Travel responsibly. Take nothing but pictures. Conserve.
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Sunrise over the mountain behind where we camped
The mountains of Laspa Glacier come into view to the right
Laspa mountain range
The way to Martoli
Mt Hardeol (7,151m, 23,461 ft) comes into view
The village of Martoli sits on the high plateau ahead
Our first view of Nanda Devi. Hidden between the peaks, it was a very emotional moment for us. We just stood there, watching.
Mt Nanda Devi
Martoli is a very peaceful village with a 360 degree view of very high mountains. The wind blows all day and suddenly we felt very happy being there. Our minds just blanked out and we dint have a thought in our minds. The mountain does have a presence, you just cant stop looking at it. The villagers look upon it as a Godess.
We are entering the village of Martoli. Martoli is a large village situated on the Indo Tibetan trade route. The Indo tibetan border closed since the Sino-Indian War of 1962, and Martoli is now a ghost village with very few inhabitants. Before the war, it used to be a trade center bustling with 500 families. As of now all trade with Tibet is stopped and the families have settled in Munsiyari and other places in the lower ranges. In summer months very few people go there and cultivate medicinal plants, high altitude Buckwheet and Jambhu. Tibetan merchants visited this place and traded in Borax, precious stones, Pashmina and salt. The inhabitants of Martoli too travelled along with pack mules to Tibet. They took rice, cotton clothes, jaggery, sugar, etc. to sell in Tibetan markets.
Martoli village sits in the middle of a grand amphitheater of Himalayan peaks.
Nanda Devi Temple at Martoli
The clouds fill the valley as evening approaches
Nanda Kot, the completely snow peaked mountain last in line (6,861m,22,510 ft)
First rays of sunrise hit the twin peaks of Nanda Devi
Nanda Devi sunrise
After breakfast, we head out to the village of Ganaghar from where we will trek to Base Camp the next day. Six days of walking in all to reach our destination. This was the village hut where we camped.
The lady of the house was kind enough to present us with a Dried Brahma Kamala Flower. These flowers grow very high up in the mountains at an altitude of around 4500 m. We were told people perform a special puja and set out to find the flowers. These flowers are then offered to the shrine at Nanda Devi temple for the yearly puja.
A horse watches us pass by as we head out of Martoli
A steep decent all the way to the stream and then a climb to get to the hill opposite
A man and his horse are crossing the bridge. We climb down to get to the bridge and take the path up the hill on the left.
Meltwater from Burfu glacier joins the Gori Ganga. At left, center is the village of Burfu.
Mt Mapa comes into view
The snow peaked mountain is Milam Peak. Just below it is the village of Milam
Meltwater from the slopes of Mapa and Juniper bushes
The village of Mapa
Lakshman points us to Milam in the distance where he grew up
Yet another stream of glacial meltwater joins the Gori Ganga. The Gori Ganga originates from Milam Glacier. Several streams of meltwater join it to make Gori Ganga what it is, a process we have been witnessing from the last 5 days of walking all the way from Munsiyari.
Just round the bend at left where the river bed disappears behind the mountain is our destination, Ganaghar
for pictures from Day 6