Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Das Ka Dhamki fame balancing a quest in the Himalayas

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SHIKHA DUGGAL

The Das Ka Dhamki fame Pranati Rai Prakash gave us many good reasons to take a trip to the Himalayas for our special travel tales segment. She wanted to see the incredible landscape, live with the mountain people for their friendliness and simplicity and most importantly — do hiking!

“A short time ago, I embraced my adventurous side by embarking on an exhilarating hiking expedition in the picturesque landscapes of the Himalayas. Inspired by my father’s mountaineering legacy and some love for adventure sports, I embarked on this journey to challenge myself physically and mentally while immersing myself in the beauty of nature.”

She was in the sacred region! The pilgrimage routes from one end to another with an experience of walking on the foothills struck her. She found the culture to be very authentic and even got the unmistakable impression that she is actually in Tibet. “I grew up with my father’s stories of conquering peaks and being a part of Everest expedition. So I felt a deep connection to mountains already! This familial influence, coupled with my innate desire for thrill-seeking, motivated me to explore the mountains through hiking and trekking. The allure of testing my limits and the breathtaking views awaiting me served as powerful inspiration,” she added.

The mountains were literally rugged, remote and large for her. She felt, she was in a pristine environment. Not only that, she met all kinds of people who are nature lovers and flocks to the Himalayas every now and then.

Expressing her excitement, Pranati says, “I guess my fondness for mountains is in my genes. This has been my reason for always wanting to come to the mountains and go trekking. I really enjoyed the entire process, challenging my body and some beautiful views. There is a healthy ecosystem running there. While heading for the heights, I saw carpets of greenery and a twinkling sun. Heard it provides a rare sanctuary to the wildlife there.”

Recalling a night trek in Uttarakhand then, and she shared, “I went on a night trek, higher up known to be the Uttarkashi and could hear the animals in the jungle! I was trekking with the locals, and they seemed pretty chill about it, but my heart was pounding.”

She then reached Dayara Bugyal which left her in awe as she described, “There were alpine meadows. This trek should be on the bucket list of all travellers as it has a lower level of difficulty too. I was surrounded by oak forests.” So the journey took Pranati through various trails venturing upwards to Raithal, then GUI. Despite facing challenges along the way, such as a scraped ankle that hindered her ability to wear proper trekking shoes, she overcame these obstacles with resilience and determination. When she was venturing upwards, she was away from all the chaos. Found many peaceful spots to rejuvenate! Looking at the prolific view that it gave, she continued to stare in bliss.

Reflecting on her experience, she shared, “I scraped the back of my ankle, so I couldn’t wear the trekking shoes and had to trek in slippers with socks. It was quite an adventure. There were no shops around. I managed with ease though. I felt like a complete mountain girl.”

Then she expressed her love for nature, stating, “It heals me, relaxes me. I loved the meadows, sea shores, flowers, and birds. While hiking in the mountains, I drew inspiration from their strength and magnanimity. It made me feel strong. It helped me be in the moment and take better charge of my breath as a result of my emotions.”

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