The Beginner's tale of less-explored Devbhumi #offbeatuttarakhand

Tripoto
20th Apr 2018
Photo of The Beginner's tale of less-explored Devbhumi #offbeatuttarakhand by Biswadip Chattopadhyay

The highest literate state of Northern India is also the most well behaved and arguably the most mesmerizing.
Uttarakhand, for the travellers as well as the 'tourists' is mainly known for the holy pilgrimage of 'Char Dham' and the beautiful towns in the foothill of Garhwal and Kumaon Himalayas, namely, Dehradun, Rishikesh, Nainital and a few more.
But the real essence of the state is the mighty Himalayas, and to explore him you ought to witness the most interior of it's nature and culture. The comparatively lesser tried routes( of course not by trekkers, I am referring here regular travellers) will enrich you with humility of the mountain range.
As we were first timers back then, I recommend this trip guide to any beginners who are willing to experience the glorious beauty of Himalayas.

Day 1

We, three friends from Kolkata, already reached here two days earlier and blessed ourselves with the Aratis, food and of course The river.
But we now needed to seek her source, so in a pre-booked jeep we started the journey. The roads were constantly turbulent but not much to dampen our spirit.
After starting in early hours, we did lunch at Devaprayag. Watched the confluence of Alakananda and Mandakini in Rudraprayag, eye-pleasing sight it was.
And after 6 hours of journey, reached our destination: Sari Village.

Sari Village seen from somewhere in the mountains

Photo of Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India by Biswadip Chattopadhyay

After arranging trekking equipments with our local guide, we started the short  but steep ascend to Deoriatal. Rain was not stopping, but we had to start as to finish before sunset. After a tiring hour, we reached the summit. Though it was overcast, the beauty still awe struck us.

After arriving deoriatal

Photo of The Beginner's tale of less-explored Devbhumi #offbeatuttarakhand by Biswadip Chattopadhyay
Day 2

We slept in the trekker's hut( a village room with no electricity) in Deoriatal. In the morning, we saw Mount Chawkhamba rendering it's reflection in the lake. (As seen in the cover photo of the trip). Afterwards, the 14 km trek from deoriatal to chopta commences. True himalayan hidden gems showered us in transcendent manner in this trail. Meadows, waterfalls, forests, with several 7000+ metre peaks looming large in the horizon accompanied us along the day long walk. At around 4pm we arrived at Chopta Valley- the mini Switzerland (rightly so) and put up our tent and enjoyed the serene sunset.

The trek route

Photo of Deoria Tal, Uttarakhand by Biswadip Chattopadhyay

Makku Math Valley

Photo of Deoria Tal, Uttarakhand by Biswadip Chattopadhyay

Waterfalls along the way

Photo of Deoria Tal, Uttarakhand by Biswadip Chattopadhyay

Inside tent

Photo of Deoria Tal, Uttarakhand by Biswadip Chattopadhyay

Sunset @Chopta

Photo of Deoria Tal, Uttarakhand by Biswadip Chattopadhyay
Day 3

Today was the most satisfying day of our trip. We started early at about 9am from Chopta, our destination Chandrashila Peak. We will make a stop at Tungnath Temple in the way to have lunch. Incidentally, it is also the highest Shiva temple in the World.
The ascend to Chopta was neither tough nor tiring as the previous two treks, as there was structured paths upto Tungnath. But the views were even more fascinating.
From Tungnath, the one hour uphill trek was tricky as there was no definite path. But the rugged vegetations in the high altitude turned the place out of world. The beauty can't be described or photographed, only could be inhaled in memory.
We reached Chandrashila peak(around 14000 feet) when the Sun was just above our head. We couldn't witness the highly praised sunrise from Chandrashila Summit, neverthless the panorama of the Himalayan range seen from the peak will fetch into my mind forever. You name a peak of Uttarakhand, you can see it from here. From Chawkhamba, Kedarkantha, Hati Parvat to Trishul, Nanda Devi, even Panchachula.
After enjoying the view for some time, we slided down to chopta in half of the ascend time.

