If you gave already read my previous Travelogue covering Dhanaulti, Saari Village and Deoria Taal Trek and our stay there, then you probably know that this was coming! In this Part – 2 of the travelogue I will be covering our Trek from Deoria Taal to Chopta – Tungnath – Chandrashilla Peak! This was truly special to me because for the very first time of my life I trekked for three continuous days and on very difficult treks! It was an achievement for me that I still proud of! I am so looking forward for more treks this year and coming ones! For now, I am going to tell you about the beauty of the jungle, snow and my journey to these places!!
After enjoying the beautiful morning at Deoria Taal, which is at the height of 7,999 ft or 2,438 m, we packed our necessities in the rucksacks and went for the breakfast. We packed some food for the way as we wouldn’t be getting anything in the jungle. I actually love this part! I really hope it remains that way. No shops in the jungle, no littering resulting into a non-polluted beautiful jungle! Well, around 10 (which was kind of late for a 16 km trek) we started our trek to Chopta. The total distance is 16 km and there is a beautiful halt area at 8 km, i.e., half way to Chopta. It is not a very difficult trek but it gets difficult due to the distance. It starts with a long and difficult uphill where everyone struggles the most! It is a pretty steep one and you need a lot of stamina and good fitness levels. Our guide for this trek was Lucky Chand, who was pretty strong and fast, such that he alone went way ahead of us and climbed up the hill! We were kind of upset about that because his job was to show us the way and not to show his stamina and strength. We did lecture him a bit after we reached the top and then came a better plan. He asked the fast walkers to stay ahead and keep walking and to stop if there was any two-way or if we get confused anywhere. He would accompany the slow ones and the ones accompanying them too. From the top, it was mostly the plains and the view was beautiful! I love walking through the jungle, you can hear the sound of leaves getting crushed under your feet, the wind, the birds and anything! Many of the places inside the jungle were so beautiful that you could believe them to be from a fairy tale! After we crossed the half way point of the trek we started to spot snow in the shady areas. At a lot of places, water was frozen! It was really fun and amazing to witness such things! There was a little uphill trek again but a short one, then a steep downhill which is pretty scary because you can slip if not careful! The shins, ankles and knees take a big toll in downhill. This downhill ends up in a beautiful spot where a river stream is going through a rocky terrain! It was half frozen and half flowing! We had some rest and a lot of fun! The sound of the river stream can actually be heard from around 30-40 feet high. It’s because of the calm of the jungle! It’s so peaceful that you can hear even a leaf fall on the ground!
From there, it’s quite an uphill trek! It’s too tiring because you have already walked a lot, you’re drained out and the stamina is going down. It was evening and soon to get dark and we still had to cover a few kilometers. After some time the uphill ends and the plains start and that’s where you will know that the trek is about to finish. But trust me these couple of kilometers are actually the toughest and feels the longest! I was so tired that I didn’t want to walk at all. Plus it got dark and we were still in the woods. I still remembered the way pretty much and the guide kind of relied on me to help the group with me to finish the trek. However, it was my second time only and when it got dark I couldn’t see the way and got highly confused. We decided to stop and wait for the guide to join us but he was far behind helping the ones who couldn’t walk faster and were too tired. Also, the group divided in such a way that everyone was giving company to each other even if they had to walk slow for them. Our family members got so worried that they came at the exit end of the trek and one of them entered with a torch to search for us. When he shouted our names, we could hear it and started walking towards it. When we did that, we realized that the way wasn’t confusing and it was right in front of us but we couldn’t make it out due to dark. Anyway, we were finally out of the woods and we were in Chopta! Chopta is at the height of 8,790 ft or 2,680 m and is a pretty cold region, even in summers it gets pretty cold there!
We got some rest that night after a little get together as a more difficult trek was waiting for us! Next day after breakfast we started our trek to Tungnath! The trek starts from Chopta and there is a doorway made there with bells. This is because Tungnath has the highest Shiva Temple and devotees go there to offer their prayers. The starting point of the trek is kind of the starting point of the temple premises. This trek is again a rocky trail and is constant uphill of 4 kilometers! It is tough but not impossible. Walking consistently with a medium pace can get you through. After a kilometer or so, we started to see the snow. It was getting colder as we went higher. At this time of the year, the temple stays shut but still, there were many people doing the trek. Well, we saw some doing a little bit and returning because they got tired. The weather was lovely! It wasn’t sunny, but a bit cloudy. When we reached the spot where we could see the temple from below, we kind of got an adrenaline rush and we couldn’t wait to be there! For at least 500 m of the area surrounding the temple was covered in snow! It was a beautiful sight! The wind was pretty strong and it was terribly cold! The high altitude at Tungnath at the height of 12,073 ft or 3,680m the oxygen levels starts to dip and breathing becomes heavy! No one could actually stay there for more than 15 minutes because the cold starts get to you! It gets intolerable. We prayed for some time, clicked pictures, gazed over the beauty of that place for some time and then two from our group headed back to Chopta and me with 4 of others started for Chandrashilla Peak!
Trekking to Chandrashilla Summit is not backed up by the government is done at your own risk. There is no particular or clear path and you kind of have to find your way. This trek is a very difficult one, especially because it is very very steep and it’s pretty high! Chandrashilla peak is at the height of 13,000 ft or 4,000m. Breathing becomes difficult while trekking and you get tired very quickly and easily. The icy snow made the way a lot slippery. You cannot afford to slip because you won’t know where you end up! It is dangerous and you have to be very careful and not at all over-confident and daring! We took around 1 hour to reach the top and the view from there was entirely of another level! It was something that I had never seen ever before in my life, obviously because I was at the height of 13,000 feet for the very first time! This was my successful scaling of the Chandrashilla Summit! I was very proud of myself mainly because when I started I wasn’t sure if I would be able to complete it. I was very tired from the last two days of trekking (Saari to Deoria Taal and then Deoria Taal to Chopta). But the credit goes to my friends who supported me and boosted my morale throughout! They made be believe that I could do it and I really did! On the top there is a small temple named “Ganga Dhaam” and all the surrounding mountains looked smaller from there. The weather was changing up there very rapidly and we were worried about getting stuck there if it gets bad. We just enjoyed the beauty for about 10 minutes I believe and we quickly started our way down to Tungnath. You don’t want to get stuck up there because it is simply dangerous! There is no network whatsoever and without a guide, you wouldn’t know what to do. We skipped the guide for this trek so we didn’t really want any trouble.
Going down from there was another challenge and super tough. Since the climb was too steep the coming down part became too difficult because of the danger of slipping. The ice made it even difficult. At some points, we had to sit and crawl! Finally, within 45 minutes, we were in Tungnath and we continued our way down to Chopta. Later, the weather cleared and it was sunny. Our knees were gone and it was the peak of what I could take! I was finally in Chopta and all of our group members and family members were waiting for us anxiously! We completed the entire trek by 4 or 5 pm and were super tired but super duper happy!! It was a sense of achievement and proud.
Here I finish my part – 2 of the trip and will be back with the final part covering our road trip from Chopta to Joshimath and Auli. I have made a video of this entire trek and is uploaded on my YouTube Channel “RougePouts“ For your convenience, I have attached the video below so do check it out and witness the amazing beauty of those amazing places! I really hope you enjoyed the post and the video! If you did, then please like and share the video and subscribe to my channel as well! I would love if you could give your feedback in the comments below! I will be back very soon with many exciting posts and videos and of course the final part of this trip! Have a superb day! Ciao!!