16th Jul 2021
Photo of MINI SWITZERLAND: CHOPTA by Kaustubh Purohit
Day 1

Day 1, Rishikesh

Somewhere in July, I, along with 3 of my friends, at 6 Am started our journey to the Chopta village from the Yoga Capital of the World, Rishikesh(220 km).

It was just another post-summer morning with a bit of drizzle, and we were ready with our backpacks and shoes to enjoy the next three days to the fullest.

It was a 6-hour ride from Rishikesh to the sari village, our first base location from where we were supposed to trek for the Deoriatal Lake.

As it was pretty early, our entire journey was mesmerizing. We were going along the river Ganga with clouds covering the mountains and green forest creating a complete scenic view for us, on the entire Rishikesh-Badrinath Highway.

Photo of Devprayag, Uttarakhand, India by Kaustubh Purohit

Our first stop was Srinagar Garhwal, the midway of our entire journey where, we had our breakfast while having a view of river Alaknanda in a roadside restaurant then, got back to the car and started our journey ahead.

From Rudraprayag, we took the Kedarnath highway for the rest of the 70kms, the road in the middle was in a pretty bad condition which, extended our time but since we're travelling next to the river Mandakini, the road didn't seem to decrease our excitement.

At around 1:30 pm, we reached the Sankari village where we had our lunch and booked our 2x2 tents, as it's easy to negotiate early itself.

The price for each 2x2 tent was Rs. 800, which seemed pretty reasonable. We finally packed our trekking bag, took the eatables, left the unnecessary luggage in the car and started our 3 km journey to tal.

Photo of Sankari, Uttarakhand, India by Kaustubh Purohit

The initial 1 km was pretty tiring, as it was on the steps but, as we went ahead, the path went inside the forest. It took us somewhere between 1 hr to 1.5 hrs to reach the top.

Dhabas are like 150 meters before the lake hence, we first contacted the person for our tent and took our pass to enter the lake area. Deoriatal is unlike any lake you must have seen, it is surrounded by meadows, beautiful trees and the reflection of the Chaukhamba peak is directly visible on to the lake.

Photo of Deoria Tal, Uttarakhand by Kaustubh Purohit
Photo of Deoria Tal, Uttarakhand by Kaustubh Purohit
Photo of Deoria Tal, Uttarakhand by Kaustubh Purohit

After enjoying the surreal beauty of the place, in the evening, we came back to the tent, had our dinner and were waiting for what else does this place has to offer us!

DAY 2, Deoriatal Lake

I woke up at 5 in the morning, and as soon as I opened up the zip of my tent, the view left me speechless. I still remember I was shouting at my friends about what they're missing. It was something that couldn't be told in words or could be captured in the photos.

Photo of MINI SWITZERLAND: CHOPTA by Kaustubh Purohit
Photo of MINI SWITZERLAND: CHOPTA by Kaustubh Purohit

After saying adios to this beautiful place, we started our trek back to the Sankri village and this time it seemed pretty easy to us. We freshened up at Sankari, had our breakfast, packed the luggage and went to our second destination, Chopta.

Chopta is around 15 km away from Sankari, it took us about 30 mins to reach there. As we had already made our booking at one of the camps over there, we directly went in and got ready for the trek to Tungnath and Chandrashila.

Day 2
Photo of Chopta, Uttarakhand, India by Kaustubh Purohit

In the afternoon, we purchased the temporary wooden trekking sticks from the shops at the rate of Rs 50, took some chocolates, water bottles and started our second trek to Tungnath ( the highest Lord Shiva temple in the world ) at an altitude of 3470 m.

It was more of an easy 3 km trek with a normal inclination and ample width. The weather at this height changes frequently, so you can experience every single thing in the next 4-5 hours that you'll likely spend over here.

There were multiple shops along the trek from where one can buy anything that they want and has ample picturesque places along the way.

Photo of MINI SWITZERLAND: CHOPTA by Kaustubh Purohit
Photo of MINI SWITZERLAND: CHOPTA by Kaustubh Purohit
Photo of MINI SWITZERLAND: CHOPTA by Kaustubh Purohit

After 1.5 hrs of the trek and multiple breaks later, we were finally standing just below the temple. All of our struggle and rigour seemed to have made sense now.

Being accompanied by a dog along the entire journey to seeing the senior citizens coming to the top gave us the confidence to trek another 1.5km moderate trek to Chandrashila, which is at an altitude of 4000m.

Photo of MINI SWITZERLAND: CHOPTA by Kaustubh Purohit

The path from Tungnath temple to the Chandrashila peak is a narrow way where even a slightest of a wrong move can lead to severe injury. It was one of the most tiring treks that we had ever experienced ( could be because of our schedule from the past two days ).

From the top of the Chandrashila peak, there's a 360-degree view of all the major peaks including, Nandadevi, Trisul, Kedar Peak, Bandarpunch and Chaukhamba.

Photo of MINI SWITZERLAND: CHOPTA by Kaustubh Purohit
Photo of MINI SWITZERLAND: CHOPTA by Kaustubh Purohit

30 mins into the peak, the clouds started coming, and everyone suggested to move down before it starts raining, and it's getting tough to descend, hence, we, along with all the other people, came back to the shrine area.

Day 3, Chopta

Travelled back to Rishikesh from Chopta.

Deoriatal, Chopta, Tungnath and Chandrashila is defineatly the place to visit. The sunrise, sunset, himalayas, trek, and the camps are worth spending some money for.

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