It began with a small discussion between me and my friend Bam about different treks of the northeast as Bam lives in the northeast part of India. This conversation ignites the new travel plan in our minds. We both are travel enthusiasts and he wanted me to make an itinerary of the new trek. As Himachal Pradesh is the core area of my business, therefore, I suggested going on a jungle trek to Kareri Lake. We both agreed on this plan and started our packing. I was so curious to go on this trek because I had never been to that part of Himachal. Kareri lake trek is a moderate-level trek that swaddles around a water stream coming out of Kareri Lake.
We took a Volvo bus at night from New Delhi to reach Mcleodganj. In the early morning by 7 am, we reached Dharamsala from where we took a cab to reach Mcleodganj which is a further 15 kilometers from Dharamsala. Firstly, we went to our hotel and freshen up afterward we went to the Dalai Lama temple. We explored Mcleodganj on our first day and estimated the weather condition for the trek since the weather changes very frequently on this trek. After checking the weather forecast we started our journey on the second day morning. We took a cab to Kareri village from where we are going to start our trek. We started early morning from Mcleodganj as we were advised by a local guide that the weather might show its color during the trek hence should start early so that we can reach Kareri Lake on time.
We had our breakfast at Kareri Village and started our journey towards Kareri Lake. As we started, the climb was steep and initially, there are many steps to climb. The trail went through the lush green forest which was winding around a water stream coming from the lake. On the way, we saw the diversity of flora and fauna of the Himalayas. This region is the habitat of leopards and black Himalayan bears and many more endangered species of animals and birds hence we need to be conscious while trekking.
This trek seemed to be more hectic as the ascending became steeper. Halfway, I found a beautiful café on the bank of the stream. We crossed to stream to reach that café. It was very refreshing for us and it felt like an oasis in a desert. We had a cup of tea and a sandwich and continue our hike. I did not see many people on this trail hence it gave me an ultimate experience of nature. After a long hour’s travel, we finally made it to Kareri Lake. It took around 7 hours to reach our destination. The first thing I was in a temple devoted to the Lord Shiva. There were also a couple of shops near the temple. I decided to pitch our tent on a small hill near the Lake. We placed my luggage inside the tent and went towards the glacier. Kareri Lake is also a base camp for the Minkiani Pass trek. Just below the Minkianai Pass, a big glacier comes on the way. The glacier looked very small from far as we came closer to the glacier it was huge. Near to the glacier I met with a local guide who brought 4 people with him. He taught us how to walk on a glacier and cross it. While crossing the glacier I could feel the adrenaline rush in my bloodstream. It was a scary as well as adventurous moment in my life.
Suddenly, we saw black clouds gathering over mountains. We thought it was just a normal but the weather changed its mood within 15 minutes the whole glacier got covered with black clouds. We decided to descend towards tent. As we came closer to our tents the wind and little drizzling started. We rush to our tents and get inside. Gradually this weather changed into a furious thunder storm. The furious wind was blowing everything; the tent on the other side got disappeared and the shops with their material got blew away. The people took shelter in temple. We took a decision not to leave our tent abandoned. We struggled for an hour to save our tent and luggage that one hour took all our energy and we gave up. Somehow we managed to pack our tents and luggage and ran towards temple to take shelter.
In the temple there were small cabins, we pitched our tent in that cabin and waited for the storm to calm down, but the god had another plan. That storm lasted for 13 hours and stopped in next morning. We spent that night in tremendous fear. In the morning when we came out of our tents, there was all chaos; there were no marks of any shop. Natives told us that they had never seen such kind of storm in their life. We were lucky to survive this situation.
At around 10 am in the morning, we started our trek back to Kareri village. The memories we had from this trek were scary yet adventurous. This trek gave us many lessons and we came to know how humans survived for so long on this planet. The survival instinct is already in our brain, we don’t need to learn it; this feature automatically comes out in such a situation.