Wednesday December 13, 2017

Chandrashila: Trek to the ‘moon rock’


By Arundhati Roy

It seldom happens that a place initiates a new phase in someone’s life. It tends to inspire the person in a way that was previously unknown. A trek to Chandrashila summit raises questions in a person which can never be answered but only contemplated.

This trek takes you to the world’s highest Shiva temple situated in Tungnath which is one of the Panch Kedar temples, at a height of 12074 ft. The summit of Tungnath is Chandrashila Peak at an altitude of 13000 ft. above the sea level. This is an all season trek known for breath-taking landscapes and dense forests surrounded with excellent views of the peaks.

The trek begins from Deoriatal, amid nicely stretched greenery, which reminds us how vast and overpowering Mother Nature could be. The trail winds through five different varieties of forests; Oaks, Maple and Rhododendrons are the prominent variants that one would not miss to spot. The trek is full of sudden, uphill trails covered with wooded trees, and then within a blink of the eye, there is a moss-covered downhill trail through enveloping tunnels.


This stupendous sight is followed by the trails that weave through clearings in the jungles in Rohini Bugyal. There are tall trees on the way which lay fallen on the ground with wild mushrooms growing on them. If one manages to see the entire scene from a distance, it would appear as if these beautiful elements of nature have been deliberately placed in order to create an awe-inspiring moment.


If there’s a bird watchers’ trail, then it has to be Deoriatal. The Himalayan woodpecker and Verditer Flycatcther can be easily spotted here. It has more birds to show in one day than the entire Goechala trek. There is a waterfall on the way, which invites trekkers to bathe in it after the exhausting 12 hour trek to the village of Chopta.

The last stretch of the trek is from Chopta to Tungnath, and then to Chandrashila. It seems short when cited in terms of distance, i.e. 3 .5 kms, but the trail ascends sharply via a series of 11 scissor bends. The walk is made pleasant due to the magnificent view despite the continuous steep climb.

This trail passes through a section of Bhoj trees before the Tungnath temple, on a concrete and stone laden path. The entire route is surrounded by the Himalayan range of mountains. Every time one stops to catch a breath, the view doesn’t fail to amaze.


Wide, lush, green meadows stretch for as far as the eyes can see, with the clouds continuously rolling in and relaying with sunshine. There comes a point where the excitement to reach the destination demands rest and makes one stop and think about where they are standing, with just a few souls scattered at a distance. If any elderly local passes by you nonchalantly, don’t be intimidated. They’re very friendly.

The trek from Tungnath to Chandrashila is an ascent of 600 feet and is even steeper than the previous one. It might just be of 1 km but the climb tends to be very hectic. A part of the trail presents a view from a cliff which looks over layers of mountains in the distance thinly veiled by clouds.

The trek is, literally, a walk through clouds and an extremely exhilarating experience. The steepness is scary but the thrill to reach the top with nothing to climb beyond it, keeps one motivated. Nothing can beat the view at the top of the summit, as it looks over parts of the Himalayan mountain range including Nanda Devi.

The altitude gain could hamper the breathing but it’s all forgiven, for the feeling of accomplishment cannot match anything.

To be able to spend some time at the tip on the Chandrashila summit can prove to be an once-in-a-lifetime experience. The mountains and the sun carry on in their usual ways, as if indifferent to anybody else’s presence. It is this moment when one gets to have that conversation with one’s self; the question of one’s minisculity in front of this gigantic world amid the colossal mountains layered one up on another.


But then again, maybe that’s what mountains do to you. All that remains in our hands is how we wish to mould this experience and come back to the same peak again with more humility in ourselves because that’s all we can ever be… a little bit humbler, every single time.

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Holy Hindu Shrine Gangotri Closes for Six Months

Gangotri is part of the four shrines where the 'Chaar Dhaam' annual pilgrimage takes place in the hill state of Uttarakhand that draws millions every year.

Gangotri temple. Wikimedia

Dehradun, October 20, 2017 : The gates of the Gangotri shrine in Uttarakhand were closed for a six-month winter break on Friday.

Amid fanfare and chanting of vedic hymns, locals shifted a statue of the Goddess Ganga to Mukhwa where, from Saturday, puja will be performed for the next six months. Jawans of the Mahal regiment of the Army played music during the ceremony.

Gangotri is part of the four shrines where the ‘Chaar Dhaam’ annual pilgrimage takes place in the hill state of Uttarakhand that draws millions every year.

The Kedarnath and Yamunotri shrines will be closed for the winter break from Saturday. (IANS)


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TLC Premiers New Season Of Duster Adventures: Thrilling Journey to the Mountain State of Uttarakhand

Shibani will cover the terrain of Uttarakhand and indulge in adventure sports like paragliding, off-roading, and cliff-jumping amongst many more

Shibani Dandekar on a thrilling journey to the mountain state of Uttarakhand on TLC’s brand new season of DUSTER ADVENTURES

New Delhi, August 27, 2017: Starting Sunday, August 27- Join Shibani Dandekar on a thrilling journey to the mountain state of Uttarakhand on TLC’s brand new season of DUSTER ADVENTURES. Airing every Sunday at 8:30 pm, the series features Shibani on an exploration of Uttarakhand through its mountains, rivers, and plains with adventure and excitement at every step of the way.

