Written and shared by: Harshit Gupta
Altitude: 2800 meters
Member: Me and my Friend Sushant Ale.
Route: Mussoorie(library), Kempty fall, Yamuna Bridge, Nagthat, Chakrata, laukhandi, Moila top
It was mid-August when one of my friend and I had planned a trip to Moila top in Chakrata. However, it was with extraordinary efforts and luck that we arranged 350 CC Bullet from My Shop (Mussoorie) at around 9 pm. Without wasting a minute we headed straight to one of our friend’s petrol pump, as they get closed soon or mostly they are replenished.
On our way to White House (barlowganj), where we stayed because of the closeness to our Alma mate none other than St. George’s College, my friend being a frequent trekker tested the bullet up and down as it was a long trek and we wanted to avoid unnecessary trouble. When we reached our hotel he packed mostly all the necessities from Swiss knife to torch and I packed mostly the eatables.
It was 11pm when the rain poured and it rained cats and dogs. We had agreed to leave at 3:30am and hoped that the rain will stop and it would give a clear weather.
We slept for a while and woke up at 3:00am. The weather outside was crystal clear and it was a perfect weather for undertaking a trek like this.
The feeling outside was so unique that I was on cloud nine from the very first beginning. It was dark and one of the street lamps was flickering. The wind was roaring at our back and at present I could think of none other than our very own Ruskin Bond as it is only by him that Mussoorie is truly described.
We had taken Kempty fall route. On our way we witnessed some of the magical wonders of the world. Particularly there was one site near JW Marriott where between two huge mountains the whitest of the clouds had made its way. The stars were crystal clear and the sky was designed through dark blue paint color. I wanted to stop there and take its picture. But, I didn’t want to deviate from our destination. Also, at couple of occasions my friend himself couldn’t resist the beauty of nature and I realize that how differently each one of us perceive everything. For a very long time, I will regret for not capturing that moment in the finest of the cameras. But, I firmly believe that there are few glimpses which are imbedded in our memory and are our companion till grave.
Every turn had an all together different set-up made by the director of the moment none other than the Almighty. It helped me remind the forgotten memories I had cherished while my stay in the boarding school. I was elated that a kind of trip I had planned was unfolding into a reality.
After we had crossed the Kempty fall it felt that we were literally crossing one mountain after another. Now I had lost track of time. I could feel that my head was getting clear from all the worries and tension which had populated my mind for a long time.
At around 6:00am I noticed that vegetation became denser and thicker. Then I realized that hills were turning into meadows. Trees became taller and older than our civilization. Shrubs were extended on the road and at times we had to lower our head to avoid getting into our eyes. Then at no time two to three birds flew just past our head and got disappeared in the wild. Moreover, on many alternative turns wild hen would gush into the trees resembling like small penguins. The surrounding was raw, untouched and resembled at times as if we were in Corbett because the similar view I had seen in pictures on the web. It was here that I became part of the environment.
While I was lost in my own mind, my friend stopped the bike and pointed towards the end of the mountains. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I saw bright white snow covered mountains which was none other than the Himalayas. It was a vision so strong that I stared it for at least five minutes. An adrenaline rush passed through my body and I could feel the goosebumps. I felt satisfied.
Around 7:00am we reached Chakrata. We had breakfast in one of the tiny built shops. It was here that my friend described the kind of lifestyle these people had. Only few could afford such shops. There was a little boy picking card-board boxes filled with groceries and keeping outside the shop. Also, there was a differently abled person who was standing outside the shop and yelling. People were simple and looked contended with their lives. We had a short discussion with the shopkeeper about the road ahead to Moila Top and whether it was safe in monsoon. It was here when one of his customers overheard our conversation and told that Moila Top is like Switzerland. My excitement had no limits. Astonishingly, the shopkeeper had never been there as he said he was too busy with his shop and I felt bad for him.
We picked our camera and bags and headed for our journey to the top. We also came across Cantonment area in the middle of nowhere. I was surprised that our army lived in such an isolation. As we moved ahead the road became a bit difficult to drive. At times it was so slippery that I had to get down and walk while my friend balanced the bike. We stopped at two places where my friend was lost clicking photos of scenic beauties. While, in my case I sat on one of the rocks gazing as far as my eyes reached. Throughout, the road was almost deserted with few passer-by on bike or trucks. I was surprised to see few huts in such interiors and wondered how they lived their lives. Finally, we reached the laukhandi 8:30 am and we decided to take our vehicle further up to FRH (forest rest house). We parked our bike and I saw a board which said 2.5 Km trek to Moila top.
The jungle was so dense that I couldn’t help but ask my friend about the animals which lived here and he replied that it was mostly leopards and beer. On my way up at all the time I felt that there was something which was looking at me from back. I was very alert and my feet was firmly on the ground. We also saw the footmark of horses and within no time we saw beautiful horses in multi-color. They reminded me of black beauty which I read when I was a kid. After 2 Km I could feel my heart panting as we had come as high as 8500 feet. But, our energy level kept us motivated.
Finally, we reached our destination. We saw meadow all around us. We were covered with mountains running all around us. I had never seen such a beautiful place and especially the way through which we came from. The customer was right, it was truly Switzerland. I have seen more than I could imagine. We clicked few pictures and lay in the grass for a while. In my mind I couldn’t help but think how much our mother nature had given to us.
My friend was here in the month of January. He told that the place was covered with snow. And, he also said that one needs to come in every season to get a complete different experience.
Truly there are many wonderful places around us, it’s all about how you synch with them. For me this day trip was amazing and I would say that “Enjoyment of the landscape is a thrill”.