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THE TUNGNATH-DEORIATAAL-CHANDRASHILA TREK

The ideal trek for beginners, that doubles up as a full-blown trek for true enthusiasts, too. And a spellbinding one at that!

Mild to moderate, it’s a picture perfect trek trail. When you first hit DeoriaTaal, you would be left to wonder if a child can paint a better scenery!
Dense, virgin forests, world’s highest Shiva temple, snow/ice, beautiful campsites, full of mythological stories, this trek is ideal for beginners or for those who want a mild-moderate trek which has it all.
From 6000 odd feet to the highest point at about 13000 feet, at Chandrashila.


THE TREK IN DETAIL

DeoriaTaal
At an altitude of 7,841 feet, DeoriaTaal is a calm and a serene lake, famous for its mesmerizing reflections of

Chaukhamba Range in the crystal clear water.

The mountains & the jungles of Uttarakhand are replete with ancient stories,. Pandavas are said to have spent

most of their 14 years of exile here. And Deoria Taal is believed to be the lake from where Yakshya asked Pandavas

the questions on life.

 

Chopta
Chopta, an unspoiled natural beauty destination lying in the laps of  Uttarakhand Himalayas, offers amazing views

of the imposing Himalayan range including Trishul, Nanda Devi and Chaukhamba.

​It is located at an elevation of 9,734 feet above sea level.

Chopta village is surrounded by forest of pine, deodar and rhododendron, 
and is rich in variety of flora and fauna.

​This place is popularly known as 'Mini Switzerland' in Uttarakhand.

The 4 km trek to Tungnath, at an elevation of 11,440 feet, starting from Chopta, is a moderate (and sometimes steep) climb.

The trek path provides for the beautiful views of the Chowkhamba, Nanda 
Devi, Neelkanth and Kedarnath peaks.

 

Tungnath

Tungnath is the highest Shiva temple in the world and is one of the five, and the highest, Panch Kedar temples located in the mountain range of Tunganath in Rudraprayag district, in the state of Uttarakhand.

​The Tungnath (Lord of the peaks) mountains form the Mandakini and Alaknanda river valleys.

Located at an altitude of around 12,000 ft, and just below the peak of 
Chandrashila, Tungnath temple is the highest Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva.
The temple is believed to be 1000 years old and is the second in the 
pecking order of the Panch Kedars. It has a rich legend linked to the Pandavas, heroes of the Mahabharata epic.

Tungnath is at the top of the ridge dividing the waters of the Mandakini River (raising from Kedarnath) from those of the Alaknanda River (raising above Badrinath).

The Tungnath peak on this ridge is the source of three springs, which form the 
Akashkamini River.

The temple lies a km below the Chandrashila peak.
 

Chandrashila

is summit of the Tungnath trek trail.

It literally means "Moon Rock". It is located at a height of about 4,000 metres (13,000 ft) above sea level. This peak provides a spectacular view of Himalayas, especially Nandadevi, Trishul, Kedar Peak, Bandarpoonch and Chaukhamba peaks.

There are various legends associated with this place. According to one of the popular legend, this is the place where Lord Rama meditated after defeating the demon-king Ravan. Another legend says that moon-god Chandra spent time here in penance.
Incredibly beautiful, Chandrashila is at an impressive vantage point offering 360 degrees’ panoramic views of the mighty Himalayas.

The trek to the peak is 5 km. The trek route that starts from Chopta takes one to Tungnath, from where it is a kilometer long, and steep. Though shorter in distance, steep climbing makes this trek rigorous.

This trek is undertaken throughout the year although during winter season due to snowfall this trek becomes hard as road to Chopta gets closed.


THE DETAILED ITINERARY

                                                                   OPTION 1:

Day 1:
Leave after midnight from Delhi in a Traveller/cab.
The drive will cover a distance of around 220 kms till Haridwar, and then another 170 odd kms to Chopta(Sari Village), the base-camp.
(You could also reach Haridwar on your own/by train and a cab can pick you up from the Haridwar railway station early morning).

Have breakfast at a restaurant/dhaba in Rishikesh.
Enjoy the ride.
Stop by at the divine, holy river confluence  of Devprayag(Alaknanda & Bhagirathi), and RudraPrayag(Alaknanda & Mandakini) en-route:

Reach Sari Village late-afternoon. 
Relax. Have tea/snacks.

