No. of Days: 3/4 (3-4-5 April 2015)
Expected Cost per person: Rs. 3000
Route: Ropar – Rishikesh – Rudraprayag – Ukhimath – Deoria Taal – Chopta- Tungnath – Chandrashila and return.
Day 1: Deoria Taal
It takes almost 7 hours to reach Rishikesh from Ropar, so we left at night. Reached Rishikesh. There are gate timings in valley after Rishikesh. So we were stuck there for a while. Gates open around 6 AM, so plan accordingly. We took bus from Rishikesh to Rudraprayag. It takes 5 hours in bus. Bumpy ride and bad bus. It was hell. But scenery now begins.
River flowing in one side and mountains on other, no matter how many times you travel to Himalaya it’s always peaceful. We reached Rudraprayag around 11AM. Took a walk, saw sangam and took a jeep for Ukhimath, almost Rs. 80 per person. Reached ukhimath around 2 PM. There is temple in ukhimath. During winter, idols from Kedarnath are kept here. Some of us went to see that. A stairways go towards temple from main road. I stayed on that stairway for half an hour.
Himalaya ranges in front, complete silence, cold breeze and snow peaks. Even at 2 PM, it was beautiful. After dreadful journey, it was the break I needed. After that we booked a cab for deoria taal and chopta. We reached deoria taal around 3:15 PM. Started small trek, it’s an easy trek. Deoria taal is beautiful.
There are tents available if you want to stay in camp. We took a walk around lake. Stayed there for a while, captured some clicks and went to Chopta. Reached chopta at night, It was freezing cold outside, we ask for hotel rooms. Unfortunately, there are very few accommodations available. So we booked two rooms which are literary just rooms. With mud walls and tin roof, it was village hut. There are 3-4 dhabas for dinner. No lights when we reached there, so we somehow managed and went to sleep.
Day 2: Tungnath- Chandrashila
Morning in chopta. I loved that. Due to snowfall at night, temperature was still down, we took a peak outside, and decided to skip trek of chandrashila. I have been on many treks. I always wanted to just go to some village in Himalaya and take rest, just walk around, so I decided to do that this time. I started walking uphill with one of my friend on highway of Chopta, after 2 km we took a break in a dhaba, had some snacks and returned back. Enjoyed snowfall midway, clicked some pictures. Stared at beautiful nature and it was worth it.
My friends however went for Chandrashila/Tungnath trek. Here is what they want to say about their experience.
Anshu Kaushik said –
“We took permit for trek from police booth. It was for Rs.50 and took shoes for Rs. 200 on rent. We started climbing up first with stairs and then followed trail. Some of us thought that they saw a leopard (Writer doesn’t trust these stories.) and few stayed behind. Me being the brave one, took out my umbrella, held it front and started climbing up stairs. Slowly trail becomes narrow. Snow was everywhere and it kept on increasing as we went up. Suddenly snowfall started and it was awesome. Trail was covered with snow. Two of us had headache so they stayed behind. Remained 4. Our water bottle was frozen. We broke ice from bottle for water. We reached Tungnath temple which was buried in snow. So we kept going up. There was a flag which I picked up and decided to put on top of Chandrashila. Snow became soft and it was dangerous to walk further. So we decided to stop little below Chandrashila. We had lays with us. After little snacks we decided to return back. It took 3 hours to climb up. Trail was covered with snow, so we decided to slide our way down. We met 3-4 groups while returning. We scared the hell out of them by telling stories about leopard (which wasn’t even real.) Reached chopta in 1 hour. Everything was just awesome.”
After lunch, we returned back to ukhimath then Rudraprayag and then Rishikesh. It was almost 8 PM when we reached rishikesh. We took a long walk along Ganga River. This day was awesome. Booked a room and took rest.
Day 3: (Rafting)
Rafting in Rishikesh should be compulsory. We booked longest trip this time. Cost us 700/- each. We did cliff jumping which is included in rafting. It was awesome. We returned back to Ropar by night.