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Pastoral Scene Takes a Dramatic Turn at Deoriatal-Chopta

Pastoral Scene Takes a Dramatic Turn at Deoriatal-Chopta
Shepherds guide their flock to safety as the sky takes a dramatic turn, Photo Credit: Precious Kamei
02 Min Read

Monsoon in Uttarakhand is a challenge, but when nature's fury finally takes a break, everything becomes picture perfect

This was an assignment that scared the living daylights out of me and also, weirdly enough, made me want to do it again. I don't think I'll ever be able to fully describe the level of fear and confusion I felt when a bolt of lightning struck our campsite at Deoriatal in Uttarakhand. So next time when my editor tells me not to go trekking during monsoon, I think I will listen. But then there is that strange pull that just won't give up. And add to that a refreshing view throughout the day (and night).

The following photographs are from my trekking trip to Deoriatal and Chopta a couple of years ago. Deoriatal tested my threshold for both pain and fear of nature's fury in the form of a trek up to the picturesque lake and an unsuspecting thunder/hail storm followed by a lightning strike. Chopta came later and by the time it did, I had a newfound respect and love for life. It poured at Chopta too but it just didn't register in my head because all around me was beauty. The beautiful pastoral scene of shepherds with their flocks, the melody of cowbells as nonchalant cattle graze nearby our tents and friendly fuzzy mountain dogs in broad collars made of tin (because leopards). I must admit, the tin-collar information did leave me tossing and turning inside my tent at night, ears extra aware of every rustle out in the dark. I would do the same assignment in a heartbeat, sans the lightning strike of course.

Chopta: Clouds parted to show-off the remainder of the daylight, right after an hour of heavy rain

Chopta: Shepherds and their flock return from their faraway grazing land

Chopta: A picture straight out of Johanna Spyri's Swiss children classic Heidi

 Chopta: These mountain dogs are an effective way to protect sheeps and cattle from leopard attacks. And broad tin collar is the only way to protect these furry protectors from such attacks. This friendly doggy sat down next to me for a lot of belly rubs

Deoriatal: Our picture perfect campsite by the Deoriatal Lake

Deoriatal: Chaukhamba massif as seen from our Deoriatal campsite

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