Snow Trek to Tungnath, Climbing Down | Revisiting Uttarakhand

40

The Journey so far-

Within five minutes we reached the Tungnath Temple and we all were overwhelmed by our endeavor so far. It was an amazing feeling indeed as no one expected that we will make it to the top in such extreme snow. We were overjoyed and were all over the place. The entire complex was buried under snow and there was as much as 4-6 feet of snow at places, I guess. The guest houses were also under snow to a great height and so was the temple too. Thankfully there was a small shed just aside of temple which was devoid of that much snow and we rested for a while on the windows of the shed. Windows were the only place where there was no snow 😀 … We clicked many pictures but I didn’t have the stamina left to compose or frame any shots. Hence, forgive me if the results are too poor without any composition or framing to your liking… Umeid had also warned us to watch the footing as there could be snow to our chest height even and the burning sun had made it all soft too. This along with loads of cloths restrained me to kneel down or reflex the body to compose any shots 😀 … The loss of energy has also sucked the creativity too :lol and I shot whatever best I can… There was no effort to create a picture rather I just managed to click them for archives.

Chandrashilla still eludes us 🙂 …
Views from Tungnath Snow Trek

It was now time to leave downhill now and Chandrashilla still eludes us :cry:… Just as we were having a heavy heart for not making to the top of Chandrashilla, we saw the girl among the foreigner couple coming down. She told us that there was too much snow and it was too scary for her to manage. She told that it is too risky to attempt but her friend and guide are still trying to attempt it. She was glad that she came back and so were we after listening such words because after all we wanted this trip to be UNEVENTFUL 😀 … After a little chit-chat with the girl, we bid her adieus and started the climb down towards Chopta.

Entering the temple… see the trishul… totally buried…
Tungnath Temple in Snow
The first views…
Tungnath Temple in Snow
A much upright…
Tungnath Temple in Snow
The side views…
Tungnath Temple in Snow
The other side…
Tungnath Temple in Snow
The right side…
Tungnath Temple in Snow
A portrait…
Tungnath Temple in Snow
Time for me to pose too…
Tungnath Temple in Snow
Bells of heaven…
Tungnath Temple in Snow
Shooting with the bells…
Tungnath Temple in Snow
The entrance to Tungnath…
Tungnath Temple in Snow
Enjoying a much needed shelter…
Tungnath Temple in Snow
Views from the shelter…
Tungnath Temple in Snow
Tungnath Temple in Snow
Tungnath Temple in Snow

We started the descend slowly and slowly as now the chances of sliding down had increased. The snow had gone soft due to bright shining sun, so as soon as our feet put pressure on the foot holes we get slid deep into the snow. The volume of snow was great and we started to realize it now. Every now and then, one of us was down into the snow till waist high. In some cases we have to almost dig ourselves up from the front when we were dropped deep into the snow. The bamboo stick which we carried along was doing wonders to prevent the injury as it was the only support present to hold us from falling. The shoes were doing the good job too in protecting the ankle and yes it got worse and worse as we went down. At places I even lost the footing from the track which pushed me further deep into the snow but thankfully I always bended my body due to which stomach did not let me go too far down. The recovery from such fall was to pull your feet out slowly and crawl ahead on your stomach 😆 … Sometimes when we tried to pull ourselves up from the snow, the point where we put pressure using the stick breaks apart as well crashing the face in the snow 😀 … It was indeed a tough feeling and now I was also feeling good about the fact that we did not attempt Chandrashilla :D…

As we left the temple to trek down…
Views from Tungnath Snow Trek
Views from Tungnath Snow Trek
Making the way down…
Views from Tungnath Snow Trek
Views from Tungnath Snow Trek
Views on the way down…
Views from Tungnath Snow Trek
Views from Tungnath Snow Trek

The descend did not required much effort from the body itself although the continuous falls into the snow were really pushing the body to the limits. The foot holes created while climbing up had melted snow water in them and they were majorly soft making us fall deep in them. One definitely require a good pair of shoes which can protect the ankle from getting twisted and mine was doing just great. I only took the camera out whenever required because there was a high chance of breaking it up in one fall or the other. In between my friends and cousin called for the help of Umeid in order to cross that dangerous point again and this time I was shooting them from the back. I also too extreme caution this time because snow was soft and since the railing was on the edge of the track, there was a high chance of getting your leg stuck in between the gorge and railing. But, we all were happy to cross that section without any trouble.