The adventure starts from here.
Embark on the trademark Storytrekkers' night-trek to DeoriaTaal(around 2.5 kms), something that you are likely to cherish forever.
The trail to Deoriataal is a constant ascent to the top, with an altitude gain of around 1,300 feet.

The trail climbs out of the village and enters the Rhododendron forest.

 

It’s a breathtaking sight the moment you hit DeoriaTaal.
Camp by the lakeside.
Soak in the egolessness of the Himalayas, surrender to the divine.

Dinner.
Sleep well by the lake that is witness to the legends of the Mahabharata.

If you're feeling upto it, enjoy a storytelling session  over dinner, beside the lake that is witness to the legends of Mahabharata.

Or bring alive the story next morning over a hop cup of tea, under the comforting gaze of the Himalayas

 
Day 2: 
Wake up early to the miracle of the Divine.
Lend an ear to the chirping birds, watch the rising sun lending the white, snow-laden Himalayan peaks a golden hue.

If you are lucky and the weather is clear, capture the famous reflections of the Chaukhamba peak in the waters of Deoritaal.
Relax. Meditate. Or take a parikrama of the taal.

Have a leisurely, sumptuous breakfast.
Spend more time at the camp, if you wish to.
Trek down/back to Sari Village.

Get into your Traveller and drive down to Chopta, 15 odd kms away.
Check into the camp/tent-resort. 

This is the base-camp for the Tungnath & Chandrashila trek.


Relax, have fun.
Do your thing. Play Frisbee. Or a game of badminton.
Or just chill out.
So, end the day at leisure, doing nothing and listening to the sounds of the forest and the mountains.


Day 3: 
Wake up at leisure.
Have breakfast, and begin the raison d'etre of the trek.
Tungnath, world’s highest Shiva temple...a trek of approx. 3 kms.

It’s a gradual ascent along a paved pathway.
Soak in the energy of Lord Tungnath. Perform puja, if you wish to. Seek His & Maa Parvati’s blessings.

 

Enjoy the fascinating story behind Tungnath, over lunch; again a story involving the Paandavas.


Head to Chandrashila, those of you who wish to give it a shot. This is a steep ascent of around 900 metres, but worth every penny.
Those who want to relax at Tungnath can do so and wait for the others to return.
Look out for the divine Himalayan peaks from the summit of Chandrashila. The sun-set & sun-rise here are not only famous but divine.
People descend here for sun-set hunting, in particular.

Trek back to Chopta, and drive down to your camp. Relax, leisurely dinner over bonfire.


 

Day 4: 

Early, sumptuous breakfast.

Drive back to Hardwar/Delhi.

Get lost in the memories forever :)

 

                                                                  OPTION 2:


Day 1:
Same as Option 1.

Day 2: 
Wake up early to the miracle of the Divine.

Lend an ear to the chirping birds, watch the rising sun lending the white, snow-laden Himalayan peaks a golden hue.
If you are lucky and the weather is clear, capture the famous reflections of the Chaukhamba peak in the waters of Deoritaal.

Relax. Meditate. Or take a parikrama of the Taal.
Have a leisurely, sumptuous breakfast.
Leave around 9 am, and trek to Chopta through the forests of Bhrujgali(14 kms).

This is what we call the real ‘getting lost, finding yourself’ trek!
The day’s trek covers a distance of 14 kms in about 9 hours, with an altitude gain of 1,000 feet.
The trail goes past the lake, and then leads to the ridge right over Sari village.
After descending from the ridge, the trail takes you through five different varieties of forests.
Oaks, Maple, Rhododendrons are the prominent variants impossible to miss.

The trail downhill inside the forest is perfect for bird watching. The Himalayan woodpecker and Verditer Flycatcher can easily be spotted here. Foxes and langoors pose for you pretty regularly here!

Take a break in the middle of the jungle and have your packed lunch.
Stretch your legs, relax.
Cross the ridge of Rohini Bugyal to enter the meadows of Bhrujgali.
The trail is through a dense forested ridge, down to a stream that needs to be crossed and finally into a beautiful meadow of Malyadhar.

Return to the camp/resort near Chopta.
Relax, enjoy the campsite, walk around, play.
Do your thing.
Dinner.


Day 3: 
Same as Option 1.

Day 4: 
Same as Option 1.

Get lost in the memories forever!

 


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