Camping At Deoria Taal

Discussion in 'Travelogues' started by Vargis Khan, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. Vargis Khan

    Vargis Khan Administrator Staff Member



    Day 1 - Delhi To Devprayag




    I had first planned to visit Deoria Taal in last week of December, hoping that it would have snowed by then, but that plan did not materialse because i ended up cancelling my leaves and spending that weekend at work.

    Original plan for the month of February was to take a week off and visit the Spiti valley but this plan also was trashed as i could not afford to be away from work for a week in Feb.

    So with 3 days in hand, these 2 plans were put together. Deorial Taal was picked from the 1st plan and the month of February from the 2nd.

    It had been raining in Delhi for last few days and newspapers were reporting that Delhi hasnt seen so much of rain in the month of Feb since 1940s. It had been snowing up in the hills and even the Manali Highway was blocked due heavy snow. But that only lifted our spirits and hopes of catching some snow at Deorial Taal were sky high. As it happens with every trip, people kept joining and dropping out and with 1 person's addition in the very last hour, a group of 6 was finalised upon. Apart from me, the other 5 were as below.


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  2. Vargis Khan

    Vargis Khan Administrator Staff Member

    Initial plan of the entire group on bikes also changed and Gunjit's Honda Brio had to be brought in. So now a group of 5 was going to be in the car and i was to travel on my Royal Enfield.


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  3. Vargis Khan

    Vargis Khan Administrator Staff Member

    We were to start early morning on Saturday and be back by Monday night. Itinerary for the trip was as below,

    1. Reach Saari village on the very 1st day and spend the night in a hotel.
    2. Start early on the 2nd day on Chandrashila trek so we can be back by evening. Then trek to Deorial Taal and camp there for the night.
    3. Return to Delhi on the 3rd day.

    Skies were cloudy on Friday and i was afraid that it might rain, something that i was not hoping for as i was going to be riding my Enfield in a cold weather of February. So getting drenched was definitely not in the plan. I thought my prayers were answered as it did not rain at all on Friday and even the evening was dry but all hell broke loose at around midnight when it started raining cats and dogs. It forced me to rethink our plans but there wasnt much i could do now as everything was settled and finalised. I was working from home that night but rest of the folks were at work, with their bags packed, all set to start early morning post shift.

    Hoping that the rain would stop, i too started packing my bags at 3 in the morning. I was to start an hour early as i was going to be on a motorcyle but the rest of the group was in a car so they could catch up with me on the way. Rain finally did come to a stop at 4 in the morning and by 4.30, i called Gunjit letting him know that i am starting from my place now.

    The comfort of riding with no rain did not last long. As soon as i had reached Dhaula Kuan, it started to rain again. Luckily i waterproofed my bag so nothing else was getting wet but me. Hoping that the rain would stop again, I kept riding with no idea that i was going to be in the rain for next 13 hrs.

    Somewhere near Ghaziabad, i stopped for a cup of tea and called Gunjit. They were about to start and were packing their bags in the car. I continued the journey and soon reached Muradnagar. My watch was showing 6 AM when i turned on the Upper Ganga Canal road towards Rishikesh.

    Next few hours were spent riding in the rain with frequent calls to the group, to check where they were. In between i called Gunjit to let him know that the Canal road wasnt in a very good condition so he might want to stick to the highway but it was too late. They had already taken the turn and were also on the canal road. I crossed Khatauli and continued towards Rishikesh. Much to my surprise, i reached Roorkee and the group still hadnt caught up with me. I called Gunjit and he told me that they were about to reach Roorkee so i continued on and was soon at Rishikesh bypass with still no sign of the others. I looked at my watch and it was 11 AM so we had plenty of time to reach Saari. I called again and was told that the group took a wrong turn somewhere towards Bijnaur and was now backtracking on their way to Roorkee. There wasnt much i could do except to sit at the tea shop waiting for them to arrive.

    After 2 and a half hours of wait and numerous cups of tea, they finally arrived at 1.30 pm. By now i knew that reaching Saari was not going to happen as we had a full 200 kms of hilly roads ahead of us with only 4 hrs of daylight left. By the time we started on our way again and crossed Rishikesh, it was already 2.30 pm.

    In the entire day, my camera had not come out because of the rain. Primarily because tt was sealed pack in the bag and i did not want to take it out risking it getting wet. Secondarily because i was soaking wet and was cold so photography was the last thing on my mind.

    Still though, when we started climbing up after Rishikesh, i took the camera out and clicked my 1st photograph of the day.



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  4. Vargis Khan

    Vargis Khan Administrator Staff Member

    We reached a tea-stall and stopped there only to notice a flat tyre on the car. Spent some time changing it and continued the journey again. All this time, rain showed no sign of stopping but now i wasnt the only getting wet. Shoaib, much opposite to my advice of staying in the car, joined me on the motorcycle so he too was completely drenched and shivering.


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  5. Vargis Khan

    Vargis Khan Administrator Staff Member

    We stopped at a puncture repair shop to get the flat tyre fixed and to get some tea from the stall right next to it.

    Lag gayi mirchi.


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    By 6 in the evening, we had only reached Devprayag and i was done for the day. I had no strength left to ride even a mile ahead in the rain and the cold. We checked in the 1st hotel we came across to at Devprayag and called it a day. I changed and got into dry clothes and crawled under the blankets and immediately dozed off. There was no arrangement for food at the hotel so the group had to go to a nearby restaurant for dinner. They tried to get me out and join them but i refused. Only thing on my mind then was to remain under the blankets, stay warm and continue sleep.
     
  6. Ashima

    Ashima New Member

    Did you find snow?
     
  7. Vargis Khan

    Vargis Khan Administrator Staff Member


    Yes we did
     
  8. Vargis Khan

    Vargis Khan Administrator Staff Member

    Day 2 - Devprayag To Deoria Taal


    After a good 7 hrs sleep, I was wide awake at 3 in the morning. All others were fast asleep but i couldnt get myself back to sleep again. After tossing and turning in the bed for a while, i finally gave up and stepped out in the balcony. It was still raining and right in front of my eyes was a perfect night view of the sangam at Devprayag.



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  9. Vargis Khan

    Vargis Khan Administrator Staff Member

    Pretty soon i was bored standing in the balcony alone and started knocking on other's doors. In a matter of minutes, i had ruined everybody's sleep and we were all up and ready by 5 in the morning.

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  10. Vargis Khan

    Vargis Khan Administrator Staff Member

    I noticed the food that was bought for me last night but i didnt bother getting up and eating. It was cold by now , as if it has just been taken out of a referigator but i was starving. The moment i started to eat, everyone was looking for their share in that plate of cold Rajma Chawal.

    Since it was still raining and i had ony 1 pair of dry clothes left, we decided to leave my motorcycle at the hotel in Devprayag and continue the journey in Gunjit's car. Out of the 3 rooms we rented, we still kept 1 and left our wet clothes and most of the luggage in it. After informing the guy at the hotel about our arrangement and my motorcycle, 6 of us squeezed ourselves in Gunjit's car and hit the road towards Saari.


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