Lahesh Cave to Indrahar Pass

Jota Wali Mata of Indrahar Pass

Lahesh Cave to Indrahar Pass

(Last time on December 2012 I’d witnessed a lone girl from Germany staying all night alone in cold Lahesh Cave and in the morning heading to Indrahar Pass. I’d followed her foot prints in snow and managed to climb up to 200 meters above Lahesh Cave but since I’d a terrible night in Illaqa I’d lost all strength to climb further, so I decided to enjoy the snowy views from there.

As I was climbing down I’d met two more hikers heading to Indrahar Pass they even offered me their guidance but since I was out of strength I politely refused. Well that was 7 months back in year 2012.)

Today I was feeling good and ready to move up.  With Gordon, Manu Singh and his friends, from Lahesh Cave we started our climb for Indrahar Pass. Fog was also accompanying us.  This time the trail was almost clear (except Fog) and Red Arrow marks were visible at some points and Cairn at some points. We followed both and were thinking of bringing Red Color paint on next trek so that we repaint those faint Red Arrow marks.

We had climbed only 400 meters when it started raining and were equipped with only 3 umbrellas 2 temporary rain coats, Gordon had his own rain coat and I’d forgotten mine back at home.

We found a rock for shelter and managed to cover our selves……with every drop of rain it was getting colder.   Good thing was that it only drizzled for 15 to 20 minutes and after that there was a spot of bright opening with shining blue sky in the middle of thick fog and clouds. But as we could see the sky above Triund Hill and Illaqa was covered with thick fog.

With the rain coming to halt we decided to move on. Manu Singh suggested that he and I should keep the lead on the rest of the group members so that we trek the trail and our lead will keep others move on.  We opted for 2 minutes break after every 15 minutes climb and that provided us the opportunity to enjoy the views and keep a watch over other members that were trailing back.  This way I also got the moment to shot the trails.

Pause on Trail to Indrahar Pass amidst Fog and Rain

Pause on Trail to Indrahar Pass amidst Fog and Rain

On the trail Manu Singh shared his trekking experience in Churdhar Pass. As we were climbing up Manu Singh kept asking me about the feature and landmark of Indrahar Pass and since I had seen the images of Indrahar Pass and read in Blogs of Rijul Gill, I told him that we will see a temple and Trishuls in Indrahar Pass. We kept on moving and I was able to spot the Trishuls on the high edges of Dhauladhar Mountains and pointed to the spot, on seeing that Manu Singh was full joy and like more of strength.

Now we felt more energized and continued our climb but then Dhauladhar showered again but it was only a drizzle and again we were lucky to find a rock for shelter. Vicky and Gordon had also caught us up. Vicky had with him a spare plastic rain coat. Vicky and Manu Singh offered me that spare rain cover and which was also my need for the moment.

Manu Singh kept on moving with his fixed umbrella and Vicky also moved further with Gordon. Now I was alone under the cover of the rock, so I decided to use the rain coat and move on. After a little climb as I turned to my right side the moment was like “W0W”!

We were on the shoulders of the mighty Dhauladhar Mountain. I walked further and saw Manu Singh with umbrella standing in front of the temple. The view was perfect for the photo shoot.

Manu Singh Panwar at Indrahar Pass and Temple of Jota Wali Mata

Manu Singh Panwar at Indrahar Pass and Temple of Jota Wali Mata

I spotted a central point and took a few shots of Manu Singh standing in front of the temple. Manu Singh was shouting “HAR HAR MAHADEV!” and I also responded with “HAR HAR MAHADEV!”  I asked Gordon Cole to shout “HAR HAR MAHADEV!” and he did :D!!

Well that was the end of our unplanned hike for Indrahar Pass….but as I saw the Red Arrow marks going further, I was feeling tempted for climbing down towards Chamba. Leaving it for some other day I offered prayers to Jota Wali Mata and took more of shots. We had allotted 1 hour for staying in Indrahar Pass. Gordon, Manu Singh and his friends were enjoying the views and I was feeling like I was at home!

 The wind was cold with another drizzle. As I said was tempted so I climbed down about 50 meters towards Chamba district and…..!  I was surprised with the steep very steep stairs laid using rocks. I took some more shots of the left over Glaciers and of the valley down in Chamba district. From Indrahar Pass we can see Pir Panjal Range, Holy ManiMahesh Kailash Peak of SHIVA and SHAKTI, Tent Peak and many other…but that day all was fog and clouds that we saw.

There was another thing that surprised me….the magic flowers of Dhauladhar Mountains; they were so bright, vibrant, colorful and full of energy. I thought of uprooting some to bring back at home but then felt that these magic flowers are good and prefect with Dhauladhar, so I discarded the thought of bringing them to home.

Magic Flowers in Indrahar Pass ~ Dhauladhar

Magic Flowers in Indrahar Pass ~ Dhauladhar

Chamba Side from Indrahar Pass Dhauladhar

Chamba Side from Indrahar Pass Dhauladhar

It was 05:20 pm and I saw a thick layer of fog crawling up slowly from Chamba side…..seeing that I climbed back to Indrahar Pass and suggested to my friends that we should start our descend for SnowLine Cafe.

We bid farewell to Jota Wali Mata of Indrahar Pass and started our trek back to SnowLine Cafe and Triund.

Jota Wali Mata of Indrahar Pass

Jota Wali Mata of Indrahar Pass

Inside View of Lahesh Cave

Inside View of Lahesh Cave captured during our Lahesh Cave Clean Up 2. The interior is stuffed with empty bottles and plastic while outside also lots of bottles and non bio degradable trash is stuffed. This is in no way how a Responsible and True Hiker, Trekker and Mountain Climber or Nature Lover treats Nature!

