With no offence to any gender -” Man is not a Man if he does not love mountains, ShriSadguru”
A spontaneous change in programme from Shri Mani Mahesh (of course, extreme weather plays spoil sport) to village KRERI around 30 Kms off the track from behind Dharamshalla, Chumbi, Himachal Pradesh, led 04 of us to a great discovery of a mountaineering track less inhabited, clean but very steep, rough rocky terrain,where water stream flows besides and beneath you at times, where “over adrenalin” rush is order of the day so to put it across. Venturing without a travel guide will surely have problems like losing track to deserted deep forest areas full of wild bear and leopards,2ndly to avoid extra luggage like Tents with sleeping bags and thirdly, eatables, water, cooked food and some basic elements required to sustain at such high altitude approx.. 3000 meters above sea level, fourthly, call up your near and dear ones before setting out for trekking because there is no network after village Kreri.
Kreri village is a base camp for starting track upwards. It will take anytime between 8 – 9 hours depends, how fast you recover from getting exhausted and have rigour to continue, a real test of endurance especially when your goal post is so near, I mean when about to reach Kreri Lake, the final spot of this track.
There is another track that starts from here to 4000 plus meters, needs another 02 days to climb and come back, offers us a picturesque 07 Lakes but require lots and lots of further resilience which I think novice trekkers like us will not have.
Starting late, for any reasons, for such an ardous journey will have repercussions, so did we face during our track. We started late from Jammu, reached Kreri village at around 2 pm, after having some light refreshment, commenced our track which took us initially through a small road to Rocky Steps and then through lush green rough mountaineous jungle full of clean mineral water to drink on way up.Several zigzag passes on way up probably has 60 plus degrees elevation obviously leaves you gasping for breath for many minutes to cool your heart. We could experience many natural caves probably nature has taken care of shelters in case of rain or snow depends on which weather you are in for trekking. We reached at Lake side after 10 PM with 02 guides who strictly advised us while travelling in pitch darkness to continue walking along with maximum of 02 feet distance from each other because wild animals do not attack on a group like such. Carrying a torch is highly mandatory and some music on your charged cellphone is quite soothing. With least luggage in your Rug sack with a powerful battery charger, rain suit, mosquito repellent ointment and a cap are other essentials you shall not miss during travel.Common medicines / pain killer spray / band aids, are very well advised to be carried along for any immediate relief.
Few domesticated dogs at Kreri village go up and down almost every day along with tourists as guide, a thing very heartening to note.
Overall, it is a 15Kms of journey to the Kreri lake top, where we have a very old Lord Shiva’s temple facing towards lake. This temple is fitted with a mast Solar light, it serves more like a beacon light for night travellers.
Every year on different festivals like Janmasthmi (recently) about 1000 plus pilgrims paid visit to this temple and took a dip in the holy water of this lake. A Big “No” advise to people with medical ailments and also who do not do regular exercise in any form because of non availability of any Medical facility on way up.