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Trekking and survival Camping at Prashar Lake

I received the Whatsapp message on 13 Feburary 2018 about  ‘A trek and survival camp trip’ Offer from 16th to 19th Feburary  from a travel company. I came to know that trekkers would be staying in tents  on layers of snow at -7 degree temperature, I shared this idea with my friend and we got excited and he said “Chal yaar chalte hain (Let’s Go Dude)”. Finally, we decided and arranged all necessities, especially the trekking shoes and Bags.  On 16th we completed  our tasks and we were eagerly waiting for evening. And the time arrived around 5.30 in the evening we board the tour company’s bus from Patiala Bus stand.

Bus Journey 
The bus was full of college Students with cheering, laughing, shouting, singing and later they started dancing suddenly. I thought why they started dancing on our arrival in the Bus. But then I realized that the trip started from that point. Girls, as usual, were gleaming with layers of makeup, seemingly they were going to their close cousin’s wedding, but anyhow they were adding glamour to that journey.
At 9.30 pm we reached Ropar Havelli restaurant had a warm, delicious dinner buffet  followed by photography session and now the different groups started interacting with each other. During the overnight journey , some were sleeping, some were talking and some were listening to music. On 17th February,  at 5.30am,  we reached Mandi district Himachal Pradesh. At that point, we realized the Importance  of buttons and the zippers of jackets.
Day 1 | 17th February
At early morning, we went to the Gurudwara in Mandi  surrounded by hills and mountains. A chilling breeze was grazing our faces and in this silence brimming with positivity we could only hear the sound of flowing water coming from a nearby river and and devotional words of Waheguru, the almighty. We got ready, offered prayers, and had tea at Langer (the community kitchen). Refreshed again, at  7.00 in the morning, we, a group of 28 trekkers left for Baggi Village.
Baggi Village HP (Starting point of the trek)
We reached Baggi at 9:00 am, situated 23 kms away from Mandi. We had instant Pahari Maggi and sandwiches, also shared some food with cute mountain dogs. We bought 2 to 3 litres of water as we were instructed to carry an appropriate quantity of water for trekking and night stay at Prashar Lake.  By that time adrenaline started rushing inside me  and finally we started our trek at 10:00 in the morning  under the guidance of the local guide having a common Bollywood pahari name ‘Ram Lal’. And those dogs from hills also started following us.
On our way to the peak, the jungle with green vegetation all around, a mixture of rocky roads, kachha roads and pagdandis  desolate pathways, view of jungle and mountains all around and the adventure of chilling cold. Everything was a new experience for me, portable speakers were adding melodies of old songs, photography almost on each scenic view. We kept on talking and motivating  each other during the trek of those 13 kms. After 3:30 hours of uphill trekking we started seeing snow covered mountains and also started manoeuvring  through snowy and slippery path, this gave us a sign that we are near to our destination. And finally, we reached Prashar Lake  at 4:30pm. Interestingly, those two dogs from Baggi who accompanied us on the way also reached there with us.

Prashar Lake
Prashar Lake

Prashar Lake 
Situated is Kullu valley, Prashar Lake is an oval shaped blue water lake with a small grassy island in the centre of it. It seemed to move in the lake with each passing hour. The lake was fenced all around. The local temple of ‘Prashar Rishi’  next to the lake with its old Himachali architecture and peace of the mountains, holds you to spend few more  hours in that temple only.
Then we reached the local camping site arranged by local people, they offered us snacks tea and pahari lunch. Then they took us to the camping site. We were allotted tents with twin sharing and triple sharing.
Camping Tents
Camping Tents

Prashar Rishi Temple
Prashar Rishi Temple
Night Camping   
Tents  on the bed of Snow, no internet, no electricity, no network, no phone calls, the temperature dropped to minus 8 degree Celsius. Source of lighting was torch light, mobile phones’s flash lights and bonfire. It was like we were abducted by the beautiful nature  away from all the tensions, stressful daily routine life. I was actually, enjoying this kidnapping, wished that time could have stopped here for more few days. Singing, dancing around bonfire, dinner of Pahari vegetables and desolated hills in the night, every moment was amazing. Maggi session happened again at midnight at 12:30 am and then everyone went to their tents, some were sleeping and some were talking, singing and enjoying.
Day 2 | 18th February
The next morning  was a new challenge, to come out of the comfort zone and to
add new experience, small groups of 2 or 3 people going in different directions to find the solitary places, because no permanent washrooms were there. So all of us decided to dig small pits, using them and then covering. My personal advice is that one must carry tissue papers and wet wipes in these camps. I also realized the real importance of each drop of water because we were having limited water with us. 
After having hearty breakfast and tea under the sky, we packed our bags for downhill trek.
Downhill Trekking
We reached Baggi at 5:00 pm, had Snacks, made local friends as they taught us the steps of ‘Nati’ dance (Traditional dance of Kullu District) on Punjabi Beats,it was the fusion of two states. And then we reached Mandi around 8:30 pm. We had dinner in a Dhabha, our last halt in Himachal Pradesh.

vitesh verma
After that  we left for Patiala and on 19th Feburary 5:30 am we reached back in Patiala. Lots of memories of living the dream, refreshed energy, and the all vital organs were actively working with new energy. I had developed new Passion of Trekking and Camping. 

Vitesh Verma, Patiala
Business Officer (Marketing)
Pharmaceutical Industry 
Student of Journalism and Mass Communication
MA 2 Sem IV, Distance Education
Punjabi University, Patiala

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