Day 1 :
The first time when I came to know about "Chandrashila" on the internet, I was awe-struck by the fact that such a simple trek leads to breath-taking views.
So I started out with just Rs 3000/- in my pocket. I took a bus, early in the morning from Dehradun to Rishikesh. Upon reaching Rishikesh, I had my breakfast. Then I took a bus from Rishikesh to Ukhimath via Srinagar. It was a tiresome journey as the bus was not comfortable, but the views throughout the journey keep you entertained.
There are not many options in Ukhimath to stay! Hotel Devbhoomi is one place to have a comfortable stay at very reasonable prices. After a night stay, I headed to Chopta which is the starting point of the trek.
Day- 2 :
I woke up early in the morning to catch the 6:30 A.M bus to Chopta which is the starting point of the trek. Ukhimath is the last place where there is an ATM. Make sure you carry enough money. The entire route is scenic and breath-taking. You can see beautiful little villages all the way along. The river flows as a companion till you reach Chopta. It is a 25km ride from Ukhimath. As soon as I reached chopta, I started trekking to Tungnath.
There were very few people on the trek because it was during the monsoons. There are these little shops along the trial where Maggie and a cup of tea welcome you. There is also an option of taking the mules till tungnath but trekking is the best way to enjoy the beauty of this place. The guy shown in the below picture started following me and gave me company till Tungnath. I named him "sheru". He waits for you if you are tired and is a great companion for a solo-traveller like me.
It was raining and the place was full of mist. I had to stop at intervals due to the harsh weather.
After a 4km trek, I have reached tungnath. There are small rooms in tungnath maintained by the locals. The prices were quite cheap as I have travelled in off-season. Took a stroll to the tungnath temple in the evening. Suddenly the mist cleared out and I was lucky to witness the vivid colours during the sunset. I slept with all the enthusiasm to visit the magnificent Chandrashila the next day.
Day 3 : I woke up early in the morning to witness the sunrise. Sunrises and sunsets are two things you should never miss out on such high altitude treks. They make you wonder and you suddenly forget all the problems you have. They show you how little you are before the magnanimous nature. After witnessing the sunrise, I moved ahead through the trial leading to Chandrashila Peak. I was lucky enough to spot a few monal birds which are found only in this region and a few other parts of Uttarakhand.
The 2km stretch from tungnath to the chandrashila peak is a steep climb. For every few steps, you get stunned by the revealing landscape. Finally, I've reached chandrashila and was awe-struck by the surrounding landscape. Nothing was a lie about this place. Once you reach the top, you are surrounded by mountains stretching radially outward to infinity. I remembered Henry David Thoreau's words, "This world is but a canvas to our imagination."
After spending over an hour on the peak, I headed back to tungnath. The descent was pretty easy though! I reached tungnath in no time and immediately descended back to chopta. The below picture is the last one from tungnath.
The descent was enjoyable. Lush green meadows surround you and all you can see is vast grasslands. There is a cute little kid I came across during the descent. She was so adorable that I couldn't resist myself from capturing a photograph.
As soon as I reached chopta, I took a bus back to Ukhimath and took a room in the same hotel.
Day 4 : There is a direct bus to Dehradun from Ukhimath at 6 A.M. The bus was quite comfortable. I managed to capture some drama created by the clouds.
Finally, reached dehradun at 3 in the afternoon. I came back with a bag full of memories to cherish and a lot of photographs to tease my friends! I would love to end this blog with these words, "Travelling! It makes you wonder and then turns you into a story-teller"