Cruising around in a RENAULT DUSTER, Shibani will cover the terrain of Uttarakhand and indulge in adventure sports like paragliding, off-roading, and cliff-jumping amongst many more.

Join Shibani on an epic journey around Uttarakhand, on TLC’s DUSTER ADVENTURES 2, every Sunday at 8:30 PM

The 5-part series will introduce viewers to Uttarakhand’s amazing landscape, culture, people and their heart-warming stories as the host takes you on the journey of a lifetime. One of India’s youngest states, Uttarakhand lies in the lap of nature with beautiful mountains, vistas and a diversity of flora and fauna. From Nainital to Rishikesh and Ramnagar to Devprayag, the state has something for every kind of traveler.

Talking about her adventure, Shibani Dandekar said, “DUSTER ADVENTURES has been a thrilling journey that captures the essence of Uttarakhand. The series encapsulates the beauty of the state and brought me closer to nature. I am sure viewers will enjoy watching my journey as much as I enjoyed traveling across this beautiful state.”

Mr. Virat Khullar, Head of Marketing, Renault India said, “Renault Duster is a cult brand in the automotive space, like TLC is, in the realm of travel and lifestyle television, and is equated with exploration, adventure, and unmatched passion. We are young in India and Renault Duster has firmly established the Renault brand here.

When we launched Renault Duster in India, we created an all new segment in the Indian automotive industry. As a forward-looking company, we have kept Renault Duster fresh and contemporary, and it continues to be India’s preferred SUV. This association will be a thrilling journey for fans of Renault Duster and TLC, and will take the excitement to an all new high.”

Catch all the adventure with Shibani Dandekar in DUSTER ADVENTURES starting 27th August, every Sunday at 8:30 pm, only on TLC!


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These 5 Ancient Temples are Believed to be the Oldest in India

Indian Temples are of utmost religious value that display the plurality of the religion and its followers

Ancient Temples
Chennakesava Temple, Karnataka. Wikimedia

July 20, 2017: Apart from the diverse culture that India has, Spirituality is considered to be the country’s heritage. The traditions and cultures associated with any religion make India more interesting for tourists. Here is a list of five oldest temples that are sure to take you on a religious roller coaster ride through their historical timeline.

Chennakesava Temple, Karnataka: Also called the Vijayanarayana Temple, the Chennakesava temple is located on the banks of the Yagachi River. The temple can be traced back to the Hoysala Period. The Vijayanagara ruler built the temple to celebrate their victory over the Cholas family. The temple was dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Most of the carvings are a tribute to Vishnu. Thus, many worshippers of Lord Vishnu visit the temple. The temple is also a part of the UNESCO Heritage List.

Ancient Temples
Brahma Temple, Rajasthan. Wikimedia

Brahma Temple, Rajasthan: According to a story by Sage Vishwamitra, the temple is 2000 years old. However, its structure dates back to the 14th-15th century. The central images in the sanctorum are of Brahma and Gayatri. The temple witnesses gatherings in large numbers on the days of the festival ‘Kartik Purnima’ which is dedicated to Lord Brahma. It is situated in Pushkar, Rajasthan.

[bctt tweet=”He built the temple for his wife from Nepal who missed the sight of Kailash Mountains” username=”NewsGramdotcom”]

Kailashnath Temple, Ellora: More popularly known as the Kailash Temple, the temple was constructed around the 8th century in Ellora, Maharashtra. The temple was built under the guidance of Rashtrakuta era’s King Krishna I. He built the temple for his wife from Nepal who missed the sight of Kailash Mountains. The enormous temple is carved out of a single rock. It is the 16th cave of the 34 popular Ellora Caves. The temple is as old as the 8th century.

Ancient Temples
Kailashnath Temples, Ellora. Wikimedia


Tungnath Temple, Uttarakhand: The Tungnath temple is one of the highest situated temples (3680 meters above sea level) of the Panch Kedar, featuring among Kedarnath, Rudrnath, Kalpeshwar and Madhyamaheshwar temples. The temple is also featured in the Ramayana where Lord Ram is believed to have meditated when he detached himself from the curse of Brahmahatya. The temple is so small that only 10 people can fit in together at a time. It is the highest temple of Lord Shiva in the world. If the stories are to be believed, the temple was built by the Pandavas who built the temple as an apology to Lord Shiva. The temple was built out of the Black Rock.

Ancient Temples
Tungnath Temple. Wikimedia

ALSO READ: Ancient Chennakesava Temple Completes 900 Years

Dilwara Temples, Rajasthan: Situated in Mount Abu, Rajasthan- there are five Dilwara temples in total. The stunning use of marble is a huge attraction for the visitors. The five temples were built between 11th-13th century. They are also known as the most beautiful Jain pilgrimage sites in the world. To transport the huge blocks of stones, Elephants were used in those days.

Ancient Temples
Dilwara Temples, Rajasthan. Wikimedia

– by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter @Saksham2394