Deoria taal and Chandershila peak trek

Tripoto
Photo of Deoria taal and Chandershila peak trek 1/20 by Farid Uddin
Green around lake
Photo of Deoria taal and Chandershila peak trek 2/20 by Farid Uddin
The Lake
Photo of Deoria taal and Chandershila peak trek 3/20 by Farid Uddin
Photo of Deoria taal and Chandershila peak trek 4/20 by Farid Uddin
Photo of Deoria taal and Chandershila peak trek 5/20 by Farid Uddin
Photo of Deoria taal and Chandershila peak trek 6/20 by Farid Uddin
Way to Tungnath
Photo of Deoria taal and Chandershila peak trek 7/20 by Farid Uddin
Way to Tungnath
Photo of Deoria taal and Chandershila peak trek 8/20 by Farid Uddin
Photo of Deoria taal and Chandershila peak trek 9/20 by Farid Uddin
At Chandershila
Photo of Deoria taal and Chandershila peak trek 10/20 by Farid Uddin
Green Meadow on way to Tungnath
Photo of Deoria taal and Chandershila peak trek 11/20 by Farid Uddin
Walking on clouds
Photo of Deoria taal and Chandershila peak trek 12/20 by Farid Uddin
Ganga Mandir at Chandershila peak
Photo of Deoria taal and Chandershila peak trek 13/20 by Farid Uddin
Chadershila as seen from Sari
Photo of Deoria taal and Chandershila peak trek 14/20 by Farid Uddin
Sari Village
Photo of Deoria taal and Chandershila peak trek 15/20 by Farid Uddin
Photo of Deoria taal and Chandershila peak trek 16/20 by Farid Uddin
Photo of Deoria taal and Chandershila peak trek 17/20 by Farid Uddin
Photo of Deoria taal and Chandershila peak trek 18/20 by Farid Uddin
Saari Village
Photo of Deoria taal and Chandershila peak trek 19/20 by Farid Uddin
Morning hues
Photo of Deoria taal and Chandershila peak trek 20/20 by Farid Uddin
Chaukhambha peak

Here is chance to relive what I wrote below

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Bewildered I waited, on top of that arduous mountain in dark braving the cold winds, for the first light. Trying to figure out that why instead of sleeping of my opulent bed I am lounging on stones and rocks. After an unremitting journey of sixteen hours, landscape changing from high rise concrete buildings to plains to roads on clouds, to meandering river in valley below to confluences of rivers, Mandakini surrendering to Alaknanda, Alaknanda and Bhagirathi acquiesce to be called Ganga, reached Sari, a hamlet in midst of flowery meadows walled by hills.

Journey on wheels was over it was time to jaunt on foot, time for uphill climb to reach Deoria Taal. Hills have idiosyncratic way; while you stop and gasp for breath they unveil an awe-inspiring exhibit that you forget to breathe and just stand there hypnotized by the grandeur you witness. Clambering on the sinuous path, camouflaged with a cover of moss concealed under oak and rhododendron forest, I reached lake.

Nestled among hills there was this emerald green lake its placid water, it was set like a cosmic jewelry enclosed in a natural amphitheater of mountains.

Vista of snowcapped peaks and bouquet in air nursed aching limbs and in the blink of an eye I found myself on top of watch tower on opposite end of lake adoring the unmitigated beauty of the panoramic surroundings. Hours just flew by as I sat there mesmerized looking East as departing sun sets a blaze snow on massifs, denying to be curtailed by clouds, of Chaukhambha peak.

Dark of the night approached lackadaisically, I strolled to my tent pitched next to the lake; trail lit by stars above and fireflies all around. Scraping rubber mattresses spread in tent, I stretched legs on the grass under a star studded sky. Crickets chirped, leaves rustled, frogs croaked fishes splashed, I was reading a story of a nymph, zephyr sang a lullaby and…………..… indistinct warbles brought be back, surroundings were dimly lit by morning twilight.

