Difficulty

Easy-Moderate | Level 2

Duration

6 Days

Highest Altitude

12,083 ft

Age

10 to 58 years

Duration

6 Days

Age

10 to 58 years

Difficulty

Easy-Moderate | Level 2

Highest Altitude

12,083 ft

Why Trekking in Jan and Feb is Better than December

Not many trekkers know that real winter sets in only in Jan and Feb in our country, making it a much better snow experience. Click here to read more.

Deoriatal Chandrashila Trek

The Only Winter Trek With The Greatest Mountain Views

Seeing great mountain views on a winter trek is not easy. You have to get to a high vantage point to catch such a view. In winter, most such vantage points are rare and even if accessible, they are usually buried under deep snow. 

This is why at Indiahikes we treasure the Deoriatal Chandrashila trek so much. 

The Chandrashila summit is a vantage point that stands unparalleled among our treks. From the top of the summit, you see perhaps the greatest mountain views of our Indian Himalayas. It is like a grand feast — there is so much to take in that you cannot take all of it in. It is an experience many trekkers cannot forget.

What do you see? From your left are the Gangotri range of peaks, Mt Thalaysagar, the Kedarnath and the Kedar dome. Mandani Parbat and Janhukut. The imposing Chaukhamba is right in front. Most of them are over 7,000 meters tall. 

On your right are the Gauri Parbat, Hathi Parbat and Dunagiri. And then right ahead standing against the skyline is India’s tallest mountain, Mt Nanda Devi. Trekkers find it hard to believe that they are seeing Mt Nanda Devi. 

If that’s not enough, to Mt Nanda Devi’s right, etched against the skyline are Mt Nanda Ghunti and Mt Trishul. Two of the most beautiful mountain summits in our country. 

It is not just the grand views. In winter, the trek in itself is special. The trail snaking through soft snow under the canopy of oak and rhododendron trees is almost dream-like. The Deoriatal lake is surrounded by snow, but looming over the lake is Mt Chaukhamba. 

For us, just to catch the sight of Mt Chaukhamba from the shores of the Deoriatal is worth doing the entire trek.  

Besides Deoriatal, camping on snow at the campsite of Baniya Kund is a delight. The dense forests leading to the campsite are something that we don’t get on other treks. And everything changes with the canopy of white everywhere. 

Having said all that, the biggest thrill of the trek has to be the climb from Chopta to the Chandrashila summit. In winter, with snow all around, climbing to the summit is an adventure that people do not forget in a lifetime. We have noticed trekkers breaking down in tears at the summit, such as the feeling of elation and a sense of accomplishment. 

There are only a handful of winter treks in our country. Deoriatal Chandrashila would be one of the better ones on our list. Do not miss out on this opportunity. 

Deoriatal Chandrashila Videos

Recommended Videos Before Going For The Trek

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Quick Itinerary

A trek map of the Deoriatal Chandrashila trek

Day 1

Drive from Rishikesh to Sari

Drive Distance: 190 km | Drive Duration: 7-8 hours | Pick up point for Indiahikes trekkers: Live Free Hostel, Rishikesh

Transport will be arranged at 7.30 am sharp. This cost has to be borne by trekkers and paid directly to the driver. The cost of the cab is Rs 6,500 per vehicle (5-6 seater) and Rs 9,000 per Tempo Traveller (12 seaters) for the transport one way.

Note: The process of your registration, health screening, and document verification starts at 4 pm. Ensure you reach Sari on time if you are travelling on your own.

Day 2

Trek from Sari to Deoriatal

Trek Distance: 4.1 km | Trek Duration: 2.5 hours | Altitude Gain: 6,560 ft to 7810 ft

An easy day with a gradual climb on a well-defined rocky trail. It becomes steeper after the first 30 minutes. A short walk on even terrain after about two hours of climbing takes you to the campsite of Deoriatal.

