A place above the clouds

This was my first trip to a place which lies beyond the claws of the tourism departments. And believe you me, it has been the most picturesque one till now. I was on my own for most of the little time I had out of my work schedule exploring the beauty sitting in the lap of nature. It starts with a 5 hour drive from Dehradun with the beautiful Ganges accompanying us till the mid journey. The river has its many facets- it was calm and it was slow, it was ruffling down the mountains in a torrential speed at the bends and curves, the rapids – ravishing.

From is silence an opinion?



The Ganga or for that matter, any river had never seemed to engrossing and so invigorating to me. There’s a lot to explore beyond that sometimes calm and sometimes ravishing river. It once again gave a spark to my intense desire for rafting…but it wasn’t the season since rafting is practiced only in winters. But it wasn’t a disappointment either since I could not get my eyes off the view outside. The most amazing view from a point where one could see a valley, mountains crossing each other and Ganges seemed to make its way from somewhere as if saying that if you can’t find a way, make your own!! It was a sight to behold.

From is silence an opinion?

A river never looked so beautiful to me. It has so many delightful, serene, placid facets not yet disturbed by the sophisticated savages that we are. It seemed to me yet so unexplored, yet so young and yet so vibrant. It was like playing peek- a -boo with the river, the mountains and me….Its all in front of my eyes as I am trying to word it down but I can’t…..you have to be there to experience it, letting all your sense organs indulge in that stupendous aura- the beauty, the air, the flora, the magic of being at that place….oops I haven’t yet mentioned where had I been…this experience with the Ganga is on route to a place called Anjanisain(Tehri) via Rishikesh, Kauriyala, Devaprayag.

The journey beyond the Ganga was not as interesting. It was typical mountain ride and as a result of the spiraling roads, nausea was taking the better of me. I was feeling nothing less than a zombie who had been working rigorously and veraciously since the last few days along with the frivolous conflicts at workplace and a few self- obsessed colleagues plus the zilch energy reserve due to the last minute travel schedule…huh…So I decided to doze off for the rest of the time and conserve my energy for the heavy work schedule ahead.

I reached Anjanisain by 11.30 a.m and was to stay in the campus of an organization. The campus was nothing like we have in Delhi. I mean what do you (read I) expect from a place on hills….It was a huge mountain and the office etc. were at different heights on that same huge mountain.. Interesting! I was told that my room is at the top of the hill….It was not even in view from where I was standing. I was grumbling, yet delighted. For one, I mean I did not have the energy to climb the hill that high!! But somewhere delighted imagining the hill top …:).

As we started the trek uphill….ouch! it was difficult….They did not have a proper track to walk on…it was like climbing up a real and a rarely traversed mountain…with a few flat surfaces here & there to step on, wild plants alongside and it was steep… but then that 60-70 step climb up was more than exciting..I was up on energy as if I had just taken in a pack of Glucon-D and yo !!

From is silence an opinion?

The adrenaline had taken the better of me, but once up there I was so totally out of breath that it took me almost 10 minutes to restore my normal breathing!! I just sat there huffing and puffing, not even bothering to look around. And regaining my composure, my eyeballs were wide open. In the past 10 minutes I was totally ignorant of the bliss around me………it was mesmerizing, it was pulchritudinous. It was the highest mountain around and I was on top of it. There was a huge huuuuge valley just in front of my room…voila!!! I sat there stupefied for some time but the clock wasn’t in my control. I had to start work post lunch so had to be ready with my official thoughts and paraphernalia in place.

The walk downhill was easier on my energy level but had to be careful enough to watch my steps so as not to slip or …..( I don’t even want to imagine the consequences). I was back in my room in time to enjoy the breathtaking sunset and the night sky was amazing. I had never seen so many stars in my life outside a planetarium…the sky seemed as if it had been decorated with hundreds of bright and dull bulbs at a distance.. I am running out of adjectives to describe what I saw. It may sound stupid but I had never ever seen so many stars together. It was fantabulous,beauteous, stunning. The altitude and clear sky were both to my advantage that evening.

