Don't Cry, Buy a bag (also shoes) and Get Over it! Solo trip to Uttarakhand : greatest thing

Tripoto
1st Dec 2017
Photo of Don't Cry, Buy a bag (also shoes) and Get Over it! Solo trip to Uttarakhand : greatest thing 1/3 by Deep_traveller
Even though I was visiting the Himalaya for the first time me to to the mountains "Tera mera Rishta Purana..." @Chandrashila Peak

Disclaimer : I am not suggesting anyone to run away from their problems but I am just telling one of the ways to deal with them.And also mine was not a budget trip because of my first time to the north trip but I hope this blog will help you to do that in budget.

Special note : This is quite lengthy blog so if you are lazy to read then just see the pics but please visit Uttarakhand once in your life :) Along with the nature, people of Uttarakhand are really nice and helpful.

Not so necessary note : All pics are clicked with iPhone SE with only one filter called vivid and with absolutely no editing because I wanted to keep it real.

Prologue : It all started in the month of September with Akshay (my school junior cum brother) telling me that "you have to come for my Passing Out Parade at IMA in December". And I was like okay, I will come. Then I thought, let me roam solo somewhere before attending the "Prestigious Ceremony". Then I started doing my research. So googled one word "Uttarakhand" and listed down following points and places.

Photo of Don't Cry, Buy a bag (also shoes) and Get Over it! Solo trip to Uttarakhand : greatest thing 2/3 by Deep_traveller

I know it looks silly but this was how I started.

After some time I realized that these all are tourist places and I am not "tourist" type of a person. I started looking for blogs here and there and I found one blog on Tripoto by Ishan Patel (https://www.tripoto.com/trip/solo-trip-to-uttarakhand-trek-to-hemkund-sahib-and-tungnath-deoria-tal-5961fe1744d61). But due to lack of leaves and knowledge, I just finalized for 4 places, 5 days( Rishikesh-River rafting and Camping, Dhanaulti- Hill resort and Snow if get lucky, Dehradun- Passing Out Parade and Haridwar- Ganga Aarti) . And booked flight tickets and stays accordingly. But because of my ill fate, things happened at the end of October month "encouraged" me to change my travel plans and go on "Solo Trek". After doing quite research and talking to Ishan Patel(nice guy), I finalized Deoria tal-Chopta-Tungnath-Chandrashila Trek. Then I went to Decathlon to buy "Trekking bag", "Trekking shoes", thermals, winter socks of Quechua and many more things which was the best shopping till date.So following blog is kind of a story of my first solo trip which is and will be the best part of my life.

Photo of Don't Cry, Buy a bag (also shoes) and Get Over it! Solo trip to Uttarakhand : greatest thing 3/3 by Deep_traveller

Essentials for 10 days to trek, trip and tackle winter of the UK

Day 1

I reached Dehradun Airport around 5.30 PM. It was already dark there. And because you don't have any local transport available at the airport( like Bangalore has BMTC buses), you have to book a cab to go anywhere you want to. So out of no choice I booked a cab to Haridwar where I reached around 6.30 PM. In Haridwar, I stayed at hostel named "Bed hubs"(300 INR per day). After certain point, cabs are not allowed so I found a local person Mr.Kartar singh who knew Bed Hubs( Hotel Alpana) which is at a walk-able distance from Har Ki Pauri where I had to attend the 'Ganga Aarti'.

Mr. Kartar Singh with his cycle. This was my first cycle sawari by the way.

Photo of Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India by Deep_traveller

Holy Ganga at night who carries many sorrows and troubles with her distributing only happiness around. Please keep her clean. Jai Ganga Maiyya....

Photo of Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India by Deep_traveller

I stayed in a mixed dorm where I met really interesting trekkers like Samir from Pune, Kelvin from Malaysia and Lewis from Singapore. Within few minutes we bonded really well and we discussed many things about their trekking experiences. They appreciated and encouraged me for going solo for trekking. After dumping my bags in hostel, I went out to explore nearby area and to have dinner. First time in my life I went to the northern part of the India where temperature was less than 10 degree Celsius and it was chilling cold for me. I went to Ganga ghat and the view at night was amazing. Next morning I attended Ganga Aaarti which was a blissful experience.

Though I am not the person who visits temples regularly visiting Ganga temple was a bliss. At Har ki Pauri before the Ganga Aarti. Photo Courtsey: Stranger

Photo of Don't Cry, Buy a bag (also shoes) and Get Over it! Solo trip to Uttarakhand : greatest thing by Deep_traveller

Note : At the ghat, you will find many homeless and hungry people shivering in cold. If they want to eat, please provide them with food, tea or whatever you can. And if you have old clothes or blankets at home, please donate those to these people.I suggest don't give them money. Also Ganga Aarti timings change according to winter/summer season.

