Kashmir Great Lakes Trek Completed on Third Attempt
Sometimes when you look back at all the unsuccessful attempts and aborted missions, they inspire you to go back out there and accept the challenge again. While many give up after just one try, Rushikesh Patne sets an example for all. We recently interviewed Rushikesh Patne from Pune who took it upon himself to complete his trek to the Kashmir Great lakes after two unsuccessful attempts. Read on!
Q: Have you always been passionate about trekking and adventure sports?
A: Yes, I did my first trek in 10th standard. In college, the adventure bug bit me when I was a cadet in the NCC. I did various adventure activities like flying, gliding, parasailing, trekking. In fact, the NCC sent me on my first long-distance trek.
Q: Why did you choose the Kashmir Great Lakes trek?
A: Visiting Kashmir is a perfect stress buster. It’s not necessary for you to trek; you can just sit & relax or roam around someplace far from usual tourist spots. Secondly, It is the beauty of Kashmir and hospitality of Kashmiris that lured me in.
Q: What other treks have you completed in last few years?
A: Trek from Panhala to Vishalgad, Shillong to Cherrapunji, the Kashmir Great Lakes trek (Now I can say it’s completed), Roopkund trek, Mt. SandakPhu trek, Rupin Pass trek and Kuari Pass trek. And yeah, the Chadar trek is yet to be completed.
Q: Which trek did was the most beautiful and the most difficult according to you?
A: That’s a tricky question. Every trek is difficult & beautiful in its own sense. But to be honest, Rupin Pass is the most beautiful from the treks I have done & Kashmir Great Lakes was the most difficult because the weather in Nichnai can deteriorate at any moment. It tests your patience.
Q: If the Kashmir Great Lakes trek was so difficult, what motivated you to complete the trek?
A: Well, third time’s a charm, right? The fact that I had a trek on my list that hasn’t been completed yet. It had become kind of a backlog. I wanted to see what’s beyond Gadsar Pass. Moreover, I just wanted to complete the task.
Q: What was the most beautiful and most difficult part of the Kashmir Great Lakes trek?
A: The view from the Zaj Pass is the most unforgettable. Also, the view of the Gadsar lake was awesome, I can’t describe the beauty in words.
Crossing the Nichnai Pass was the most difficult part for me. Maybe, it just seemed psychologically impossible because that’s where we encountered bad weather in the last two attempts.
Q: How was your whole experience? You must have felt that sense of achievement at the end of your third attempt.
A: Yes, there was a sense of achievement when I was finally able to go beyond the Gadsar Pass. I got to see all those views that I only saw on the internet and trekking with friends was just icing on the cake.
During all my previous attempts, it was because of the weather due to which we had returned without completing the trek. It’s difficult to return home with a feeling that you haven’t completed the trek. I feel like I’m betraying myself. First was when there was a lot of snow in Gadsar Pass. Too much to trek safely. During the second attempt, it was incessant rains that stopped us. However, even though the first two attempts were incomplete, they were also a learning in their own sense.
Q: Do you think you will go back there?
A: No doubts about that. In fact, I think I’ll complete every trek twice. Just to enjoy the views & soak in the beauty.
Q: Any words of motivation?
A: Never give up! Trekking can help a lot in your personal & professional life. You learn to face all your problems and even when you encounter difficulties in life, you can just think about those moments when you didn’t give up.
Rushikesh is an inspiration to all of us. He sets an example with his determination and strong will power and proves that giving up is never an option. Do you think you’ve got what it takes to complete the Kashmir Great Lakes trek? Head on over there to find out!
Sumur and Tegar (previously known as Kyager or Tiger village) are the two crown jewels of Nubra.
A somewhat spread-out village, sprinkled with charming little houses, the main attraction in Sumur is the Samstanling Gompa which strategically stands above the village, at the foot of barren mountains. Built in the 1840s, it was raised by Lama Tsultin Nyima. It is one of the oldest monasteries in the valley, housing about a hundred monks, presided over by a Rinpoche. It has two du-khangs, both filled with marvelous statues and murals. Even though it has been considerably modernized, it still preserves a surreal atmosphere. Nearby one can also spot the crumbling Zamskhang (palace), which is now being restored. Often described as a ‘palace’ but actually a local governor’s home, it is certainly worth visiting. Going up the valley, one can pause at Terisha Tso, a tarn completely hidden in a bowl of jagged ridges. It has a tiny shrine which is a gorgeous spot for sight-seeing. Nearby lies Panamik, known for its considerably clean hot-water springs. However, the actual attraction further up is the ancient Ensa Gompa. Located amidst a dense tuft of dwarfed willows, it is an excellent and undiscovered spot for idling about.