I had a visitor, or was it otherwise; in pastel light I could outline a deer was there guzzling water at a distance of few feet heedless of my presence. It quenched it thirst and the doe-eyed creature stared at the intruder and vanished in woods. The first rays of the sun had struck the massive pillars of Chaukhambha, snow of peak rippled in the water of lake.

Grey clouds accosted me as I reached Chopta. Brass bells tied to a gate mark the beginning of trail to Tungnath. Roving across stretches of Rhododendron forests, flawless grasslands, supplemented by company of Himalayan Tahr, monal and species of passerine birds and Chaukhambha peak on left, I found harborage in Shiva’s arms. The emerald sheen of surroundings baffled me. A myriad of tiny flowers had carpeted the entire region. At a distance horses were peacefully grazing, while some were running wild, reminiscent of a beautiful expression of freedom. Queasy clouds tired of being tossed around by mountains and wind, settled down with thunder and lightning and poured and poured. I took shelter in a guest house overlooking the trail and valley below. It was dark when I woke up and stepped out of room on a carpet of clouds spread below on valley.

On precipitous path I was walking alone, in dark, but I could feel life pulsate around me. Tramping on rocks through labyrinthine trail, I was standing high above clouds

As I waited, the dark of night nonchalantly gave way to twilight of the dawn, in reverie I watched sky turn into a vast canvas. Sky blue strengthening slowly, glazed with hues of orange and red. Soaring peaks punctuating the horizon, scintillated like diamond as first ray caressed them. As the earth turned, sun lifts up its head and the peaks were methodically splashed with a golden glow. Entranced I stood there enchanted by the golden magic, as the cirque was gradually illuminated. The golden mist engulfed my futile presence and breathed a new soul in me…

How to reach:

Delhi to Haridwar: Buses and trains are available round the clock.

Haridwar on wards: Roadways buses start at 5:30 a.m, around half km from bus stand one may find private buses running on strict schedule. First bus starts at 3:30 a.m, but seats are fully occupied by 3. Shared taxis are also available. I took bus to Rudraprayag and then shared Taxi to Ukhimath. I didn't find any shared taxi from Ukhimath to Saari Village, though read in several post that they are available. Asked same taxi in which came to Ukhimath to drop till Saari, charges 500 bucks. There is one bus @7:30 in morning at Saari Village road head which goes to Chamoli and en-route is Chopta, one may catch it or ask some one in village or if luck you may get lift, otherwise pay 600-800 for drop to Chopta. Same bus which goes in morning to Chamoli returns @1:30 in Chopta and you may catch it to come to Ukhimath. Otherwise as earlier I didn't find any shared taxi and paid 800 bucks to come to Ukhimath.

Note there is a direct bus from Delhi to Guptkashi which leaves delhi around 9 in night, you may get down at Kund and travel on wards to Ukhimath. Trust me don't take that bus, its a small bus and your legs will be crying for leg space all the time.

Stay: Right in front of the gate, which marks start of Deoria Taal Trek, is Devriya Tourist Lodge run by Lakhpat Singh Negi (9456264575), he is a kind and respected fellow. He had a car accident which broke his skull and now he is hard of hearing but still drives his Maruti Suzuki Swift at 80 kmph, he gave me ride to Chopta. That ride gave me goose bumps, 80 kmph in hills with blind curves. Charges 500 rs for single person tent accommodation, will send a person from village with you to pitch tent and cook food for you. Amit Bhat (8477995423) went with me, and during the entire trek he was eager to carry my backpack without any charges. He cooks amazing Aalo Zeera and mix daal, served it with roti and chawal for dinner. Also in village opposite to hand pump, near gate, is a veranda and small kitchen, that uncle cooked delicious pumpkin and daal served with rice for lunch. Lunch and dinner charges INR 100/- each. Next morning when you climb down and need to take a bath, just ask Negi Ji, he will allow you to use one of the room, for free, to clean yourself. Charges of simple room is INR 600/-. He has also build two rooms with triple sharing for INR 1200/- and they have geyser TV etc.

There are few lodges up there at Tungnath, the one operated by Mandir committee has attached washrooms and offers mesmerizing views. Contact Balvir 9410536290.

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