2023 Tungnath Trek: Crucial Factors to Bear in Mind Prior to Setting Off on an Expedition

by operator

Situated in Uttarakhand, the pathways of Garhwal Himalayas are adorned with plenty of shimmering rivers, breathtaking natural beauty, majestic snow-covered peaks, verdant hills draped in green, and lush forests teeming with life. It goes without saying that Garhwal offers a plethora of trekking trails suitable for both beginners and experts. Tungnath trek presents itself as one of the easiest and most exhilarating routes for trekkers, promising an unforgettable experience. The untarnished natural charm and captivating aura of these mountains will undoubtedly captivate all who set foot upon them, offering an abundance of adventurous opportunities. Exploring the Garhwal Himalayas through trekking adds an extra layer of excitement and allows for a full immersion in its wonders. The remarkable trails and picturesque vistas serve as a well-deserved treat for trekkers after a challenging journey.

Optimal Time for Tungnath Trek

Best Time For Tungnath Trek

The ideal time to embark on the Tungnath trek is during the month of May (summer) when the temple is open and the idol of Lord Tungnath is taken from Mukumath to the Tungnath temple. For a more exciting journey, winter treks from January to March are also an option.

During the summer, the weather in the Himalayas is rather pleasant, with an average temperature of 16 degrees. However, evenings can get chilly, so it is advisable to carry light woolens to keep warm.

Trekking in the monsoon season can be a bit challenging due to rainfall, as the roads may be blocked for a few hours due to landslides. It becomes difficult to trek to Chopta during this time.

Trekking during winter allows trekkers to witness the trails and mountains covered in a pristine blanket of snow. Chopta looks particularly stunning in winter, although there are limited accommodation options available. December can pose additional challenges as snowfall becomes more frequent.

About the Tungnath Temple

Perched peacefully on the Chandranath Parvat, Tungnath is the highest shrine of Lord Shiva in the world. This sacred temple, situated atop a mountain ridge, divides the waters of the Alaknanda River and the Mandakini River. The Akashkamini River owes its formation to the convergence of three springs, a result of the peak of Tungnath on this ridge.

About Tungnath Temple

Standing proudly at an altitude of 3,680 meters above sea level, this temple, over a millennium old, is without a doubt a must-visit. Despite being the highest among the five Panch Kedar temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, Tungnath is the most easily accessible. It is the third Kedar (Tritiya Kedar) among the five Kedar (Panch Kedar) and is renowned for its remarkable architecture and exquisite design.

Crafted in the North Indian style of architecture, the foundation of this temple was laid by Arjuna, one of the Pandava brothers. There is a tale associated with the temple that tells of Lord Rama meditating here to free himself from the curse of Brahmahatya for killing Ravana. Inside, you will find a stunning main idol of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, surrounded by a dozen shrines dedicated to other deities.

Exciting Activities on the Tungnath Trek

If you’re curious about what you can do besides marvel at the breathtaking views on the Tungnath trek, here are some experiences that you should definitely add to your adventure list.

1. Pay a Visit to the Sacred Temple

During your journey to Tungnath, make sure to visit the revered Tungnath temple to seek blessings. It’s advisable to avoid December for the trek as the temple is usually closed during the winter months due to heavy snowfall. The idol of Lord is temporarily moved to Mukku Village. The temple doors open for pilgrims in April and close in November.

2. Enjoy Birdwatching

Temple

As you make your way to Tungnath, treat your eyes to the magnificent sights of rare Himalayan birds. Tungnath is nestled in the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary and serves as a home to the stunning Himalayan Monal, India’s most beautiful bird. In winter, you can also spot Snow Partridges from up close.

While exploring Chopta, don’t miss the chance to catch a glimpse of the Koklass Pheasant. As you venture further down from Chopta, you might also encounter some elusive finches and the nesting Pied Thrush. Take a break near the Mandakini river and you might spot the Yellow-rumped Honeyguide. Lucky visitors in early summer are treated to sightings of the Spot-winged Starling. If you’re even luckier, you might even come across musk deer in this area.

This region is also home to other captivating birds such as the Kalij Pheasant, Upland Buzzard, Golden Eagle, Bearded Vulture (Lammergeier), Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Himalayan Owl, Spot-winged Rosefinch, European Goldfinch, Fire-capped Tit, Ashy Wood-Pigeon, Nepal Wren-Babbler, Spotted Laughingthrush, Variegated Laughingthrush, Pied Thrush, Long-billed Thrush, and more.

Bird watching

3. Delight in the Scenic Views

Immerse yourself in the clear and picturesque vistas of the awe-inspiring peaks, Himalayan ranges, and lush vegetation. Chopta is enveloped by dense forests, and during early spring, the Rhododendron forest comes alive with vibrant flowers, casting a mesmerizing red glow.

