Journey from Delhi to Chopta with Tunganatha Trekking
Read on for our travel experience to Chopta Village, part of the Kedarnath Reserve in Uttarakhand. This article covers tent accommodation in Chopta, trekking in Tunganath and the route from Delhi to Chopta.
Expression ends when beauty begins...!
"The problem is with the compressor. We will fix it within a day," said the air conditioning mechanic. After two days and 100 phone calls, we got used to a makeshift desk fan in our office cubicle. Day 3 was Wednesday and I received a link from my wife. Snow-capped mountains, green meadows, colorful tents, gravel trails, avid hikers in winter suits – it made the connection. Within 10 minutes a WhatsApp group was created with just 3 members me, my wife and my brother-in-law Rahul. The destination was decided unanimously.
School was already on summer vacation, but the kids stayed home with Nani. The only challenge was getting vacation time approved at the same time. "Keep going", "Only if he achieves a ton of goals this month...!", "The system can't do it". one was from my boss. At 8pm we were at an Indian Oil gas station on the Delhi-Meerut highway. As we crossed the Muzaffarnagar bypass, we received a call back from Rishikesh, the manager of New Bhandari Swiss Cottages, to confirm our room reservation. We skipped dinner to avoid further delays and packed some rolls from Roorkee's main gate, his IIT. It was exactly 12:30 pm when Mr. Ramesh opened the hotel door for us.
The breakfast table choices the next morning were plentiful. Bhandari Cottage Restaurant has a variety of breakfast options including American, Continental and Israeli including fresh orange juice and always makes me and my wife want to stay here. For Rahul, the temptation was less the menu and the presence of handsome tourists from those countries.
Around 10am we started our journey again. Traffic dwindled as we passed through Shivpuri, the rafting capital of India. After driving for an hour, I turned off the A/C for a while to get some fresh air. The Ganges was on the right, flowing in the opposite direction. Even at sharp turns, she was calm and graceful, perfectly moving towards the plains to serve civilization. Meanwhile, we moved forward cautiously, changing gears, hitting the brakes, honking our horns, and burning fuel.
Devprayag is a must stop for all first-time travelers when they catch a glimpse of the confluence of the crystal clear green Bagirati river and the muddy Alakananda river. It's always fun to watch two rivers meet. This is the first spot for selfies and Facebook updates... The first slogan that came to Priyanka's mind was probably 'Nature's Magic'.
"Hurry up and post before the network finds out," Rahul commented from the backseat. "He might have to wait two more days to count the likes," he said, confident that the connection would weaken as altitude increased.
First stop 5km before Srinagar. There were 10 to 12 huge clay buckets wrapped in red cloth around the shop. It was a luxury store in Shikanji. The owner, Mr. Deepak Negi, poured a refreshing lemon juice. Perhaps the atmosphere and timing added more flavor. We sat under a tree overlooking the river about 150 meters below. There was a small village across the river. Nothing seemed to move in this village. For a while we all had the same thought: "Sub Kuch Cho Kay, we Gaon Mei Bus Jau...!"
We crossed Rudraprayag and took the highway towards Kedarnath. Now the river was flowing to the left. I filled up the fuel tank just in case. When I asked the way, I found out that there are two Choptas. Our destination was Chopta via Ukimas. Therefore, you need to continue on the Kedarnath Highway for another 35 km. We stopped for lunch at a little dhaba on the roadside. Alu Jeera was served with red cold sauce. This may have caused a surprise the next day, but it served our purpose nonetheless.
After crossing Augsumni, I saw the Himalayas for the first time. It was just 24 hours after her wife sent her this magic link. Excited and excited, we stopped to take pictures with the river, mountains and roads in the background. After driving 35km from Rudraprayag, we left the Kedarnath Highway and took the route to Ukimat. In winter, idols are purchased from Kedarnath to Ukimat, where they are worshiped for six months.
A full-scale climb begins from Ukimas. The road gets narrower and narrower, and the scenery changes with each turn. When I pulled down the window glass, I felt the air thin. Priyanka was the first to wear a sweater. Our Wagon R was probably the only one that behaved unnaturally and strangely on this narrow road, everything else was in harmony with nature. The snow-capped mountains are now visible on the left and have always provided the traveler with a visual treat. For the next 30 minutes we were alone and there were no other cars on the road.
Chopta 24km...... A milestone towards the finish line. It was 3:30pm.
Exactly her half an hour later a sign pointed to the Magpie Resort. Her wife found out about this resort on the internet. However, she didn't have a reservation so she decided to look for other accommodation. Chopta was still eight kilometers away. We expect Chopta to be a small village-like town with a market, small sidewalk lampposts, a few hotels, a few restaurants, a shack-like tourist inn, and a shopping street. I was. But nothing at all. We parked our car near a small dhaba and switched off the engine. The first thing I noticed when I got out of the car was the silence. We stop for a while like no other in this quiet valley and experience eternal peace. There were some dhaba a few meters away. The 3.5-kilometer trekking route to Tunnath Temple starts from this particular location. When we met, three local youths approached us and offered us affordable accommodation. They showed us some basic rooms which we would have agreed to if we were single. I inquired about another option, but found very little. "If you're looking for better accommodation, try Magpie," said one of Dabaha's owners. We drove another 8 miles back and arrived at the Magpie Resort.
Vehicles must be parked close to the main road. A narrow path along the jungle led to a magpie. The first panel reads, "200 yards away," and the second panel reads, "Keep your voice down...do not disturb the calm of the jungle." The road led to a vast green meadow surrounded on three sides by mountains and jungle. On the right of the third page you can see the snow capped Gangotri Range. About 8 to 10 tents were set up at the end of the open side. Next to the tent is a bamboo and wood restaurant building and a small solar array. "Jiju, we're not going anywhere else," Rahul said, taking a deep breath. It was a dream come true for any Delhi resident looking to relax from the excessive heat of May. The manager greeted us. Few families left having evening tea in Pokora, but very little noise. The manager showed us to our tent. It was beautifully maintained and had an attached bathroom and running water. My excitement suddenly subsided when the manager, Dilip, explained the stay package. It was over budget. I took a few steps and watched the sun slip behind the hills.
But deep down, I was convinced that the Scheme brother-sister couple (Rahul and Priyanka) would come to an agreement, and it did. Satisfied, I returned to pick up my luggage. When I entered the tent, it was pitch black.
For the next 36 hours we were practically in heaven. The firewood is burning well, and it seems that you can hear the sound of the fire burning. We sat on the lawn and stared at the sky. The moon was never brighter than that night near Elster. I discovered Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. I remember the last time I saw these two famous constellations was maybe 20 years ago, when I was staying in a hostel. It's been years since I've seen a sky so bright and full of stars. I think people in Delhi and other polluted metropolises will relate to my experience.
The best thing about Magpie Resort is doing nothing. Don't talk too much, just walk around, pick fresh weeds, chew until you enjoy the taste of grass, and keep dreaming. In the evenings, the kitchen team treats guests with excellent vegetarian dishes. The staff makes you feel like part of the family, even if you are only staying for one day. It got pretty cool at night. We jumped into our tent and didn't know when we fell asleep.
The next morning I woke up to the sounds of birds. There are many birds such as yellow birds, blue birds and birds of different colors. Coming out of the tent, it was so much fun to see so many birds walking around that I had never seen before. Priyanka and Rahul also joined me for a walk in the forest. An hour later I came back for a bath and breakfast.
Trekking to Tenganatha Temple
Chopta's main attractions are the Tunganatha Mandir and the Tree King.
After breakfast, trek to Thunnath Temple. This is a title that people will cherish for the rest of their lives. I have never seen such a beautiful place in my life, including in a Bollywood movie.
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