One of the best trekking destinations in India is the Chopta Tunganath trek. The reason being is that, during this whole journey trekkers will come across many beautiful attractions both natural and man-made. During this trek, the main attractions that trekkers will get to witness are Deori tal, Tunganath temple, and Chandrashilla peak.
Chopta which is famous as ‘mini-Switzerland of Uttarakhand’, is located at a height of 2,608 meters in the Garhwal Himalayas. Chopta is a very popular holiday destination in Uttarakhand because it can be easily reached by vehicle and no trek is required.
The journey for this special trek starts from Haridwar to Sari through a long drive. During the road trip holy towns of Rishikesh, Dev Prayag, and Rudra Prayag are covered. After reaching Sari we will have a small ‘trek detour’ to Deori tal. Deori tal is an exquisite lake with tranquil water. This lake is surrounded by high mountain peaks and you can see a soothing reflection of those peaks on the still water of the lake. After seeing this natural lake, the journey will resume till Chopta through a drive of approximately 3 hours. Chopta is at the epicenter of Panch Kedar (the five most sacred temples of Lord Shiva). On the left of Chopta lies Kedarnath and Madmaheshwar shrines and on its right are Rudranath and Kalpeshwar. Whereas, Tunganath is vertically above it. These are the Panch Kedar or the five famous Shiva temples. The trek from Chopta is to reach Tunganath temple. During the spring season, the entire region is bloomed with magenta and crimson flowers of Rhododendrons. It seems that the entire section of mountains is red due to these beautiful flowers and it’s truly a treat for the eyes, indeed a postcard-worthy scenario. Finally, the trek leads to the holy shrines of this famous 1000-year-old Tunganath temple. After spending some spiritual time in this temple, the trek continues till Chandrashila top. As the elevation increases so are the difficulty level of the ascent. But despite that, once you reach the peak every hard foot you put will seem worth it. Chandrashila means ‘Moon Rock’, situated at a height of 3,690 meters. This peak itself provides enchanting views of the rest of the Himalayas, including Nandadevi, Trisul, Kedar Peak, Bandarpoonch, and Chaukhamba. The best time to plan a trek to this popular trekking spot is in the spring season.
Tunganath is one of the highest Shiva temples in the world and is the highest of the Panch Kedar. It is located at an elevation of 3,470 meters. It is the second Kedar of the five. The temple is closely linked with Hindu mythology. Panch Kedar is said to have links with Pandavas of Mahabharata. It is said that the sage Vyas Rishi advised Pandavas can attain penance by killing their brothers (Kauravas) by asking for forgiveness from Lord Shiva. But Lord Shiva who was avoiding them took the form of the bull and went hiding but Pandavas chased him. Later his body in bull’s form was rematerialized at five different places that represent Panch Kedar. The Pandavas built five temples at each of these locations and worshipped Lord Shiva.