Name: Bhrigu Lake Trek
Approx elevation: 4,100 m
Starting Point: Gulaba or Vashisht, near Manali
Have you ever thought to go to Himalayan Trek? I am sure you have. At least once in your life. Even thinking about hiking on high Himalayan Mountains is fascinating in its own way, isn’t it? sleeping in tents that too in sleeping bags, waking up to seeing majestic mountains in front of you, managing all your stuff personally without any help and ending your day with mighty camp fire. Who doesn’t want to experience all these things at least once in life? This can be possible only when you participate in treks organized by well informed and well equipped trekking company. Recently I went for one such trek which was destined for Bhrigu Lake. Trek organizer was Kailashrath Treks which is well-established trekking company. Here is day wise details of all the activities we did and all the fun we had.
On the very first day, we had to reach Naggar from where Kailashrath Treks provided us cabs to reach Base camp site which is located in a small village called Rumsu. First, let me familiarize you with this beautiful village. Rumsu is 7-8 km away from Naggar. The road to Rumsu is rustic and as you travel further away from Naggar and get nearer to Rumsu you feel like you are going into the past leaving all modern things behind and accepting rustic charm of nature. Once you reach Rumsu you find a typical Himalayan town having old wooden homes and apple orchards. A small temple dedicated to God Jamlu is a center of town. All activities go around in small ground adjacent to this Temple. People of this Village is friendly and they share their stories very enthusiastically once they get familiar with you. Get yourself ready to feel the trek while sitting in your office. We reached base camp around 10 in morning. After registration process one of the team
member gave us an introductory speech about the campsite and provided us a schedule for the day. Breakfast was ready for us when we reached so first we had breakfast of paratha along with hot tea and pickle.
After breakfast, we had to collect our rucksack from office and had to fill it with our luggage within 15 minutes as we were going for acclimatization walk. This was our first activity for the day. This activity helped us to get familiarize with mountain conditions and also gave us an idea that walking on mountains are quite different and bit harder than walking on straight roads, And I think that’s why people call it Hiking. Since it was not the first trek for me this walk was nostalgic for me. I remembered all the beautiful memories of previous treks. When we reached at the campsite after this walk our lunch was ready. We all took our lunch and cleaned utensils by ourselves. Yes you read it right, once you are on mountains you have to manage everything by yourself.
Rumsu in winters
After lunch, we were free for about an hour. At 2 we went for another activity called rappelling. It is an activity in which you have to descend on a steep rock (which indeed turned out approximately vertical) by the help of rope supported by a carabineer. All of us did this enthusiastically and when one participant was descending everyone else was cheering him up and that was really helpful. Few of us even did this for the second time as well. After this activity came the best part of that day for me which was orientation lecture by one of the founders. It was quite educative in many sense. Even though this was not my first trek I learned so many small things which were very helpful throughout the trek. After the orientation followed by Q & A, we had to collect our sleeping bags from the office. After that, we had our dinner and again washed our plates by ourselves only. Once dinner was over we got back to our respective rooms or tents as we had to pack our rucksack for the trek. We packed our rucksack according to the advice given to us in orientation lecture. We went into our sleeping bags directly after packing rucksack as we all were tired. This day was exactly what you call a day well spent. In a nut shell, it was a very eventful day.
Wake up call at 5.yes you read it right we woke up at 5 but so did we sleep before ten on the previous night. It was a cold morning and although hot water was available in one of the bathrooms most of us didn’t bath. After getting fresh we ate our breakfast and packed our lunch in lunchboxes as we had to eat somewhere in between two campsites. Once we were ready for the trek we started our ride to Gulaba in the car as our actual trek was supposed to start from Gulaba itself. The road to Gulaba is beautiful and though it took three hours to get there we weren’t tired at all. We reached there around ten and started our trek from there. Hardly had we walked around 10-15 minutes one small canteen came. It is not ideal to start your trek just after having snacks but we couldn’t resist our self from having Maggi while sitting amidst mountains viewing lush green grassland in front of us. We gave our rucksack to porters at canteen as we didn’t want to get tired carrying a heavy rucksack and compromising on enjoyment of trek as well. Our camp site was located at such heights that getting woods from surrounding areas weren’t possible so we gave extra bucks to the porter and he arranged wood logs for the campfire. After this, we started our actual trek.
For the first two hours terrain was bit steep and hiking was comparatively difficult and tiresome. We took rest after every 20-25 minutes of the trek. Our guide provided continues tricks about how to walk, how to breathe and even how to drink water while on the trek. Around 12 we reached a place that was comparatively flat and the view was also good so our guide suggested that we should take our lunch at that place. We sat there and ate our packed lunch. Such lunch remains as a beautiful memory with you throughout your life. After all how many times one gets opportunity to have lunch such like that? After lunch, we started hiking further. The terrain was not as steep as earlier so we walked bit fast. Soon weather started getting worse so our guide told us to move speedily and within minutes the rain started. Quickly we covered ourselves with wind cheaters and raincoats. After a while we reached Chor Nallah. We clicked few photos there and crossed that.
