Deoria Tal – Tungnath – Chandrashila

I was since very long itching to go to the mountains. So on a weekend I made up my mind to revisit Tungnath (one of the panch kedars in the Himalayas) including Deoria Tal (about 2400 mt) this time in my program. One of my friend Manjit was my companion on this trip. Both of us took a night bus from Anand Vihar Bus Terminal to Rishikesh, changed the bus at Rishikesh, Srinagar, Rudraprayag, Ukhimath (about 8 km from Sari Village) to finally stay overnight at Deoria Tal. When we reached Sari Village (from where we trekked up for about 3 km to reach Deoria Tal), it was already 6:30 pm. The locals in the Sari village told us that the tented accommodation is available at Lake. So we started walking up and by the time we reached half the way, it was completely dark. Frankly speaking we were a bit afraid as we were passing through a dense forest land, however the way was open and not misleading. We took a sigh of relief when we saw a light coming from the shop nearby the lake. There were a couple of Israeli tourists who had arrived there that afternoon and were planning to a trek upto Tungnath the next day with the help of their guide. We took our especially prepared dinner by Hira Singh, the shop and the tent owner and slipped into our tents without even knowing where the lake was.

Majestic Himalayas


I was actually dying to see the Lake and could not sleep properly as I was waiting for the day to break. I set an alarm for 5 am but got up many a times to check how much time was left. Even before my mobile alarm could wake me up, I peeked out of my tent and what a stunning panoramic view!!! Our first encounter with the serene lake with a backdrop of enchanting snow capped Himalayan peaks, just like a picture postcard, so mesmerizing! I woke up Manjit to enjoy this treasure of Mother Nature. And as I had imagined the first word that came out of his mouth was ‘WOW’, he was so delighted to see this marvelous scenic beauty. We took our weapons out to capture this beautiful phenomenon and started clicking some pictures. We took a circumambulation of the lake and were fortunate to see some beautiful local hilly birds. Hira Singh told us that as Devas (deities) would bathe in this lake hence it took the name ‘Deoria Tal’. Some believe that this is the same lake where the Pandavas (heroes of the epic Mahabharata) were offered to answer the mystical questions asked by Yaksha (in the form of a crane)  to let them quench their thirst from the lake and only Yudhisthira (the eldest brother) could answer all the questions rightly and could revive his brothers.

Confluence of Holy Bhagirathi (on left) and Alaknanda (on right) at Devprayag, onwards we call it Maa Ganga

Serene lake with the backdrop of the stunning Himalayas

Mesmerizing Chaukhamba, keeps one spell bound

A last look at the lake before leaving

After spending some time enjoying the natural marvel at the lake, we took our breakfast, paid the bill and the forest fee and set out for Tungnath via Chopta. On the way to Sari, we took the blessings at ancient NagrajaTemple below the lake. Upon reaching Sari, we checked out and there was no vehicle to get us to Tala from where we were hoping to get some vehicle till Chopta. So we decided to walk down to Tala enjoying the nature’s bounty on the way. When we reached Tala and enquired regarding the bus to Chopta. To our disappointment the morning bus had just left and the next bus was supposed to arrive later in the afternoon. I was happy though as I thought it was a good opportunity to explore the bird life in the area while walking down to Chopta. People might call it a foolish decision but we enjoyed our walk to Chopta taking short cuts at places and hiking through dense forests spotting some birds and langours on the way.

Ancient Nagraja Temple on the way to lake, the priest (in picture) told us that the ‘lingam’ inside the temple is one of its kind in the world and when water falls onto the lingam, the water streams like a snake, hence the name Nagraja

Ancient Nagraja Temple

When we reached Chopta, it was almost 2 pm and we had no hope of coming back and returning to Delhi. We reached Tungnath enjoying the enchanting views en-route. After paying visit at the temple, I asked Manjit to come with me to Chandrashila summit (at 4000 mt. literally meaning moon rock) which is further 1.5 km up from Tungnath, he half heartedly agreed to go as he was very tired and at the same time did not want to miss the views from the peak. When we were very near to the peak, he refused to go due to fatigue. But after some rest, we found ourselves on the peak. Though we could not get the views of the mountain peaks but even the experience of being there was amazing. The views of the sunset at the shrine were so amazing that we decided to stay overnight at the temple to rise early morning for the famous sunrise at Chandrashila.

Tungnath, the highest Shiva shrine in the world (at 3680 mt)

At the temple surrounded by clouds and the hidden Himalayan peaks

Breathtaking views of sunset at Tungnath

Himalayan peaks before sunrise

Captivating golden ring at the peak

The last night’s amazing views of the sky dotted with innumerable twinkling stars left me spell bound and I was eagerly waiting for the sunrise. Next day, I got up at 4 and asked the tent shop owner to wake up the guide. After half an hour later, we started our climb to the peak and reached there well before time and now all (all bengalis except us as this place interestingly is mostly visited by the bengalis, witness to that are the shop signboards in bengali) were waiting for the sunrise. As soon as the sun rose from behind the Nanda Devi peak, all were all set to capture the golden ring created by the sunrise. Our guide told us the names of all the Himalayan peaks that ranges from Nanda Devi till Yamunotri Peak from right to left where Chaukhamba is the most dominating peak in the middle.

