Tuesday, November 2

... the Hempta

Every trek has a destination and a climax. Coming back home, friends ask what is the climax of  Hempta Trek. I find it difficult to tell. May be it is because this trek has a climax at every corner of its journey. When I heard ‘Hempta Pass’ I thought it was something like a superhighway on top of the mountain. No.... not at all. It is a simple sacred path that the shepherds use to cross over to Spiti... it is landmark destination since ages... a gate way to the northern most parts of this great nation and most of all, it is a holy ground. 

Reaching Hempta, the first thing that I did was to pray. I found that I am not the first person doing that!  No one takes food on top at Hampta. They descend to lower mountains to open their food basket.  That is a sign of respect. 

The beauty of the pass is that it is a ‘bridge’ that one has to use to cross over to lower lands. And, for a trekker, it is an absolutely mesmerising sight to be at Hampta and keep watching the beauty of the Himalayas.  

As these mountains unfold, the sunlight plays a drama in colours across huge landscape. This is impossible to perceive. I have understood that green has millions of shades in Kerala. (I remember a friend of mine telling me about the beauty of the greens of Kerala. Ya, he is correct.) Nevertheless, Hampta tells me that the blacks, the browns and the blues too have millions of tones to enthral a wary trekker. What more than a million year old mountain can offer me? I tried to decipher the secret of it all... I stood with tears in my eyes. “What am I crying for? ” I probed myself. All my pride, all my strength, all my ‘what I am’ is just a figment to the glory and the might of God’s creation. Then there was a second question that troubled me...“God, why did you open up all this beauty to me?” Suddenly, I thought of all the blind...I thought of all those people who are unable to witness this physical magnificence of God’s glory... I thought of home and the people who make it happen in my life.

From Hempta, I was confused as to what to photograph. In fact, over powered by a surge of thoughts, I could not do justice to my camera. The enormous and mammoth gorges of the Spiti Valley kept me gasping for breath. With one strike in my heart, I stood with tears humble and contrite. My friends did a better work on their cameras.   

From Hampta, across Spiti Valley, the glorious Mt. Indrasan stands looking down on us. The Indrasan peak is 6400 m high. It is the most significant peak in sight. Beyond this peak, nuzzled deep in the mountain valley, India is proud to foster a unique and distinctive Buddhist culture found only in Tibet.

The minuscule shaped trekkers set against the huge backdrop of the mountains reminded me of my own transient days on earth. 

As I humbly trekked across the Spiti, I thought how correct is the statement of Edmund Hillary when he said,
It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves” .

Photo credits : Photos of Mt. Indrasan and most pictures of Spiti Valley were done by my friend and fellow trekker 'UC' (you see!).  

1 comment:

Premanand said...

Great photos!!!. Looking at the pictures give me a sense of awe and wonder. I too stand transfixed at the sight of the stunning landscape and wondrous beauty. Moreover, I realize that we are just ants or mites before the Almighty. Keep walking, Aby