Tungnath and Chandrashila trek
In my last blog, you read about my experience about trekking and camping at Deoria Tal. After returning from Deoria Tal, we left for Chopta to do Tungnath trek. Around 11:00 AM on 10 April 2016, we reached Chopta. All of us (I, Amby, Ruchika, Varun, Shibba and Saurabh) were very hungry, so first we had lunch and brought some chocolates and water bottle for trekking. After lunch, we started trekking around 12:30 PM. Generally, we must start trekking in the early morning but we got late due to same day return trek from Deoria Tal.
April is the best time for Chopta; you can see the full bloom of pink and red color Rhododendron flowers in the whole valley. You can also see the lush green landscape with snow-capped mountain peaks. The blooming flowers, lush green meadow, snow-capped peaks make this place like heaven. The first 1 KM trek was full of flowers and trees; you cannot restrict yourself to capture some photographs.
After 1 KM, we crossed flowers’ jungle and reached in the big green open area (called Bugyal in local language). This place was very beautiful; green meadow, snow covered mountains in the background with cloudy sky were looking like paradise. You can also setup your camp here for the night stay but there was no facility for food/water etc. If you can carry your food and all material related to camping then this is the best location for camping in Chopta. After some photo session and rest, we started further trekking and reached mid-point (done around 2 KM trek).
Amby was looking tired due to Deoria Tal trek and decided to return from half way. We forced him to complete his trek but he gave up. Actually, Amby was looking for the horse ride to reach till temple but there were no horses available. So, Ruchika also decided to return with Amby and passed times near Bugyal and returned to Chopta. Varun and Shibba continued trekking with full energy and reached at Tungnath temple before us. I took more breaks for rest and photography and reached after Saurabh around 3:00 PM.
Tungnath temple is the highest Shiva temple in the world at 12500 feet. This was my second trek to Tungnath temple but this time, there was no snow at all. Even we did not found snow at Chandrashila. Last year at the same time (read last year story), half temple was covered in snow and there was no possibility to reach Chandrashila (even I was lucky to enjoy snowfall ). By the way, snow is not mattered for Chopta-Tungnath-Chandrashila trek. The real beauty of this trek is blooming flowers and a 360-degree view from Chandrashila peak.
The weather was clear, so we decided to trek till Chandrashila peak. Tungnath temple to Chandrashila trek is very difficult. It was a slippery and steep climb. It’s not advisable to go in the evening because anytime clouds can come and make surroundings invisible. We met with some other trekkers on the way and they suggested to go on the top because we have done half way. We took less than one hour to reach the Chandrashila top and felt like mount Everest summit.
Chandrshila peak is at 13500 feet and tallest in all surrounding area. So we were feeling like the top of the world and enjoyed the beautiful view. There was also a small temple, we first offer the prayers and then engaged in photoshoot and videography. There was also another group of 4-5 boys. We stayed there for one hour and then started return trek. Coming down from Chandrashila to Tunganth was also not easy due to steep gradient but was easy in compare to climbing up.
There was only one shop opened that time (somewhere in between trekking route), Varun and Shibba reached there before us and was waiting for us. After reaching there, we had hot soup and also enjoyed the taste of Maggi (favorite dish for all mountaineers). While returning, we followed some shortcuts and completed the return trek in just two hours.
Amby booked hotels room at Chopta because no availability of sleeping bags (actually all tents was booked). All of us were very tired and the weather was also very cold, so first we got little warm with hot tea. Around 8:30 PM, we had dinner and went to our rooms to sleep.
Next day in the morning of 11 April 2016 around 7:30 AM, we were ready to leave beautiful Chopta Valley. After breakfast, we left this beautiful location. This time, the driver followed a different route and bypassed Rudraprayag city. We took only one break between Chopta and Rishikesh for snacks and finally stopped in Rishikesh for lunch.
The train was at 6:00 PM from Haridwar and we reached Haridwar around 3:30 PM, so we also passed some time at the Ganga riverfront. Varun, Saurabh and Shibba took the bath in holy Ganga river.
The train was on time and we reached Delhi around 11:00 PM and caught the metro for our respective destinations. This was the end of the beautiful trip. Thanks for reading my experience.