Monday, April 13, 2009

Ronty saddle (Part -II)

Next day we covered the remaining part of the Shilasamudra glacier quickly to reach river Nandakini.

Traversing the shilasamudra glacier

Just before that, our guide Ranjit tried to draw our attention towards a ridge which he described as "Ghiew thappani". The story behind the name is like this... Once Nandadevi , while traveling through this region became very tired. Her friends were surprised and expressed their doubts her being a goddess. So Nandadevi suggested to throw Ghee (clarified butter) on the hill. Everybody tried, ghee slipped off the hill, but when Nandadevi threw, it got stuck to the rocky surface. From here the confluence of Nandakini and Shilasamudra rivers can be seen.

Shilasamudra River is coming from the snout

Thereafter, we followed the scree zone along the left bank of Nandakini river. Wide open Nandaghunti in front and Nandakini river on the left hand side inspire to move on. But at the same time, if one becomes too much overwhelmed by the beauty of the surroundings, the feet may slip to dislocate some bones! At around 12 we took the lunch brake. We had rotis (hand made breads) and curry made in the last night in the lunch.

Lunch break on the river bed, Mt Nandaghunti on the backdrop

One of our porter, Gabbar Singh was very excited as if he got some lottery! On the way,first he got a piece of scarf printed with the names of Nandadevi. He made a turban with that. Then he found a pair of woolen socks, then a pair of hunter shoes and at last a leather belt. Finding me very surprised he explained me the fact. During Nandajat, people throw away such things due to two reasons, firstly to lessen the weight and thus to reduce the burden, and secondly, which is most important, people want to reach Homekund barefoot, without any goods made from leather. So.. Gabbar was such a lucky fellow. ranjit told how his 68 years old father-in-law took part in this ceremony bare foot and a seven days starvation.
We reached "Dodang Pass" (15000 ft ) at about 4.30 in the evening. In Garhwali dialect "Do" means two and "dang" means big rocks. Two huge rocks at that place suffice for the name. We ended our that day's trek and pitched tents there.

Camp site at Dodang Pass


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