Guest blogger Vishal Arora shares his photos and experiences of a trip to Tungnath temple in Uttarakhand with us.
Cradled in the lap of the beautiful Garhwal mountain range and bestowed with the best of natural beauty is the Tungnath Range, atop of which is Tungnath temple at an altitude of 3680 metres. The temple is one of the highest Hindu shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva and also among five Panch kedars, others being Kedarnath , Rudranath , Madhyamaheshwar and Kalpeshwar.
I took this journey with a colleague and friend of mine, starting from Gurgaon early morning with the aim of finishing the Delhi –Rishikesh highways as soon as possible and entering into the mountain ranges before the sunset. We stopped for an enjoyable bath at Har ki pauri in Haridwar and delicious food of Chotiwala in Rishikesh before hitting the road again around 3pm.
The mountains started soon after this, giving us views of the impeccable beauty of nature. Smooth curvy roads, greenery spread all around, the river flowing by in the valley basin, nice weather and stunning views made the day worth remembering.
We decided to stay in Devprayag for the first night of our trip. Our guest house had good comfortable spacious room, with a balcony and lovely view of the river basin.
Devprayag is the site of confluence of the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers and Alaknanda officially becomes the river Ganga from this point.
The ambience of mountains had therapeutic effect which drove away all the weariness of previous day and we left the hotel by 7am the next morning. As we kept moving on the views became more and more scintillating. Halting at Srinagar, Rudraprayag and many other hill tops we reached Ukhimath-Chopta road by 3pm.
We were supposed to do a trek to the Deoria lake from this point. This lake is located about 2 km on an uphill trek from the village of Sari. After having some snacks and some rest in the village we started for the trek. The trek turned out to be more adventurous and fun than we had expected. The steep slopes of the trek, rainfall in between and the rare views of snow falling on the lofty hills curtailed by clouds turned out to be great ingredient of enjoyment.
Reaching Deoria lake, the lavish greenery and beauty of lake was enough steal anyone’s heart. The scintillating view backed by the snow capped peaks, including mighty mountains ranges like Chaukhamba and Trishuli just added to the aura of the nature’s magic.
It started raining again when we were at Deoria lake top and we were forced to stay longer than we had planned. But there was a nice shop serving Maggie and tea and we devoured it all with great happiness.
When we trekked down to the village, it was already dark and we were physically drained so we decided to stay in village itself.
Next morning we started for the final destination of the journey, Tungnath temple. The temple is at a trek of 4 km from Chopta. The path uphill was steeper than the previous trek, but the amazing mountain beauty was a good enough motivating factor. There had been snowfall over Tungnath the previous evening and we could see fallen snow after finishing first half of the trek.
Weather again started getting turbulent and snow started to fall even before we had reached the temple. But we kept on moving ahead at slow pace.
I can not describe the feeling of reaching the temple top, it was just heavenly. The picturesque landscape had provided such an extreme solace that we had forgotten about the tiredness of the trek so far. With dark clouds hovering over the distant peaks, fresh snow turning everything white, the ancient architecture of the temple seemed to carry us to another era altogether.
After worshipping at the temple we stayed at the top for some time. Seeing the turbulent weather the priest suggested we go back down to the town before it really turned bad and the trekking route was blocked by snow.
Chadrashila is another hill worth visiting after coming here. It is only 2 km from the Tungnath temple. We could not go there this trip because of the rough weather though.
After trekking down to Chopta the entire experience all seemed like a dream where over just a few hours we had seen many incredible sights.
The journey back to Gurgaon was full of discussions about the marvels that we had witnessed in last few days, memories we will cherish the rest of our life.
About the guest blogger: Vishal Arora ,a software engineer by profession and photographer by passion, lives in New Delhi, India. He is a passionate traveller and loves cherishing the memories of his travels in photographs and travelogues. You can see a collection of his works on his Facebook Page and website.
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