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Day 21: Dehradun redux

If I had done Har-Ki-Doon, today would have been the day that I would have descended from Sankri to Dehradun. The shorter Kedarkantha trek gave me a window to explore Yamunotri.

The earliest bus to leave for Dehradun was scheduled at 7:00 AM. Shubhajit, Mahavir and me freshened up, packed our bags and woke Mohit up (who was deep asleep inside the dhaba) to settle our dues and have a cup of tea while we were waiting for the bus to arrive. We were all headed in three separate directions—Mahavir was headed back to Purola, Shubhajit was headed towards Harsil and my destination for the day was Dehradun.

An elderly woman got on the bus. Her father, who I guess must have been in his 80s, had died and she was on her way to perform his rites. She wailed and cried short sentences in a very loud manner throughout her journey from her in-laws’ house to her paternal house. I got to know that this was a ritual that older women usually followed. With time, the practitioners of this ritual have become fewer.

Just before Syanchatti, I swapped my seat to get a clearer view of the landslide. It was very hard to shoot from a shaky, moving bus. I took a lot of shots and hoped that I would have one or two clean ones.


It is hard to sense the scale of the landslide from a picture alone. For reference, look at the road that passes along the left slope at around mid-point.


Ojari village, right after Syanchatti, had this very picturesque solitary temple on top of a hill. One of sides descended steeply into the river valley below.

The bus stopped at Barkot for almost half an hour. We had our breakfast from a sweet shop—chhole-samose and tea—and bid goodbye to each other. Mahavir decided to get down there and proceed to Purola later in the afternoon. Shubhajit got on a bus bound for Uttarkashi. I got back on the bus and slept for most of the time. It was one of those days that involved a long commute.

I was at Dehradun ISBT at 4:00 PM. There were a number of guest houses around ISBT. It is possible to get something in one’s budget. I checked three guest houses before settling at Doon Valley Rest House. For five hundred rupees (fixed-price independent of season), this was one of the cleaner rooms I have been in in the last twenty odd days.


The view from the wide, open balcony.

I was too tired to roam around. In the evening, I went to a nearby mall, wasted some time and had my dinner before heading back to my room.


Children’s play area in front of the mall.


Day 22: Around Dehradun and towards Jolly Grant [5]
Day 20: A hike to Yamunotri [6]