Best day hikes in Uttarakhand- Tungnath & Chandrashila

The trek to Tungnath and Chandrashila is not for the faint-hearted
Image courtesy: ©Ashwani Jaiswal

One of the best day hikes in Uttarakhand, the trail to Tungnath Mandir (3680m) and Chandrashila Peak (4000m) features a sacred Panch Kedar temple and a stunning Himalayan panorama.

The trail starts at Chopta, a small village with no electricity, which is found on the winding road between Chamoli (south of Joshimath) and Kund (south of Gaurikund). A well-paved path switchbacks 3.5km uphill, gaining 750m in elevation, to Tungnath, the highest Shiva temple in the world. A dirt trail continues 1.5km further to the top of Chandrashila.

From the summit, the Garhwali and Kumaoni Himalaya stretch out before you, with awesome vistas of major mountains including Nanda Devi, Trishul and the Kedarnath group. Start early before the clouds move in, or head up in the afternoon, stay at one of the spartan guesthouses around Tungnath and hit Chandrashila for sunrise.

There’s basic accommodation in Chopta: Hotel Neelkanth has the best rooms and Hotel Rajkamal is the friendliest.

Take a look at the trek trail in pictures.

 

The trek begins in Chopta, where camps are set up for trekkers
The trek begins in Chopta, where camps are set up for trekkers
Image courtesy: ©Ashwani Jaiswal
Trekkers encounter stunning sceneries on their way
Trekkers encounter stunning sceneries on their way
Image courtesy: ©Ashwani Jaiswal
Such milestones on the way are encouraging
Such milestones on the way are encouraging
Image courtesy: ©Ashwani Jaiswal
The view of world's highest Shiva Temple in Tungnath is quite an achievement after a steep and tiring trek
The view of world's highest Shiva Temple in Tungnath is quite an achievement after a steep and tiring trek
Image courtesy: ©Ashwani Jaiswal
The temple has a serene setting
The temple has a serene setting
Image courtesy: ©Ashwani Jaiswal
The sound of the ringing bell echoes in the hills
The sound of the ringing bell echoes in the hills
Image courtesy: ©Ashwani Jaiswal
Just an hour's trek from Tungnath up, will take you to Chandrashila
Just an hour's trek from Tungnath up, will take you to Chandrashila
Image courtesy: ©Ashwani Jaiswal
The most scenic hilly panoramas lie between Tungnath and Chandrashila
The most scenic hilly panoramas lie between Tungnath and Chandrashila
Image courtesy: ©Ashwani Jaiswal
A small temple amidst grand Himalayan vistas happily greets trekkers in Chandrashila
A small temple amidst grand Himalayan vistas happily greets trekkers in Chandrashila
Image courtesy: ©Ashwani Jaiswal
Spend the night at pre-booked camps in Tungnath on your way back.
Spend the night at pre-booked camps in Tungnath on your way back.
Image courtesy: ©Ashwani Jaiswal