Trek to Tungnath and Chandrashila summit

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#1 Jun 5th, 2012, 09:45
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  • Varunendra is offline
#1
Tungnath Chandrashila summit trek is a popular trek (5.5 km) that can be undertaken round the year, except during heavy snowing months of December and January. Tungnath situated at an altitude of 3810 metres, is the highest of all temples in Uttarakhand Himalayas.


The trek begins at Chopta (2900 metres) which is 35kms away from Ukhimath, and is easily accessible by road, being situated on the road to Badrinath. Local taxis charge Rs. 50/- per seat from Ukhimath to Chopta . Chopta is not electrified as yet, as it falls in the Kedarnath sanctuary, and it is a blessing in disguise because here you can have your fill of nature without much of human interference. Chopta is a mesmerizing meadow, offering excellent sites for camping.


The trek starts with an ascent, and it keeps on getting steeper as we near the Tungnath temple (3680 metres). The initial leg of the route has pure stretches of Rhododendron forests which flower in late March to mid May. Meadow begins where the forests end, and cover the entire stretch till Tungnath. Masive rocky cliffs are visible, as we near Tungnath. Tungnath is the site where arms of lord Shiva are supposed to have appeared.


The nearness of Greater Himalayas from Tungnath is captivating. The view is dominated by Chaukhama, with other peaks like Kedar peak in background. The route from Chopta to Tungnath is 4kms and has eateries on the trekside. At Tungnath several lodges cum eateries offer their services (Rs. 300/ to Rs. 400/- per double bed room), and Mandir sewa samiti guest house, which offers room at Rs. 400/. Nearby, is the Alpine research centre of Plant physiology, belonging to HNBG university. Most visitors are pilgrims who trek down the same day, but some stay back to enjoy glorious sunsets and enchanting sunrises.


In may- june there is usually an acute water shortage in the area, and whole Tungnath complex depends on a trickle of a spring. Even the kund is bone dry. But the story changes, once it rains, and there is copious amount of water everywhere along and the verdant slopes teem with life.

The lucky ones get to see Himalayan Tahr, Monal pheasants, vultures, eagles, thrushes and many species of passerine birds. The bird population is higher in summer because winters can be extremely harsh. A very common animal is the Mouse hare, the tailless animal which is the size of a mouse, but is actually a lagomorphs, a relative of rabbits and hare.

To reach Chandrashila (4000m) an additional 1.5kms have to be trekked with a very steep incline. Chandrashila summit offers the most beautiful view of Chaukhamba, Kedar peak, Trishul. During months of may and early june, the trek to Chandrashila from Tungnath is all coverd with blooms of small, creamy Rhododendrons (a site to behold). The view of peaks from Chandrashila in full moon nights is mesmerizing, as are the sunsets and sunrises, when all the peaks are set aflame and set your spirit and heart aglow.


Tungnath trek is also famous for snow trekking in the months of December and January, but the lodges remain open only till November, so local help is necessary in these months. Also the vehicles have an access till Makku bend (Makku is the winter seat of Lord Tungnath idol) during heavy snowing. Makku is situated at a distance of about 5 to 6 kms from Chopta.


The trek to Tungnath for an average trekker takes about one and a half to two hours, and an additional one hour to Chandrashila.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your bags, and get set go….you wouldn’t be disappointed.

