Located in Uttarakhand, the footpaths of the Garhwal Himalayas are rich in the Panna River, natural beauty, snow-clad peaks, lush green hills and lush green forests. Needless to say, Garhwal offers many trekking trails for beginners to experts. Tungnath trek It is one of the easiest and exciting trekking routes that gives trekkers an incredible experience. The pristine natural beauty and aura of these mountains definitely mesmerises everyone and also provides an extra option of adventure. Adding to this adventure, trekking is done in the Garhwal Himalayas and is seen in full view. Spectacular treks and picturesque views come as a treat for trekkers after a spectacular trek.
Best time for Tungnath trek
The best time for the Tungnath trek is when the temple is open in the month of May (summer) and the deity of Lord Tungnath is taken from Mukumath to the Tungnath Temple. To make the journey more exciting, you can also trek from January and March during winter.
The weather in the Himalayas is very pleasant during summers, with an average temperature of 16 degrees. The weather may get cold in the evening, thus, it is advisable to wear light woolen clothes to keep yourself warm.
Due to the rain, trekking in monsoon becomes a bit challenging here due to the possibility of roads being blocked for a few hours due to landslides. During the monsoon it becomes difficult to travel to Chopta.
The Tungnath trek in winter allows trekkers to enjoy trails and snow blankets covering the mountains. Chopta seems to be the best during winter but accommodation options are limited to a few. The Tungnath trek in December can be more difficult as it starts with snow.
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About Tungnath Temple
The highest temple of Lord Shiva in the world is Tungnath which is peacefully situated on the Chandranath mountain. Situated on the top of the mountain, this sacred temple divides the waters of the Alaknanda River and the Mandakini River. The Akashkamini River has been formed mainly due to the construction of 3 springs, which is due to the summit of Tungnath on this ridge.
Rising at an elevation of 3,680 meters above sea level, this temple which is more than 1000 years old is undoubtedly worth visiting. Although the tallest temple of Lord Shiva (out of the five Panch Kedar temples), it is the easiest to reach. Tungnath is the third of the five Kedar (Panch Kedar) Kedar (Tritiya Kedar), which is known for its artistic structure and magnificent architecture.
Built in North Indian style architecture, the foundation of this temple was laid by Arjuna, the third of the Pandava brothers. There is a story associated with this temple which says that Lord Rama meditated to kill Ravana to free himself from the curse of brahmacharya. You can find a beautiful main idol of Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati and there are a dozen temples of other deities around this temple.
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Things to do on the Tungnath trek
If you are wondering what you can do on the trek in addition to seeing the scenery, here are some experiences that you should definitely take off your reindeer list.
On your trek to Tungnath, one should go to the holy temple of Tungnath and seek blessings. It is better not to trek Tungnath in December as the temple is usually closed during winter due to heavy snowfall and the idol of the Lord is shifted to Mukku village. The doors of this temple are open to pilgrims during the summers in late April and close in November.
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2. Bird watching
While visiting Tungnath, you can treat your eyes to the views of the magnificent exotic Himalayan birds. Tungnath is part of the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary and is home to India’s most beautiful bird – the Himalayan Monal. Also, if you are planning your trip in winter, you will get to see Snow Partridge from a close distance.
While in Chopta, you can see the Koklas pheasant and if going slightly downstream from Chopta, you can also see some rare finches and nesting pied thrush. You can stop near the Mandakini river and see the yellow-ripe honeyguide. In the early summer, visitors to Tungnath are awarded many sightseeing spots with spot-winged starling. Lucky people can also find musk deer around this area.
Other main attractions found in this area are the Kalij Pheasant, Upland Buzzard, Golden Eagle, Bearded Vulture (Lamergier), Rufus-bellied Woodpecker, Himalayan Owl, Spot-winged Rosefinch, European Goldfinch, Fire-capped Tite, Ashi Wood. – Pigeon, Nepal. Wren-Babbler, Spotted Laughingthrush, Varygated Laughingthrush, Pied Thrush, Long-billed Thrush and more.
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3. Places to see
Please by the clear and panoramic views of the majestic peaks, the Himalayas and the flora. Chopta is surrounded by dense forest and in early spring, many flowers bloom in the rhododendron forest which gives it a reddish grass.
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How to reach Tungnath Temple
The length of the Tungnath trek from Chopta is about 4 km, so trekkers must first reach Chopta and then embark on the Tungnath trek. Located at an altitude of 2600 meters in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand, Chopta is the start-off point for your Tungnath trek.
In winter, Chopta is embellished with snow grass, which blows your Tungnath trek during the winter season. The path of the Tungnath trek is embellished with coniferous, lakes and snow, which makes the journey more thrilling and a cat from a trek that you should take.
First of all, you have to reach Haridwar via railway which is 225 km from Chopta. Traveling via flight is another option and the nearest airport to Chopta is Jolly Grant Airport at a distance of 260 km. Next, catch a public bus to Chopta which is widely served to and from the city.
There are about 2 to 3 routes to reach Tungnath via Chopta, the one mentioned is the best among all. Once you reach Haridwar, you have to go towards Sari, which is 8 km from Haridwar. It is a picturesque base camp with lots of campuses, homestays and guest houses so that you can also plan to stay here.
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Important Tips: Tungnath Trek
If you are planning to go to Tugnath then keep these tips handy. These signs will only make your journey hassle free and enjoyable.
- There are no major halting points from Chopta to Tungnath, it is best to take plenty of water, trekking boots, warm clothes, raincoats, sunscreen, first-aid kits and doctor-prescribed medicines.
- For example, consume light snacks when needed for glucose, chocolate, biscuits, nuts, etc.
- Move the walking stick for additional support and waterproof trekking shoes as there is a possibility of slipping on ice.
- Take the power bank and cash as there are no charging points and ATMs on the route.
- No photo is allowed inside the temple
- You can find room to stay in Chopta, and Sari and not on the way to the temple from Chopta
- Avoid trekking during nights.
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Adventure aficionado can best enjoy both trekking and sightseeing during a visit to Tungnath. This year-round adventure is at the heart of Uttarakhand and the Tungnath trek route allows you to embark on the adventure you are longing for. Plan your trek and start this exciting journey.
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Frequently asked questions about Tungnath trek
Is Tungnath temple open?
Tungnath is the highest temple of Lord Shiva and is usually closed during winters and is open during summer travel.
How long is the Tungnath trek?
One of the medium and easy treks, the Tungnath trek is about 4 km from Chopta and can be reached within 3-4 hours. It will take 3-4 days to reach Tungnath from Haridwar.
Is there snow in Chopta?
In the month of January, this area is covered with 4 to 7 feet thick snow and some roads of Chopta are blocked in winter. There is an alternative route to Chopta via Deoria Tal, a 10–12 km trek.
Is Chopta safe?
Chopta is completely safe and the locals are very polite and assure the safety of tourists. But beware of wildlife and do not wander in the forest after sunset.
What is the height of Tungnath?
Tungnath peak is located at an altitude of 3680 m (12073 ft) below the Chandrashila peak.