Chopta - Chandrashila trek - A walk into the nature

Discussion in 'Travelogues from North India' started by Premlesh Sharma, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. Premlesh Sharma

    Premlesh Sharma New Member

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    Since beginning, when I started trekking, I always wanted to do a trek which is not just a walk (level, ascend or descend) but more than that. A trek where I get some adventure and knowledge about nature, a trek which is not just famous one and spoiled by crowd who come on name of adventure and throw plastics here and there. I got a chance to complete such a trek last October when my friend Nikhil started his own trekking company. He searched a lost trek with good amount of efforts and help of locals and invited me to give a try. I would like to share my experience for my walk into nature.


    Day 1 (30th Sept’17): Faridabad to Chopta (Chhoti) – Encounter with leopard (1700 Ft)


    Faridabad to Chopta generally takes 10 hours. Nikhil wanted to leave one day earlier so that he can do all arrangements for our great hospitality but I insisted him to accompany us as he is a great guy and his presence is always a fun. We (Nikhil, My Brother Gokelesh and I) started sharp 6:00 AM (in my i10) from Faridabad assuming we will reach by 5 PM. As soon as we reached Ghaziabad we felt everyone from Delhi NCR was heading to Haridwar/Rishikesh since this was Dashara week and a long weekend. Traffic was slow on national highway and every major city on route had traffic jams. It took us almost 10 hours to cross Rishikesh including two halts (Breakfast near Modinagar and Lunch at Rishikesh).

    Later we stopped in Devprayag for Sangam sightseeing just before sunset.

    Nikhil started worrying as he knew that Chopta will be closed by the time we reach there and we will not get any option for dinner. Gokelesh and I asked him not to treat us as his customers and I mentioned that I will not write this in my blog . We brought Rations from Srinagar (To use during Trek) and Dinner from Rudraprayag.

    From Rudraprayag, it takes 40 mins to reach Chopta. We were tired enough for the day and never knew that one surprise was still waiting for us. As soon we were about to enter Durgadhar village, Nikhil suddenly whispered and asked me to slow down the car, unknowingly I stopped the car and then realized that I stopped the car just beside a leopard hidden in thicket and car window opened. Nikhil scared and asked me to run the car which I did. We stopped after 50 meters, closed windows and returned to shoot the leopard (with camera ) and he was still there but crossed the road in meantime. We stopped the car there. By the time, I started my camera, a Mahindra pick-up came and leopard ran away by heavy noise. I wish, I could click the leopard.


    After this sudden encounter, we were excited because next couple of days we had to spend our nights in same forest area and we were expecting more surprises where beginning was like this. At the same time, I was little bit scared too.

    We reached Chopta at 9 PM where Nikhil has setup his homestay. We had dinner, I discussed my safety concerns with him, he ensured that we will return safe after this trek. He also briefed next day’s plan and we had a good sleep then.




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    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  2. Premlesh Sharma

    Premlesh Sharma New Member

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    Sangam in Devprayag

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  3. Premlesh Sharma

    Premlesh Sharma New Member

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    Nikhil started worrying as he knew that Chopta will be closed by the time we reach there and we will not get any option for dinner. Gokelesh and I asked him not to treat us as his customers and I mentioned that I will not write this in my blog . We brought Rations from Srinagar (To use during Trek) and Dinner from Rudraprayag.

    From Rudraprayag, it takes 40 mins to reach Chopta. We were tired enough for the day and never knew that one surprise was still waiting for us. As soon we were about to enter Durgadhar village, Nikhil suddenly whispered and asked me to slow down the car, unknowingly I stopped the car and then realized that I stopped the car just beside a leopard hidden in thicket and car window opened. Nikhil scared and asked me to run the car which I did. We stopped after 50 meters, closed windows and returned to shoot the leopard (with camera ) and he was still there but crossed the road in meantime. We stopped the car there. By the time, I started my camera, a Mahindra pick-up came and leopard ran away by heavy noise. I wish, I could click the leopard.


    After this sudden encounter, we were excited because next couple of days we had to spend our nights in same forest area and we were expecting more surprises where beginning was like this. At the same time, I was little bit scared too.

    We reached Chopta at 9 PM where Nikhil has setup his home-stay. We had dinner, I discussed my safety concerns with him, he ensured that we will return safe after this trek. He also briefed next day’s plan and we had a good sleep then.
     
    nikhil2877 and thefirstthambi like this.
  4. rdp

    rdp Well-Known Member

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    interesting !
     
  5. rahi

    rahi Active Member

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    waiting for next part..
     
  6. rameshtahlan

    rameshtahlan Super User

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    Hi,
    it says Day1, but i still can't figure out when to when you did this trip.
    would be nice if some dates could be mentioned along with Day1 etc.

    great going
    looking forward to lots of images

    happy landings
    RT
     
  7. thefirstthambi

    thefirstthambi Aj Raina

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    Leopard...good omen! Ameen
     
  8. Gaurav Dutt

    Gaurav Dutt Shivoham Shivoham

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    Great Going.
    Eagerly waiting for the whole story.
     
  9. Premlesh Sharma

    Premlesh Sharma New Member

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    Day -2 (1st Oct’17): Physical fitness test day – Chopta to Chaund (1700 mt to 1700 mt)

    As per plan, we had to start late as we had short trek for the day so we woke up late, had breakfast and prepared for the trek. We met our trek led Mr. Vallabh Negi. He is very energetic and polite person. He has very good knowledge of local fauna and fauna and flora. We packed our bags as per instructions by Negi Ji. Meanwhile Nikhil and Negi ji packed other stuff for trek like rations, tents etc.

    We started around 11 AM. First half is all descend till Falasi/Tungeshwer temple. This part of trek tests your knee strength. Nikhil and Negi Ji told us about the history and specifics of it. We also met villagers nearby who showed good hospitality and offered tea. From here it is all steep ascend for 3 kilometers. Our endurance and trekking skills were well tested in these 3 kilometers as climate was hot. We reached Chound around 3 PM where we had snacks followed by Jungle walk.


    Nikhil has setup homestay there as well and you get the feel of regional touch. Food served was delicious and was made of local vegetables.

    View of Chaund from Chopta


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    Home Stay in Chaund

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    Nikhil in the thought process to make things better...

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    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
    SHEKHAR 257 likes this.
  10. Premlesh Sharma

    Premlesh Sharma New Member

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    Day -3 (2nd Oct’17): Walk into nature – neck to neck with wildlife


    We started at around 9 AM today. Initially trek is just level walk into the dense jungle and you get a good chance to spot wildlife like porcupine, boar, dear, leopard, fox etc. We spotted dears Multiple times. As this was a lost trek, trail was missing at many places with new thickets after recent monsoon. We had to walk extra as we missed trail and no one was there to help.

    Later part was steep ascend till we reached Usantoli bugyal which is just in the middle of dense forest. We saw two cows killed by leopards in last couple of the days and got the hint by goatherds that leoperd may return in the night. We were excited (and little bit scared too).


    Nikhil and Negi ji setup the tents meanwhile we checked surroundings. By the time we had dinner, we felt some turmoil in herd grazing in the bugyal. goatherds came and told us that leopards are there. We reached on one hillock and threw torch lights on herd and saw four set of reflective eyes staring us. They were trying to reach to one of dead cow while goatherds started shouting so all eyes disappeared suddenly. We kept them searching and found one set of eyes was still there while other three were moving to other side slowly. At that point of time we realized that we were disturbing them and they were planning to cover us. Nikhil asked us not to disturb them anymore and to come down immediately, which we did and after this all three started returning through same hillock, we were on, some time back. At that time, we threw torch focus on those moving objects and got to know that those were jackals.

    We did not disturb them further and stayed near to our tent and went to sleep in some time as next morning we had to start early to see a sunrise.

    Whole night, we heard tramps of different animals near to our tents. But we did not come out of my tent thinking it may be leopard or jackal or someone else which can attack on me.

    first glempse of Usantoli bugyal with Kartik Swami temple on top.

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    Dense forest entry look
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    Nikhil with dashing catwalk :)
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    Our tent setup just at the corner of jungle....

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    Dinner under the roof of stars in torch light....

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    This was really interesting to spot dear and others in dense forest. They generally run away by noise so we need to keep quite and move slowly....some time need to wait as well if you feel their existence

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