Saryu-Pindar valley village walk 2nd to 8th Oct 2019
Aptly called “Into the Wilderness”A unique trek cum village walk to some of the most remote villages in the Kumaon division of Uttarakhand which started from Bageshwar city on the banks of the sarju river and ended at the beautiful hamlet of Kausani famous for gorgeous views of the greater himalayas on a clear day ! The trek begun at the roadhead at patiyasar , a small village located deep in the heart of the Sarju valley , Valley not often visited by tourists or travelers, and the best place to witness the simple yet challenging life of the locals where most of the men have moved to the cities for employment leaving the elders and the women behind . A 9 km gradual climb brought us to the sleepy and picturesque village of Jhuni surrounded by towering peaks on all sides and the last village of the sarju valley , before the greater Himalayas. Still untouched by commercialisation , Jhuni village has very few homestays to accommodate travelers and very limited options in terms of food since not a lot grows at this altitude and these remote areas. All of which is made up for by the fascinating views , the dense forests around and the numerous waterfalls that dress up the mountains on either side . The star attraction is the Sahastradhara waterfall , that has a legend attached to it and the source of which is still unknown and unseen by the locals . Sahastradhara is also the source of the relatively calm sarju river compared to its counterpart the pindar river that flows in the valley adjacent to it
A couple of days at the laidback village of Jhuni where we were accommodated at the cozy an comfortable house of Khim singh , and it was time for us to trek up a distance of around 7kms to the high altitude meadow of Bajling Dhar , Again not a very popular place for tourists but an astounding place which affords amazing views of the peaks over sunderdunga and Pindar Glaciers . Camping at the grassy slopes of Bajling dhar , with our team of local chefs serving us tea, tomato soup and sumptuous dinner with the snow capped peaks providing an excellent backdrop, was one of the highlights of the Tour and would remain etched in memory for a very long time . The locals with their endurance , stamina and hospitality never cease to surprise you and none of these trips would be a success without their never ending support and love ! The view of the Himalayas in the morning was one to behold, with the snow capped peaks appearing to be at a touching distance , and their mightiness and grandeur left us in awe of this scintillating view.
A couple of hours of Exploring the meadow and the surrounding forest for birds and we made our way down to the village of Khati ( A 7km downhill trek) , the last village on the pindari glacier trail and the village and its people i can call my own. The village of Khati infact all villages of the pindar valley are in stark contrast to those in the Sarju valley due to the popularity of the Pindari glacier trek , as they see a larger number of people visiting them , which makes the villages seem to be buzzing with constant activity. Does’nt negate the rawness and the beauty of these parts in any way though ! The Pindar valley is also much colder than the sarju valley owing to its proximity to the greater Himalayas and the Pindar and sunderdunga rivers originating from them , which brings in icy cold winds of the snow capped mountains straight to the villages . A Village walk covering almost the entire village , as we moved from one house to another , chatting with the villagers about their life, culture and their skills ., as we were treated to Pumpkin( picked by one of our guests from one of the fields) ki sabzi for dinner . Following Morning , the group got a taste of working in the fields with the family of Harak Singh , as some of the locally grown veggies and kidney beans were made available for us to carry them back home .
Noon was time for us to bid adieu to these magical parts of Kumaon, as we made our way to the serene village of Kausani for night stay . IT was one of the most memorable trips i have ever done with the most sporting and easy going group that i have ever come across. A big thank you to Siddartha , Madhav, Vivek and Ruchi for giving me an opportunity to showcase the unseen splendour of the Kumaon Himalayas and to bring forth the culture, lifestyle and the love that people of these remote regions possess . Hope to lead many more travels to these mystical lands and contribute in a small way to enrich the lives of these simple, beautiful and deserving people ! Love, i have always been given, smiles i wish to offer !
To Kumaon, For Kumaon !