All these years, whenever I have travelled along the Hindustan Tibet Road, the sight of the Sutlej river right from Nogli through to Powari has always amazed me. However, in the last week of September this year, as we were on our way to Kafnu through Rampur and Wangtoo, I was surprised to see the Sutlej reduced to just a small trickle of a stream. My logical side knew that it was late in the year, the rains had gone by, and since it had snowed comparatively less in the previous year, there wasn’t much at the source of the rivers and streams to really fill them with. But since childhood, the image of Sutlej in my mind has always been that of a mighty river and each time I have seen it, it hasn’t ceased to put me in awe. The Sutlej that I saw this time round made me really sad.
As we headed from Wangtoo towards Kafnu, I could see that the Bhabha Khud (a tributary of Sutlej) had comparatively good amount of water. There is a small water reservoir at Kafnu but even then the amount of water downstream was quite a lot for this time of the year. And as we crossed the reservoir and headed upstream towards Homte during our Bhabha Pin Pass trek, it felt really great to witness the Bhabha Khud in full gushing mode. The energy that a flowing water body can enthuse into the self is inexplicable and I naturally stopped to soak in all that was on offer.