You may have visited several temples dedicated to Goddesses or Matarani. You do the usual puja, ask her to grant your wishes, and even spend time listening to the chanting of mantras and the hustle bustle of other devotees. And then you return home, back to your mundane life.
Have you ever been to a Matarani temple where you actually felt the presence of Goddess there? No, we aren’t saying the other temples don’t have such presence. But here, we are talking about the feeling you get that someone is watching you, protecting you, energizing you.
Welcome to Toshi.
This is a trek that leads you to a fascinating ancient Chandi Mata temple where you can feel the presence of Mata. You can’t escape that obvious feeling.
The place is famous for an ancient Chandi Mata temple, which is believed to be older than Kedarnath temple!
Apart from being older than the revered Kedarnath temple, Toshi’s Chandi Mata temple has a completely different energy. It seems the place is on a higher frequency where you can feel the presence of a Divine power. It is impossible to not feel this.
The temple is not open like other temples. The pujari comes only in the morning and in the evening from the nearby village to do “aarti” and then everything is lonely and silent here. There is no “prasad” here.
In addition, Toshi trek is a virgin trek. This isn’t your regular tourist place. In fact, you won’t see a single human on the trek path. At times, you may feel you are on a journey alone and away from the world.
It is these feelings that make Toshi trek special, adventurous, and one of the treks to do before you die.
Things To Do
Trekking is the main thing to do here.
Before that, you may visit Triyugi Narayan temple, which is supposed to be the site where Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati married.
Starting point: The trek to Toshi begins from Triyugi Narayan.
Trek level: This is a moderate to tough trek, so please make sure you are at your fittest. An experience of trekking is a plus point.
It takes around 5 hours for a professional trekker to complete this trek, while for an inexperienced, it may take more than 8 hours.
- You cross two mountains.
- There is a descent.
- You come across a river.
- Then you come to a bugiyal (plain area or meadow)
- From here, the climb starts
- At the top is the ancient Chandi Mata temple
After a hard trek, when you watch the spectacular snow-clad mountains of the Himalayas, you forget your fatigue, your worries in life, and even the fact that you have to go back! You simply gaze at the clear view of the majestic Himalayas.
The Toshi village houses just 80-100 people. The area is enveloped in a dense forest.
Caution: Wildlife such as leopard and black bear are present and you can encounter them anytime. Also, chances are high that you may get lost here.
Please begin the trek early in the morning so that you are back by the end of the day. It is dangerous to stay anywhere in the path or at the top during night.
A local guide is a must.
Tips for Toshi trek:
- Eat well before you begin the trek.
- Stay at Triyugi Narayan for a day or two to acclimatize your body to the hills.
- Eat local food here to acclimatize your digestive system.
- Keep your backpack as light as possible during trek.
- Even before coming to Triyugi Narayan, prepare your body for fitness and your mind for endurance. Start preparing 30-60 days before your trip.
- Walk 5 miles daily. Climb stairs daily. This is very important for people who live a sedentary lifestyle.
- Do some strength training exercises to strengthen muscles of your legs (for climbing) and arms and shoulders (for carrying backpack).
- The more active you are a month or two before the trip, the easier and more enjoyable Toshi trek will be for you.
- Learn the air signals of NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) and SDRF (State Disaster Response Force) before the trek. These are SOS signals in case you get lost or trapped.
Please do not do this trek, if you are unfit. Those suffering from high blood pressure or any medical condition must consult their doctor before doing this trek.
Accommodation is available at Triyugi Narayan. You cannot camp at Toshi due to the danger of wild animals.
Essentials to Carry
- Good trekking shoes
- Trekking stick
- Food and water (no food and water is available throughout the trek path)
- Pack high carb foods like chocolates, cakes, and cookies too
- Litter bag to keep nature clean
- Head torch
- Blinking torch (for SOS signals, if needed)
- Portable water filter (in case you find a water spring on the path, you must use this filter and not drink water directly, as it could be unsafe)
- Knee padding to avoid knee injury during descent
- Umbrella (weather is unpredictable here)
Some Special Things to Carry:
- “Mukhota” (full-face mask)
- Pepper spray
- Matchboxes and candle
(We will be discussing the use of these special things at the end of this article.)
How to Reach?
You must come to Triyugi Narayan first. Then start your trek to Toshi. Jolly Grant is the nearest airport. It is near Dehradun. The nearest railway stations are Rishikesh and Dehradun. Triyugi Narayan is in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. This is around 370 km from Delhi by road.
Best Time to Visit
September to November and February to May.
Winters are harsh with snow covering the trek path. This can make the path slippery and dangerous.
Tips to Protect from Wild Animals during Toshi Trek
- You must have often seen a black “mukhota” (full-face mask) that has a black fearful face with a red tongue and red fiery eyes hanging outside the entrance of houses or shops to protect from evil eye. Bring this “mukhota” with you on Toshi trek. Wear it at the back of your head to keep away wild animals from attacking you from behind as you walk the path.
- In case you come across a wild animal, keep distance. Do not run. Use pepper spray, if it comes too near to you.
- If you hear a ruffling sound in the bushes on your side, blow a trumpet or whistle that you have.
- You can also light a few candles to frighten an animal, as they are afraid of fire.
- Be alert for any sound or movement as you walk the path.
We must again remind you to not do this trek alone. Take a local guide along.
Time to see how far you can go to meet the Divine!