|Chaukhambā, the mighty four cornered peak|
|Kedārnāth range from the Manḍākini valley|
|View from Chopṭa |
|View from the Tungnāth trail|
End of Part 1. Part 2 will focus on the climb to Tungnāth, and the temple itself.
All pictures in this series are from Nardeep Dahiya's personal collection. The view from Chopta is from Google images.
*Note on diacritics: I have added diacritic marks where I felt they were necessary to explain the pronunciation to my readers not familiar with Garhwal, yet left out the word final ‘a’ so that names remain familiar to those who are. I have left untouched those words which would be rendered unrecognisable to readers who have grown up with Hindi names e.g. Chamoli.
4 A yuga is one of four 'ages' within a Hindu 'era'; it is the largest unit of time in the common vocabulary of any language or culture
5 Such is the reverence for this river that the inhabitants of the towns and cities on its banks call her Gangāji, and not just Gangā
6 Prayāg means confluence. There are five such confluences in Garhwal, where tributaries of the Ganga meet and finally become the great river at Devaprayāg.
7It was at Rudraprayāg, in 1926, where Jim Corbett shot the infamous man-eating leopard that had imposed a curfew on this oldest of Indian pilgrim trails for almost a decade. This beast, mentioned in the House of Commons once, was freakishly strong, immune to cyanide and very clever even by leopard standards, and it took all that Corbett had to kill him. I recommend “The Man-eating Leopard of Rudraprayag”,OUP It's one of the greatest adventure books ever written, the best of the hair-raising kind. It can be found on amazon:
8This region straddles the districts of Rudraprayāg and Chamoli, both home to significant wild populations of the leopard and black bear.