On top of the world at Chandrashila – the Moon Rock
Chandrashila literally means the “Moon Rock”. It is the summit of the Chandranath Parbat on which the Tunganath Temple is situated. Legend has it that the Moon God Chandra spent time here in penance.
Another legend says that Lord Rama meditated here at the Chandrashila summit after defeating the demon king Ravana.
Whatever be the legend, the peak offers stunning panoramic views of the Himalayan ranges of Chaukhamba, Trishul, Nanda Devi peaks, Kedarnath, Kedar Dome, Gangotri and Yamunotri peaks.
Perched at a height of 12077 ft above the sea level, there is a temple dedicated to the Ganga at the summit. The sunrise from the summit is a visual treat. You will forever remember the first rays of sun kissing the Chaukhamba with the golden skies behind.
Chandrashila can be reached from Chopta by a trek of about 5 km through Tunganath. You can stay at Chopta for the night and start early and reach the summit. The trek is an easy uphill trek. But if you want to catch the sunrise, it is advisable to spend the night at Tunganath. Tunganath has a few basic staying options.
We stayed at Tunganath for the night. The chiming of the alarm woke up us at 4:30 in the morning. The night was dark with numerous stars dotting the night sky. If you can see the stars, then the chances of seeing a wonderful sunrise is maximum. The sky is clear to show you the spectacle of nature. The trek to the summit from Tunganath is a steep climb of 1.5 km. It was biting cold and on reaching the summit, we patiently waited for the sun to rise. The sunrise time is usually between 6.00 to 6:30 am.
As the sun rose, we forgot all our agony of reaching the top in such biting cold. The view was simply mesmerizing and grand. We had nothing to do but watch the wonders of the nature stupefied and try to capture some of the beauties through our lenses. But let me warn you, watching through your own eyes is altogether a different experience.
We met a Sadhu Baba at Tunganath – Baba Narayan Giri. He not only narrated his interesting life stories to us, but also helped us reach the summit.
He is the caretaker of the Ganga Mandir at the summit. An interesting personality, our trek tale could not have been completed without mentioning him.
This trek is a relatively easy trek and is perfect for beginners. It is usually clubbed with the Deoriatal trek.
Here are a few pictures showing the sunrise at the summit.