Dec 03

Glaciers of Pithoragarh

panchachuli

Lesser known glaciers – very few trekkers and climbers have seen these.

Glaciers of Pithoragarh

River Basin Glaciers Catchment Area
Sq. Km
Glacier Area Sq. Km
Gori Milam
Kalabaland
Northern Lwanl
Bamlas
Lower Lwanl
Balati
Baldimga
Terahar
Poting
Ralamag upper
Talkot
Ralamag lower
Sankalpa
Middle Lwanl
Lower Poting
212.21
60.00
49.00
46.00
45.00
40.00
31.00
31.00
30.00
26.00
24.00
22.00
19.00
15.00
6.50
39.50
12.00
10.00
9.00
8.00
10.00
8.00
4.50
8.50
8.50
5.00
8.00
3.20
2.00
2.00
Lassar Upper Lassar
Lower Lassar
Middle Lassar
131.60
126.00
115.51
32.1
34.9
21.6
Dhauli Lower Dhauli
Sona Glacier
Baling Golfu
Upper Dhauli
Sobla Tejam
Middle Dhauli
130.00
72.00
45.00
32.00
22.00
19.00
24.5
4.00
3.00
8.2
4.00
3.1
Kali Lower Kali
Upper Kali
30.00
10.00
5.2
5.0
Kuti Glaciers of Kuti
Yangti Basin
208.00 20.00

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Jun 04

Tourists throng Manali, seek permit for Rohtang

Fresh snow at Rohtang has increased the flow of tourists in Manali and seeking the permit to cross the Gulaba barrier.The National Green Tribunal (NGT) in its latest orders to protect the fragile ecology of the Rohtang region had restricted the number of vehicles to 1,000 per day, consisting of 400 diesel and 600 petrol vehicles. Due to this, a large number of visitors were unable to visit the snow point.Even today, long queues were witnessed outside the Tourist Information Centre in Manali, where tourists started gathering to seek permit to visit Rohtang tomorrow. Pandemonium was witnessed at the premises after a large number of tourists could not get permit. Manali SDM Jyoti Rana pacified the visitors and appealed to assist the administration to comply with the NGT orders.She said efforts were being made to facilitate the tourists and a large number of state transport buses, besides commercial tourist vehicles had been mobilised to ferry tourists to the snow point. However, with a heavy rush at the state transport booking counters, a large number of visitors in Manali were deprived of visiting the snow point.Madan, hotelier in Manali, said they had not witnessed 100 per cent occupancy since May 25 this year, while earlier May and June used to remain jam packed.Shyam, an entrepreneur in Manali, said the present scenario would affect the entire tourism industry in the long-run. While, the online booking system to seek permit to Rohtang is not available, visitors from other states coming in diesel vehicles were a harried lot.

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Jan 17

Cold wave continues in Himachal Pradesh

Biting cold wave conditions sweeping across the tribal areas and other higher hills of Himachal Pradesh , further intensified today as the mercury dropped by four to five degrees in tribal areas and hovered around the freezing point in mid and lower hills.

Keylong in tribal Lahaul and Spiti district and Kalpa in Kinnaur district recorded a low of minus 12.2 and minus 5.0 degrees Celsius respectively, while Manali reeled under biting cold wave conditions with a minimum temperature of minus 3.2 degrees, followed by Sundernagar 0.4, Bhuntar 1.0, Una 1.4, Solan 1.5, Shimla 1.7, Palampur 3.5, Dharamsala 4.2, and Nahan 8.7 degrees Celsius.

The high altitude tribal areas groaned under arctic conditions with night temperature staying between minus 16 and minus 24 degrees Celsius.

All natural sources of water including lakes, springs, rivulets and tributaries of major rivers were frozen for the past ten weeks, causing sharp fall in discharge of water in snow-fed Sutlej, Ravi and Beas rivers.

Hydropower generation has dropped to 40 per cent and the state is purchasing 700 MW electricity to meet the increased demand of power during the winters.

However, day temperatures rose by a few notches and Una recorded a high of 23.5 degrees Celsius while Sundernagar and Nahan recorded maximum temperatures at 20.5 and 18.3 degrees, followed by Solan and Bhuntar 18.0, Dharamsala 15.2, Shimla 12.4, Manali 10.6, and Kalpa 6.4 degrees Celsius.

The local MeT office has predicted dry weather in the region over the next four days and light rains or snow at isolated places from January 20 onwards.

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Dec 25

Politics over Frozen River Trek

POLITICS OVER FROZEN RIVER TREK:
We all know companies operating from other countries , states and managing their business. I think this is how ‘business’ goes on. Trekkers from North America will , but natural will find comfortability to deal with someone who is in their region – more than anything else- it is comfort zone and accountability too.
But what happened with a Bangore based company vis – s- vis in Ladakh , clearly shows how business lobby works in Ladakh. Banglore based Adventure and outdoor company was offering cheapest rates for FROZEN RIVER TREK over Zanskar river. But the way few Ladakhi companies have tried to gag them because they loose business over pricing …sure how fragile it is to do fare business in Ladakh.
Now, this has become a political as well as legal issue but first attempt to monopolize business in Ladakh has been made !

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Oct 15

Heavy Snowfall in Annapurna Range- kills 16, including several Israelis,

Nearly 170 people were trekking along the Annapurna route when a snowstorm hit; Nepal authorities: 60 people rescued, unknown number still missing; Israel’s MFA is looking into the reports.

An avalanche and blizzard in Nepal’s mountainous north have killed at least 12 people, including several Israeli trekkers, officials said Wednesday. Other reports said 16 people were killed in the blizzard.

The number of Israeli casualties is still unclear.

Baburam Bhandari, the chief officer of Mustang district, where the incident occurred, said that 12 bodies were recovered so far, “out of which eight are Nepalis, one Vietnamese, two Israeli and one Polish.

Earlier, two Poles, one Israeli and a Nepali were confirmed dead by local authorities. Meanwhile, four Israelis, five Germans, four Polish citizens and a Nepali had been rescued, according to Bhandari.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said it is still following up reports and is waiting for information from the embassy in Kathmandu, which is in contact with Nepali authorities.

Nearly 170 people were trekking toward the Thorang La pass along the well-travelled Annapurna route Tuesday when the snowstorm hit.

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Sep 15

Weather Improved in North India – Himadventures Starts Treks and Climbs

As weather has improved in North India – Himadventures has started its treks and climbs in Indian Himalayas. British, Japanese expeditions have started after waiting for a week for weather to improve.

School Students from Britain also have joined their trek in Uttaranchal and Himachal Pradesh. They will be doing community service in this region.

Himadventures has no client in Kashmir Valley which is trapped or needed help.

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Jun 26

Shepherds fear threat from goons, leaving profession

Grazing grounds in Kangra and Hamirpur districts of Himachal are becoming unsafe for gaddis of the Holi region. Gaddis allege that their migratory route has become unsafe as several thefts are reported here.

Brahmanand, a pradhan from the Holi region, said some of his family members were looted this year by unidentified armed persons in the Fatehpur area of Kangra district, where they were camping with their sheep.

They said they threatened them with dire consequences and fled with 18 sheep.

“Not only this, my relatives were forced to load the sheep in their vehicle. Each sheep was worth Rs 5,000.”

“Generally the gaddis who migrate to the Dhauladhar range are afraid to approach the police and, hence, are forced to leave this traditional profession of rearing sheep by migrating across forests and grazing grounds in Himachal,” Brahmanand said.

Shamu, another gaddi, who is still following this traditional of rearing sheep and goats, had a similar complaint.

He said some goons targeted his sheep in Hamirpur district and fled with 10 of these. “I could not lodge a police complaint as I could not leave my sheep alone,” he said.

Most of the gaddis migrate to lower plains in Kangra and Hamirpur district during the winter months from December to February.him6

In summers they return home in the Bharmour and Holi regions of Chamba district after crossing high mountainous passes in the Dhauladhar ranges.

Due to power projects coming up in the tribal areas of Chamba district, several gaddis have left their traditional profession and taken to the construction business.

A section of influential gaddi community members have benefited from power projects and become prosperous. Several gaddis have also switched over to apple farming and jobs in government and private sectors. However, those residing in remote areas like Holi and Bharmour still practise this profession.

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May 10

New 14 frog species discovered in Western Ghats in India

frog frog1 frog2 frog3

The tiny amphibians, which earned their name with the kicks they use to attract mates, declined dramatically in number during the past 12 years.Scientists have discovered 14 new species of so-called dancing frogs in the jungle mountains of southern India — just in time, they fear, to watch them fade away.

Indian biologists say they found the tiny acrobatic amphibians, which earned their name with the unusual kicks they use to attract mates, declining dramatically in number during the 12 years in which they chronicled the species through morphological descriptions and molecular DNA markers. They breed after the yearly monsoon in fast-rushing streams, but their habitat appears to be becoming increasingly dry.

“It’s like a Hollywood movie, both joyful and sad. On the one hand, we have brought these beautiful frogs into public knowledge. But about 80 per cent are outside protected areas, and in some places, it was as if nature itself was crying,” said the project’s lead scientist, University of Delhi professor Sathyabhama Das Biju.

Biju said that, as researchers tracked frog populations, forest soils lost moisture and perennial streams ran inexplicably dry. He acknowledged his team’s observations about forest conditions were only anecdotal; the scientists did not have time or resources to collect data demonstrating the declining habitat trends they believed they were witnessing.

The study listing the new species — published Thursday in the Ceylon Journal of Science — brings the number of known Indian dancing frog species to 24.

They’re found exclusively in the Western Ghats, a lush mountain range that stretches 1,600 kilometres from the western state of Maharashtra down to the country’s southern tip.

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Mar 26

Himalayan Weather

The incessant rain during the last two days in the region has caused extensive damage to crops. While hailstorm has damaged peas, tomatoes, cauliflower and other vegetables, excessive moisture in the fields has damaged standing crops of wheat, grams and pulses.

Crops of wheat and peas have suffered the most, leading to flattening of plants in large areas and causing huge financial losses to farmers in Gohar, Padhar and Balh.

Toyad Kant, a farmer from Kummi panchayat of the Balh area, said “The continuous rain and hailstorm has damaged our crops, leading to financial losses.”

“The recently planted tomato plants have also been damaged,” he added.

High-velocity winds and hailstorm have also damaged flowers on apple, apricot and plum plants in.

As per an estimate of the Agriculture Department, wheat and other rabi crops in 495 hectares have been damaged in Mandi district and vegetable crop in 895 hectares has been damaged.

Harish Jamwal, Deputy Director, Agriculture Department, said, “Damage to crops of wheat, pulses, peas, tomato, cauliflower, cabbage etc have been reported and an estimated loss of Rs 1.86 crore has been assessed – Rs 1.67 crore loss for vegetables and Rs 20.14 lakh loss for grains.”

