Chopta Tungnath Trek
Chopta Tungnath Trek Highlights
- Trek to one of the highest Shiva temples in the world and discover utmost tranquility
- Capture a chance to explore unique villages, forests trails, massive maple, oak and pine trees, crystal clear lakeside, and much more
- Hike to 12,072 ft. and admire breathtaking views of Nanda Devi, Trishul, Kedar Peak, Bandarpuch, and Chaukhamba Peaks
Chopta Tungnath Trek Overview
Located at an elevation of 2608m, Chopta is a picturesque town and a division of the Kedarnath wildlife sanctuary. Better renowned as the mini-Switzerland of India, Chopta valley is also the base camp for the very famous Tungnath trek which is just about 3.5 km away from there. Chopta is a quaintly beautiful town away from the hustle-bustle of fast city life.
WHAT MAKES IT A PERFECT TOURIST SPOT?
The location is popular for its panoramic meadows and beauty in its rawest form to treat your eyes with. Visiting Chopta during the spring season is like icing on the cake when it is laden with fully blossomed Rhododendron locally known as Buransh in the most beautiful colours like- white, pink and red. With time the town has gained recognition as the base point for one of the most popular treks in recent times- Tungnath, which is the third Kedar (Tritiya Kedar) out of the Panch Kedars. Not only this, but the same trail leads to the majestic Chandrashila Peak, which is an additional 1.5 km of the steep trek. It feels like Chopta holds immense importance and is breathtakingly gorgeous as it is the pathway to the highest Shiva temple in the world- Tungnath Mahadev. Needless to say, Chopta Tungnath trek is the perfect amalgamation of nature, spirituality and adventure offering the best of each one of them. Though the trek is considered easy during summers (March-June) it is moderate in reality and beginner-friendly in nature.
WHY SHOULD YOU VISIT TUNGNATH TREK?
The trail leading to Tungnath and further to Chandrashila peak is properly paved with rocks. The whole trek trail has the most mesmerizing views for the trekkers. There are ample Dhabas and guest houses to stay in Chopta. The trek can be covered in a short span of a single day if we begin trekking early in the morning towards Tungnath. The best time to cover this trek is during spring (March-June) as the entire trail is full of Rhododendrons in the most subtle shades. Though one can do this trek round the year, still monsoon is less suitable due to heavy rainfall and unfavorable weather. Chopta Tungnath is one of the most wished-for treks during winters (Dec-Feb) covered in a heavy snow blanket and the spectacular view of snow-capped Himalayan ranges to accompany with. The temple remains closed during the winter months and the trek has gained a lot more popularity in the last few years. On the way, if you would be lucky enough and a keen observer then no wonder you might lay your eyes on the gorgeous Himalayan Monal, which can be easily spotted there. If sunrises and sunsets attract you and you have some time then you can even cover up the trek in two days up to Chandrashila peak. You can reach Tungnath by the evening and witness the most breathtaking sunset in Tungnath at an altitude of approximately 3680m and take a night stay over there in one of the dhabas around the temple at very reasonable accommodation rates. Further, you can trek ahead up to Chandrashila Peak the next day beginning early in the morning around 4 a.m. to get your eyes on the most incredible sunrise experience ever. It takes only about an hour to reach Chandrashila top, at 4000m from ground level from where you can look around and take a 360-degree view of the natural skyscrapers such as Nanda Devi, Trishul, Chaukhambha, Nandaghunti, Thalaysagar, Dunagiri, Kamet, Kedar dome and many more.
Tungnath Mahadev other than being the highest Shiva temple in the world also sustains utmost mythological importance from the epic Mahabharata. It is believed that after killing the Kauravas in the war, Pandavas were feeling guilty of killing their brothers and went to Kashi looking for Lord Shiva seeking forgiveness from Him but didn’t succeed in finding Him there, as He had gone away to the Himalayas because He was furious. Later Lord Shiva disguised himself as a bull to avoid them but one of the Pandavas recognized Him, so He went underground to hide from them. The different places where the various body parts of the bull fell, were developed into divine Shiva temples thousands of years back. Tungnath temple is worshipped as the bull’s hands fell over there.
Day 1: On your first day, start your journey from Haridwar towards Sari village which will take you about 7-8 hours. You can visit the Chaukhamba massifs and eat at the lakeside camp in Deoria Tal.
Day 2: Next morning, on your 2nd Day, start your journey towards Mount Kedar summit to ascend on the path of Rohini Bugyal and Chopta. After reaching Chopta, have your dinner and stay the night here.
Day 3: On the 3rd Day, early in the morning start your journey from Chopta to reach Chandrashilla which has a connecting peak named Ravanshila. When you take a bend it will mark the entry way towards the Tungnath which also has glimpses of Gangotri and Thalaysagar ranges. Stay here for the night and return via the same route.
This trek is an absolute treat for the beginners as well as the routine trekkers, looking for some peace and tranquillity along with a tint of adventure as it has a variety of genres to explore with, choice is yours to make.