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Chopta Tunganath Chandrashila Trek through my lens

Chopta Tunganath Chandrashila Trek through my lens

Having a bucket list is good but getting started with living them is great. I always wanted to have a Himalayan trekking experience. So, I chose the Chopta Tunganath trek which is said to be an easy-moderate trek as compared to other Himalayan Treks.

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Confluence of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi at Devprayag

We boarded a bus from Delhi at midnight and reached Rishikesh at 5:30 am. There we witnessed a serene sunrise and a cool morning breeze. From there, we started in a cab arranged by the Snowclad team who had also arranged our stay, food and trekking guide for the trek. On our way to Chopta, we were fascinated to see the confluence of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi at Devprayag that makes the Holy River Ganga.   We reached our base camp by afternoon. After reaching Chopta, we had a great time playing with colours by the side of a river stream just below the camp, as it was the occasion of Holi. Chopta Tungnath Chandrashila - ShepherdTrail Blog2We stayed in Swiss tents which had basic things like bed blankets and a washroom.

The next morning, we had a light breakfast and carried packed food for our trek.

The path towards Tungnath is cemented. This beautiful route is surrounded by Rhododendron bushes all around. On our way, we could see views of the mighty Himalayan Mountain ranges. One would never fall short of views throughout the trek. The mountains allow us to pause and be in awe of the world’s natural splendour.

Tung Nath is the world’s highest Shiva temple at an elevation of 12073 feet. It is a Panch Kedar temple located 4 kilometres from Chopta. After slaying their cousins in the Kurukshetra war, the Pandavas are said to have embarked on their quest to find Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva, however, was enraged by all the killings and wanted to avoid them, so he transformed into a bull and vanished into the ground, his bodily parts scattering in various locations. The place carries an amazing vibe with it.

Another climb of 1 hr leads us to Chandrashila peak. Chandrashila translates to “Moonrock.” The path from Tungnath to Chandrashilla was difficult as it was covered with a thick layer of snow and it was slippery. So we had to be very careful in choosing our steps. On reaching the top we had an experience like never before. I felt like I am on top of the world! We could have a breath-taking 360-degree view, including the Himalayan ranges like Nanda Devi, Kedar Peak, Chaukhamba Peaks, Trisul, and BandarpunchBeing in the mountains reminds us how insignificant we are on this magnificent planet. Making us feel excitingly vulnerable while emphasizing how much we still haven’t seen.

On our way back, we could see a beautiful sunset. The sun, with its warm colours, painted the sky and made the place an enchanted world.

We returned to the comfort of our tent yet it felt like we had been cast a spell that made us go back to those mountains in our thoughts. My heart was full of the moments, views and experiences. At night we had a bonfire and a great time getting to know other trekkers in the camp there.

Although the trek is over now, we are left with a lifetime of experience and memories to cherish!

You can read more experience about this trek here.



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How I Met Me – A Trek Date – Tunganath and Chandershila Trek

How I Met Me – A Trek Date

At times, all it takes is just that 1 trip, 1 destination, 1 moment, or 1 experience to see through oneself.

For me, that was my 1st Himalayan Trek to Tunganath and Chandrashila (12,500 ft) in Uttarakhand. A trek that made me see life with a new lens. This blog is more about that lens than the logistics of the trek.

The Trek (Tunganath and Chandrashila)

It was a 5-day trek from Sari Village – a beautiful hamlet at an elevation of 6500 ft in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, around 200 KM from Rishikesh.

The trek had actually begun days before reaching Sari. There was a lot of prep work that went in, starting from cardio exercises, weight training, a few breathing exercises, shopping the trekking gear, making a packing checklist, first-aid kit, etc.

And finally, I reached Sari – the base camp for my Trek. Reaching the base camp was a Trek in itself😊.

First, Fly from Hyderabad to New Delhi. Then take an overnight train from New Delhi to Haridwar. And then comes the 7 hours long road journey from Haridwar to Sari.

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This has been always the same in all my treks. It’s like getting you prepared for the real trek 😊.

