An Unforgettable Journey With Himalayan Shepherds

himalayanwomb
Himalayanwomb @himalayanwomb
· July 2019 · 4 min read · #india

After the Hell Ultra 480 kilometre race I did another travel. And it was special, especially because I had a golden opportunity to spend time with the Himalayan Shepherds for a few days. Our whole team had returned to Manali and the next day all went out towards their destination, only behind me and my bag.

IMG_2525.jpg

Shepherd, Sheep and Snow...while crossing the epic Rohtang Mountain Pass (3950m)

The journey started from Manali (1950m) bus stand, from which I got bus for Khoksar, but seeing a padding group on Rohtang Pass, I got down there. The distance from Manali to Rohtang pass is 51 kms and the bus took almost 3 hours till Rohtang. Rohtang's height is 3,950 meters, and like every year this year also there was plenty of snow. On the Rani nullah (a water stream), there were about 40 feet of high walls of snow.

IMG_2541.jpg

Counting the sheep and goats

Sheep were crossing between the 40 ft walls of high snow was no less than a surprise in itself. All the flocks of sheep-goat that eat grass in the entire Himalayas are not all of those Shepherds which are with them, but most people take money instead to feed the flocks, that too on high altitude. The shepherds keep the animals with them for 8 months or even whole years sometimes. Before leaving at lower places, all the shepherds make permits, where they have their animals and there is a permit.

IMG_6782.jpg

When they cross technical mountains without any safety

IMG_6802.jpg

Wet and tired....but unstoppable

IMG_6811.jpg

Saved from landslide...lucky

Two years ago when I was in Parvati Valley, the shepherd said that "we sleep in the day time and save our animals from the bear at night". Later he told that there are 35-40 black bears in this valley, and so far have killed our 12 goats and a dog. Protection from the wild animals is their daily work. If the bear or leopard kills a sheep, then they has to pay his damages to owner.

IMG_3026.jpg

The home...where bears lives. You can see the action on the rooftop

IMG_3015.jpg

The Parvati Valley

I reached Khoksar where so many flocks of goats had reached. Snowfall at Rohtang Pass and heavy rain in Khoksar. I got into a cottage and saved myself from being wet. These people do not stop in such a rain and snow. How often their whole herd becomes a victim of a land slide. Last year a shepherd was trapped in heavy snowfall on Thamsar Pass (4788m) with 500 sheep and snowfall lasted for 3 days, afterwards it was found that the shepherd and all its animals died and buried under the 5 feet snow.

Screenshot_20190706-110332.jpg

They are lucky but not always

From Khoksar, I reached Keylong (3750m) where I spent the night and reached Debring the next day. Debring height is 4800 meters. A lot of herds come in Debring and More Plains (a 40 km plain around), their flocks have sheep, horses and yaks. These people are nomadic like shepherds. Whose ancestors have been feeding their animals on these mountains for centuries, and these people of this tradition still follow.

IMG_5395.jpg

The Ladakhi nomads at Debring

IMG_5554.jpg

The home for next 6 months

These types of cowherds mostly carry their animals to high altitude, due to which the grass and herbs located at the height are very good for animals. Sometimes their animals go up to 6000 meters in search of Shilajit (a very strong mineral) In addition. Except survival from wild animals, these people make many types of dairy products with milk obtained from animals by staying in the mountains, like milk, ghee, butter and curd.

DSC08839.jpg

Cutting the hair of sheep

From time to time, these people raise extra income by selling these goods in a market. And one thing, these people earn profits even by selling sheep's hair.

So this was my journey with Himalayan shepherds, I hope you liked it.

IMG_6825.jpg

Crossing the big snow fields

IMG_5934.jpg

They face the storm on daily basis

IMG_5609.jpg

The Fight for survival

Sheep_2.jpg

Life is a journey and they on it

IMG_5940.jpg

The long days in dry desert


Topics: INDIA

Share this post

Comments

Another wonderful blog, but this time there is more life in it...When it is from such a location on the base of Himalayas it would naturally be more effective too...

Another set of great snaps, Loved the way you made it an interesting story too...


Hello @angelro, thanks for reading the post. There are life on every step in Himalayas, everything speaks there.
Have a nice day, blessings from mountains. Namaste


I have no word to describe the mesmerizing effect I am having to read your article! This is simply an amazing journey. you are lucky to be in such a beautiful place.


Thank you @akdx for visiting here.
I am glad that you like it. Blessings from Himalayas.


Congratulations! Your high-quality travel content was selected by @travelfeed curator @for91days and earned you a reward, in form of a 100% upvote and a resteem. Your work really stands out! Your article now has a chance to get featured under the appropriate daily topic on our TravelFeed blog.
Thank you for being part of the TravelFeed community!

TravelFeed
TravelFeed

Learn more about our travel project by clicking on the banner above and join our community on Discord


Thanks for support 🙏


It's our pleasure!