Tungnath – Chopta – Chandrashila trek

A Place where Pandavas Wandered for MOKSHA!

The Highest Shiva Temple in the world, Tungnath is the third among the Panch Kedar–Tritiya Kedar. This temple was built in the mountain range of Tungnath in Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand. Lying just underneath the peak of Chandrashila, at the height of 12073 ft. (3680m), it is assumed to be a 5000-year-old temple and has its associations with the Pandavas of Mahabharata.


Mythological Parable about Tungnath

As told by the legends the Tungnath Temple follows its connections from the Panch Kedar Temple which was built by the Pandavas. It is said that the Pandavas built the temple to gain a pardon from Lord Shiva, as they were responsible for murdering their own family (Kauravas, their cousins) during the Mahabharata or Kurukshetra war on the advice of Rishi Vyas. Consequently, the Pandavas went looking for Shiva who was avoiding them since he was sure of the blame of Pandavas.


To avoid them, Shiva took the shape of a bull and went into hiding in an underground spread at Guptakashi, where Pandavas chased him down. However, later Shiva's body inside the sort of bull's body components rematerialized at 5 various locations that speak to the "Panch Kedar" where Pandavas built temples of Lord Shiva at each location, to worship and praise, looking for his pardon and blessing.


Every location is known after an area of Shiva's body. Tungnath is known because that spot is the place where the bahu (hands) were seen. The hump was seen at Kedarnath, the head showed up at Rudranath, his navel and abdomen surfaced at Madhyamaheshwar, and his Jata (hair) at Kalpeshwar. It is likewise said that Lord Rama, meditated at the Chandrashila peak to get himself released from the curse of Brahmahatya, a crime he committed by killing Ravana. It also said that Ravana did his atonement to Shiva when he resided here at Tungnath.


Best Time to Visit


Chandrashila can be visited in various seasons. The best and ideal time to visit Tungnath Temple is from April – November, remembering the monsoon season. Tungnath is inaccessible in the winters, from December – February, because of heavy snowfall. At the point when the snow begins to melt in mid to late February, the path opens up from the snow looking to give travelers some genuine experiences. Be that as it may, the ways to Chopta are not open till March because of snowfall.


It is advised to not travel to this region during the monsoon season due to heavy rainfalls and possible landslides.



Ways to Reach


Air: The air terminal of Dehradun Jolly Grant Airport is the closest air terminal. You can take a taxi or vehicle which takes around 6.5 hours to cover the 211 km journey from the air terminal to Chopta by road.


Rail:- Haridwar or Rishikesh, two of the most significant Indian cities is the closest railroad station. You can take a taxi or local transport from Haridwar to Chopta which is the base camp for the Chandrashila trek.


Road:- Private transport, government transport, and taxis right from Haridwar, Rishikesh, Dehradun, Delhi go to Chopta. Delhi to Chopta is 454 km, which takes 12.5 hours journey to cover by road.


Motorable roads are accessible only till Chopta. The trek starts here. It is a 3.5 km journey from Chopta to Tungnath. Chandrashilla is about 1.5 km from Tungnath. There is no motorable street from Tungnath to Chandrashilla either. Therefore you have to continue your trek on a track that is cleared from Chopta to Chandrashilla via the Tungnath Temple


It normally takes around 2-3 hours to reach Tungnath without snow, and 3-5 hours to Chandrashilla from Chopta. Nevertheless, the presence of snow on the trip makes it for a different lively experience.



Bike Trip (The Most Audacious Ride)


Probably the most distinguished approach to visit Chopta is on a cruiser, and recently bike tours to Chopta are getting very popular. Riding alongside the river Ganga, accompanied by the beautiful scenes with the delicate mountain breeze caressing you is an encounter loaded up with quest and expedition.


Bikers, in general, are usually attracted to the white part of the Himalayas such as Ladakh and Lahaul, however, the Tungnath trek is an opportunity for them to explore the greener areas of the Himalayas which will definitely be an enriching experience.


If you are traveling from Delhi, the most common and convenient route will be:


Delhi – Haridwar – Rishikesh – Devprayag – Srinagar – Rudraprayag- Augustmuni – Kund – Ukhimath – Chopta


On your way back one can use the following route:


Chopta – Mandal – Gopeshwar – Chamoli – Srinagar – Pauri – Lansdowne – Kotdwar – Bijnor – Meerut – Delhi NCR


Accommodation

There are different Hotels in Chopta which you can book via different locals or on the spot. After the journey, you can use tents, visitor houses, or cabins which are accessible for a simple stay for the length of the trip. There are different campgrounds accessible in Sari, Chandra Tal, Chopta, and Chandrashila. Sari and Chopta have a couple of good guesthouses and small hotels.


From extravagance to budget, resort to lodge Chopta has every last bit of it. The normal price for an adequate room ranges from Rs. 500 – Rs. 800.


Note – The normal expense to finish the complete circuit Delhi – Chopta – Delhi with the nitty-gritty things will cost around Rs. 4500/per individual.


Tourist Attraction in Chopta

(Mini Switzerland of India)


Omkar Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple in Sari Village​​

Omkar Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple in Sari town, a noticeable travelers' headquarter, and the end of the week entryway destination. For the individuals who need to find an escape, can invest their time and energy towards nature by experiencing the picturesque view and peacefulness of the spot. This captivating town is in the Rudraprayag area of Uttarakhand. What makes this spot a get-away objective is the beautiful sight of nature shrouded by lavish greenery.



Deoria Tal - The Reflection Lake

Devariya Tal is an emerald lake located at a height of 7999 ft. above sea level. On a sunny morning, Devariya Tal blesses the vacationers with inexplicable impressions of Chaukhamba hills on its complete crystal clear water.



Ukhimath - Winter Seat of Kedarnath

Ukhimath is situated at a rise of 4321 ft. above sea level in Rudraprayag locale of Uttarakhand. Ukhimath is also locally known as Okhimath. Ukhimath is the home of Lord Kedarnath, and Madhyamaheshwar during winters. Rituals are performed at the Omkareshwar Temple during winters when the temple of Kedarnath stays shut.


Dugalbitta

Covered in the entranced place that is known for Chopta, Dugalbitta or Duggalbitta is a little village which is a stop for explorers coming to Chopta or visiting Char Dham. It is found at a dizzying height of 8520 ft. and as of late, transformed itself into an ideal escape for the tourists.



Kanchula Karak Musk Deer Sanctuary


Kanchula Kharak Musk Deer Sanctuary is a famous sanctuary, that is known for the musk deers, and different types of fauna. The Sanctuary offers a quiet abode for musk deers and a portion of the Himalayan untamed life.


Business Opportunity

Uttarakhand is known for its mountains and lakes. Uttarakhand is also known as the Land of Gods.


Uttrakhand govt. can promote Tungnath-Chopta-Chandrashila trek by Uttarakhand tourism schemes and showcase these beautiful destinations through print media & television.


The government can provide support to small businesses to scale up their business by the MSME schemes, or any special schemes that benefit the business directly. Production of agricultural goods can be enhanced by providing some newer techniques according to the climatic condition by the experts. There is a huge opportunity of developing adventure sports and it would create/add its uniqueness. Chopta could be developed as an Adventure Capital of India like Auli (HP)- Skiing Capital of India.


 

By Shubham Shah & Rishabh Raj.

(September 2020)

 

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