It all started on sunny Friday evening when I left my office from outer ring road to reach Bangalore airport. It took two hours in Bangalore traffic and another one hour wait to board my flight to Delhi.
Delhi infra have improved a lot, boarded a Volvo which is easily available outside T1, T2 & T3. Reached ISBT Kashmiri gate and the place was in mess (renovation is in progress, I hope by next time it will be better). I boarded Dehradun bus. It was old bus while Govt. has arranged better buses before 10:30 PM and after 4:30 AM.
Day 1 16th April 2011
Had my breakfast at only dhaba available at Pahari bus stand (Hill bus stand) just outside Dehradun railway station, I waited for my bus to Purola/Mori. Timings for buses towards Purola/Mori are 6:00, 7:30, 9:00 & 12:00. It is seven hour journey from Dehradun to Mori; one can catch shared Sumo/Jeep towards Sankari from Mori.
I took 9:00 AM bus, as solo traveler I always felt good to talk to locals around. I met Rajendra Singh Chauhan. He is property dealer and gave me some tips how one can buy small place is UK (Uttarakhand). We had our lunch on the way and he introduced me to Fulak Singh Rana from Osla/Seema who later turned out to be my guide. I heard that one can do Har Ki Doon without guide but being alone still has some issues. I had some discussions with Fulak Ji and hired him as guide from Osla/Seema for 3 days. Our bus reached Mori around 6:00 PM. There was a tourist jeep going towards Sankari, it was last resort and we decided to sit on roof top to reach Sankari.
There is check post on the way in Naitwar where there is nominal charge on per day basis to enter Sankari or ahead. One can avoid it but recommended is to pay here (otherwise fine is double the normal charges). We took shelter in Swargarohini palace in Sankari; one can also stay in GMVN.
Day 2 17 April 2011
Breakfast of tea and biscuit was enough to give some instant energy. We took shared sumo till Taluka. In mountains local vehicles are quite flexible, we were waiting for one person or another for some time and I also made them wait to buy Samosa. We reached Taluka around 9:30AM. After having food at Thakur hotel, we left for Osla/Seema. Trek is on the right bank of Tons river and passes through jungle. Total distance is 14Km where we met locals on the way. There are four villages on that side Osla/Seema, Datmer, Osla Pauni and Gangar.
It was drizzling, after covering 10Km we reached Ganger. There is tea shop at entrance of village where we took tea and I played Sweep with local guys over there. I met Souvo, Sam and Rahul from Kolkata here. Next 4 Km were covered in 1:30 hours and I reached Osla/Seema around 1:00PM. For accommodation one can stay in GMVN or Forest house. There are two small hotels where one can have full meal or short eat (magi, tea or soup).
I met Abhishek from Bombay who was travelling alone from Bombay. I met Mimar (Meghraj) as well who was with Abhishek as a guide and belong to Sankari, after some time Kolkata people also came in. We all were sitting near fire of Deshraj Hotel and discussing everything from cricket to movies. Deshraj prepared Rajma, Nutri, Atta roti and Bajra roti, it was raining heavily and we all had dinner near fire place. I was carrying my tent and decided to pitch it outside forest house but due to heavy rain, I had to abandon the idea of staying in tent. We asked Deshraj to make some fire inside Guest house where we exchanged stories on mountains, previous travels.
Day 3 18th April 2011
Weather was clear today. I and my guide left around 7:20 for Har ki Doon while others were going to have breakfast. We were walking at good speed and taking occasional breaks as it was quite steep compared to (Taluka to Osla /Seema).
On the way Fulak ji showed me the path on the other side which goes to Ruinsara Tal. There were small farms on the way where people were working and he was having candid discussions with them. Snow was melting on the way due to sunlight; it made things little more difficult. We had to place our feet carefully so as not to get wet.
Total trek is of 12Km, after 10 Km there was about 1 feet snow. Weather was becoming more colder and snow was also increasing. By the time we reached Har Ki Doon, my shoes were full wet. We took shelter in forest house whose door was open by luck. He made maggi after collecting dry wood.
GMVN Caretaker also came in ( he lives in Osla/Seema, if you wish to stay in GMVN either you have to inform him or you have to do pre booking because he came back to village if there is nobody to stay in GMVN Har-ki-Doon) along with Canteen wala. We shifted to GMVN, Abhishek, Sam, Rahul and Souvo also arrived.
It was very cold over there. Our guides arranged fire for us and we all sat in front of that to keep ourselves warm. I was having headache and decided to sleep. I was not able to eat much so took some Khichdi and almonds.
Day 4 19th April 2011
Slept well and was feeling energy full again. Took Coffee and came out of bed to take some good pictures of Swargarohini peak, Har ki Doon peak and areas around.
We ate aloo ke paronthe as breakfast with butter (thanks to Abhishek for carrying butter with him).There was heavy snow in the night and I was not carrying proper clothing so I had to abandon my idea to go to Ruinsara tal.We left for Osla/Seema and there was snow fall on the way down. I and Abhishek decided to visit Osla village to see Someshwar ji temple and to make call home. We said bye to our Kolkata friends on Osla/Seema bridge and visited the village.We reached Seema around 3:30PM and ate maggi. We were playing cards and eating for the rest of the evening. We had dinner of aloo fry and Rajma (favorite here).
Day 5 20th April 2011
Today we decided to reach Sankari. Plan was to trek till Taluka and take shared jeep from there to Sankari. As road from Taluka to Sankari was washed away by rains, we had to trek till Sankari. I called my guide to help me out till Taluka. We left Seema around 7:15AM and reached Taluka 10:45 AM.
Food at Taluka hotel was tastier than before after trek of 14km. Rest of 30min and we were ready for the next part of trek till Sankari. Last few kilometers were tiring, we crossed through the water at one place and reached Sankari around 2:15PM. We took tea and pakora at ShivGanga Restaurent (at bend towards Taluka, near the place where bus/taxi stands)
In evening there was cricket match going on in Sankari, mini IPL. Some of the children were fielding 30 meter above batsman on fine leg, off side. It was fun to spend evening there. We stayed in Swargarohini palace.
Day 6 21st April 2011
As per discussion with Ram Lal Ji last evening we were ready on time and did our breakfast at ShivGanga Restaurant. We reached Dehradun around 4:30PM and left for Haridwar by train.
At Haridwar, it is very peaceful to sit beside Ganga Ji. We took our dinner at Choti Wala on Har ki Paudi. It was time for me to say goodbye to Abhishek and I took bus to Ludhiana to reach my place Bagha Purana.
These six days marks another wonderful memorable trip in the lap of Himalaya. Any enquiry/information feel free to write to me @ firstname.lastname@example.org.