My first visit to Jim Corbett

My first visit to Jim Corbett

 

On Christmas Eve, I went for Tungnath-Chandrashilla trek and my love for mountains, rivers, and the forest started getting more extreme. That was one of the lifetime experience in the mountains.

One fine Friday evening, I was discussing my next adventure trip with my friend. We decided to do a relaxing weekend trip to Landsdowne, Uttarakhand. I started looking for accommodation and places to visit in Landsdowne online and enquiring with few friends, who had been there. While I was exploring options, I went for a tea break with my office friend and informed her casually about our Landsdowne plan. Knowing my taste about travel, she told me to drop Landsdowne and consider Jim Corbett. Suddenly, I started recollecting Kaal movie (Bollywood movie where Ajay Devgan was the ghost and friend of tigers). And next moment she shared the contact number of Salim, guide/driver from Jim Corbett. Now the mission was changed from Landsdowne to Jim Corbett which is a forested wildlife sanctuary in Uttarakhand State.

I spoke to Salim and paid him an advance for safari. Dhikala and Bijrani area (with more dense forest with high chances of spotting a tiger) booking was full, as it required 45 days advance booking but, we were lucky enough to get the booking for Jhirna area.

Safari was booked, travel plan was done and now we must look for accommodation. So started browsing hotel booking sites and I got a very good deal in Wood Castle Spa and Resort on Ibibo.com. Booked 2N/3D two rooms at just Rs 25,742 (taxes included) breakfast and one meal included. Woods Castle is the Beautiful property on Koshi river bank. The river and forest view from the lawn is amazing. Their staff is very welcoming and warm. And the food is the highlight of the stay. Every single dish they cooked for us was just yum. I recommend wood castle if you plan to visit Jim Corbett.

Road trip begins from Noida

We started at 8.00 in the morning by car from Noida and reach Jim Corbett at around 3.00 PM, after taking breaks for breakfast at 10.00 AM near Garh Mukteshwar and then lunch at 2.00 PM near Kashipur. The drive was really good. Initially till Hapur, we got little traffic because of flyover construction on NH-9 but, after crossing Hapur it was very smooth drive till Moradabad. After bypassing Moradabad city, we took a left turn, which was a single lane road alongside the canal. We saw some really good landscapes on that stretch. Trees were planted in a straight line in the square field, where you can see few sun rays are passing between the trees creating a set for a Hollywood thriller. Lush green plants covered with the carpet of yellow mustard flowers. Overloaded tractors carrying sugarcanes and many more. Climate was very pleasant throughout the day from Noida to Jim Corbett. One jacket was good enough to survive the cold weather.

After reaching the resort, we decided to take rest for a couple of hours. So, my friend went slept and I decided to try some of my wildlife photography skill. I took my camera and went to the river bank to click some pictures of birds and a nice river view with sunset in the background.

Lost in Nature

At around 6.00 PM the sun went down and my friend woke up and got all that we would need to party in the hotel lawn. We were feeling totally relaxed to have a drink standing on river bank listing to the water sound and looking at the forest trees which were just across the river and soft gazals of Jagjit Singh in the background. We were completely cut off from our professional life and was just enjoying the beauty of nature. Official targets were replaced by the tiger spotting strategies next days, all the client calls were replaced by the sound of river water and all the presentation and seminars were replaced by the natures perfect picture of forest and birds. It was the perfect Friday evening one could imagine. At around 11.30 pm, we felt a sudden drop in temperature and decided to retire for the day, as it was 7 degrees and we had to spend two more days there.