It was dinner time and since the dining hall was downhill, we had to again go down that trek and this time it was dark with no electric bulbs on the way…so walking down that path with just the dim lights of cell phones didn’t seem to be a cool idea but we had no choice;). So by the end of the day, climbing up and down the mountain thrice in pitch darkness with dense jungle and aware of the existence of some wild cats around was thriiiiillllllliiiinnnnggg!!!!

I am not an early riser, but next morning I abruptly woke up from my slumber at 5 and generally just peeped outside from behind the curtain. And what I saw, I’ll not write…just have a look.

From is silence an opinion?
From is silence an opinion?

It was totally a place above the clouds. At that point of time I couldn’t have asked for more from the existence above. After a few minutes of this amazingly spectacularly gorgeous panoramic view of the valley…or I should say the dense white clouds I felt the morning chill. So I stuffed my self in a sweater and captured the view through the permanent camera in my head and into my LTM from where it can never ever get deleted. Being above the clouds is so different from being in an airplane in comparison to when its in front of us in the lap of nature. So my next 2 hours were spent gazing at the movement of clouds, the hide & seek of the mountains and the occasional flirting of the breeze with the clouds…..a morning to remember!!

From is silence an opinion?

It started pouring heavily in the afternoon and what a noise the rain had. Firstly because of the height of the place, the clouds were low and their thunderous noise was deafening. And secondly since the rain was falling on tin roofs, it added to the…..so much more that we could not hear each others voice sitting in a closed room…so instead of trying to converse we just stood at the windows and relished the valley getting drenched.

The evening sky was not as clear as the day before but not bad either. I spent the evening again watching the stars and distant lights in the valley accompanied by some interesting conversations. Also a must mention here is the sound of insects. In Delhi, we hardly get to hear it unless crossing a park in the depth of night of during the monsoon nights. But here, the sound of insects was like the sound of music…you can hear it 24*7 loud and clear and it seemed so much in sync with the environ around. Not even once I felt as if it was noise to my ears.

The next morning was a more or less clear sky with the only one thing worth mentioning. It was a nice warm morning with the sun shining bright. And sitting out in the balcony, I noticed a huge black patch on a mountain at a distance. I doubted if I had seen this in the last two days and was wondering if there was a fire overnight or something. So I was back again to my friend there, who had come to the conclusion that my curiosity had no limits as he had been bombarded with endless questions in the past 2 days. So trying his best (as always!), he asked me to look up in the sky. I looked up in the sky and then back at him blankly…he smiled mischievously , but on getting back the dumbest look from me, he told me it was the shadow of the cloud above………I was just gaping with wonder…

Post lunch, it was time to pack my bags and the journey back home. The drive back was equally good and the last leg from Shivpuri to Dehradun was beautiful with lush greenery, cool breeze and a heavy if not torrential rain!!

It was a beautiful trip….very serene…with a lot of first times for me…hundreds of stars in the sky, a beautiful sunset, living on a place above the clouds, discovering the shadow of a cloud(of which I had never even thought before) and that peculiar sound of insects which never before seemed so fitting with nature…life never seemed more tranquil, serene and beautiful before.

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12 Comments

  • nandanjha says:

    Tanya – Welcome aboard to the world of Ghumakkars and ghumakkari.

    This story is a little different then the ones we normally read since it has less data in terms of place, route etc but amazing description of the experience. I need to read the meanings of certain words to really understand it well :)

    I guess that you were there for some work-assignment kind of thing and the place may not be open for general tourist/traveler but what a marvelous location.

    Be around and write more.

  • tanya says:

    hey thanks Nandan….

    and yeah i was there on a work assignment but it turned out it be one of those splendid trips..:)

    and I agree that my post doesn’t have much info about the destination and reaching out there. I thought over before posting it here but I wanted to share the marvelous experience so I just did it.

    Hmm..but sharing of what i know….Anjanisain isn’t a well connected place. Your own vehicle or a cab are reliable options. We took the Dehradun, Rishikesh, Devprayag route and the roads are good except a few rough patches here and there…and as regards staying there…you will not find hotels and guest houses there in abundance… hooking up with locals there is an option….Also there are a lot of organisations working for social welfare there and have residential campuses….you can try that.

    Otherwise New Tehri is the closest town at about an hour’s time.

