Himalayan Iris

Summer in the Himalayas is a time to be outdoors.  It is full of natural wonders – colourful birds making many wonderful sounds, wheat ripening, local kids playing outdoors till the sun goes down and of local Gaddi shepherds watching their goats and sheep feed on the edges of mountains.  It is also full of unnatural wonders – the IPL cricket match which hits my local town, Dharamsala once a year.  This is the time when out of towners come up to the mountains and create mayhem.  From driving their fast cars up and down the mountains with little regard for the danger while talking loudly on their mobile phones to staring at the angrezes (English people) and doing it all at onece.  So this was the weekend a couple of friends and I decided to hit the mountains by foot.  Our destination, the snowline above Triund  at an altitude of 3,250metres.  After a ghastly start of getting caught in a traffic jam for 2 hours with the cricket crowd, we hit the track by 3pm.  Very late for a walking schedule but what could we do, not every weekend the IPL hits town.

There was very little foot traffic on the way up to Triund (at 2,850 metres) as you could expect with such a big event in town.  I was slow, carrying my big pack with the tent, food, water etc for the weekend up the 1,000 metre climb.    It weighed about 17kgs and it was hot.  To my disappointment the Rohdedenren forests were bare, a few flowers still on the trees but we had missed them in full bloom, darn, a month too late.  Never mind always next year.

We made it to the top in good time, ready for sunset over the mountains. Triund was full of people enjoying the summer…the Gaddi shepherds had bedded their flocks for the night.   It was freezing, probably around 10 degrees…luckily in my 17kgs I had bought some food which we could eat without cooking and head to the warmth of our tents.  Next morning, we were up early and hit the track to the snowline.  Another 400 metres to climb.  Here were the Himalayan Iris in full bloom.  In all my years of walking and living in the Himalayas, I had never seen so many.  They were delicate like a Van Gough iris but smaller and more dainty.  Litte beauties so to speak!  We made it to the snowline in a couple of hours and headed back to Dawa and Saten who were holding the fort.  What an added bonus…the walk was worth it, just to see the hills covered in the Himalayan Iris’, can’t wait for next year now! (for more info go to –  ‘http://indianflowersandherbs.blogspot.com/2010/07/himalayan-iris.html

Trekking trips with Sharon can be arranged through www.eknotravels.com

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