Tungnath Trek- Proper Guide and Tips To Remember

Tungnath Trek- Proper Guide and Tips To Remember

Tungnath trek is a very interesting and arduous trek. It can be an intense experience for anyone, even if one is physically fit. Tungnath Trek is not for everyone, but it presents a chance to break out of the mundane cycle of everyday life and take a step back from the hectic nature of urban society.

The highest Shiva temple in the world perched atop the Pindari glacier.

Tungnath is a small village at an elevation of about 3500m in Uttarakhand state in India. Tungnath stands on the ridge connecting the Dunagiri range to the Pindari glacier and hence provides excellent views of snow-clad peaks like Nanda Ghunti (6910m), Bandarpunch (6470m), Malani-Makalu Range, Trishul (7066m) and many other snow-capped peaks of Garhwal Himalayas.

Other than the obvious religious significance, there is also a science angle to this Tungnath Trek. This is one trek in India where the looming presence of glaciers dominates all the views. You don’t need to be an expert mountaineer or explorer to experience them. Garhwal and Kumaon region are some of the most glacier-infested areas in India, and you can’t miss them if you’re planning to go for this trek. The beauty and charm of this mountain trail lie in experiencing all kinds of natural elements like snow, ice, waterfalls, flowers, grasslands etc.

Tungnath offers a chance to escape from the routine of urban life, and also enables you to witness the beauty of nature. The route is 1200 meters long and involves 33km road transport till Tungnath, which we can do in one day. The last part of the trek involves an ascent up the highest Shiva temple in the world, perched atop the Pindari glacier (8251m) itself. It will take about 5-6 hours to bring this temple within view.

Guide For Tungnath Trek:-

Before you set off, you need to reach the base camp of Tungnaath at night. There are no shops as such for genuine trekkers everywhere on the way which is extremely important to consider before starting a trek which if encountered will lead to delays and high costs.

Overnight stay:  You need to stay in either Raksi or Bhimtal overnight as both of these locations are ideal for acclimatization and the last few days of the trek.

Scenic Beauty Of Trek Area

The trekking area is a part of the world’s largest state Himachal Pradesh.  It is a landlocked region and lies between two mountain ranges – the Great Himalayan Range to the north and the Lesser Himalayan Range to the south.  The region has towering peaks, deep valleys and is flanked by three main rivers; the Beas, Chenab and Ravi.

It’s also worthwhile to know that this trek culminates in an ascent up the highest Shiva temple in the world, which provides panoramic views from atop Pindari Glacier. It’s a journey that can be as rewarding for the spirit as it is challenging for the body.

Starting Point

Day 1:  The first-day start at 4 am and reaches Tungnath at 6 am. In Tungnath, it is best to stay at the base camp which is around 1900 m above sea level. You get to see most of the amazing and majestic Himachal Himalayan peaks.

Day 2:  On this day you start ascending to 1936 m by 5 am while returning to base camp by 7 pm. Since you have only 8-9 hours of the night, you need to reach in a reasonable time so that you can rest and continue trekking at a leisurely pace in the morning.

Day 3:  The trek starts at 4 am again and reaches the summit at 7 am and descends till 1 pm when it reaches back to base camp.

On this day, there are two options for hiking. One is the Blue peak trek and the other is the Yellow peak trek. The Blue peak trek is considered easier as you don’t need to traverse the sharp rocks and climb up the hard slope which looks more difficult than a normal trek.

Day 4:  This is the most demanding day of all as you will have to climb up from 1636 m to 3800 m that’s around 13 hours so plan your sleeping strategy accordingly. Stay at base camp overnight after completion of the hike for acclimatization and food for dinner for a better night’s sleep.

Day 5:  After early morning breakfast, you will start trekking at around 3:30 am until you reach base camp.

Day 6:  On this day you can get back to Raksi or Bhimtal and be back on time for work or college/school.

Travel Tips:-

1. Start early, preferably in the morning as it starts climbing at around 2-3 pm

2. If you are travelling to Tungnath during the winter season, carry food and water with you which you can find in Tungnath

3. It is advisable not to wear flip-flops or sandals

4. Wear clothes that are light and comfortable for trekking

5. Carry a backpack filled with water (8 litres), toilet paper, wipes and sunscreen etc

6. Carry a rain jacket and handkerchief

7. Carry extra batteries for your camera and your mobile phone’s flashlight

8. Carry sleeping bags, mattress, oil lamps and water purifying filter to purify water from the stream

9. Carry sturdy shoes that are not easily damaged or worn out by rocks, sharp stones etc.

10. carry a basic first aid kit

11. Carry lots of food like biscuits, fruits etc as there are no shops as such at Tungnath and you will be hungry after trekking for hours (heaven forbid if you arrive in bad weather). You can also eat some apples and pears to last you through the night after trekking in cold conditions.

Safety Tips:-

It is important to keep safety and personal hygiene in mind before starting the trek.  Avoid wearing flip-flops, sandals, skirts or clothes that are not comfortable for walking long hours in harsh conditions. Carry extra food and fat reserves for your hungry stomachs throughout the journey. You may also want to carry a sleeping bag so that you can stay warm if the weather turns chilly towards night.

It is extremely important to keep your mind, body and soul fresh for such treks. Wearing appropriate and comfortable clothes help in easy climbing up the mountain.

The climb at the base camp looks frightening when you see it in front of you but it is not so hard if you start walking steadily. Also, remember that the likelihood of meeting a snake or a bear is very low unless you are careless so don’t let them scare you into not taking on this difficult task. Always remember to stay focused, alert and act quickly if any emergency comes up.

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