How Uttarakhand Changed My Connect To Mountains

In the lower Himalayas of Uttarakhand, I have covered a lot of things. I have done my part of hiking, camping, a road trip, and a blogger meet as well. However, it was earlier before my blogging days began, I tagged Uttarakhand mountains as “chote pahad”, which means small mountains. I have no freaking reason why?

During my conversations with fellow mates, I would be often heard saying,
“Mujhe chote pahad nahi jaana, let’s either go to Himachal or Kashmir now, enough of Uttarakhand!”

Quiet guts, I must say. Today after traveling on my own in the last 4 years, gaining ample experiences, it comes as a shame for me when I remember saying this. 

(Request you to take no offense, since this was said out of no knowledge and 10 years back!)

Uttarakhand In A Gist

Landscape view of Mussoorie
Uttarakhand And Serendipity

So, I had this opportunity to visit Uttarakhand yet again. This time it was after 2 years. I had travel planned from Delhi to Dehradun, Mussoorie, Dhanaulti, Rishikesh, and Haridwar. However, I was not able to visit Haridwar because of the lack of time. Nevertheless, visiting Uttarakhand each time I come back with a sense of serendipity and that solitude is a way of life.

I have met the people of Uttarakhand, spoke to the locals, and had the opportunity to communicate with them. The experience has been surreal. They're at peace, there is no hindrance they will cause, despite it being a touristy place.

Road view surrounded by mountains and greenery
From the archives: My Raod Trip To Mussoorie

The essence of Uttarakhand lies when you are standing on the mountain roads, with the mountains surrounding you, a milestone somewhere near you, the whimsical greenery and maybe a lake or a waterfall adding to the amorphic surrounding. Making the atmosphere no less than a fairy tale.

That is Uttarakhand for me in a gist.

Mountains Are Like Meditation To Me

“Mountains are like something else to me, its like meditation.” A little modification in the dialogue said by Katrina’s character, in the movie Zindagi Na MilegiDobara.

You can also relate it in a way that our rishi-muni resided in the mountains to meditate and seek enlightenment. However, it was recently that I have very clearly differentiated in my love for mountains and beaches. Since mountains are meditation to me, beaches are an escape. Yes, there is a very thin line that differentiates both.


While I was in Uttarakhand at the beginning of 2020 and bidding adieu to 2019, I had an adrenaline rush. By the time I contemplated my decision of whether to stay at Dehradun for the night and begin my journey to Mussoorie by the day, I was on my road to my destination. Albeit it was dark by the time I followed the mountain path; I realized the view was just magical. It might seem too floral a description but to think of that is the best way I can give words to my feelings.

(Also read: Road Trip 2020)

The lights in each house ignited like little twinkling stars, too whimsical, aye?

I saw vehicles were moving ahead. However, something had changed. Something that you should have noticed but it is so soon that you somehow miss it. By the time you realize the change you have already reached a peaceful zone, where all the logics, all questions seem too stupid to be paid heed to, forget the answer.

Night view of Mussoorie decorated with lights
Night View Of Mussoorie

Laxman Jhoola and River Ganges amidst the montains
A View Of Laxman Jhoola From Far-Off

There is something special about Uttarakhand that I noted this time. There were times when I paused for a while in the middle of our path during the daylight to glance at the view. Take some pictures and add them to my memory reserve. You have two sides – one is the mountainside which is most often the road. The other is the valley-side which lets you witness how small is the world, despite holding such a massive land. My eyes caught a glimpse of a cluster of houses built too close to each other or a solitary house at a distance. The roofs surrounded by huge pine trees – or Shahgon trees if I am not wrong.

Landscape view of houses on himalayan mountains
The sunray falling on the mountain and houses: That's what I call Magical!

Landscape view of kepty falls from a traveler viewpoint
Me Glancing at the beautiful view!

The smell is different, the air is the same yet different, the feeling and emotions are beyond explanations. Well, I guess that’s Uttarakhand to me. From the “chote pahad to a fairy tale land.” The journey was undeniably gorgeous!

