02 December 2010

Himalayas: Chandrashila

Uttarakhand, India

<- Back to day two.

We climb out of bed for a breakfast, including chocolate chip pancakes, and the last bit of hiking, climbing to the top of Chandrashila. The trail up the mountain starts a little way up the road, so we drove up to it. Buildings to serve all the needs of the average tourist stood empty so no one tried to sell us postcards of where we were about to go. The trail starts off paved until an area of temple and shrines about halfway up that also stands abandoned in anticipation of the coming winter.

peacock as a game hen
A couple of male Himalayan monals, the state bird of Uttarakhand.

The paved path snaking up the mountain side.

a bare mountain top
Looking up the mountain side where temples reside along the path and one just visible at the very top.

a closed up house
Rocks stacked in the doorway to close it up and moss grows on the shelves outside.

After the temple and shrines and other buildings, the trail continues as dirt up to the top of the mountain. There there is one last shrine and markers triumphantly proclaiming 4000 meters up. It's not the highest above sea level I've been, but it's getting there. It is plenty high to give lots of great view.

the trail coming around a corner of rock after the last building
The last of the buildings and the last of the paved trail, but there's plenty left to follow up to the very top.

temple at the top of Chandershila
Right up at the top of Chandershila, there is one last temple.

me at the top of Chandershila
Standing on the top of the world.

Again, we were having a very clear day for mountain viewing. It was not quite so good as the previous days, and there were a few clouds that built as the afternoon wore on. Still, the clouds came late and light, overall. We were very lucky with the weather and we soaked it in on the peak for a good, long time.

cairns built on the mountain top
Cairns are built all over the mountain top.

I took many shots for a panorama of the view because, well, you really have to. They're in two pieces, one centered easterly and one centered westerly. There are still a few terraced mountain sides to be seen from up here, though perhaps not quite so many as lower down.

taking a look out over the uplift
Nanda Devi, the highest peak completely in India, although there's a higher one on the boarder, and number 23 is the sharp point to the left.

enjoying time at the peak
The rest of the climbers enjoying their time on the peak.

a farm down the mountain
One of a few farms that were along the mountain, but also not currently occupied.

some steep sections of the mountain side
A look down the mountain side.

The clouds did finally move in and we moved on again.

some more of the mountain side
Heading back down off the mountain.

big, old temple
The temple Tungnath, which may be over 1000 years old.

old hotel
One of the buildings among the temple and shrines.

small shrine along the trail
A small shrine quite a ways down the trail from the main location of shrines.

a farm near the bottom
Thatched roofs of a farm near the bottom of the path that will need replacing by the time they are lived beneath again.

clouds obscruing the mountain
The afternoon clouds are filling in around the mountains and leaving little of them to see.

a little bit of color on the clouds around the mountains
Another day finishing.

Coming back to camp, we had only another night of sleep and then drive back down to Rishikesh. The initial drive was incredibly curvy but well paved. Then we rejoined the road we came up on which was still a changeable and scary thing.

©2010,2012 Valerie Norton
Posted 29 May 2012

No comments: