Person standing at chandrashila top

Gokul Bhandari

Digital Strategy Leader for Forclaz India

A 24-year-old vagabond at heart and a digital nomad. Originally from Uttarakhand, the Mountains have always inherently been in my heart. I've started hiking very early in my life because of that yearly visit to my native, Uttarakhand!

It was only when I was in college in Dehradun that I was introduced to several days trekking and backpacking. I can describe it as that moment in my life when I felt like I'd finally found my purpose and realised what I wanted to do in my life. 


The Chandrashila Trek was an Unplanned One and Quite Impromptu if I may Add

I was catching up with a friend over drinks and he happened to mention that he was going to Tungnath, Chandrashila the next day and asked If I was interested to join. 

I had heard about Tungnath Temple, that it was the highest Shiva Temple with a 360-degree view of the Chandrashila Peak and a mesmerising Deoriatal Trail to get there. 

So you know what happened next, I was obviously on the bus with him heading to Rudraprayag the next day!

The Route and Distance in Earth View from Chopta = Tunghnath Temple = Chandrashila Peak

The Grasslands on the Way from Chopta to Tungnath were as Green as They Could be

It was the peak of Monsoon (the season people usually avoid trekking) the meadows are never more beautiful. 

Vishal and I started the journey with absolutely no fear of getting wet so we never really complained about our not-so-great homemade ponchos which if nothing else, atleast acted as moral support. 

Way from Chopta to Tungnath

We Stayed at a Guest House in Okhimat and took an Early Morning Bus to Chopta and Started Our Trek in the Drizzling Rain

A guesthouse in Okhimath

Though the drizzling was a little bit of a problem, the scenic element was absolutely beautiful. The sky changed colours right after the rain, horses grazing in the green grassland, it's a scene captured for life in my memory. The perfectly carved and cemented trails till Tungnath from Chopta (built for villagers to visit the temple) was a blessing for us in the rain as it reduced the chance of falling or slipping. 

We were in Time for the Morning Aarati in the Temple 

Hilly area landscape

I experienced a serene and heart-warming environment. The sound of the bells, the location, everything combined creates a sense of magic.

Even Though It was an Unplanned Trek and Most of the Packing was Done in a Hurry, I had packed My Warm Jacket

I felt its need highly at night paired with stretchable pants that allowed me to climb the summit at ease. 

The night at Tungnath was a cold one and because of the rain, it was not possible to light a bonfire.  Thanks to the dhabas around Tungnath Temple, we were able to have dinner and lunch if ordered an hour early. They let us sit around the fire in which dinner was being prepared and I anyway have a record of loosing in every card game that I ever play and this day around the fire was no different.

At an Altitude of 12,100ft, We Made Some Friends from New Delhi and Haridwar

We decided to see the sunrise from Chandrashila peak together. We woke up early at 3:30 AM and started the hike to Chandrashila peak. 

On the Way to the Chandrashila Peak, We Encountered a Flock of Peacocks and a Herd of Deer

In a very playful mood until they noticed us. The breeze on the peak before sunrise was very different from what I have ever experienced. The four of us chose our four different corners to experience the majestic sunrise.  The sun slowly came out and the sky cleared up. 

The Four of Us, On Top of the Peak Were Facing in Four Different Directions

Quite lost and mesmerized in our own zone. We weren't really in a state to make conversation while the golden rays of the big red sun lightened our faces. 

On the rising of the sun, the lower hills beside the peak cleared up and we were able to see distant abandoned houses and the Nandadevi and Kedar Peaks. It was no less than a miracle. 

Since I am now in love with the Monsoon Meadows.

Kashmir Great Lakes is on my wish list and there are few more beautiful Monsoon trails like these that i would love to discover while trekking and Hiking like:

  • Valley of flowers, Uttrakhand
  • Tadiandamol, Coorg
  • Chembra Peak, Kerala
  • Lohagarh Fort ,Maharashtra
  • Harihar Fort, Maharashtra


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