Travel responsibly. Take nothing but pictures. Conserve.
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We set out from Ganaghar towards base camp located somewhere near the foot of the mountain
The morning rays haven't still hit the valley, since Nanda Devi is the tallest, she is all illuminated. It was a strange feeling we felt as we approached Nanda Devi, somehow I am utterly unable to explain the feeling.
There is a viewpoint up on the hill behind Ganaghar. The view of Nanda Devi from there is pretty good. You can almost see the base of the mountain
Towards the right in pic is Nanda Devi main, the peak on the left is Nanda Devi East. The distance between the two peaks over the ridge connecting them is 2 kilometers. We are at an elevation of 3535 metres above sea level and Nanda Devi is 7816 metres tall, that's 4281 metres of elevation from where we are.
4.2 kms vertical and atleast 2 kms wide on the summit. The scale is just fascinating. So Himalayan !!!
Its been a strenuous climb from Ganaghar and the path was not so well traveled, so we just climbed. We gained a lot of height in very less time, the village of Ganaghar is below near the river bed at middle left.
Two Goddesses :)
We are constantly climbing
Nanda Devi Main. But the names don't make any sense to me really. The trees are Bhojpatra Trees, you can peel off the bark and you get a sheet of paper that you can write on. The Indian scriptures were written on sheets from Bhojpatra trees.
This is base camp, the wide angle shot makes Nanda Devi look farther than it actually is. If you stood where we are standing you will have to lift your head a little to see the mountain top. There is another pic coming which shows the "normal" view in terms of scale as the eye sees it. This pic is just for the record and I was totally uninterested in getting our pics with Nanda Devi in the background. There was so much to see there and it was fascinating to see how a great mountain changes everything around it. You could somehow feel its power all around you. Notice how all greenery just disappears just behind us as if an invisible line has been drawn. The landscape is devoid of plant life for the next eight kilometers until the base of the mountain. As we were approaching this place there was an entire forest of Bhojpatra trees. A very dramatic change in scenery as we got closer to the mountain.
We met a young villager back in Ganaghar who works as a postman in the area. He said he comes here whenever he wants to be at peace. Its a day trip from his village and he tried at length to explain the sense of calm he felt and happiness whenever he came here.
Like I said, there is something about this place that I cant explain. It is so dispassionate and yet there is calm.
At the base of Nanda Devi is Nanda Devi East Glacier. The distance between where we are standing and the mountain wall at its base is 8 kilometers. It involves walking alongside the glacier and there is no path although people can go there.
A zoomed in view of Nanda Devi Glacier
This is the pic that I mentioned earlier. This is the normal view in terms of scale as it would appear to the unaided eye.
After spending a couple of hours at Nanda Devi East base camp, we start our return.
We are returning to the village of Ganaghar where we are staying the night.