Deoriya tal is a lake located in the Garhwal Himalayas at an altitude of 2438 m. It is a 3 km hike from Sari village. The lake is surrounded by lush forests and offers a panoramic view of the mountains. The Chaukhamba massif and the Kedar mountain range are clearly visible from here and stand tall in the backdrop of the lake. The ecosystem of the lake consists of many species of birds.
Dev Bhoomi Uttarakhand has a lot of folklores and mythological connections. Deoriya tal is said to be the lake where the Pandavas were asked questions by the Yaksha to which only Yudhisthir (the eldest of the Pandavas) could answer.
This (January 2013) was my second time at Deoriya tal, the first being in December 2011. On my first visit, I was not able to camp overnight due to a tight schedule, but this time I camped beneath the blanket of endless stars. A part of Milky Way was visible even with the naked eyes.
Being an easy hike Deoriya tal attracts a lot of tourists, but I was lucky enough to have no tourists around and my desire of spending a peaceful and solitary day was fulfilled.
I started early in the morning from Sari village and reached the lake in an hour and a half. I spent the day chasing the birds in the forests and spent the evening by the lake, soaking in the heavenly Himalayan atmosphere. I walked back to my tent as I saw the last rays of sun falling on the Chaukhamba. The sun went down and the stars started to show up.
There are a couple of dhabas few hundred metres before the lake where I had my dinner. On my way back to the tent, I heard something running through the forest and then suddenly it made a screeching sound. I was scared to death and my heart started beating loud! I went back to the dhaba owner and told him about the sound to which he said “hiran hoga sirji”. According to him the sound was that of a deer. I moved to my tent and started photographing the night sky. It was freezing outside as I sat beside my camera which was set on an hour long exposure. Meanwhile, I saw something moving and as soon as I threw the torch light it ran away. I did manage to see their silhouettes and I believe that they were the Himalayan Musk Deer. They were two of them and probably came near the lake for drinking water. These creatures are shy and secretive during the day time and come out to feed themselves at night.
The next morning I took a stroll around the lake to see the reflection of Chaukhamba in Deoriya tal. I felt blissful and very lucky to have seen this twice so far in my life. The patches of snow around the lake added an interesting element to the already divine landscape.
Now was the time to get back so I had the breakfast and hiked down to Sari village and further took a taxi to Dehradun. Yet another chapter in the journey of my life, yet another chronicle.