Deoriatal Chopta Chandrashila Trek:

  • We are open for private/customised treks for your own group/family/friends without any fixed group tour dates.

About the trek:

To illustrate a classic beginners hike, you must try Deoriatal – Chopta – Tunganath – Chandrashila trek. This trail and hiking experience will initiate the crave of exploring Himalayas in you. You will get to know Himalayas better on this easy hike than you knew being just a tourist.

It has fantastic close-in mountain views, a fairly large lake with massive peak reflections on it, dense forest trail inside Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary and alpine meadows. It does ignite your hiking proponent through a summit to Chandrashila peak. This is not all! You will visit Tunganath temple, the highest Shiva temple among Panch Kedar.

Sunset at Chopta (P.C. Anomit)
Reflection on Deoriatal during sunrise
Tunganath – The highest Kedar, at the onset of winter (P.C. Arunava)
At Chandrashila peak

To reach our trek base Sari village, initially we will drive following Alaknanda till Rudraprayag . You will cross Rishikesh, Devprayag and Srinagar. From Rudraprayag we will follow Mandakini river for a while to reach Ukhimath town. The winding road from Ukhimath to Sari is a fantastic drive with lovely valley and occasional mountain views.

From Ukhimath to Sari: Guptkashi town on the other side of Mandakini

The places covered in the trek promises almost everything that a high altitude Himalayan trek has in its bounty. Deoriatal at ~ 2380 m/7800 ft is a longitudinal lake hidden inside the valley. You will hike a good 2 to 2 and half hours moderate climb from the last village called Sari to reach the lake. Situated at a relatively lower altitude though the mountains and reflections on water are massive and more than impressive from Deoriatal.

Deoriatal in summer

Camping has been restricted at Deoriatal and Chopta or above for a while now. We arrange Swiss tents or homestay accommodations nearby.

Chaukhamba massif (Left to right, I, II, III & IV) from Deoriatal

After exploring Deoriatal, next morning we will descent to Sari and take a car ride to Chopta. Pristine canopy of forest, blooming Rhododendrons in Spring, foliage in autumn, Chopta has it all. Wildlife around Chopta is well known. Likewise,  a walk inside Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary (also called Kedarnath Musk Deer Sanctuary) may highly produce a glimpse of Himalayan Thar or the Himalayan Monal, state bird of Uttarakhand. Not only the wildlife, the walk on the Chopta Gopeshwar road inside forest in itself is pretty rewarding. Sunset from Chopta will surely mesmerise your senses. In particular, fresh snow in winter and Rhododendrons in spring turn this place a special one.

On the way to Chopta
A male Himalayan Monal at Chopta (P.C. Anomit)
Walking inside forest on Chopta Gopeshwar road
Budding of Rhododendrons signifies the arrival of spring

Next day you will visit Tunganath and climb Chandrashila peak above the temple. Tunganath , at an elevation of ~3600 m/11500 being the highest of Panch Kedar, the five holy shrines of Lord Shiva (remaining four are, Kedarnath, Madmaheshwar, Rudranath and Kalpeshwar). A return trip from Chopta will test your basic stamina  and endurance. Meanwhile from May to Oct, temple remains open. During this season you can stay at Tunganath. Sunset from Tunganath towards the lower valleys of Ukhimath and Guptkashi  along with Chaukhamba view is compelling to say a least.

Chandrashila, a small peak above the temple is just an hour and half’s climb. Often it is referred to as the ‘Switzerland of India”. 180 degree panoramic view from the top covers numerous peaks of Kumaon (including Nanda Devi and Trishul ) to westward peaks of the Kedarnath area. The four pillars of Chaukhamba standing above 7000 m/23000 ft are so close that you have to zoom out your camera!

To sum up, this is truly a short and easy “All In One trek” for you to begin with.

