A sky full of stars

Snaking through pitch black roads, we were welcomed by star studded hills.
While the sun amidst the sky was struggling to yawn and peep through the mountains I was thinking about the upcoming trek trying to sneak away everything else at bay. The journey to the base camp to start the trek was no less interesting and tiring. The single unexplored freshly created road to bandi village from Mandi district in HP was a thrilling experience for the driver as well. With instructions from trek leader, and our stock of water, chocolates, fruits all stocked well to help us reach the 7kms uphill trek to Prashar lake started off like an army ready for battle.
The serene Prashar lake nestled amongst the mountain valleys has a mysterious charm to it. Named on the sage Prashar Rishi , an extremely enchanting 3 stories pagoda-like temple is located adjacent to the lake. The temple was built in 13th century. It provides a panaromic view of Dhauladhar range, kinnaur and Rohtang pass. The depth of the lake is still not ascertained. According to locals, all the attempts to determine the depth of lake have failed. The other interesting facet of this lake is the floating island which keeps moving. The reason for movement of island is also not determined yet.
Although everyone usually starts trekking from baagi village, our trek group (www.TrekTrails.in ) explored an untouched trek route from Bandi village. Bandi village is a small hamlet 45kms from Mandi village. It has just been connected to Mandi via an approach road reachable by local jeep. The fresh air of mountains and clear blue sky itself gives a kick indescribable by words. With an initial round of introduction by fellow Trekkers we followed trek leader on the route. The locals wished us luck and were visibly surprised as nobody ever started a trek from Bandi village. What awaited our eyes was the spring beauty of Himachal. With a steep hike of about 3.5 kms , amongst the beautiful white red pink and yellow flowers and huge pine forest, we reached a place where we were literally walking amongst the clouds. The mist, silhouette of mountains as far as the eyes can soak in, is a sight to behold which can’t be captured by any camera of the world. The pixels and screenshots in mind can tail you out of any situation in life. Enjoying the scenic beauty we reached Prashar lake. Pitched cozy tents by the trek trails team were a welcome respite along with drizzle and a hot cup of tea. The rain showers added to the already beautiful landscape. As the clouds dissipated, the night sky dotted with stars in the lap of mountains, exuded a calmness that was absolutely surreal. It felt the galaxy was conjuring up a light show for the meek creatures on earth to admire and bow in wonder.

Sleeping in the mountains with rain splattering on roof of tent, felt like a lullaby of nature trying to still my soul from the theatrics of this world. The howling wind along with rain tried to swoosh the tent left and right, but sleep overpowered in the cosy sleeping bag drifting away to another galaxy of dreams. Rejuvenating is the word that best describes the stretching and yoga taught by Nitin amongst the scenic surroundings. The chanting of Om at such a place makes one rise above the cacophony and grind of the everyday mundane routine.

The trekking down was almost a breeze compared to trekking up to Prashar lake. With a slight deviation from the normal route to baagi village , we landed up in a small hamlet and got a chance to play a bit of cricket. There was a stream with big rocky boulders which was created by a cloud burst and didn’t exist before. Makes one acknowledge the mighty power of nature and an unsaid promise of taking care of environment as much as possible. The trek trails team took care of the same when they handed us the trash bags and we were asked to collect trash on the way.

After a sumptuous lunch at kamand village and a photo shoot later, we packed our things and started off back to Chandigarh still admiring the myriad shades of greenery of hills.

It’s true when someone said poetry of the earth is never dead. I have been bowled over by the sheer lucidity and mellifluous poetic experience of trekking in HP. A humble and huge vote of thanks to the team. May you keep climbing every pedestal of mountain up closer to success and contentment!

About Author

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Amita Gulati
Amita Gulati, a techie by profession but love to read, write, travel, trek, speak, meet people and the list is endless. Not an expert at putting a perfect streak of eyeliner, but can deliver a perfect impromptu speech on anything under the sun!

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