Day 2

After attending the Ganga Aarti, I collected my bag from hostel and started my "Actual Journey". I went to the bus stand around 7.30 AM,. After inquiring about the bus to go to Rudraprayag and I came to know that UK government buses start early(5 or 5.30 AM) so had to opt for private bus. But don't worry because they won't charge you much.

In every private bus fixed rates will be displayed like this. I hope this will help you.

Photo of Sari, Uttarakhand, India by Deep_traveller

I am that "window seat" type of a person who will stay wide awake during whole journey and stare out of window. This journey from Haridwar to Rudraprayag will provide you mesmerizing view of river Ganga and then Alaknanda continuously all the way. Here is a one tip for you: to enjoy the views outside, choose window on the right side

Window seat benefits...Way to Rudraprayag like this didn't let me get bored

Photo of Don't Cry, Buy a bag (also shoes) and Get Over it! Solo trip to Uttarakhand : greatest thing by Deep_traveller

Window seat benefits: This was the view on the way from Dhanaulti to Dehradun

Photo of Don't Cry, Buy a bag (also shoes) and Get Over it! Solo trip to Uttarakhand : greatest thing by Deep_traveller

I reached Rudraprayag at 2 PM from where I had to get a bus to Ukimath or Sari. Luckily at 3 PM, there was a direct bus to Sari. I reached Sari around 6 PM which serves as a base point for Deoria Tal Trek. As soon as I got down from bus, I met Swena the coolest Punjabi girl from Rajasthan who was on her 6th solo trek of the year and for the next three days we trekked and traveled together. As you can guess photo credits of many photos go to her. Food and stay in Sari costed 700 INR for the two of us.

Day 3

I was all excited for my trek so we started our trek early. It was "Freezing cold" there.I was already suffering from cold and also was on second day of my periods. I am one of those few people who face horrible cramps every month. Still I decided to trek to Deoria Tal and then jungle trek to Chopta. We hired one guide who also agreed to carry my backpack for extra 400 bucks. Trekking to Deoria Tal(2 KM) which takes approximately 2 hours which is little steep. Mountain jungle trek to Chopta (14+2 KM) will take 7-8 hours. But with alluring views around, enthusiastic guide Pankaj Bhaiyya and Swena, this trek made me realize how strong I can be even in my periods.

I am glad that I did this trek because "Jannatein Kahan bin huye fanaa" ....The Place : Deoria Tal <3

Photo of Deoria Tal, Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand, India by Deep_traveller

Deoria tal around 8 in the morning

Photo of Deoria Tal, Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand, India by Deep_traveller

Look at the view when we started trekking which kept us going and that's Swena by the way.

Photo of Don't Cry, Buy a bag (also shoes) and Get Over it! Solo trip to Uttarakhand : greatest thing by Deep_traveller

'Jaisa dikhta hai vaisa nahi hota...' Believe me, this crystal clear water was freezing cold.

Photo of Don't Cry, Buy a bag (also shoes) and Get Over it! Solo trip to Uttarakhand : greatest thing by Deep_traveller

I was so mesmerized that I just wanted to sit and stare at the view of alpine trees and mountains..."Ye kahaan aa gaye hum wala moment...."

Photo of Don't Cry, Buy a bag (also shoes) and Get Over it! Solo trip to Uttarakhand : greatest thing by Deep_traveller

After finishing jungle trek, guide Pankaj Bhaiyya returned to Sari. Then we had to walk another 2 KM towards our stay for that night.

I was really relieved when finished the jungle trek because my body specially stomach was screaming and telling me to stop. But this sunset view while resting on the roads of Chopta was a treat to my eyes.

Photo of Don't Cry, Buy a bag (also shoes) and Get Over it! Solo trip to Uttarakhand : greatest thing by Deep_traveller

I wanted to have experience of 'hitchhiking',so we asked for a lift from truck just for 500 mtrs. It was fun though. Chopta's temperature at night was "Killing cold".

Day 4

After having a breakfast, we started our trek around 9 AM. Tungnath is at an elevation of 3680 m and Chandrashila is at 4000 m. One way trek distance is around 5 KM. Then who knew that breathing techniques learned over the years in Yoga will help me to breath normally and reach to the Chandrashila.

I am not good at drawing and this map drawing is not my cup of tea but to help you understand my trekking and traveling path , I drew this.

