Rishikesh To Lohajung

CONTINUED FROM - Rishikesh

10th October 2021

Lohajung is a small village located in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. It is the base camp for many treks including the famous Roopkund trek. It is situated 257km from Rishkesh. That means, it will take us around 9 hours to reach there, if not more. 

The trekking group (Himalayan trekkers), I was with had booked a Tata innova for this journey. We were six of us leaving from Rishikesh. Three trekkers were to be picked up at Rishikesh bus station, the rest from Laxman Jhula. Our driver, Laxman called me at 6 AM and told me that he would reach our place at 7 AM after picking up the others. 


Divyesh, Mithul and I were ready by 6 AM as that was the planned time. So, we decided to walk up to the meeting point. At Laxman chowk, we stopped for some tea and sat there discussing the effects of pandemic with the tea vendor. 


He informed us that the lockdown had hit them badly and for more than a year, they struggled to make ends meet. This region is heavily dependent on tourism. Meanwhile, a young man from UP told us about his journey to Rishikesh. Apparently, the private bus he had booked from Delhi had canceled the ride at the last moment as the seats were not filled. He had to somehow find a transport to get there. 


At 7 AM, Laxman called me again and we met at the parking lot. I introduced myself to Sheetal, Rahul and Nandesh, the other three trekkers in our group. They were from Karnataka as well. 


The route from Rishikesh to Lohajung passed through several attractions in the area. We first stopped at Dev Prayag, where river Baghirathi and Alaknanda meet. 


Then comes Srinagar, Rudra prayag and finally Karana prayag. ‘Prayag’ is referred to places where the union of two major rivers or tributaries take place. We stopped at a local restaurant for lunch. The cook made us some fresh rotis. A tasty and simple lunch was all I needed at that time. 


Laxman, our driver was from a village near Dewal so, he knew the area very well. At Dewal he stopped to load some luggage for the villagers and spoke to everyone he came across. He was definitely quite popular around there. 


If you are planning to take a bus to Lohajung, there is one directly from Dehradun ISBT at 6Am. The bus reaches Lohajung at 6PM. There are a few regular buses from Karana Prayag or Srinagar to Dewal. From Dewal you can book a taxi to Lohajung for Rs 300 or less. I am also told that the Roopkund Paryatan Samiti will help you with bus booking. Call them and inform your date of arrival. 


On our way, Laxman’s friend Prathap boarded the vehicle and I had a conversation with him about the life in the mountains. There are schools in these villages but for college they had to move to the nearest town. However, a new college has opened recently nearby and I could already see their advertisements for admissions. The villagers here seem to have had decent education and they are extremely humble to visitors. He told me that there wasn’t much to do here apart from farming and tourism. 


Thanks to Laxman’s smart driving, we reached Lohajung by 4 PM. The roads are in bad condition, in most regions. Also, there are frequent road blocks due to villagers celebrating weddings by the road. In some places, there are threat of dangerous land slides. Luckily, we did not witness any on our way to Lohajung. 


The Himalayan trekkers had appointed a local guide for this trek - A cheerful looking, well educated Dev Singh. He greeted us, showed us our dorms and asked us to freshen up for some tea. 


We also met the 7th member of our trek - Raksha from Uttarakhand. Being from this very state, she had taken a local bus to Dewal and then arranged a taxi till Lohajung. 


After a few cups of tea, we took a short trek up to a temple on top of an adjacent hill. 


On my way back, I met this mule named Heera. He was carrying his master’s luggage back to the village up the hill. 


At dark, another team of 11 members joined the camp. All of them were from Bangalore. Though we were two separate groups by Himalayan trekkers, we were to trek together. So, it was a big group of trekkers, with a majority of them speaking Kannada. 


Dev Singh briefed us about the schedule for the next day and talked about the do's and dont's during the trek. He had several interesting stories about trekkers getting lost in the mountains and being part of search teams. 


We had a good dinner. Munnabhai, our head chef had cooked roti-sabji, daal-rice and kheer for dessert. It was delicious. At dinner we discussed corporate life and how everyone around me wanted to quit it like me and do something else in life. Considering that we had to wake up early next morning to begin the trek, we retired to bed soon after dinner.


CONTINUED HERE - Ali Bedni Bugyal Trek - Day 01 


Comments

  1. Thanks for your excellent trekkelogue. Looking forward to your next post. (Did I invent this word trekkelogue now? Could not find it in any dictionary. May be I should send this to the dictionary czars to include this word.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello SG. Thanks. Yes, you should get this included in the dictionary. BTW, Next post on this Trekkelogue coming soon.

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