How to Reach Tungnath Temple

The distance covered in the Tungnath trek starting from Chopta is approximately 4 km. Therefore, the trekkers need to initially reach Chopta before commencing the Tungnath trek. Chopta, located at an altitude of 2600 meters in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand, serves as the starting point for the Tungnath trek.

During winter, Chopta is adorned with magnificent snow meadows, making the Tungnath trek a mind-blowing experience. The route of the Tungnath trek is adorned with coniferous trees, mist, and snow, enhancing the thrill and adventure of the journey.

Sightseeing

In order to reach Chopta, one can choose to travel to Haridwar by railway, which is approximately 225 km away. Another option is to travel by flight to the Jolly Grant Airport, which is around 260 km from Chopta. From there, you can catch a public bus that provides frequent service to and from Chopta.

There are multiple routes to reach Tungnath via Chopta, but the one mentioned above is considered the best among them. After reaching Haridwar, you will need to proceed to Sari, which is an 8-hour drive away. Sari serves as a picturesque base camp and offers numerous campsites, homestays, and guest houses, making it a convenient halting point.

Essential Tips: Tungnath Trek

How To Reach Tungnath Temple

Keep these essential tips in mind if you are planning to embark on the Tungnath trek. These suggestions will ensure a hassle-free and enjoyable trip.

  • Since there are no major resting points from Chopta to Tungnath, it is advisable to carry an ample supply of water, trekking boots, warm clothing, raincoats, sunscreen, a first-aid kit, and any prescribed medicines.
  • It is recommended to carry light snacks such as glucose, chocolates, biscuits, and nuts to munch on during the trek.
  • A walking stick can provide extra support, and it is crucial to have waterproof trekking shoes to prevent slipping on the snow-filled path.
  • Make sure to carry power banks and sufficient cash, as there are no charging points or ATMs along the route.
  • Note that photography is not allowed inside the temple.
  • Accommodation can be found in Chopta and Sari, but not along the route to the temple from Chopta.
  • Avoid trekking during nighttime.

Adventure enthusiasts can indulge in the perfect combination of trekking and sightseeing during their Tungnath trip. This year-round adventure is located in the heart of Uttarakhand, and the Tungnath trek allows you to satisfy your cravings for excitement and thrill. Plan your trek and embark on this exhilarating journey.

Important Information: Please note that the following answers are based on current information and may be subject to change. It is always recommended to check with official sources for the most up-to-date information regarding the opening and closing of the Tungnath temple.

Are there any restrictions on visiting the Tungnath temple?

Important Tips: Tungnath Trek

The Tungnath temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, follows a seasonal schedule when it comes to opening and closing. As a general rule, the temple remains closed during the winter months and opens its doors for visitors during the summer season. This means that if you are planning to visit Tungnath, it would be best to plan your trip between the months of summer when the temple is open.

When does the Tungnath temple usually close for the winter season?

Due to the extreme weather conditions and heavy snowfall in the region, the Tungnath temple usually closes its gates before the onset of winter. The exact dates may vary each year, but as a general practice, the temple closes around the end of October or early November. It is advised to check with local authorities or the temple administration for the precise closing dates before planning your visit.

When does the Tungnath temple open for visitors?

The Tungnath temple welcomes devotees and tourists with open arms during the summer season. Once the snow starts melting and the weather becomes more favorable, the temple administration makes arrangements for visitors to explore and seek blessings. Typically, the temple opens its doors to the public around the end of April or early May, depending on the weather conditions and accessibility.

Is there an entry fee or any charges to visit the Tungnath temple?

As of our last information, there is no specific entry fee or charges to visit the Tungnath temple. However, it is always recommended to inquire about any updated guidelines or fees from the temple authorities or local tourism offices before planning your trip.

What are the nearby attractions or places of interest near the Tungnath temple?

The region surrounding the Tungnath temple is blessed with natural beauty and offers several attractions and places of interest for visitors. Some popular nearby points of interest include Chandrashila Peak, Deoria Tal, Madmaheshwar Temple, and the Nandi Kund Trek. Exploring these places can add an extra dimension to your Tungnath trek experience.

What precautions should I take before visiting the Tungnath temple?

Before undertaking the Tungnath trek and visiting the temple, it is advisable to prepare yourself physically and mentally. The trek to Tungnath involves moderate to challenging levels of difficulty, and it is crucial to be in good health and well-prepared for the journey. It is also recommended to carry essential items like warm clothing, comfortable footwear, sufficient water, and snacks for the trek. Additionally, it is always wise to consult with a local guide or tour operator for safety tips and any specific precautions to be taken during the trek.

We hope these frequently asked questions provide you with the necessary information to plan your visit to the majestic Tungnath temple. Enjoy your journey and may Lord Shiva bless you with his divine presence.

You may also like