GANGEDA – Udhampur’s nearest Hill Station

Abhishek Jandial
Udhampur district is blessed with the scenic beauty, magnificient hills, lush green mountains, tall trees,curly and wet roads and above all, numberless natural springs. Monsoon season adds another feather to the beauty of the district.When it comes to take a pause from the bustling and commuting schedule of our daily life,People often wander off to the places too far from their homes for having a sip of serenity.But within the hilly district of Udhampur lies a hangout spot which barely demands 1 Km of trek to find yourself standing at the top of the town seeing every landscape of the city in front of your eyes. Nestled in the Shivalik hills,this is nothing but the spectacular Gangeda Hillock.
Gangeda Hill is located near to the Military Hospital of Udhampur. One need to go to the Military Hospital road and then 2 kms towards Tirchi Kandala Road.
Last Night I had made a plan with my adventure loving cum vlogger friend Sateshwar Singh who is a photographer by heart, to trek Gangeda next morning as early as possible.It was our perk of rising early that we started trekking before the morning sun even showed its silhouette.The darkness began waning and the daylight was all set to take over.Our route began from a street of housing colony initially paved but after few meters ahead vanishes to unpaved path.We went through a spring(bawli) followed by a mosque and thereafter we just entered the no man’s land.Both two of us were exuberant to get a visual delight of sun kissing mountains. Some leaves were fallen on the unpaved path of hills and some kept with the trees akin to the green of a painter’s canvas.As we trekked up, the cold breeze started blowing our hair. The sighting of birds was captivating us and their twittering was doing the job of impeccable music to both our ears and mind making us feel fresh.
The sight of the sun rising out of the magnificient and lushing green mountains of the shivalik was unevitable. While my good friend was busy capturing the morning treat of Gangeda and the sun touching mountains, I was trying my best to cozying with the nature there.It was a journey of two hours from my home at Gole Mela to the top most point of my town-Gangeda Hillock where much more scenic beauty welcomed us.Tawi river was seen flowing between the hills,appearing as if blue water,green mountains and yellow turned morning sky was embracing like old friends.On reaching the top,it began another adventure for both of us.Sahil was seen fixing his camera to get his best shot.With another camera he had,he was doing videography and if I’m not wrong,he was recording timelapse of sunrise.I was supposed to help my adventurer friend who was tirelessly making his moves for his creative appetite but where was I was snoozing on a bench sprawling my limbs inside a shed built there.When I was done, then I too started my part of photography.
Gangeda has its unevasive charisma in which we got soaked in.Every leaf of the trees of gangeda was dancing in the tone of morning winds. Their Shadows on the ground enthralled me,while I was sitting on the bench of stone. The sweet twinkling sounds of cowbells gave back my consciousness and I came out to see what was it.Local shephards often come there to graze their cattle.Weather unexpectedly took a twist and clouds started looming over the sky when we were descending down.After few minutes of thundering and storming,it began drizzling. Beautiful weather there embellishes our trekking and Gangeda turned to be an unforgettable experience for both of us.
Coming down to the city, we went to the railway station where we boarded our train to Jammu. The adventure was not over yet.Even the train offers panoramic views of changing landscapes from hills,gently flowing rivers and the darkness of tunnels.Gangeda has a lot of potential in trekking activities.Credit goes to groups like Jammu Forward who gave it coverage last year and recently to Jammu 360 who took inception for organising trekking activities in such locations where nature is at its best.Few days back, a leading coaching center of the town Panacea Classes also organised a cleanliness drive in Gangeda. Undoubtedly, Gangeda is a feast for the eyes and mind.
(The author is a travel writer and blogger.)