SOME IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER:
1) When it gets windy (and it does daily) it is very chilly and cold out there. So always take some jackets or woolens with you.
Specially, if you are going with kids, no matter how warm it seems at Chopta, it will be cold at 4000 meters. So, ALWAYS carry warm clothing for them. I saw some kids suffering for the mistake of their parents, and the parents had to borrow shawls from the shopkeepers or give their own jackets or shawls to kids.
In winters it is very cold and warm woolens, jackets and thermals are necessary.
2) Lodges are open only till November. If you plan to camp or stay beyond November, do take local guidance.
3) For camping, permission needs to be taken from Forest department. Though many private camping sites have come up, they are quite removed from the actual Chopta, tungnath site and are situated deeper in the valley at a lower altitude.
4) There is no electricity at Chopta, Tunganath.
5) For photography buffs Ovtober and more so November is the best season, when the skies are clear and peaks shine like crystals.
6) During monsoon months it rains heavily and in torrents, so be adequately geared (Raincoats, boots, woolens). The landscape is lush green and dotted with myriad colored flowers at this time, though outing may get a bit difficult.
7) For children there are porters (pitthu) who charge around Rs. 400/ to Rs. 500/ and for the infirm there are dolis (Rs. 1000 to Rs. 1200).
Attached Images
meadow a.jpg view a.jpg tungnath a.jpg slope a.jpg rhodo a.jpg flower a.jpg chndra a.jpg cliff a.jpg hare mouse a.jpg tahr a.jpg 
#2 Jun 7th, 2012, 01:21
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#2
Thanks, for capturing some good information. Please upload some bigger pictures. Thumbnails are quite small.
#3 Jun 7th, 2012, 08:37
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#3
Thanks Nkothiyal....somehow I miscalculated on the pixel size of the pic, the site accepted..and now I donn't know how to edit the post
#4 Jun 7th, 2012, 22:16
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#4
You can upload one at a time with reduced pic size that fits into 100K size
#5 Jun 8th, 2012, 21:27
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@nkothiyal: Thanks, will try..I used the same size for my other post but there they are showing big..and here they are very small..anyways..will see what I can do..
#6 Jun 9th, 2012, 00:51
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#6
nice snaps
.


Totaly confused how to explore the beautiful earth when one life is too short to complete my great India


Photo-Story: HARI-SILA or HARSIL Deoriatal-Chopta,
#7 Jun 9th, 2012, 07:48
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@ pkanti..saw your photo story...great pics I must say..
#8 Jun 9th, 2012, 17:35
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i must say not great as Chopta, Tungnath, Deori
#9 Jun 9th, 2012, 19:56
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Ha ha..images can never be greater than real
#10 Jun 9th, 2012, 20:21
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#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by PKanti View Post i must say not great as Chopta, Tungnath, Deori
Tujhko Dekha Hai Meri Nazron Ne,
Teri Tarif Ho Magar Kaise?
Na Juban Ko Dikahi Deta Hai,
Na to Nazron Se Baat Hoti Hai.

( My eyes have seen you, but how can I explain it? Because neither my eyes can speek, nor my words can see)

You can feel the nature only. It can't be described in words, specially the beauty of Himalayas.
“"Don't mix bad words with your bad mood. You'll have many opportunities to change a mood, but you'll never get the opportunity to replace the words you spoke."
#11 Jun 9th, 2012, 20:24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Varunendra View Post Ha ha..images can never be greater than real
Because images always born from reality.
#12 Jun 10th, 2012, 19:51
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Very true pnpathak
#13 Aug 20th, 2012, 10:28
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Hi,
This thread is really great.
Iam 55 + and planning for DO DHAM YATRA - KEDARNATH and BADRINATH.
My journey starts on 12 Sept- First we go to Guptakashi stay overnight- next day proceed to Gaurikund . trek to Kedarnath - stay overnight at Punjab And Sindh Awas.
Return to Guptkashi ,stay overnight. Next morning plan to visit Deoriatal enroute to Chopta. In Chopta plan to stay at Magpie Camp or Alpine camp or Chauhan guest house. We are planning to stay for 3 days at Chopta and visit Tunganath and Chandrashila. Next we plan to travel to Joshimath - next day visit Badrinath - return to Joshimath. After completing all these we plan to relax/stay for two days at AULI and then return to Haridwar. Do you think the plan is OK . I donot want it to be hectic - rather I want to enjoy the NATURE (I am very fond of mountains.
I would like to hire a car from Haridwar - any idea how much it would cost? Any good travel agent for car? I would be delighted for inputs from the experienced fellow members .
CHEERS
Saradindu
#14 Aug 23rd, 2012, 07:52
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#14
[QUOTE=saradindubose;1457240]
Dear sir the plan is great and not hectic as you are taking ample time for leisure also (3 days at chopta and 2 days at auli). The timing is also perfect because after the rains the scenery will be lush green. Though it is raining very heavily nowadays in higher reaches of Uttarakhand, I hope by September everything will be fine. I would advise that before you proceed you confirm with GMVN people about the accessibility. Also they can provide you taxis. If you wish to go for private taxis you can search the internet. Generally depending on the car size the rate is 10-12 Rs. per km, with a minimum of 200 km covered per day and overnight stay charges of 200-300Rs. Wish you a very pleasant and beautiful journey..
#15 Aug 23rd, 2012, 23:27
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#15

Thanks

Thanks Varunendra for your encouragement and suggestion .

Saradindu
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