Ranked 3 among Places to Visit in Chopta
Time Required: 3 days
Tungnath, a quaint village in Uttarakhand, is known as the starting point of the popular Chopta Chadrashila Trek. At a height of 2680m, this village is surrounded by evergreen forests of pine, deodar and rhododendron. This is one of the easier treks in the Himalayan region and hence, recommended for first timers. The trek covers a large region, starting from Haridwar and ending at Chandrashila.
The trek initiates from the holy city of Haridwar towards Devarivatal Lake; which is located at an altitude of 2440 m. Here, you get a picturesque view of the Chaukhamba ranges. As one goes further, one comes across Chopta, with a height of 3000m. Next comes Tungnath, at an elevation of 3680 m. And finally, one arrives at the beautiful Chadrashila Top at 4130 m. The Tungnath temple and Chandrashila peak award you with a 360 degree, mesmerising view of the valleys below. The peaks of Panchchuli, Nanda Devi, Nilkanth and Kedarnath are all covered during the trek.
Approx trekking distance (Both sides) : 10-12 km
Base Camp : Chopta
Difficulty : Easy Gradient
Highest point of trek : 13,100 ft
Nearest Airport : Jolly Grant Airport
Nearest Railhead : 226 km
Region : Rudraprayag District, Garhwal Himalayas
Snow : Expect heavy snowfall between thre months of January and March, when the trail is completely covered with snow. It may get diffcult to trek during winters when the snow is soft. It is usually April onwards that the routes get cleared of any traces of snow.
Starting point of trek : Chopta
Day 1 : Chopta to Tungnath
Distance: 3.5 km , Duration: 2-3 hours
The trail from Chopta to Tungnath is a gradual climb. As you begin you trek and get used to the weather conditions, you can easily make to the temple in 3 hours. The walk is easy and enjoyable, the first half of the trail passing through a mixed forest of rhododendrons, conifers, lichens and ferns. The view it offers of Bandarpoonchh and Kedar massif is beautiful. As you approach a hairpin bend, the forest recedes to give way to meadows same as you left behind at Chopta. The both sides of track are flanked by bounty of nature in form of grassy slopes, lovely wild flowers, wild rosemary clustered all around and berries strewn at intervals. You will spot a few shack as you get halfway up, which serves tea and biscuits. The trail from here on is steady up the western side of the hill. You will also notice a research center right off the path for aromatic plants. From here begins the final descent for the temple. Before you reach your final destination, you will find a small Ganesha Temple situated on a rocky spur. The area is particularly gorgeous after the monsoon when the hills are dotted with buttercups, forget-me-nots, anemones and strawberries. Soon you will encounter a set of 50 stairs that veers sharply to the left leading to the temple. However, before reaching the temple you will pass through various eating places. An arc strewn with bells marks the entrance of the place. Finally you reach an ancient temple crafted out of solid granite slabs, dedicated to Lord Shiva. For accommodation, there are few lodges in the area, but the grasslands below the temple complex offer ample amount of space for camping.
Day 2 : Tungnath to Chandrashila Peak to Chopta
Distance: 2.5 km , Duration: 4-5 hours
Start the second day of the trek early and try to hasten your steps in order to catch the brilliant view before it gets cloudy. Trace the same path of stairs you came from towards Chopta and turn left (north wards) when the trail clears. The path from here on narrows and is not well laid as it rounds the Tungnath hill. Climb the rocky terrain carefully, though itÕs not dangerous. No sooner than later, the grass appears and you can trudge along the beaten track on a soft soil while cherishing the picturesque views all around. Keep moving straight and soon you will be traversing the slope of Tungnath in 2 hours. As per the legend, the deity Chandra paid penance here by spending a long time on the peak. If you are not a believer even then the place offers many other moments to treasure. As you will reach the peak, you will notice a broad summit, dotted with cairns and strewn with ledges to lie down. However, the admiring view of Mandakini and Alaknanda valleys and huge water body will leave spell bound. You will also see other peaks such as Chaukhamba, Kedarnath, Gangotri, Bandarpoonchh, Neelkanth, Nanda Devi and many more.
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I want to do this trek in the month of January is it possible..? And send itinerary of this trek.
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