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It had been a long ride from the plains of Dehradun to this tiny mountain village called Sankri. I am tired. Happy to be in the high Himalayas and to see snow all around but tired and hungry! All I want is a bowl of piping hot Maggi to warm myself and then, straighten my back for some time. The trek begins tomorrow. I quickly dump my luggage in the dorm and walk out of our rickety stay for the night, the GMVN rest house. Stopping to stretch myself at the edge of the small hill I am on, which also overlooks part of the village below, I am almost immediately blown away by the view ahead. “Is it for real?”, I think to myself!
A Quaint Village Called Sankri
I feel my jaw drop and I seem deeply lost, completely oblivious to everything around me. No words can describe the beauty of what I see. The golden rays of the setting sun seem to have painted the sky with a thousand shades of yellow, the snow-capped peaks at a distance, some milky white while some wear a unique mix of red and yellow. Wild pine trees standing tall, each of them covered with just the perfect amount of snow, two kids running towards their home on the snaking road below, small dim-lit houses, black tiles of some of the houses wear a fresh cover of snow, and the fading sunlight. “Is this for real?”, I think again.
Out of nowhere, I immediately find myself immediately comparing this place with Namche Bazaar, a Nepali village I have never been to (at least not yet) but have seen numerous photos of, from every possible angle, while dreaming about walking up to it and beyond, sometime in the future. Of course, the houses aren’t as bright and colorful as those in Namche Bazaar and the village itself is much smaller but somehow, my mind can’t stop drawing parallels between these two places.
They seem so similar to me, two places which more than a thousand kilometers apart. The most common thing between these two villages you ask me? The mountain they are located one, one that somewhat resembles the letter ‘C’.
View of Swargarohini Peak from Sankri Village
The views keep me from going inside the warmth of the shanty tea-stall just half way down this hillock. It is just too beautiful here, how can I even think of going inside! So, I walk around nonchalantly, trying to take some photos. While some attempts yield satisfactory results, as the light becomes less and less and those snow-covered peaks start turning soft red, all attempts of photography turn out to be futile.
As darkness sets in and the magic of the mountains are no more visible, neither to me nor to my camera’s eye, I slowly walk to the tea-stall. The hunger is back again and all I need is a bowl full of piping hot Maggi.
Tomorrow starts the much awaited Kedarkanta Winter Trek!