The next 5 days were absolutely thrilling and exciting filled with memories of a lifetime. Of course, it was very tiring for a beginner, but it was equally relaxing around gorgeous campsites as you can see.Tunganath and Chandrashila Trek - ShepherdTrail Blog 2

Each day was full of scenic views of Mt. Chaukamba, Rhododendron forest trails, idyllic glens and meadows, beautiful Himalayan birds like the Yellow-billed blue magpie, and Uttarakhand’s State Bird – The Monal.Tunganath and Chandrashila Trek - ShepherdTrail Blog 3

It was all about how you keep going and push yourself to complete that 1-day target, instead of thinking how to reach the summit, as the saying says – One step at a time.

No matter how far or high is the summit, if you just focus on today’s target, push yourself to achieve that one thing today, that’s how you reach towards your summit.

The Summit

“One day, the mountain that is in front of you, it will barely be visible in the distance. But the person you become in learning to get over it? That will stay with you forever. And that is the point of the mountain.”― Brianna Wiest

This is exactly what happened to me in the trek. I am an entirely different person after the trek; I am more of a minimalist than a materialistic, confident, adventurous, living life to the fullest, respectful and mindful of the power of Nature more, valuing Living over Existing. Impossibilities are sometimes the gates to new possibilities. Exploring one’s fears and limitations opens such gates that we never imagined.

This is what standing on the summit felt like – That eureka of accomplishment; that gush in self-confidence, self-motivation, and seeing a totally different world up there – a different power of creation that I never realized even existed. A moment of nothingness which was also a moment of wholesomeness.

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You are out of thoughts – that blank moment of life when all you have are those mighty peaks, those high swirling birds, that soothing chillness of the breeze, You, and your heartbeat. That’s all is your World there.

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That moment of stillness when you find yourself pondering over – Who am I? What is your Life about? What is this creation about? Are you Living or Existing? What’s your purpose on this Planet? Universe has the mystical power to show you what you are seeking.

The Fears

I am a very fearful person 😊. I am claustrophobic, aquaphobic, minor acrophobic, and cynophobic.

I was never aware of these phobias so strong within me until this trek. The moment I went into the sleeping bag in my tent that night, I couldn’t breathe. I felt suffocated, anxious, increased heartbeat – I was just unable to sleep inside the tent. In the entire trek of 5 days, I could sleep a total of 8 hours only. That’s when I faced this phobia head-on – that was the moment I realized this is so strong within me. Every night I used to try different ways to put myself into sleep –mountain pictures, music, staring at the moon and stars in the sky, keeping the tent door slightly open, etc.😊At times, I just walked around the campsite like a zombie 😊. That made me witness some amazing twilights and star-lit skies though.Tunganath and Chandrashila Trek - ShepherdTrail Blog 6

This was very difficult during my 1st trek, however, the subsequent treks were a bit better and now I’m able to sleep at least 5 hours every night on a trek 😊.

My next phobia was fear of dogs. Due to a not-so-good encounter with an angry dog in my childhood, I have been very scared of dogs all my life. I met a couple of mountain dogs on my trek and I bonded very well with them, as you can see😊 That’s the 1st time when I really petted a dog. This guy was with us for the entire trek – he followed us from Base Camp to the Summit, like a true companion!

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Anyone who has been to the mountains can certainly relate to what I’m trying to convey here – even dogs in the mountains are so compassionate and full of warmth. You just need to feel them. From that day on, mountain dogs are my friends 😊. I’m still trying with the city dogs though 😊.

As I mentioned above, reaching the Summit brought in a lot of confidence and everything seemed possible to me thereafter. So, I decided to face my next phobia – Fear of Water. Claustrophobics are mostly aquaphobes too. I did go for River Rafting in The Ganga at Rishikesh, after my trek. The oarsman literally pushed me out of the raft saying “you should try this” 😊 Trust me, it gave me chills all over, I was scared to death and couldn’t process what’s happening.

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It was really horrifying for a person who never has even tried any basic water sports 😊. You can see that on my face (lol).

It’s always better to face your fears and limitations and fail than to fail anyways running away from them. It will either break you or accelerate you as I did. So, take that plunge towards yourself and explore the real YOU.
This is how I met Me on 1st May 2018, when are you meeting yourself?

Please share your here, it will be my delight to read them.

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