Imagine all the POMPS and TEEEKS of the traffic were replaced by tweets and songs of the silence , imagine large buildings are replaced by majestic snow covered grand Himalayan peaks ,imagine crowded roads replaced by small footpaths between greenish grassland, imagine shops and malls replaced by a big giant lake and trees around you get heavenly place called Devaria Taal ( Deoria Lake in English ) and little taste of peace!
After a two and half kilometre uphill trekking through dense deodar trees from Saari village one might start feeling out of exhaustion with searching eyes “Where is this lake ?!” then you see a narrow path in the forest with sign boards showing “way to Devaria lake” etc . Walk through it by few steps and you are put in front of a new planet where great Himalayas and the mystic lake come from nowhere!!Just like you change the scenic backdrop in dramas!
Devaria taal or Deoria lake is one of the popular treks among Himalayan trekkers and it is the easiest lake to reach among all the major lakes coming in Himalaya. A normal trekker can transform himself/herself in to Himalayan trekker such is the beauty f the lake . It is situated at the roof of a peak behind a beautiful village called Saari 14 KMs away from Ukhimath in uttarakhand state of India. Spread over 200 acres at an altitude of 2438 meters this lake offers a magnificent view of reflected Himalayan giants such as Chaukhamba ,Mandani, Kedar peaks.
The day begins with first golden sunrays hitting the Chaukhamba peak, highest in the Gangotri range , the snow vaporizes and start forming small clouds. A first timer will be in tears after seeing this greatest show!
“See Chaukhamba is highest” screams the guide and then explains a simple science , higher mountains get first sunrays . “See, Kedarnath ,now sunrays are hitting Kedar nath peak and now Thalay sagar peak ” guide goes on and we were left in agape ! Peaks turn golden and then red , the reflection in the lake makes us spiritual! Body gets relaxed , mind refreshed and you suddenly loose yourself in to a transformed Yogi . This is why we call them mighty Himalayas!
As light strengthens the peaks gets their true colour and the whole scene gets slower phase. The Dhabas nearby start cooking and hint a great breakfast for the crowd who just witnesses the show. One can enjoy a pure morning sunrays just sitting along the lake shore watching the peaks and their reflection on the calm water . If ready spend ten rupee one can hold a cup of hot tea and start sipping !
Most of the Dhabas are put up by Saari villagers and they charge very decent at that altitude. In the mornings men and women of the village can be seen slowly walking uphill for two kilometres holding big bag of groceries for the Dhabas . They also offer tents , sleeping bags , porters, ponies for those who wish to stay and trek further to reach Chopta and Chandrashila. ( A detailed post on reaching this place, guide contact numbers here )
Evenings are also glorious as the landscapes turns in to complete red by the setting sunrays. The white mountains turn red and gold and leave a permanent mark in our memory. Nights will be chilling and sometime temperature drops to sub-zero level. But it is learnt that lake never completely freezes . Full-moon days are best to enjoy the snow covered peaks at night and on no moon day sky will be filled with stars!
For Saari villagers this lake is of Hindu Mythological importance and the legend goes like this. Devaria nag Devatha ( snake god ) took permission from Tungnatheshwar ( Hindu god Eeshwar in the temple in Tungnath which is 20 Kms from Devaria taal ) and went to this lake to circle fully. So this lake is named as Devaria tal ( lake ) and Deoria Lake as English people pronounced. There is also a legend that Yudhistir of Mahabharatha answered questions of Yaksha at this lake . The story can be read here
Locals have great respect for Devaria Lake. They do not allow swimming, washing clothes in the lake. There is a path to circle the lake which is of religious importance. The guides from the village suggest circling to the tourists also . Plastics , liquor are prohibited here but young locals and other tourist agents are now allowing such usages for more money. Government has made a guest house also which comes right in the middle of the peaks and their reflection! No wonder one day the shores of the lakes are filled by shops and malls. So visit this when it is fresh and clean and enjoy the greatest view of Himalayas.
Equipment used: Canon 1000d, Canon 60d, Sigma 17-70mm lens and 50mm lens, tripod, couple of filters.
Time visited : November 26, 27 in 2011.
More details on Guide , contacts , best time to visit etc are here .