Chandrashila Trek – Winter 2018
Chandrashila peak (4,130m) is situated in the Garhwal Himalayan range, Chamoli District, Uttarakhand. Chandrashila trek is an easy gradient trail which starts from village Chopta (3,000m) takes you to Tungnath temple and further to the Chandrashila summit (4,130m). Chandrashila trek trail is rich in flora & fauna, lakes and meadows full of fresh snow in winter. The scenic beauty of Chandrashila is unbelievably beautiful. The grassy slopes when covered with snow make an ideal ski course and provide lot of fun & adventure.
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Why Choose Deoria Tal – Chandrashila Trek
Deoria Tal – Chandrashila trek is one of the best autumn & winter treks. The dense forest trails beyond Deoria Tal will compel you to return to this scenic heaven again. Everyone has his/her own reasons to do this trek, but we are mentioning three striking reasons to do the trek from Deoria Tal to Chandrashila peak.
Magnificent Himalayan Views
Chandrashila peak gives magnificent views of almost all the mountain summits of western and eastern Uttarakhand. In fact, it is the only easy trek which gives such a panoramic and close view of the highest summits of India. And yes, from the Chandrashila peak you will also see Nanda Devi peak (7,817 m) which is the highest summit of India.
Diverse Forest Trail
The trek trail between Deoria Tal and Bhrujgali has the best and most diverse forest trail among all the treks in Uttarakhand. The jungle trail beyond Deoria Tal has a wide variety of trees and shrubs. The trail ventures through dense forest of rhododendron, oak, pine amd maple trees.
Rare Himalayan Birds
On this trek, especially in Deoria Tal region, one can spot and photograph many rare Himalayan birds. Deoria Tal trek can easily be classified as a bird watching trail.
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About The Trek
Day 1 – Haridwar to Sari
Time: 7-8 hour road journey
The road journey from Haridwar to village Sari or village Tala is quite scenic especially as you pass the holy town of Devprayag which is the point of confluence of mighty rivers Alaknanda and Bhagirathi to form the river Ganga. The whole road journey provides the views of the river flowing down the valley.
Village Sari (Altitude : 6,601 ft)
Sari is a small village located about 8 hours drive from Haridwar, serves as the base camp or starting point for the Deoria Tal Chandrashila trek. If you reach Sari before sunset, take a stroll in this scenic village with green paddy fields and amazing views.
Day 2 – Sari or Tala to Deoria Tal
Distance: 3 km Time: 1 hour Level: Easy
The trek trail to Deoria Tal begins from village Sari where there is also a sign board pointing towards “Devariya Tal”, which is the local name of the Deoria Tal. The trek starts on a well defined rocky trail which is an easy climb up the mountain. After a few minutes of hiking, you will see an ancient local temple, village houses and view of vast farmlands.
As you walk further for 10-15 mins, the trail now turns a bit steep. Towards the right end of the valley, one can see a distant view of the Chandrashila peak and the holy Tungnath temple below it. Just follow the well defined trail towards left all the way up to Deoria Tal.
After trailing up a mountain ridge for 25-30 mins, you will reach a rest point “Hawa Ghar” which is an ideal resting point and also gives magnified views of the hills and the valley below. Just keep on following the trail through maple and rhododendron forest till you reach another view point at around 7,400 feet from where Sari is not visible anymore.
The last kilometre of the trail gives you a short glimpse of the Ukhimath valley as you near your destination, Deoria Tal. Walk for another 20-25 mins to reach a small fast food point, Deoria Tal is just a couple of minutes hike from here. As you take a brief down hill trek, you will realize yourself entering into a picture perfect scenery with Himalayan peaks reflecting in a crystal clear lake – welcome to Deoria Tal, your campsite !
The trail from Sari to Deoria Tal takes just an hour, so you will have almost all day to explore the scenic campsite and the forest walks nearby. The place is rich in flora & fauna and no wonder that you will be able to spot and photograph many rare Himalayan birds here.
You will camp adjacent to Deoria Tal at night. At sunrise, the campsite offers breathtaking views of the surrounding hills as they glow in early morning sun.
Day 3 : Deoria Tal to Chopta
Distance: 14 km Time: 7-8 hours Level: Moderate
Start the hike along the left side of Deoria Tal towards the Forest Lodge. As you cross the watch tower and turn a little right, you will notice yourself entering into a beautiful & dense forest of rhododendron and maple trees. You will also get regular glimpses of the Mt. Kedar and Mt. Chaukhamba through the gaps between the trees to your left.
Hiking for about 15 mins will bring you to a mini clearing in the forest from where you can see the Chandrashila peak in front and village Sari down below to the right.
