Nestled in the quaint village of Chopta, 30 kilometers from Ukimath in Uttarakhand, lies the majestic Chandrashila Peak. I first heard about this trek while reading Ruskin Bond’s book, ‘All the roads lead to Ganga’. The description of the place, combined with a quick Google search, was enough to make me determined to explore it.
Tungnath Temple is a Hindu temple located in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is one of the Panch Kedar temples and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. According to Hindu mythology, the temple is believed to have been built by the Pandavas, the legendary figures from the Hindu epic, Mahabharata. Shankaracharya, also known as Adi Shankaracharya, was a revered Hindu philosopher and theologian who lived in the 8th century CE. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest thinkers in the history of Indian philosophy and is credited with reviving and promoting the Advaita Vedanta school of philosophy. Shankaracharya temple located in Srinagar was also built by Adi Shankaracharya during his visit to Kashmir in the early 9th century.
The Trek to Shiva’s abode –
Our day started with a hearty breakfast before we set out for the trek to Tungnath and Chandrashila Peak. The starting point was marked by a small stone gate with a temple bell, beckoning us to begin our ascent.
The path was steep right from the beginning, and as we hiked, we found that the snow was everywhere, making it difficult to walk. We were surprised to see the whole mountain engulfed in snow, which made us realize that we were underdressed for this trek.
It took us two hours to reach the Tungnath temple, and we quickly realized that we had to hurry if we wanted to reach Chandrashila, which was another hour’s hike. The whole mountain was covered in snow, and the steep gradient made it very slippery. We didn’t have cramp-ons or spikes, which made the climb even more difficult.
After taking a break and clicking some photos, we started the climb to Chandrashila. It was an arduous climb, and the snow was hardened, making it very slippery. As the sun reached the top in the afternoon, the snow melted rapidly, making the patch of soil muddy and even more slippery.
It took us one and a half hours to reach the summit, and the view of Kedarnath and Badrinath peaks was breathtaking. We spent some time contemplating the beauty and bowed to the goddess Chandrshila for divine blessings. We were tired and hungry, but we still had to climb down, which would take at least three hours.
Since it was all snow till Tungnath, we decided to sledge our way down, which was both scary and fun. It took us around three hours to descend to Chopta, and we were back by 5:30 pm, just in time to watch the sunset over the mountains.
Our trek to Tungnath and Chandrashila was a challenging yet fulfilling experience, and it taught us the importance of going on in life no matter what challenges we face.
You can checkout the detailed trek experience here :