Friday, August 3, 2012

Himalayan Adventure #1 - Day 1 : Deoria Tal

May-June in north India can not only perspire, but also frustrate by leaving least, next to zero, time for activities except sleeping. So it was really important to find some place which would cool the boiling nerves down a bit. Some place which is cold, serene, silent, natural, unpolluted, and noiseless. So keeping the choice of place in mind, Kunal proposed a trip to Deorai Tal and Tungnath.

We started our first Himalayan trip on 18th May, Friday evening and reached to Rishikesh at 1 AM in the night. It was difficult to find a hotel at that time, but somehow we managed to find a hotel which was good enough to complete our six-hour sleep.

Our journey was yet to begin. As our plan was not perfect so its consequences reached earlier than expected that too very next morning. There was not any bus available for us as most of them were busy carrying pilgrims to Amarnath/Badrinath and this fact was not considered while planning. So it was really difficult to find a vehicle for travel. Hiring a cab was too costly for merely two of us. People understood our problem by looking at our face and they exploited our lack of knowledge handsomely. Our pocket-size and expending capacity were reduced at Rishikesh only.

Exhausted and tired Looking for a Taxi...
After exhausting and tiring efforts for few hours, we managed to get a shared cab which cost us the quarter of our pocket money.

Our first Himalayan adventure started at around 10AM. At the start, roads were wider though spiral, but on higher altitude road shrunk and became dangerous. At one side of the road tall mountains were standing whereas at other side deep valleys were lying with wide open mouth. At some places mountains were covered by greenery whereas at others these were naked. At places valley was waterless, but at other places this was torn apart by water to make the way out to planes. I must say, our complete journey was marvelous, beautiful and scenic, but it was surely scary at times. We crossed Devprayag, Srinagar, Rudraprayag and Okhimath on the way to Saari Village. After 10 hours of journey, we reached to Saari village at 6PM in the evening.

On the way to Deorai Tal
Though we were on roads for entire day, but real fun was yet to start. Time had arrived where stamina and muscles would be required. Lake (Deorai Tal) was in the middle of mountains and the easiest path was to trek through them. As sunrise and sunset were the most rewarding and picturesque moments near the lake so night must be spent next to it in tents. After iterating through all the information, we decided to trek at the very moment considering risks of trekking in dark (Sometimes you might find dangerous animals which are hilarious, but too dangerous).
The way to the lake which is approximately 2.5Kms from Saari village.
After the short recess, we started. I was trekking after a long time so I was little slow to accommodate with the surrounding. We moved with a slower pace which gave us ample time to enjoy the nature around us. Everything was clear, vivid, vast and visible. Mountain, we were trekking on, was surrounded by other higher peaks. There were lots of other peaks visible at far distance. On the way up, we rested at places which were specifically made for enjoying the panoramic view. Though uphill trekking tested our fitness, but it was enjoyable task. We took our time to reach at the top and finally trekked down to reach near to the lake.
How much more, I can not do any further...

Wow, Resting place for trekker and best location to sit and have coffee, though there was not shop there.
Our shelter for the night.
As sun was already set and light was elusive in the area so we were left with few, I should rather say 2, hard choices. Either walk in dark or call the day off. After wondering for some time near the lake, to get acquainted with the place, we called the day off. We settled in our tent arranged by our guide on rent which cost us INR 600 for the night.

Lake is in lap of mountains and it is quite large filled with green coloured water. Lake is surrounded by trees and mountains. Surrounding of the lake was green and luxuriant.

Lake and forest is protected by government forest department, so department has dictated few rules to maintain the place. Forest department has allowed only two vendors who must be locals of Saari village. These vendors are allotted three years contract and later contracts are renewed based on a lottery system. Persons, who had already got the contract earlier, were excluded from nomination list. So every local gets fair chance to earn. These shops are not expensive and they serve well cooked, hot and tasty food.

Next day started pretty early. Even though sun was nowhere to be seen yet, but Kunal's impatient brought us out of our tents. It was a breathtaking view. With passing time Sun stepped out of it closet and started pulling itself vertically up. With every other second Sun was higher and was covering more peaks and mountains. First normal peaks were illuminated with light, later snow twinkled with rays and finally it was high up in the sky and rays mingled with water. Though water was not clean, but rays created magic in it. Every element of the nature welcomed Sun with smile and Sun adored them with own heat and light. After enjoying these extra-ordinary moments we had to leave for next destination. Government has put some charges for night stay so we paid the fees and left the place around 9 AM.

Sun has touched the horizon and spreading its light to everyone.

We trekked back to Saari village to catch some shared cab, but we could not catch any cab from Saari to Chopta, so we hired a private vehicle. Before hiring the private vehicle, we spent some time in the shop, had our breakfast and started journey for our next destination i.e. Tungnath.
These folks were really busy.

Atleast 1 pic to sath banti hai.

Local Kids
PS: Never show your willingness for comfort@money. Planning and execution must not have any mistake otherwise opportunistic people will even put off your clothes.

Tungnath Trip

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