“We have sent a report regarding the losses to the state government,” he added.

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Feb 21

Chamba-Bharmour highway opens to traffic

Residents of Bharmour in Chamba district heaved a sigh of relief when their only lifeline linking the district headquarters was cleared after five days here yesterday.

As per reports, vehicular traffic resumed to the tribal township of Bharmour, the headquarters of Bharmour tribal sub-division. The Chamba-Bharmour highway beyond Kharamukh was blocked due to heavy snowfall, the reports said.

Many link roads in the interior parts of the district were restored after clearing of snow, the reports confirmed.

The roads included Chamba-Kohladi, Jamuhar, Khajjiar, Barour-Sillagharat, Sarol-Sirhkund, Sahoo-Kiri-Lagga and Mani.

The restoration of link roads has enabled inhabitants to move to the district headquarters and earn their livelihood.

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Feb 03

Weather in North India

CHANDIGARH Temperature
Maximum: 19.6ºC
Minimum: 8.2ºC

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Dec 25

After three-day wait, tourists throng Patnitop

With the Jammu-Srinagar national highway being opened for one-way traffic today, scores of tourists thronged the hill resort of Patnitop to enjoy the season’s first snowfall. “We were waiting for the highway to get cleared. We have to leave for our home town from Udhampur on Sunday…Somehow we managed to reach here again today after paying obeisance at the Vaishnoo Devi shrine on Monday,” Vikram Gupta, who hails from Lajpat Nagar area of New Delhi, said.

Vikram is on a week-long trip to the state.

Though dejected at not witnessing the snow fall, Vikram was ecstatic to see the surroundings covered under a thick blanket of snow.

“We were expecting to watch snow fall, but enjoying in snow is something I will cherish for a long time,”

Patnitop has so far received one feet of snow, while Nathatop, which is 15 km away from here, has got one and half feet of snow.

With hundreds of visitors from the adjoining areas of Katra and Jammu planning to spend the week at the hill resort, the hoteliers and guest house owners at Kud, Patnitop and Batote are looking forward to a great season ahead.

“Tourists from Chandigarh, New Delhi and other parts of northern India have already got their bookings confirmed online and our hotels are almost packed till December 31,” Koushal Sharma, president, Hotel Association Patnitop, said. Owner of the Santoor Hotel, Shakeel Shah, said: “By the grace of the god we have experienced snowfall few days ahead of Christmas. It will increase tourist arrival by about 200 per cent.”

Taxi operators are also enthusiastic about the season ahead. “We have got confirmed bookings from Jammu railway station till Patnitop during the winter and we are expecting a heavy rush of tourists. Already our occupancy is near full,” Ravi Kalsi, president Taxi Operator Union, said.

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Dec 25

FIVE trapped in snow rescued

All five persons, who were reported to have been trapped in a gujjar kotha (a house made of mire by a Gujjar family) at Saleti Dhaar in the Mehla development block of Chamba district, were evacuated safely today.

Stating this here today, Superintendent of Police (SP), Chamba, Jagat Ram said these persons were identified as Vikram Singh, Chhaju Ram, Kishori Lal, Tej Chand and Prittam of the Chhatroli area of the Mehla block of the district.

“It could be possible because of the clear weather and the contact of police teams with the trapped persons”, the SP narrated.

Two shepherds along with six sheep and goats were also feared to have been buried under snow avalanche on the slope of Jamnaldhaar in Sanwal of the remote Churah subdivision of the district on Sunday, according to reports reaching here today.

The reports said in the wake of heavy snowfall, a group of shepherds who were returning to their homes were hit by an avalanche but two of them were feared buried along with six sheep and goats. These shepherds were named as Lehnu and Karam Chand.

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Dec 25

Four Rescued- Two Dead at Rohtang Pass

Four persons reported missing since Saturday were rescued near Rohtang Pass today, about 150 km from here.

Pradeep, an engineer of Himachal Pradesh State Electronic Development Corporation (HPSEDC), Roop Lal, Agriculture Officer Keylong, clerk Jitender and driver Thapa were all reported to be in a sound condition and were airlifted to Kullu.

They were taken to the zonal hospital here and there were no signs of hypothermia or frost bite, said Sushil Chander, Medical Officer Health. The four were returning after delivering some electronics instruments at the Deputy Commissioner office, Keylong.

Upon getting stranded, they managed to get in touch with the Lahaul Spiti DC.

According to the Lahaul Spiti DC, Beer Singh, the Bolero Camper (HP-58-5649) in which all the four were travelling through the Rohtang Pass was caught in a snowstorm near the pass on Saturday evening. The four managed to survive the 60-hour ordeal in the snow by sitting inside the vehicle, he added.

He said a rescue team of members of police, administration, Borders Road Organisation (BRO), ITBP, medical experts and Disaster Management was able to trace the missing persons and bring them back to Khoksar.

The bodies of the ill-fated duo Sanjeev Kumar (19) and Naresh (22), both from Patlikuhl in Kullu, who happened to get stuck in the snow on Saturday night in a Maxicab (HP-34A-1134) in Gramphu near Khoksar, were also airlifted and handed over to their relatives.

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Nov 11

Rohtang Pass thrown open to public

After three days of heavy snowfall in the higher reaches of Manali and rain in lower parts, residents and tourists got some relief from biting cold today. The Rohtang Pass has also been thrown open for vehicular traffic.

Sources said dozens of vehicles carrying passengers and other essential commodities crossed the pass. Residents of Lahaul, who had been trapped in Kullu after blockade of the Manali-Keylong road in the wake of heavy snowfall, too, left for their destination.

Randhir Singh Salhuria, Director, Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports (ABVIMAS), said two rescue posts would be set up on either side of the Rohtang Pass on November 15. He said keeping in view the safety of pedestrians, two posts would be set up in Marhi below the Rohtang Pass and Koksar in Lahaul district. Both posts would monitor all pedestrians crossing the Rohtang Pass.

Salhuria said it would be necessary for pedestrians to get themselves registered with the posts before and after crossing the Rohtang.

Hundreds of tourists thronged Manali to see fresh snow which had become an attraction. Local hoteliers, taxi operators and people engaged in tourism business were happy as snow was proving to be a boon for the tourism industry.

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Aug 27

French trekkers missing in Himalayas

Two French trekkers in their twenties have gone missing in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas after breaking away from their group near the mountain town of Dharamshala, police say.

‘Over two dozen people are searching for the missing trekkers in the Dhauladhar mountain ranges,’ local police chief Balbir Singh Thakur told AFP by phone on Monday.

‘We are now considering an air search operation with the help of the Indian air force ,’ Thakur added.

The two men, aged 20 and 21, were part of a 32-member foreign group of trekkers near Dharamshala, the home town of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in the state of Himachal Pradesh.

The pair were reported missing last Thursday after deciding to carry on walking and explore the higher reaches of the nearby mountains when the rest of the group returned to its base camp.

The area is known for sudden changes in weather and heavy rainfall during the current monsoon season.

‘The search operation is on at 4,500 metres, where we have no form of communication. Yesterday we spotted some movement but this may have been an animal,’ Thakur said.

Last year an Indian journalist trekker was found dead in the area.

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Jun 25

All have been evacuated from Kinnaur- Himachal Pradesh

Almost all stranded tourists were evacuated from the snow and rain-ravaged Kinnaur and essential supplies were dropped in the areas that still remained cut off as three IAF helicopters and one state-leased aircraft made numerous sorties today.

In all 118 persons were evacuated and a large number of local people were airlifted within the district from Pooh to Sumdoh and Reckong Peo and from Sumdoh to Reckong Peo and Pooh. As many as 97 persons were rescued from Sangla, who included 68 tourists, out of whom were 14 Americans. From Nako 15 persons were evacuated and six from Pooh. There are still about 100 local persons queued up for airlifting from Sangla.

The state helicopter dropped electronic voting machines (EVMs) and other poll material to Sangla, Pooh, Sumdoh, Gyaban, Choling, Nichar, Jangi and other places. The State Road Transport Corporation resumed bus services between Reckong Peo and Shimla.

The IAF helicopters dropped 2,500 litre of kerosene, 40 quintals of wheat flour, 15 quintals of rice and 2.5 quintals of salt at Sangla where the restoration of road connectivity could take about a fortnight. Supplies were also being replenished at Reckong Peo and six trucks of wheat flour and four trucks of cooking gas refills, two tankers of diesel and one of petrol was on way.

With sufficient supplies of diesel available, the construction machinery was fully deployed for restoration of roads. The district administration had assessed the demand of diesel for machinery at 3,000 litre per day. The road from the Lahaul side had also been restored up to Sumdoh and if required supplies would be sent from that side.

The main problem is being encountered in the restoration of the road from Reckong Peo to Sumdoh as large stretches have been completely wiped out by landslides. There is hardly any construction machinery in between which can be deployed to expedite work and the BRO will have to restore the road gradually.

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Jun 09

Chitkul Temple

chitkul Temple chitkul devi temple

The Kagyupa temple has a highly valued old image of the Shakyamuni Buddha, a Wheel of Life mandala and four Directional Kings on either side of the door. Chitkul is practically the last point of the famous Kinner Kailash Parikrama as one can hitch a hike from here onwards. After one crosses over the 5,242 m high Charang Pass, it is a long and steep run down through slithery scree slopes to Chitkul(3,450m). The powerful goddess of Chitkul is the only non-Buddhist deity to which respect must be paid by the Parikrama pilgrims. It is believed that the local Deity is related to the Deity of Gangotri and till recently the locals would carry the Deity to Gangotri on foot over high mountain passes. Chitkul is situated around 40 km from Karcham, the place where road bifurcates from Hindustan-Tibet Road (NH 22). The Sangla Valley is a delight for nature lovers; especially the stretch after Raksham and right up to Chitkul. The valley is extremely beautiful, on the left bank of the Baspa River are snow-clad mountains and on the right bank the whole terrain is full of apple orchids and wooden houses.

Chitkul is around 569 km from the National capital Delhi and 28 km from Sangla. This is the last Indian village on border with China. The road doesn’t take you till the actual border, it closes around 90 km before it and then rest of the area is under the control of Indian Paramilitary force ITBP. There are wooden houses turned into hotels that can be found in Chhitkul, these hotels are a bit expensive and most of the tourist prefer to stay at Sangla and make a day trip to this place. Sangla is close to Chhitkul and hotels and camps provide very good arrangement for living and are comparatively cheaper. While in Chhitkul make sure you carry adequate cash and petrol or diesel for your car as there is no ATM facility or fuel stations in this hilly area. There is also neither a clinic nor any hospital in this area and one has to travel back to Sangla for emergencies. Chitkul is very cold and windy and the road normally closes down around November after the first snowfall.

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May 18

3 Pune mountaineers scale Mount Everest

Three mountaineers from the city-based Giripremi mountaineering club conquered Mount Everest on Friday morning.

It was the first joint Indian civilian expedition to two peaks Mount Everest and Mount Lhotse. The Giripremi team comprising Anand Mali, Ganesh More and Bhushan Harshe summitted Everest at 8 am on Friday, a day after team member Ashish Mane from Satara had conquered Lhotse, the world’s fourth highest peak.

However, the attempt to scale Mount Everest was dramatic as team leader Umesh Zirpe decided to dropout of the team on Thursday night. Explaining his decision, Zirpe said the oxygen cylinders were insufficient for all four team members to summit Everest. “Had I also joined the summit attempt, we would have definitely fallen short of oxygen, which would cut short our dream,” Zirpe said from camp II on Friday evening.

Mali, More and Harshe set out for the summit climb on Thursday at 8.30 pm. Ajit Tate, a member of the club, who was at the base camp and in constant touch with the mountaineers through satellite phone, was unable to receive any message from the trio till 6 am on Friday.

Speaking from base camp, Tate said, “Around 6.30 am on Friday, I received a message on my satellite phone that the trio and their sherpas were at the Hillary step. I heaved a sigh of relief knowing that they were safe and the summit was in sight for them. In another two hours, I received another message from the trio; that was when they were on the world’s highest point waving the tricolour.” The Hillary step is a 40ft spur of rock where temperatures are minus 20c and which is just 180ft from the summit.

Speaking about his experience from South Col, More said, “The conditions were not very conducive as the winds were blowing fast. It was a struggle, but it was worth it when we touched the summit at 8.30 am on Friday. We cannot thank our team leader Umesh Zirpe enough for his sacrifice.”

The Giripremi mountaineers left for the expedition on March 21 from Pune and reached the base camp on April 13. From April 16, the mountaineers started acclimatizing themselves to attempt the final summit. Citing good weather on May 15 and 16, the members decided to give it a go.

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May 17

Youth Hostel Trekking Camp

The fifth batch of the nature study-cum-trekking camp organised by the Youth Hostels Association of India (YHAI), which started on May 11, concluded here today.

Over 160 participants, including 50 girls from Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, took part in the camp. They participated in activities like trekking, rock climbing, river crossing, bird watching, star gazing, drawing competition, camp fire etc.

Founder member, YHAI, Manmohan Singh Bawa was the chief guest at the valedictory function of the group. He gave away prizes and certificates to the participants.

Addressing the participants, Bawa said, “Trekking is a good habit which makes us physically as well as mentally fit. At 82, I still trek regularly. I have also started a trekking programme in the Himalayan region.”

Indore group escort Ashoke Golane proposed a vote of thanks. Capt RS Rana (retd), field director, YHAI nature-study programme and manager, Youth Hostel, Dalhousie, Sunil Pitre (co-director), Rupesh Nandy (co-director), Kunal Joshi (resource person) and Suchita B Tandale (camp leader) also attended the function.

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May 13

Climber saves mate after Himalayan avalanche

A Queenstown climber’s heroic actions are being hailed after he saved a climbing companion knocked unconscious by an avalanche high up a Himalayan mountain.

Ben Dare, 29, of Queenstown, was among four New Zealand-based climbers who had set their sights on the summit of unclimbed Anidesha Chuli, or White Wave (6800m), in the Himalayas, this week.

The group had made it to base camp and Mr Dare and Scott Scheele, 24, had pushed on towards the summit, when the pair were caught in an avalanche less than 400m from their goal.

Mr Scheele was knocked out by the force of the avalanche and carried 90m down the mountain, the group’s publicist, Joe Wallace, told the Otago Daily Times last night.

He received a “serious knock to the head” and concussion, and had to be helped down the mountain by Mr Dare to a camp at 6000m, an update on the group’s website said.

Mr Dare then activated an emergency locator beacon, alerting authorities in New Zealand and Nepal, who began co-ordinating a rescue.

The pair were joined in their tent by their two remaining climbing companions, who trekked overnight from base camp, at 4800m, to join them at 6000m.

A private helicopter organised by New Zealand consulate staff in Nepal eventually reached the party and flew Mr Scheele, a United States citizen, and Mr Dare to a Kathmandu hospital.

Mr Scheele remained in intensive care undergoing tests and being monitored, but was expected to make a good recovery and be released within days.

The rescue prompted a message on the climbers’ website yesterday from Mr Scheele’s mother, Libby Scheele, praising her son’s rescuers and Mr Dare’s “amazing” efforts.

“I do not know all the details yet, but I am certain that your diligent actions are what enabled Scott to survive. I am so grateful to you.”

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May 07

Fresh Snow Fall in Himalayas: Himachal Pradesh

As temperatures crossed 40 degrees Celsius in the plains of north India, Himachal Pradesh’s higher reaches continued to see fresh spells of snow, a weatherman said Monday.
A fresh western disturbance is likely to be active again in the western Himalayas from May 10, bringing more rain and thundershowers,” an official of the meteorological office here told IANS.
The 13,051-feet high Rohtang Pass, 52 km from Manali, saw mild spell of snow since Sunday, the Met office said. Last week the pass was reopened for motorists after the winter snow was cleared.
Keylong, which saw a low of 1.5 degrees, saw 3 cm snow. The day’s temperature settled at 11.9 degrees Celsius.
Shimla, located at a height of 7,000 feet above sea level, recorded a high of 25.1 degrees Celsius, while the night temperature was 15.6 degrees.
Sundernagar in Mandi district recorded a high of 35.3 degrees Celsius while the maximum temperature in Manali was 19.8 degrees Celsius, Dharamsala was at 28.6 degrees Celsius and Kalpa was pleasant at 15.8 degrees Celsius.
These towns saw a minimum temperatures of 17.5 degrees, 8 degrees, 16.4 degrees and 5.6 degrees Celsius, respectively.

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May 02

Himalayan Ski Village- A Possibility Now !

Decks have been cleared for the implementation of the controversial Himalayan Ski Village project in the Manali area with the state government withdrawing the appeal filed by it before the state High Court. The appeal challenged the judgement passed by the single judge in the High Court giving nod to the project with a rider that the company will obtain the environment clearances from the authorities concerned. The matter came up today before the division bench comprising Chief Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice RB Misra. During the course of hearing the counsel, the state submitted that it had decided to implement the judgement of the single judge and wanted to withdraw the appeal. It is pertinent to mention here that for establishing this mega tourism project, an implementation agreement was executed on June 5, 2006, and a detailed project report (DPR) was submitted by the company to the state and the same was approved by the Cabinet on June 5, 2007. It was conveyed to the company also. The company also submitted the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) and Environment Management Plan (EMP) to the Ministry of Environment and Forests. But the state government changed its stand after the BJP formed the government in December 2007. The state had then issued a show cause notice to the company on January 7, 2010, and the same was challenged by the company before the state High Court on the ground that the state has already signed an MoU, the Implementation Agreement and a DPR. It was further contended by the company that the decision to issue the show cause notice is unilateral. It was contended by the state that the company has not obtained environmental clearance by submitting EIA/EMP to the authority. On June 22, 2012, the single judge of the court allowed the petition filed by the company, wherein it had challenged the show cause notice issued to it by the state. While allowing the petition of the company, the single judge of the court, Justice Rajiv Sharma, observed, “The governance is a continuous process. There should be certainty and consistency in the policy matters taken by the state government. The decision of one government relating to governance of a state or its execution would bind the successor government when it does not involve any political philosophy and the successor government must complete the unfinished job”. However, while quashing the notice issued by the state, the single judge of the court had directed the company to obtain the necessary clearances, including environmental clearance from all authorities concerned within a period of six months. Feeling aggrieved over the judgement of the single judge, the BJP-led government challenged the same before the division Bench of the court by filing an appeal. The same was today withdrawn by the state.

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Apr 23

Google Map images of glaciers and treks

kafni milam panchachuli pindari

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Apr 19

CHARDHAM YATRA 2013

Duration: 12 DAYS / 11 NIGHTS.

PACKAGE COST :  Per Person

BUDGET PACKAGE: INR 20,000

DELUXE PACKAGE: 25,000

Tour Itinerary:

Day 01 DELHI – HARIDWAR (210 KM, 6 to 7 Hrs)

Arrival Delhi Railway Station / Airport, transfer to Haridwar. On arrival check in at Hotel. Visit Har-ki-Pauri for Ganga Aarti in evening. Over night at Hotel.

Day 02 HARIDWAR – BARKOT (220 KM, 7 to 8 Hrs)

Morning departure to Barkot via Dehradun & Mussoorie. Enroute visit Kempty Fall and others, on arrival check in and over night at Hotel.

Day 03 BARKOT – YAMUNOTRI – BARKOT (36 KM Drive, 6 KM Trek one side)

Morning departure to Jankichatti / Phoolchatti, trek start from here to Yamunotri (6kms). Either by walk or by horse or by Doli at own cost. Arr. Yamunotri, One can cook rice by packing it in a cloth and dipping it in the hot water of the hot kund. Pilgrims take this cooked rice home as “Prasad”. Here near the temple “Pooja” can be offered to Divya Shila, After taking bath in Jamunabai Kund’s warn water and having “Darshan” of pious “Yamunaji” returning to Jankichatti. Later drive back to Barkot. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 04 BARKOT – UTTARKASHI (100 KM, 3 to 4 Hrs)

Morning departure to Uttarkashi. On arrival Check in Hotel, Later visit Vishwanath Temple. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 05 UTTARKASHI – GANGOTRI – UTTARKASHI (100 KM, 3 to 4 Hrs each side)

Morning departure to Gangotri (3048 mts), enroute we enjoy picturesque Harsil village, Bhagirathi River and the most magnificent view of the Himalayas. After Gangotri Darshan we return to Uttarkashi. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 06 UTTARKASHI – RUDRAPRAYAG (180 KM, 6 to 7 Hrs) GUPTAKASHI (220 KM, 8 – 9 Hrs)

Early morning departure to Rudraprayag small town situated at Holy confluence of river Alaknanda & river Mandakini, via Tehri Dam or Guptakashi, . On arrival Check in & over night at Hotel.

Day 07 RUDRAPRAYAG / GUPTAKASHI – KEDARNATH (75 KM / 45 KM Drive, 14 KM Trek)

Morning drive to Gaurikund, Trek start from Gaurikund to Kedarnath (3584 mts) on foot or on by pony / Doli. On arrival Check in Hotel. Later visit Kedarnath Temple, over night at Hotel.

Day 08 KEDARNATH – RUDRAPRAYAG (14 KM Down trek & 75 KM Drive, 3 to 4 Hrs)

Early morning, after Temple Darshan trek down to Gaurikund. Later, drive to Rudraprayag via Guptkashi. On arrival check in & over night at Hotel.

