An adventurous trail to world’s highest Shiva Temple!

Long weekends without traveling plans seem to be wasted! :p Taking advantage of the last long weekend of the year, I along with four girl friends

Us!

Us!

made a plan to trek to the world’s highest Shiva Temple. There are lots of tales associated with it and it is one of the “Panch Kedar”. The journey kick started at 10:30pm from ISBT Kashmere Gate in UPSRTC’s Volvo. The bus dropped us next day at Rishikesh at around 6:ooam. From here, we were to either hire a cab or take a bus for Chopta. Since we were five and collectively could afford a cab, we hired a cab (Bolero) to Chopta on mere 7500 bucks for next three days. With no kilometers to be noted, we could take or stop the cab where ever we wanted. With every travel I’ve realized that we (girls) fear to move out of our places and explore the outside world. On the contrary, people are more concerned about safety when, a girl or only girls are traveling. Where ever you go, whether you are known or unknown to people, they will wish you luck for a safe journey. Our driver, Akhil Bhaiya was sweet enough to listen to our chatter and stop where ever we wanted. The travel time from Rishikesh to Chopta or rather to Duggalbitta (7km before Chopta), which could have taken 6-7 hours, actually took us around 11 hours. Now you can imagine how patient our driver was and why I said he was sweet enough. 🙂

Confluence of river Alaknanda and river Bhagirathi

Confluence of river Alaknanda and river Bhagirathi

On the way to Chopta, we were in awe of the changing terrain. My mind drifts in its own world when I see mountains. We stopped at Devprayag to see the confluence of river Alaknanada and river Bhagirathi. I was amazed to see the different colors of two rivers, finally amalgamating, melting into one color and forming river Ganga. Sun shining amidst the mountains kept us in its warmth throughout the journey. With a breakfast stoppage at Teen Dhara and a stoppage for Lunch at Sirsoli, we managed to reach Duggalbitta at around 5:oopm. Food at both the places was not that great but we were overwhelmed with their service and the hot food they served us in that cold weather. Food was rather simple!

 

 

Duggalbitta welcomed us with our cab skidding on ice. And as and when we got down from the cab to ask for help, one of my friends slipped badly on ice. Anyways, sun was retiring for the day when we reached our camp and moved to our tents. By the time we had our evening tea, it was just 6:30pm but it was dark already. Discussing about pros and cons of “big data” with another group at camp over bonfire and then having our dinner, we dozed off for the day.

Duggalibitta!

Duggalibitta!

Start of trek!

Start of trek!

Next day was the main day of our trip. We were suppose to trek and start as early as possible, but we got little late because of extreme cold. One of the girls wasn’t feeling well so the rest four of us got ready for the trek. We started our trek at around 10:ooam from Duggalbitta (the camping site), which is 7km from Chopta.  The actual trek starts from Chopta. But because of ice, we had to trek till Chopta. Taking a shortcut, we reached Chopta at around 12:30pm by trekking around 4 km. We took a tea break here and basked in sun. We then started our trek towards Tungnath, the highest Shiva Temple in the world. Well! The name itself looks so tempting that I was eager to reach the point. Nishtha, the youngest among us, was quite fast. So we decided to send her with our guide, Harish to Chandrashila. Chandrashila is summit of Tungnath. It is 1km ahead of Tungnath and is quite steep and strenuous. At this time there was 2 feet of snow.

