Tungnath Ji, the Temple of Shiva, what a trek to take my first step in world of trekking. In short the first step to undiscovered zone out of this materialist and knowledgeable world, where everything speaks about the soul and peace to rest in….
My masters’ degree gave me the most pleasant surprise that even my school and graduation failed to gave. Even though at times, I fought at home to have permissions for trekking but never got one.
Knowing each other for about 2years my Lecturer of strategic development(Mr. Himanshu Dutt) laid the strategy of this trek and some how the execution was perfect.
Still! I can recall when sir discussed about his plan and asked me to accompany him while sharing his worry of walking and walking long. I don’t know what he saw in the skinny boy. Well, my reply was sir “aap chalne ki chinta mat karo, chal me lunga aap bas mere ghar walo ko mana lo”(hahaha).
Then I first asked my sister and created an emotional scene saying "I have never been allowed for outing. Not even at school when even when my cousins were allowed for trip was to Jaipur. Every time you(famiy) guys ask for some responsible person who can look after. Now my lecturer is going what’s the issue". Finally I won the argument.
On 10th march, sir resigned from the college and on 11th we left for the trek. I reached sir's home at around 7 in the evening and after a good dinner along with some deserts we left forour journey. My stomach was overloaded. We reached the ISBT at Kashmiri Gate and around 8:30 we sat in the bus to the Rishikesh.
Sir gave me few tips before getting in the bus such as keep your bag with you and take care of belongings. In march starting when the weather is good enough, the irritating sound of loose windows and the strong chilly breeze from these windows made us struggle entire night for sleep. Sir keep consoling me in different ways as it was my first trip.
Finally, relieved from the hard uncomfortable seats and those clinching noise of windows we reached the Rishikesh at around 3:40a.m. in the morning. We decided to catch the first bus of hills and started walking towards the bus stand which is few km away. Walking in morning time on dark roads with sound of dogs barking was an experience that still thrills.
We caught the bus on the way and sat on the last seats. Same things repeated, those irritating noise of windows with strong chilly breeze and our struggling eyes for sleep. The bumpy road and first high altitude experience didn’t took too long to make me puke.( thank God I was seated at window). Sir sleeping in tits and bits, was unaware about it. After several pukes, we reached Rudraparyag Ghat and had some tea with fried bread as breakfast after attending the nature's call.
From here we took the jeep as it is comfortable and takes less time. I sept all the way till we made it to the GMVN of Ukimath. The cook and care taker already knows sir as he has been to the place earlier. At around 1.30 p.m. we left for Chopta after having some tea and lunch. we walked for 5 kms and had fun with school kids with whom sir also spoke in Garhwali.
After this, we finally catch the jeep we were waiting for. It is the jeep of Maya deep rest house at Dugal- Bhitta. This is only jeep that one gets during no-tourist times to chopta at fixed time. Sitting in the jeep we discussed our worry of covering the remaining distance in just 2hrs. Reaching Dugal Bhitta I agained puked and now sir was seriously worried about me making it to the Temple.
PWD Rest House(left) the house at back is Mayadeep(right)
But somehow I holded myself and after having some maggi and tea we tried making arrangement for night stay in PWD. But after many discussion failed to have one. Finally, we had to stay at Maya Deep(which is few yards down from the road) as we can't even go to Tungnath and neither can we go back. After taking the room we visited the trekker's route from Dugal-Bhitta to Chopta. And when dusk started turning dark we came back to our rest house. The experience was not good at Maya Deep, seriously, they neither provided the candles for night and nor the hot water in the morning. Even! we wake up earlier and wake them stating that we are leaving.
Water was ice freezing at 6.30 in the morning and sir warned me not to apply soap on face after struggling for removing his soap so applied and being freezed by teh cold water. After touching the water I quickly accepted sir's advice. We left for the Temple at quarter to 7a.m.
