Between Rishikesh and Tungnath

The way to Chopta follows an impressive never-ending narrow road in very bad condition. We took a public old bus and the bumpy route was scary. Few stretches are very vulnerable to landslides and many rocks are still on the way. The view is beautiful and the altitude is about 2500m all the way, where the bus slips between cliffs with peak and the view at the bottom of the torrent from the tumultuous river. The river bed shows that the water invade sometimes the villages at the boarder of Ganga due to cloud burst. The slopes are rough and I sitted in the bus, emptying myself of gallons of sweat just by the overview from the window going up and down in the valley. The road takes 12/14 hours and we stayed overnight in Rudraprayag, a little town on the way to Chopta in Uttarakhand to relax before the trek, the day after.

The day of the departure to Chopta, the condition was very amazing, a clear day with beautiful blue sky and my first view of the magestic snow caps from the peak of Himalayan mountains. We shared a private car with few locals and he dropped us after few hours at the village. After deposing the luggages in a tiny wooden hut that we rented for few nights, we decided to hike to Tungnath, the highest Shiva Temple in the world.

I felt immensely challenged by the change of altitude, coming from 1000m to nearly 3500m was non pleasant, my body did not adjust and I could not breath with comfort which was causing severe stress during my walk on the way up. Tungnath is believed to be 5000 years old and located at an altitude of 4000m. It is noticed in the Mahabharata epic and linked to the Pandavas heroes.

It is said that Lord Shiva resides in the Himalayas, which can be true but he just frightened us with terrible thunderstorms and huge lightenings for several days. Being at the peak that was even more impressive with the echo of the thunders in the valley. The sky was black and the temperature outside was low, we could not moved from a bonefire made by two lovely locals, Raoul and his mentor who prepared us delicious diner everyday with simple ingredients like Dhal and Roti. I really felt the powerful energy of what resides in those mountains.

Finally after 3 days, my breathe went back to normal and we left Chopta to a lower village named Kanakchauri. I could finally walked without effort and I enjoyed so much the beautiful landscape there, with the valley surrounded by the peaks of snow caps. Everything looking heavenly and calm. We went to Kartik Swami Temple located at the end of a narrow ridge with deep valley all around at 3000m offering a 360° view of the Himalayas.

While staying few days in Kanakchauri, I enjoyed doing yoga outside and painting and of course eating more Dhal.

Those places taught me to surender and stay in gratitude even in unpleasant situations by using my breathe to calm the agitated mental and direct it into a calm and disciplinated state. Also stopping to fear danger even in challenging places like Himalayas in the middle of storms or thunders, because I could realized that I can worry so much about things that are not real and by staying serene nothing can happened anyway.

While being, everything is a bliss and my friend was writing this few words : « It is beautiful to hear the sound of the wind, sometimes sharp, sometimes hard, sometimes like a melody ».

Immense gratitude for this experience who helped me to overcome challenges.

Here are my pictures of the place :

Publié par Sophie Foucher

Lives between Europe and exotic places, here is my story: I worked as a fashion Buyer for 10 years in Paris and get the chance to travel a lot during fashion weeks and experienced to live abroad. At 30 I changed my life and relocated in Hong Kong, where in parallel of my work I was studying Yoga and Ayurveda from short trips to Bali. Influenced by my teachers, peers, environment and my travels… I felt unstoppable and this year gap changed my life. First, I attended in Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep Monastery my first Vipassana course – the 21 days of silent meditation in 2013. I did an Ashtanga 200-YTT in India in 2013, I stayed under the guidance of certified Ashtanga teachers of KP Jois as Prem Carlisi, Damien de Bastier, BNS Iyengar till now. Completed an Ayurvedic course with Deepak Chopra, M.D., F.A.C.P in his foundation of Ayurveda and also with Dr Ramesh Kumar from the University of Ayurveda in Mysore – India. Completed a Dietary Course called ‘Food is your best medecine’ with the Dr. Veronica Waks M.D., N.D. which is about planning a food plan who works the best with different type of people. More recently in 2018, she stayed under the guidance of well known Ayurvedic author Janesh Vaidya in his center in Kerala to be trained as a Yoga Therapist and integrating Yoga-Ayurvedic program that she is able to teach now. « My experiences make me understand that the key component for health and wellness is traveling into a healing environment, as it is an extraordinary step into the process of self-discovering and how to transform our life with new habits and then sustain this lifestyle for our own health ».  That’s why I choose to use my yoga retreats to guide others for self-discovery and adopting a spiritual practice into their life “Sadhana” and all tools that has benefited me. You can visit my website :

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