The internet is full of travel blogs about the desired trekking destinations. The careful review shows that most of them are similar and may lack proper information. And this is the same for Chopta, Tungnath, and Chandrashila trek. In our article, we will give you a complete Chopta, Tungnath, and Chandrashila Trek Travel Guide.
Chopta is a small tourist town located at 2600m. It is the last road head for the trek to Tungnath Temple & Chandrashila peak. We visited Chandrashila trek in October 2019. The beautiful and adventurous trek of Chopta makes an ideal weekend getaway from Delhi, which takes nearly 3 days to complete.
The distance from Delhi to Haridwar is approx. 250 km. We boarded the bus from ISBT Kashmere Gate around 10:30 pm. It took around 5-6 hours to reach Haridwar. It was around 4 am when we reached there. From there, we took a direct bus to Kund, only a few direct buses were available at that time.
Kund is the point at which the road divides, the left turn goes to Guptkashi and Gaurikund (Kedarnath) while the straight road goes to Ukhimath, from where Chopta is around 29 km away.
The distance from Haridwar to Kund is covered by the bus (Rs.367) in around 7 hours. We reached Kund at around 11:30 am. Shared jeeps (Bolero) are the only available options to travel for Ukhimath (Rs. 30.) and from Ukhimath to Chopta (50 Rs.). Luckily, we reached Chopta at 2 or 3 pm. For accommodation, there are camps, tents, and homestays available near Duggalbitta.Tungnath trek is the perfect place to pitch tents and camps.
Planning the trek
Always try to reach Chopta by 1 or 2 pm. Because it takes 4 hours for an average person to reach Tungnath temple and another one hour to Chandrashila. It is easy for those who are regular trekkers but can be difficult for beginners. Most people stay at Chopta, do a day hike to Tungnath and Chandrashila, and come back the same day. The time taken to go back is half compared to hiking up, so one can get back to Chopta in 2 hours from Chandrashila. Therefore, if you plan it right, you can enjoy these views from the Chandrashila Top as well.
Trekking from Chopta to Tungnath
When we reached there, we saw many dhabas and guest houses near the starting point of the trek. Trees welcomed us in the starting and we saw many endless snow peaks on our left-hand side. Although there were no signs in between the trek, all the paths lead to the same destination. Therefore, we did not feel the need to hire a guide. After about an hour the beautiful meadows completely refreshed our minds.
In between the trek, we rested for a while and enjoyed the views of the snowy peaks on the trail. After crossing the halfway point, we saw the sun at its zenith. But after a while, the weather changed completely. Instead of the sun, there were fully filled clouds. And within minutes, it started to rain. We got all surprised, at seeing a sudden change in the climate. We decided to take shelter in a nearby tent as it was raining heavily.
The rain continued for 5 – 6 hours. We got caught in the middle. We could neither move forward nor go back. Hence, we left with no option but to wait for the rain to stop. Finally, the rain stopped and after a six-hour-long gap, we started to move again. This time more carefully, as the trek was slippery. Because of this, it took more time to complete the remaining trek.
Tungnath is the highest Shiva Temple in the world located at an altitude of 3680m (12,073 feet) and is one among the Panch Kedar Shrines. It is believed to be more than 1000 years old. The temple remains closed during the winter. Tungnath temple opens its doors in summer around the end of April and shuts down in November in winters. We were ten minutes away from Tungnath, there we saw a peak called Ravanshila. It is the place where Ravan meditated to please Lord Shiva.
After reaching Tungnath temple, we spent around 1-hour worshiping lord shiva and then headed towards Chandrashila. Overall, the trek was amazing and the trekking distance between Chopta to Tungnath is 4.5 km. It usually takes around 4 and a half hours to cover that distance.
Trekking from Tungnath to Chandrashila
The altitude of Chandrashila is 4000m (13,000 feet). The Chandrashila trek starts from the Tungnath temple. The distance of Chandrashila Peak Top from Tungnath is approx. 1.5 km and it’s a steep climb. It took us 2 hours to complete the trek. There is a small temple at Chandrashila and from the top, one can see splendid grand 360-degree panoramic views of the Kumaon & Garhwal ranges.
Behind the temple, we saw an endless valley view covered by snowy peaks. There we spent almost 2 hours. The sights were mesmerizing and we heard a gust of wind sounding like bells, which made our journey a divine one. The views of the peaks were clear by noon and, thereafter, clouds dominated the icy mountains. Cairns made with rocks and shivlings were spread everywhere on Chandrashila Top, due to which we experienced a pleasant environment there.
Sunrise at Chandrashila
One reason we decided to visit Chandrshila was the sunrise which is a spectacular affair. The skyline was painted in shades of yellow and orange as the sun rises from behind the snowy peaks of Kumaon and Garhwal. Up above the world so high, we clicked many beautiful snaps to make this trip a perfect memory.
Back to Chopta
The downhill journey was easy as it took 25 minutes to reach back to Tungnath Temple from Chandrashila. Furthermore, from Tungnath to Chopta, we took only 2 hours to get back.
Sari – Deoriatal (Devariyatal)
While coming from Ukhimath, there is a cut off for Sari village. The distance from Ukhimath to Sari village is 13 km. From Sari village, there is a 2.5 km trek to Deoriatal (2300m) that took us around 1 and a half hours to cover. The trek path passes through the lovely village of Sari that has some charming old houses. We recommend you to carry ample water, otherwise, you may have to buy them from the dhabas.
A 150 Rupee fee is being levied at the entrance of the lake. Deoriatal is a small lake. The main attraction of this place is the reflections of the snowy peaks during sunrise. Sunrise at Deoriatal is a must-see. The reflections of the Chowkhamba range are seen in the still waters if the weather is clear.
Some Useful Information
Best time to visit Chopta
One can go to Tungnath & Chandrashila during March, April, or May. The entire land is covered with pink flowers! The monsoon months from June to August are also good for this trek, depending on the weather forecast. September to November is supposed to be the best month to trek to Tungnath & Chandrashila for the clear views of the Himalayan mountain ranges. Views of the snowy peaks are clear during this time.
Deoriatal, Chopta, Tungnath, Chandrashila trek include unparalleled sights of the Chaukhambha ranges with views of Neelkanth and other peaks.
It can get quite cold in Chopta, Tungnath, and Chandrashila. Temperature can go down to less than 10 degrees even in summers. Carrying heavy woolens is advised. It can rain anytime here. So, we will advise you to carry an umbrella with yourself.
Internet and Mobile
The Internet and mobile networks are not good on the entire trek from Chopta to Chandrashila. Airtel had zero towers in Chopta while Vodafone had 1 dot and no internet. So, locals are using BSNL to access the internet. If you have some important calls to make then do it from Unkimath.
There is plenty of water supply in Chopta as pipelines have been laid down by the government. Remember to keep water with yourself and try not to empty it before you reach Tungnath. You can also carry some candies with you as they help your throat to not get dry. A power bank is a must to recharge your electronic devices, as there is no electricity in Chopta.
Adventurous and Thrilling Trip!!
Chopta, mini Switzerland of Uttrakhand is a true example of natural beauty and its beauty remains intact to date. For city dwellers like us, a quiet and peaceful trekking experience along the mountain trail is a must. Whenever planning a trip to Uttarakhand, always keep this place in your to-do list and trust me, you will never repent. For me, this was the most adventurous and thrilling trip of my life. If you want to experience the same then do visit here once in a lifetime. This place is all you need if you want some spare time for yourself. Also, it will help you to explore your inner peacefulness.