One More Time: Why Did I Travel to Uttarakhand after the Kedarnath Tragedy?

I was in Nepal when I first got to know about the Kedarnath (and related areas) tragedy. I was trekking in the Annapurna Circuit region and phone connectivity was not good at all. So the one day when I could call home from Nepal I heard of the cloud burst. At that point the damage figures were still being quoted low.

Once I came back I just refused to watch the visuals related to the tragedy, I do not feel brave enough. I only saw some passing images on TV and was shocked to see some Hemkund Sahib visuals as I trekked there last year myself.

Then came the news of mass cancellations of holidays in Uttarakhand and I had a personal dilemma. I was invited by Te Aroha at Dhanachuli, Uttarakhand quite a few months before and I had given the date of 28th June to 1 July. Now this was much before even my trek in Nepal and there was no sign of any tragedy in the region.

When I was in Nepal and I didn’t know much I too, with a heavy heart, thought I would have to cancel the trip. But once I came back and started reading I came across an appeal (and for love or search I can’t find it again) which said that tourism in the unaffected areas is taking a severe beating and it would be detrimental to the economy of an already devastated area. That was my starting point.

As I said in a previous post I then did a Google Earth search for Dhanachuli and Kedarnath and the difference in the visual was quite reassuring. Then came the task of convincing the family. Surprisingly it was not too difficult. Folks were not too happy about my trip but they did let me go.

Uttarakhand is vast and not every area is affect. I visited Dhanachuli after taking the Shatabdi from Anand Vihar Railway Station to Kathgodam. It is entirely operational without a hitch and there is no rescue work going in this area which my visit may hamper. In fact the hotels want tourism because these are the months when they earn. And these areas are safe with the normal hassles of mountain rains. On the way I crossed Bhimtal and it was also entirely connected and normal. My cell phone worked and roads were there as they are in the rains.

Dusk at Dhanachuli, Uttarakhand

Dusk at Dhanachuli, Uttarakhand

Even Te Aroha has seen cancellations but some tourists have started trickling in. When I was there there were other guests. One family with a small toddler too. I had a great stay and some rains. Hardly any big mountain view (but this seems to be the theme of my summer travel this year, after all I came almost empty handed from Annapurna region in Nepal) but very nice weather and a fabulous time in all. The posts will follow but I thought the ground condition needs to be clarified once more. Also I will get back to my Nepal chronicles once I am done with this small but fabulous visit to Dhanachuli, Uttarakhand.

So while doing the two hour journey from Kathgodam to Dhanachuli the road was clear, a little weary for the mountain rains but perfectly road worthy. So if have travel plans to the unaffected areas of Uttarakhand think again before cancelling them. The industry needs your business. Do check the weather before you go, take all precautions but do not cancel your trip just like that. I will repeat I am talking about the unaffected areas in Uttarakhand.

If you have any questions about my trip do drop in a comment or an email. I will try my best to answer.

19 thoughts on “One More Time: Why Did I Travel to Uttarakhand after the Kedarnath Tragedy?”

  1. yeah, the Bhimtal and above area of Uttarakhand is perfectly fine and it needs tourists/travelers!!!

    I messaged the owner of the lovely emerald trail Bhimtal (where i stayed in April) and he said it was fine but they are loosing crucial business due to lack of correct information about the tragedy.

  2. Hi Mridula,

    I remember clearly, you had been to VoF last year and I was quite motivated to go myself. All plans made to leave on Thursday night (three days before the Ganga showed her anger) my trip was was fouled by the early return of my maid from Chennai and then it all happened. So I thought it was providential. Maybe I have to write many more books.


  3. Good to hear that part of the state is safe for visiting, Mridula. and great to hear you had a wonderful time. I too have avoided seeing live reports of the disaster on tv. my only memories of Kedar and Badri are from my visit more than 20 years ago, and I want to retain those memories as they are…. but its so sad to think of all those people there….

  4. How much the total tour cost starting from delhi (to and fro)?
    Is there a frequent bus service from Kathgodam to Dhanachuli or Taxi? Cost?
    And return journey? Frequent bus service from Dhanachuli to Kathgodam?

  5. In view of the fury of nature playing havoc with Uttarakhand, it must have been very difficult to take the decision to visit the state, though an apparently safe one. You have proved your grit and your passion for travelling.

  6. Wow… are so bold really appreciate you for taking up this journey.
    Like Anu said I too visited Kedar -Badri20 years ago..I did love that trip . Good I visited when I was young..:)

  7. Even being a Garhwali I didn’t think from this point of view. Loved the post and sharing .

  8. Even being a garhwali I couldn’t think from this point of view. Liked the post and sharing.

  9. Awesom writing.. You left a very positive note….. My heart prays for the lives lost..
    Thanks you for writing….

  10. When any causality happens..there is hulla-boo..everywhere…then there are rescue operations…some are saved..some succomb before it. After this follows a small hiatus…and almost immediately life comes back on the track, like nothing ever happened. I really salute this Sprit of Indian people. Even after this spine-chilling casuality, there will never be any reduction in the number of piligrims to this area.
    very nice post once again Mridula 🙂

  11. nice to know you a little more through this article and your feelings for the travel industry 🙂

  12. what a beautiful place. The hotel is so mesmerizing. Never seen such a beautiful bathroom area in a hotel before. Beautiful pictures Mridula 🙂

  13. Thanks Niranjan.

    Shooting Star I think this is a common story now in Uttarakhand.

    Julia amen to that, write many more books.

    Thank you Rupam.

    Meena you are kind.

    Anu it is such a tragedy, on an unimaginable scale.

    Tushar I was hosted this time. I did see buses from Dhanachuli but not sure about the frequency.

    Thank you Njoyeverymoment.

    Kajal, as soon as I knew that the roads were open I knew I as going 😀

    Chitra I have never been to either of the two even though I have been to Joshimath so many times!

    Thank you Satyender.

    Vandy thank you.

    Manish I too feel so sad for the tragedy, so many human lives touch for every in such a way.

    Jiggyasa thank you for both your comments.

    Ritu I don’t think I am particularly brave!

    My say I have benefited so much from travel … any small bit that I can do has to be done.

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