Saturday, June 9, 2012

Kanchani Thatch

The trek to higher camp started on the 4th day. Both SP7 and SP8 lined up to bid us bye. We waited outside the base camp for the bus to take us to our trekking spot from where we were to start our actual trek. We packed our bags on top of the bus and packed ourselves inside.  

The bus moved towards Manikaran and then towards a right. The ride was long and the beautiful view of the hills and the valley below kept all the photographers occupied. We passed by few apple orchards, beautiful houses built in wood and ofcourse the ever flowing river parvathi following down the stream. As soon as we got down the bus and collected our bags, we saw a lady selling the wooden sticks which would help us during our trek. Most of us picked up one and started walking towards the first higher camp. 
The rest of the distance to walk till the Kanchani Thatch was short and the group was is no hurry. We met the first tea point near a small waterfall. We ate our packed lunch and a hot tea. After the early lunch and tea the group was in all mood to catch a nap but the rain gods  had different plans. It started raining heavily, by then we had reached a safe shelter. Few of us locked ourselves in a small room. The large group in the adjacent room started singing while we settled down listening to them and chit-chatting. Once it stopped raining, we reached the first camp KANCHANI THATCH.

The camp leader gave us a short briefing about the campsite and we were advised not to sit inside the tent which will not help in getting acclimatized to the altitude. The group started exploring the places around, the camp site was indeed a very beautiful place. A stream of chilling water was running behind the camp from the hill above. 

After sipping in hot tea, we gathered to play our water bottle game, the bottles got replaced by a socks ball and then the cricket enthusiasts wanted to play 8-8 over match. 

There was more decision making than actual game and it was fun watching them quarrel even for a single run. My job of score board was very difficult. I even tried my hand batting for a over. Not doubt it was a maiden. Manoj & Mayur dived for catch deserving a best fielding award. Dani should have had awarded the best batsman award. 
The night was extremely cold, I was almost shivering when we got a call outside the tent for a session on star gazing. Dhiren Meshvaniya, a star gazer by hobby was to share his learnings on astronomy. I dint want to miss it. Struggled to keep myself warm, the hot bournvita certainly helped. The cold was gone as we got lost in the sky watching stars and satellite. We enjoyed our journey watching the Saptharishi, Pole star, Swathi, Chitra and several other star and constellations in the sky. Its amazing to understand how we do identify the directions keeping the stars for reference. I sometimes got lost but dint miss bear, a man, lion, fish formations the stars made, for which we address them as sun signs. I was so excited when I saw satellites in the night sky for the first time. Night sky is a world in itself, it has so much in its treasure to amaze you, especially at this altitude where there are only mountains in all directions. 
There is so much to learn for a person like me who knows nothing about astronomy. Yeppie, could be a new hobby!! Noted down.

It was an extremely cold night. I realised only after the session got over. Ran back into the tents and started  star gazing inside the sleeping bag.


  1. Site name is Kangchani Thatch, not Kanchani Thatch. Sorry for the mistake and Thank you Dhiren for correcting me. :)

  2. Brought back the memory of this camp. I simply loved the astronomy session. I personally considered this to be one of the high points of this trek. In fact, we were able to capture one of the best snaps of this trek here! The snaps was a 30 min exposure of the night sky and it captured a 7.5 Deg movement of the earth with the North Star in the center and the other stars creating the light arcs that signify the movement.

    1. So true amit :) As soon as we started following the stars we forgot the cold and everything around. Amazing experience!!