Hampta pass :
The way some stories inspires us to follow our dreams and passion, the same way I was keen on taking the Hampta pass trek experience. Hampta pass Trek has it’s own charm and one of it’s kind of trek, beauty of the valley is charismatic and journey is enthralling. Before heading for this trek I was excited as it was going to be my first trekking experience of 5 days long duration trek and the ‘first’ always remains close to one’s heart for the rest of the life and being such a awful trek one can’t forget any memories.
I could hardly contain my excitement owing to the stunning locations and the frequently changing landscapes at every next turn, I had already read about. Reading about any destination brings curiosity in you but real adventurous feeling arrives when you start heading towards the destination. The amazing part of trekking is ‘Journey itself brings all excitement and you blossom like a flower’. Once you reach the destination you only think about the journey not the destination, this what happened to me as well.
To add one more memorable travel chapter to my life’s diary, I planned everything and started the journey around 11:30 pm from Delhi to Manali via Volvo. I reached Manali around 9:00am, after passing the crisp twists and turns during the journey. Relaxed for a bit at the bus stand and had some quick breakfast to get some energy for the rest of the day.
My trip began through the local transport to reach Jobra, where I managed to reach in an hour. The paths crossed through small and pristine hamlets of Panduropa, Hampta pass and checkpost of ‘Allain Duhungan’ hydel project site. This site was the onset of trekking trivia. The base camp for first night was Cheeka and was around 2kms from the point where I started.
With excitement on my face and enthusiasm in my walk, I started walking and felt myself surrounded with maple trees and thick forests of walnut, deodar and oak trees. After passing this trail, another turn revealed the beautiful meadows alongside river Rani. Totally lost in the landscapes, I decided to keep walking without taking a halt and a bit of a climb afterwards took me to Cheeka, the first campsite.
The scenery was not less than what we usually dreamt of, the wide span of grasslands around and a river flowing nearby creating a music in the valley that my mind was giving me a million reasons to stay there only and never to grow out of it. It was 6pm and now I was in dire need of some rest and some food. A lovely night I spent under the sky across the pleasant breeze.
After waking up at 7am, I opened my tent and chose to get spell bounded by the morning view outside and it was magnetic, you feel the same way you are into your dreams. A sip of tea is like your having best tea brand in the market. Today’s priority was to cover around 8 kms to reach Balu ka Gera, the second camp. During trek one important thing is reaching your camp on time and some how I had able to maintain that. Fully energized, the day brought me across the stones and rocky terrains at first. The best part was the river flowing alongside that was my companion throughout, never leaving my side and I was continuously listening the music of flowing river.
After going some distance, I looked back and the Dhauladhar ranges were peeking out to make their serene presence felt. To move the other side, the river needed to be crossed and the chilling water made me numb in the imagination itself. But I am glad now that I showed some courage to let my feet touch those waters rather than crossing it via stepping on stones. Once you cross the river your whole body’s each part gets activated and that feeling is completely different.
The next on the way was a place named Jwara, Snow covered rocks on one side and river on the other was the perfect combination. There were some magnificent multicolored flowers further giving the landscape another amazing turn. Leading some distance through a sloppy path, I reached Balu ka Gera and the place is a campsite comprising of the deposit of sand by the river. I could feel the change of temperature that was chill around, which felt bit prick. Settling down made me feel the pain in my legs and the best option left was to take rest. Although leg were paining but I had best sleep of my life, somewhere your mind knows before sleep that next day is going to be beautiful and giving you one more experience.
I woke up and knew that this was the D-day when I would be able to reach my actual destination. The trek for the day was bit tough as it was a total ascent till Hampta pass. The river, flowers and nature scenes played around in the beginning. I could see the small patches of snow along the hills. The day was difficult and I took some breaks on the way to be able to continue. Progressing from plateau to ridges, bucking myself up, I managed to reach Hampta pass in 6 hours. Believe me or not, the site was enthralling.
The mesmerizing view of intimidating mountains, the ravishing Mt Indrasan and the mountain desert with some scattered flowers on Spiti side. A totally tired me could have even walked more, if I knew I had to experience this marvel. An inexplicable view! I tried to come out of the hang of it to take some rest, had something to eat, soaked the surroundings into myself and finally decide to step ahead.
It was a total descent further to Shia Goru that felt more risky. The grip of shoes and the support was much needed during this part. I walked very slowly to ensure no accident happens. I reached the camp at Shia Goru in another 2 hours. And this campsite was a blend of everything I had seen all along my way. Flowers, barren mountains, some vegetation and the river, all the contrasting ecosystems put them together. I had the sleep of contentment that day.
The place named Chatru was going to be the campsite for today. The descent trek of around 7 kms was planned. The landscape was showing its reverse side now, the Spiti side of barren mountains and nothing green I could locate around. The terrain was bit risky though owing to some slippery parts.I could see a way going further to Chandratal, the river about that I had already read is totally serene and a breathtaking sight. But owing to the delay in the schedule, I had to miss out going to Chandratal and that was the worst part and a bad feeling. Anyhow, I convinced myself and moved ahead. After crossing some glaciers, I reached Chatru in 6 hours. The special thing about the location is that it is the confluence point of Spiti valley, Hampta pass and Rohtang Pass.
The local transport dropped me to Manali bus stand and it took around 5 hours. I sat at the bus stand for some time, collected and recalled all the amazement I went through and took the bus back at 5pm from Manali to Delhi and reached at 6am. My journey ends here creating everlasting memories in one of the corner of my heart that will remain same no matter how many such trips I will do.
And when I have had the taste of this addiction, I would not stop you from getting the same. As the experiences are never the same but the daring moves are.
An important tip: To visit Chandratal, please visit in the summer months only.