 

Ready for the open Safari in Jim Corbett

Day 2: I got up at 7.30 and went out for running for a couple of KMs and came back to resort, where I found a bear on chair enjoying aloo parathas and tea on the same place, where we had party last night. Don’t be afraid, that was my friend with bear like structure 😊. Place was the same with different drinks, view, but still, it was very relaxing.
By 10.30 AM, we finished our breakfast. Salim was supposed to come and pick us up at 1.30 pm. So we decided to play badminton till then. After a couple of games, we decided to call off and get ready for the safari. Salim was on time and we were very excited about our first open jeep jungle safari. Lots of thoughts in mind. Will we be lucky to see the tiger, will elephants cross our path and which other animals we will see. With all these excitements, we left the resort and stopped at petrol pump, where Salim filled his Gypsy’s tank and picked up Bobby Singh (Lalit Kumar Singh) our safari guide. Bobby was good and entertaining but, then at the end of the trip he got boring. He instructed that any given point of time we should not get down from the vehicle during the safari.

 

Finally, our safari was about the begin. We reached the Jhirna region check post, where Salim showed our permits and ids to the rangers, Yes! We are in Jim Corbett now and looking for wildlife around. For the first 4 kms it was good tar road and for the next 10 kms its was a muddy stone road but, in good condition. Not much of roll-a-coaster ride.

 

Jungle, Animals and you

Within a KM from the park gate, we spotted deer crossing the road. It was so beautiful. I wanted to test my wildlife photography skills, so asked Salim to stop the jeep and started clicking some good pics.

 

 

We saw many animals and birds on the way and the experience was awesome. It’s hard to describe in words. Our Jeep’s speed slowed down to 10 km/h after getting on to the muddy road. Diving 2 Kms on muddy road, Salim stop the jeep and asked us to keep quiet, as they were listening to animal calls to track the tiger. We waited for 10 mins but, left the place after few other safari vehicles passed by. On the way, we saw some Monkeys and Langurs, Peacocks and Wildbores. It was an awesome experience to see these wild animals in their habitats.

 

Yet to spot the Tiger

Everything was so cool but, we were yet to spot the tiger. Salim asked some of his fellow drivers about any Tigers spotted by them or heard any call. But the response was negative. We moved ahead in the jungle and decided to take a different route in search of the tiger tracks. Suddenly, Salim stopped the car and asked not to move, as he heard a call from barking deer. We could hear too as it was loud and clear. We waited for 5-7 minutes and heard monkey making sound from the other side of the road. We saw another vehicle coming from the opposite direction signaling us that the tiger is crossing the road. Salim moved ahead of the corner but, it was little late to reach the spot.

 

Oh No! We missed the tiger by a few seconds. By the time we reached the spot, the tiger had already crossed the road and disappeared in the bushes. Shit, we missed it. With only 30 mins left in safari, we missed seeing the tiger by a few seconds. How frustrating it could be. I asked Salim, if there is any chance, we can spot the tiger in the remaining 30 mins and answers was not convincing. We started heading back to the gate because we had to be out of the jungle by 5.30 pm or else Salim would have to pay penalty. It was so close yet so far but, we were thrilled with the experience we had of spotting tiger by just listening to the sounds made by the other animals. We returned to the check post with two minutes to spare and took a tea break. It was getting cold and you can well imagine how cold it would be in open Gypsy at 60 km/h speed. The safari was over and we had an experience of driving in open Gypsy in a Jungle, while the cold breeze. We just loved it.

 

We came back to the resort and celebrated the moment with a couple of drinks and some local smoke 😊. Salim asked me if I want to stay in the core Jungle in a guest house in Dhikala region. I am still thinking on taking that offer but not finalized yet. But If I go, I will definitely share my experience.

Story Teller: SATISH SAWANT

I am sure you have liked the journey of Jim Corbett. Please share your thoughts on this and spread the article on social media.

Interested in River and mountains of Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, then please read this article.

Information on Rivers and Mountains of Garhwal

All about Garhwal places in beauty

Rivers and mountains have very strong connection. How glorious a greeting river gives to mountains! I always wonder while traveling to Uttarakhand, when I see sacred rivers cutting down its way in between Himalayas and travelling thousands of kilometres. So, I thought of penning down my experience about the major rivers, peaks and glaciers of Garhwal region en route to places like Kedarnath, Tungnath and Badrinath.

