Thursday, March 19, 2015

Field Photos: Landscapes And People Goriganga Valley Kumaon Himalayas

Staggering!... is the word that comes to mind with view of sheer rock faces like this one.

The northerly dipping rocks are not sedimentary, but are amphibolite and higher grade metamorphic rocks of the Greater Himalayan Crystalline series (some workers call it the High Himalayan Crystalline series) which make up the hanging wall of the Main Central  Thrust. I hiked through the lower portions of the thrust sheet a couple of weeks ago. The main rock types I encountered were augen gniess, mylonites, biotite schists, quarto-feldspathic gneisses. There is more to the mineralogy and petrology of the GHC. Minerals appear not randomly but in a sequence. I will be writing about that in later post after I've got my head wrapped around some difficult concepts  in metamorphic petrology and Himalayan thrust sheet evolution.

This post is a ramble through the beautiful countryside I hiked through. .. Landscapes and the people of the Goriganga river valley north of Munisyari-

A view from Munisyari looking east- It rained and snowed the first couple of days delaying our trek.

Crossing a Himalayan stream

A house in Lilam village. This village is one of the resting post on the hike towards Milam glacier


The children of Lilam village

Hiking uphill from the Goriganga river

Hot chai with two Kumaoni mountain folks- the cheerful crackle of wood fire and the hot sugary tea is just very refreshing

Conversations with an elderly shepherd

The picture postcard Bui Village

The colorful people of Bui Village celebrating Holi, a spring festival. Local booze flowed freely as did our spirits!

It took us four days to reach this weekend getaway at Paton village

A view from the Paton village temple

 Village Ucchaiti where we spent one night

Hikers break- much needed fluids and trail mix!

A house in the beautiful lush village of Bagankhot

Goriganga!  millennia after millennia.. all those boulders.. all those cobbles, pebbles, gravel... all that sand, mud and clay.. that you wash away... has made Bangladesh

I wish we could have stayed longer. Leaving the Himalayas is always depressing, but next year I am planning another trek, hopefully one that will take me higher up in the Main Central Thrust. Keeping my fingers crossed...

Below: Interactive Google Map of the Goriganga river valley north of Munsiyari-


  1. Thank you for sharing your geological adventure. I especially enjoyed the inclusion of the hardy people who live in these very rugged mountains.

    Noticed several solar panels. Is the generated electricity mainly for lighting? Did I notice slate on many of the roofs?

    Always enjoy your geological post with the human touch,

  2. Patricia- thanks.. yes electricity is mainly for lighting (although in a few houses satellite dishes and television were being run too!!) . They store it in a large battery for night use along with smaller portable solar lamps which they charge during the day..

    and roofing material is a variety of metamorphic rocks- slate, phyllite, schists.. :)

  3. So spectacular! And great photos.

  4. thanks Hollis- it was a great experience being there...