As we moved further, all of the sudden clouds gathered around us and we weren’t able to locate things even few meters ahead of us. Within no time snow started falling and at first, it was a great feeling to experience snowfall in the month of June but after a while, we realized how hard it is to walk in such situations. The land is wet, Visibility is low, you don’t have any shelter so snow is directly hitting you hard and amid all this, you can’t afford to stop as you never know how weather will be after sometime in fact it can get even worse. So we continued walking and fortunately, our camp site wasn’t far. We reached our camp site around two. As early as we reached our campsite, we directly headed towards our tents as the snow was still falling down. It stopped eventually and we came outside of tents and had snacks along with hot tea.
The evening was too cold due to snowfall but for some time sun showered its rays upon us so we took maximum benefit of it and captured some fabulous pictures. Around seven they served us dinner and after that, the best part camThis day was D day for us. We had to reach Bhrigu Lake and come back on the same day. We woke up little late around 6. Late because when we woke up the sun was already shining brightly. We had our breakfast of stuffed paratha with hot tea around seven; packed our lunch. Lunch was a bit special for me as we had brown chickpeas and puri which I like more than anything. As soon as we packed lunch we got ready with our rucksacks for the trek. We had to carry our own rucksack for that day as most of the trek was going to be snow trek. We started climbing at around eight o’clock. The first portion of the climb which was visible from our campsite was too steep. Enervated, we took break just after the first climb but we had to cover miles ahead to reach the sacred lake so we started climbing again.
Hardly had we covered small distance and snow started; we had an idea that most of the trek was going to be in snow but none of us had thought that snow trek would start this early. Our guide gave us few instructions that included breathing technique, climbing technique and some thumb rule which we had to follow during snow trek. Walking on hard snow along with steep slope was enfeeble as well as exciting at the same time. After climbing two such slopes three of our team mates got tired and none of them wanted to proceed further but any how our guide managed to motivate two out of three to climb. Leaving one person behind; we moved onward. There was not a single defined route; snow was really hard and at times it was not possible to walk properly without slipping on that. Our guide made way for us with the help of his French axe. We could only walk on the path made by our guide and had to strictly follow single line. This was exhausting; at one moment we had put all our energy and our lungs were crying out loud but there was not an option to quit and frankly, none of us even wanted to quit because the lake was not far from there. We gathered all our strength back as our guide motivated us and walked over the last glacier.
Having crossed that part we reached the mighty lake. The first sight of the lake was just vivacious. We went near to the lake; water was bone freezing but as it is believed to be sacred we touched our legs there and enjoyed the view. Capturing this beautiful moment in our cameras, we spent quality time there. Bhrigu Lake is well known as one of the best meditation location so I wanted to experience that feeling by practically doing it. I moved away from the group; went little back and sat there idly for meditation. Such feelings can never be expressed by words but it was absolutely soul satisfying and ethereal is all I can manage to say. Having spent enough time there we started descending. It was as hard as climbing; slopes were steep and we had only one guide with us so he could not allow us to slide as most of us didn’t know the proper technique and terrain was a little bit risky too.
We descended two slopes walking carefully and every one was hungry by then so we ate our lunch there. After finishing lunch, we started walking further down but everyone was falling down due to the sheer slope and hard snow hence finally our guide taught us how to slide and thereafter everyone started sliding down on snow. It was an exhilarating experience; all we had to do was sit or sleep properly on the snow and let slope do its job. Enjoying all this we reached our camp site around four. Snacks were ready when we reached and they served us pakodas. It was another great surprise for the day, who doesn’t like pakodas after an enervating Trek? We ate that and spent rest of the evening doing nothing but enjoying nature. Dinner was served afterward and the campfire was set up. Sitting by the fire, without uttering a word, just understanding each other’s silence and staring at the view around; we rejoiced our small victory.
After a while, everyone went to their tents and slept in the sleeping bags for the last time. It was last night of our trek. We all had made so many memories during last three days and most importantly we met like minded people and were now family for life. CAMP FIRE, How could one miss that? It is my personal favorite and I know many of you have the same feeling. We sat around the mighty fire and sang songs, shared our stories and enjoyed bournvita. The best thing about night in the mountains is that you can watch the whole Milky Way and luckily at that day sky was clear so we enjoyed a breath-taking view of our milky way. The temperature was below zero even before nine so we went back to our tents before mercury moved further down. We slept in sleeping bags once again and now we were familiar with this. It was again the day you want to live.