After having a super exciting trek of Tungnath, we decided that it was enough fun for this particular bike trip. But just for a change we did not take the same route,via Ukhimath, while returning. Some conversation with the locals helped us in concluding that Gopeshwar was one more town that could be covered while returning.
Though tired after the Tungnath trek. We bid chopta good bye started for our next destination. We reached Gopeshwar well in time and there was pretty good light in sky. The body was aching under strain of Tungnath and Deoria Tal trek done in last two days.
Gopeshwar, Chamoli District, was a very nice town with pretty good market. First thing that we did was looked for a parlour where we could get some massage. It was a reliever and i honestly do not have any kind of words to express what kind of solace it provided at that moment of time. In simplest words it recharged the body with enough energy to explore the town and its beautiful temples.
Next we found one hotel room and took a short break and got fresh. People at Chopta had already informed us about the famous Gopinath temple. Gopeshwar has been named on this temple only. Things were not very far so we decided to go by walk.
Gopinath temple was built in the reign of Katyuri dynasty from 9-11 century AD. It is the home of Rudranath, one amongst panch kedar during winters. The ling is worshipped as ekanan (face of Lord Shiva), and in his mridh roop (in the form of Lord Vishnu) in Gopinath Temple.
The architecture of temple from outside was very much like Tungnath temple. We spent some time in the temple noticing the details after offering prayers to the deity.
After this we took a stroll in the local market of the town. And also had our dinner before returning to the hotel. Next morning was supposed to be the return journey to New Delhi.
Sticking to the discipline we started early next morning as well. On our stop for tea, somehow the discussion popped up that why not offer prayers to badrinath as well, if we have come so far. It was some 100 kms from there. It was Saurabh’s idea though and it did take him long to convince me. :)
Again it was time for querying the locals for best information about the roads ahead and probably the kind of weather that we would get. People told that road would be pretty decent till Joshimath but things would be tough after that. As snow had fallen the previous evening and the region after that was pretty muddy. We made a quick plan that we would ride till Joshimath and then try to get lift in some vehicle after that.
Takin rest in route and enjoying the views :)
Some beautiful points in way where we stopped to chill out
The situation was exactly the way locals had explained. Roads were not the best ones. But it was fun and the views were amazing. We stopped at Joshimath and visited local deity temple there.
We also met many bikers in the way who cautioned us about the bad weather and road conditions. Anyways taking heed to these advices we did not take many breaks in between and kept creeping ahead.
Roads got typically tortuous when we were 10 odd kms from Badrinath and bike had to be given a full accelerator to move up ahead. And in between were those happy clicking moments.
We reached the compound of Badrinath temple by 12:45 PM. After parking our vehicles we went to take the tickets for darshan. It was another shock time. The person sitting at reception counter informed us that the temple was going to get closed at 1 PM now and will reopen at 3 pm. Weather was seemed to worsen and snowfall seemed inevitable by late evening. Staying till that late would have meant that we would have needed to stay for that day in Badrinath only.
We explained our situation to him and somehow he agreed to give us the pass for visiting before 1PM, but he made clear that it was on our risk.
We rushed towards the temple gates where the security people on duty were already telling people to go back and return by 3 pm. We went up to the security guys and explained the scenario, that we will get struck for the day if we wait till 3 PM. I did see a chance but somehow the person got convinced and told us to offer prayers and come back quickly.
We offered prayers in comfortable way. The temple from inside had a different architecture from rest of the temples we had visited in this trip. There were intricately worked upon pillars wrapped up with flower garlands. Anyways we could not spend much time in temple after offering prayers and were asked to come outside the temple.
There was a very light snow flakes falling when we came outside from temple. The entire experience seemed heavenly. the place carried such peacefulness with it and this extraordinary atmosphere that was created, for a moment i forgot everything raised my head up towards sky and just got lost in the beauty of the mother earth.
After enjoying this magical environment for some time we started our journey back. There were no new points added in trip hereafter. We stayed in karnprayag at the end of day. And drove next day to reach Delhi.