I can write a whole book on this Trip To Individuality. It was like a movie which God had played and we were the characters in it. This journey was Adventurous, Spiritual, Humorous and also includes Meditation. This is a Trip to Tungnath and Badrinath.
In mid September, 2016 we (me and my roomie) planned for our next trekking destination. We checked out for many destinations and at last went for Tungnath and Madhmaheshwar (Uttarakhand). Both are the parts of Panch Kedars. October first week were the dates, we decided. 7 days earlier of our start, we made a list of things to collect and to buy. We completed the list and done with our packing.
On 30th Sept. night, we left our room and boarded 23:30 bus from Anand Vihar to Haridwar. Just for a brief description of the itinerary we decided, I am adding this:
Day 1 - Sat 1st Oct- Arrive Chopta in evening. Rest.
Day 2 - Sun 2nd Oct- Trek to Tungnath and Chandrashila - Ukhimath by Bus
Day 3 - Mon 3rd Oct- Trek to Madhmaheshwar
Day 4 - Tue 4th Oct- Day at Madhmaheshwar - Covering Budha Madmaheshwar
Day 5 - Wed 5th Oct- Trek downwards to Ukhimath
Day 6- Thurs 6th Oct- Back to Delhi
Now, as the Director of this movie is God and we are only the characters in it, real story is very much different from the planned one. We both reached Haridwar early morning and took an auto to Rishikesh (INR 40 each). From Rishikesh we changed the vehicle which was going till Srinagar (INR 200 each). As that was a local Sumo, the driver was playing Uttarakhand 's local tracks. We were trying to understand the songs while enjoying hills and scenic roads.
We reached Srinagar at 10:00 and enjoyed our breakfast. We took a walk through the city too, as it is a very good place to hangout (had some earlier experiences there). We found a bus going towards Kedarnath, hence, boarded it to reach till Kund (INR 110 each). We reached Kund in afternoon 14:00 from where we again changed a local bus to Ukhimath (INR 10 each).
We were at Ukhimath at 15:00, but there was no vehicle for Chopta from there. Hence, we bargained with a cab driver and hired a taxi for INR 800. His name was Santosh and believe me, he was a very humble person (which most of the mountain people are).
After an hour drive through the forest and beautiful Bugyals (meadows) we reached Chopta, rent a lodge and freshened up ourselves. Chopta is not a place to have a comfortable stay and hotels with good amenities (as we were expecting). There is no ATM, no electricity and local transport there. Our lodge was only a small room with a very small bathroom. In addition, the LED's there were running on Solar Light. We paid INR 400 for one night for the room.
At 17:30 we had tea and came out for a walk. We walked to a village nearby. The views were sensational as it was a sunset time. We found a waterfall and spend some time there. This area is full of flora and fauna and comes under Kedarnath Musk Deer Sanctuary. You can find a healthy variety of wild flowers with unusual weather conditions. We came back and just laid down early till 19:30 , as we were very tired. Also we had to do trekking next day.
On 2nd Oct, early morning (06:40) after a tea session, we started our trek to Tungnath. We started at a good pace and gained a good altitude within 10-15 minutes. We stopped at some places for rest and covered 2.5 kms in an hour. Just before 1 km from the Temple, heavy rain started. Although we took our rain ponchos, we had to stop due to heavy rain. Luckily we found a shelter, which was a small Hut. We kept our bags and stayed there for 45 minutes. It was a selfie time and we clicked a lot of pics there. We heard some thunder and lightning below ourselves (as we were on good altitude). In a drizzling atmosphere, we stepped forward and reached the Temple. From the Temple entrance only we saw Double Rainbow Phenomenon and it was terrific.
We went inside the Temple and roamed around its campus. Tungnath is a very old structure, which was built by Pandavas and also the highest Lord Shiva Temple in the world (3700 mt). After 30 minutes of Tungnath time, we headed towards Chandrashila at 09:15.