Notice the vast expanse with a view of jungle ridge going all the way up to Chopta. In fact, this is the best trek route via the forest ridge to the very base of Chandrashila summit. As you start ascending on this ridge, you will start getting clearer views of both sides of the mountain valley.
After 15 mins of hiking up the ridge, you will reach the highest point on the ridge which has a flag post – its called “Jhandi Dhar”. If you happen to visit this place in spring time, you’ll find the trail decorated with beautiful rhododendron flowers.
Another 15 mins on the well defined trail, you will reach the hill top Jhandi Dhar. There is a little ground on top which gives 360 degree panoramic view. The forest trail beyond Jhandi Dhar get thicker and thicker as you hike forward. As this point take the trail that goes down to merge with the forest ridge.
After a few minutes, the trail takes a turn into an amazing flora where you will also spot many small temples built by the locals and tourists. Be aware of the wild animals on this part of the trail as the region is home to leopards and foxes.
Just keep on hiking downhill through the rich forests of Chopta, which is quite a relief from the harsh afternoon sun. One can spot many rare Himalayan birds like Himalayan Woodpecker and Flycatcher in this silent zone of the forest. After you hike for another 20 mins, you will see the trail branching into three.
Just follow the middle one or the center trail which has a moderate ascend and goes towards Rohini Bugyal and Chopta. As you hike on this trail for 20 mins, you will come across a flat patch on the trail on which lasts for 10 mins. The trail now enters a small grazing pasture with a view of Chandrashila peak in the front. From here, you will also spot another forest ridge that needs to be crossed. Folow the trail to the right which passes through a small grassland. This part of the forest comes under the Kedarnath Sanctuary and has some of the oldest oak, maple and rhododendron trees.
Hike further for 20 minutes to reach a place called Bhagdwal where there is also a small temple. Here again, three trails branch out. Choose a center trail again to find yourself in a small meadow which gives beautiful views of Chandrashila and Kala Parvat to the right.
As you hike for 30 mins on an easy gradient, you will pass a small stream which is the only source of water, so refill your water bottles here to keep hydrated till Chopta. From here, Rohini Bugyal is just 40-45 metre climb to your right.
Rohini Bugyal is a small meadow which gives magnificent views of the Kala Parvat and Kedarnath peaks. It is surrounded by dense and beautiful rhododendron forest. Just cross the Rohini Bugyal to enter the meadows of Bhrujgali.
Enter the forest trail of upper Rohini Bugyal which connects to the old trail to Chopta. Just follow this moderate uphill trail all the way to the top of the forested ridge. Reaching the ridge top takes almost 30 mins and the place is called Tikidi Khal by the locals.
Two trails bifurcate from here. One goes towards Kala Parvat. This trail goes to Bisuri Tal and Nandikund. The second trail takes a steep right turn and descends down to Akash Kamini, a small stream trickling down from Chandrashila peak.
Choose the second trail and hike down around 500 ft for about 20-25 mins to the stream crossing where you can refill your water bottles and then cross a small bridge.
Now follow the trail that ascends moderately with three zig zag bends. You will get broader views of the valley as you climb higher and higher. About 20 mins of hiking will bring you to a small meadow where you will see many shepherd huts made of stone. During summer season, locals come to these huts to keep their livestock.
At the northern edge of this meadow, take the trail that goes towards right and descend on a forest trail for 20 mins till you reach a road head. Just walk for a kilometre more to reach the Chopta campsite.
Day 4 Chopta Forest Exploration (optional)
Time: 2-3 hours Distance: 2-3 km
Trekkers have an option to take rest and enjoy at the scenic campsite at Chopta. For adventurous tribe, there is always a lot to explore. We organize a special forest exploration trail which makes you hike through dense forest trails of rhododendron and oak. At some places the forest is so dense that the locals call this area “Andherdhar” as the sunlight rarely enters through the dense vegetation. The forest trail has many big and small grassy clearings which give breathtaking views of Chaukhamba and Kedar peaks.
Day 4 Chopta-Tungnath-Chandrashila-Back
Distance: 8 km Time: 4 hours Level: Moderate
It is highly recommended that one should start the trek from Chopta before sunrise if you want an amazing sunrise view from Tungnath or Chandrashila. The trek from Chopta starts on a cemented trail all the way up to the Tungnath temple. The trail ascends quickly with a series of zig zag bends. The trail from Chopta to Tungnath temple is about 2 km. After you hike on this zig zag trail for 25-30 mins, you will see a flag and a small temple to your right.