Day 09 RUDRAPRAYAG – BADRINATH (165 KM, 6 to 7 Hrs)

Morning departure to Badrinath via Joshimath. On arrival Check in Hotel. Later in evening visit Badrinath Temple for Aarti. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 10 BADRINATH – JOSHIMATH – RUDRAPRAYAG (160 KM, 7 to 8 Hrs)

Early morning, pilgrims after having a bath in the Taptkund & Darshan of Badrivishal, visit to Mana, Vyas Gufa, Maatamoorti, Charanpaduka, Bhimkund and the “Mukh” of the Saraswati River. Just within the three kms of Badrinathjee. Later drive via Joshimath to Rudraprayag. On arrival Check in & over night at Hotel.

Day 11 RUDRAPRAYAG – RISHIKESH (140 KM, 4 to 5 Hrs)

Early morning departure to rishikesh, on arrival checks in at Hotel, visit rishikesh laxman jhula, temples etc & over night at Hotel.

Day 12 RISHIKESH – HARIDWAR – DELHI (250 KM, 7 to 8 Hrs)

Morning visit rishikesh laxman jhula, temples etc afternoon departure to Delhi. On Arrival Delhi, transfer to Railway Station / Airport. Tour concludes.

Price Includes:

• Accommodation in well appointed Hotel Room on Twin sharing

• All transfer & Sight seeing as per Package by AC scheduled vehicle, including toll tax, parking,

fuel and driver charges.

• Morning Breakfast & Dinner.

• All sight seeing as per Itinerary.

Price Excludes:

• Govt. service tax 3.09%.

• Entry fee to Places of interest.

• Porter, pony, camera, rope way etc charges.

• Expenses of personal nature.

• Any thing not included in inclusions.

Hotel detail:

Haridwar : DREAMLAND, PREM BIHARI, GANPATIPLAZA or similar

Barkot : HIMDARSHAN, HOTEL KALINDI or similar

Uttarkashi : 5 ELMENTS, SAHAJ VILLA or similar

Kedarnath : MARWAR HOUSE, BIRLA HOUSE or similar

Rudraprayag : SHANGRILA RESORT, BHATT RESORT or similar

Badrinath : KRISHNA PRANAMI, DALMIA NIWAS or similar

Rishikesh : SK REGENCY, RAJMAHAL or similar

DEPARTURE DATES: EX. NEW DELHI

MAY: 12, 17, 24 & 31

JUNE: 7, 14, 21 & 28

For Booking Contact

Aparna Deshpande: +91 8888201002

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Apr 15

Trekking Routes Himalayas: offseason offers

Ø  Manali-Chandratal lake

Maximum Elevation: 4250m

Region: Manali

Grade: Easy

Duration: 7 Days

Month: Mid April-June, September – November

Ø  Macleod Ganj Triund-Laka Glacier

Maximum Elevation: 3250m
Region: Macleod Ganj
Grade: Easy
Duration: 5-7 Days

Month: Mid April-June, September – October

Ø  Kaza to Manikaran over Pin Parvati Pass

Maximum Elevation: 16500 ft
Region: Manali
Grade: Strenuous

Days: 13-15

Month: May 19th – June 28th, Aug 25 – Sep 30th

Ø  Roop Kund

Maximum Elevation: 5020m
Region: Karan Paryag
Grade: Moderate
Duration: 12 -14 Days

Month: Mid May-June, September – October

Ø  Kedartal- Trekking in Garhwal Himalayas

Maximum Elevation: 4912m

Region: Gangotri
Grade: Strenuous
Duration: 10 – 12 Days

Month: Mid April-June, September – November

Ø  Gangotri – Gaumukh – Tapoban

Maximum Elevation: 4450m
Region: Gangotri
Grade: Easy
Duration: 11- 13 Days,

Month: Mid April-June, September – November

Ø  Hem Kund-Valley of Flowers

Maximum Elevation: 4329m
Region: Badrinath
Grade: Moderate
Duration: 7 – 9 Days

Month: Mid April-June, September – November

Ø  Outer Nanda Devi Sanctuary

Maximum Elevation: 4268m
Region: Nanda Devi Bio-Sphere near Auli
Grade: Moderate
Duration: 10-12 days

Month: Mid April-June, September – October

Ø  Har Ki Dun Trek

Maximum Elevation: 3556m
Region: Yamunotri
Grade: Moderate
Duration: 10-15 days

Month: Mid April-June, September – October

Ø  Pindari Glacier

Maximum Elevation: 4200m
Region: Kapkot

Grade: Easy / Moderate
Duration: 12-14 Days

Month: Mid April-June, September – October

Ø  Nanda Devi Base Camp

Maximum Elevation: 3880 m
Region: Munsiyari
Grade: Strenuous
Duration: 10-12 days

Month: May – June, September – October

Ø  Milam Glacier Trek

Maximum Elevation: 3872m
Region: Munsiyari
Grade: Moderate
Duration: 12 – 13 Days

Month: Mid April-June, September – October

Ø  Panchachuli Base camp

Maximum elevation: 4260m

Region: Dharchula

Grade:Moderate

Duration: Days 11-12

Month: end-April-June and September-November

Ø  Adi Kailash

Maximum elevation: 4770m

Region: Dharchula

Grade: hard trek

Duration: 23 nights / 24 days

Month: July to September

Ø  Beas Kund in Himachal Pradesh

Maximum Elevation: 4950m
Region: Manali
Grade: Easy / Moderate
Duration: 8 – 12 Days

Month: July to September

Ø  Manali- Chanderkhani Pass

Maximum Elevation: 3660m
Region: Kullu Valley
Grade: Moderate
Duration: 9-10 Days

Month: May to October

Ø  Keylong to Kara over Kunzum la

Maximum Elevation: 5200m
Region: Manali
Grade: Moderate

Duration: 14-16 days

Month: May to June and September to October

Ø  Batal Chandratal

Maximum Elevation: 4250m
Region: Manali
Grade: Easy
Duration: 7 – 10 Day

Month: May to June

Ø  Namik Glacier

Maximum elevation: 3600m

Region: Liti

Grade: Easy

Duration: 10 nights and 11 days

Month: May to October

Ø  Sunder Dhunga

Maximum elevation: 3206 m and upwards

Region: Bageshwar

Grade: moderate

Duration: 10-12 days

Month: May to September

Ø  Char Dham Yatra

Maximum Elevation: 6940m

Region: Garhwal

Grade: moderate

Duration: 15 days

Month: May to October

Ø  Jim Corbett National Park

Maximum elevation: 1143m

Region: Ramnagar

Duration: 5-6 days

Ø  Kaphni Glacier

Maximum elevation: 3800m

Region: Bageshwar

Grade: Moderate

Duration: 10-12 days

Month: April to June

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Apr 14

Melas And Festivals of Himachal Pradesh: Birshu Mela

The three-day Birshu Mela started at Vashisht village today. Vashisht village is not only known for its hot sulphur springs and Vashisht Rishi temple, but also for the mela, which is connected with rishi Vashisht. It is celebrated from April 13 to 15 every year.

During the mela, local people, dressed in their traditional dresses, brought their deities to the temple. People from the upper Kullu valley and visitors come to see the mela in a huge number every year. Folk artistes perform natti, including Kulavi natti, on the occasion.

The lush green Kullu valley, surrounded by snow-covered peaks, is known as the valley of gods. The Beas also passes through the valley. Every village in the region has its own deity and the villagers organise fairs and festival and pay obeisance to their deities. Every village in Kullu district has, at least, a fair in summer.

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Apr 02

Hindu Temples of Himachal Pradesh – Hindu Religious Places

Religious Jeep Safri Tours – Himachal Pradesh

We provide guided tours to Hindu Religious Places. If any temple had not been covered but you wish to know or visit there-do let us know. We are Chandigarh based company and we do know all temples – we feature only most popular and most asked for temples below !

Himachal Pradesh is quite aptly called “Devabhoomi” – Abode of the Gods. There are more than 2000 temples and religious places scattered all over the state. Many of these are quite well-known and attract thousands of devotees throughout the year.

Naina Devi Yatra – According to legend, Lord Shiva’s consort Sati once burnt herself alive in Yagna to avenge an insult to Lord Shiva. The distraught Shiva picked her corpse and gyrated his horrified dance. Then Lord Vishnu unleashed his Chakra and cut the Sati’s body into fifty one pieces to save the earth from Shiva’s wrath. All the fifty one places – where parts of Sati’s body fell, became known as Shakti Peeths.

Jawalmukhi ( Jwala Ji ): Jwalaji (flame) or Jwala Mukhi (flame mouth) is probably the most ancient temple discussed here besides Vaishno Devi. It is mentioned in the Mahabharata and other scriptures. There is a natural cave where eternal flames continue to burn. Some say there are seven or nine flames for the seven divine sisters or the nine Durgas. It is here that Sati’s tongue fell which can now be seen in the form of the flame.

Mata Chintpurni and Chamunda Devi – The temple dedicated to Mata Chintpurni Devi is located in a village of the same name in District Una, Himachal Pradesh. Devotees have been visiting this Shaktipeeth for centuries to pray at the lotus feet of Mata Shri Chhinnamastika Devi and Mata Shri Chintpurni Devi. They bring with them their worldly concerns and seek blessings from the Devi. It is believed that if you ask something from the Devi with a true heart, your wish will be granted.

Baijnath & Laxmi Narayan Temple : built in 804 A.D. and dedicated to Shiva Vaidyanatha. Its tall shikhara carved in stone is framed by the imposing snow capped peaks of Dhauladhars. The linga enshrined in its sanctum is one of the 12 jyotirlingas in the country. Every year during the Shivratri fair, thousands of pilgrims descend on Baijnath for the colourful fair and festivities. It is 16-km from Palampur and 56-km from Dharamsala.

Baba Balak Nath : A cave temple of Baba Balak Nath is located in Deothsidh , in the Dhaulagiri Hills of Hamirpur, is a noted place of pilgrimage. Pepole come here to seek the blessings of Baba Balak Nath all the year round. It is situated on the border of Bilaspur (70 Kms), Hamirpur (30 Kms) and is well connected by roads from all sides.

Bijli Mahadev -Hadimba Temple : 10kms. from Kulu across the Beas river, Bijli Mahadev temple is one of the striking temples in the temples strewn district. It can be reached by a tough but rewarding climb of 10 kms. trek. From the temple a panoramic view of Kulu & Paravati valleys can be seen. A 60 feet high staff of Bijli Mahadev temple glistens like a silver needle in the sun. in this temple of lightening it is said, the tall staff attracts the divine blessings in the form of lightening. The rest of the story can be heard from the priest, which is un-believable but true.