Triund Snow and Views

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Aadi Himani Chamunda Devi

The centuries old temple of Aadi Himani Chamunda Devi is completely burned part Naturally and small part human err. As the temple of Aadi Himani Chamunda Devi had wooden sealing and flooring, the lighting stroke was enhanced by cylinder of liquid petrolium gas stored inside.
All leftover now is darkened walls made of stone slabs. Though the area still has sufficient snow….no approach has been made to start the restorations effort.

As of the work done to make concrete trail up to temple is also a total waste of funds as within two years the concrete pavement laid by state government has started to break and in most of parts it is already ruined…plus at some points it is more dangerous to step on some parts of trails..though the old trails is still good to follow.
Availability of water is still not dependent…you might think you will get water refill in the old water point..but that’s just a luck…you might reach the spot and find the tap dry. (that happens mostly and at times when on the opposite ridge villagers go to collect woods or grass for livestock and from the water source they untie the pipeline to drink water and leave the pipeline untied and which results in dry tap on Trail to Aadi Himani Chamunda Devi So you need to carry own water, if you want to avoid dehydration and loss of energy which is required to climb the steep trails.

Langha Mata

Since long Mountains have fascinated humans and some felt scared of them. But only within these Mountains the sage and saints find Peace. Mountains have been watching every activity down on Earth and have kept a record of all incidences and they share it with whoever comes to them and has the capability to communicate with them.

Mountains have found an honorable space with the Gaddi shepherds. As these Gaddi shepherds have been frequenting them since long time and used Mountain Trails and Passes to migrate with their live-stock from one region to other. Though at present this trend is on decline as so called future generation finds this tradition a symbol of backwardness, but they keep forgetting that the Real Life is what their parents and ancestors had. The first generations of Gaddi Shepherd have dedicated temples across series of Mountains and Hills as a symbol of Respect to Nature gods and till date local villagers come to offer prayer to these temples and also frequented by Gaddi shepherds as well as hikers and trekkers. One of such temple is dedicated to Langha Mata (the form of SHAKTI). Within the levels of Triund Hill this serves as another trekking destination in Palampur. To know more
follow..

New Year, Sun and Snow in Triund

This season of 2014 January Triund and mountains of Himalayan range have received good level of snow (as appears by current pattern of snow fall) and particularly for Continue reading

Illaqa to Lahesh Cave

mineral water on the way of Lahesh Cave a head Laka Glacier

Illaqa to Lahesh Cave

As we reached the centre of Illaqa we were welcomed by in-bounding thick  fog with visibility of 5 to 10 meters. Now we were dependent on the Cairn.

Thick Fog on the way to Indrahar Pass(I recalled the night of Dec 15th-16th 2012 when in snow I’d lost my way here while attempting to reach Lahesh Cave and had to take shelter under a rock  makeshift cave and to save myself from cold…and initiate a night run to SnowLine Cafe. Well that was a lesson and I learned that I’m not experienced in trekking in dark and need to work on that.)

I asked Gordon to sit and wait for me and went further searching for Red Arrow markings. At one moment the thick fog forced me to think whether we’ll be able to reach even Lahesh Cave or not. But I kept searching for the “Om” symbol and Red Arrow markings and was lucky to spot the arrows and finally the “Om” symbol.

mineral waterIt took more than 45 minutes for us to spot the markings and then only we were able to resume our Lahesh Cave trail. We refilled our water bottles from the Mineral Water Stream coming right from the Glaciers of Dhauladhar Mountain.

From that point it was a smooth climb even in thick fog but we were not overconfident and were stepping up cautiously.  I told Gordon that in Dec 17th 2012, it was the same trail where I’d lost my Sleeping bag in snow.

Gordon Cole making his way to Lahesh CaveBut this time I was confident and we reached Lahesh Cave at 10:00 AM. The Glacier on the opposite ridge of Lahesh Cave had shrunk to smaller size and the strength of waterfall was also considerably weak.Entrance of Lahesh CaveWe sat up on the huge rock of Lahesh Cave and eat “Parle-G” Glucose biscuits and Gordon was not happy with cave. For him this was not a cave. He kept on defining what a cave is like and I was listening to him and also enjoying. Well after some time Gordon started video recording the flow of waterfall and started enjoying the surrounding.

Lahesh Cave and Glacier WaterFallThe fog was still thick and now our concern was the group of Manu Singh Panwar. We were not sure on seeing this type of dense fog they will come up for Indrahar trail. But we were optimistic, so we waited for them and in the mean time enjoyed the Fog and mystique sounds of waterfall (sounds like of some girl singing with the flow of water).

Beauty of Dhauladhar MountainsAround 30 minutes later we heard some voices…they were shouting…..hearing them we shouted back since it was not possible to see in thick fog. We shouted about the directions for Lahesh Cave, so that they could follow our voice.

It took another 30 minutes and we saw two silhouettes appearing in distance and realized that it was Manu Singh and his friends….but wait we saw only two and we’d met four of them in SnowLine Cafe.

We could see only Manu Singh and Vicky but Nirpender Singh and Kirit were not in scene. Vicky shouted that they had lost traces of two of their friends. Now that was not good. Our eyes tried to scan around through the fog but no use. (During trekking or hiking never get separated from the group)

We kept on looking for them and then Gordon pointed towards waterfall. We were able to spot Nirpender and his friend and that was relaxing. Now we were a group of 6 persons ready for Indrahar Pass and with the blessings of Dhauladhar Mountain the dense fog was not causing any trouble and from Laka Glacier waterfall we started our unplanned Indrahar Pass trek