On the 23rd of May, three of us decided to try and trek as far as we could in the direction of the neelkant glacier. This is the route one take when one wants to go on foot from Badrinath to Kedarnath. It takes around 6 days to cover the entire route.

We set out at around 9:00 a.m and we had hardly gone for about half a kilometer, before a steady drizzle descended on us. Undeterred as were, we opened our umbrellas and proceeded on our climb. After climbing for almost 1.5 km, we were presented with the view of the entire town of Badrinath.

By this point, the drizzle had transformed into steady rain and climbing was a little hard, but nevertheless just as enjoyable. We were beginning to feel cold and wet, but strangely enough, this hardly dampened our enthusiasm. At this point, we met a policeman working in Badrinath who had the day off and he turned out to be rather informed and interesting. We continued trekking and he told us some local stories. We reached a cave where one swamiji lived. The cave was very small- so small, even a small child could hardly stand upright in it. In one corner, he there were pictures of some gods, principally Hanuman, and almost at the entrance of the cave a small stove and some utensils. If I had laid down in the down, My feet would havejust managed to stay in. It was that small. The swamiji was very hospitable and he insisted on making tea for us- which was certainly more than welcome- but, it was still that frightfully sweet tea, which the “hill people” drink. After a cup of tea we set out to “charan paduka”. It is believed that in an earlier age Vishnu had put his foot here and hence the name.

The views of the mountains along the route were breathtaking and by this time the rain had also stopped and there were rivers and meadows and the valley was far too beautiful for description.

Since the weather wasn’t very good, at this point we decided to turn back and thus the trip to see the valley was postponed to a later date.

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