Tungnath Chandrashila Trek
Tungnath – Chandrashila trek is the most easily accessible trek in the high altitude of Uttarakhand Himalaya. Being a religious destination, Tungnath – Chandrashila is also a well known trekking destination in the Himalayas. It’s famous around the year, but during the winter, it becomes one of the top snow treks in India. This trek gives you the opportunity to visit the 1000-year-old Tungnath temple, which is the highest shrine of Lord Shiva in the world. It is one of the Panch-Kedars and is believed to have been built by Arjuna himself. Chandrashila Peak is famous for its breathtaking 360-degree view of the Himalayan ranges. It is one of the few peaks that can also be climbed in the winter. The Tungnath – Chandrashila trek is known for its scenic beauty and it passes through some beautiful forests and affords excellent views of the snow peaks.
Trek to Tungnath Temple
Tungnath temple is located at an altitude of about 3680 m above sea level and is the highest Shiva Temple in the world. As per mythology, it is believed that when Shiva went into the earth while escaping from the Pandavas, his arms reappeared at Tungnath. This sacred temple was discovered by Adi Shankaracharya. Apart from being a popular pilgrimage destination, Tungnath is also a popular trekking and adventure destination. The trekking distance between Chopta to Tungnath is 4.5kms and usually takes around 2 and half hours to cover. The trekking path to Chopta begins right on the road and is surrounded by many dhabas. The trail from Chopta to Tungnath is well laid out and stone paved all the way but also deprived of any flat stretches. The trek goes through rocky terrains, green meadows and rhododendron bushes. Several peaks of the Himalayan range are distinctly visible from Tungnath.
Chandrashila (Moon Rock) is the summit of mountain where Tungnath Mandir and Chopta are situated. Chandarshila (also referred as Madhya Himalaya) located at a height of about 4,000 meters (13,000 ft) above sea level. The path to Chandrashila starts from Tungnath temple itself. There is a small temple at Chandrashila. It is an impressive vantage point that offers 360 degrees panoramic views of the Himalayas. Views of the peaks are generally clear till noon and after that the snowy mountains may be obscured by clouds. Hence it is recommended to reach Chandrashila as early as possible for a clear view of the peaks. Visitors can enjoy the view of snow covered mountains including Kedar, Nandadevi, Chaukhamba and Trishul peaks from Chandrashila.
When to Visit Tungnath – Chandrashila
Tungnath temple opens with the opening of Char Dhams of Uttrakhand, during April / May each year. During the winter season, the temple is closed and the image of the deity and the temple priests are moved to Makku, which is 19 km from here.
Timings: 6 AM – 7 PM
The best time to visit Tungnath is from September – October and May -June.