Driving from Dhanaulti to Harshil via Uttarkashi in May, Himalayan Traveller

uttarkashi in may

The fastest mode would have been a helicopter from Dehradun to Harsil, but minus chai from roadside shops overlooking the mesmerising sunset hued hillside. Driving in an Innova was cool and cheap!

We had time to catch up with life in slow motion, watch the sun go by, feel the temperature drop slowly, smile and talk of yesterdays and tomorrows.

Six happy birds (chattering girls) were in their elements in the Himalayas. ‘Sthaavaranaam Himalaya,’ as Krishna says in Gita, ‘in stability, I am the Himalayas.’ It sure is a great grounding feeling to just be here. Grounding and expansive! Strange!

The drive from Dhanaulti to Uttarkashi was beautiful. This was my first experience of Uttarkashi. The settlement on the banks of Ganga ji, felt like it was Rishikesh. The river was right next to the ashrams. The tall Himalayas almost humbled by the hurried river. In May, blue jacarandas prettied up Uttarkashi, bringing more of the sky hues to land. We stopped at a road side eatery run by a local family for a sumptuous lunch.

We had left Dhanaulti at  9 a.m. and reached Harsil by 4 p.m. just in time to catch the glorious evening views (which stayed the same yet never the same every day of our stay here). The GMVN hotel was a cosy place on the banks of Bhagirathi Ganga ji. Orchids and mint grew here in abundance. The staff was smiling and genuinely hard working. There was no phone connectivity except for BSNL, and this turned out to be a relief. The phone was just a camera now, no whatsapp, etc. to tempt with quick sharings. Time expanded. The senses rested and marvelled at life in this blue and white setting (snow, sky, water and trees).

We walked to the Bhutia village, Wilson cottage, Sri Laxmi-Narayan temple at the meeting of Bhagirathi Ganga and Jalandhar Gad a tributary from Himachal. Apple orchards, potato fields, pahari peepal trees, and the rejuvenating temple created mind-space despite unending urban busy-ness.

Helicopters landed and took off at regular intervals taking travellers to and from Gangotri, just 24 km from Harsil. We chose to drive to Gangotri and walk to Mukhba one bright sunny day…

Let’s catch up later.

Suggested Reading

  1. White water rafting on Himalayan rivers is a great way to connect with the powers that be in nature.
  2. Dhanaulti, a few hours ahead of Mussourie on the road to Uttarkashi is a lesser known Himalayan destination. Well hidden :) by giant deodar trees and cascading starlit skies. A change in flight schedule brought us here. Lucky us!
  3. At Gomukh one reaches the heavenly bliss without any effort.
  4. Hartola may not be readily accessible, but therein lies the charm of being here.
  5. I don’t know where the search for God ends but it can surely begin at the Valley of Flowers.
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