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Chandrashila Summit Trek

Chandrashila is a gentle summit but nonetheless gorgeous and enjoyable to trek to. Springtime travelers in the lovely Himalayas of Uttarakhand will regret to miss this trek for reasons more than one. From soothing forest trails to a sweetly exacting summit climbing stretch, to the soft powdery snow cover, and the rhododendrons blooming in a riot of red, the trek can be a nature romancing traveler’s ultimate paradise! What’s more, there is the emerald lake of Deoriatal and a long stretch of Uttarakhand’s notoriously beautiful meadows to wander off to. The topographic diversity found on this lovely trek is something to treasure and cherish all the way. A grand summit awaits from the top of Chandrashila, unveiling the Western and Eastern ranges of Uttarakhand meeting the gaze -- a view so magnificent that it feels like thousands of hearty blessings showering from heaven above!

What is Chandrashila Summit Trek?

Classified as an easy to moderate level trek, Chandrashila Summit Trek climbs 12,083 ft high. A trek coveted among beginners and seasoned Himalayan lovers alike, the trail enjoys a good summertime crowd and a not so thin crowd in the winters as well. Like many of Uttarakhand trekking routes, Chandrashila too has many puranic connections and religious significance to relics found on the trail. It’s interesting to dig into these legends, myths, and collective histories. Deoriatal- the green lake falling on the route is believed to be where Kunti- the mother of Pandavas from the Mahabharata had the discourse with Yaksha Devata (the lake’s keeper) to win back the lives of her sons. The final stretch to the summit of Chandrashila curves passes the Tunganath temple. It is the highest Shiva temple, with many mythic stories embedded in the walls. The journey, however, builds up to its crescendo on reaching the top, with a sweeping view unveiling on a clear day of the Bandarpoonch Range, Kedar, the Chaukhamba and other snow ensconced peaks of Garhwal.

Why Should You Go For Chandrashila Summit Trek?

  • Crossing through village Sari, a small village with a handful of houses, paddy fields pretty as a picture, and the Gangetic tributaries - Alaknanda and Bhagirathi accompanying through and through.
  • Red and pink rhododendrons making a bright splash all over the forests in the springtime.
  • A birder’s paradise as Deoriatal attracts numerous migratory fledglings to its heart. Amazing close-shot bird clicks are made with the stunning background of the lake.
  • The entire snow topped Western and Eastern Uttarakhand Himalayas pop into vision once trekkers reach Chandrashila summit-- an absolutely awe-inspiring frame that stays alive in the mind long after.
  • Spotting the Chaukhamba mountain massif with all four of its peaks.
  • Walking through the beautiful Rohini Bugyal meadows at the end of the forest clearing into Chopta.
  • Fringing pass the old oaks forest of Kedarnath Sanctuary, this trail gives trekkers much exposure to wildlife in this part of Uttarakhand. Cross your fingers to catch a glimpse of the state bird Monal.
  • A connecting ridge walks from the forests towards the base of Chandrashila peak.
  • The small but fascinating Bisuri Tal Lake riddled with the stories of the Mahabharata.
  • Finding the Tunganath temple- the highest temple of Shiva sitting amidst the magnificence of the Himalayas.
  • Bravehearted attempt of the steep and fearful climb to the summit of Chandrashila-- an out and out heart thumping thrilling stretch!
  • A happy viewing of the mountains of Garhwal and Kumaon to behold from the top-- Nanda Devi, Trishul, Nandaghunti, Dunagiri, Kedar Dome, Thalaysagar, the Gangotri Ranges, Chaukhamba, and on the list goes.
  • The summit vibrates with the auspiciousness of another temple- one believed to have been laid to foundation by Lord Rama himself!

How High Is the Chandrashila Summit Trek?
The Chandrashila summit is located at the height of 12083 feet. The landmark lake of Deoriatal is located at a much lesser height, at 7,841 ft.

When to Visit?

April-June: In this period of summer, Chopta remains pleasant. Clear skies allow an enjoyable viewing of the peaks and the cool breeze feels refreshing. The month of June is greeted with light showers, the mountains are now greener, but trekking becomes more of a challenge.
October-December: A snow blanketed trail in the winters can be restricting for a lot of trekkers but the aura of the snowing mountainside can get no less compelling!

How to Reach?

By Air:  The airport nearest to the trek is in Jolly Grant, Dehradun, located 226 away from Chopta.

By Rail: The railway stations nearest to the trek are Haridwar and Rishikesh.
By Road: Uttarakhand State Transport buses ply between Chopta and other stations in Uttarakhand. Private taxis too can be hired from any of the nearby towns in Uttarakhand to Chopta.

Are There Any Shops Available On the Chandrashila Summit Trek?
Trekkers can find shops for food and trekking utilities as far as until Chopta where teahouse trekking lodges are also available.
How Long Does It Take to Complete Chandrashila Summit Trek?
Chandrashila summit trek is best known as a long weekend trek of 6 days which is very conveniently accessible from Delhi.

What to Pack for the Chandrashila Summit Trek?

  • Large or medium size backpack, and a duffle side bag for extras
  • Water bottle
  • Sun hat
  • Warm cap
  • Base layers
  • Fleece jacket
  • Outer jacket
  • Rain jacket (essential for the monsoon months)
  • Sturdy trekking shoes and a pair of floaters
  • Flashlight
  • Trekking pants, several pairs
  • UV-protection glasses
  • Thermal socks

Is There Any Possibility Of Altitude Sickness?

Altitude Sickness is not common on this trek, though fitness training is advisable prior to the trek since the final stretch to the summit could be challenging.

How Busy is the Chandrashila Summit Trek?

From April to June, the trekking route experiences a lot of footfall since these are best months for the trek. Monsoons remain mostly free from tourists and trekkers as the trek becomes quite challenging during the rainy season. From October, the winter season starts and the entire region is blanketed by snow. Trekking during the winters is possible however it is recommended to come well-prepared as the temperatures goes well below the zero degree mark.