Hadimba Temple: is one of the most important temples in the region. This four story wooden temple is located in the middle of a forest called the Dhungiri Van Vihar. From the name of the forest parkland this temple derives its name. This temple was erected in 1553 and is dedicated to Goddess Hadimba.

Renukaji Temple : It is believed that Rishi Jamdagni, displeased by his wife Renuka, instructed his son Parshuram to behead her. The son obeyed his father’s wishes. Pleased at Parshuram’s loyalty, the Rishi granted his son a wish, and Parshuram asked for the

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Mar 29

Morni Hills near Chandigarh

Morni Hills - Chandigarh Morni Hills - Chandigarh Morni Hills - Chandigarh 2013-03-24 14.57.13 Morni Hills - Chandigarh Morni Hills - Chandigarh Morni Hills - Chandigarh Morni Hills - Chandigarh 2013-03-24 15.18.14 Morni Hills - Chandigarh Morni Hills - Chandigarh

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Feb 25

Abbotsford to Chilliwack

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Jan 15

Harishchandergad – Western Ghats Tribal Region

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Dec 12

STOK KANGRI – A Introduction

Stok Kangri Expedition

Region:- Leh
Duration:- 10 days
Grade:- Difficult
Max Altitude:- 20080 ft.
Approx Trekking Km:- 60 km.

In the middle of the fascinating area of Ladakh, lies STOK KANGRI which is one of the most beautiful places on earth. It is locatedin the northern state of India i.e. Jammu and Kashmir. While the western part of the Jammu and Kashmir is pretty unstable to political conflicts and instability, the eastern parts like Ladakh and Zanskar are stable and safe to travel. Many people are of the view that Jammu and Kashmir is a state of terror and political upheaval but the area of Ladakh is one such place where you will find love and support of the natives. If you intend to travel by bus, you can reach Ladakh through Manali taking the southern route rather than travelling towards the east from Srinagar.

Leh is the capital of Ladakh and lies at an altitude of about 3500- 3800 meters above the sea level. The place still can be said to be engrossed and away from many amenities and just proves an adventurous place for trekking. If you have cultural inclinations, this is a perfect place to start off for trekking, biking, climbing and many excursions. The town is under a strong Buddhist influence, which is very evident from its culture. Though the town also has a great number of Muslims that reside here. There are dozens of beautiful Buddhist monasteries that are located in and around the place which are easily accessible. You can visit these monasteries within a day. In Leh, you can enjoy the game of Polo, right in front of the City Palace.

About the Peak.

Many mountains in this area of the country exceed an altitude of 6000 meters. The reason can be the Indus Valley already running in the area. One of the peaks in the region which has gained considerable popularity is STOK KANGRI and its twin Golep Kangri. You can reach the base of Stok Kangri through a bus or you could hire an taxi. The bus or taxi should take somewhere about an hour to take you to this spot. If you reach the base of Stok Kangri by evening, it would be a good idea to stay for the night in the village of Stok. The village is fairly big enough to look for an accommodation. This is a good place to stay pre/ post your trek. This way, you will benefit on saving some time on your trek and also ward off any unnecessary pain of travelling for a couple of hour. You can spend this saved time on your trek of Stok Kangri in the form of breaks and sight- seeing. On the first day, you trek up to the saddle between the two peaks, which is almost 5200 meters. It would be a good idea to hire a local guide and a couple of mules or donkeys, if you don’t want to carry your heavy backpacks. If you hire a guide, you might invite a situation of being lost in the valleys are pretty confusing. It is also advisable to carry a tent, food for the way and a stove which you can on the mules or horses.

From this point, with the help of ice axe and crampons, you can climb up to Stok Kangri or Golep Kangri. From both of these peaks, you have a great view of the over the Zansker and the Indus Valley. The nearby Chinese and Pakistani mountain ranges are also visible. You should keep the descent back to the base, in one day. However if you intent to climb both the peaks, you should first go for the Golep Kangri as it is among the easier one to trek. The peak is almost 6100 meter high. After you descent back to the base camp, you should be able to call it a day and take rest. You would enjoy the deserted surroundings and fid peace with yourself. This will also acclimatize you perfectly for the next day’s trek to Stok Kangri. Both Stok Kangri and Golep Kangri are perfect trekking destinations for adventurous climbers. The peaks also prove perfect for fit climbers who are looking ahead to trek the Himalayas for the first time. It would give you a wider picture of mountain trekking. Climbers who trek the Stok Kangri and Golep Kangri would be prepared to take the greatest trekking challenge. They are also the main peaks of the Zansker range. The route through the south ridge of Stok Kangri is straight-forward yet challenging. You would find it interesting to confront sudden changes in the path of the ridge. If you are trekking on a clear day, you might just be lucky to have a view of the Karakoram range and might also get a view of the K2 in the far distant.

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Dec 12

Snowfall in high himalayas- passes blocked

The sudden change in weather bringing snow to Shimla on Tuesday, particularly near its peripheral resort towns of Kufri, Fagu, Narkanda and Jakhu hills, has brought cheers to the hill town and raised expectations of a white Christmas. The rest of Himachal Pradesh experienced rains with temperatures plummeting to freezing point at several places, and mountain reaches. Manali experienced mild snowfall while Rohang and Solang Nallah received good snow.

Citizens and tourists woke up to news of snowfall at Kufri and Narkanda on Tuesday morning but soon the snow reached parts of the town. Shimla’s Deputy Mayor Tikender Panwar was first to post pictures of the snowfall on Facebook while many tourists also uploaded mobile pictures of snowfall, spreading the news to else to the areas about seasons snowfall.

Director (tourism) Arun Sharma said: “It’s very good news for the tourism industry. We are expecting an immediate 10 to 12 per cent increase because of the snowfall.” Hoteliers claim that a lot of tourists have begun making inquiries for the Christmas period. Rain and the cold wave have raised expectations that there could be snowfall in town this Christmas. “From 1971 to 1991, Shimla had witnessed several times snowfall but it was only in 1989 snowfall was observed for five continuous days during the Christmas period,” said a senior citizen Bal Krishan.

Says Manmohan Singh, the director of the state Meteorological department: “The last time Shimla witnessed a white Christmas was in 1991. The snowfall is entirely dependent on western disturbances, which, luckily, have already been hitting the region since December 11.” Singh added that heavy rainfall and snowfall is likely to occur at isolated places in the middle and high hill between December 13 and December 14.

According to the meteorological department, Keylong experienced 10 cm of snow, the Kullu- Rohtang Pass (12 cm), Kharapathar (15 cm), Narkanda (6 cm) and Kufri (10 cm). Significant rainfall recorded from other parts of the state include Shimla (0.5 mm), Sundernagar in Mandi (0.8mm), Hamirpur (18 mm), Kahu, Jogindernagar and Kandaghat (6 mm each).

Keylong in tribal Lahaul-Spiti was the coldest place in the state with mercury dipping to -2.9 degree Celsius while Kalpa in adjacent Kinnaur recorded -1.2 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperature at Shimla was recorded at 3.6 degrees Celsius.

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Dec 05

Konkan Maharashtra- Anjarle region,Ratnagiri Distt.

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Nov 24

Renuka Fair Inaugurated

Chief Minister PK Dhumal today inaugurated the week-long traditional international Renuka Fair here by offering prayers before the palanquin of the presiding deity, Lord Parshu Ram, at Dadahu. Afterwards, he led the procession by carrying the pious palanquin of Lord Parshu Ram towards Renuka.

Every year on the occasion of “devprobodhini ekadashi”, the traditional Renuka fair is organised on the banks of the Renuka lake where lakhs of devotees from across the country pay a visit.

As per the tradition, the palanquin of Lord Parshurama is brought to Renuka from the ancient temple in Jamu Koti village and it departs after performing religious ceremonies, including a holy dip in the lake.

Since the past two years, the enforcement of the model code of conduct has deterred the Chief Minister from making crucial announcements in the fair.

Chief Minister was accompanied by Dr Rajiv Bindal, former Health Minister; Sukh Ram Chaudhary, Chief Parliamentary Secretary; Hirda Ram, MLA, Renuka; Chander Mohan Thakur, Chairman, HP State Cooperative Bank; Baldev Tomar, president, BJP, Sirmaur district; other prominent residents of the area and senior party functionaries.

Later, Dhumal also visited the temple of Mata Renuka and Lord Parshu Ram to pay obeisance.

He also evinced keen interest in exhibition stalls put up by various organisations at the fair.

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Nov 24

Mumbai youth missing in Parvati Valley

The police and relatives of Kshatra (22), a Mumbai-based advertisement executive missing since November 9 from the Kasol-Rasol area, an infamous haven of drug peddlers in the Parbati valley, have failed to trace him. They have launched a manhunt to trace him.

SP, Kullu, Ashok Kumar said Kshatra had arrived at Kasol on November 8. But some of his friends said he had gone for trekking to Rasol. However, he was last contacted on his mobile phone on November 9. There were reports that he was seen in Rasol and Manali.

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Sep 19

Rohtang Closed- Kangra Valley Heavy Rains

Rohtang Pass

Rohtang Pass closed 
Lahaul and Spiti received snowfall during the month of September after 21 years. Rohtang Pass has been closed due to snow. The minimum temperature dipped to 10°C in Manali. Several other parts of the state received heavy rains.

Kangra Valley reels under rain

The mighty Dhauladhar ranges received the first snowfall of the season on Tuesday. The Kangra Valley was lashed by heavy rains, throwing life out of gear. Most rivers in the area are in a spate

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Sep 02

Trekking the Western Ghats will now be easier

Some of the famed trekking trails in the dense Western Ghats region in Karnataka, which have been attracting a large number of adventure tourists in recent years, will soon be mapped to help ensure greater safety for trekkers. The package will be called the “Great Western Ghats trails.”

While there are about 200 trekking trails in the ghats, 18 have been identified for the project, and many will be added in the future. Those that have been identified for mapping include Kumaraparvatha, Brahmagiri, Kudremukh, Kurinjala, Tadiyandamol, Mullayanagiri, Narasimha Parvatha, Badabudangiri and the Kali River bank trail.

“Presently, though these routes are popular, no systematic data is available for trekkers. Once GPS-based data on the route is generated, adventure buffs can use them as a ready-reckoner before embarking on treks. We have sought GPS tracking to generate data on each trail,” Sanjay Bijjur, Special Officer for Tourism Development, told The Hindu.

He said a tender would be floated to identify the agency that would generate the data, and the selected agency would be asked to suggest more routes that could be mapped. “We want trekking to be a safe and hassle-free experience,” he added.

The GPS tracking-based mapping would entail identification of escape routes, waterholes, nearest hospitals and road network. Apart from these, natural resources of the area including flora and fauna would be identified and documented for the benefit of trekkers. “The agency will also have to identify areas where infrastructure for amenities could be created,” Dr. Bijjur said.