Another view of the dangerous point…
Views from Tungnath Snow Trek
A little snowman over a man…
Views from Tungnath Snow Trek
I am tired too…
Views from Tungnath Snow Trek

We made further progress at the same slow pace and were fully enjoying it. Water has seeped into the shoes by then and soon the fingers of the right feet had gone numb. However, this time due to the comfortable shoes, I was able to walk down without much trouble even with numb right feet. By 3.15 PM, we finally reached Chopta and immediately ran into the dhabha for a cup of tea. It appeared heaven for us and none of us wanted to move ahead. But, the call of the moment was to move ahead in warmth of the body. The cooler body restricts the movement of various parts of the body making it difficult to walk in cold conditions. Hence, within no time we were on the road again and this time we wanted to follow the road only till Baniya Kund. This meant walking 500-800 Mtrs extra 🙁 but it will be far better than risking the falls in the slush at shortcuts. Even on the road there was about 2 feet of snow at some sections which made the walk difficult through them. But, this time we were sure that there will always be a road beneath this snow :D…

The Huts…
Views from Tungnath Snow Trek
Views from Tungnath Snow Trek
Views from Tungnath Snow Trek
Views from Tungnath Snow Trek

After a weary walk of about 1 hour we finally reached Baniya Kund where our taxi was waiting for us. Without any further delay we jumped into the taxi to rest our sore feet and asses 😀 … In between the downhill walk we also met the foreign couple who told us that even the boy and their guide could not make it to Chandrashilla. It was indeed dangerous to climb up there and tough too. We were more happy with our decision now as there would surely have been some kind of event at least with us 😀 … But, hats off to their stamina as they reached Baniya Kund along with us even after starting from the top so late. They asked us for the lift to Ukhimath and we have no reason to say no :)… So, as they went down to Duggalbitta to un-pitch their tent we waited in the taxi at Duggalbitta for them. Finally, after 20 minutes or so when they came, we started the drive towards Ukhimath and reached the place within half an hour.

Even the Umeid (cook) was surprised that me made it to the top and are also back with ample sunlight still left in the day. Earlier our taxi driver, then few fellow travelers who called in between were also surprised by this fact… But, against all odds the leaders lead their way with determined hearts :D… Anyways it was time for some party, so we asked Umeid to get some booze for us as he was going to the market with the taxi driver and asked Umeid (cook) to prepare pakodas for us. Within no time getting into the room each one of removed the shoes and let the feet feel the air… We changed all the wet clothes and laid on the bed after switching on the geyser for a shower each. One by one we got relaxed with the hot bath and started enjoying the rum with pakoras. Umeid was too high after only 2 so we didn’t let him the other one but unfortunately we could not kept for Umeid (cook) who prepared those delicious pakoras 🙁 … Everyone enjoyed the drinks and seemed to have recovered from the tiredness of the trek. Dinner was also ready having egg curry this time and our stomach wanted to get a feel of it very badly. Since, Umeid had gone too high so we guided him to his room for a good night sleep, after he had two chapattis. We enjoyed the dinner and egg curry was the most delicious meal of the trip so far. After satisfying our tummies to the core we all went for a good night sleep as well 🙂

The Journey ahead-

  • A Drive from Ukhimath to Delhi | Revisiting Uttarakhand

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40 Comments

  1. Pingback: Spiti Valley Sprint | Overnight Drive through Shimla - Devil On Wheels™

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  4. Debasish Chatterjee on

    Dear Sir, Your journey, as told by you, along with the pictures are quite interesting, and has sent the adrenalin rushing high in the veins of this young man (at heart) of 61 yrs. I think I’ll give it a go. Tell me the best time.

    I’m a bengali, stay in Kolkata, West Bengal, a writer, photographer & a maverick by nature.

  5. Dear Dheeraj Ji,
    we are planning to go to Tunganath in next month i.e 2nd week Nov 2013.I want to know that will it be feasible to go there at that time?can we seen snow out there near the Tunganath temple.

    Regards
    Rahul

  6. jitendra singh gill on

    Dear Mr. Dheeraj,

    Hello,

    Thank you for last year, I visited Saach Pass last year. I am planning to go to Hemkunt Sahib, Badrinath Ji and The Tungnath Ji Temple. I just wanted to go in the last week of May and want to know, is it possible to go by own car (Is there any fitness required for car an what are the norms for that.)

    Yours,
    Jitendra Singh Gill

    • hi u can go to badrinath ji by ur own car.for hemkunth sahib u have to trek around 13 km from govind ghat which is in d way to badrinath.i also recomend VALLEY OF FLOWER its really a jannat.u can take any car to badrinath.but don:t go in rainy season its little dangerous because of land sliding.tungnath i also planning to go their in june.