We loose our breathe very quickly while trekking the steep slope, as the body temperature was down due to which our breathing was not synchronized with the pace of walking. Sir adviced to have some chocolate as it has carbohydrates and helps in keeping one self energetic. Each and every step for me was a paradise. We played the skeletons and clicked photo lying in the arms of the nature. Soon at 8:15a.m. we reached the entry gate of Tungnath ji. From here the trek of 3-5 km is left. Here we had “daal bhat” with tea and got 2 aloo paranthas packed. IIM student were also their but very reluctant to interact.
Enjoying the nature
In the name of Lord Shiva we stepped the path of the temple and on the way sir gave me tips of being good trekkers such as do not liter, and as good and obedient student I kept all the wrappers in my pocket.
Through the woods one comes out to the land of snow. For the first time I witnessed such thing and was fully pumped to explore it more and more. Sir was worried and on constant intervals asked me to be careful and also taught me how to walk on snow. Things were exciting I was eager to learn more and more and more….
Sir clicked my few photos on the snow. Their we find someone has written Divya on snow. We captured it as a gift to our friend Divya sitting back at home. And decided to tell her that see how much we missed you that we wrote your name there.
Soon snow fall started and withing no time drizzle took the shape of strong breeze but for me it was fun being unaware of the other side. Though sir was worried as he confessed later on. We reached the Temple before our feet had called it for the day. But seeing the temple we were recharged. After thanking THE for the trek we had our parantha in the small shed besides the temple. Sir wanted to trek Chandrashilla but seeing the snowfall and our preparation for the situation decides to return back.
Coming back we slided a bit which was new fun for us. We saw a slope and decided to slide again. Sir gave it a thought but my words “sir aise mauke bar bar nahi milte” put his thought aside. Sir in my concern decided to go first. He got stuck in between and by the time he could have stopped me I was also stuck just behind him. We both struggled hard as both of our legs were dug in the snow upto the waste. Somehow got out of it. And I said “sir mar gaye, sari jagah baraf he, haath toh gaye..” and was literally jumping on my feet.
Well after this we didn’t slide any more, and by 2:30 p.m. we got back to Chopta. Their we again had the maggi with tea and start walking to Ukhimath. Enjoying the nature walk to Chopta, we reached at 7 in the evening. Then we visited the Temple, with our feet tired we struggled walking to the place. We reach their at the time of aarti and after that we went to market to make calls and take thing for sweet dish ”halwa” as sir asked the GMVN cook to make it for us.
The next day 14th morning again we left early for Deoria Taal. We took the trek for Deoria taal from Mastura way back from Saari( jeeps goes till Saari) and once got misguided too. Finally, making to the Saari village we saw the mighty mountains standing wide and straight on top of which is Deoria Taal. In Saari we met few school kids and enjoyed a bit.
Short Cut to Saari from Mastura(Left) And School Kids(right)
The sun was too harsh this day. We were completely drained out in the mid-way from Saari to Deoria taal. But some how we reached their. Only two shops were their along with the forest house. At shops we ate some biscuits and had tea. After which we lie down for some time. The Chaukhamba range was very clear from the Taal.
Soon we started walking back and on the way enjoyed the nature.For the first time i saw THe mountain eagle and God how big it was. While coming back sir also got a marriage proposal from the group of village women. Sir had no words except to smile while I was enjoying the moment thoroughly. Around 7p.m. we got back to GMVN but the day isnt over yet. Again we went to the market to buy the juice of Borash and Malta.
Finally, the next day wake up bit late and had bath after 3 days. After that we walked down few km and sat near the river where sir and i holded fish in the hand. After this, we took the bus and had a dip at Rudraparyag where two holy rivers Mandakani and Alaknanda meets.
From here we took a jeep to haridawar where we ate some spicy stuff and caught the bus for Dehli.
Delhi to Rishikesh -Rs 130 per head in Bus
Rishikesh to Rudraparay- Rs110 per head in jeep
Rudraparyag to ukhimath GMVN:- Rs 35 per head
Dormitory at GMVN:- Rs 60 per bed