16th May 2010
This was an experience that I can never forget but at the same time I would not like to go through the same again!!
Warning: This is a long post!!!!
As the same suggests, Yamunothri is the place of origin of Yamuna River. It is about 10,400ft above sea level. It is at a distance of 225km from Hrishikesh. The altitude of Hrishikesh is about 1100ft ASL.
Travel to Barkot
Our start from Hrishikesh was delayed due to permit process and other stuff. It was 3PM when we started and we had 175km to cover to Barkot where our stay was planned.
As we crossed Hrishikesh we were on the hills. Within an hour we were at Dehra Dun, the biggest town in that area. From here, it is a steep climb to Mussorie, a famous hill station. Mussorie was a letdown as it looked like any other hill station. Winters might be different.
The road after Mussorie was completely downwards. We passed through Kempty falls, a tourist infested area.
The road further was less frequented by tourists. The road was narrow with landslides at several places.
We finally reached Barkot at 11:30 in the night. The Hotel we stayed was ‘Chauhan Residency’, a nice hotel according to local standards. For me, it was a luxury as I was only expecting some basic rooms in the remote hills of Garhwal.
It was 1AM by the time we finished our dinner and hit the beds. I didn’t even know when I slept and only got up by the sound of the alarm. It was 4AM!! Time to get ready for a long day at Yamunothri.Start from Barkot
At 5AM, we started from Barkot. The vehicles can go till Janaki Chatti(which is about 45km from Barkot). The rest of journey till Yamunothri must be covered either by foot, Dholy or Phony (Horse). The distance is about 6km uphill path.
The journey from Barkot was along Yamuna River. We passed through the villages of Sayana Chatti, Garuda Chatti and Hamunan Chatti. It was the opening day at Yamunothri and the crowd was expected to be large.
The drive was slow after Hanuman Chatti due to the steep climb and traffic. Three km before Janaki Chatti, the bus came to a complete halt. The watch showed 8AM.