Day 3

Trek from Deoriatal to Syalmi via Rohini Bugyal

Trek Distance: 9.10 km | Trek Duration: 6-7 hours | Altitude Loss: 7810 ft to 7600 ft via 9,020 ft

A moderate ascent through a lovely forest trail full of rhododendron and maple trees. The trail is a picturesque one, to begin with, and eases off after an hour of ascent to reach Rohini Bugyal. Once you reach Rohini Bugyal, descend for an hour and a half to the Syalmi campsite.

Day 4

Trek from Syalmi to Baniya Kund

Trek Distance: 5.40 km | Trek Duration: 6 hours | Altitude Gain: 7600 ft to 8,520 ft

An hour of descent till Akash Kamini river, followed by a steep ascent through dense forest. After two hours of climbing, it’s a series of ascents and descents till Baniya Kund.

Day 5

Trek from Baniya Kund to Chandrashila via Tungnath and back to Sari

Trek Distance: 8.70 km | Trek Duration: 7-8 hours | Altitude Gain: 8,520 ft to 12,083 ft via 11410 ft

Gradual ascent to Tungnath on a well laid out path, followed by a steeper climb to Chandrashila for about an hour. The descent is on the same path. Note: Tungnath temple opens only in summer and closes by Diwali.

Day 6

Drive from Sari to Rishikesh

Drive Distance: 190 kms | Drive Duration: 7-8 hours | Drop off point for Indiahikes trekkers:: Live Free Hostel, Rishikesh

You will reach Rishikesh between 6 and 7 pm. The cab costs will be Rs 7,500 per Bolero and Rs 10,500 per Tempo Traveler

Please note: The distance between campsites may vary by 100 meters depending the weather conditions and the route you take. The altitude may also vary by 100 feet for similar reasons.

IMPORTANT POINTS

Documents required: It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo id along with the mandatory documents of the Medical Certificate and Disclaimer form. This is required for trek permissions. The medical certificate along with the disclaimer form will be part of the Safety Check-in done by the trek leader when you arrive at the base camp.

Basecamp of Sari: There are no facilities at Sari. Do not leave getting your gears or anything else till the end. Do not bring any packaged food, tags from your new clothes or any waste with you. We follow a Dustbin Free Zone and No Wet Wipes Policy at our base camps in line with our spirit of Green Trails.

Stay facility: Please note that you will be staying at Indiahikes Campus at Sari. At the Deoriatal campsite, it would be a Swiss Tent and has to be shared according to the number of beds in each tent. On our campsite of Syalmi and Baniya Kund, you will be staying 2 in a tent.

Cloakroom facility for excess luggage: We have a Cloak Room facility at the campus for excess luggage. You can collect this after your trek at Sari. Do not leave behind any valuables in the cloakroom.

Thinking of offloading your backpack? Think again: Indiahikes practices low-impact sustainable trekking in every aspect of the trek. Carrying your own personal backpack reduces your impact on the mountains by 20%. We expect all our trekkers to carry their own backpacks unless they have a justifiable reason not to. (Read our thoughts here)

A trek map of the Deoriatal Chandrashila trek

PRO-TIPS

Onward Travel

The journey is picturesque, as you pass through Devaprayag, the confluence of rivers Alakananda and Bhagirathi to form river Ganga. The entire journey traverses the mountainside, with the river flowing below you.

Return Travel

The return journey takes you through the same places which you had taken during your Onward journey to reach Sari. If you reach Rishikesh early, then you can go through these tips on things to do around Rishikesh -

Download the GPX file for your Deoriatal Chandrashila Trek

We go to great lengths to ensure you have a safe trek. So here’s a GPX file to help you navigate without getting lost.

Day 1

Drive from Rishikesh to Sari

Drive Distance: 190 km | Drive Duration: 7-8 hours | Pick up point for Indiahikes trekkers: Live Free Hostel, Rishikesh

Transport will be arranged at 7.30 am sharp. This cost has to be borne by trekkers and paid directly to the driver. The cost of the cab is Rs 6,500 per vehicle (5-6 seater) and Rs 9,000 per Tempo Traveller (12 seaters) for the transport one way.