Way back home

After all these unforgettable experiences, we did not want to forget getting back home as we were already a day behind our schedule. We rushed down making short cuts to reach Chopta to take the bus to Ukhimath which unfortunately had just left when we arrived Chopta. We spoke to a taxi guy, but he was charging too much to drop us to Ukhimath, hence this time again we decided to walk down in the hope of getting some vehicle on the way. Lucky were we this time, we got a taxi which was booked by a gang of local women folks who were returning from a 3 days trek to Rudranath (one of the panch kedars). Upon inquiring, we pleasantly got to know that they were from a village near to my village and dropped us at Agastyamuni.We changed the bus at Haridwar and safely reached Delhi at around 2 am. Some of the experiences of this trip really strengthened my views about the rural folks of the mountains.

32 Comments

  • ????? ?????? ?? ???? ??? ????? ?? ???-???, ???? ???? ?? ???????,
    ?? ???? ???? ???, ??? ????? ???? ?? ?? ????? ???? ?? ?? ???? ??? ?? ???? ??,
    ??? ????? ??? ??????? ??? ??, ?? ?? ??? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ??? ???? ???? ??? ????

    • Vipin says:

      Sandeep bhai, sabse pehle aapka hardik dhayavad Ghumakkar se parichay karane ke liye. Kudrat ke najare hi itne shandar hote hain ke, koi nausikhiya bhi photu khiche to jabardast hi aate hain….Dobara kabhi man bane yahan jaane ka toh ek baar hame jarur yaad kijiyega…..

  • Silentsoul says:

    Vipin ji it was a really Dhamaka entry on Ghumakkar.

    The narration is clear and straight and after seeing the photos i could not stop saying WAH !! WAH !!! You have deep imagination skills to take the correct snap at correct place.

    keep writing

    • Vipin says:

      Hi Silentsoul ji, thanks for the encouraging words. These photos are not only the souvenirs from mother nature but also the invitation for wandering souls to experience a state of utter peace and tranquility (with excitement at the same time) and to marvel at it’s beauty……

  • ashok sharma says:

    GOOD PHOTOGRAPHS

  • Nandan says:

    welcome aboard Vipin. Probably this is one of the few logs where you took us to Sari, Deoria, Tungnath so quickly :-)

    More details around charges for tent, availability of hotel, any contact number for guide would further help fellow Ghumakkars to plan a trip.

    In which season did you go ?

    Look fwd to your responses for everyone’s comments and for your next story.

    • Vipin says:

      Thank you, Nandan ji. Shall try to provide more details in the future posts, the tent at Deoria were @ Rs. 500/- per night for two of us and at Tungnath @ Rs. 200/- including dinner & breakfast. This trip was at the end of September, 2011.

  • Welcome Vipin to Ghumakkar…………….

    This is one of the best post by a new author. Congratulations…………

    Personally i am also a small devotee and want to visit Panch Kedar once .

    This post on Tungnath will definately help me and also as stated by Nandan , more info on accomodation would definately help…………

    Keep Travelling and posting……………..

    • Vipin says:

      Thanks Vishal bhai, may you soon get a chance to visit these enchanting and beautiful abode of Gods ! Himalayan pilgrimages are definitely some of the most rewarding experiences on earth.

  • Neeraj Jat says:

    ?????? ??, ??????? ? ??? ?? ?? ????? ?? ??? ???? ??? ?????? ?? ?? ?? ???? ??? ????? ????, ?? ??? ??? ???? ???? ???????? ????? ????-????, ???-???? ?? ???? ?? ??? ???? ??? ????? ???? ?? ???? ??? ?? ??? ??? ??????? ???? ????? ?? ????? ???? ??????? ?? ???? ????? ????? ?? ?????? ???? ?? ????? ???, ?? ?? ???? ???? ?? ?? ??? ?? ??? ???? ??? ?? WOW’ ???? ???????? ??? ???? ?? ???? ?? ???? ?? ?? ???? ?? ??? ?? ?? ???? ?? ??? ?? ???? ????? ?? ??? ?? ??? ?? ???
    ?? ??????? ?? ?????? ?? ???? ???

    • Vipin says:

      Haan Neeraj bhai, ham bhi pahunch gaye yahan par. Aap ki is behtarin tippani ke liye shurkriya jisne mujhe vakai mein vo romanchak pal yaad karne par majboor kar diya (Sari se Deoria Tal tak) jinko mein upar ki post mein bayan nahi kar paya. Agli post mein is baat ka khas khayal rakha jayega…..

  • Ritesh Gupta says:

    Nice Post & fantastic Pictures…

  • good effort… nice pics..

