over our heads. We went rafting in the waters of the Ganga.  The experience was spectacular. After spending some time shopping in the streets of Ram Jhoola, we participated in a puja where we paid our respects to our mother river.

When we found out that we were proceeding with our original plan, we headed toward the Snow View Hotel.  Packed with thermals and sleeping bags, we slept warm and sound, readying ourselves for the next day’s trek to Tungnath temple.

Trekking to the height of 12,073 feet was more fun than one would expect. We were accompanied by our very own mountain dog, who showed off his trekking skills while we panted our way up. We enjoyed the company of the sloshy snow, and very ‘creative’ jokes by our teachers. The trek down was even more fun, as it required much less effort.

The next trek we went on was to the Deoria Tal Lake. The trek was short and in front of us was a spectacular view of the Himalayas reflecting in the Devi’s lake. We spent hours there, laughing, chatting and enjoying the view, after which we ate hot rajma and chawal, freshly cooked by our very special kitchen crew. With this trek, the adventurous leg of our journey was over and we started on a more leisurely trip.

We visited the Muktinath temple, a place where all the five idols of Shiva are kept during the winter time and the Guptakashi temple. We then went to visit a cave in Swami Purushottamananda’s ashram, where sage Vashishta had meditated for many years. We spent one night in ultra-cool tents, which made us feel like we stepped into the fourth Harry Potter book.

The next morning, we made a quick departure, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi was expected to arrive shortly as a part of his road show for the upcoming Uttarakhand elections, and all movement in and around the locale was to be suspended.

The last few days of our trip were spent in Rishikesh, where we stayed in the fancy Ganga View hotel, went on shopping sprees, and ended our trip with a visit to ‘The Beatles’ ashram (the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi ashram) where John Lennon had meditated. It was decorated with amazing graffiti and we came to the obviously-biased conclusion that this was most definitely the place he wrote ‘Imagine’.

After spending ten days in the valleys and mountains of Uttarakhand, we were sure that this would not be our last tryst with the beautiful Himalayan Mountains and the River Ganga. This was just the beginning of a lifelong association.

– Mahima