Photo of Chandrashila, Tungnath, Uttarakhand, India by Deep_traveller

While trekking up we met many people trekking down who encouraged us to trek. While trekking down we met Parmit,the funny Punjabi munda who used 4 adjectives do define himself and taught me it's okay to appreciate yourself.

Ignore me and look at the view around. Now it must have been covered by snow.

Photo of Don't Cry, Buy a bag (also shoes) and Get Over it! Solo trip to Uttarakhand : greatest thing by Deep_traveller

No need of a caption. Just info: way to Tungnath trek and also song line which I was actually humming at this point "Thoda sa tera sa hoga...Thoda mera bhi hoga apna ye aashiyan"

Photo of Don't Cry, Buy a bag (also shoes) and Get Over it! Solo trip to Uttarakhand : greatest thing by Deep_traveller

'Jai Jai Shiv Shankar... kaanta Lage na kankar...ye trek tere naam kiya....' Tungnath temple

Photo of Don't Cry, Buy a bag (also shoes) and Get Over it! Solo trip to Uttarakhand : greatest thing by Deep_traveller

Tungnath Temple which is closed during the winter because soon it will be fully covered by snow.

Photo of Don't Cry, Buy a bag (also shoes) and Get Over it! Solo trip to Uttarakhand : greatest thing by Deep_traveller

Swena enjoying the view on the Chandrashila Peak

Photo of Don't Cry, Buy a bag (also shoes) and Get Over it! Solo trip to Uttarakhand : greatest thing by Deep_traveller
Day 5

Travelling back to Rishikesh from Chopta was the most1 interesting part of my trip. Because of the ATM situation where all ATMs were either closed or not functioning in Uttarakhand, I was running short on 'cash'. One can get bus for Rishikesh only from Ukimath or Rudraprayag or Gopeshwar. Since early morning we were trying to get lift from some vehicle to reach to Ukimath or Gopeshwar but we got our success around 11 AM. We reached Gopeshwar around 12.30 PM. To our surprise there was no direct bus for Rishikesh so locals there suggested us to go to Chamoli. Similar situation in Chamoli forced us to travel to Karnaprayag. But I am glad we did that because that's how I explored more of UK people and nature around. There we got the Vehicle for Rishikesh at 3PM. When we reached Rishikesh at 8 PM, we had to say Good bye to each other.

In Rishikesh, I lived at a place called "Zostel". There I met interesting and carefree Gujrati girl 'Deepa' who was former engineer, management degree holder from Boston, Cafe owner in Ahmedabad ,future yoga trainer. She is the girl who taught me 'why to settle for the one thing when you can do multiple things at the same time?'. Zostel conducts multiple activities. Next morning I attended rejuvenating yoga session at Zostel.

Zostel provides really good facilities at nominal rates. You can enjoy many sports and activities here. Zostel, Rishikesh

Photo of Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India by Deep_traveller

My roommate dragged for this Yoga Session at Zostel and it was quite good.

Photo of Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India by Deep_traveller
Day 6

Even though I was ill, I was excited for the day packed with activities like camping and river rafting. I had booked a package for that. I did river rafting with a group of all foreigners. Believe me, river rafting is the best adventurous fun activity I did till date. I played the role of translator between my group and river rafting wale bhaiyya.

After river rafting I went to the camp site and did camping there.

This is not me but one of my group member who was from South Africa and she said she loved her India trip.

Photo of Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India by Deep_traveller

The most famous Laxman zula.

Photo of Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India by Deep_traveller

Please don't litter and pollute Ganga or any other place in Uttarakhand

Photo of Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India by Deep_traveller

A must try dish: Tangy fruit called Ramphal which you get in Rishikesh

Photo of Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India by Deep_traveller

Camp site

Photo of Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India by Deep_traveller
Day 7

When I woke up, it was already raining in Rishikesh and I was suffering from fever so I took a cab to Dhanaulti. It was my dream to live in hill resort and that came to fruition in Dhanaulti. In the evening I gathered the courage to wake up to see the sunset and it was magical there.

"Kahin door jab din dhal jaaye...." sunset at Dhanaulti

Photo of Dhanaulti, Uttarakhand, India by Deep_traveller

Next day woke up to the beautiful view of mountains around. Then I went to straight to that resort's caretaker's house where I had yummy breakfast cooked by his wife. That was typical pahadi house and the best thing about pahadi people is their hospitality. His son Abhinav was really cute who rejected my proposal of coming to Bangalore because he wanted to go to school.

