One trip to the Himalayas and you are hooked. You fall in love with the pristine splendor and it is an irresistible call to visit again to explore some more of the Himalayas. You want to go a bit higher than last time, closer to the sky- nearly 2500 meters above the sea level.
From Haridwar station, we drove down to the small village of Sari via Ukhimath. Ukhimath is the winter seat of Lord Kedarnath. When the snow is heavy, the idol of Lord Kedarnath is consecrated here. The drive was 200 kilometers and took about ten hours. Ten hours of the most beautiful panoramic views of the snow capped mountains and valleys full of the thick canopy of forests intercepted by crystal clear streams.
We stayed at a reasonably priced lodge at the Sari village. No luxuries, but it was neat and clean. We were all very excited about the trek planned for the next day and decided to rest well. We had chosen to be at the Deoria Tal on a full moon night and a lot had gone into planning.
Had heard a lot about this lake where apparently the Gods used to bathe hence the name. It is also referred to as Indra Sarovar in Puranas. It is a favorite place for Hindu mendicants. One of the legends is related to Pandavas. While traversing this path, Pandavas got thirsty and Bheem being the strongest of them was asked to build the lake by the eldest brother Yudhishthira. Bheem managed to do it in no time and the lake quenched their thirst.
The trek from Sari to Deoria lake is just three kilometers. It’s a winding path through the jungles. Though exhausting, it offers a lush canopy overhead and rich flora and fauna and is a treat to nature lovers. The weather is very pleasant and there are a few tea and Maggie stalls on the way where you can rest and be refreshed.
All our exhaustion melted away the moment we set eyes on the divine Deoria Lake. Crystal clear water reflecting the perfect blue sky and all the lush green and snow-capped peaks. We had a 300-degree view of the magnificent peaks surrounding the lake- Kedar range, Kalanag, Choukhamba, Neelkanth to name a few. The serenity is heavenly. The view is panoramic and breathtakingly beautiful. As we settled down next to the lake soaking in the tranquility in pin drop silence I realized that it was literally an out of this world experience- and will be unforgettable for the rest of my life.
We watched the gold, crimsons and dusky orange painted in the waters by an unseen hand as the evening turned to night. Venus was the first star to appear at the east horizon – almost like an announcement of the moon soon to rise. At 6 pm was the moon rise and we were spellbound by the beauty of the moon and the star-studded sky reflected into the calm waters surrounded by divine silence. We could even see the Milky Way in addition to a lot of stars and constellations. The scene was spellbinding and none of us found any words to describe it.
They do not allow camping through the night at Deoria any longer, but I could just be sitting up and watching the lake through the night. After sundown, there are no food stalls open, so be prepared. There are options of trekking further on to the surrounding peaks of Tungnath or Chandrashila. For that, you can go to Chopta village and carry on trekking.
Moonlit Deoria lake is an experience of a lifetime and please don’t miss it even if you have to stretch a bit!