Sunday, October 25, 2009

Global Warming changing the climate pattern in the Himalayas!!

Of days gone by...this February during my solo all India motorcycle journey

I was at Mussoorie, the pretty hill station of Uttarakhand that is located on the Garhwal hills. A 34 km winding ride from Dehradun took me to this hill station. A popular place with honeymooners, Mussoorie offers a picturesque view of the vast ranges of the Himalayan ranges. But when I went to Mussoorie in late Feb this year, I was witness to a view that is very different from the usual Mussoorie view. Instead of the Himalayan ranges being snow clad and shimmering white in the midday sun, the ranges wore a barren look that still looked amazing though and inspired awe. Now comes the much famed topic of global warming and climate control. Most of the places in Western Himalayas and Mussoorie included did not receive snow in year 2008/early 2009 and the amount of winter precipitation is dropping every year. It seems like the snow line has crept up by a few 1000 metres. Something seriously needs to be done before global warming changes the Himalayas forever.

While I was at Mussoorie, I travelled around the town like a typical tourist and soaked in the attractions that were offered by this pretty hill station.

First, I went to Gun Hill, which is close to the central business district of Mussoorie, the Mall road. At a height of 2122m, this is the second highest peak of the town. One can either climb it up or take a ropeway ride from mall road to the top. I took a ropeway ride, which is quite an experience in itself. From the top, this place offers great views of the landscape and the Himalayan ranges, but unfortunately there are so many of these make shift shops that have set up base, that one has to figure out a spot to enjoy the views.

Next, I went to the pretty Kempty falls, which is situated 15 kms from Mussoorie. Excellent winding roads takes one to these falls. Sparkling water gushes down from a height of 4,500 feet and further segregates into 5 different falls (40 feet each) at this place.

The last tourist attraction that I was part of was the ride to Yamunotri during the non-tourist season. And as it is typical of all Himalayan odysseys’, this one too offered spectacular views of the Yamuna valley, the barren and the snow clad Himalayan ranges and lush green forest cover.

To see India through the eyes of a motorcyclist’s lens, visit the album below.

my solo all-india motorcycle journey

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