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In Pictures – The Himalayas at night

As soon as I stepped out of the home-stay a gust of cold wind hit me right on my face. It was freezing cold outside. I was at a height of 14,400 feet ASL after-all. Within moments I found myself contemplating whether to continue my walk towards the lake or turn back to the warmth of the home-stay behind me. With a confused mind, I looked up towards the heavens for some help and the heavens answered immediately. The sight of a billion twinkling stars above in a cloudless sky overshadowed any half-a-thought of going back inside that I had in my mind.

Tents at night, Chattru Hampta Pass Trekking
Tents at night, Chattru – Spiti Valley

I found myself lost in the beauty of the sky above in no time, totally oblivious to the bone-chilling temperature and the cold gusts of wind hitting me from the front. This was back in the year 2012 by the Pangong Tso (Leh to Pangong & Back), my first time of realizing how magically beautiful the night-sky actually was. I can confidently say that, that is the time when my fascination with the night-sky and those bright twinkling stars began.

Colorful tents at nigh, Baalu ka Gera-Hampta Pass Trekking
Colorful tents at nigh, Baalu ka Gera-Hampta Pass Trekking

Last year when I was in a village in Bihar (The Celebration of Chhath) far from the light-pollution of the city, I once again got a brilliant view of a clear night-sky with countless stars twinkling above and no man-made interference whatsoever from the terrace of Ruchi’s ancestral home. This was my second time of getting to see the clear night-sky and it seemed, I was luckier than before this time around. I was able to see a ‘hint’ of the Milky-way with my naked eyes. Too bad I was not able to capture it but the fact that I was able to see it made-up for that.

The Milky Way Galaxy - Our home
The Milky-Way Galaxy – Chattru, Spiti

The best and the most beautiful night-skies that I have witnessed till now however, has to be those which I saw during my Hampta Pass Trek last month. Even though the first night was cloudy, to my joy the skies remained clear the following nights. Back home, I had spent countless nights thinking about how it would be to sleep under the stars, on a moonless night. How would it feel to have no roof above you but the vast sky. Just couple of days before I was left for the trek, I was going through designs of some beautiful terraces giving wonderful views of the night-sky (even though with a lot of light-pollution), I couldn’t help but imagine myself lying under the stars and amidst the high mountains.The clear Himalayan skies during the trek were making me optimistic about going for ‘it’ and I was actually half prepared to give it a shot.

Clear and starry sky in the Himalayas
Clear and starry sky in the Himalayas

The idea however was not liked much by the missus and I had to finally give it up and retreat back in the tent, part because of the extremely cold wind that was shaking the tent violently at regular intervals and part because of a fuming wife inside. I could have handled the former but did not want to take any chances with the later and hence took the ideal decision of giving in. Thankfully not before getting a couple of more shots though.

The Milky way as seen from the Himalayas at 14000 feet
The Milky-way as seen from the Himalayas at 14000 feet

Let’s see how long my wish of sleeping under the starts have to wait!

Do you love watching the night-sky? And the milky-way? Do you have a wish to sleep under the starts, just like I wish to?

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38 thoughts on “In Pictures – The Himalayas at night”

  1. Searching for words Rajiv. What a capture, feeling the chill in my spine. Got caught up with professional work so did not follow your posts. Will do so in leisure.

    Great going.

    All the best
    Katie

    1. Thanks a lot Katie. I am so glad you liked them.

      You know what, while riding back home sometime back from from work, I in fact was thinking, ‘it’s been a while since I heard from Katie!

      1. Glad that I am missed 🙂 … I have missed reading your posts too. I will visit your blog in leisure sometime in the weekend. for sure. Have a great weekend

        Best
        Katie

        1. Honest readers always leave a mark and are always missed.

          Do take your time to go through them, I will look forward to hear from you in the weekends.

          Cheers,
          Rajiv

  2. Here is a song for you…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxHnRfhDmrk … woow sound so nice… its actually on a genious artist who was insane and bad but genious artist… never mind… and then the twinkle twikle little star… I think that song talks about the stars so well anyway… Rajiv nature creature… many times I wanted to check out the stars but comforts of being indoors and lack of patience takes me back in… chalo… here is another song for you you can sing it to your child when it comes by… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrOOW8wwx5k … and then any star sonf… yes yes this song… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Xf-Lesrkuc … anyway… I imagine its very nice sleeping under the stars … but no one has the opportunity these days… anyway… I hope the songs are not spammies… and you guys should stop mentioning that wifey is boss and you got to listen to her… they show it on serials, movies and laugh about it…all exagerated, I am sure that was a joke but such a popular joke now it ceases to be a joke…anyway

  3. Rajiv, I loved the camps picture and milky way. It is this love for milky way that we have been hiking to unforgiving places 😉
    Milky way season is going away now. I will eagerly wait for next year to shoot some more pictures. This time it will be a dedicated trip to shoot milky way for sure 🙂

    1. Thanks Ankur bhai. Yes, this was one of the primary reasons of my travel as well 😉 and if you remember, this is the same milky way image (the first one) which you processed on my request 🙂 . I can’t wait to see the Milky way trough your lens, they will be way way better.

  4. One question… I read like for Monsoon treks a raincoat is essential… where do they sell raincoats… or is it that one jacket is better just asking… one can get it online but one can’t be sure of the size, so asking.

      1. Thats in Mysore road quite far from the forks in the city…anyway thanks(:… is it necessary to have a raincoat though?… or is there a alternative… some jacket or something?…

  5. Ok I will check it out then… worth a checking out for sure… when your going for the solo trip next month I guess…pleanty of long holiday in the coming weekends around…

    1. Thank Ami. So true about the stars, we don’t get to see any in the cities. But on the other side of it, it gives you yet another excuse to head to the hills, no? 😉

  6. This is so stunning, buddy. You’ve had nights of a lifetime I would say.

    I wish to travel to Spiti sometime and experience the sky over there!

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