Deoria Tal was a part of my trip to Garhwal: Delhi-Haridwar-Rudraprayag -Chopta-Tungnath Temple-Chopta –Sari- Ukimath -Haridwar-Delhi. But without a separate narration of my trek for Deoria Tal, it would be sheer injustice to the beauty of the place and sheer fatigue it caused us to reach there – remember I had already conquered Tungnath temple trek and was defeated by Chandrashila peak the same day.
The Garhwal ranges of Himalayas posses many treasures of nature which are bestowed with unparallel beauty. Deoria Tal is one among such vista’s which captivates you with its irresistible allure. I had read before going there that at a height of 3200 meters, Deoria Tal’s crystalline water offers a spell bound images of its beautiful surroundings. But then; let me assure you there was nothing like that…well it’s not that people lie…it was just that it got overcast the day we went there.
The pond was a small one since the water level had receded (probably due to the fact that it was pre monsoon). There was no reflection of the Chaukhamba peak in its azure water – remember it was cloudy that day 🙂 Still there was something magical and transforming about the place. It was just like you open the wardrobe and step outside into a world full of snow and beauty and an array of enchanting aspects of nature (remember Narnia). The surroundings were suddenly transformed; as if a Rand al Thor by opening a gateway has transferred us to a distant place (Not really Seanchan though).
After walking a climb of such tough gradient and exhausting all the spirit that we had (literally and metaphorically), reaching Deoria Tal was as if Hermione had by a sweep of a magic wand has brought into effect her spell ‘Wingardium Leviosa’ lifting our spirit (literally). What eternity (yes each moment passed like that while I was toiling) of rest en route couldn’t do to our spirit, saturated our being as the sight of emerald landscape greeted us as we reached Deoria Tal.
It’s a serene place in the true sense of the word. Not much to distract your sight or senses except captivating sights and literally no sound. A journey which lets you drift afloat except that you could hear your own footstep and for that matter even your heartbeats and the wonder of it all is that the pace is just normal even though you have undertook one of the most arduous journeys of your life. I guess this is they say life is lived in moments. More than that, I believe it is the fleeting moments which arrive every once in a while in the journey that each of us has to undertake – a journey called life – which makes us feel…to steal a phrase again…’an unbearable lightness of being’. It release us…it’s so good …and yes traveling is good coz in the first place we are all travelers and each journey that we undertake is invariably a personal quest.
Even though we/I didn’t spent the night there camping – it is said the real magic of Deoria Tal is only experienced when you wake up to the magical sight of sunrise – our journey was quite an experience. First there and then I decided that I will never do 2 treks in one day – unless of course I weigh at least 65 kg and go easier on spirits. And second that to really savor the journey I need to ensure that I time enough – reminds me of Andrew Marvell’s poem …Had we but world enough, and time,/ …./We would sit down and think which way/To walk, and pass our long love’s day.
As for the legends, it is believed that the Devas bathed in this lake hence the name, the lake is also sometimes believed to be the “Indra Sarovar” referred to in the Puranas by wandering, Hindu mendicants Sadhus. It is also believed that it was the place from where the Pandavas (remember Mahabharata they were the set of most pathetic character but that’s a philosophical and ideo-logical debate which is best avoided here) were asked queries by Yaksha. The lake is surrounded in a soothingly inclined field bounded by a deep wood cover. Set majestically in the lap of the magnificent mountain peaks, Deoria Tal is a popular destination among the challenging lots.
And as for the facts, the accommodation in Sari – from where the trek to Deoria Tal begins – is very cheap and also plentiful considering the very small inflow of tourists. There are quite a few cozy guest houses. Food served is mostly traditional but eggs and omelette are also available. As for the transportation it took around an hour to reach Sari from Chopta (private taxi)…not long but winding road. On our return journey we took state bus for Rishikesh which is not at all recommended. It’s painful especially… you know where I am talking about. And it kills your day. I mean you spend all your day in that boring bus …but on the plus side you get to know the names of all the rivers and a thousand gods as the music player keep on reciting them continuously throughout the journey…but then as the day draws to close you can also tap – only you don’t have space and energy left – to the tune of chamma chamma and a few Punjabi numbers.
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