Note: The process of your registration, health screening, and document verification starts at 4 pm. Ensure you reach Sari on time if you are travelling on your own.

Day 2

Trek from Sari to Deoriatal

Trek Distance: 4.1 km | Trek Duration: 2.5 hours | Altitude Gain: 6,560 ft to 7810 ft

An easy day with a gradual climb on a well-defined rocky trail. It becomes steeper after the first 30 minutes. A short walk on even terrain after about two hours of climbing takes you to the campsite of Deoriatal.

Day 3

Trek from Deoriatal to Syalmi via Rohini Bugyal

Trek Distance: 9.10 km | Trek Duration: 6-7 hours | Altitude Loss: 7810 ft to 7600 ft via 9,020 ft

A moderate ascent through a lovely forest trail full of rhododendron and maple trees. The trail is a picturesque one, to begin with, and eases off after an hour of ascent to reach Rohini Bugyal. Once you reach Rohini Bugyal, descend for an hour and a half to the Syalmi campsite.

Day 4

Trek from Syalmi to Baniya Kund

Trek Distance: 5.40 km | Trek Duration: 6 hours | Altitude Gain: 7600 ft to 8,520 ft

An hour of descent till Akash Kamini river, followed by a steep ascent through dense forest. After two hours of climbing, it’s a series of ascents and descents till Baniya Kund.

Day 5

Trek from Baniya Kund to Chandrashila via Tungnath and back to Sari

Trek Distance: 8.70 km | Trek Duration: 7-8 hours | Altitude Gain: 8,520 ft to 12,083 ft via 11410 ft

Gradual ascent to Tungnath on a well laid out path, followed by a steeper climb to Chandrashila for about an hour. The descent is on the same path. Note: Tungnath temple opens only in summer and closes by Diwali.

Day 6

Drive from Sari to Rishikesh

Drive Distance: 190 kms | Drive Duration: 7-8 hours | Drop off point for Indiahikes trekkers:: Live Free Hostel, Rishikesh

You will reach Rishikesh between 6 and 7 pm. The cab costs will be Rs 7,500 per Bolero and Rs 10,500 per Tempo Traveler

Please note: The distance between campsites may vary by 100 meters depending the weather conditions and the route you take. The altitude may also vary by 100 feet for similar reasons.

IMPORTANT POINTS

➤Documents required: It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo id along with the mandatory documents of the Medical Certificate and Disclaimer form. This is required for trek permissions. The medical certificate along with the disclaimer form will be part of the Safety Check-in done by the trek leader when you arrive at the base camp.

➤Basecamp of Sari: There are no facilities at Sari. Do not leave getting your gears or anything else till the end. Do not bring any packaged food, tags from your new clothes or any waste with you. We follow a Dustbin Free Zone and No Wet Wipes Policy at our base camps in line with our spirit of Green Trails.

➤Stay facility: Please note that you will be staying at Indiahikes Campus at Sari. At the Deoriatal campsite, it would be a Swiss Tent and has to be shared according to the number of beds in each tent. On our campsite of Syalmi and Baniya Kund, you will be staying 2 in a tent.

➤Cloakroom facility for excess luggage: We have a Cloak Room facility at the campus for excess luggage. You can collect this after your trek at Sari. Do not leave behind any valuables in the cloakroom.

➤Thinking of offloading your backpack? Think again: Indiahikes practices low-impact sustainable trekking in every aspect of the trek. Carrying your own personal backpack reduces your impact on the mountains by 20%. We expect all our trekkers to carry their own backpacks unless they have a justifiable reason not to. (Read our thoughts here)

PRO-TIPS

Onward Travel

The journey is picturesque, as you pass through Devaprayag, the confluence of rivers Alakananda and Bhagirathi to form river Ganga. The entire journey traverses the mountainside, with the river flowing below you.

Return Travel

The return journey takes you through the same places which you had taken during your Onward journey to reach Sari. If you reach Rishikesh early, then you can go through these tips on things to do around Rishikesh -

Download the GPX file for your Deoriatal Chandrashila Trek

We go to great lengths to ensure you have a safe trek. So here’s a GPX file to help you navigate without getting lost.