Apart from benefiting the trekkers, the data would also help the Forest Department as most of these trails fall under their jurisdiction. “Forest officials will be able to monitor the movement of people inside forests,” he added.

“If the proposed data is made available, trekkers may use the trails on their own without being dependent on organisations. The costs of such trekking expeditions will also come down,” Deepak Solanki of Mysore-based International Academy of Mountaineering and Allied Sports (IAMAS), which regularly organises treks in the Western Ghats, said.

He said: “At present, many amateur trekkers venture into forests without proper guidance and put their lives at risk. However, with the availability of data, risks can be mitigated.”

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Aug 09

Nepal plans to ban solo trekking in Himalayas

Nepal plans to ban solo trekkers from visiting restricted and remote places in the Himalayas following growing incidents of foreigners, mostly women, who disappeared or were murdered while trekking alone.

“Government is discussing a proposal which will make it mandatory for tourists visiting these areas to be accompanied by at least one porter or guide,” said Balkrishna Ghimire, spokesperson at Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation.

“A few cases of disappearances and murder of trekkers have damaged the image of the country, which depends largely on tourism for foreign exchange earnings,” he said.

He added compulsory tourist guide for solo trekkers would provide both security and help to them. However, the government has not yet set any deadline to introduce such guidelines.
“A few tourists, who have gone for trekking in Langtang area in the North-East Nepal has gone disappeared recently. It has tarnished the image of the country. Such a provision may be introduced in the high altitude area and the Himalayan region situated in northern Nepal,” Ghimire said.
A Belgian tourist, Debbie Maveau, 23, was missing for two weeks and later her decomposed body was found at Langtang National Park in June this year.

Similarly, American tourist Lene Sessions, 22, who was threatened with sexual assault by an unidentified man in December last year while 27-year-old Briton, Zisimos Souflas, had disappeared in April when he was travelling solo in Khumbu region.

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Aug 05

Manali- Leh highway blocked – Road damaged at 5 points

 

A resident of this tourist town was killed in a cloudburst late on Friday night in the Seri Nullah and Beas Kund glacier upstream of Dhundi, about 25 km from here. Besides washing away a car along with its occupant, the gushing waters breached the Manali-Leh national highway at five points uphill from Manali, two bailey bridges, 40 huts, 40 ‘khohas’, BRO’s condemned vehicles, a link road to an Army transit camp and snapped water and electricity supplies to Solang and Rohtang tunnel.

The surging Solang river pumped heaps of debris, trees and boulders all over its 10 km-long course between Manali bridge and Palchan village and flooded the BRO’s labour camps here.

The Beas river has changed its course below Palchan village – moving towards the left – turning the valley into a deluge-scarred area. The victim has been identified as Amit, son of Anrup Chaupall of Manali. The body was retrieved from the river at 15 Meel downstream. Due to the timely evacuation of labourers from the huts and others living in the guest houses at Bahang, Nehru Kund and Palchan, no other loss to life has been reported so far, said SDM Manali Balbir Thakur.He said that 82 ‘khokhas’, a house at Nehru kund, a trout fish farm and a stone crusher were washed away in the waters.

The villagers and labourers in the BRO and Rohtang tunnel project were evacuated before 9 pm when the flood entered the low-lying areas of Palchan, Nehru Kund and Bahang along the left bank of the Beas.

The flash flood also washed away the retaining walls of a government high school and a primary school in Palchan and 4-5 vehicles of the BRO. A petrol station at Bahang was partially damaged. Traffic on the Manali-Rohtang-Leh highway came to a grinding halt as the 10 km-long Palchan-Manali stretch of the highway was breached by the surging Beas at five points.

In upper Manali, Palchan, Solang, Kothi, Marhi, Rohtang and Lahaul-Spiti have been cut off from Manali due to the breaches in the highway. Tourists and locals have been forced to go from place to place on foot. Work on 8.82 km-long strategic Rohtang Tunnel came to a halt as a bailey bridge, along with a 150m-long approach road connecting the south portal to Solang, has been washed away.

“The 30m-long road near the Solang valley resort has also been hit. It will take more than a month to restore connectivity to the south portal,” said SP Sharma, in charge of the project. The flash flood also washed away a bailey bridge and damaged a concrete bridge – yet to be opened to traffic – and a link road to the transit army camp at Palchan, cutting it off from the main road.

As boulders, debris and trees blocked the concrete bridge, the flash flood got diverted leftwards. This movement threatened hutments and guest houses at Bahang, Nehru Kund, SASE headquarters and the BRO labour huts out of which 40 have been washed away.

The restoration work launched by the civil administration, BRO, Army and police was on to clear the blockade after the river receded by 3m today. According to villagers, the river rose 8m from its normal level.

Yogesh Nayyar of the BRO Command said that it would take more than a week to restore these points. “We are trying to set up a temporary link to restore connectivity, but it would take more than two days to do so,” he added.

Amitabh Awasthi, DC, Kullu, and Ashok Kumar, SP, Kullu, along with the SDM inspected the damage and monitored the restoration work today. The damage is being assessed and may be in the excess of Rs 50 crore, the officials said.

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Aug 03

Macleod Ganj to Snow Line [ Indrahar Pass ]

We got some images from trekkers who were with HIMADVENTURES.

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Aug 03

Huge Landslide in Uttaranchal- Pilgrims and travelers stranded.

 

Nearly 1000 pilgrims are stranded in various areas of Garhwal following a series of landslides in Uttarkashi and Chamoli districts.

The landslides, which began following heavy rains during the past few days, are continuing intermittently in various areas of the two district disrupting vehicular traffic on both Rishikeish-Badrinath and Rishikesh-Gangotri highways.

Officials of disaster management and mitigation centre (DMMC), a state government nodal agency for management of disasters, today said that intermittent landslides were continuing at Paatal Ganga, Birahi, Bhimtalla areas of the hilly Chamoli district since last night causing disruption of vehicular traffic on the Rishikesh-Badrinath Highway.

“Due to landslides on the Badiranth-Rishikesh Highway, nearly 400-600 pilgrims are stranded at various areas,” they said.

Landslides also hit Bhatwari and Thiran Halkughat areas causing disruption of vehicular traffic on Gangotri-Rishikesh Highway due to which over 500 pilgrims are stranded.

Last year, the government had suspended the chardham yatra to Gangotri and Badrinath shrines following heavy landslides and torrential rains for nearly a week.

Landslides are common in fragile hills of Garhwal region causing disruption in the road network which in turn often cause road accidents leading to fatalities.

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Jul 31

Weather in Himalayas

Normal life was disrupted as heavy rain lashed Palampur and its adjoining areas over the past 24 hours. Power supply, vehicular traffic and telecommunication services were also adversely affected.

Several link roads have been closed to traffic because of heavy landslides. The upper Chhota Bhangal area has been cut off over past two days as buses cannot reach here.

The power supply remained disrupted in the entire region for more than 20 hours as trees fell on power supply lines at various places while electricity poles were uprooted in several others.

Traffic at Rohtang Pass was blocked since 4 hrs due to landslide and as its raining, two wheelers and four wheelers were seen stranded.

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May 07

Devgad Galaxy Resort

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May 05

Student Summer Camps in Himalayas

 

Student Summer Camps :

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Duration – 10 D / 9 N Region – Kullu / Parvati Valley

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Rumtu Top Trail offers an opportunity to enjoy the timeless beauty of Kullu & Parvati valleys with Bijlee Mahadev, Khasadra, Mattikochhar, Foota Sour, Rumtu, Chanderkhanni & Ghounkaraadi as its beauty spots with advance camps. The splendid view of snowy peaks offers an endless feast to the eyes. Know More… [Download Full Brochure ]

NAGGAR CAMP 
Duration – 3 D / 5D / 7D Region – Kullu / Manali Valley
Season – April to June & September to October
Naggar Camp offers an opportunity to enjoy the timeless beauty of Kullu & Manali valleys as its beauty spots with adventure activities. The splendid view of snowy peaks offers an endless feast to the eyes. Know More… [ Download Full Brochure ]

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Mar 17

Nepal is not safe for solo trekker

After travelling through Sri Lanka and India, American yoga teacher Aubrey Sacco decided to cap her six-month trip of a lifetime with a solo trek in Nepal’s majestic Himalayas.

The 23-year-old told her family she would be hiking in Langtang National Park, on the Tibetan border, and would check back with them in a few days. They never heard from her again.

Two years later, her mother has returned to the country accusing Nepal of indifference to a case that has highlighted the dangers of women trekking alone in the world’s most famous mountain range.

“We have been to Nepal three times to meet with police officials to find out what they have done in investigating for my missing daughter,” Aubrey’s mother Connie told reporters this week.

“It should not be our job to investigate this, it’s their job.”

Aubrey was last seen in Langtang village on April 22, 2010. Villagers there initially told her parents she left in the afternoon but some later changed their stories, saying they hadn’t seen her.

The Saccos accept that Aubrey may have died in an accident but they fear the Nepal authorities refuse to consider more sinister alternatives because any suggestion of a sex attacker at large could be devastating for tourism.

The family have cultivated local contacts, enlisted senators and congressmen in their home state of Colorado and even have the FBI working on the case, but they say the search is being hindered by “red tape” in Nepal.

A sweep of the area around Langtang village at the time and subsequent searches have turned up no body and no avalanches were reported.

Lie detectors and sensing equipment that could locate a body — even after two years — have been made available through the US Embassy but have not yet been used by Nepali police, Connie Sacco said.

“This makes us suspicious that the government and police may not want to find out what happened to Aubrey,” said Sacco, who has asked for a meeting with Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai.

Nepal police have defended their actions, telling AFP they had searched the area thoroughly and had even sought help from witchdoctors.

Aubrey’s disappearance is one of a growing caseload of unsolved attacks and unexplained deaths in Nepal’s popular trekking areas.

American Lena Sessions, 23, was hiking alone in December in the area where Aubrey went missing when a man wearing a black mask approached her with a tribal “khukri” knife and threatened her.

She told police she managed to escape after her assailant threatened to kill her if she did not submit to a sexual assault.

The incident occurred a week after a South Korean woman had been assaulted, also in Langtang National Park, and the US Embassy now warns against hiking alone in Nepal, stating that two American women were attacked and seriously injured in 2010 on popular trails.

The British Foreign Office website also warns of “isolated incidences of rape” on trekking routes.

Sacco believes the attempted attack on Lena Sessions, Aubrey’s disappearance, and other cases may be connected.

“There is a very bad man on the loose in the area where many women trekkers trek alone and where harm can come to the women and young girls of the villages,” she said.

In the recent assaults the women have lived to tell the tale, but several trekkers have not been so lucky.

