A road trip to Uttarakhand (#uttarakhandescapdes) with two of my best travel buddies Amit and Sadh last year, will always glow brightly in my memory. Out of places like Nainital, Munsiyari, Ranikhet, Rudraprayag and Rishikesh, Deoria Tal was exceptional.
Tucked away in one of the corners of Uttarakhand at an altitude of 2438 mt/8000 feet, a beautiful place is known for the serenity and the breathtaking view of the #Him
alayas that it offers. A picturesque place far away from the hustle & bustle of the city life with no hotels, restaurants, bars and other amenities. Deoria Tal is devoid of electricity, mobile network and population, completely detached from the world allowing you to spend your time with the flow of nature in the lap of the Himalayas. Camping is the only way to spend your night which you can hire. Or, if you are carrying one you can pitch it anywhere by paying a nominal fee to the #Uttarakhand tourism department, and for food, you will have to depend on the locals.
Deoria Tal is 220 km from Ranikhet from where we started our journey hoping to reach the same day. But, that didn’t happen as in highlands the weather changes very swiftly and it turned from bad to worse. It started pouring, we were sodden and till dusk we could only reach till Rudraprayag, a beautiful town at the confluence of two rivers Alaknanda and Mandakini.
Next morning we refreshed ourselves watching the gorge from the balcony of our hotel. It was not raining but the weather was cloudy which made us skeptical about the weather in Deoria Tal. As, if the weather doesn’t improve we will not be able to see the peaks, ruining the whole purpose of visiting the place. However, hope floats never sinks! We left Rudraprayag in our rear view and resumed our journey towards Deoria Tal, which was just 56 km away. En-route the weather improved, we did not get heavy downpour like the day before but one or two spells of drizzle which didn’t last long and by the time we reached Sari village the sun was playing peek a boo with clouds dispersing fast above us, which brought smiles to our faces.
Sari village is the base camp for the 3 km trek to Deoria Tal. One will find few numbers of shacks owned by the locals which provide camping with food at Deoria Tal. We unsaddled our bikes in one of those shacks and packed the bare minimum necessities in our backpack. After having a belly full of noodles we were ready for the hike.
These 3 kms hikes which happened to be our first was led by a 10-year-old Princey (the daughter of the owner of the shack) and believe me it was not easy. The paved stone path ended after some distance and the terrain became more tough with inclines of up to 45 degrees to climb. Our lack of fitness showed early on itself and we were huffing and puffing while climbing the hill. It was getting harder to keep up with Princey as she was dancing her way up. With ample breaks in every 5-10 minutes and the cool breeze with the picturesque view of the valley which accompanied us, we reached the top. Princey took us to the one and only shack at the top which will provide our tents and food for the night. By that time we were starving and we again fed ourselves with noodles from the shack.
After the meal, we trek the last few meters through the woods to witness the magical panoramic view of the entire valley which was right in front of us.
The pale evening sun seems to be losing an argument with fast moving clouds, not ready to surrender. The backdrop of gigantic Himalayan peaks continuing their cold gaze on the entire valley, the lush green tranquil valley waiting for the raindrops, to quench its thirst, and then there was a lake resembling a perfect mirror of the valley and the sky above that surrounded it. We were transfixed at first and later a frenzy stroll around the place grasping the beauty of Deoria Tal.
In the next hour or so the clouds not only won the argument with sun but also celebrated their victory in the form of rain. We took shelter in the watch tower adjacent to the forest house enjoying the nature’s masterpiece both in the form of painting and music which cannot be explained in words. We stood there until the music stopped and then captured some nature’s masterpiece on our camera.
Around 8 pm the sun disappears along with its shine surrendering to the darkness, we had our dinner and surrendered ourselves into the sleeping bags too. That night was the best in my life so far.
The vlog of Uttarakhand trip is provided below.