Finally, we were in the last stage of our Roopkund journey. After reaching Kulling from Didna, we would have again connected to the world by the road at least. If you look towards Kulling from Didna, it seems very close, just on the opposite hill, but it is again a daunting task to reach there from Didna. First, we were supposed to descend for 1.5 kms and then a steep climb for 2 kms to reach Kulling in 3 hours approximately. We had been tired after the 5 days rigorous trekking in that remote corner of Himalayas and after reaching Kulling, we were expected to join the same road that we had travelled on the first day between Lohajung and Wan. So, there was no excitement to see something new. The only good feeling was that, after reaching Kulling, our continuous trekking would come to a halt. Moreover, I was eager to reach home to meet my little angel. But I had to wait for two more days to reach Delhi.
We thought to trek from Didna to Kulling and then planned to get a shared jeep from Kulling to Lohajung. But local people told that last jeep from Kulling would depart at 0800 AM. Last jeep of the day would depart in morning! To catch that jeep, we were supposed to start from Didna about 0500 AM. But we were in no mood to start so early. We decided to leave Didna around 0700 AM and thought if jeep would not be available then we would trek till Lohajung to get a shared jeep from there.
Finally, we started trekking from Didna at 0800 AM. A narrow path in front of the guest house led us to the trail going towards Neel Ganga River. You have to cross an Iron Bridge over Neel Ganga and then the trail continues towards Kulling. Another trail from the other side of the river goes direct to Lohajung, but there is more climb on that route. So, its better to reach Kulling and then follow an almost parallel road to Lohajung.
The trail is built with stone blocks, but loose blocks make it risky to walk. Right after the village, the forest starts. There are lot of hill-turmeric plants along the trail and, beyond that , there are lot of trees of Burans. It was not the blossom season for Burans flower, but some red leaves among the green leaves of Burans gave a similar feeling. Enjoying the beauty of nature, we reached at the bank of Neel Ganga.
The river bed is at least 50 feet below us. We left the idea to go there, as it required a little climb at the other side to rejoin the trail. We proceeded towards the iron bridge and awestrucked by the front view. There was a big waterfall in front of us. The milky water of the waterfall drops from a good height and it looks very beautiful in the middle of the green forest. That waterfall is also visible from Lohajung-Wan road, but from there, it is difficult to imagine its grandeur. The height of that magnificent waterfall was unexpected, so it was a pure delight. If something had been missed out in our Roopkund journey, that waterfall connected all the missing links. We clicked some pictures and moved ahead.
It was not a dense forest, but no human being was visible in the vicinity. If you wish to walk alone in that area, you should really have some courage to do so, even in the bright daylight. There was another stream on the way, that merges in Neel Ganga below the trail.
We continued walking along the river. Both sides of the trail is covered by small trees. At some places, these trees bend in a beautiful manner to form a spectacular arch.
We reached at the edge of Kulling Village after three hours of trekking. Many villagers were busy in their fields, as it was a high season for the crop. There was lot fields of Chaulai in the village. Those plants of Chaulai were in many colour, yellow, pink,red..the complete area of Kulling Village was a colourful canvas.
The moment we reached on the main road, we saw a jeep passing by. I shouted and stopped the driver and asked if he was going to Lohajung. He asked INR 800 for that 6 kms journey ! It was really ridiculous. Later, he demanded INR 400, but it seemed that he was taking advantage of our tired condition. We refused his offer and decided to trek till Lohajung.
We found a water stream after Kulling. We were very thirsty, so stopped there for a while. After 1 km from Kulling, our guide-cum-mule owner refused to move forward. He demanded extra INR 400 for rest of the 5 kms journey to Lohajung. We hired him for the whole day, so tried to convince him. But he was not ready to move. Everybody was taking advantage of us. We left him there only and carried our backpack. We knew if we were trekked so much in last 5 days, then we could also complete that 5 kms walk on a parallel road.
We reached Lohajung in next two hours around 1 PM. Surprisingly, there was no shared vehicle available for the onward journey to Dewal. We were really trapped in a remote village of Himalayas. We stopped for the lunch and thought by the time, we would finished our lunch, a jeep may arrive. But people told us that the jeep would be available only if one arrive from Dewal with a tourist group. Otherwise nobody would go there. They also informed that on the previous day, there were lot of tourists, so jeeps was available upto Haldwani untill 0300 PM. We waited for one more hour, but no tourist group arrived there in Lohajung.
At last we hired a private jeep and reached Dewal at 0345 PM. From there, another shared jeep took us to Tharali. We wanted to stay at Kausani in the night, but continued moving and reached Almora at 0900 PM. We spent a night in Almora. Next day, we explored the market of Almora and bought the famous sweet-dish of Almora “Bal Mithai”. It is mostly available in chocolate flavour and taste is really good. Then, we moved from Almora to Kathgodam. In the evening, we boarded our train to Delhi from Kathgodam. This completed our incredible journey to Roopkund Lake.
Like Always, my body returned back from The Himalayas, but the soul left somewhere in those valleys and mountains. The memories of that incredible journey is now alive in the photographs only. The Mighty Himalayas always remains an obsession to me and will always. I returned back from Roopkund to be ready for my next trip in those deep valleys and high mountains. I will be back there soon, very soon.