There was a time when I used to trek once every year! But gradually I stopped for no particular reason. After a while I developed knee pain which now leaves me scared at the prospect of trekking. However, when I got to visit the Stolby Nature Reserve near Krasnoyarsk, Siberia I am glad I was able to keep up with it.
We boarded our Follow Up Siberia team bus and headed to the Stolby region which was not more than 20 minutes from the city center in Krasnoyarsk. The officers from the park greeted us at the gate. The official park bus dropped the group at the beginning of walking trail in the Stolby National Park.
Our guide for the day was Sevtlana Yushkova who works in the IT department. She is an amateur rock climber herself. Even though we were listening to her via a translator she did capture our interest.
Solby is fascinating for every nature lover but it holds a special charm for rock climbers. The reserve is full of rock formations. The locals have given them interesting name. For example, one rock is Grandpa and the locals invented a whole family to keep Grandpa company.
Svetlana told us that the park has its own rock climbing subculture known as Stolbist! The idea was to use only a rope while climbing! There are groups of climbers and they have their own cabins. Having a key to a group cabin gives a special sense of belonging!
For us casual visitors there were easy rocks to climb. I managed to climb the top of the Grandpa Rock. The view from the top is amazing.
One of the most famous rock formation is known as the Krasnoyarsk Pillar or the Feather. To me it was the most impressive of all that I saw. And I am sure I saw only a few.
Svetlana (and Lucy who would translate for us) told us a fascinating story about the Rock of the Sinner. The legend is that if a sinner stood beneath the rock, it would fall! Apparently the wives of the initial climbers were insecure about the time spent by their husbands away from home. So the husbands said if they were cheating, the rock would fall on them! These days people go beneath the rock to make a wish.
Posted by Mridula Dwivedi on Monday, August 27, 2018
There are Siberian Nuthatches all through the park which know no fear of human beings. They would pick nuts of people’s hands. I also saw many Siberian chipmunks going around the park.
It is easy to walk around the park as the routes are marked on the trees, yellow, purple and the blue. We took the blue route. If you are not into climbing, you would love the hikes.
On the route we saw some pine trees that were going red. Svetlana explained that was due to attack of bug beetles. But the park has a policy of not interfering with nature.
Our group of Follow Up Siberia went on to climb up another rock formation while I decided to wait for them at the base. After a while their voices started fading and I was left alone with the nature. I think I had the park to myself for about 25 minutes. Maybe 4 other hikers crossed my path. I was sitting on a big flat stone and enjoying the solitude. It is only when I sit on big flat rocks, surrounded by the nature I am able to think with clarity about things that are of life shattering importance to me!
Jabarkhet Nature Reserve is a hidden gem of Mussoorie. I visited it on the walnut trail with JW Marriott Mussoorie. If you love to walk and if you enjoy nature Jaberkhet Nature Reserve is the place for you. They have a comprehensive official website where you can book your tickets online as well. They have driving instructions and much more. Do check it out.
The reserve has many well marked trails. If you wish to walk, you can cover more than one trail within a single day. The Airtel cell phones work from most of the times within the area.
Jabarkhet Nature Reserve is a private property which is open to public for exploration. Its ownership changed many hands throughout the history. The descendants of Mr. JP Jain own the reserve now. Mr. JP Jain was the pioneer who tried to keep the area preserved. The family now works in partnership with environmentalists and locals to protect the reserve.
The day we went there, we were blessed with a clear day. The views from the flag hill are truly beautiful. I can only imagine how beautiful it would be at sunset and sunrise! The first picture in this post is of Bander Punch, we were lucky to see the mountain so clearly. In fact we could see a range of mountains from the flag hill top.
It was not only the sweeping vistas that kept us hooked. The small things were equally fascinating. We regularly came across mushrooms, wild flowers, butterflies and such other small wonders of nature!
The walking trails are well marked within the reserve. How difficult are they? I personally found it easy but there were people who thought otherwise. Some found it tough, particularly getting downhill. However, it is doable by most people with average to poor fitness.
It would help to wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes.
For part of the way, fallen leaves provided for a wonderful cushion under my feet. It was a pleasure walking on the track with the leaves- both for the colors and the ease!
Water bodies are the lifeline for the wild animals. Jabarkhet Nature Reserve has a few natural ones and some constructed ones. In the summer caretakers fill the waterholes to support the wildlife. They have a camera trap near this water body and it provides amazing insight into the behavior of animals that frequent the waterhole.
After a while I fell at the far end of the line in our group as I would stop and click every single thing that caught my interest.
And now that I chimp much more with my camera soon only I and the official photographer of the trip, Pratha were together. Everyone else was far far ahead!
While we enjoyed the walk and the photos we clicked for each-other, we had a few anxious moments locating others on the trail. In the end we made a phone call when we were about 250 meters behind them but lower on the trail!
Jabarkhet Nature Reserve was one of the best things to happen to me on the Walnut Trail organized by JW Marriott Mussoorie.
I am Mridula Dwivedi, I love to travel! I started my travel blog in 2005. I have been going places since! For more details do check out my media kit! In another life I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur. I was a professor when I quit my job in 2015.
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