Apart from splendid natural beauty and Himalayan peaks, an ancient enthralling Mahabharata legend surrounds Deoria Tal.
The legend is from the time when the Pandavas were in exile; once upon a time, the Pandava band was very thirsty. The youngest of them Nakul set out to get some water for all. He saw this beautiful lake (Deoria Tal) and walked towards it to drink some water. Just then he heard the voice of a Yaksha who told him that he is the owner of this lake and hence Nakul can have the water only after he answers the questions asked by Yaksha. Nakul ignored Yaksha and began drinking the water, upon drinking the water and ignoring the yaksha’s warning, Nakul dropped dead just after a few drops.
His brothers started looking for him and one by one reached the lake and upon seeing the crystal clear waters decided to quench their thirst and drank the water – all ignoring Yaksha’s command. Sahadev, Arjun and Bheema dropped one after the other. Finally, Yudhisthira landed there and was in shock seeing all his brothers lying beside the lake and agreed to answer Yaksha’s questions – the questions of life! He answered them all correctly, begged for forgiveness and hence brought his brothers back to life.
Deoria Tal is just as captivating as the stories surrounding it, Deoria Tal is an unpolluted lake located around 3 km away from Sari village at an altitude of 2300m above mean sea level. One can experience peak serenity and peace as well as panoramic views of the Himalayan peaks. Another way to amp up the enjoyment is to camp at Deoria Tal.
To experience the beauty in around Deoria Tal, the following places are a must to see and experience.
Sari Village, also known as Saari Gaon is a majestic Himalayan village near Chopta. It is the base camp for Deoria Lake trek. Sari gaon is located at an elevation of 7800 feet. The village is well-connected to the major spots of Chopta and can be easily reached via road.
Rohini Bugyal is covered with the dense Himalayan fauna of Chopta Valley, “Rohini Bugyal” literally means a green meadow. One can visit this bugyal while trekking to Chandrashila peak via Deoria Tal. The meadow is filled with adventure, scenery and tall towering trees.
Chandrashila is the summit of the mountain where Tungnath Mandir and Chopta is situated. Chandrashila is perched at an altitude of 4000 meters above sea level. Here, one can have a 360-degree view of the highest Himalayan peaks, including Kedar, Nandadevi, Chaukhamba and Trishul peaks.
According to ancient legends, Chandrashila is the place where Lord Ram meditated after defeating Ravana. You can also visit the temple which is dedicated to goddess Ganga atop Chadrashila.
Chopta also popularly known as ‘Mini Switzerland’ of India, is a small settlement and valley that is located in Uttarakhand. The entire region is a haven of beauty, especially for the ones who are looking for a good place to relax, without the hustle and bustle of a typical tourist hotspot. Chopta is the window to Deoria Tal and Chandrashila treks and the epicentre of all the other places one can visit around Deoria Tal.
Tungnath Temple at Chopta is the highest Shiva temple in the world, Tungnath Temple is at an elevation of 3680 meters. Tungnath is also one of the famous Panch Kedar shrines of Uttarakhand. One has to trek to Tungnath, but it is one of the easiest treks recommended for beginners. At the temple, one experiences an aura of spirituality and mesmerizing views of the Himalayas. This village is surrounded by evergreen forests of pine, deodar, and rhododendron.
Ukhimath houses the mighty Lord Shiva when Kedarnath shuts down during winters. Ukhimath is situated at an altitude of 1300 meters. A lot of devotees visit the temple every year and are blessed with an easy trek, amazing views of the Himalayan mountains and an unwavering spiritual connection.
KANCHULA KORAK MUSK DEER SANCTUARY
Kanchula Korak Musk Deer Sanctuary is situated on the Chopta-Gopeshwar road. The sanctuary spreads over a sprawling area of 5 sq. km and houses many exotic Himalayan birds and animals. The park earns its name from and houses the rare Himalayan Musk Deer. One can get up and close to wildlife and enjoy a relaxing time surrounded by natural beauty.
Madhyamaheshwar Mandir is also known as Madmaheshawar, devotees worship Lord Shiva’s abdomen at Madhyamaheshwar. The temple is situated at an altitude of 3200 m above sea level and is surrounded by the snow-covered Himalayas from one side and alpine green meadows from the other. You can also see the Neelkanth and Kedarnath peaks from this temple.
OMKAR RATNESHWAR MAHADEV
Omkar Ratneshwar temple is dedicated to Nag Devta, the king of serpents according to Hindu mythology. The temple is known for its unique architecture designed with reference to its mandap and main garbhagriha.
Kalimath is a powerful temple close to Chopta, as the name suggests, the temple’s patron goddess is the ferocious Maa Kali and according to folklore, this is the place that maa Kali, after killing the demon named Raktbeej.
Reaching Baniyakund takes a short 15 minute trip via road. At the end of the hour’s quarter, one witnesses the quintessential captivating beauty of Uttarakhand. Baniyakund is located in Kedarnath Musk Deer Sanctuary, overlooking the wide horizon of Garhwal Himalayas and is a serene retreat for all nature lovers.