From here, one can now see the Tungnath temple area and Chandrashila peak above it. Tungnath temple is just half a kilometre from here. The trail overlooks a beautiful patch of Birch trees (Bhojpatra) towards your left. It is a favourite place for Himalayan birds like Monal and Griffin vulture. Just take the last zig zag turn to reach the holy Tungnath temple – the highest of the Panch Kedar. The temple remains closed during winter months. The temple area remains snow bound from December to mid April.
The trail from Tungnath to Chandrashila peak is almost 1.5 km. The trail to Chandrashila peak goes from right behind the Tungnath temple complex. The trek from Tungnath to Chandrashila is a high gradient 600 ft ascent which is completely buried in snow during winter months. It is highly recommended to wear crampons and carry an ice-axe in winter trek. After about 40 mins of hiking up, you will reach the base of the Chandrashila peak. One gets a clear view of Chandrashila summit from here. The hike to the summit takes another 30-35 mins.
The top of the Chandrashila peak gives splendid 360 degree views of the higher mountains of Uttarakhand like Nanda Devi, Trishul, Kamet, Dunagiri, Chaukhamba, Kedar, Gangotri range and many more. Chandrashila peak gives a memorable view at sunrise with all the higher Himalayan peaks shining in the golden yellow rays of the early morning sun.
To get back to Chopta, trail down the same path. It takes 20-25 mins to reach Tungnath and another 1 hour to reach Chopta.
Same Day – Chopta to Haridwar
Chopta has a lodging option in some guest houses. Take shared jeeps or private taxi to reach Haridwar by 6:00-6:30 pm.
* Trek dates are tentative & are subject to changes or cancellation in case of weather alerts, natural calamities like heavy rain / snow, landslide, floods & earthquake
Day 1: Reach Sari or village Tala ; 7-8 hours drive from Haridwar. Transport will be arranged from Haridwar Railway Station at 6.30 am. Cost of cab – ₹ 5,500 per vehicle (to be shared among trekkers)
Day 2: Sari (6,601 ft) to Deoriatal (7,841 ft); 1 hour, 3 km
Day 3: Deoriatal (7,841 ft) to Chopta (8,790 ft) via Rohini Bugyal; 14 km, 7-8 hours
Day 4: Chopta (8,790 ft) to Tungnath and Chandrashila (12,083 ft) and back to Chopta; 4 hours
Same Day : Drive from Chopta to Haridwar. You will reach Haridwar between 6.00 pm and 7.00 pm.
Please note that you will be staying at a guest house in Sari. The stay on all other days is in tents (3 per tent)
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can do Chandrashila trek ?
Chandrashila is an easy trek which can be done by any physically active 5+ years kid. This trek requires a very basic fitness level so its a great trek for beginners, kids, even senior people.
Why Chandrashila trek ?
Chandrashila trek is the best beginner level Himalayan trek which involves just 5 km of hiking on an easy-moderate gradient and still takes you to an altitude of 4,130 m at Chandrashila peak where you get breathtaking views of higher Himalayan peaks.
What are the best things about Chandrashila trek ?
– Best Himalayan beginner level trek
– Highest of the Panch Kedar, Tungnath temple (3,660m)
– Chandrashila peak (4,130m) which gives magnificent views of higher Himalayan peaks like Chaukhamba, Bandarpoonchh, Kedarnath, Nanda Devi, Gangotri, Neelkanth and several other peaks
– Witness the rich & rare Himalayan flora & fauna. Many rare bird species like Golden Bush Robin, Himalayan Griffon etc.
Can it be done as a weekend trek ?
Yes, Chandrashila trek is one of the best weekend treks especially if you are coming from Delhi-NCR region. The fact that you can travel overnight to Chopta on Friday, do the trek on Saturday / Sunday and get back to work on Monday makes it an ideal weekend trek near Delhi.
What is the ideal duration for this trek ?
Ideally Chandrashila trek is a 1 night & 2 days trek which involves trek to Tungnath (3,660m) & camping there on Day 1 and climbing the Chandrashila summit (4,130m) & back to Chopta on Day 2. However, Chandrashila trek can also be done as a day trek from Chopta as the distance from Chopta to Chandrashila peak is just 5 km.
Which is the best season to do Chandrashila trek ?
The best season to do Chandrashila trek is from Sept to Dec and from April to June. Avoid the months of Jan to March (due to heavy snow) and July-Aug (due to heavy rains).
What are the trekking options from Chopta ?
Well if you have extra day, you can head to the scenic Deoria Tal which gives amazing view of Chaukhamba peak in the background. You can camp at Deoria Tal on Day 2.