Chopta: The Mini Switzerland of Uttarakhand

Chopta: The Mini Switzerland of Uttarakhand

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About Chopta, Uttarakhand

An all-year travel destination, Chopta has pleasant weather during summers, rain-fresh in monsoon, and turns into a snow-clad fairyland during winters. It is the epicenter of the five most sacred temples of Lord Shiva in Uttarakhand called the Panch Kedar. It is also an important bird-watching site and recognized by various national and international conservation and biodiversity organizations.

Geography

Located at an elevation of around 2,709 meters or 8,888 feet above sea level, Chopta is a part of the Kedarnath wildlife sanctuary in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. It has endless meadows and an evergreen forest area surrounded by the mesmerizing snow-clad Himalayan Ranges. Also, it is the starting point of the Tungnath trek and the Chopta Chandrashila trek.

chopta-geography

Chopta Tourism

This hill station is preferred by different types of travelers for different reasons. Its landscape with lush green meadows, surrounded by Rhododendron and Deodar trees, and picturesque views of the mountains have earned it the nickname Mini Switzerland of Uttarakhand. It is also home to the highest Lord Shiva Temple in the world. Further, it attracts many trekking enthusiasts and bird watchers too. Every season attracts different types of travelers. While summers are ideal for treks and visiting the Tungnath temple, winters are preferred by travelers wanting to enjoy the snow-clad surroundings. Post-monsoon, bird-watchers tend to flock to this place for sighting rare birds.

Best Time to Visit Chopta

chopta-best-time-to-visit

This is one of the few destinations that can be visited at any time of the year. Summer (April to June) is considered to be the best time to travel to Chopta since the Himalayas are clearly visible and the weather is pleasant and salubrious. Chopta temperature during summers ranges from 10 to 32 degrees Celsius. Winters (October to February) can get very cold with the Uttarakhand temperature dropping to -15 degrees Celsius. However, the snow-clad region looks like a fairyland. During the monsoon (June to September), Chopta weather is very pleasant and the region turns green. However, landslides and heavy rain can put a dampener on your travel plans. Hence, ensure that you plan your trip according to your preference.

How to Reach Chopta

Here are some ways to reach:

How to Reach Chopta

By Train 

There is no railway station in Chopta. The nearest railway station is at Rishikesh. There are many trains to Rishikesh from different parts of the country. You can book a Rishikesh to Chopta taxi and reach there within five hours. 

By Road 

Chopta is well-connected by a road network from most neighboring cities:

  • Rishikesh – around 165 km via the NH 7 and a travel time of around 4.5-5 hours
  • Dehradun – around 200 km via the NH 7 and a travel time of around 5.5 hours
  • Haridwar – around 190 km via the NH 7 and a travel time of around 5-5.5 hours
  • Moradabad – around 335 km via the NH 7 and a travel time of around 9 hours
  • Delhi – around 425 km via the NH 334 and NH 7 and a travel time of around 9.5 hours
  • Chandigarh – around 400 km via the NH 7 and a travel time of around 9-9.5 hours

By Flight 

Chopta does not have an airport either. The nearest airport is at Dehradun. You can hire a cab from the Dehradun Airport to Chopta and reach comfortably.

Popular Places to Visit in Chopta

Popular Places to Visit in Chopta

Here is a quick look at some tourist attractions in Chopta:

  • Panch Kedar (Tungnath Temple) – This place is the epicenter of the Panch Kedar or the famous Lord Shiva Temples namely, Kedarnath, Madmaheshwar, Rudranath, Kalpeshwar, and the highest Shiva Temple in the world at Tungnath. Of these, Tungnath is accessible from the hamlet via a trek. The Tungnath temple is believed to be more than 1000 years old and constructed by the Pandavas after the Kurukshetra War.
  • Chandrashila Temple – Standing tall at an altitude of around 4130 meters, the Chandrashila peak offers some unforgettable views of the surrounding regions. It is a steep trek from the Tungnath temple and should be covered during summers to avoid the snow.
  • Deori Tal – This is a pristine lake at an altitude of 2300 meters above sea level. It is famous for its amazing reflections of the Chaukhamba Range in crystal clear water. It is nestled in the Chopta Valley and surrounded by green forests all around.

Things to Do in Chopta

Things to Do in Chopta

Here are some things to do in Chopta to make your trip unforgettable:

  • Trekking in Chopta – Go for the Tungnath trek or the Chandrashila trek to enjoy the flora and fauna of the region and visit the highest Lord Shiva Temple in the world.
  • Camping – Baniyakund is a popular spot for camping and perfect for bird watching or simply breathing in the fresh mountain air.
  • Visit the Kanchula Korak Musk Deer Sanctuary and encounter the rare Himalayan wildlife.
  • Indulge in Yoga and Meditation and get in sync with your inner self.
  • If you are traveling during winters, then you can try your hands on skiing in Chopta.
  • Rock climbing and rappelling are also popular in this region.
  • With near-zero pollution, stargazing has a different meaning here. If the skies fascinate you, don’t forget to carry your portable telescope.
Trekking in Chopta

Places to Stay in Chopta

Here is a quick look at hotels and other places that you can stay:

  • Meraki Mayadeep Resort, Duggalbitta
  • Swiss Camps, Ukhimath-Gopeshwar Road
  • Himalayan Mountain Homestay, Ukhimath
  • SnowPod, Baniyakund
  • Nirvana Resort, Baniyakund
  • Forest Eco Resort, Hudu Road

Top Places to Visit Near Chopta

Top Places to Visit Near Chopta

Here are some places to visit near Chopta:

  • Ukhimath – Located at a distance of around 45 km, Ukhimath is the winter seat of Lord Kedarnath, and worship is done here during the winters when the temple of Kedarnath remains closed. 
  • Kanchula Korak Musk Deer Sanctuary – Dedicated to the famous Musk Deer, this sanctuary is a place where you can witness this rare animal and diverse species of flora and fauna.
  • Auli – Located at a distance of around 350 km via the NH 7, Auli is known as the ski resort of India. It is the perfect replica of a European village with mountain views, vast meadows, wooden huts, and snowy slopes.
  • New Tehri – Located at a distance of around 140 km from the place, New Tehri is a modern town developed at an altitude of 1550-1950 meters above sea level.
  • Sari Village – Located at a distance of around 55 km, Sari village is a scenic hamlet enclosed by oak and rhododendron trees and residing calmly in the lap of the Himalayas.

Places to Eat in Chopta

Places to Eat in Chopta
Auli

Here are some places to eat:

  • Buransh Hotel – Lunch and snacks
  • Shivansh Café and Restaurant – Lunch and snacks
  • Muskan – A Family Resturant, Pokhari Rudraprayag Road – Lunch and snacks
  • Appetizer Restaurant and Café, Tilwara – Indian, Chinese, and fast food
  • Rudraksh, The Chris Gayle Restaurant, Agastmuni –  Snacks and main course
  • Rawat Deep Fast Food & Restaurant, Chamoli Gopeshwar – Indian and Chinese Food
  • DHABA@NH 107, Kedarnath Road, Guptkashi – Dhaba-style Indian and Chinese food

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A quick summary
Chopta- The Mini Switzerland of India
Article Name
Chopta- The Mini Switzerland of India
Description
Located at an elevation of around 2,709 meters or 8,888 feet above sea level, Chopta is a part of the Kedarnath wildlife sanctuary in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand.
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Reading between lines - the ones that rhyme, on a journey with no stop sign.

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