I was just close to wild animal footsteps

It was early afternoon, I had my lunch and left to see fresh snowfall in high altitudes of Dharamshala. It was around Dharamkot near McLeod Ganj. I dressed in warm clothes with anorak jacket, boots and carrying an umbrella. I left from my home to catch the bus. Bus was already there in the bus stand. I boarded the bus,opened some windows for better cold air to come, although it was quite chill outside. Minutes after minutes, passengers started coming in and in about ten minutes bus was full and ready to go for McLeod Ganj.

McLeod Ganj is about 8 kms from Dharamshala. Its about half an hour journey. McLeod Ganj is a great tourist place visited by many tourists from all over the world. On reaching McLeod Ganj, I began to move for Dharamkot just a kilometer away. Its a steep trek. There was no sign of any snow on the way. It was a clean road with Cedar forests on either sides.

I reached Himalayan tea shop in Dharamkot, there led a trek to Galu temple at some height, a kilometer distance. This trek was not road, it was big natural stones trek,stones connected to each other. As I moved further, there was a glimpse of mild snowfall. When you looked down it had already melted, making the trek wet. Further there was snow in the gaps of the stone trek. It gave a stunning view of the path. There were more snow covered areas on both sides of the path.

A cutted tree, beautifully snow covered gave a very good view of it.

A large fallen tree could be seen and all snow around it. After about half an hour I reached Galu temple. There was half feet snow all around. It was amazing. From there led two ways, one to waterfall and another to Triund. Triund is further at a height of 2130 mts. Due to heavy snowfall, all treks were covered with snow. Triund is 6 kms away and waterfall 3 kms away from here. Many shops were closed, only few were opened.

I asked from a shopkeeper,”Can we go further?”

“You can go a little bit ahead, but not too far. Due to heavy snow the trek is not suitable to go.” shopkeeper replied.

I decided to go towards waterfall. As I moved ahead there was a resort where I had the spectacular view of snow covered hills, trees and mountains. Snow and snow all around, making a fantastic view. On moving 200 mts ahead there was a cafe shop.

There two German Shepherd dogs came neart to me and sniffed. They ran immediately towards the trek where I was going and were ahead of me. I was surprised as if they came to escort me.

There were bushes, branches and Cedar trees, all perfectly covered with snow. The trek was along the waterpipes going along. Sometimes the dogs used to stop, sniff around and I was ahead of them. Then, they used to pass nearby touching my jeans. I covered 400 mts more and saw a strange behaviour of the dogs. They were running and looking at some trees because some voice of monkeys could be heard. But,they couldn’t be seen at all. So, I decided to return. While returning, I felt that I should not have done this.

I came back to cafe and asked,”How much time it will take for the waterfall?”

“It will take one hour to reach there.” cafe man said.

I decided to go to the waterfall. This time there were no dogs with me. There were three more people on the way. They were enjoying the view. This spot was full of very big stones on the steep as well as on slope, covered with snow. It looked like a landslide but it was not. I bypassed those people.

Now, I was alone and only my footsteps were on the trek. Earlier there were footsteps of others also on the trek. It was soft snow here. On reaching further, there were giant stones on the joint of the two hills. I felt the waterfall is here and I have reached my destination. But, on one stone it was written “Waterfall cafe 20 mts away.” So, I moved for the waterfall again. It was steep and then slope. On the slope there were slippery stones so I proceeded very carefully. I went further and further. I was shocked. There were fresh footsteps of some wild animal as if the animal was there just few minutes before.Here I could hear the sound of the waterfall as I was near to it. From here I did not go to the waterfall and decided to return to my home. It is a true story.

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Published by Siddhartha Dhap

I am Writer.I have done Post Graduation from Manipal University jaipur. I like reading books and writing.

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