Winterland Garhwal

| Updated on January 09, 2020 Published on January 09, 2020

Known for its sacred Shiva temples, the Garhwal region is equally loved for it delightful trekking trails

The Garhwal region of Uttarakhand is known as Kedar-kshetra, a holy site for Shiva worshippers. Tungnath, one of the Panch (or five) Kedar temples in this region, is perched on the Chandranath peak at a height of 3,680 m.

Legend has it that Tungnath is more than 1,000 years old. During winter, the idol of the presiding deity is shifted 19 km away to Mukunath. The 3-km trek to Tungnath from the hill town of Chopta is arduous but rewarding. Trekkers are blessed with stunning vistas of the nearby peaks as they move ahead.

The trail passes through meadows, hamlets and conifer and oak forests, all of which are covered in snow during winter. The trek ends at the Chandrashila summit, from where one can glimpse the Himalayan peaks of Trishul, Nanda Devi and Chaukhamba.

Just ahead of Chopta, the starting point of the trek, lies the town of Ukhimath. About 45 km away is Rudraprayag, the confluence of Alaknanda and Mandakini rivers. At the bottom of the Tungnath mountains lie the river valleys of the two rivers.

The trek to Devaria Lake begins from the village of Sari on the Ukhimath-Chopta road. The lake, situated at a height of 2,438 m, stands in the midst of lush greenery during summer, and covered under a thick blanket of snow in the winter.

Trekkers usually combine this trek with the one to Tungnath and Chandrashila. However, all visitors are required to return to Chopta by sunset. You can get a 360-degree panoramic view of the Himalayan ranges from Devaria Lake.

There are several local myths associated with the lake, including many related to the epic Mahabharata. One of them has to do with its origin itself — Bhima is supposed to have dug out the lake to quench his elder brother Yudhishthira’s thirst.

Jagan Negi is a Delhi-based freelance photographer

Published on January 09, 2020