Mountain Walking

The Enchanting Chandrakhani Forests

While sifting through my archives recently, I chanced upon some unique pictures of the Chandrakhani forests taken during my trip. Flipping through the folder, I came across images of some trees that I had gotten fascinated by while we were walking through the forests.

Primarily comprising Chestnut, Oak and Pine, the very old Chandrakhani forests covered most of the mountain till the tree-line, which ended just a few meters short of the Chandrakhani Pass. A lot of organic debris (leaves, branches, twigs etc.) lay all around the forest floor, slowly decomposing with the help of the elements to become a part of the rich soil. The trees were of various forms, shapes and sizes, with their barks completely covered with numerous varieties of moss. These were spread across the wide expanse of land, with no settlement till one reached the valley floor at Rumsu.

The most interesting amongst the numerous trees were the ones that had died of age or other natural phenomena, with their carcasses slowly being disintegrated and serving as a host for different varieties of fungi. The trees seemed to look like those that one gets to see in horror or fantasy movies, with magic and wizards and enchanted forests. I remember being so intrigued by the forest that I couldn’t help myself from clicking a few photographs, and what a great pleasure it is to relive the feeling by putting select images here for everyone to enjoy.

WM Chandrakhani Forests 01

Had to crane the neck to see the top of this really tall tree; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

WM Chandrakhani Forests 02

These fungal growths look like miniature houses; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

WM Chandrakhani Forests 03

The tree in the middle looks like one from a thriller movie; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

WM Chandrakhani Forests 04

Another dead tree giving life to fungal growths; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

WM Chandrakhani Forests 05

Wondering how these barren trees of the Chandrakhani forests look after it rains; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

WM Chandrakhani Forests 06

Here’s a colony of fungal homes; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

WM Chandrakhani Forests 07

This one was possibly hit by lightening; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

WM Chandrakhani Forests 08

Legs and arms of the Chandrakhani forests; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

WM Chandrakhani Forests 09

Hollowed out marvel of nature; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

WM Chandrakhani Forests 10

Are they one or two?; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

WM Chandrakhani Forests 11

Standing resplendent amidst the snow; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

WM Chandrakhani Forests 12

Golden hues waiting for some good news; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

WM Chandrakhani Forests 13

Patterns of nature are a humbling experience; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

WM Chandrakhani Forests 14

The amalgamation; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

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