Now a days Tungnath – Chopta – Chandrashilla circuit is becoming more of more favorite place for travellers who have already been to other common places in Gharwal, Uttarakhand. Tungnath – Chandrashilla trek not only offers much needed peace and tranquility in life from time to time but also offers magnificent views of Chaukhamba range in Uttarakhand. Presence of Deoriatal in the vicinity also spices up the vacation offering complete solitude aside a lake. In winters, you can even plan an adventurous snow trek to both Tungnath and Deoriatal. At times, Chandrashilla becomes unreachable due to presence of too much snow ahead of Tungnath and risk of having a fatal incident.
Little background on Tungnath – Chandrashilla – Chopta – Deoriatal
Tungnath temple, at an altitude of 3680 Mtrs, is considered to be the highest temple of Lord Shiva and is one of the Panch (Five) Kedars. You can reach it by trekking around 3.5 KMs from Chopta. Madhmaheshwar, Tungnath, Rudranath and Kalpnath with Kedarnath forms the Panch Kedar, the five most important temples of Lord Shiva in Garhwal Himalayas.
Chandrashilla, at an altitude of 4000 Mtrs, is highest point of the mountain on which Chopta is situated. It offers 270 degree views of Chaukhamnba range. It is located 1.5 KMs further of Tungnath Temple which makes it a 5 KMs trek from Chopta.
Chopta is situated at an altitude of 2600 Mtrs in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. It is well known as a base point for the trek to Tungnath temple and further to Chandrashilla peak. But, Chopta itself offers a beautiful snow meadow in winters locally called as Chopta Bhugyal (bhugyal meaning meadow).
Deoriatal lake, at an altitude of 2438 Mtrs, offers mesmerizing reflections of Chaukhamba range in its crystal clear water. One needs to drive about 12 KMs to Sari Village from Ukhimath and from Sari Village one can reach Deoria Tal by a trek route of 2 KMs.
Ukhimath is located 31 KMs from Chopta, where deity of Kedarnath is shifted in winters. There are locale temples of Usha and Anirudh, Shiva and Parvati which we will be visiting too.
Common Itinerary for Tungnath – Chandrashilla – Deoriatal
This five day itinerary traverses through Rishikesh – Srinagar – Rudraprayag route and comes back the same way. You can opt to go from Chamoli route as well in case you are also planning to visit Auli. However, beware, the route from Chamoli to Chopta remains closed in winterns when heavy snowfall blocks the roads. This article covers both Tungnath – Chandrashilla as well as Deoriatal. Below is the most common itinerary for Tungnath – Chandrashilla, spanning over 5-6 days and making most use of each of the days.
Day 0 | Delhi – Haridwar / Rishikesh
- Leaven early evening, may early out from office to reach Haridwar/Rishikesh by night
- Rishikesh is about 35 odd KMs from Haridwar
- About 200-225 KMs / 4-5 Hrs drive to Haridwar/Rishikesh
- Overnight at Haridwar or Rishikesh, which ever suits your timings
- There may be office hours traffic in evening, so leave before office timings to avoid jams
Day 1 | Haridwar / Rishikesh – Ukimath – Sari Village – Deoriatal Lake
- Sari to Deoriatal is about 2.5 Km trek and takes about 1-2 Hrs depending upon your speed
- Sari Village is about 12 KMs from Ukimath takes about 20 minutes
- About 220 KMs / 8 – 9 hrs drive to Sari Village
- Bhagirathi River and Alaknanda River confluence at Devprayag (Confluence)
- Mandakni River and Alaknanda River confluence at Rudraprayag (Confluence)
- Panorama to capture between Srinagar & Rudraprayag of river Ganga (Alaknanda) bending in U-Shape near Khankra bend
- A cup of tea at Syal Saur between Rudraprayag and Kund. Govt. refurfished the remains of GMVN rest house afer the Kedarnath tragedy
- Have your lunch at Srinagar
- There are camps for overnight stay at Deoriatal: Camps or Tents at Deoria Tal – A Review
- Overnight at Deoriatal
Day 2 | Deoriatal Lake – Duggalbitta / Chopta
- Take rest up to late afternoon at Deoriatal & rejoice the tranquility in the air
- Capture the amazing reflections of Chaukhamba range in the morning in Deoriatal
- Trek down to Sari village and start for Chopta. In winters, last stay options will be at Duggalbitta and rest will be closed ahead of it
- In winters, even the road is closed ahead of Baniya kund mostly and you have to start the trek from that point.
