Amidst soaring heights and an elevation of 3310 meters, ‘Dodital’ is like a scintillating emerald stationed on the crest of an inexplicable landscape: mysterious, serene and majestic. One can see the famous Himalayan Golden Trout fish through the crystal clear water of the tal. This is one of the rare water bodies where Himalayan Trout is found and the lake is named after this Trout known as ‘Dodi’ in local language. The origin of water in this tal is from the natural springs and the river source is ‘Assi Ganga’. According to Hindu Mythology, Dodital was the birthplace of Lord Ganesha.
Our trek to Dodital started from ‘Sangam Chatti’, a place that lost its charisma to the natural disaster in 2012. A new bridge is under-construction; although the route is still accessible. The trek from Sangamchatti starts with a gradual ascends. After parking our conveyance at Sangam Chatti we headed towards our first stop, Agoda village which is famous for its red color agriculture.
The villages around have fantastic agricultural production like kidney beans, mustard, maize, high quality mountain potatoes, grains, vegetables like pumpkin, pahadi sweet gourd, green vegetables, cabbage, cucumber, exotic chillies and more. From Agoda it is a long winding walk of 16 kms to Dodital crossing through Bhebra and Manjhi village, where one can easily find lodging facilities. The trail is well defined and runs through the wild-forest which has a very rich and protean flora and fauna.
The hike till Agoda was very pleasant, moving ahead with full enthusiasm amidst sheen surroundings, interacting with kids and locals. Although for 6 km we had to cautiously trek through a landslide prone area, the overall climb was moderate and had an easy gradient. Pony ride was also an option but obviously for the non trekkers. On reaching Agoda, it was time for some local cuisine. Luckily, shopkeepers there were really humble and provided us with a filling and palatable meal of cultivated/organic vegetables and cereals. After having our meal and resting for 15 minutes we started further.
Our next stop was village Bhebra. This climb was hard and compelled few of our companions to rethink upon continuing this trek. The ascent was very steep and we halted at numerous places along the way. It was the most difficult climb we have ever come across. We reached Bhebra, crossing a stream provided with a log to cross the watercourse as the bridge had collapsed and the new bridge was under construction. After spending 10 minutes at Bhebra we preceded our journey. The next pit stop was at Manjhi, followed by our destination, Dodital. In this route we covered rich forests of oak, deodar and rhododendrons and heard a lot of yelping coming from the wild swine. We were lucky enough that it didn’t do any harm to us. The trail is well marked and there are no chances of getting lost, also there are a couple of short cuts which assist in curbing down the trekking hours.
We yelled and jumped with joy when we saw first signs of Tal as the view was just breathtaking, the magnificent lake surrounded by vegetation. The lakes in upper reach of Himalayas always surprise me. While you walk on these long roads you don’t even have an idea about such breathtaking sight. It’s just what you experience when you reach a ‘tal’. It is really magical how in just 10 steps or so, the scenery changes completely as if somebody has waved a magic wand to transform it.
The trek was overwhelming and quite challenging; definitely not easy for beginners. There are other connecting treks from Dodital to the pilgrimage spots like Yamunotri, Gangotri and to one of the largest meadow of Asia, Dyarabugyal in Garhwal, all of which we aspire to cover soon and share the experience with our readers.