The grand summit of Chandrashila can make anybody go weak on their knees.

Picture by: Sainathan C

A Gratitude Moment towards the mountains

Campsites at a Glance

At Indiahikes, we are very particular about choosing terrific campsites. For the Deoriatal Chandrashila trek too, after a lot of back and forth, we have settled on these terrific campsites, which trekkers have come to love.

The beautiful campsite of Baniya Kund in a forest setting. Picture by Jothiranjan

Syalmi Campsite is in a field overlooking the hills. You are the only team camping at this location. You get the freedom to explore around and be with yourself. Picture by Jothiranjan

Banniya Kund campsite comes after a good day's climb. Don't miss walking barefoot or sitting on this lush green grass near the campsite. Picture by Vinayak Oak

Arjun Majumdar, Founder, CEO

Arjun Majumdar, the Founder of Indiahikes, went on this exploratory trek almost a decade ago. He is a veteran of the trekking community in India. He’s an expert when it comes to the trek. Here’s Arjun talking about one of the Best Treks for Summit Views in the country.

What I Like and Don’t Like About the Deoriatal Chandrashila Trek

What I Like About the Deoriatal Chandrashila Trek

Arjun Majumdar, Founder, CEO

Arjun Majumdar, the Founder of Indiahikes, went on this exploratory trek almost a decade ago. He is a veteran of the trekking community in India. He’s an expert when it comes to the trek. Here’s Arjun talking about one of the Best Treks for Summit Views in the country.

1. My First Unexpected Experience of Chandrashila

Much before we started Indiahikes, I had read a couple of trek journals about the trek. I knew it was a pilgrim trail from Chopta until the Tungnath temple, only a 4 km walk. 

I had read people would stay overnight at the Tungnath temple premises. In the early morning, they would go to Chandrashila to catch the sunrise.

In my mind, Chandrashila was a two-kilometre further trek from Tungnath. There were some good views to offer but that was it. And yes, I had heard a lot about the beautiful meadows around Chopta. I didn’t know how this qualified for a trek.

I think my innocent pre-Indiahikes mind didn’t fathom what was written in these journals. Because none of them painted the correct picture of the trek. And none of them talked about the combination of two treks, the Deoriatal and the Chandrashila, and how put together, it creates one of the best treks in our country.

I curse myself and these journals roundly now. I wish I had done this trek earlier, much earlier.

Note: Tungnath temple opens only in summer and closes by Diwali.

Tungnath Temple is one of the highest Shiva Temple in the world. Picture by the Indiahikes Team

2. A trail blazing with rhododendrons

I timed the trek for spring the first time I did the Deoriatal Chandrashila trek. The moment I stepped on the trek, I knew I was onto something special. The Deoriatal Chandrashila here was the Goechala trek of the west. Pink, red and scarlet Rhododendrons bloomed in vivid colours all along the trek.

I was a bit stunned at the density of the rhododendrons on the trek.

Near Chopta, at some spots an entire section of the mountainside was red. We ran other great treks in the Himalayas. But none of them came close to the amount of rhodos that I saw on this trek. It was a feast!

Pink Rhododendrons are in full bloom along the Chandrashila trail. Picture by Yogesh Shinde

3. Birdlife on the trek

I still have an old video that I was recording at Deoriatal. We have never published that video. Because in that video you cannot hear me at all. My voice is drowned by the chirping of birds. We tried changing locations for that video, but we gave up soon. The birds were everywhere!

Later, after we talked a lot about the birds on this trek, many of our birder trekkers went on this trek. They have only one thing to say about this trek. This is the trek to see birds. It is one of the Best Himalayan treks for Bird Watching

Other treks have birds. But none of them will come close to what you see on the Deoriatal Chandrashila trek. There are at least 30 – 40 varieties to see on this trek.

I am not a birder, but I have done this trek thrice — in all seasons. Every time, I have seen Monals very close to the trail. For me, Monals, the state bird of Uttarakhand, are prettier than the peacock and perhaps even more colourful.