Tegar is a quiet, little village with about 120 houses, close to the banks of the Nubra. A visit to the Zimkhang gompa, the old palace of Tegar’s erstwhile chieftains, now in ruins, is a must. The traditional royal kitchen inside it has been preserved as a museum and gives an actual insight into how the household might have been, with people sitting next to warm fires and talking for hours, invoking a weird sense of nostalgia for the unknown. Near the Zimkhang is the Tegar Maney Khang, a white village shrine, which furthers adds to the overall picture of an ideal village life. The small Yarub Tso Lake is a short trek from here. Legend says that a pure-hearted person can see an image of Guru Rinpoche in the lake, or one can simply sit and enjoy the view, especially the beautiful peaks reflected in the clear water.
The mighty Kanchenjunga, nothing less, protects and overlooks this tiny yet prosperous landlocked state of Sikkim. A tour through this beautiful land will lead you through untamed nature, treks down paths laced with flowers, snow clad mountain peaks beckoning you to scale them, mighty rivers that will carry your raft and the austere monasteries that will infuse you with peace.
Here are 5 unique reasons, the towering Sikkim Himalayas will make your tour a memory to cherish forever.
Goechala – a Trekker’s Dream
Sikkim is a paradise for adventure seekers and the Goechala trek to 16,000 ft will prove that. The trek is challenging, but enthralling as it routes through lushgreen flora and exotic fauna with chances of playing a ‘peek-a boo’ with the Himalayan Bear or the colourful pheasants.
The Samiti lake, Rhododendron forests and the plentiful orchids make this trek your romantic tryst with nature, but what will really take your breath away is the view of the awe inspiring peaks of Kanchenjunga and Mount Kabru with sunlight shimmering off their peaks. No wonder, Goechala is close to every trekker’s heart!
Legend of the Lake Tsongmo
Sikkim has many crystal clear and scenic blue lakes that lend a charm to its beauty. The Changu Lake or the Tsongmo Lake at 21,310 ft, blue in the summer, quite frozen in the winter and a different color every season, is one of the highest in the world. If you have strong lungs and are armed with warm woolens, you will have no trouble riding your yak around the lake accompanied by the flutter of prayer flags and even stop for a warm cuppa of tea later. This ethereal lake revered by the locals and mystified by legends is a must visit on every tourist’s itinerary.
Rumtek – Home to the Karmapa
Your visit to Sikkim Himalayas would not be complete without a visit to this sprawling monastery of much importance in the Tibetan struggle. A winding path through the mountains and paddy fields will take you to the abode of His Holiness The Gyalwa Karmapa. And walking through the monastery’s schools and lodges will give you a soulful insight into the Tibetan culture and their lineage of Karampas.
White Water Rafting Down Teesta
River Rafting is another sport that Sikkim can boast about with the Teesta and Rangeet, hurtling down the Himalayas to meet at the Teesta Bazaar.
The rapids are perfect for the white water raft enthusiasts (even a novice can safely experience the excitement of rafting with the experts), and the winding river banks are a picturesque sight with forests, terraced farms and sandy beaches are ideal for campsites. The sportive traveler just can’t miss this enchanting and exciting time on the raft – with a life jacket of course!
The Old Silk Route
Nathu la Pass at 14,450ft and 3 hours from Gangtok, once an important silk route halt still remains an important Indo –Chinese border point with just a barbed wire between the two posts. This place gained a religious popularity, when Tenzin Gyatso, the current Dalia Lama, travelled through this pass to mark the 2500th birthday celebrations of Lord Buddha.
The land of legends and the land that is home to the Lepchas, Tibetan and the Nepalese will leave you spellbound as you take home a riot of colours, culture, spirituality, adventure and a desire for more.
Dear friends, the Himalayas of Sikkim are beckoning you!
There’s an inexplicable charm in the beauty of the Himalayas. You cannot describe the pristine allure and their how big they are and probably the only to experience this to take a trek in the Himalayas. But in today’s time not everyone can take a trek in the Himalayas and reach up to the highest mountain in the world, the Mt. Everest. Now the modern technology comes to the rescue for those who cannot go for the trek in the Himalayas. Here is the Amazing Video of Himalayas
The Himalayas from 20,000 ft. from Teton Gravity Research
The aerial cinema experts at Teton Gravity Research release the first ultra HD footage of the Himalayas shot from above 20,000 ft. with the GSS C520 system, the most advanced gyro-stabilized camera system in the world. Filmed from a helicopter with a crew flying from Kathmandu at 4,600 ft. up to 24,000 ft. on supplemental oxygen, these are some of the most stable, crisp, clear aerial shots of these mountains ever released, which include Mt. Everest, Ama Dablam, and Lhotse.
The mountains are calling take up a trek in the Himalayas