Chopta: Unveiling the Enchanting Beauty of the Mini Switzerland of India
Nestled amidst verdant forests and towering mountains, lies the breathtaking valley of Chopta. Its lush greenery, evergreen trees and vast spreads of Bugyals make it one of the most sought-after hill stations all across India. The Chopta Valley is in the district Rudraprayag of Uttarakhand and is a portion of the Kedarnath wildlife sanctuary. It is also in close proximity to the Kanchula Kharak Deer Sanctuary and is residence to the notable Musk deer.
With its oak trees and pine and verdant meadows, Chopta is often referred to as – the Mini Switzerland of Uttarakhand. The valley, which is located at an altitude of 2600 m above sea deck, enjoys a pleasant and cool climate even during the months of summer. It is a nature lover’s paradise with a wide variety of rare Himalayan birds that can be spotted in the area.
Chopta Uttarakhand is a popular destination for adventure enthusiasts who are looking for camping and trekking opportunities. There are several renowned trekking paths around the village of Chopta, such as the Deorital trek and Tungnath temple. Visitors can also opt to camp under the skies and amidst the green meadows, offering a stunning view of the snow-capped Himalayan peaks. The locals provide many options for staying and camping, making it an ideal location for adventure enthusiasts seeking a serene and peaceful environment.
Why Is Chopta So Famous?
Chopta, often referred to as the Chopta mini Switzerland, is a place of undeniable charm and allure. Even during the sweltering summer months, the area remains cool and pleasant, offering a respite from the heat. With verdant greenery as far as the eye can see and a refreshing breeze that sweeps through the valley, especially at night, the scenery is breathtaking.
During the months of February and March, the entire Chopta valley is blanketed by the vibrant red hue of the Rhododendron or Burans flowers in full bloom. Witnessing the explosion of colour in the trees is a truly captivating sight.
Winter brings with it frequent snowfalls, which transform the valley into a pristine white wonderland. The entire area is covered in a blanket of snow, offering a stunning landscape for visitors to explore.
Chopta receives ample rainfall during the monsoon season, which only adds to its beauty. After a refreshing downpour, the area appears as if it has been scrubbed clean, and the lush greenery comes to life in a new and vibrant way.
Chopta Uttarakhand is conveniently accessible by road from major towns in Uttarakhand. It is located on the main road that leads to Gopeshwar from Ukhimath and is a popular stop on the Char Dham route. As a result, it is a well-known destination for those travelling to the Kedarnath and Badrinath temples.
Additionally, Chopta is the starting point for the trek to Tungnath and Chandrashila. The Tungnath temple is the world’s highest Shiva temple and is highly regarded among trekkers. The trek to Tungnath is considered an easy hike, making it a preferred choice for beginners and families. The Chandrashila peak, which stands at a height of approximately 3600 metres and is one kilometre beyond Tungnath, offers a 360-degree view of the Himalayan peaks, including Nanda Devi and Gangotri, and the vast green fields of the Chopta valley. It’s a sight that’s sure to leave visitors spellbound.
Places to visit in Chopta
If you are planning to take a trip to Chopta soon, this list of places to visit in Chopta will help you to plan a proper getaway to Chopta.
Perched at a staggering altitude of 3680 m, the Tungnath temple holds the distinction of being the elevated Lord Shiva shrine in the whole world. It offers a panoramic picture of the majestic Himalayas, providing an experience that is truly unparalleled. This temple is also one of the five Panch Kedar temples of the Chopta Valley and holds great religious significance.
To reach Tungnath, one must undertake a trek, but the path is relatively easy and is suggested for beginners. The village is enveloped by dense evergreen groves of rhododendron, pine and deodar, adding to the natural beauty of the area.
Visitors can indulge in a variety of activities during their stay here, such as camping below the starlit sky, trekking through the hamlets and meadows or visiting the religious temple. The picturesque location, combined with the opportunity for adventure, makes it a must-visit place to visit in Chopta for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.
This serene and picturesque lake is located just 3 kilometres away from the village called Sari. This tranquil spot offers breathtaking Himalayan peaks, making it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and photographers. Visitors can also embark on village investigation trips to gain a deeper understanding of the life of the locals and enhance their experience of tourist places in Chopta.
It is worth carrying a camera along to capture the everyday life of the village dwellers and their unique customs. According to mythological anecdotes, Devariya Tal is the spot where the Pandavas were questioned by Yaksha. The lake is situated at a remarkable altitude of 2300 m above sea deck, making it one of the satisfactory places to dwell in Chopta Uttarakhand.