Getting a chance to see Monals would be a good reason for me to do the trek again. I have rarely seen Monals on other treks.

A collage of a few of the impressive Himalayan birds spotted on the Deoriatal Chandrashila Trek. Picture by the Indiahikes Team

4. I remember the moment. I had just stepped on the edges of Deoriatal.

And there it was right in front as if rising from the edges of the lake the entire massif of Mt Chaukhamba. I looked around. Everyone’s eyes were fixed on the same sight. No one could take their eyes off Mt Chaukhamba.

You can ask me to do a lot of treks. But the sight of Mt Chaukhamba from the shores of Deoriatal is something I am not willing to exchange for any other views.

A picture of the Chaukhamba Massif was taken from the Deoriatal lake. Picture by Manas Chowdhury

5. The climb to Chandrashila summit from Tungnath is anything but a walk.

I am not saying it is difficult, but it is a nice thrill to top the summit. It took me a moment to grapple with the sight of the summit.

Right in front of me, at a touching distance, were not one, not two, but all the major summits of our Greater Himalayas.

I ticked them off. Jaunli, Mt Jogin, Mt Thalaysagar, Kedarnath and the Kedar Dome, Sumeru, Bhagirathi I , Mandani Parbat, of course Mt Chaukhamba I, II, III and IV. These were 7,000-meter summits!

When I turned my head to the other side, there she was India’s highest mountain — Mt Nanda Devi right in front. Then, to almost add a cherry on top was our eternal favourite Mt Trishul along with Mt Nanda Ghunti. To the left were Gauri Parbat, Hathi Parbat, Dunagiri.

For a long time, I stood transfixed on the spot.

On other treks, I had seen great mountain views. But never so many of them, so close and from such a great vantage point.

The trail is covered with snow towards Tungnath temple during the winter and spring seasons. Picture by Avijit Jamloki

What I Don't Like About the Deoriatal Chandrashila Trek

1. The trek had better campsites earlier

When we could camp at Rohini Bugyal and the Deoriatal lake premises. But now, because of government regulations, camping at all our old and great campsites is not allowed.

That’s something I miss about this trek. On the other hand, the new campsite at Syalmi is not bad.

2. I have mixed feelings about the crowd on the trail

I’ll be honest, I was expecting the crowd of pilgrims moving towards Tungnath to be a bother. But strangely, it felt nice to be the trekker in this motley group. I would often be asked about the distance and how long it would take to get to Tungnath. Those small conversations made that section of the trek a whole lot of fun.

While I don’t like crowds on a trail, here, somehow I was ok with it.

Know Your Trek

We have always wanted trekkers to be well-informed before they go on a Himalayan trek. Knowledge is the difference between a safe trek and a dangerous one. It’s also the difference between a wholesome experience and a superficial experience.

Use this section to learn about the Deoriatal Chandrashila trek. It has in-depth information about each day of the trek, what to expect, and how you need to prepare for it. Many years of expertise have gone into this content. Trekkers find that extremely useful.

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

PRO TIPS

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Green Trails

Leaving the mountains better than we find them

At Indiahikes, we focus on bringing in new practices that can reduce our impact on the environment.  This is done through constant R&D.  Once these new practices are implemented we focus on achieving the results consistently on all our treks. You will see this as part of our G6 practices. 

Golden 1: Green Sweep - Clean the trail of visible litter.  We have collected more than 1,00,000 kgs of waste since 2016.

Golden 2: Segregation At Source - Segregate all waste collected so that we do not add all this waste to the landfill.  We have diverted 50% of the waste from landfill through segregation

Golden 3: Food Composting - All our kitchen waste is composted into useful humus for the mountain soil.  All food waste is either eaten by mules or composted at source.

Golden 4: Biotoilets - All our human waste is composted at source through our specially designed dry toilet pits. 

Golden 5: Water efficient dispenser  - We have reduced our waste used per trekker by 70% through specially designed water dispenser systems.

