Camping in Kanatal in the lap of Himalayas

by - 11/05/2018

I had never travelled alone in my life. During college time it had always been with my friends and after my marriage (when I really started exploring) it has always been with my better half. However travelling makes you open minded like never before and you learn to say Never say Never! So when I got the opportunity to go for camping with a bunch of strangers in the lap of Himalayas, I could not say No! Who can deny the Himalayas? Not me at least!
We were a group of eleven people (read ardent explorers) arranged by Just Wravel. We met in front of Haldiram's at Akshardham Metro station and left for Kanatal in an overnight bus, arranged by Savari Car Rentals. We were a pot pourrie of really interesting people, Manu and Nishant from Just Wravel, Manoj or Tally as he is better known, a vlogger from Mumbai, Gokul a CA student who was representing his sister and brother in law, Mohini an Yoga expert, Yogita a law student, Ankit and advertising expert, Amit a social influencer, Akansha a techie and Mehak a fashion blogger. The only thing common amongst all of us was that we all were bloggers and loved to travel!
We reached there at 10 in the morning...after a journey of about 11 hours. There had been a prior break at Modinagar at midnight for tea, toast and paneer pakoda to be followed by a morning tea break near Manglore. As soon as we had stepped out, we were taken aback by the sudden chill outside. We ran back to the bus to cover ourselves. 
Kanatal is situated 75 kms from Dehradun in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. Our stay was arranged at the Kanatal Orchids, a group of well maintained camps with attached bathrooms. We were greeted by Rana ji and he made us feel absolutely at home.
We were given a welcome drink as soon as we arrived (it was hibiscus I guess) and were quickly escorted to our respective camps. My roommate was Amit. Our tent had 3 beds. It was nothing fancy but warm and comfortable. After freshening up, we had breakfast to our heart's content. I served myself a generous helping of puri sabji and Maggi.
Then it was time for real excitement: Adventure sports! For ziplining, we had to skywalk to that point. I had ziplined multiple times prior but never skywalked. But I am not afraid of heights so it was not an issue. I slowly started treading on the wobbly ropeway. At some points there was overlapping of the rope and that was tricky. After a lot of sweat and struggle, I reached the end point. The reward? I swished my way through the zipline. The irony is that what took so long to walk was conquered within 20 seconds! I was the first to do and later on my mates joined one by one.
After adventure sports, it was time for lunch. We all were famished from all the hoopla and dove into the buffet. Then it was time for a hike to the most religious spot of the area..Surkanda Devi Temple.
If you have explored Himalayas even for a bit then you must be familiar with the fact that our Hindu Gods and Goddesses have a special affinity for residing on the peaks. This was no exception. This temple is a Shakti Peeth and it means that Goddess Surkanda is a form of Sati or Goddess Durga. Since her head fell at this particular spot, it became known as 'Sir khanda' which later evolved into Surkanda.
The hike was rather tough and steep. Our bodies were already tired from the week long slogging as well as the bus journey. But unravelling new places infuses a new burst of energy. Some of my teammates wanted to give up. But ultimately everyone made it to the top. The view from there was surreal. That 1.5 km hike was worth every drop of sweat. It was pitch dark by the time we started stepping down. Downhill hikes are always easier (as the tough part is already conquered) and this was particularly a cakewalk as there were steps. We all were dead tired but seeing the star lit sky made us forget all our exhaustion. We Delhiites have almost forgotten how the sky looks at night!
It was bone freezing chilly but we lit up a bonfire and warmed ourselves up with hot topics. We also played a round of Uno. I came second :D After a hearty dinner, it took no time to fall asleep.
The night was very chilly. The moment I would turn on either side, the quilt on my back would freeze and so would I! In the morning I and my roommate continued chatting from under the blanket. On being reckoned from outside several times, we packed ourselves up in layers of woolens and reluctantly stepped outside to be greeted by the sun.
The morning sun was shining with its full glory. We stripped off the upper layers and soaked in the fresh, chilly air with a hot cup of tea. Then it was time for Yoga. Zen mountain gear was sweet enough to provide us Yoga mats. My body was stiff from all the journey and the Durga Puja hangover a week before. I felt a lot better after a bit of warming and stretching. In fact we all started sweating under the mighty Himalayan sun and it impossible to imagine how cold it was last night!
After a hearty breakfast, it was time to bid goodbye to the fresh air, nature and hills. We piled up into our Traveller and after a long journey, reached Delhi. We started off as a bunch of strangers two days back and returned as friends. That is the beauty of travelling!



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8 comments

  1. Looks like so much fun this adventure.

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  2. I was reading it and I was already feeling cold. What was the temperature there?

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  3. Loved reading the blog, honestly saying I was completely unaware of this spot, thank you for sharing

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  4. Wow this view looks stunning!! What a trip that was!

    XO, Jessi
    https://jmalay.com/nursery-reveal/

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  5. Wow Looks like you people had an amazing time ! I love camping tooo

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  6. Camping is not for everyone. In needs to be very open to exploring what this world offers in raw. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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  7. Loved the blog...I am sure you have a great time!

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