Rishikesh lies at the foothills of Himalayas and after that point Ganga river flats and flows till Gangasagar in West Bengal. Its 6.30 in the morning when we reached Rishikesh, the yoga capital of the world. Millions of people across the globe come and stay for 3-4 months to learn and practice Yoga. Ganga aarti at sunset draws attention of lot of people and it is beautiful to see floating diyas (lamps) on water. That’s my moment, when I sit and keep watching those diyas till edge. And I do it every time I visit Rishikesh.

Few miles from Rishikesh (towards Himalayas), you will be driving along the river. The view was so mesmerizing that it takes to out of this world and really you don’t want to come back. The rapids, valleys and the roads tell their own stories. Stories of standing tall even after horrible calamities of 2013. Most of the valleys are lush green but, as it was spring, some of the mountains were covered with new purple carpet.

Devprayag

Devprayag, our first halt at distance of 75 kms from Rishikesh, where Bhagirathi and Alaknanda rivers meet and is known as Ganga after this point. This is one and last of panch prayag (five holy confluences) of Uttarakhand. This place is surrounded by 3 peaks, named Giddhanchal, Dashrathanchal, and Narsinghancal Parvat. Also, this town is the seat of Priests from Badrinath dham.

 

Bhagirathi river is coming from Gangotri glacier, whereas Alaknanda comes from Badrinath. So, We were heading to Tungnath (towards Kedarnath and Badrinath) so we crossed the bridge and started driving along with Alaknanda river. People who are heading towards Gangotri will take left from this point and enjoy the journey with Bhagirathi till 255 kms. Alaknanda river looked extreme silent as if it was not flowing at all. The water was dark green
and crystal clear. Moreover, the banks of river have the finest white sand in the region.

 

Rudraprayag

Rudraprayag, named after Lord Shiva is situated at the holy confluence of Mandakini and Alaknanda rivers. The entire region is blessed with beautiful natural scenery. Devprayag to Rudraprayag distance is 68 kms and river is named as Alaknanda between these two points.

Mandakini is coming from glacier near Kedarnath and Alaknanda comes from Badrinath. So, this place separates routes of Kedarnath and Badrinath dham. We took left and followed Mandakini river. This is the longest route in India where you will be driving along with the river.

 

Mandakini river has a good flow and looks mesmerizing when splashes on stone. As if its saying something. But, need patience to see for hours and concentrate and I didn’t had both. After driving for an hour, I got first glimpse of snow clad mountains and excitement to gaze at them kept on increasing. These were the first look of Himalayan peaks, which you can see from Kedarnath and Tungnath, but with different angles. And they look great from any places you see from.

Kund

It was 1.30 pm when we reached Kund, which divides route of Kedarnath and Chopta. We left Mandakini and said goodbye to thank it for the all day company. Kund to Chopta distance is 45 kms and you will drive through lush green valley all the way. The road is well constructed and the best part is, hardly any vehicle will cross you. We were enjoying the view of Kedarnath Peak, with soft music and little chit chat with our driver.

Tungnath – Chandrashila

Finally, we reached Chopta from where we had to start Tungnath-Chandrashila trek. Tungnath is the world’s highest Lord Shiva temple at an altitude of 12073 ft and Chandrashila summit is further one hour trek steep trek at height of 13500 ft. You will get the best views of the Himalayas, including Kedar Peak, Chaukhamba peaks, Nandadevi, Trisul, Bandarpunch and few more. Also, this is the place which divides valley of Kedarnath and Badrinath.

 

Himalayan Peaks

Kedardome peak (6940 m) : This is just above the Kedarnath temple and can be viewed from Guptkashi, Chopta, Tungnath also. From every angle it looks great and magnificent. It becomes more attractive when last rays of sun fall on the peak.

 

Meru(6660 m), Sumeru (6350 m) & KarchKund  (6632 m) This group of peaks lie in Garhwal region and is located to left of Mandani peak.

Mandani peak (6190 m) : This is part of Kedarnath range, but looks glorious from Chopta valley.

Chaukhambha – As the name suggests four pillars. This massive mountain lies in Gangotri group of Garhwal Himalayan peaks. It has got four summits at different elevations

  • Chaukhambha I –  7,138 m
  • Chaukhambha II –  7,070 m
  • Chaukhambha III – 6,995 m
  • Chaukhambha IV – 6,854 m

 

Source of Alaknanda

The origin of Alaknanda is at the foot of confluences of two glaciers Satopanth and Bhagirath Kharak. If you want to look at the origin, then trek begins from Mana ie the last village of India and is near Badrinath.

These glaciers are very nearby at distance of 1.5 kms. But this is high altitude Himalayan trek of 24 kms.

Source of Mandakini

Mandakini river originates from Chorabari glacier which is near Kedarnath temple. This lies at an altitude of 3900 m from sea level. The trek distance from Kedarnath to Chorabari is 4 kms only and is pretty easy to access. But if you consider your trek from Gaurikund, then total length would be 22 kms.

Source of Bhagirathi (Ganga)

Gangotri and Gomukh – As per the very popular legend, Gangotri is the place where Goddess Ganga came down from heaven to earth. And Lord Shiva released the river from matted locks of his hair. The river is named as Bhagirathi and known by Ganga after Devprayag when it meets Alaknanda.

The temple was built in 18th century by Gorkha commander and is said to be seat of Goddess Ganga which is one of char dham of Uttarakhand. The river originates from Gomukh or Gangotri glacier at an elevation of 4255m. There is a trek of 18 kms to reach  Gomukh. Here is the trek path

Gangotri -(9 kms)-Chirbasa (5 kms) Bhojwasa – (4 kms) – Gomukh

I would to hear from you on this post, please drop in comment to let me know. There are lot of hidden places to explore on Himalayas which I will be covering in future posts.

Till then, stay fit and happy travelling!

And special thanks to Ankit for sharing beautiful pictures of his Gomukh trek. Checkout his Instagram gallery for more cool pictures.

Tungnath – World’s highest Shiva temple

Trek the Himalayas

Himalayas are calling and I must go. Himalayas are the beginning and end of all natural scenery for me. I decided to go on small trek in mountains, but could not compromise with the beauty. Hence finalized to go Tungnath again in December end and trek the Himalayas which I did last year also.

Tungnath temple is world’s highest Lord Shiva temple at an altitude of 12,073 ft from sea level. It is believed to be 5000 years old from the time of Mahabharath and comes third in pecking order of Panch Kedar. Read complete story from my earlier post.

Day 1 – Journey from Rishikesh to Chopta

The first step to reach Tungnath is to choose your transport wisely. We reached Rishikesh by bus early morning and had to wait for our cab by chasing chilling breeze. That wait itself gave us idea how cold its gonna be there in Chopta and Tungnath. Moreover, its not going to be easy to trek the Himalayas. By 6:30 AM our cab arrived and we started for Chopta. The cab driver Bablu was a well experienced guy to drive in hills. He holds driving experience of more than 20 years and has driven big commercial vehicles even trucks. Not only this but also he had great knowledge of all the towns, rivers, peaks and hidden stories behind them.

It was 8:30, we took halt at small town Devprayag. This is the place where two sacred rivers Bhagirathi and Alaknanda meet, and is known as Ganga after this point. This town is the seat of Priests from Badrinath dham. People take holy dip at confluence, but we didn’t even think of as it was too cold.

Alaknanda looked very calm and was flowing silently. Whereas the Bhagirathi had its own flow with lot of rapids

 

After having breakfast of delicious Paratha and Chai we resumed our journey. The roads are under construction due to char dham yatra project. But you will be happily driving along with Alaknanda river which looked dark green and very silent as if its not flowing at all. Tune in to good music, drive in mountains, clouds circling around, river flowing by your side and tripping with the best buddies. What else do you want from life?

After driving for 3 more hours, we reached Rudraprayag which is the confluence of Alaknanda and Mandakini. From this point we had to be together with Mandakini river going ahead. This is the longest route in India where you will be driving along with the river as told by driver. After crossing this, we took lunch break at Sheetal hotel. I laid down on grassland and then heard sound of ducks. I asked Satish to catch one, but he successfully failed 🙂

 

As we moved towards Ukhimath, we experienced many breathtaking scenes of river with Himalayas my love. We reached Dugalbitha (6 kms from Chopta) at 3 PM where I booked accommodation. We immediately ordered Tea and Maggi, which gives immense pleasure when in mountains. Then we decided to go for short hike and gaze at Himalayan peaks which looked magical at time of sunset.

Night was icy cold and we layered with sweaters, jackets and got inside blankets. This is how the first day ended. We slept early with excitement and enthusiasm to trek the Himalayas next morning.

 

Day 2 : Himalaya Trekking to reach Tungnath

I woke up, I smiled because I could see Tungnath and Chandrashilla peak from my window and I call it as perfect morning 🙂

By 8, we got ready, packed bag and stepped out to leave for Chopta from where the trek begins. It felt like driving on the hidden road to heaven crossing lush green valley loaded with fresh snow.

Chopta is well equipped market, you can buy essentials for trekking, I have covered details later.

Entrance to heaven

 

We started our trek by ringing bell at the entrance after taking name of Lord Shiva. There is small registration counter near entrance charging Rs 150 per person which is mandatory.

Initially we faced breathing problem and our body was shivering but the soul was determined to reach on top.

Total length of the trek is only 4.5 kms, but is worth and rewarding.

 

 

Maggi in lap of Himalayas

 

After hiking for 1 km, we encountered a shop- the only open shop on this trail. We enjoyed Maggi sitting on grass land and looking at the magnificent Himalayas all around. We could see snow clad mountains at distance which would look very near in few hours.

 

 

 

 

Proper paved path is made, so you need not worry for trail. But remember this can be slippery when snow melts. After seeing continuous patches of ice, we took out our spikes and fixed with trekking shoes. This actually saved us from trouble from being slipped throughout the day.

We trekked the Himalayas for around 1 hour and got indulged with the immense beauty of the place. Within no time we were above all the mountains and by then sun was out. I extended my arms looking at sun and felt like first light of the day has kissed my face. Standing on sheets of snow, surrounded by giant Himalayas and covered with quilt of circling clouds is a bliss. We were gazing at the countless layers of mountains and did not talk with each other for sometime. After that, Satish thanked me and said he has never seen such kind of breath taking view.

Arriving at Tungnath temple

I got first glimpse of Tungnath temple covered with snow, and above that clouds magnified the view. This is the beautiful thing one can ever witness. We attempted many off track treks, but nothing compared with the last stretch to reach temple. We had to pull out legs from snow covered till calves and it became very difficult. But its beautiful feeling to reach on top after putting so much efforts.

We reached world’s highest Shiva temple and bowed down. It was an overwhelming moment looking at the temple, great mountains and mesmerizing view. One can feel the immense peace and positive vibes around this place. Like every other temple, this also has Nandi statue outside guarding the temple. Although it was closed, but that time in my mind I had the story of Panch Kedar that how Lord Shiva appeared here in form of hand. Such kind of places are for spiritual souls above than religious values. Its the place one can feel how insignificant we are in front of nature and massive world.

Before descending, we took out packed lunch and ate Paratha sitting on huge rock. We spent around 2 hours near the temple sitting quietly. To get down was easy but need to take care of the slippery path. We again attempted few shortcuts by sliding in snow and getting down very quickly. While coming back we had enough time to witness sunset, so we took long breaks and relaxed on grassland.

While going to Tungnath, plan it accordingly so that you don’t miss beautiful sunset which happens on right side when you come down. Sky was painted in orange and last rays were falling on snow clad mountains. What a Wow!

Immediately after reaching Chopta, we grabbed cup of tea which gave us enough warmth. We sat in cab to reach hotel, but vehicle started slipping off due to snow on road was melting. Our driver was experienced, so were relaxed.

 

Time for Celebrations!

After coming to hotel the feeling of accomplishment was within us. Everyone was happy after refreshing journey of mind and body. The hotel owner Dinesh ji arranged bonfire for us and within no time everyone gathered, played music, guitar and Dholak. Few of them did trekking for the first  time. At last we all shared experience of Himalaya trekking.

We had simple and delicious dinner of Dal, Rice, Roti and Sabzi. Following that, we came out for walk on road under billions of stars who were playing hide and seek behind clouds. And around 11 PM, we slept after late night talks of the trek.

Quick tips

  • Carry enough water bottles and eatables as there will be only 1 opened shop all the way.
  • Wear good trekking shoes along with snow spikes. It will really help a lot to get grip. Wearing shoes cover is also recommended as it will protect shoes from letting in snow.
  • You can take stick and rubber boots on rent from Chopta.
  • Do not litter on the way. Carry wrappers or bottles and dispose them in Chopta.
  • Start trek as early as possible in morning to witness all shades of nature until sunset.

 

How to reach 

  • Reach from Delhi to Rishikesh by Bus, Train or Cab.
  • Rishikesh to Chopta distance is 220 kms and there is no direct transport. So, you can hire direct taxi till that place. Or, go by bus till Ukhimath and hire taxi from there itself. Ukhimath is only 40 kms from Chopta.
  • Bus frequency from Rishikesh to Ukhimath is very low, so plan the trip wisely. I would recommend to hire direct taxi till Chopta.
  • Stay in Dugalbhitta or Chopta and trek the Himalayas next morning to visit Tungnath and Chandrashilla.

 

Recommendations

Don’t expect to find any luxurious hotel around this place. I stayed in Dugalbithha couple of times and found the hospitality of the owner and staff members to be awesome. Rooms are neat and clean with fully loaded blankets. Food is very simple and delicious. Moreover, view from this place is very beautiful. So have peaceful stay, trek the Himalayas and visit world’s highest Lord Shiva temple.

Contact Dinesh at +91 94101 15787

Explore more at himalayanrovers.com

 

Tungnath is one of the most beautiful adventure treks of Garhwal region. I highly recommend this to everyone. I would love to hear from you on this post. Write below in comments or drop me message.

Stay fit and happy travelling!

GMVN – Partner of Uttarakhand Tourism

GMVN – Uttarakhand Tourism packages

 

Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN) is government body of Uttarakhand enterprise and official partner of Uttarakhand tourism for Garhwal region. GMVN has authorized capital of above Rs 40 crores and dedicated workforce of 1200 employees. Now, you don’t need to worry for planning your trip, just explore Uttarakhand tourism packages. GMVN provides various services to travelers mentioned here.

  • Accommodation – more than 90 guest houses and tourist bungalows all over Garhwal region
  • Char Dham Yatra – It provides char dham tour packages
  • Uttarakhand tourism packages guide to get more insights of the place
  • Information on road and weather conditions
  • Snow Skiing activity in Auli
  • Water Rafting Course Program in Rishikesh and Kaudiyala
  • Yoga festival in Rishikesh
  • Customized tour packages
  • Trekking activities

 

Planning trip for Uttarakhand?

Many people struggle a lot while planning trip to Uttarakhand because they are unaware of the places, how to reach, things to do, where to stay and the road/weather conditions. If so, then explore GMVN, a trustworthy Government body provides best services at reasonable price.

All GMVN guest houses are located at the prime location. Whenever I plan my trip, I always prefer to stay in GMVN which provides luxury to budget stay options. And the best part is the booking can be done online and the mobile application is available too. The staff of GMVN is very helpful and cooperative. While coming back from Kedarnath, we got late in evening and had no booking that time. So, I called GMVN Gupkashi and got immediate help. The rooms were available and I got last minute assistance at 10 PM. I have shared website and contact details below.

Have look at GMVN Guptkashi gallery having amazing view of Himalayan peaks.

Stay at prime location

My personal experience has always been very good with GMVN. If you are the person to whom prime location is the primary factor in trip, then you should always go for GMVN. It will never disappoint you.

Locations like Haridwar, Rishikesh, Kaudiyala, Auli, Landsdowne have the best locations with awesome facilities. But if you plan to travel places like Gomukh which lies in extreme difficult climatic conditions, then don’t expect luxury stay and five star facilities. You have to then go for shared accommodation in dormitory and basic food.

Ganga Resort of Rishikesh is actually located on the banks of Holy Ganga near to Ram Jhoola. Its big property and they offer various facilities like Accommodation, Yoga and Meditation programs etc.

GMVN Kaudiyala, which is 40 kms ahead of Rishikesh. Beautiful huts on Ganga river side are made far away from chaos.

Important details

Website

Uttarakhand tourism website- https://uttarakhandtourism.gov.in

GMVN website- http://gmvnl.in

Create your account and book accommodation or tour packages. If you need any assistance to select the rooms, then call directly to that location or on the below number of Dehradun – the GMVN headquarter.

ExploreOuting – Complete travel guide which helps you to discover and explore the places. They take care of everything for you and will help you at every step. ExploreOuting is associated with GMVN and Uttarakhand Tourism.

Website https://www.exploreouting.com/

0135 265 2794, +91-9586006631,  +91-9873090338

Mobile application

Download GMVN official mobile application, a very user friendly app and has great informative content regarding the places, itinerary, travel tips and lot more. Believe me, its worth to explore.

You can download it from here and get ready to explore Garhwal. If you need any assistance regarding Uttarakhand tourism packages, then tap for Request for callback option. I got callback in 15 minutes and solved all my queries.

Download ExploreOuting Application from here and have look at great travel destinations.

Packages

GMVN offers various Uttarakhand tourism packages like Pilgrimage, Adventure sports, Yoga etc.

  • Pilgrimage – Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri, Gangotri
  • Adventure Sports- Skiing, White water sports, Still water sports and trekking
  • Yoga – 7 days and weekend program in GMVN Ganga Resort, Rishikesh

GMVN stay options enroute to Kedarnath pilgrimage.

 

Explore and enjoy Garhwal region of Uttarakhand which is very beautiful and unexplored. Do visit GMVN and GoExplore website and mobile application to get an idea of Uttarakhand Tourism packages and services. Stay fit and happy travelling!

Visit to Kedarnath Temple | Day 2

Shiv Lingam Darshan

After visiting temple on previous day, we were prepared for next day to have Shiv Lingam darshan. It was 1st Oct, Monday and we were blessed to be there on that day. Temple was about to open at 5 AM for pilgrims and it was damn cold. The moment we came out of room and saw the magnificent view of Kedar ranges, then all the shivering went off . It was very clear sky and all the peaks behind the temple were visible.

As you walk towards temple, you will hear some chants from distance. The complete aura of the place was filled with positive vibes. When I went near to it, I heard Shiv Mahima Stotram, after that Lingashtakam and few more Shiv stuti. People put in lot of faith in such kind of places which adds glory and it becomes ultimate pilgrimage. Visit to Kedarnath temple must be very special for every pilgrim.

Kedarnath Shrine

Continue reading “Visit to Kedarnath Temple | Day 2”

Visit to Kedarnath Temple | Day 1

Journey to Kedarnath Temple

 

Kedarnath shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva lies in Garhwal region of Uttarakhand at an altitude of 11755 ft. It is among Panch Kedar, 12 Jyotirlinga and Char Dham yatra. This place holds an important significance to be visited as per mythology. It is believed that temple is built around 5000 years ago by Pandavas. Please have a look at story behind the temple and Panch Kedar.

Started the journey

By taking name of Shambhoo, we friends in group of 5 started our journey from Gaurikund on 30th Sept,2018. Time was around 6:30 AM and it was bit cold due to height and river Mandakini flowing by side. Gaurikund is a well equipped market from where you can buy every thing for your journey, but carry cash as there are no ATMs.

Gaurikund market

We bought wooden sticks and started from the market. Not to worry about the food and water, as there would be lot of shops on the way. All you need is faith and courage.

Total length of the trek is 22 kms which looked pretty descent but we had to cover it in single day. From Gaurikund itself, you would come across lot of pony options as well and they charge around Rs 2000.

From very starting, you will come across lush green Kedar valley and Mandakini river on your right hand side.

Continue reading “Visit to Kedarnath Temple | Day 1”

Trek to Tungnath

Most of you must be knowing that Tungnath is the world’s highest Shiva temple at an altitude of 12,073 ft. Not only this, but also this beautiful destination is the ultimate trekking paradise for beginners. When you head towards Chopta from Ukhimath, you will get to see some Himalayan peaks like Mandini, Chaukhama, Sumeru, Kedar range etc. You will drive through the lush green valley and can see these great snow covered peaks at distance. I have already covered major details about the place and how to reach in my earlier post.

The temple remains open only for 6 months but trekking is on throughout the year. We stayed at Dugalbitha which is 6 kms before Chopta, again a very peaceful place which is far beyond the chaos of Delhi. It was around 10 AM and by that time we were done with breakfast and packed ourselves with woolen stuff as it was chilled weather with temperature of 2-3 degree in day time. On the way till Chopta, we saw fresh snow on the road and up in the mountains, everybody got so happy and excited to start trekking.

 

About trekking

Distance: 4 kms

Level: Moderate (proper paved path is made)

Maximum altitude : 12073 ft

Time taken: Around 6-7 hours to and fro

Trekking gear: Good trekking shoes, hiking stick, UV goggles, Cap/Hat, Raincoat, Spikes (if going during snow time)

 

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Story of Panch Kedar | Shiv temples| Himalayas

Panch Kedar of Himalayas

 

Panch Kedar refers to 5 holy places of Lord Shiv in Garhwal region of Uttrakhand which is related to a great story around 5000 years ago. Pandavas the heros of Hindu epic Mahabharat were guilty after war for killing theirs brothers and Brahmins. So, they went to Lord Krishna seeking for solution. He suggested to visit Kashi (Varanasi) and take blessings of Lord Shiv. But Shiv wanted to avoid them as he was deeply incensed by the death and dishonesty at the Kurukshetra war, hence he disappeared from Kashi.

He took form of a bull and went to Garhwal region. Pandavas were searching hard for him and recognized him near Gupt Kashi. The bull was not allowing to touch himself by Pandavas, so Bhim took giant form and stretched his legs from one to another end of valley and then caught bull from his hump. So, the hump is worshiped at Kedarnath temple.

Still Shiv didn’t want to appear, then he buried himself under ground. And, later he appeared at 4 other different places in Garhwal region and blessed Pandavas. They built temples on all the places and worshiped Shiv. This is how Panch Kedar temples holds an important significance and visit to all temples wipes away all the sins.

How to reach Panch Kedar?

These temples can be reached by trek on beautiful landscape with magical view of mountains of Garhwal region. One should do pilgrimage to all of the Panch Kedar and pay homage to Badrinath in the end as a final affirmatory that we have got Shiva’s blessings.

  1. Kedarnath ( 11,755 ft) – Humps
  2. Tungnath (12070) – Arms
  3. Rudranath (7,500 ft) – Face
  4. Madhymaheshwar (11,450 ft) – Navel and stomach
  5. Kalpeshwar (7,200 ft) -Hair

Worship during winter

All the Panch Kedar remains closed for 6 months except Kalpeshwar due to snowfall. the sanctified symbolic Shiva idol of Kedarnath and Madhymaheshwar are brought and worshiped in Omkareshwar temple of Ukhimath. The representational idol of Tunganath is worshipped at Mukumath. The Rudranath idol is worshiped at Gopeshwar.

 

Reference: The map of Panch Kedar is taken from- http://naturelovers.co.in/uttrakhand/panch-kedar/