Golden 6: Save energy - We use solar panels for our energy use at our campsites.  We are also in the process of redesigning our stove and menu to reduce the amount of gas used on our treks.

Our trekkers are a big part of us keeping our promise to leave the mountains better than we found them. 

  • Indiahikes trekkers do not carry anything that can harm the environment - be it wet wipes, or any packaged food on the trek.  In fact they practice a zero waste trek.
  • Indiahikes trekkers do not buy any packaged food in the dhabas on the trek - they do not take part in feeding the demand for packaged food 
  • Indiahikes trekkers clean the trails of waste using the eco bag as part of the Green Sweep Initiattive 
  • Indiaihikes trekkers carry their own backpack on the trek. They do not offload unless absolutely necessary
  • Indiahikes trekkers do not pee/poop near any water source 
  • Indiahikes trekkers do not stray away from the marked trail

Trekkers who sign up with us pledge to follow these practices.  When you sign up with us, you do too.

How you can be a Green Trails Crusader on the Deoriatal Chandrashila trek? - There are 3 major waste hotspots which you can collect and leave the mountains better. One is near Chopta before the summit climb to Chandrashila, the second would be on the summit and close to Tungnath and the third spot is Burj Gali meadows.

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Everything you do on a trek creates an impact. The trail you trek on, the water you use, the waste you generate, how you poop, how you cook, what you eat — everything has an impact. The higher the impact, the greater the damage to the environment. 

Yet, when done sustainably, trekking is one of the most environment-friendly sports.

When you trek with Indiahikes, you trek to leave the mountains better than we found them.  This is part of our Green Trails promise.

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Why fitness matters on the Deoriatal Chandrashila Trek

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On Easy-Moderate treks, you’re likely to trek around 5-6 km each day. Expect gradual ascents and descents along the way. The maximum altitude will be about 12,500 ft. There are no technical sections on these treks, but there could be small sections of steep gradients or tricky patches that require you to be surefooted.

Your goal is to comfortably run 5 km within 38 minutes.

Note: If you are above the age of 58 years, you'll also need to submit your Treadmill Test within 7 days of registration.

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Trek Trivia

Things Nobody Tells You About Deoriatal Chandrashila

Did you know Deoriatal Chandrashila is one of the best treks for birders?

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Given that the Deoriatal-Chandrashila trek is in the heart of the Kedarnath Musk Deer Sanctuary, it has a few of the most heavily forested trails. Along with the forests, come a plethora of birds!

Most of our birders choose this trail to catch sight of a few rare birds -- including the gorgeous Himalayan Monal! The section from Chopta to Chandrashila is especially well-known for monal sightings.

Watch the video here, where we interview expert bird photographer, Ajit Hota, who shares tips on when and where to spot these birds!

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Lord Rama’s Meditation on the peak

An interesting myth is the story of Lord Rama meditating on top of the Chandrashila peak.

After defeating Ravana in the battle of Lanka, Lord Rama was finding a way to atone for his sins. It is believed that he decided to meditate on the Chandrashila peak.

This was Lord Rama’s way of engaging in severe penance after the Ramayana.

Origin of the Tunganath temple

Another fascinating legend is that of the Tunganath temple, the highest Shiva temple in the world.  

After the Mahabharata war, Lord Shiva was upset with the Pandavas for their gruesome killing. The Pandavas found a way to please, venerate and celebrate Lord Shiva; they built the blissful Tunganath temple.

The Pandavas were thus freed from their sins.

Story of the Deoriatal Lake

Anyone on the Deoriatal Chandrashila trek would notice the captivating Deoriatal Lake which has a unique story of its own.

 As the legend goes, four brothers of the Pandava clan once visited the pristine lake during their exile. The lake was then a bathing spot for gods,  guarded by a crane - Yaksha. Despite Yaksha’s warnings, the brothers decided to sip water. As a consequence, Yaksha punished them, leading to their immediate death.

The four brothers were then resurrected back to life, only when the fifth brother, Yudishtir, arrived and apologized to the crane.

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