  7. Hi, me and my friends of thinking to go on trek to Tunganath on last week of February and wanted to know how long (duration wise) is trek from dehli or haridwar?
    and any other inputs?

    Thanks in advance 🙂

  8. Prakash Purohit on

    Great Pictures & Enthusiasm you have for Himalaya. I would also like to travel in such nature’s paradise. Hope this summer i can plan visit to MYSTIQUE HIMALAYA. Thanks

    • Thank you so much Prakash!! All my best wishes with you. Let me know incase you need any info. I would be happy to share whatever I have about this place 🙂

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  9. Tapan chatterjee on

    Hey Dheeraj,
    Thanx a lot for the pictures.
    I want to go to ukhimoth, tungonath, chopta, deoriatal at the start of march will it be possible? wl there be snow at that time?

    • Hello Tapan,

      Delay it by a week or two and then the roads to Chopta will be open otherwise you will have to trek from Duggalbitta or Baniya Kund to Chopta and then further to Tunganath. Rest all places will be accessible. The pics you are seeing are from second week of March and upto then as well we had to trek to Chopta from Baniyakund.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  10. Hi Dheeraj, Excellent pics. We are planning to Uttaranchal trip in Mid May (14 May – 19 May). Can we experience snow trek during this time or is it all melted? Do u suggest if this is the good time to visit Tungnath/Chandrashila? Do we experience snow?

    • Hi Navya,

      Thanks a lot. I guess there will not be much snow, may be some at Chandrashilla but I do not see possibility at Tunganath or Deoria Tal. Apart from snow, it will be nice time to visit and beat the heat of summers. The snow clad peaks views will be fantastic and clear from the top.

      I hope this helps. Please let me know incase you have any queries or doubts.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Thanks Dheeraj for your inputs.

        We are little confused about our tour plan. We would like to cover Nainital and Rishikesh in this trip. Which one would be better plan?

        1. Nainital – Chopta (via rudraprayag)-Rishikesh

        or

        2. Nainital – Kausani – Corbett – Rishikesh – Mussoorie? all these 5 places does not seem to be possible. Which one do you think should be skipped here?

        We will reach Nainital on 14th evening and we have to come back to Delhi on 20th May evening. Can you suggest which one would be better plan?

        Thanks a lot!

        • Hi Navya,

          At any given day, I will go with Nainital – Chopta (Tunganath Trek/Chandrashilla Views/ Deoria Tal all around that place) – Rishikesh. Second option will be very boring in comparison to the first one. You can easily do first one within the time frame you have.

          I hope this helps. Please let me know incase you have any queries or doubts.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  11. Vetrimagal on

    Amazing life of young people. You are having a snow-ball time, and thanks for sharing with us the awesome scenes. Like your pages and pictures very much!

    • Hi Spuros,

      Thanks alot. The guide's name is Umeid and you can talk to him at +91-9411737835. The guys is very knowledgeable about the region and we really liked his company too 🙂

      Regards
      Dheeraj

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  16. HIMADRI PAUL [KOLKAT on

    please mention all of yours name and the time you all visited tunganath with the mind blowing experience .TOUR LOVERS LIKE ME REALLY THANKS YOU ALL FOR THE EXCELLENT PHOTOGRAPHY OF THE SCENIC BEAUTIES WHICH ENJOY FROM MY HEART A LOT.

    • Hello Himadri,

      I along my friends and family (who keep on changing with every trip) keep journeying the Himalayas quite often. We had an eye on a Snow trek to Tunganath for quite sometime but just always ended up in Himachal only :). We visited Tunganath in second week of March after getting the news of roads opening. I am really glad and highly appreciate your feelings as a nature lover and praising pictures on my blog. I click/practice only when I travel and just learning tids-bits of it so appreciation from you is highly welcome. Of course, it was indeed a mind blowing experience!!
      My two friends (Himanshu and Neeraj) + my brother Dhruv accompanied me on this trip.

      Thanks again!! 🙂

      Regards,
      Dheeraj Sharma

  17. Pingback: Delhi to Deoria Tal, Uttarakhand | Travel Guide | DeViL on WheeLs…

  18. Nilavra Ghosh on

    Dheeraj ,

    Any update on Manali leh highway status ? How is the weather now although I know snow is expected at the end of this week.

  19. Thanks alot buddy, glad that you like the pictures. Well, I went to Tunganath in the month of March this year. 9th to 13th March. This year snow has been there in good amount. normally this much snow is found in April. We were few of the lucky first ones of the season to get the blessings from Lord Shiva this year. It was awesome, I hope you checked the Deoria Tal ones as well.

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