Taking our leisure time, enjoying the view and basking in sun we reached Tungnath at around 4:50pm (which is quite late in mountains). The sun was going down very fast when we started our trek downhill. We were just three girls and one girl from another group. Having no one around us, helping each other, some time walking in the moon light, some time walking in the torch light, we started descending. First time in my life I realized that why everyone says to get down before sun down on mountains. Damn, it was too difficult. We fell down so many times, got bruised, still we were walking. We wanted to be alive! I was pretty confident that we might take some time to reach downhill but we would reach when suddenly we saw a DEAD END. I didn’t tell anyone but I was scared out of my wits. We started shouting and crying for help. There was a point when I thought we’ll have to look out for a shelter to spend a night and a search operation would be sent for us tomorrow morning. That was too filmy! Everest movie was in my mind all the time. I remember mentioning it to my friends as well. 🙂 Anyways, we decided to make a final cry together. And we shouted – “Nishthaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa”, name of the fourth girl with us as she was somewhere behind us with our guide. And to our relief, we heard someone saying “sun liya!” (We heard you). Gosh! I never felt such happiness in life. Now, together we trekked downhill with Harish Bhaiya. He was our savior! It was him who saved us from that scary night and helped us to reach safely to our camps. No, reaching our camps wasn’t that easy. It was already 9:00pm when we reached Chopta and to reach our camps we had to trek 7km more. We were dog tired when we heard SEVEN KILOMETERS. There was no other option! So now we started the final stretch of 7km for our lives. To be alive! Two of my friends gave up but kept walking. We were motivating each other. Now I very well understand what does – “run for your life” means. At this point I missed my friend Joy with whom I have traveled so much. I think if he would have been with us we would not have seen this difficult situation. But I also believe that we were to experience this situation therefore, he wasn’t with us. 🙂 At last we reached our camps at 11:oopm. We were fully exhausted to share anything with anyone. I just remember hitting our bed after having dinner.

Tungnath Temple!

Tungnath Temple!

Next day, we left our camps happily. But again were stuck by ice on roads. This time, God actually saved us from a steep fall. Somehow, we reached Rishikesh safely and boarded bus for Delhi.

I really want to thank Mr. Manoj Negi of Alpine Camps for his warm hospitality in that chilly weather. If anyone of you reading this blog want to go for the Tungnath trek can look at this as a staying option. We had a great time here!

Mr Negi with his squad!

Mr Negi with his squad!

This trek gave me lots and lots of learning. And those learning probably need another post.

The trek is rather very easy for anyone who have done trekking before. But snow and of course our bad timings made it little difficult. Surviving from 0 to -10 degrees, it was a great ending with the ending year. With this another magical place added to the list. We had so much fun together. The best part of traveling is making new friends and growing as a family with the friends/people with whom you are traveling. 🙂

And here goes the picture blog –

 

Sun Burst!

Sun Burst!

 

Tungnath Temple!

Tungnath Temple!

 

Valley covered with snow!

Valley covered with snow!

 

A Trekker en-route Tungnath!

A Trekker en-route Tungnath!

 

Negi and his squad at Alpine Camps!

Negi and his squad at Alpine Camps!

 

Sun Setting behind Ravan Shila! Ravan meditated here to please Lord Shiva.

Sun Setting behind Ravan Shila! Ravan meditated here to please Lord Shiva.

 

_DSC0244

Trekkers and their shoe marks!

 

Devi Temple @ Chandrashila!

Devi Temple @ Chandrashila! Courtesy – Nishtha

 

The Rays! Courtesy - Nishtha

The Rays! Courtesy – Nishtha

 

Misra Ji :)

Misra Ji 🙂

 

GD!

The Arabian – GD! 🙂

 

12419017_10207805131107671_8161863122691000731_o

Cheetah – Nishtha!

 

Bubbly Minakshi!

Bubbly Minakshi!

 

The more I travel, the less I speak. That's me! Happy in the lap of Himalayas.

The more I travel, the less I speak. That’s me! Happy in the lap of Himalayas.

 

There are hell lots of pictures which again needs another blog. Keeping it short and simple, I am ending blog here, hoping that you would have enjoyed it. 🙂

Advertisements

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Wanderer's Soul
    Jan 04, 2016 @ 22:52:56

    Kudos !! I am proud of you !! Chakde India !!

    Reply

  2. Poorva (Misra Ji)
    Jan 05, 2016 @ 15:22:25

    Awesome!!! I’ll like to visit this place once again. But not in off season 😉

    Reply

  3. Satish Batra
    Jan 05, 2016 @ 18:28:28

    Proud of you my Cheetah. Keep exploring. 🙂

    Reply

  4. manpreet kaur
    Jan 05, 2016 @ 23:22:42

    While reading ,i actually felt that I have been there with u. Kudos girllss,, Worth reading.. N keep sharing.. 🙂

    Reply

  5. Boots
    Jan 07, 2016 @ 04:00:45

    The Tibetan teenagers didn’t meet my expectations of what Tibetans look like lol! Keep on exploring!

    Reply

  6. Boots
    Jan 07, 2016 @ 04:02:07

    Sorry I meant to comment on your other post haha!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: