Edit Blog Post
Published: March 31st 2020
Hiking is becoming very popular in recent times and trekking/hiking in the Himalayan ranges in unparalleled. The beauty of the snow-capped ranges, quietness, peace, serene surroundings, peaceful villages and villagers in those areas is addictive for most trekkers.
If one is looking for a good beginners’ trek with incredible spiritual significance as well – one of my favourite one is the Chopta-Chandrashila 5-day trek. The trekking path is easy for reasonably fit people and has absolutely gorgeous beauty – where you get to camp beside lakes and on lush green meadows overlooking the mighty Himalayan ranges. How do you get there? Day1
You can start your trek at Rishikesh (which is my all-time favourite location for a trek start due to its spiritual + modern atmosphere – Yoga and Aarthi by the Ganga and at the same time enjoy the best food in the world!
The Sari village
is a 168 km 6-hour drive from Rishikesh. Additional bonus is that, on the way you pass the Dev Prayag and Rudra Prayag. Rudra Prayag
is the point of confluence of river Alaknanda and river Mandakini. Dev Prayag
is the point where the river Bhagirathi and river Alaknanda converge to form river Ganga! History of River Bhagirathi –
King Bhagirath, was very troubled in his dreams by cries from his ancestors who had an awful end. He meditated for several years to Lord Shiva who then asked Ganga devi to flow on earth to cleanse Bhagirath’s ancestor’s souls. Since the earth could not have taken the force of mighty Ganga, he placed Ganga on his head, and she flowed through the strands of his hair onto the earth thus with a controlled flow. She cleansed the sins of the king’s ancestors and continues to cleanse the sins of all her devotees thereafter who take a sip in her with a pure heart. The river was hence called Bhagirathi (named after King Bhagirath). River Bhagirathi starts at the Gaumukh glacier (where Lord Shiva kept Ganga devi on his head – close to Mount Shivling and Mount Meru) and flows down for 2525km and ends at the Ganga Sagar in the Bay of Bengal. Sari
village is the base camp for this trek. It is a small beautiful typical Himalayan village with peaceful and beautiful people and surroundings.
The trek begins the next day with a short but steep walk of 3km from Sari to Deoria Tal.
The climb is tiring yet beautiful and when you reach the lake you are mesmerized by the beauty of the Tal (lake). Crystal clear green lake which stays green in the mid-day and turns blue early morning! The lake is in the middle of lush green trees all around.
We camp beside the lake on Day2.
History of Deoria Tal –
When the Pandavas were in exile, they were once very thirsty. The youngest of them Nakul set out to get some water for all. He saw this beautiful lake and walked towards it to drink some water. Just then he heard the voice of a Yaksha who told him that he is the owner of this lake and hence Nakul can have the water only after he answers the questions asked by Yaksha. Nakul ignored Yaksha and began drinking the water, however dropped dead after a few drops. His brothers started looking for him and one by one reached the lake and in thirst drank the water – all ignoring Yaksha’s command. Sahadev, Arjun and Bheema dropped one after the other. Finally, Yudhisthira landed there and was in shock seeing all his brothers lying beside the lake and agreed to answer Yaksha’s questions – the questions of life! He answered them all correctly, begged for forgiveness and hence brought his brothers back to life. The questions asked by Yaksha and the answers given by Yudhisthira can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yaksha_Prashna
The lake where this happened is the Deoria Tal. The lake is located at an altitude of nearly 8,000 feet and the Himalayan peaks Chaukhamba, Kedar Range, Nilkantha, Bandarpunch and Kalang mountains can be viewed from here. Day3
Day 3 is a 14km trek on a not so difficult, gorgeous path with beautiful rhododendron trees, the view of the Himalayan range on one side and the view of Sari on the other side of the valley.
At the end of this day’s trek you land in Chopta – the gorgeous village known for its beautiful meadow slopes facing the Himalayan snow-capped peaks. You camp on these meadows on Day3. The nights get cold here but the beauty of the sunrise and sunset and the glow of the sun on the Himalayan ranges is beyond imagination!
Day 4 is the main day of the climb as you reach the peak and return to the same Chopta camp site for the night. It is a 9km steep trek where first you reach the highest Shiva temple in the world – Tungnath
– at 12,073 feet and then conclude the climb at the Chandrashila peak – 1km from the Tungnath temple. The Tungnath temple is said to be more than 5000 years old.
It would be best to start the trek on Day 4 before sunrise (or just when it gets slightly bright) to get the best view from Chandrashila – where the sun rays glowing on all peaks.
History of Tungnath temple –
According to our Puranas, Rishi Vyasa told the Pandavas to pray to Lord Shiva and beg for forgiveness as they were going to kill their cousins – the Kauravas in the unavoidable war. The Pandavas went in search of Lord Shiva, but Shiva was not willing to forgive them and hence went into hiding underground at Guptakashi (which came from the name - Gupt meaning secret and Kashi – abode of Shiva). The Pandavas still managed to find him but Shiva then rematerialized himself in the form of the bull’s body parts at 5 different locations – namely Panch Kedar – the places being Tungnath (bull’s hands), Kedarnath (hump), Rudranath (head), MadhyaMaheshwar (navel) and Kalpeshwar (hair). Chandrashila peak
- You will be awe-struck to see the 360-degree view of the Himalayan ranges from the peak. The peak is small where you are welcomed to several 7-layer stones placed by trekkers once they reach. The 7-layer stone is a ritual for making their wishes.
The peak also has a Shiva linga at one corner. It is said that Lord Rama meditated in front of this Linga to cleanse himself of the sins of killing the Brahmin king Ravana.
It is beautiful to note that even our Gods cannot escape the laws of Karma!
This trek gives trekkers a one-stop-package of beauty of 360-degree view of snow-capped Himalayan range, lakes, rhododendron trees and meadows in a not so tiring 5-day trek! To add to it, the spiritual folks get to walk through the places of huge significance in our Puranas as well! Definitely one of the best beginner Himalayan treks for all!
Tot: 0.056s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 14; qc: 28; dbt: 0.0072s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb