Weekend trip to Tungnath, Chandrashila and Dhari Devi Temple

22nd Oct 2020
Photo of Weekend trip to Tungnath, Chandrashila and Dhari Devi Temple by Megha Jugran

‘’ Every summit is within reach if you keep climbing”.

Historical Significance

Tungnath is one of the highest Shiva temples in the world and is the highest of the five Panch Kedar temples located in Rudraprayag district, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The Tunganath (literal meaning: Lord of the peaks) mountain is located at an altitude of 3,470 m (11,385 ft), and just below the peak of Chandrashila. Tungnath is the third (Tritiya Kedar) in the pecking order of the Panch Kedars. It has a rich legend linked to the Pandavas, heroes of the Mahabharata epic.


Day1 : Rishikesh to Chopta (Base camp of Tungnath trek)

Day 2 : Chopta to Tungnath and then Chandrashila.

Day3 : Chopta to Deoria Tal then Dhari Devi temple and finally back to Rishikesh.

Descriptive Itinerary

Me, my elder brother & four other cousin brothers and sisters( from Delhi) decided to visit the Tungnath shrine. (World’s most highly situated Shiva temple.)

Day 1

We started our journey from Rishikesh at around six in the morning in a seven-seater Innova. Initially we had decided to go via the Rishikesh – Badrinath highway (also known as NH7) but because it was undergoing construction work due to an on going all weather project ,we had to go via the Rishikesh-Chamba-Tehri Road.

On the way we could see the gorgeous Tehri lake below the road. It is also part of the Tehri Dam. The lake was a perfect example of Tranquility.

Our next stop was the town Ghansali. We had our breakfast at a local Dhaba and resumed our journey after a brief halt of about 30 minutes. After crossing Agasthyamuni, Chandrapuri and Ukhimath we finally reached Chopta after a total drive time of about 9 hours.

Under normal circumstances no prior booking is required at Chopta but to avoid any exigency we had pre-booked our stay with Mandakini camps. The view from our campsite was nothing short of miraculous. Lush green meadows spread across in all directions. A thick forest of Oak trees shrouded the place. The sun was shining bright and clear. It was heaven on Earth. We spent the evening enjoying the scenic beauty of the place, singing songs and drinking lots of tea. Because of the 9 hour long journey , we couldn’t stay up for long and decided to retire to bed shortly after having dinner.

Day 2

Dawn greeted us with the chirping of birds. We began our trek to the Tungnath Temple, which was a 3.5 km steep ascent from the base camp Chopta. The trek was a well-built stone pavement all the way upto the Tungnath temple. As we ascended the trek distant snow capped peaks became visible. Looking down every once in a while we could see the twisting and turning curves being left by the trek like a snake crawling up the mountain. As we reached the top a few tin shed cum shops were scattered on both sides of the pavement.

And finally …………………we saw the temple in front of our eyes. Words cannot describe the magnificence and sacredness of this holy shrine. A giant rock situated just above the temple had completely obscured the sun. It was a surreal setting.

In addition to the main temple (which was quite big) there were many miniature stone sanctuaries that boasted elegantly sculpted idols of gods and goddesses.

Afterwards we decided to climb the additional 1.5 Km stretch from the temple which leads to the Chandrashila peak. The view from the top was breathtaking with a panoramic view of the majestic Himalayan peaks; Kedarnath, Chaukhamba, Trishul and Nanda Devi to name a few. The Chandrashila trek was an embodiment the famous saying ‘’ The best view comes after the hardest of the climbs.”

We headed back to our camps at Chopta in the evening. You can check out the YouTube video for more information about the Tungnath Temple. :) 

Day 3

The final day of our trip. We woke up early in the morning and decided to do the Deoria Tal trek as well. We headed back to Rishikesh and reached the village Sari which is approx. 8 km from Chopta. The village also serves as the base camp for the Deoria Tal trek. From Sari, Deoria Tal is a 3km long steep ascent. The "Tal" or lake is situated amidst dense forests of Rhododendron and Oak trees. On reaching the lake the snow-clad peaks such as Chaukhamba, Nilkantha, Bandarpuch & Kalang become clearly visible. After roaming around and enjoying the scenic beauty of the place we headed back. 

It happened to be Durga Navmi that day so we decided to visit the Dhari Devi temple along the way.

We reached Rishikesh towards late evening and that marked the end of our journey. It had already gotten a little dark. We got off the cab with big smiles on our face and beautiful memories in our heart.