Churdhar Temple is situated in Shimla district of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and is at the height of 3647 meters (roughly 12000 feet) above sea level and is the highest peak in south Himalayas which has nearly 20 feet idol of Lord Shiva at the top. It is believed that the temple is 5000 years old.
So it was September 2012, we were in a class attending lecture and in between class one of my friend “Mohit Miglani” started searching places on his phone where we could go this weekend. So after searching for like 2 hours, we tend to finally found a place where none of us have ever been before.
We started our trek at almost 3pm which was not so good decision. After seeing the rainy weather conditions, one should try to start trek as early as possible in the morning. Since we were college students and didn’t had much days to stay, we had to start trek that day without even thinking of the weather conditions at the peak.
The trekking path was quite steep and you gain quite altitude in just a kilometer or so. After trekking for just half an hour, we were above the sleepy town and started to felt the ferocity of cold and strong winds. Since it started raining, we put our raincoats and caps to save ourselves from the ferocious winds.
After trekking for almost 2 hours continuously, we entered the jungle area through which we have to trek. We reached the first break point called Jamnala, 6km from the start point at 5 pm. By this time, it was a continuous steep inclination which was quite tiring for us. Jamnala is a lovely place, big meadow with 2-3 tents where u can eat and sleep. We had Maggi, tea there and rested for a while and then decided to move on. The tent owner and locals sitting there warned us about the weather conditions ahead. They said the wind is too strong, it will throw you away on which we replied “dekha jaega (we will see)”.
We left our bags at the tent and put only the neccesary things like biscuits, namkeen, torch, camera etc into one bag. It was 5:30pm when we started to trek again from tent.
Its again started with a steep climb for next few kilometers. We were exhausted but had to continue. Out of 5, we 3 (Mohit Miglani, Rohit Dhoundiyal & Sumit Goyal) were ahead of our 2 friends (Rohit Malik and Udit Arora). Since Udit was the beginner and slow, someone has to be with him. After covering 2-3 kms from tent, we heard a scary sounds (of 2-3 animals). Though we couldn’t see them but knew they were on our trekking way so we decided to stop for few minutes and wait for our other two friends to come. After 10mts, Udit and Rohit came and we told them that there is an animal on our way and is sounds angry.
We spotted three wild bulls at some distance, two of them were calm but one was angry at us. We waited for some time and then a group of about 8-10 boys came, they were Himanchali local boys and they said we will go from upper side of the hill to bypass the bulls and we agreed to join them.
It was difficult walking sidewise but we crossed the bulls and now back on trek. Now the only battery we had was with Sumit Goyal who mistakenly joined the local group and was at a distance from us. It started raining heavily, the weather was friggin cold and too dark to see anything and we had no clue how far is Sumit from us.
It was horrible, our hands were freezing, we were shivering and next stop was nowhere to be seen. We asked Rohit Malik “Malik Bhai,rasta yhi h kya? (Malik bro, is this the right way?)” on which he replied YES without knowing just to encourage us.
We kept walking for an hour or so without thinking about mud, rain, wet clothes, food and water. We thought we are going to die today as our legs were jammed, we won’t be able to make it. Just then, we saw a light at a distance which brought a ray of hope for us. We reached the tent, knocked the door. The local group and Sumit were already there. We joined them, removed our drenched cloths, had hot tea and dinner (which was much needed at that time).
About the place, its called Tessri which was open from all sides. No mountain to provide cover, no forest so it was staggeringly chilly.
We were about 15 people in a single tent, so the owner asked us to sleep to the next tent which was empty and we were like “NOOOO we are not going anywhere”!! But then we gathered the little courage we had and stepped out and we almost froze, it was too too cold, we just ran and then went into multiple layer of quilts.
Woke up at 6am after a good sleep. No one was ready to leave the quilts and also not sure what to do next. Then Me (Rohit Dhoundiyal) and Rohit Malik got up, saw weather was ok, though it was cold but rain has stopped and it was manageable. So we got ready with our wet clothes, raincoats, had a cup of tea at the tent, paid the bill of INR 1100 which includes our stay, dinner and tea. We were fresh after a good last night sleep so started the trek again at 8am.
From here, climb was okay, not so steep and we were going at a good pace. We couldn’t get a clear view of the place because of the dense fog. The idol of lord Shiva is visible on a clear day but not today. There were numerous number of small water streams and waterfalls on our way which were encouraging us. After the rain, place looks much greener and beautiful.
After a trek of 6 km,we reached the temple at 10:30 am, bought Prasad then went inside the temple to pray and ask for good grades in University exams from Lord Shiva. It was cosy inside and that was a big relief because rain has again started.
Everyone there suggested us not to go to the peak (to see Lord Shiva Idol) because it was too windy up there. They said, “local b ni jaa rhe h,wha to hawa uda k le jaegi” and we obliged. On our way back, we took the wrong cut which was going to the peak. It was too steep, soon we realized we are on the wrong track, came back and took the right way. Trekking downhill was much easy and we reached Jamnala at 3:30pm. Had Maggi, cold drinks there, changed our clothes, took our bags from the tent owner and reached Nohradhar at 5:30 pm. At that time, the last bus for Solan had left so we started looking for lift as there was no other option left.
Luckily we found a humble Sardarji going to Solan on his truck and he was happy to help us. We sat into a spacious and comfortable cabin, listening to music. We reached Solan at around 9pm. We offered Sardarji 200rs to drop us to which he denied polity. Such a nice person he was.
We took two rooms at sher-e-punjab hotel at Mall road for INR 700 each. We walked through the busy Mall road of Solan for an hour then went to Mayur Bar to had our dinner. We had delicious Butter Chicken, Shahi Paneer and Rotis.
Next day, it was the same boring journey back to home. This tour was adventurous, almost killed us and will never forget that night, none of us:):)
1. Always keep a water bottle and get it refilled at every water source.
2. Need not to carry any extra eatables. It will just add more weight to your shoulder.
3. Light polythene raincoats are advisable as weather may change any time.
4. Good quality shoes with good grip (don’t take a new pair of shoes).
My friend “Rohit Malik” went there last year in 2017 and told us that the Forest Department has now closed the Hotel/Shelter in Jamnala and Teesri. So now there is no any water source, food source and shelter to stay in between Nohradhar to Temple. So plan accordingly and start as early in the morning as possible.
Best Time to visit
10 other things you wouldn’t like to miss
2. Gurudwara Paonta Sahib
3. Kinnaur Kailash
4. Pandoh Dam
5. Renuka Lake
10. Jammu Peak
You can book cheap flights to Chandigarh by Clicking here