Brief Itinerary for Deoriatal Chandrashila trek:

Day 1: Drive from Rishikesh to Sari via Ukhimath – 190 Km by car – 7 to 8 hours. Lodge accommodation.
Day 2: Trek to Deoriatal – 3.5 Km – 2 to 3 hours. After lunch explore the lake and around. Tent or basic lodge accommodation away from the lake.
Day 3: Trek down to Sari – 3.5 Km and 2 hours – Drive to Baniyakund or Chopta  – Approx 20 Km and 1 hour – Hike around Chopta in the afternoon. – 2/3 hours. Tent accommodation. [Alternatively you can hike inside Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary and reach Chopta, a long 15/16 Km trek which can take 8/10 hours. This option is ONLY for experienced and reasonably fit trekkers.]
Day 4: Trek to Tunganath– 3. 5 Km –  Climb to Chandrashila peak – 1.5 Km – Descent to Chopta – total 10 Km – 6/7 hours. Camp at Baniyakubnd. [Seasonal Dhaba/Mandir Trust accommodation at Tungnath when the temple remains open (May to Oct)].
Day 5: Drive from Chopta/Baniyakund to Rishikesh – approx 200 Km – 7 to 8 hours
Note: Trekkers need to reach on their own to Rishikesh, Day 1 morning (by 7 am) or the previous night. Return to Rishikesh on Day 5 evening (by 5 pm).  Arrange your tickets for inward journey and return from Haridwar accordingly. Transportation cost to reach trek base Sari and return from Chopta are not included in the TREK FEE.

Update 2019: Camping restrictions at Chopta and Tunganath and inside Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary

Even before the Uttarakhand High Court’s order regarding camping on Alpine meadows/Bugyal in August 2018, this trek route got its own problems regarding the camps.

First came the notice from DFO, Kedarnath Wildlife Division in 2017. The notice revoked necessary permits to camp inside core forest area. Certainly this helped to stop the abuse of the Eco-system primarily due to setting up of large fixed camps at Rohini Bugyal, Tunganath and intermediate sites. Probably this is a blessing for wildlife habitat in this pristine forest and sanctuary.

Then the local small restaurant and Dhaba owners objected to camp at Chopta due to their livelihood concern at the end of 2017. Starting from 2018 you need to camp at least 3/4 Km off and down from Chopta,  a place called Baniyakund.

So practically you can only camp around Deoriatal and Baniyakund. You can’t camp at Chopta or Tunganath, neither inside core forest area like Rohini Bugyal.

Best way to visit Deoriatal Chopta Tungnath Chandrashila – Tea House mode over camping trek:

In vast Indian Himalayas, almost all treks are of camping style. There are only handful of treks which you can complete while staying in basic lodge/homestay/seasonal settlements. This trek is one such Tea House Himalayan trek in India. Don’t worry, you will have wide choice of camping treks in future 🙂

Chopta settlements
Seasonal lodge/Dhaba accommodation option at Tunganath

Which is the best time to choose for Deoriatal Chopta Chandrashila trek?

You can choose this trek almost throughout the year, apart from monsoon. It has to offer something unique in each season.

Spring – Summer (April to June): Spring brings abundant Rhododendron flowers around Chopta. Depending upon snowfall in winter, you will get remaining snow at Tunganath and Chandrashila as late as end of April.

Autumn – Winter (Sep to Dec/Jan): After monsoon the natural haze prevailing in summer goes away. Weather becomes clear to enjoy great mountain and peak views.

How to reach Deoriatal trek base Sari village?

Sari village in Rudraprayag district, is 220 Km from Haridwar and 20 Km further from Ukhimath town.  Either we can arrange a pick up or you may reach independently.

  • A Tata Sumo/Mahindra Maxx type vehicle charges ₹ 6000 for a pick up from Haridwar and drop to Sari. Similarly a Tempo Traveller charges ₹ 9000.  From trek end point Chopta to Haridwar charges are same fopr respective vehicle. We will arrange if you require, you pay directly to the driver.
  • To reach independently, take the direct bus to Ukhimath from Haridwar, early in the morning. From here you need to book a private vehicle to Sari, which is 15 Km away.
  • While returning from Chopta, hire a cab to Ukhimath (20 Km away) in the morning. From Ukhimath change for Rudraprayag and then to Haridwar by bus.

Don’t forget to check the List of things to carry in Chandrashila trek or download the PDF.

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Why treks with HT?

Highest Point3800 m/12500 ft
Trail Length20 Km
Chandrashila Deoriatal Trek