AT THE SNOWLINE OF THE HIMALAYAS

HIMALAYAN MOUNTAIN SCENEDuring a frenetic month through April 2009 I crossed four Indian States: Uttar Pradesh, Rajashthan, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh; and covered approximately 3800 kilometres by train, bus, horse and (broken) foot. Cycle and Auto Rickshaws transported me while in the cities. I travelled from Delhi to Varanasi on a personal mission to scatter some of my Mum’s ashes. From Varanasi by train into Rajasthan via Agra and Jaipur. From Jaipur I kept going West to Johdpur -‘The Blue City’ – where I broke my foot falling from a railway station step. From Johdpur to Jaisalmer and a visit to the hospital, then to Bikaner and Deshnok for the fantastically weird ‘Rat Temple’.

Leaving the desert I moved up to Amritsar where I was lucky to arrive at 4am for a Harvest Festival at the Golden Temple. Vaisakhi is both the harvest festival and the Sikh New Year, marking the birth of the Sikh order of the Khalsa. I was lucky to have stumbled across it at just the right time: the Golden Temple covered in fairy lights at dawn is a sight all should see.

From Amritsar I travelled to Pathankot and from there on the delightful ‘Toy Train’ through the beautiful Kangra Valley to Kangra Mandir and finally Dharamsala, Mc’Cleod Ganj and Bhagsu Nag.

I made my base for a time in Bhagsu Nag and proceeded by horse and bandaged foot to the snowline of the Himalayas above Triund. I wanted to have walked in the desert sand of Rajasthan and the snow of the mountains in one trip. An unexpected night trapped on Triund in a lightning and snow storm allowed for some shots of the mountains as the storm rolled in. I returned the next day to Delhi: sore, tired and limping but happy to have got my shots and to have met some new friends. I shall be returning as soon as I can!

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