- Overnight at Duggalbitta / Chopta
Day 3 | Duggalbitta / Chopta – Tungnath – Chandrashilla – Chopta / Ukimath
- Start the trek from Duggalbitta / Baniya Kund / Chopta towards Tunganath (3.5 KM of trek) + Chandrashilla (1.5 KM trek)
- Start your trek by 6 AM and carry plenty of water with you
- Starting early helps you walk over firm snow and you can maintain the speed. As sun rises, snow melts and softens making walking over it difficult.
- In winters, it is very important to take the guide with you. You can get in touch with two very good local guides Bharat Puspwan: 09719875326, 09456108780 and Umeid (09411737835), may be if you need they can be of much help with everything and you can directly get in touch without involving any travel agent. Both Bharat and Umeid are good people at heart and lovely company to be with. Bharat is working as guide almost for more than 14 years.
- There is no electricity at Duggalbitta, Chopta, Tungnath and Deoria Tal. If you think you will need electricity then do confirm with the hotels or guest houses at these places if they have a generators or not. Mayadeep hotel at Duggalbitta may run the generator for you.
- In winters, there is no accommodation at Chopta or Tungnath which you will find open. When there is ample of snow even Duggalbitta is hard to reach.
- Overnight at Duggalbitta / Chopta
Day 4 | Chopta / Ukimath – Rishikesh
- Start the journey back to Rishikesh. In summers, you can take Gopeshwar – Chamoli route where you can visit Kanchula Korak Musk Deer sanctuary.
- If coming via Ukimath – Kund, you can take a detour to Guptkashi to see Vishwanath temple, Ardhnareshwar temple and Manikarnik Kund
- About 8 Hrs drive to Rishikesh
- Overnight at Rishikesh
- There may be snow on the road and you can expect closure due to heavy snowfall between Shimla – Narkanda
Day 5 | Rishikesh – Delhi
- Do some water sports at Rishikesh including rafting or drive over to Neelkanth Mahadev temple
- Take the route from Rajaji National Park this time while exiting from Rishikesh to Haridwar to enjoy a serene drive
- About 5 Hrs drive to Delhi
Other Tips and Important Distances
- Syal Saur to Ukhimath is 17-18 KMs approx. Syal Saur comes first even before Kund when going towards Ukhimath from Delhi.
- Kund is the bifurcation point where left turn goes to Guptkashi – Gauri Kund – Kedarnath and the straight or slightly right turn goes to Ukhimath – Sari Village – Chopta
- Kund to Guptkashi is about 25 KMs and further 22 KMs is Gauri Kund where the road ends. From Gauri Kund a 14 KMs trek starts for Kedarnath.
- Ukhimath to Sari Village is 13-14 KMs approx. You need to go straight from Ukhimath and you will find a board on the right side stating directions to Deoria Tal. Here, you need to take a U-Turn towards left for Sari village – Deoria Tal. If you do not take the U-Turn and follow the road coming from Ukhimath then you go towards Duggalbitta – Chopta.
- Sari Village to Chopta is 32 KMs approx and Duggalbitta is 4 – 5 KMs before Chopta.
- Overall Delhi to Syal Saur/Ukhimath/Sari Village/Duggalbitta/Chopta are almost alike with overall span of about 50 KMs. Hence, from any place you can travel to Delhi in one day without much time difference.
- Although there are number of ATMs on the route as well and we used Chandrapuri ATM which comes after Agustmuni and before Syal Saur. Chandrapuri ATM is the closest ATM because I guess there is no ATM present at Ukhimath.
- Nearest Petrol Pump is at Kund about 7-8 KMs before Ukhimath. I will suggest that you top-up the fuel either at Srinagar or Rudra Prayag.
- We couldn’t find any signals of Phone on the trek to Tungnath and Chandrashilla. Nearby Chopta, the phone signals were present but with very poor connectivity. There is no issue of Phone connectivity on the entire route before Duggalbitta. We had BSNL, Airtel and Idea connections with us.
I am sure the above itinerary, if not help you 100% with planning a trip to Tungnath – Chandrashilla – Chopta – Deoriatal but can certainly act as a starting point. You can share your valuable thoughts or queries or doubts you may have in comments section of the article or in DoW Community | Itinerary Advice forum for Uttarakhand and we can discuss more about your upcoming Travel Plans for Tungnath – Chandrashilla – Chopta – Deoriatal :). Feel free to share this article with any friends or family whom you know are making a such a trip to there places in winters.