Majestic Nanda Devi

Photo of Chandrashila, Tungnath, Uttarakhand by Biswadip Chattopadhyay

Me at Chandrashila peak

Photo of Chandrashila, Tungnath, Uttarakhand by Biswadip Chattopadhyay

The path upto Tungnath

Photo of Chandrashila, Tungnath, Uttarakhand by Biswadip Chattopadhyay

The bells of Tungnath temple

Photo of Chandrashila, Tungnath, Uttarakhand by Biswadip Chattopadhyay

Rugged beauty

Photo of Chandrashila, Tungnath, Uttarakhand by Biswadip Chattopadhyay

The Himalayan range as seen from Chandrashila

Photo of Chandrashila, Tungnath, Uttarakhand by Biswadip Chattopadhyay

Happy trekker

Photo of Chandrashila, Tungnath, Uttarakhand by Biswadip Chattopadhyay

Chandrashila entrance

Photo of Chandrashila, Tungnath, Uttarakhand by Biswadip Chattopadhyay

Highest Shiva temple in the world

Photo of Chandrashila, Tungnath, Uttarakhand by Biswadip Chattopadhyay
Day 4

Breakfast at Chopta valley. The mini Switzerland.

Photo of The Beginner's tale of less-explored Devbhumi #offbeatuttarakhand by Biswadip Chattopadhyay

This day was more or less a transport day as we sat in a pre-booked car for 6 hours to reach Auli.
But, on the way, we crossed the Kedarnath Reserve National Park, had seen some Lemur Monkeys, Mountain Deer and a variety species of Birds which I couldn't name any unfortunately.
Out hotel in Auli was at a very good location just below the starting point of the famous cable car. The view from the hotel was surreal.

Duna Giri as seen from our hotel

Photo of The Beginner's tale of less-explored Devbhumi #offbeatuttarakhand by Biswadip Chattopadhyay
Day 5


We started early visiting the Hanuman temple at Auli. And of course, we rode the cable car, but that's not the offbeat part, every people go to Auli for the 🚡 ride and skiing( in winter). But what most people miss is the lesser known day trek to Gorson Bugyal, or Gorson Peak if your health permit (which mine complied and I found snow even in the scorching heat of April).
This Gorson Bugyal is a visual treat. A 270° panorama view of Snow-clad Himalayan mountain peaks with green lushy meadow in the fore ground.
Attached pictures do not do justice to the readers in compared to what I saw in my naked eye. But still for the traveller's community, a sneak peek.

Nanda Devi and Nanda Ghunti from Auli

Photo of Gorson Bugyal, Auli Laga Salude, Uttarakhand, India by Biswadip Chattopadhyay

The heavenly Gorson Bugyal.

Photo of Gorson Bugyal, Auli Laga Salude, Uttarakhand, India by Biswadip Chattopadhyay
Photo of Gorson Bugyal, Auli Laga Salude, Uttarakhand, India by Biswadip Chattopadhyay
Photo of Gorson Bugyal, Auli Laga Salude, Uttarakhand, India by Biswadip Chattopadhyay
Photo of Gorson Bugyal, Auli Laga Salude, Uttarakhand, India by Biswadip Chattopadhyay

Lucky goat

Photo of Gorson Bugyal, Auli Laga Salude, Uttarakhand, India by Biswadip Chattopadhyay

Time for the victory pose

Photo of Gorson Bugyal, Auli Laga Salude, Uttarakhand, India by Biswadip Chattopadhyay

Some facts about these five days:
1. This was a part of our two week long UK( haha not the European one) trip.
We pre booked this part from a tour operative named GoHimalayas. But you can easily manage it without any guide, except for the 14 km deoriatal to chopta part. That was truly a wild route.
2. Estimated cost per person for these 5 days was 9500 rupees all inclusive.
3. Trek was moderate to easy.
4. Electricity or mobile network can only be expected in Auli, nowhere else.
5. Locals are very welcoming and try to carry out even your dumbest requests.

Three musketeers(Doctor by profession) from Kolkata completed the trek with tired feet and enriched mind. Hopefully, after reading this, every newbie thrillophilic would also go there.

Signing off
Hemabha Saha
Debanshu Chakraborty
And, the writer, Biswadip Chattopadhyay.

Please share the blog. Peace out.

Photo of The Beginner's tale of less-explored Devbhumi #offbeatuttarakhand by Biswadip Chattopadhyay
Be the first one to comment