A personal affair with the stars- Serolsar Lake, HP
Have you ever felt the divine intervention during your trip? That time when everything seems to be going just perfect, without any chaos. Well, this particular getaway to the Tirthan Valley was one such venture, where the Gods were actually with us.
I was at Bir for some professional work when surprisingly, I met a few of my friends. While catching sunsets, and having a gala time together, we randomly planned a sudden visit to the Tirthan Valley. Thus, the following day we started off for Tirthan, still not sure about our exact destination.
Until this time, all I had in my mind was to capture milky way as I knew it was at its best at this particular time.
While travelling we had thought of staying at Jibhi for that night. But, when we reached Jibhi (around 4:00 pm), our plan instantly changed to visit Jalori Pass which was only 10km away.
And then what? Like I said, Perhaps the Gods intervened and everything started falling into place. The instant we reached Jalori Pass, we got to know that the famous Serolsar lake is just 5km away from the base camp, i.e. Jalori Pass. Thus, we made a quick change in the plan again and started the hike towards the lake by 5:25 pm.
I wanted to reach the lake before it gets dark to click some evening drone shots. So, two of my mates and I fasten our pace and thus managed to reach the lake by 6:30 pm. Luckily, it was summertime, and, the sun was yet to set. The trail that we covered walking through the beautiful jungle seemed magically lit by the golden light of the sun, as if the rays were playing sneak peek with the leaves and the branches.
Just 5 minutes before we were about to reach the lake, we saw a few tent-cafes & camps, and felt like the perfect spot to spend the night. Anyhow, for that time, we carried on walking so that we could reach the lake as soon as possible. After a few miles, we could see the lake from a distance. As soon as I saw it, I literally ran up to the lake, and instantly, took out my drone to fly.
Now, the task was to set up my Drone. But somehow, my Drone was not able to mark the take off position, which was quite annoying for me. Without, thinking much, I took the risk and flew it anyway. Thankfully, as it took off, the GPS position was marked and thus, I was able to take the shots that I wanted.
Till the time I got free from capturing the shots, the sun had already set and it was getting dark. Soon, the rest of our friends too joined us, suggesting exactly what we had thought while coming to the lake, i.e., to stay here for the night. And trust me, this was the best decision we made that day.
Thereafter, we went to the camping area to have some tea, my favorite coffee and maggi, and also booked our stay at a small shack, which was originally built by the Gaddi people, and now was renovated and was being used as a small homestay.
As now we were staying near the Lake, I did not want to miss the chance of fulfilling my fantasy of capturing my dream shot of stars, Milky way and the sky's reflection in the lake. I had seen such shots clicked in the foreign lands but, I had never seen it being done in India. Therefore, I wanted to seize the day, well actually, seize the night and capture the alluring scene through my lens. Ah! How I had already imagined it all in my mind. I couldn’t wait to go near the lake.
I must tell you, that night was one heck of a night that I had experienced in a while. We were sitting outside, under the blanket of stars, sharing our stories, listening to some good music around the bonfire. Smiling, Laughing, teasing one another, until the time we saw the Milky Way rising.
As it was getting darker and darker, the cold too started taking its toll on us. We were wearing minimal clothes and some of our friends were not even carrying a sweater or a jacket. Also, in this cold, we had to stay awake till 12:30 at night, so that we could see the Milky way rise. It was then, that the locals came to our rescue. They were very helpful and kind. To save us from cold, they even lit up a bonfire for us.
It was just about midnight, when I saw the Milky way rising up in the sky and immediately, I collected my camera gears and started the hike up to the lake. Gladly, two of my friends accompanied in the extreme dark. The darkness and cold was making it a bit challenging to go to the lake from the campsite that too carrying our camera gears and blankets to save us from the cold.
But then, when we reached the lake, the mere sight of it enchanted us. We literally forgot the chills of that night, rather those chills were now being overcome by the rush of excitement. The scene in front of us was Magical. We could see the whole sky being reflected in the lake, just as I had imagine. It was then, that I felt, perhaps, Gods are with us as everything was so perfect, serene and dreamy.
We sat there near the lake, just three of us, watching the milkiest of the Milky Ways, and clicking a few Shots. Suddenly, we heard the rustling of the leaves, behind us. At first, we got scared, for, we thought there could be a wild animal heading towards the lake or perhaps a ghost. But we had a sense of relief as soon as we saw two torch lights. Ah! Thank god, a Human. It was a couple who too like us, was there to witness the beauty of the lake at night. Just as I said, the Gods were with us, their torch helped me to get my Shot.
I have clicked Milky way many a times before, but, the satisfaction that I got this time, after capturing these shots, could never match the previous ones. I was more than lucky to be at the right place and at the right time.
We wanted to stay there for a long but had to get back, for one, it was getting even more cold. Secondly, we didn’t want an encounter with a wild animal. Thus, soon we left for our camping site to meet our friends and share our experience with them.
When we went there, we found that our mates have explored yet another spot, just above our stay, from where we could see the lights of the city down the valley with the Milky Way right above us. Then what? I got my camera out and captured that memorable night yet again.
Ahh! What a night it was.
Photographer and Story teller: Kanwar https://www.instagram.com/kanwar_photos/
Edited by: Jasmine Chandla https://www.instagram.com/jasminechandla/
Accompanied by: Mita H.Singh, Liveleen Kaur, Srishti Tehri, Apoorva Sood, Akhil Dhawan, Amit.