HAR KI DUN – Day 3 (GANGAD TO OSLA)

All of us were comfortably staying in 2-3 rooms at Gangad home stay, 12-13 in each room. After the long and tiring day, I slept like a rock and woke up after at-least 8 hours of sleep at around 6 in the morning. I opened my eyes and looked out of the small wooden shack and saw one of the most beautiful landscapes I has ever witnessed.

View from Gangad home stay.

A layer of fresh snow covered the whole valley and all I could see was snow covered grass, snow covered trees, snow covered mountains and snow-white clouds up in the sky. It is a dream to every travel enthusiast to wake to such a sight out of the window. When to take that first deep breath of fresh chilled air, You man are no longer sleepy! All the sleep you ever had in your eyes goes out with your exhale.

The 3rd day of trek was 26th January, The Republic Day of India. As far as the celebrations are concerned we didn’t celebrate it much just wished each other ‘HAPPY REPUBLIC DAY’.

It took us some time to get over mesmerizing view of the Gangad village but as soon as we all were done and got busy with our usual daily tasks nature gave another surprise to make it more memorable as a trek. ANOTHER SNOWFALL! And this time it was a good one.

Me enjoying snowfall.

Due to this snowfall, our trek got delayed a bit and we got some more time to enjoy it before we finally leave Gangad for Osla village. Before we leave we did our usual like have breakfast packing lunch and getting a day briefing by our trek leader.

Gangad village in snowfall.

It took about 2 hours or snowfall to settle and we knew this is the moment we were waiting for. After a quick briefing by the trek leader, Saranbir Singh, we left for Osla at about 10 in the morning. Not long after we departed from Gangad it begin to snow again but now there is no turn around, we had to keep marching forward in the snow. And trust me it was quite AWESOME. It gave an adrenaline rush into our blood stream and we were on fire for the first time on the trek. It was first snowfall of their life for many trekkers and for that reason alone the group was pretty excited.

En-route Osla village in snowfall (pic by Gautham Baliga)

The fall was heavier than the previous one in the morning so, when we chillar ghat camp site we decided to wait out the snowfall. Chillar ghat camp site in consists of a small unfinished hut and some flat land in middle of the mountains. While we wait out the blizzard some of us trek mates went out and explored the landscape but not too far, obviously and Saranbir utilised the time to give a brief talk on AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). We learned a lot about this potentially fatal sickness that can hit anyone anytime.

Chillar ghat camp site. (pic by Gautham Baliga)
Saranbir giving session on AMS. (pic by Gautham Baliga)

As soon as the fall halted we kicked off for Osla village and begin to break trail on the fresh snow. The valley was pure heaven after that snowfall. All eyes could see was white snow. Grass, rocks, bushes, trees all covered in the white blanket. But life isn’t a bed of roses, it was so white that the risk of snow-blindness increased several folds. Though, we were wearing sunglasses but still few trekkers began to show initial symptoms like pain in eyes.

As I said before, life cannot be a bed of roses, so does this trek. The last segment of this trek proved to be the hardest of all. The last 30 mins were straight climb from the valley to the village. It was not extremely difficult but for us newbies it was quite demanding. For all 24 trekkers it was like shut up and climb. We just hiked and hiked and hiked with adrenaline more than ever in our blood, sweat on our skin, heavy lungs and determination on our mind and finally reached Osla at about 3 in the afternoon.

Osla is an extremely small, extremely remote village that survives with no support from outside except the little help they get from us trekkers with no supply of electricity and accessible roads anywhere near it. We had our home stay there overlooking the valley with Supin River flowing below, great Swargarohini peak on out left and the village behind. It had 4 rooms with 2 rooms on each floor. Trekkers stayed on the first floor and the staff on the ground.

Legend of Swargrohini peak: Swargarohini derives it names from the Legends associated with that it peaks forms the path to heaven that was followed by Pandavas, But only One Pandava, Yudhishthira & A Dog had reached to Heaven. According to Legends it is believed that is the only way one can go to heaven with the human body itself.

Me posing in front of out Olsa home stay.

After settling down we rested for a while and then explored this new village and played indoor games like cards and dumb shell arts after sunset.

 

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