The last weekend has been a compete kick to keep me pumped up for the upcoming days. Adventure & routine could be a wonderful combination, had it not been for monotony! However, I managed to secure an adventure packed weekend for myself at Himalayan Eco Lodge, New Tehri.
After an exhausting week I headed to Sursingdhar, which is a 3 hour drive from Dehradun. Eagerly looking forward to a getaway, I finally landed at H.E.L- located at an offbeat location, close to the emerald waters of Tehri Lake. The beautiful cottages of H.EL, made in complete consonance with Himalayas & its beauty, set the right chords of a Himalayan retreat. The rooms of each cottage are warm & cosy with a mountain facing view. The exquisite sunrise from behind the mountains was a warming welcome to the day. After few captures of the sunrise we headed out for a short hike to the pine & oak forests. Collecting pieces of dry oak & pine as décor for a dreamy future cottage of my own. (Ah! A pleasing thought!)
Soon we returned to this boutique property for a quick breakfast amidst the lofty Himalayan mountain views, from the open dining area. Later, as scheduled we headed into the dense forest for some sessions of adventure activities like Tree jumaring *& valley crossing*. The trees greeted us with a chilly presence, though their roots were ideally rooted to cradle us through all these activities. Post these refreshing activities, we head back for lunch at the lodge. Food tasted scrumptious after this hour long taste of adventure given to our adventure palate. Next we chose to just toil around the property taking pictures of the full bloomed flowers & the sun kissed snow peaks.
A view from the Dining Area
The latter half of the day was spent in a visit for a cultural dose, to the local village of Kanda. A 10 minute hike to the village along the narrow path took us to the settlement full of domestic animals (sheep, cow, goats), of course dogs roam around as other settlers all along your way. The locals grow umpteen numbers of lemons, orange & some seasonal vegetables here, which they are more than happy to distribute amongst the curious travellers. I too bagged away a few organic fruits and chomped the rest on the return hike back to the lodge. The steep climb took us a while to catch a breath, while with the other breath we captured the breath- taking views.
A village scene –
Organic vegetables & Lemon Plantations:
Celebrating Women Power:
By the time we reached the lodge the sunset, took away all our fatigue, just so quiet to wind up this adventurous day! Sipping a cup of coffee, perched in the balcony, we concluded the day with a wholesome dinner & a death- like sleep.
The next morning began with a captivating sunrise, which seemed ever so new as though we had never witnessed it the day before! A kickass start to the day, it only got better with another session of adventure activity called Rappeling*. The activity is sheer fun and the adventure element doesn’t pass off until you have been safely unleashed from the ropes & carabiners. After this session we returned in a leisurely walk back to the lodge. Being served with hot lunch & a sun kissed afternoon, was all that we needed now. Soon we prepared our rucksacks, to head back to Tehri Lake. The Tehri dam was on our checklist & having reached there in an hour’s drive we finally de boarded, at Koti.
The Tehri dam is one of the tallest dams in the world & Asia’s first Largest. The dam was built in collaboration between Russian government & the U.P, state government. However, later it was constructed under the collaborative efforts of state government & the Central government of India. The dam has 4 phases & the final phase is being built now, assumed to be completed by the year 2018. The dam itself is a heritage sight to visit, while the water sports activities on the Tehri lake was on our, to do list. We soon indulged in water sports like water skiing, jet skiing, water zorbing – full of adventure! Post this adrenaline filled adventure we hit the roads to return to our cities.
In all this weekend offered all that a city dweller could ever imagine of and that too what better than a place so accessible! Tehri indeed turned out to be a perfect weekend getaway, for it required no tiresome pre planning .Only an easy hop on to the car and a way back with a bundle of memories to be cherished for a lifetime.
*Quick Notes: *
*Tree Jumaring: An adventure activity involves a climb up a rope, attached to a tree. The jumars enable hand grip on the rope, clutching which, one picks up their body weight by pulling oneself against another rope attached to the jumar. The climb on top of the rope requires technique & effort while the slide downward, is an effortless pull back to the ground.
Equipments & Gears Required: Belay Line (Safety line); Seat Harness; Carabiner; Pulley; Jumar, Mittens, Seat Harness, Helmet.
*Valley crossing: Valley crossing could be akin to being cradled by two trees not horizontally, but vertically. This activity requires sliding down from one tree to the other, usually adopted when mountaineers need to traverse across a valley or a cliff. The entire activity is hardly a minute long, but gearing up for it requires quite some effort.
Equipments & Gears Required: Pulley; Tandon Pulley; Belay Line; Seat Harness; Carabiner; Pulley; Jumar, Mittens, Seat Harness, Helmet.
*Mechanical Rappeling: This is a descending technique used by mountaineers. For this activity one climbs a rock in order to rappel down from it. Rappeling down is possible only once the instructor has attached a descender to the carabiner connected to your harness. The activity requires the participant to let loose the belay line behind his back in order to facilitate smooth rapel downwards.
Equipments & Gears Required: Seat Harness, mittens, helmet, carabiner, Belay rope.
Here’s your Checklist, while you plan a trip to Himalayan Eco lodge – New Tehri
Plan a trip any time of the year, it will be as pleasant as you can imagine.
Don’t forget to carry:
- Sun glasses
- Good grip shoes
- Portable Chargers
- Emergency Medicines
- Thick Track Pants
- 1 small day backpack
- Water Bottle
- Light snacks to munch.
- Accessibility from Delhi :
Delhi – Haridwar (Train/ Flight (Jolly Grant Airport / Volvo buses) – New Tehri (Buses/ Taxi)