Chandrashila After All

Tripoto
9th Apr 2016

The last night was cold. EXTREMELY cold. There was no hot water in the morning. We were only one degree and a teaspoon sugar away from turning into Popsicle.

There were no such plans, but the glorious view of the glowing Kedarnath in the night from Chopta compelled us to not stop at this.

Determined as we were, began for Chandrashila with Lucky, a local guy from a nearby village. Those stair-like steps always become very tiring. It was sunny, it was cold, we were sweating.

And what? I started seeing chunks of snow on the steps. I started getting all those caterpillars and butterflies in my stomach, lungs and throat. Soon enough, the entire way was filled with slushy snow, thick snow and black ice in parts and it became a task to walk even a few steps.

It was so dramatic with me right in the center of the panoramic view of majestic peaks like Kedarnath, Nanda Devi, Mt Trishul, Boodha Kedar, Chaukhamba all around me. They were all looking down on me like bullies let little kids be around them some times.

#tripototakemetohampta

Finally, after good 3 exhausting hours, Tungnath was in sight. Even though the temple (Tungnath) remains closed for these 6 months, it was surreal to be at the world's highest Shiva temple.

"Bhai ji ruke kyu ho. Asli chadhai toh ab shuru hai!" This is no time to stop. The climb starts from here, Lucky pushed us. I could see this mountain completely laden with snow in front of me. As excited I was on seeing such a sight, the fear of height was searing back in me. I knew that I'd be trembling midway and crying for help.But the fact of my being asked me "if not now then when? You have to do it. For your own self!"

The inspired me started walking up. And therefore falling.

*

The most stupid mistake I made was to go for the trek in sneakers.

But in my defense, I was not expecting snow in Chandrashila. In fact, wasn't even expecting to do a trek when I left from home. Forget that, I had no idea where I was heading towards even!

Walking into this heavy load of snow, I was wondering when is this ever going to end. I lifted my head up and saw that the the walk got extended into the sky as the milky snow and foamy clouds met on the horizon. There was pin drop silence. All I could hear was my own breath.

I turned around to check on Pashmina. And I was totally awed by the view behind me. Motivated to see even more of what I never saw before, I started walking with utmost dedication and stopped only once I touched down the first stone at Chandrashila.

Touch down Chandrashila.

Photo of Chandrashila, Tungnath, Uttarakhand, India by Mukul Bhandari

It was so dramatic with me right in the center of the panoramic view of majestic peaks like Kedarnath, Nanda Devi, Mt Trishul, Boodha Kedar, Chaukhamba all around me. They were all looking down on me like bullies let little kids be around them some times.

I took a deep breath. And smiled a thank you at them for letting me be with them at 4,000 meter.

Photo of Chandrashila After All by Mukul Bhandari

#tripototakemetohampta

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