Sunday, 16 October 2011

Deoria Tal - Tungnath - Chandrashila

31 September, 2011
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.

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, this is where onwards we call it Maa Ganga