Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sarpass - On reaching Kasol base camp

It was a big dream of mine to visit The Great Himalayas. Two weeks of leave were a huge concern but this dream I knew was worth making any compromise. We booked our flights even before getting our leaves sanctioned. We shopped endlessly almost every weekend in April.  I was excited like a kid with every day getting closer to this trek. We kept our day schedule tight with workouts both in the morning and evening. Finally the big day on May 5th arrived, we flew to delhi and took a overnight HPTDC bus to reach Bhuntar. A local bus from Buntar took us to Kasol base camp in Kullu dist. I caught sight of snow mountains on our way to base camp and I was like WOW!!!! 

- Route Map of Sarpass Trek

The base camp was in a beautiful town of Kasol. River parvathi flowing right behind it. Her gushing sound all through the day set a endless music at the camp. The water in the taps were chilling. Forget taking bath, I had to think twice to even wash my face with that finger numbing cold water. More than 15 tents put in a large ground which is hired by YHAI every year during this sarpass trek season. Mithun Da was taking care of running this camp smoothly, he himself used to be running all the time for everything :P Amazing chap!!! 

             - Picture of Camp site at Kasol taken by Amit Mehta, one among those who see more through lens than throw eyes.

This being my second YHI trek, I was not surprised by the tents and the crowd in Base camps. We had our breakfast, bread butter jam and eggs. We were worried about having bread for breakfast whole of our trek, but fortunately that was not the case. We took our sweet time to occupy and settle down in our tents and relaxed for a while.

Just walk a while outside the camp and you see endless Israeli crowd roaming in weird dresses. No doubt the locals were accustomed to these guests and made their stay cosy in India. I was concerned about this and later I was told that tourist from Australia and Israel are common in Kasol being it cheaper than Manali and they are here for not more that 6 months.

Post Lunch, guys enjoyed a nice sleep in their tents while me and Suma wanted to explore the place with our camera. We took a bus in front of the base camp to Manikaran, 5km away. Manikaran  is located in the Parvati Valley between the rivers Beas and Parvati. It is famous for Hot springs. Manikaran is a pilgrimage centre for Hindus and Sikhs. A Gurudwara and Ram Mandir in the same temple complex. This place is crowded by piligrims visiting the gurudwara throughout the year. There is a pool where you can take bath in the hot water and on the other side of this bridge connecting the temple we can see boiling hot water gushing into the river.

 Back in the base camp, after a round of tea and snacks, We went for a short walk to the near by market enjoying the beauty of this little town. The houses in kasol built with wood were beautiful to look at, naturally for a person who is so tired of seeing concrete structures everyday. There are beautifully built structures standing amidst green fields. The town is surrounded by hills in all directions. Every hill is covered with pine trees. Little googling about kasol tells us that there is only one school which teaches only upto class 7th. Further the students either travel to Manikaran or Kullu to continue their studies. And we happened to see this school on our evening stroll. The school facing a temple, had not more than 20-25 students mostly girls. In a beautiful place like this it is natural that kids wont want to waste their lives sitting in those boring classes rooms and ruin their chilhood (I am being honest :P). The school had this big board telling "Honesty is the best policy" and several other boards of sarva siksha abhayan. Yea but I felt I should come here sometime in my life and work for these students in such schools where education is still not commercialised. 

Back in camp we had the first campfire. It was time to sing "Fire Fire CampFire". I still find this part very funny in YHI. Then started the performances by SP5 group. I cannot forget the Kargil story fabulously narrated by Chandrashekar Patil ji from Maharashtra. 
- Eco friendly Camp fire!!!

We collected our sleeping bags and kambal, next ten days we would spend our nights in these sleeping bags and Kambal. After sipping a hot cup of Bournvita the lights went off and we into our sleeping bags


  1. Was waiting for these.. When is episode 2 coming out? :)

  2. Yhai... But people also know it is as just YHI too...

  3. Very well described Sana! Waiting to read chapter 2 ....tomorrow, with my cup of coffee! :)

  4. Thank yo Amit.... Will update by end of the day.

  5. lovely pic of Base camp and campfire....reading your blog..nice..memories..sweet one...this is Mithun

    1. Mithun da you need no introduction. We cancan never forget you. Thank you for the compliments. You made our stay in kasol all the more beautiful!!!