  • bikerdude says:

    Tanya, Welcome to Ghumakkar… a site with likeminded and awesome travllers and writers…

    With regard to this post, thanks for taking me to the mountains… they are one of the things I like on God’s Green Earth… others being my 350cc motorcycle BB, followed by my 500cc “La Poderosa”… named after Ernesto Guevara’s ride when he rode the Latin Americas.

    The snaps are just fabulous and they just took me Anjanisain… just like they should. Havent heard of that place but after reading and seeing the snaps, I felt like I have been there

    Nandan, by the looks of this post, I think we have another one of those awesome narrators which this site seems to attract :-)

  • Celine says:

    I’ve passed by Rishikesh, Devprayag and continued the journey upwards July end-early last month and so can well identify with your feelings so beautifully expressed here.

    As you said, one has “to be there to experience it” …

    Enjoyed your narration, and thank you for sharing.:)

  • Ram Dhall says:

    Tanya,

    You have announced your arrival by a very well described post about a lesser known place like, Anjanisain in the Garhwal region. Some of the pictures are exquisite too.

    Your excellent narrative did make me nostalgic about our first visit to the Kumaon Hills.

    It was the summer of 1982. Accompanied by my wife and our daughters aged six and four, we reached the bus stand of Nainital at around 6.00 in the morning. We had booked the company guest house located at Long View, which was at a height of around 7500 feet. Those days the town was not all that crowded and we hired a porter, who thankfully was aware of the existence of the guest house, but did warn us that the hill track was going to be pretty steep.

    We started the ascent and while I was almost panting after a few yards, my wife and daughters, perhaps more energetic than I was (or possibly as the good old musical number says – Thats right the woman are much smarter), made quite a headway and waited for me at a wayside bench on the way. Though the distance was slightly more than a Km, the steep ascent made us to take small stoppages at a couple of places (and a few big Punjabi curses, which I contained to myself), we finally reached the destination. Luckily, the property turned out to be better than we had imagined.

    The real fun started early morning on the next day, when our elder daughter made us to wake up and virtually dragged us to the verandah to watch the most amazing scenic landscape we had ever witnessed. The huge valley in front of us covered the area as far as Bhowali in the north and Jeolikot in the west. The sun was about to rise and while coming out of the mountains, the golden rays splashed all around were simply mesmerizing. In short, it was all almost like you wrote about the beauty of these hills.

    May be one of these days we will also land up at Anjanisain !!

    Thanks for reviving our old memories.

    Yes, I would eagerly await your next post and please do make it quick.

  • tanya says:

    Bikerdude, Celine & Ram,
    I am glad that you enjoyed reading my post and almost felt being there…and truly it was an experience in itself. Even while wording it down I relived every moment of it…and I am all all smiles because the essence of the trip will remain with me forever. But hey,I should thank all you guys for it is your posts and your unrestrained descriptions that inspired me to write mine….so a big thanks to u all.

    Ram- I have been giggling reading your description of nanital..:) and I can’i agree with you more that definitely women are smarter!!

  • sudhir says:

    Tanya,

    This is definetly not a post. It is an EXPERIENCE !!! Thanks for taking us above the clouds.

    And welcome to Ghumakkar.

  • tanya says:

    thanks Sudhir….
    The pleasure is all mine.. :)

  • Patrick Jones says:

    You are running out of adjectives… so the place must be really good.

    Appreciate your writing style.

  • manish khamesra says:

    Tanya,

    I fully agree with Manish dude that we have among us an awesome narrator. Its a marvellous piece of post, experience and narration. Its not a small narration still after finishing it, I felt that I would liked to read it for some more time.

    Great! Welcome Aboard and I would be wishing for similarly divine experiences for you.

    LTM – Long Time memory. Am I right ?
    & yes, shadow of clouds amazed me too :)

  • tanya says:

    hey thanks manish for ur response and appreciation…m glad u liked it….actually i must share this…or rather confess it….even I go back and read it again n again after every few days….i just enjoy it so much….

    i do write stuff here n there but i dnt go back reading my stuff again n again unless for editing n stuff…but this is one piece even m amazed of..:)))))

    thanks again for ur warm words…..

  • Riti says:

    mast hain yaar…
    teri koi pic nahi hai….

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