  • Chandra81 says:

    View from Tungnath at Sunset is simply breathtaking.
    Reminded me of my own visit a few months back. I too did Tungnath http://www.ghumakkar.com/2011/07/19/himalayan-adventure-tungnath-temple-trek/ and Deoria Tal http://www.ghumakkar.com/2011/07/31/chopta-sari-deoria-tal-himalayan-adventures-2/ but couldn’t go to Chandrashila as it was covered in deep snow.
    A great post to mark your entry :-)
    Welcome aboard!
    Cheers!
    Nikhil

    • Vipin says:

      Hi Nikhil, sunset & sunrise views at the peak are truly wonderful and soul lifting. Lucky you, could get to experience this beautiful place draped in snow cover….

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    Vipin,

    A warm Welcome to Ghumakkar.com. Your entry to Ghumakkar is a big bang. The narration is informative and interesting and I am spell bound on pictures, they were simply fantastic.

    The picture of confluence of Bhagirathi and Alaknanda mesmerized me, the shade difference of rivers is easily identifiable.

    Thanks.

    • Vipin says:

      Mukesh bhai, thanks for encouragement. Neither the photographer was professional, nor did the camera. It is just and just the beauty of mother nature which reflects itself through these pics.

  • hi says:

    hi buddy your blog is too much amazing and your experience is coolllllllllllllllllllll.and best of luck buddy lagy rhao…………………………………………………

    :-)

  • rajesh priya says:

    vipin ji ,kamal ke photo’s aaye hain,main bhi chopta gaya hun (on way to kedarnath)aur night stay bhi kia hai,ek kami thi wahan light abhi bhi nahi hai,battery operated batti se kaam chalana parta hai,khair jaisa niraj jatji ne kaha, aapne likhne me thori kanjusi kar di hai,aur ras ki jarurat thi.ye lake jaane ka rasta kidhar se hai? aur jo aapne ek photo post ki hai choukhambha naam se kya wo choukhambha hai ya chopta?

    • Vipin says:

      ????? ??, ???? ?? ??????????? ?? ??? ????????????? ???….????? ????? ?? ??? ????? ?? ?? ??? ?? ???…:(…??? ???? ???? ?? ??? ????????…???? ??????? ??? ??? ??????? ???? ????????? ??…???? ??? ????? ??? ??? ??????? ?? ????? ?? ??….??? ???? ?? ??? ???? ???? ???? ???? ?? ???? ?????? ???? ????? ??…???? ?? ????? ?? ???? ????? ?? ?????? ?? ???? ??…?? ?? ???? ??? ??????? ???? ????? ?? ??…:)

  • Veeshaan says:

    Hey there, your narration gave me a lot of tips as I’m about to head of to tungnath end of this September month.

    What I like to know is, you mentioned a guide at tungnath. Is it vital to get one? If it is how much is it?
    Is it possible to camp at chandrashilla for a night? Can I use my own tent?

    Thanks for your info again.

    • Vipin says:

      Hi Veeshan, am sure by now you must have made multiple trips to this marvelous place…:)….sorry for being so late…Trek to Tungnath is on a well laid path & is frequented by locals & travellers, so one does not require any guide at all…if you need, you can contact a local guide there named Bharat (91-9719875326), he is from Sari and knows all the nearby areas pretty well.

      It’s too cold at Chandrashila, so camping is not at all advisable. One can camp in the beautiful meadows below the temple.

  • Naturebuff says:

    Hi Vipin,

    Great write up and stunning pictures to go with it! The Himalayas are truly awe-inspiring! Loved all your panoramas in particular!

    We couldn’t get any views from Chandrashila due to very heavy cloud cover… :-( Maybe next time!

    Regards

    • Vipin says:

      Thank you Kranti Ji for leaving your comments on an older post & liking it. True, Himalayan wanderings are always so rewarding & refreshing…May you get the best of Chandrashila soon!

  • Nirdesh Singh says:

    Hi Vipin,

    This indeed was an amazing debut post.

    The Deoria Tal seems to be covered with a glass mirror – that is one awesome photo.

    The sunrise photo on Chandrashila is again beautiful. Bengali signs (!). If they have made it this far to the top of mountains without Bengali signs, I am sure they can get around here also!

    Had it not been for Manjit I am sure you would have walked all the way back to Delhi. I know the ‘just missed the bus’ part is all pre-planned!

    Try including the names of the places in all photo captions – this way google picks up your posts especially in the Images searches. I tried it in my last few posts and it worked!

    Loved the post!

    • Vipin says:

      Thank you Nirdesh bhai for going through an older post…lo ji aapne to secret khol diya yaar…you are right, it is always my plan to knowingly miss the bus so that i can enjoy the walkings in the hills…kyonki vahan to ye bahana chal jaata ki “yaar agli gaadi pata ni kab aayegi, paidal hi chalte hain” & most of the times my fellows get trapped in this plan…:)…i would have loved to come walking at least till Haridwar…:)

      Will try to work on your suggestions for the following posts!

  • Mohit says:

    Hi Vipin,

    Can you share Bharat Ji’s new working number if you have??

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *