Saturday, October 22, 2016

Tungnath - Nature's Playground

I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—sky, clouds, mountains, trees. I thought, "This is what it is to be happy"

Standing on a cliff at an altitude of 3,680 m (12,073 ft), this is exactly what my feeling was. All the tiredness of 3hrs trek disappeared immediately. All I could feel was the happiness... happiness of being there at that moment. Nothing else mattered, how I reached, what I have come for, what I have left behind... all this was meaningless. All that mattered was I WAS THERE, I was there to witness the magnificent beauty of nature!

HAPPINESS
The sight of deep valley spread below, the onrush of cool breeze from those lands faraway, the misty smell and the sound of silence up there.. overwhelmed me.

Himalayan griffon chasing their prey 

Tea shop owner on the way to Tungnath
An easy trek of around 4kms on a well paved path through oak and rhododendron forest brought me to this heaven called Tungnath, the highest of the panchkedars. On the way were a few tea shops that were such a respite for the trekkers. It was not just the refreshing tea or the rhododendron juice but also the sweet simple smile and the innocence of these pahadi people that refreshed us from time to time.

Being there on the top of the hill witnessing the nature unfolding its marvels is one the best experiences of my life. When we reached, it was sunny, clouds playing hide and seek with the sun. We lied down on the cliffs basking. The sun rays never felt so soothing in the city. After a few hours as the time of sunset approached, the sky turned into a canvas and the evening colors started spreading all over, making beautiful painting like patterns. The dark clouds covered the sun and the rays trickled through, lighting the valley golden while we could see the sky above clouds still untouched by the golden hues. Far away was one lonely cloud, so blue, wandering alone... as if looking for a partner to color it red. And in no time others realized and merged with it turning it pink. Slowly the evening colors started spreading all over... golden, orange, pink, purple... can't say when the colors changed and darkness took over the whole valley and the sky.  We were mesmerized by this whole play.

Witnessing the divine sunset from the cliffs at Tungnath
Night was no less dramatic. We found ourselves standing in the middle of clouds when suddenly a breeze came and took away all the clouds exposing the star studded sky. We could now clearly see the twinkling stars big and small, in clusters and alone, bright and light... all together making the sky look amazingly gorgeous. While we were lost in this beautiful vista, another cloud came hovering over from nowhere covering it all again... As if saying that's all for the day folks. Good Night..!

I woke up to a knock at the door of my room from a fellow traveler Lalima at 4.30AM. Excited she was to announce that the sky is clear. We took no time to get up and start trekking towards the Chandrashila. It was biting cold sub zero temperature. The hands, nose, cheeks and lips were red with cold and the heart was thumping not sure from the rush of blood due to trekking or from the anticipation of what awaits us...!

To be continued... 


*This trip was done with ChaloLetsGo travel group
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