The serenity and peace that can be found at Devariya Tal are unparalleled, making it a perfect spot to unwind and soak in the natural beauty of the area. Whether you’re seeking adventure or just want to relax amidst nature, Devariya Tal promises an unforgettable experience.
At an awe-inspiring altitude of 4000 metres above sea deck, Chandrashila is the summit of the mountain where Tungnath Mandir and Chopta Valley are located. It is considered among the best locations for Chopta sightseeing, offering a complete picture of the magnificent Himalayan peaks, including Nanda Devi, Kedar, Trishul peaks, and Chaukhamba.
According to myths, Chandrashila Hills are the spot where God Ram contemplated after defeating God Ravana, adding a spiritual dimension to this already magical place. The name Chandrashila literally translates to “Moon Rock”. Additionally, visitors can explore the temple dedicated to the Devi Ganga at the summit of Chandrashila.
Chandrashila trek promises mesmerizing views, making it a popular place to visit in Chopta for those seeking adventure and breathtaking vistas. Chopta is a place steeped in myths and legends related to the Ramayan, adding an extra layer of fascination to this already enchanting spot. With its stunning natural beauty and spiritual significance, Chandrashila is a place that draws visitors time and again.
Often referred to as the Kedarnath in winter, Ukhimath serves as a dwelling place for Lord Shiva in the winter months when Kedarnath remains closed. This holy temple attracts numerous devotees throughout the year who come to seek blessings and offer prayers. Situated at an altitude of 1300 meters, Ukhimath offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the entire Himalayan range.
Apart from its religious significance, Ukhimath is also a popular Chopta Valley tourist destination owing to its scenic beauty. Travellers can experience a sense of tranquility amidst the spiritual aura of the place. Ukhimath’s serene surroundings attract visitors all year round, making it an ideal spot for those seeking a peaceful and rejuvenating vacation.
Kanchula Deer Sanctuary
Located on the Chopta-Gopeshwar road, this dense forest covers an area of 5 square kilometres and is residence to a variety of Himalayan animals and birds. The forest is particularly well-known for its population of musk deer, and wildlife enthusiasts can spot many rare Himalayan species here. Make sure to bring your binoculars along to Chopta Uttarakhand to catch a glimpse of the distant birds and animals that call this forest home.
This sanctuary is a paradise for birdwatchers and wildlife lovers alike, offering a chance to witness the beauty of nature up close. With its serene atmosphere and diverse range of flora and fauna, it is the perfect place to reconnect with nature and escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
How To Reach Chopta
Chopta Valley is a stunning destination that can be effortlessly accessed from both Haridwar and Delhi. Haridwar is approximately 226 kilometres away, and the journey can take eight to ten hours to complete. A plethora of taxi and bus services are available from Haridwar to facilitate the journey to Chopta.
If you are opting to travel by road, you’ll be pleased to know that Chopta is conveniently linked to several significant towns in the Garhwal province of Uttarakhand. However, there are no direct public transport options available for Chopta Uttarakhand. If you’re relying on public transportation, you must first take a bus to Ukhimath or Rudraprayag from Rishikesh or Haridwar, and then take a taxi to Chopta.
Alternatively, Haridwar is the closest railway station to the village of Chopta, which is approximately 226 kilometres. Haridwar is bound to significant cities in India through a robust railway network. Once you arrive in Haridwar, you can easily procure taxis and buses to Ukhimath and Chopta from Rishikesh.
If you’re flying to Chopta Uttarakhand, you’ll land at the Jolly Grant Airport, situated approximately 219 kilometres in the Dehradun precinct of Uttarakhand. From there, you can either travel by taxi or a bus to complete the rest of your journey. Taxis are readily available from Jolly Grant Airport to Rishikesh, Rudraprayag, Ukhimath, and Chopta.
The Ideal Time To Visit Chopta
Chopta’s climate experiences a significant shift in temperature, varying from frigid conditions at -10 Degrees Celsius during the winter season to a balmy and relatively warm twenty-five degrees in the month of June. As is the case with most destinations, weather plays a vital role in determining the ideal duration to visit, and Chopta is no exception.
The Chopta temperate weather makes June and May the peak tourist season in Chopta, attracting a vast number of visitors.
The perfect time to explore Chopta’s beauty would be during the months of June, April, September, and June. If your heart yearns for a winter adventure, March and February would be ideal for a trek. Adventurers looking to pitch a tent and trek should consider June and May for their trip.
For budget-conscious travellers, July, November and August would be prudent choices to visit Chopta Valley, as it would help keep costs under control. However, if you plan to visit with family, consider June or May to create lasting memories. And if you are a photographer, plan your visit in September to capture the mesmerizing landscapes in their full glory.