In 2005 Celine Henry from France and, separately, Sabine Gruneklee from Germany disappeared while trekking on the fringes of the Kathmandu valley.

Gruneklee’s badly decomposed body was found in 2006 but Henry remains officially missing.

In the same year German trekker Kristina Kovacevic disappeared in the Everest region while trekking alone. Her body was later found in a ravine and police said she fell, but her family believe she was murdered by bandits.

The Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal told AFP it was impossible to ascertain whether any of these cases were linked but could not rule it out.

“People who come trekking in Nepal should take at least one person with them,” Mahendra Singh Thapa, the association’s president, said.

Despite police claims to the contrary, Aubrey’s mother remains unconvinced the authorities are doing enough to protect Western trekkers.

“The trekking season is here and this area is not safe,” she said.

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Mar 08

Leopard with 2 cubs seen in lower Himalayan village

 

Though attacks of leopards on pets, stray dogs and cattle every now and then have become a cause of worry in areas like Bharadi, Bhapral, Ladraur, Gaahar, Bamm, Sunhani, Shah Talai, Suharghat, Jejwin, Kutheda, Kot Hatwaad and Marottan in this district, now a female leopard roaming about even during the daytime with its two healthy cubs in the Nichli Dadhole area, near Ghumarwin, has been a serious concern.

Reports said a female leopard had been seen by a number of villagers roaming with her two cubs in the area near village houses since over two weeks and this has been causing a threat to villagers.

Village elders who claimed to have seen the animal roaming around in village areas have urged the district administration to take immediate steps to catch these animals.

Meanwhile, local acting forest range officer Garja Ram said the department would try to arrange for a cage to catch these animals, but villagers should ensure that they do not allow their children to go near these cubs.

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Feb 23

Konkan Region- Maharashtra

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Feb 19

Where Pir-Panjal Ends. taintu Pass- Beas Kund Plateau

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Jan 02

Gulmarg witnesses heavy rush of tourists-2012

 

Following some improvement in the law and order situation in the Kashmir valley in 2011, the year ended on a positive note for the tourism industry with visitors from all over the country thronging famous skiing resort Gulmarg to celebrate the New Year.

A large number of tourists celebrated the New Year by dancing to popular Bollywood numbers amidst a firecracker show that lit the skies in Gulmarg last night.

Most hotels located at an altitude of 8,000 ft had received advance bookings ahead of the New Year and some people were even forced to return to the city on account of a heavy rush.

“We are witnessing an unprecedented rush of tourists at Gulmarg. All hotels, huts and cottages are full with visitors. There were no rooms available on the New Year’s eve, particularly for those who did not have advance bookings. After celebrating the New Year, many had to return to Srinagar today,” said Mehmood Ahmed, CEO, Gulmarg Development Authority.

The tourists, who were in a festive mood, were enthralled by the atmosphere at the hill resort. “We have never had so much fun on New Year before. I had earlier celebrated the New Year in England and at other places, but I will not forget the last night celebrations at this picturesque and snow-clad place,” said Anita Sood, a tourist from New Delhi.

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Jan 02

Drunken and rash driving in Leh causes concern

 

Drunken driving, speeding and reckless overtaking have emerged as the key provocation for road rage in Ladakh. The number of cars has also risen sharply and as many as 1,500 cars are being added every year, informed Stanzin Nurbo, Additional Superintendent of Police at the inaugural of the first Road Safety Week to be held in Ladakh here today.

Khadim Hussain, Assistant Regional Transport Officer, confirmed that the number of vehicles at Leh alone had gone up from just 2,500 in 2005 to over 7,000 in 2000.

Cars stolen from elsewhere in the country are also being re-sold in Ladakh. As many as 12 stolen cars were recovered in 2011 from Leh and two of them were returned to their rightful owners, one in Delhi and another in Punjab.

During this week, the police with the help of volunteers will carry out a check of valid documents that car owners are expected to keep with them while on the road. No action, however, will be taken during the week against those found without the documents. Instead, the emphasis will be to explain to them the importance of keeping the documents.

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Jan 02

No Snow in Shimla This New Year Eve

 

With the weather god refusing to oblige with a white New Year, the “Queen of Hills” witnessed thin crowds compared to previous years. The region was lashed by a storm in the wee hours of the day but there was no snow. However, brisk showers brought some respite from the dry weather. The crowds were manageable and there were no traffic jams. The government had for the convenience of winter revellers opened the sealed portions of the Mall and restricted roads for parking. The crowd may have been less, but the revellers on the Mall and the Ridge were as noisy as ever and greeted the New Year with a thundering roar.

There was no snow but the cloudy weather disrupted ice skating at Asia’s oldest natural ice skating rink here. According to the local Met office, there is no scope of snow over the next 48 hours as the current western disturbance has lost steam. However, in charge of the office Manmohan Singh said another western disturbance was building up and it could reach the state soon. It was expected to cover whole of Himachal and bring widespread rain and snow.

Various hotels had come out with special packages and musical programmes on the occasion. A local non-governmental organisation, Ashadeep, chose to celebrate the New Year with inmates of the School for Visually and Hearing Impaired, Dhalli.

The celebration provided an opportunity to the special children to showcase their artistic talent at a colourful cultural programme organised on the occasion. It became a memorable event for the children whose happiness was reflected in through the play, songs and dances presented by them.

Appreciating the initiative taken by Ashadeep, Principal of the school Kanta said such efforts went a long way in boosting the morale of these children and making them feel part of society.

President of Ashadeep Sushil Tanwar said, “Our organisation has always tried to bring a smile on the faces of the poor and disabled children and the New Year programme was one such endeavour to bring joy in their lives and raise hopes for the future.”

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Jan 02

1 lakh migratory birds thronged Pong Dam in 3 months

 

Nestled in the sylvan surroundings of the Kangra valley, the Pong Dam wetland had attracted one lakh migratory birds from Central Asian countries during the past three months and salcaded duck had arrived for the first time in this wetland. DS Dhadwal, Range Officer, Wildlife, told this correspondent yesterday that the migratory birds from trans-Himalayan regions had started reaching the Pong Dam wildlife sanctuary in October this year and touched one lakh till date.

He said during the past 10 years, 415 species of migratory birds landed at different places of the Pong Dam reservoir, but this year the dam received a new guest salcaded duck for the first time. Dhadwal said the maximum number 25,000 bar-headed geese, besides other species landed here in good numbers included common pochard, ruddy shell ducks (surkhab), Eurasion wigeon and pintail.

He said during the past five-day the Wildlife Department, in collaboration with the Bombay National History Society, put 15 collar bands and seven transmitters on 22 migratory birds with an objective to get their location details, flying path and breeding grounds to understand their migration routes.

He said nine collar bands were fixed on nine bar-headed geese, four on common tails and one each on mergenser and wigeon. He said transmitters were fixed on three ruddy shell duck and two on bar-headed geese and two on northern pintail.

Range Officer Dhadwal said basic objective of fixing collar bands and transmitters were to have international coordination with the friend countries for future conservation of the wildlife.

He said more collar bands and transmitters would be put on birds by the end of January or middle of February. He said the target depended upon the catch.

He said ruddy shell ducks (surkhab), bar-headed geese, mallards, coots, pochards and pintails, besides rare red-necked grebe and gulls had arrived this year. These species came from Afghanistan, Mongolia, China, Siberia, Central Asia, Russia, Pakistan and Ladakh. Last year the rare species included greater painted snipe, cinnamon bittern, black bittern and red crested pochard.

The swamps in the area between the Barrage and the Shah Nehar downstreams makes a majority of the species stay here for the season. Built in 1960, the Pong Dam reservoir was the only place in the country after the Bharatpur Sanctuary where red-necked grebe descend every year. He said with the snow on the mountains and rains in the Kangra valley, the number of migratory birds would go up considerably.

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Dec 23

Happy X Mas & New Year !

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Nov 23

Jharkhand in danger of losing flora and fauna

 

The state of Jharkhand, Land of the Forests, celebrated 11 years of existence this month. But the forests that give it its name give no cause for celebration.

For, while the state continues to make elaborate plans for industrial development using its rich mineral resources, indigenous and endangered species of flora and fauna in the forest ranges of the Santhal Pargana region are fast dwindling, some on the verge of extinction.

The reasons are not difficult to find. Careless and illegal human activity tops the list. The dense mountainous forests have become the target of man’s insatiable greed.

The huge expanse of 5470 square miles has been home to several tribal groups for centuries, communities with wisdom who lived in harmony with forests that sustained them through generations. These forests have also been home to hundreds of rare species of birds and animals, making them the destination of numerous bird-watching enthusiasts and researchers worldwide.

Dumka and Godda districts alone boast the largest number of animals and birds in the state, assert locals, though there are no statistics available to substantiate the claims.

L S O’Malley West Bengal Gazetteers, published in 1910, was the first book to bring to light the large presence of wild animals in Dumka, Godda, Pakud, Sahebganj, Devghar and Jamtada forests. The clash between man and animal, he asserts, started around 1790-1810, when the Santhalis began to settle in the forests.

The last 11-12 years have seen instances of damage caused by wild elephants reported from the region, but this also goes to show that the forests of Santhal Pargana were once home to these gentle pachyderms. Standing testimony to this today is the 11ft huge Skeleton of Asian elephant from Pattabadi forests of Dumka dated 1934, now exhibited in Kolkata Museum, one of the most renowned museums in the world.

According to the available documents, about 300 years ago, the elephants of Santhal, referred to as Makuni elephants were of relatively smaller size. The house of Late Dev Kumar Pandey in Godda district is a living example of this.

According to the villagers of Rani Bahal, Asanbani (Bhaya Asurdaha, Dumka division), wild pigs, bears, rabbits, wild cock, royal peacock, wild cats, hyenas, jackals and bucks still inhabit these forests. This, despite the fact that rabbits, wild pigs, cock and other animals continue to be hunting game today.

It is a matter of grave concern that hunters no longer use traditional weapons for hunting. Modern weapons make the killing of pigs in large numbers in the Panjan Mountain, for instance, fairly easy. Reports of encounters between a bear and a tiger often trickle in. But the death of a white tiger near Badi Ranbahiyar village, Ramgadh division, after a gap of 16 years, created a stir in various government departments. This was a dark and sad day not only for Santhal Pargana, but also for the entire nation.

Rampant hunting of wild animals has put them in danger of becoming extinct. Making matters worse is the increasing demand for skin, teeth, bones and meat of rare species in the international market.

A few days ago, a hyena lost its way and wandered out of the forest in Dumka and found itself on the busy road. It was grievously injured by terrified people in the locality. What happened next is uncertain: officials of Dumka’s Forest Department declared that it was treated and released into the forest, but the villagers claim that it had died the next day. Ironically, when the hyena was breathing its last at Nonihat, Jharkhand was celebrating Wildlife Week (10-16 October, 2011).

