Where is Tungnath?
Tungnath (3,680 metres, approximately) is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. It is the believed to be the Highest Shiva Temple in the world, and the Third Kedar to be visited, in case you are staying true to the sequence of the Panch Kedar circuit. The other four being Kedarnath, Madhmaheshwar, Rudranath, and Kalpeshwar.
What is the motorable route?
Haridwar – Rishikesh – Devprayag – Srinagar – Rudraprayag – Ukimath – Chopta
The trek to Tungnath starts from Chopta.
This more than sorts it out in case you are driving your own vehicle or a self-drive vehicle.
And the road is more or less well-maintained except for a few patches that fall under the landslide zone.
In case I want to opt for public transport?
- Take a bus or shared taxi (Max) from Haridwar/Rishikesh to Rudraprayag
- Take a bus or shared taxi (Max) from Rudraprayag to Ukimath
- Take a bus or shared taxi (Max) from Ukimath to Chopta
Buses, both local and of Uttarakhand State Transport, and shared taxis start plying from Haridwar/Rishikesh to Rudraprayag and further as early as 4 am.
That being said, you should know that all the local buses take their own sweet time and multiple halts. If you opt for the Uttarakhand State Transport bus, it will drop you at Rudraprayag. After this, there is no other choice but to board a local bus or a shared taxi.
It should cost one person INR 700-800, Haridwar to Haridwar.
How long is the trek? How is the trek route like? Do I need a guide?
Chopta to Tungnath – 4 km
Tungnath to Chandrashila – 1.5 km
From Chopta to Tungnath, it is gradual yet easy ascent. The path is paved and straight forward.
After Tungnath, the paved path ends and gives way to a broken trail. It is slightly steeper and a little more challenging.
If you start early, you can easily return to Chopta by the evening.
You don’t need a guide unless you are trekking in the harsh winter when the snow nearly covers the entire path, making it riskier to make way on your own.
Where to stay and how much will it cost?
There are quite a few roadside makeshift dhaba-styled structures that offer basic rooms, quilts, and simple but good food. Some of them are located a few kilometres before the temple gates, and some right alongside the temple gates in Chopta. There some lodges around the temple premises as well. Their rates are, as of October 2017:
Chopta and Tungnath – INR 400 for 2 people
If budget is not a constraint, you can also go for luxury, semi-luxury camps, and a few small guest houses and resorts.
Get the Best View of the Himalaya from Chandrashila
Nowhere else on any trek do you get to see most of the prominent peaks of the Indian Himalaya, all at once: left, right and centre, and up, close and personal. And this is just while trekking from Chopta to Tungnath. Once you set foot on the summit of Chandrashila, a whole new world of the Himalaya opens up on the north-eastern skyline.
This is the gist of it. If you have any further queries, feel free to leave a comment below. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Stay safe, travel responsibly!