Pahadi woman and Pahadi cooking methods make yummiest food

Photo of Don't Cry, Buy a bag (also shoes) and Get Over it! Solo trip to Uttarakhand : greatest thing by Deep_traveller

Abhinav and me. Isn't he cute?

Photo of Don't Cry, Buy a bag (also shoes) and Get Over it! Solo trip to Uttarakhand : greatest thing by Deep_traveller

Day 8,9 and 10:

I reached Dehradun around 12.30 PM. After living in mountains, I found temperature of Dehradun was quite pleasant. Me along with my friend headed to the Indian Military Academy for the events.

There was the main function of the Passing Out Parade on 9th December. Due to security reasons cameras and phones were not allowed. But for one function phones were allowed when I took this photo.

If you ever get time and chance, do attend this 'Passing Out Parade Ceremony'

Photo of Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India by Deep_traveller

Next day on 10th December I returned back with lots of wonderful experiences and memories with me.

This trip was the most important thing I did in my life. It helped me to realize how strong I can be. Every person I met in this trip taught me something new and important. I learned that it's okay to have no plans, it's okay to live little carefree, I can manage many things than I had expected. People I met were really helpful because of them I felt hitchhiking in Uttarakhand was safe also staying in mixed dorm was absolutely safe. With the positive beautiful experiences and memories I finished my trip but this was just a start of my new journey where UK just one stop. For the beauty, for the rivers & mountains and for the people ,I will go to Uttarakhand again and again....

Food Tips: I am a vegetarian and don't even eat an egg. You will get yummy vegetarian food in Uttarakhand at very nominal rates. But also to maintain the heat my body at temperature like 1 or 2 degrees at places like Sari, Chopta and Dhanaulti , I ate at least 20 soaked almonds which were really helpful.

Fact related to Clothes: Carry and be ready to wear multiple layers of clothes like thermals+sweatshirt+jacket if you are not habituated to the winter of the north.

I had never worn the clothes like this before. Wearing three layers and carrying additional weight of these was really challenging .

Photo of Don't Cry, Buy a bag (also shoes) and Get Over it! Solo trip to Uttarakhand : greatest thing by Deep_traveller

Do comment, give feedback and don't forget to share if you liked my blog.

If you have any queries or if you need any help then please contact me here in tripoto or else you can mail me at deepali.murale6@gmail.com . I can help you with local people's contact numbers if you need.

Link for additional photos and videos https://www.facebook.com/deepalivijaya/posts/1948819795383610?pnref=story

Follow Swena on instagram at Id https://www.instagram.com/swenakalra/

Her blog https://iseekplaces.wordpress.com/

10 Comment(s)
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Hey hi dipali ( deepali ) you are good in writing and you have photograper eyes
Thu 12 21 17, 04:50 · Reply (1) · Report
Hahahaha... thank god you wrote Deepali in bracket at least. By the way Thanks for the comment :)
Thu 12 21 17, 09:26 · Report
Firstly, you are a phenomenal person to pull off something like this, considering all the hurdles and health issues you faced. You can actually appreciate yourself for all this. Going solo was actually a boon for you. Even I'd visited uttarakhand, but with my family. And trust me it wasn't even half as much fun as yours. Congratulations on that. And, you are right about saying that it isn't evasion but a way to fight back by finding yourself in all the hustle bustle of the world. Everyone should plan a solo trip, or if that isn't possible, atleast some activity where it's just you. You, for one do not need me to tell you this, you've always been this way, and we all love you for that. You go girl!! :D Lovely photos, good article and an awesome trip.
Mon 12 18 17, 21:42 · Reply (1) · Report
Ohh my god Di... Thanks a lot... such a lovely and thoughtful comment... I love you too... Your words are like a poetry... I am glad that you liked the photos and article both <3
Mon 12 18 17, 22:08 · Report
Very well written..Keep writing about experience. Your experiences are inspiration to many to take up such solo trips. Kudos for your successful experience!
Mon 12 18 17, 12:13 · Reply (1) · Report
Thanks Vaibhav Joshi :)
Mon 12 18 17, 18:42 · Report
very well written.. I have one typical kolhapuri word.. NADKHULA... and pics/snaps taken by you or anyone else just awesome.. wonderful..
Mon 12 18 17, 00:52 · Reply (1) · Report
Thanks Raja
Mon 12 18 17, 01:11 · Report
Just one word... WONDERFUL
Sun 12 17 17, 09:36 · Reply (1) · Report
Thank you baby ❤️
Sun 12 17 17, 10:33 · Report
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