At the end of Trek Day 1 we camped at the base of Nichnai Pass for the night, battling wind and rain. With lady luck by our side we woke up to a clear blue sky dotted with fluffy white clouds floating about aimlessly. It quite reflected my state which was waiting to be led into the unknown paradise.
Trek Day 2- Walking to Vishansar Lake (11500 ft to 12000 feet ascending to 13500 ft around Nichnai Pass)
After a short but arduous climb up to Nichnai Pass which took about 2 hours we slowly descended into the flat meadows. This is the last point for mobile connectivity and beyond that it is only connecting to the self and fellow trek mates. I soon realised that the lure of the virtually connected world is not that strong since none of us suffered from any kind of withdrawal symptoms over the next few days. The walk through undulating plains is not hard on the body or the knees but it is worthwhile to take a break, now and then to absorb the vastness of nature. Walking between mountains, measuring every step can be a humbling experience. Every moment is a surprise since weather is unpredictable reflecting the mood of the universe.
After a 12 km and 6 hour trudge through meadows and rocky patches, occasionally stopping by to fill our bottles with pure stream water we reached the camp site next to the deep blue Vishansar Lake. Owing its name to Lord Vishnu, this 1 km long alpine lake is the source of River Neelam. The colour reflects the time of the day and the state of the sky!! If you though you were moody, the universe is a step ahead, unpredictable, nurturing, loving and sometimes admonishing. Vishansar Lake is fed by the glaciers around as well as nearby Kishansar Lake which freezes in winter and remains icy cold during the rest of the year. I took some water in my palm chanting “Namo Vishnu” in obeisance to Lord Vishnu the one who sustains as per Hindu Mythology. As we lay on the rocks watching the clear blue sky reflecting in the lake, life flashed by, with a whisper and a nudge asking me “Who am I?”, am I the city bred busy body, am I the workaholic who never noticed the sky, am I separate from all that I see….. !! Very soon the mountain wind embraced me in assurance that I am indeed a part of all that I see around.