Comments

  1. This is a good story with good photos of the chote pahad

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  2. Experiencing the beauty of mountains up close can indeed be a magical and healing experience. It makes us realize that sometimes the things that stress us are so mundane.

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  3. This is absolutely beautiful. Mountains are just amazing, aren't they?

    Antonia || Sweet Passions

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    1. Completely agreed! It's just so peaceful.

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  4. I think you are gutsy to take these different trips -- appreciate sensing them as you do.

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  5. Beautifully written! Very poetic and I love the photos.

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  6. Uttarakhand reminds me of one of the places here in the Philippintes, it's called "Stobosa" particularly in Benguet. Specially the fifth photo. I'm glad that you came back and were able to take these breathtaking pictures and share them.

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    1. Ah! Would love to visit it someday...:) And thank you so much for such a beautiful comment.

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    2. Hi Aanja! You are most welcome! Oh, I'd like to know how far is this from Jaipur? My trip to India (May 1) has been postponed due to Covid-19. I'm planning to stay in Jaipur for 5 days, then move to Agra after. TIA!

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    3. Hi Polly! Instead of going from Jaipur, I would advise you to go to Uttarakhand via Delhi, after you have visited Agra. For more help, you can contact me on my email- aanyajain99@gmail.com. :)

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  7. Uttarakhand reminds me of one of the places here in the Philippintes, it's called "Stobosa" particularly in Benguet. Specially the fifth photo. I'm glad that you came back and were able to take these breathtaking pictures and share them.

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  8. Wow, great view! I am not really into hiking but I love the feeling when I finish the route.

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    1. I love hiking and trekking...i just love mountains and any fun activity associated...

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  9. These are really lovely photos. This place is absolutely beautiful!

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    1. Thank you so much! Indeed the place Mussoorie, where most the pictures are of is known as "queen of hills" for a reason!

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  10. Mountains always have something magical to them...

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  11. What a beautiful and personal story how mountains have a way to your heart and make you whole!

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  12. Beautiful picture and you have written it very well too.

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  13. Thank you for sharing about the Uttarakhand Mountains. They way you described the setting and the light - I could almost picture myself there.

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    1. Aah! That was such a sweet thing to say..glad you liked it.

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  14. I have a similar experience with our wonder mountains here in the Philippines and it is really a majestic feeling after taking that hiking route and then witnessing the magical sites only mountain summits could give ☺❤️

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  15. I love your pictures! I’ve always found mountains to be so magical. I can’t imagine being there in person.

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  16. Hiking is a very great exercise to unwind and get out of your comfort zone. Thank you for sharing your experience, seems you've really enjoyed it.

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  17. Uttarakhand sounds wonderful. I think you have convinced me to put it in my travel list. Thanks for sharing.

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  18. There is an undeniable deep connection that us humans have with nature. It's pretty amazing! Great story and thank you for sharing your experience with nature ;)

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  19. Fabulously written and I also loved the pictures. Good one.

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    1. Thank you so much for those words of encouragement ❤️

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  20. Oh my! It looks so stunning there! I would love to be able to stand on top of a mountain like that!

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  21. I never heard about uttharakhand mountain thanx for bringing this in my knowledge.

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  22. I feel the same way about the mountains. I just always feel so connected to nature when I am in the mountains.

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  23. Love the photos and content but had a hard time reading some words here, sounds cute to say though. Thanks for the share here :)

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  24. I'm not much into mountain hiking, but I can tolerate small mountains. I walked so slow but eventually get there. Mountains gives us that tranquility and peaceful mind.

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  25. Great writing! Thank you for sharing this story!

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  26. I love the photos
    It made me miss mountaineering. I hope the lockdown ends so that I'd get to hike up the mountains again.

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  27. That view looks UH MAY ZING! The sunlight over the colorful houses is my favorite.

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  28. I love how you captured these images in different perspective and time frames. The effects of the sun rays are magical!

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