24th December'2015 0900 Hours I was packing my rucksack for my solo trip and striking to get list one by one. Plan was to start to office with bagpack and leave from there to Kaushambhi metro station.
Flashback: 5 of my friends planned this trip but due to one reason or other, they cancelled their plan. I finally booked bus last night 23rd Dec for myself only.
I got a call from "Pandey", one out of 5 friend and my college mate. He said, "****** book my ticket as well, am joining". I got a company now. After finishing office, started to Kaushambhi for bus and their met with Pandey after long time.
Our TRIP was started at bus stop while waiting for bus. Bus was delayed by an hour before starting and then by couple of hours due to traffic jam. We finally reached Rishikesh at 8am instead of 5am.
25th Dec 0800 Hours Shared cab was not available and hiring a taxi for just 2 2 person was quite expensive. We took some chai fan before boarding a local bus to Rudraprayag as we already missed only direct morning bus to Ukimath.
Reached Teendhara at around 10.30am, ate first meal of day as Maggie. Bus journey was quite uncomfortable and chilling cold was adding to it. We crossed the beautiful Srinagar lake on our way. We finally reached Rudraprayag at about 1pm.
There were good number of people who were heading to Chopta for trek with their bagpacks and waiting for bus. We hot a shared taxi to Ukimath. Taxi was full of trek enthusiast, some of who were wearing monkey cap to beat the cold. Some locals also sat in back seat with me, Pandey and other 2 guys. This kid Price puked for half the journey and Pandey was holding him to tight to keep his mouth outside jeep.
Road from Rudraprayag to Ukimath was the one which we saw in news while watching Kedarnath devastation. But people in this region were strong and started life from scratch again after loosing everything. Dropped those 2 local ladies with Prince at AugustMani. Instead of going till Ukimath we asked driver to drop us to Sari, which is 4km off route on way to chopta.
25th Dec 1700 Hours We reached Sari village. Sari is very small village with few shops and local huts. Stayed for an hour at "Rakesh Tourist Lodge" for some refreshment and took room for an hour.We both were tired but Pandey was feeling some motion sickness at this altitude. Uncle was lodge was guide cum cook. He cooked Maggie for us, second meal of the day. After an hour we left for trek to Deoriatal.
Trek to Dioriatal Sun started dropping as we started on rocky trail of deoriatal trek. We were carrying a torch thankfully. In the mid, when the darkness started to rise, full moon guided us the path. View in between trail was awesome, can't forget that clear sky full of stars.
Deoriatal 1900 Hours Met Umender Negi, who booked the tents for us at tak. He us son of uncle at sari lodge. He showed us the canteen for food and then showed us the lake. View was unforgettable. Full moon light and few tents on side of lake. There were few snow covered places around lake. Chilling breeze signalled the temperature for the night. We CHILLED their for some time around lake and then went for dinner. Dropped my glove twice on way back but was able to find it back with help of torch.
Met 4 other people from my college at lake. Myself, Pandey and Diggy CHILLED for some more time their and temperature was dropping with every minute. We finally decided to sleep. Those tent and sleeping bag was not enough to beat the cold. Inners were not provided which made it more difficult to sleep in that cold night. I woke up at 5am as i was not able to hold the cold anymore, decided to take a walk outside but cold was not allowing. Finally, took a combiflam tablet and slept at 5.30am.Slept for 4 hours and woke up at 9am.
Decision for Chopta, 26th Dec 0900 Hours Myself Diggy and Pandey CHILLED for some more time, clicked some pictures. People around was telling Tungnath trek is difficult to complete as way is snow covered. We decided to stay in deoriatal for another night. Almost everyone left deoriatal. We thought to spend another night at new place but at cost of deoriatal. Finally we went for breakfast and decided to leave for Chopta with other 4 friends. We reaches at sari at about 11am and took room for refreshment. Had another Maggie and left for Chopta in shared taxi. After heading 10kms we saw a safari stopped in middle of road and one end towards mountain. Every car, bike was skidding on that snow covered pala. We helped in turning safari to clear the way up. But again our jeep starter skidding from there.
Change of plans As moving forward the way was like this only, so Diggy and team decided to call off the trip and decided to went back to Rishikesh. Myself and Pandey took a call to explore more on foots. 11kms from Chopta.
A new journeyWe started walking and saw a lot of car skidding on our way and going back. A group of bikers also headed back after r reaching a certain point as snow was not allowing them to move. At the same time some local drivers were still going up. After talking to locals we decided to head till Baniyakund.
Trek to Baniyakund We started on road but some locals guided us to shortcut which goes from snow covered mountain trails. It was a god trek. Finally, reached Baniyakund and took a beautiful collage in the valley. Plan was to spend a night and head back to Rishikesh. Myself and Pandey spent some good time CHILLING in the beautiful valley. We descend down the valley and then trek back to cottage.
Turning point We were CHILLING after eating awesome food at SURYA hotel. Now, people started coming back from Chandershila. We were sitting around bonfire inside Dhaba. First 3 guys came, changing their shoes and telling trek story. Their story sparked a thought of trek into our mind. Then we encountered a gentleman in around his 50s with a very pretty girl. Both of them inspired us to do the trek. Finally met another family and we planned to go for trekking. Also, we met a father and his 3 sons, youngest and smartest Abhinav with Keshav and ishwar.Dinesh, local boy at Dhaba is our guide and we took shoes and stick from Dhaba for trekking. Plan is to leave at 7am next morning. We had dinner again at Dhaba before sleep as Jitender cooks awesome food.
Trek to Chandershila 27th Dec Wdinew Dinesh woke up us at 6.30am, we got ready and left our bag at Dhaba and took a small bag for trek carrying a lot of water, chocolates and biscuit. We started from Baniyakund at around 8.15am and did trek till Chopta.At Chopta, we met the uncle from sari(Negi). He was here with other people as guide. Our guide told about Negi as expert in Himalaya. Negi seems to be in his early 50s but fit. He carried 35kg of weight and went in Himalayas to about 100km.
Chopta to Tungnath Since begening we took a shortcut and went at a good pace. We stopped at many places and CHILLED. Out of 3.5kms 2.5kms is normal trek but that last 1km is very steep. We CHILLED just before that 1km sitting on rock off route. View was awesome from here. We trekked that 1km with good number of breaks and reached the closer temple. Reaching here was a sense of accomplishment. Ate some chocolate for next level.
Tungnath to Chandershila Just 1km but with challenging steep way and that too with fully snow covered. Trekkers going up were looking like ants from Tungnath. We headed for Chandershila and witg taking a lot of breaks, we were able to reach Chandershila. Awesome feeling standing on the top and looking at all Himalayas ranges.
We met Raman from Chandigarh at top and he came along with us.
Coming back to Ukimath We started coming back, sliding in snow. It took 2 hours to come down to chopta. We CHILLED at many placed in between. Finally, after reaching Chopta had to wait for an hour for transport to Baniyakund, met 4other people who were with us at sari. Upon reaching Baniyakund, had some Maggie paratha.Starter journey to Ukimath on shared cab. It was pitch dark and with that snow coverer road, it was risky. But local driver was expert and he dropped us safely at Bhardwaj guest house.
Ukimath to Jammu As planned we took first bus at 5.30am from Ukimath and reached Haridwar at 1pm. Bus was good but we were tired. My train tickets were not confirmed and I had to take roadways bus from haridwar to Jammu. Pandey took volvo to Delhi. I spent almost 24 hours in bus.
This journey made me realize the beauty of Indian Roadways Transport.
Overall Chandershila is awesome place to be at. Beauty of it cannot be described or captured. Memories in mind of mini Switzerland will surely call me again.