Research into the immense variety of birds and animals in the forests of Santhal Pargana are bound to astound wildlife enthusiasts. Those familiar with the forests believe that government officials are in the know about the illegal killing of these animals and birds. Recently, the killing of a leopard created a stir in Chopa Bathan of Raneshwar Division. What happened to the poor animal; more importantly, to its prized skin?

Wild pigs are found in large numbers in Mahhuagadhi and Sogel forests of Kathikunda, Singli and Champa mountains, besides the mountainous region of Shikaripada (Gopikandar). This region is also home to bears. A few years ago, in Chiharbani village, villagers saved two bear cubs that had fallen into a well. Later, they were left in the forest. Godda district is believed to have the largest number of hyenas in the state. In Santhal forests, small and big-mouthed hyenas are called Hadlakar. These forests also take pride in a large number, and variety, of peacocks. They live in the mountainous forests of Kathikund, Gopikandar, Ramgarh and Jama. Hunting the peacock, our National Bird, have put their very survival at risk. Action taken under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 is a mere eyewash. Civil Society Organizations, strapped for funds, have proved ineffective. The Charkha Development Communication Network feels that with no support from the State and an indifferent Forest Department, extinction of several rare species of birds and animals from these green forests is only a matter of times.

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Nov 23

Migratory birds arrive in advance at Gharana Wetland Reserve

 

With the onset of the winter, migratory birds from Central Asia has started arriving in advance at the Gharana Wetland Reserve, near the border with Pakistan, 35 km from here. Bar-headed Geese and Grey-legged Geese are the first ones to arrive at the wetland reserve this month. This reserve attracts a large number of birds, including some endangered species. With the early arrival of these birds, the State Wildlife Protection Department has also started an exercise to remove weeds from the wetland and make it conducive for the stay of the birds. “About 20,000 birds come here during the winter, which has already started. Normally, these birds arrive here in December and stay till February end and return to the countries they had migrated from. This year, birds of a few species have arrived in advance,” said Tahir Ahmad Shawl, Wildlife Warden, Jammu.

He added the climate in the Jammu regions suited these birds. “When Central Asia experiences a harsh winter, these winged visitors prefer to stay in Jammu and Kashmir,” added Shawl.

Known as a bird watchers’ paradise, this reserve attracts birds, including Siberian Hans, Keel, Grey Heron, Little Grebe, Mallard Duck, Common Goose, Purple Moorhen and Little Cormorants.

Asked about the reasons for the decrease in the number of migratory birds in the past few years, Shawl said, “People living in the adjoining areas of the wetland reserve create disturbances, which results in a decrease in the number of visiting birds. But this time the department has been trying its best to get the maximum cooperation from the villagers. We are trying to provide compensation to the farmers, who suffer loss of crops.”

He added the matter had already been taken up with Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Pawan Kotwal and Deputy Commissioner, Jammu, Sanjeev Verma for providing compensation to the farmers. “Though there is no law for providing compensation to farmers, the Chief Wildlife Warden has been trying hard to sort out this

old issue. He is trying to ensure that birds come here in a large number to enjoy the winter in the Jammu region without any disturbance,” he added.

To watch and click the pictures of these migratory birds, a large number of people and wildlife photographers also throng the reserve.

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Nov 11

Capture the beauty of Western Ghats

 

The exhibition Biodiversity of Western Ghats was launched at Regional Museum of Natural History on Friday.

The exhibition is a project of the ministry of environment and forests, government of India. Saalumarda Thimmakka, noted environmentalist and National Award winner, inaugurated the exhibition. Speaking at the occasion, Thimmakka, an example herself of commitment, dedication and sacrifice for nature conservation, elaborated humble contribution and her struggle in planting trees in her neighbourhood. She was imploring all to show the same love towards trees. Later, she unveiled the 3D model of the museum to the public.

Shri M N Jayakumar, IFS, APCCF and member secretary, Zoo Authority of Karnataka, urged the people of both urban and rural area to be triggered by the passion of Thimmakka in conserving richness of the country.

Vanashri Umesh, young achiever in nature conservation, explained how he was inspired by the works of Thimmakka and joined her movement in planting saplings. He proclaimed his intention to plant 1 crore plants in his life. The exhibition comprising 40 panels with colourful displays, high class images and environment friendly lighting has many interactive terminals, capable of transferring all major information on the rich ecosystem of Western Ghats. It was developed as part of the International Year of Biodiversity (2010) and is now scheduled for travel all across South India as part of celebrations of UN Decade of Biodiversity and International Year of Forests (2011).

The exhibition has an objective of showcasing richness of the biodiversity and to kindle a love for it beauty.

The exhibition is open to public for a period of one month between 10am and 5pm on all working days of the museum. Later, it will travel through Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Kerala, Lakshadweep, and Puducherry in its long mission of creating awareness about nature conservation.

 

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Nov 08

Tribal Region- Maharashtra [ Western Ghats ]

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Oct 26

Nagarhole National Park- Coorg- Wayanad-Bandipur Sanctuary [ Series – 3 ]

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Oct 26

Nagarhole National Park- Coorg- Wayanad-Bandipur Sanctuary [ Series – 2 ]

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Oct 26

Nagarhole National Park- Coorg- Wayanad-Bandipur Sanctuary [ Series – 1 ]

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Oct 20

Korzok Village in Remote Himalayas of Ladakh

 

 

 

 

 

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Oct 16

Bandipur in Karnataka- Tribals and wildlife

                     

         

Endowed with a moderate climate and diverse geographical features, the Bandipur National Park supports a wide variety of flora and fauna. The vegetation of the Bandipur National Park ranges from deciduous and evergreen forest covers to open grassy woodlands. Two of the most valuable timber trees of India- the rosewood and teak- grow abundantly in the park. For your ease the wildlife in the Bandipur National Park can be divided into the following categories.

 

The Mammals: The Bandipur National Park supports and shelters a variety of wildlife. The park is one of the finest and most accessible habitats of the Asiatic elephant and also one of the best remaining habitats of the Asian elephant in the world. The most prominent wildlife in the Bandipur National Park include the Asian elephant, Bonner Macaque, Jungle Cat, Wild Boar, Indian Palm Squirrel, Golden Jackal, Indian Grey Mongoose, Bengal Fox, Ruddy Mongoose, Indian Elephant, Indian Pangolin, Langur, Tiger, Chital, Grizzled Indian Squirrel, Dhole, Sloth Bear, Leopard Cat, Stripe-necked Mongoose, Gaur, Lion-tailed Macaque, Leopard and Four-horned Antelope.

 

The Birds: The Bandipur National Park also has a sizable population of birds. Over 200 species of birds have already been spotted and identified in the park, enough to attract thousands of ornithologists and bird lovers to the park. The Kabini Dam and backwaters of the Kabini River, which flows north of the Bandipur National Park, attracts huge flocks of birds. The most commonly noticed birds in the Bandipur National Park are Peafowl and the game birds like the Grey Jungle Fowl, Red Spur Fowl etc. Among the woodland birds category the Hawk Eagle, Serpent Eagle, Scops Owl, the yellow-legged Green Pigeon, Parakeets, Woodpeckers, Barbets, Hornbills, Drongos, Scarlet Minivets, and Warblers are the easily seen birds in the Bandipur National Park.

 

Other major bird species seen in the Bandipur National Park include Black Woodpeckers, Blue-bearded Bee-Eaters, Cormorants, Crested Hawk Eagles, Ducks, Gray Partridges, Gray Headed Firhings, Honey Buzzards, Malabar Pied Hornbills, Hill Mynas, King Vultures, Malabar Trogon, Ospreys, Indian Pittas, Park Malabar Trogon, Parakeets, Paradise Flycatchers, Teals, Herons, Waders, Red Spur Fowl, Shaheen Falcons, Scarlet Minivets, Scimitar Babbler, Fairy Blue Birds, Scimitar Babblers, Malabar Whistling Thrushes, Green Imperial Pigeons, Nightjars and Owls.

 

The Reptiles: The reptile population in the Bandipur National Park includes the Marsh Crocodile, Monitor Lizard, Rock Python, Bamboo Pit Snake, Rat Snake, Wolf Snake, Vine Snake, Common Krait, and Russell’s Viper. The park also houses few variety of turtles, frogs are and amphibians.

 

Wildlife safaris available at the park are other major attractions at the Bandipur National Park. The visitors can enjoy an elephant or jeep safari to explore the natural wealth of the park. The open grassy woodland with enchanting scenery of mountains, gorges and undisturbed forests, makes Bandipur National Park an exotic paradise for wildlife lovers, a unique and pleasant place to holiday in.

Best Season to Visit

The best season to visit the Bandipur National Park is during the months of March-July and September-November.

How to Reach There 

By Air: The nearest airport from Bandipur is Bangalore at a distance of about 215 km.

By Rail: Mysore is the nearest railhead, located at a distance of about 80 km from the Bandipur National Park.

By Road: Bandipur is well connected by road to Mysore (80 km), Ooty (80 km) and Bangalore (215 km).

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May 26

Water crisis in Mussoorie, hoteliers fear loss of business

With rise in temperatures, the anger of Mussoorie residents, who are reeling under a water crisis, is also soaring. They are facing severe water shortage with only 7.67 MLD (million litres per day) available in comparison to the demand of 14.50 MLD in the town.The situation has aggravated as water discharge from various natural springs, from where water is drawn through pumping stations for supply to the town, has fallen drastically. This has forced the Jal Sansthan to curtail supply in emergency and instead ration water.The problem has become so grave that Congress activists staged a demonstration and locked the doors of the Jal Sansthan office for a few hours today. The protesters claimed that earlier the town used to get water supply twice each day but now it had been restricted to only half an hour every day. Residents of Jabarkhet, Landour Bazaar, Library Chowk, Camel’s Back Road, Landour Cantt, Spring Road etc., said the situation had becoming alarming this year, forcing them to fetch water in utensils from natural water sources around the town situated several kilometres away.The Hotel and Restaurant Association is also worried about the situation and has demanded regular water supply in the town lest it drives away tourists during the ongoing season.Meanwhile, Jal Santhan officials expressed their helplessness in resolving the crisis that had obtained due to the rising temperatures as water discharge from various perennial natural sources around the town had reduced drastically.A scheme to draw drinking water from the Yamuna, near the Yamuna Bridge, has been envisaged to resolve the problem but it would take several years to complete

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May 26

Trekker Dies in expedition

A 21-year-old youth died while trekking in the Solang Nullah region at Manali sub-division today.Manali DSP Puran Thukral said Aclifford Legart from Anuporlli at Tamil Nadu had come to Manali on May 21 and was attending a camp organised by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports at the Solang Nullah. The victim was on an expedition when he suddenly experienced breathlessness and collapsed. — OC

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