Deoriatal Chandrashila is one of the most popular treks in Uttarakhand. Thousands of people visit Chopta and do this trek every year. Though the internet is brimmed with articles of this trek, still there is some information that is missing. I have done this trek more than 12 times, that’s why I decided to share all the required information based on my knowledge and experiences. Here is a detailed guide of Chopta, Deoriatal, Tungnath & Chandrashila trek.
Read my experience here: Deoriatal Chandrashila Trek – A Weekend Trek with grand views
About the places:
A small settlement near Ukhimath in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. Mainly known for the views of Kedarnath massif, meadows and the beginning point of the trek to Tungnath Temple and Chandrashila Peak.
The temple is considered the highest Lord Shiva Temple in the world situated at an altitude of 3680 m. It is also one of the Panch Kedar temples in Uttarakhand. Apart from this, there are 4 other temples in Panch Kedar, named Rudranath, Kedarnath, Madhamaheshwar, & Kalpeshwar. The trek distance from Chopta to Tungnath is 3.5 km.
It is a high 4000 m trekkable peak situated just above the Tungnath temple. Also called the Moon Rock, the peak is known for panoramic views of snowcapped Himalayan ranges. Many remarkable peaks including Nanda Devi are visible from Chandrashila.
A scenic lake settled at 2400 m just above the Sari village which is around 20 km from Chopta. It is surrounded by lush greenery and snowcapped mountains. One can have much closer views of Chaukhamba and Kedarnath peaks from the lake.
Day 1: Haridwar/Rishikesh to Chopta
Day 2: Tungnath and Chandrashila trek
Day 3: Deoriatal Trek and return to Haridwar/Rishikesh
Day 1- Haridwar/Rishikesh to Sari village and trek to Deoriatal
Day 2- Trek from Deoriatal to Chopta
Day 3- Trek from Chopta to Tungnath & Chandrashila
Day 4- Chopta to Haridwar and Rishikesh
- These 2 itineraries are the most common. However, you can add/subtract the days as per your convenience.
Delhi – Ghaziabad – Meerut – Roorkee – Haridwar – Rishikesh – Shivpuri – Devprayag (Alaknanda-Bhagirathi Rivers confluence) – Srinagar – Rudraprayag (Alaknanda-Mandakini Rivers confluence) – Guptkashi – Ukhimath – Sari/Chopta
Rudraprayag – Karnaprayag (confluence of Alaknanda & Pindar Rivers) – Chamoli – Gopeshwar – Chopta
- Note- This route is long. If the first route is blocked/closed then you can take this route.
About the trail and terrain:
Sari village to Deoriatal Trek:
The trek to Deoriatal starts right from the Sari village. The trail begins from the entry gate situated on the main road. Take the trail and start trekking on the paved rocky path. The trek distance is 2.3 km and it takes usually 2 hours to reach the lake. The initial trail is through the village, which passes through a temple situated there. The trail is well marked and paved all the way up to the lake. One can start seeing the shops situated 400-500 m before the lake. Continue on the trail bypassing all the shops and reach the lake. Chaukhamba massif will be visible in front of you.
Deoriatal to Chopta Trek:
The trek distance between Deoriatal and Chopta is 14 km and it starts from the lake itself. Pass the forest hut, watchtower and you will see a milestone showing the distance of Chopta. Continue on the same trail, through the forest and soon you will reach a dead-end from where you will have a bird’s eye view of Sari village. Take the left turn and climb up towards the Jhandi top. You will have a clear view of the Chandrashila peak from there. Continue on the trail going into the forest. After walking for around 2 km, there will be another steep stretch and then the forest will start again. The further trail will be a blend of ascent and descent. Then you will reach the meadows of Rohini Bugyal which is a perfect place to have lunch.
Cross all the meadows and the forest will still continue. You will reach a point where you will see a signboard hanging on a tree showing “Chopta 4 km”. Take the right turn from there and descend all the way down to the water stream. From there, take the trail going uphill. The trek distance is around 2 km from there. Soon, you will start seeing the road. The trek terminates at a road head and from there Chopta is 2 km. You can either get your vehicle or walk all the way to Chopta. Don’t forget to capture the sunset from there. It looks mesmerizing.
- Note: The trail is not well marked so it’s better you take a local guide if you are a beginner.
Chopta to Tungnath & Chandrashila Trek:
The trek to Tungnath and Chandrashila starts from the main road at Chopta. Take the paved trail and start climbing. The route is completely paved up to Tungnath temple which is 3.5 km from Chopta. After crossing the Tungnath Temple, the trail is not paved and is steep. Chandrashila peak is 1.5 km from the temple. Continue the steep trek on the zig-zag route. Enjoy the views from the peak. You will see many remarkable peaks from the summit of Chandrashila. Few of them are Kedarnath, Chaukhamba, Nanda Devi, Trisul, Mandani, Hathi, Ghori, etc.
Retrace the same route and trek down to Chopta.
- Note: Start early morning by 3 am (summers)/5 am (winters)
Checkout another experience here: A Failed Trip Deoriatal Chopta
Difficulty level of the trek:
The trek is rated as Easy to Moderate. Trek to Deoriatal is easy. Deoriatal to Chopta is also easy but the long-distance can make you tired. Trek from Chopta to Tungnath is also easy as it’s well-paved and trek to Chandrashila is moderate due to its steepness. Highly recommended for beginners. However, this trek is suitable for all the trek lovers, be it a novice or experienced one.
Best Time to Visit:
The main attraction of Chopta, Deoriatal and Chandrashila are the views of Chaukhamba and Kedarnath peaks. According to that, the best time to visit Chopta and do the Deoriatal Chandrashila trek is March, April, October, and November. During this time, the weather remains also stable. Though the trek remains accessible throughout the year except for the monsoon season, the experience varies according to the time.
March, April & May-
The weather remains clear and the peaks are visible most of the time. The temperature remains bearable during day and night. One can find snow near Tungnath temple and the summit of Chandrashila. The trail remains full of rhododendron flowers as it’s the blooming season.
December, January & February-
The peaks are clearly visible if the weather is not cloudy. The temperature drops below zero during the night and makes the place quite cold. Deoriatal, Chopta, & Chandrashila receive an ample amount of snow because of the high altitude. There are chances that the roads can get blocked and the trek might be called off. So do check the weather before planning.
June, July, August & September-
The weather remains cloudy so peaks won’t be visible. High chances of rain are there and the trail gets slippery too. However, the place remains lush green.
October and November-
Post monsoon season is also considered the best for most of the treks. The temperature remains bearable. The weather is also stable and the peaks remain visible. The beautiful state bird, Monal can also be seen during these months.
Where to stay:
Since it has recently become popular in the last few years, there are no big hotels/resorts available.
Sari- Small hotels and guest houses are available.
Deoriatal- Camping is now banned at Deoriatal, near the lake. One can camp near the shops but you won’t find any big space.
Chopta- Small hotels and guest houses are available. Several campsites are available providing luxury Swiss camps.
- Many people think that they can stay or pitch their camps at Tungnath temple or Chandrashila. Camping at Chandrashila is not possible as there is no space and it is too windy. You might find space near Tungnath temple but the place remains windy and gets too cold at night. Also, local authorities won’t allow, as the place is considered sacred.
- If you are planning to visit during any long weekend then don’t forget to book your stay in advance otherwise you would face a problem with finding a stay.
Where to eat:
Small restaurants/canteens are available at Sari, Deoriatal, Chopta and on the way to Tungnath. You won’t find any shop/canteen while on a trek from Deoriatal to Chopta. So keep a packed lunch and some eatables (chocolates, juices, snacks) with you.
Nearby places and treks:
Ukhimath- Ukhimath is a central destination for places like Madhamaheshwar, Tungnath, & Deoriatal. Omkareshwar temple, situated at Ukhimath, is also considered quite sacred. The main shrine of Kedarnath is also placed at Ukhimath during winters.
Gopeshwar Mahadev temple- This ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is quite famous. Thousands of pilgrims visit here.
Kartikswami Temple- Another famous temple near Ukhimath. This temple also offers closer views of Chaukhamba massif. There is an easy trek of 3 km to the temple.
Auli- One of the most popular destinations in Uttarakhand, Auli is a ski destination and is known for panoramic views of Himalayan peaks. Many people add Auli in the itinerary while exploring Chopta. One can take the following route to reach Auli from Chopta. Chopta – Gopeshawar – Chamoli –Joshimath – Auli. It takes around 4-5 hours.
Bisuri Tal- It’s a lake situated near Rohini Bugyal and offers gorgeous views of the surroundings. Trek to Bisuri Tal is almost a virgin trek and is mostly explored by locals. The trail to the lake bifurcates from the Rohini Bugyal while trekking from Deoriatal to Chopta. One has to cross the valley and climb the mountain up to Chitragufa and then to the lake.
Panch Kedar- Apart from Tungnath, there are four other temples which are known as Panch Kedar, Rudranath, Madhamaheshwar, Kedarnath, & Kalpeshawar.
How to reach Chopta:
Uttarakhand has two airports, Jolly Grant (near Dehradun) and Pantnagar. Jolly Grant Airport is the preferable one to reach Chopta. One has to take a flight to Dehradun and then take a bus or taxi to reach Chopta/Sari. Flights to Dehradun are available from all metro cities.
If you don’t get a direct flight to Dehradun then you can fly to Delhi and take a bus/train to reach Haridwar/Rishikesh. Nanda Devi express is a good train to catch. Buses are available from ISBT Kashmere Gate. For Dehradun, I would recommend you take only a government bus not a private one as they are not much reliable. You can find UTC (Uttarakhand Transport Corporation) and UPSRTC (Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation) buses from ISBT Kashmere gate. There are 3 types of buses that usually run on this route, such as Volvo (or super luxury), AC Janrath (or normal AC) and Ordinary/Roadways. The bus usually takes around 6 hours. You can take any bus departing between 10 PM to 11:30 PM.
The last railway station one can reach is Haridwar and from there one can take a bus or taxi to reach Chopta/Sari. Trains are available from all the major railway stations in India.
Bus- There is no direct bus to Chopta available, neither from Delhi nor from Haridwar/Rishikesh. From Rishikesh/Haridwar, one has to take a bus to Rudraprayag, then a shared taxi/bus to Ukhimath and another shared taxi to Chopta. Ordinary buses to Rudraprayag are also available from Delhi.
Taxi- Direct taxi to Chopta/Sari can be hired from Delhi as well as Haridwar/Rishikesh. Shared taxis are available from Haridwar/Rishikesh bus stand.
Own car- One can also take his own car and take the route mentioned above. If you are using Google maps then always put Tungnath as your destination. Don’t enter Chopta as it shows the wrong way.
ATMs and phone connectivity:
The last ATM one can find is at Ukhimath. All network signals along with the internet are available at Sari village and Deoriatal (sometimes dicey).
At Chopta, signals remain dicey most of the time. Sometimes Airtel and BSNL work.
If there is any information that is required and is not mentioned in the above blog then please let me know.
Happy Trails 🙂