Rishikesh, Chopta, Tugnath, Chandrashilla Peak and Deoriatal: My first Himalayan Adventure in the Garhwal Himalayas
Maybe One day, I will unravel the routes of unknown mountains
To discover the long-waited sunsets and evenings.
To know the unsung hero within me,
To know the pathways leading me to dreamy lakes and glaciers
To know my dreams and desires.
Mountains were calling for the first time to embark on the journey to the Himalayas. I happened to call my Dad in the evening around mid-may 2016. I was always fascinated by the beautiful mountain range of India and wanted to explore more. Everything was raw for me. Mountains never charmed me back then as much as I am engrossed now for the Himalayas. I have been to the Himalayas i.e. Arunachal Pradesh before when I was 8 years old and I could barely remember anything. When I was 17, I traveled to Sikkim with my parents, but it wasn’t something to cherish. There was a lack of enthusiasm. The phone call was about granting permission to go Uttarakhand from my dad and it changed my life. Nobody believes that fate will unfold with that on phone call. This short voyage to Uttarakhand was for 10 days and I made the most out of it.
They say one, needs to wait for the right and life surprises out of nowhere.
A flock of birds, hover overhead me,
Sometimes I wish I had wings to fly
To touch the moon and the sky;
To many doors are open for me,
I don’t know where I will end up
Because destiny lies above us
So the journey to Uttarakhand started the next day once my Dad agreed to the plan. I would say it was just amazing. So, I packed my stuff and being a new bee in terms of adventure traveling and trekking, I borrowed stuff which is essential like: Sleeping bag, tent, sleeping mat. It was a friend who recommended me to go to these places of Uttarakhand – Rishikesh, Chopta, Tugnath, Deoriatal. It was also my first trip to the mountains and that too with a bunch of strangers who happen to be from Mumbai. I wasn’t sure if I will be well acquainted with them. But nevertheless, it turned out to be bewildering.
Oh, what an aura was with the sun hitting my face, my lungs chocked for a while due to rarified air but I couldn’t stop appreciating the enchanting landscapes with the fresh Himalayan wind whispering as I lay back amazed to see the pristine beauty of Rishikesh and river Ganga. This moment had to be captured and my DSLR began to click grasslands with lush scenic beauty and tall green trees. As dusk broke in, I was perched at the top of Lakshman Jhula a place in Rishikesh around 5km from Rishikesh witnessed greenery of land embellished by green and olive color with the sun rays adding to the beauty of this place.
I spent a few days in Rishikesh and exploring near the banks of the Ganga river and was awestruck by the aura and I knew, I wanted to explore the other parts of the Himalayas. The journey of my adventure days began from that day and there was no way of stopping.
Day 2 Trekking to Deoriatal
How to reach Deoriatal?
Taxis are available from Rishikesh and it will drop you till the village Sari. The trek starts from Sari which is 4km to Deoriatal.
Accommodation- No hotels, you will have to stay in camps and get your tent or hire from Uttarakhand, as it is a paradise for trekkers.
Food- You have to carry your own food. Buy food from the village Sari
Ps- No need for hiring a guide as it can be easily done by travelers and backpackers. The trail is well marked
Even though I have been to the Himalayas before but this was a magical experience. So, I remained a stranger gazing at a mystery I could not share at that moment till I decided to write about this experience. Driving through the serpentine routes invoked me a mysterious kind of adrenaline rush which was soaring up so high as I decided to go trekking to Deoriatal which starts from the village called Sari. This place is not at all crowded and you will see mostly backpacker and I happened to be one that merged with both and hit the sack early. I woke up early on the second day and was mesmerized by the changing skies, the lights, the colors, the smells and felt the air change. So, I took the plunge and started the trek. The trek is easy and can be easily approached by the beginners. It is of 4km. Well, it was indeed a fairytale evening and I was so happy to witness the jaw-dropping view with my own eyes once I reached the Deoriatal Lake surrounded by the several Himalayan mountains with the mount Chaukhamba standing tall. It was the first time, I trekked in the Himalayas. The feeling was surreal. It was very tiring but once I reached these were my thoughts:
I believe the journey is more beautiful than the destination. We always aim for the destination to be reached within a short period. But the road between the journey and the destination is to be embraced. These are life lessons, it's about the power of patience, grit and will power. Having read the stories of successful people, there is one mantra to success that is Grit, Patience, Consistency, and Persistence
These are the absolute key elements for your destination (your goals)
We believed that our destiny is what we make it of ourselves; the paths we choose are conundrums; the struggles and obstacles are unfounded in our journeys; We have become conscious about making our own lives the best but we fail to recognize that Hard Work beats everything even destiny, talent and sometimes luck.
Day 3 Trekking to Chopta, Tugnath and Chandrashilla Peak
How to reach Chopta and Tugnath and Chandrashila?
I took a taxi from Rishikesh which cost me around 1000 rs and from Chopta and from Chopta the trek starts. It is an easy trek and be done any trekker/traveler with a decent fitness level
Where to Stay? - Rooms are easily available. The price starts from 100-150.
Food- You will find a lot of food stalls. Price starts from Rs50- Rs 100
Uttarakhand is also known as the land of Gods and Devbhoomi and always bewitching in every way, one that takes your breath away. It is the source of communication between man and man and between man and the implacable Gods. Tugnath and Chandrashilla had topped the chart in terms of landscapes also regarded as mini Switzerland and the overall ethereal beauty, the people, its villages, its culture. One will trek through the dark forest, alpine coniferous trees. Tugnath hast the highest Shiva temple situated at almost 13kft. The trek starts from Chopta which has lush green meadows with sensational views of the Himalayan peaks. Tugnath is a holy place and people come here to seek blessings from Lord Shiva. Trekking to the Chandrashilla Peak will take 2-3 hours and is for 2km. So, I started my journey at around 10 am. Star stuck by the flabbergasting landscapes with the daunting Garhwal Himalayas. I was left aghast by the beauty. Where was I? Is this on heaven on Earth? It is surely a myth but when it comes to heaven ‘Its Uttarakhand’
Hey, I come here to see you,
Don’t go away from me
For you are etched in my heart forever
My only wish, if you could keep me safe.
You are my midnight muse.
This trip stole my heart and it pounded more for the Himalayas. I never exploring and made several visits to the mountains. Dreams are made in the mountains. Never let them go!!
Manzille Toh tukre tukre Mai ati hai,
Badi bhi choti bhi ek Nadi ki tarah
Bhagte raho jab tak sas na ruke, kyuki ek din tum uchsthan Mai pachuchoge
Tumhari Khwahishe khajana jaise rakho.
Khuki khajane ka Rasta tum hi malum Kar sakte ho!
Overall Expenditure for the entire trip 10-day adventure- 7500INR (Rishikesh, Chopta, Tugnath, Chandrashila, and Deoriatal)
How to reach Rishikesh?
Buses are available from Isbt Kashmiri Gate. A lot of buses keep going from Delhi to Rishikesh, so you can take the 6 30pm bus or the 10 30pm. It takes 7 hours to reach Rishikesh.
Where to Stay?
Food – It depends on what you eat. Food is not at all costly. Per day expenditure of food for 3 meals 150-200. Miscellaneous- 150 (If you eat extra apart from the three meals) There are plenty of hotels. The price starts between Rs300- 400 per Room
4000 is enough to do a trip to Rishikesh
I hope you guys enjoy reading the blog!