Chopta is a small region located high in the Uttarakhand Himalayas. This region is surrounded by dense forests and high altitude meadows. The pristine beauty of Chopta cleanses one’s soul (by solitude), mind (by calmness) and body (purity of air).
Chopta is also known as the ‘Mini Switzerland’ of India because of its alpine climate and beauty but I would prefer (that) it not to be compared to other places since every place in the mountains is unique in its own right. In this photo write-up, I explore Chopta and nearby places.
Situated at an altitude of around 2,680 m (8,790 ft) is the quiet region of Chopta. It is also part of the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary. Chopta is an unspoiled natural destination surrounded by forests of pine and rhododendron and is rich in flora and fauna including rare species of birds and musk deer. Apart from offering views of the imposing Himalayan range, Chopta also has some interesting treks around it. The most noteworthy trek is the Tungnath temple trek. Furthermore, Chopta is famous for high altitude meadows called Bugyals.
Bugyals are high altitude meadows or alpine pasture lands and are also called as ‘nature’s own gardens’. These meadows are called Bugyals in Uttarakhand and usually situated at altitudes above 3,000 m (9,840 ft). One such Bugyal is also situated on the way to Tungnath.
How to Reach Chopta
One can travel to Chopta via 2 routes. The first route is around 210 kms from Rishikesh via Ukhimath while the second route is around 252 kms from Rishikesh via Gopeshwar. Dehradun is around 50 kms from Rishikesh.
Best times to visit Chopta
Best times to visit is from March to November. Avoid Monsoon season as the roads can be blocked due to landslides. From December onward, Chopta is covered with a thick blanket of snow. It can also be visited during the winter months provided roads are open for traffic.
Situated at an altitude of around 3,680 m (12,073 ft) is the temple of Tungnath. It can be reached by a trek of about 5 kms from Chopta. Mules are also available if one cannot trek. It is the highest Shiva temple in the world and is one of the five Panch Kedar temples located in the Garhwal Himalayas. The trek path is well marked and stone paved and provides a panoramic view of the Himalayas. A further 1 km upwards from Tungnath, lies the Chandrashila peak at an altitude of around of 4,000 m (13,120 ft). Chandrashila provides a 360 degrees view of the mighty Himalayas.
Best times to visit Tungnath
Tungnath Temple remains open from May to October. Avoid Monsoon season as the roads can be blocked due to landslides. During November, Tungnath temple is closed for the winter season and this place is covered heavily with snow. So, the best time to visit is from September onwards till it closes. It can also be visited during the winter months provided roads are open for traffic and trek path is accessible.
Another beautiful place around Chopta is the high altitude lake of Deoria.
Situated at a altitude of approximately 2,438 m (8,000 ft) is the Deoria/Devariya/Deoriya tal. The name of the lake suggests Lake of the Gods while tal meaning lake in Hindi. The trek path is through forests but well marked. The surroundings of the lake is heavily wooded yet it offers a beautiful and panoramic view of the Himalayas with Chaukhamba peak as one of the main attraction. The perimeter of the lake is small as compared to the heavyweights like Nainital but it compensates with proximity to the snow-clad mountains. Overnight Camping can also be done near the lake to view the golden tints of sunset and sunrise of these Himalayan peaks.
How to Reach Deoria Tal
Deoria tal can be reached by a trek of about 3 kms from Sari village. Mules are also available if one cannot trek. Sari village is situated at a distance of around 210 kms from Rishikesh or 260 kms from Dehradun. Alternatively, Chopta is around 20 kms from Sari village.
Best times to visit Deoria tal
Best times to visit is from March to November. Avoid Monsoon season as the roads can be blocked due to landslides. From December onwards, Deoria tal is also covered with a blanket of snow. It can also be visited during the winter months provided roads are open for traffic.
One can travel to the places mentioned in the article in a self sufficient manner. But in case you need to tour these places with my help, please visit the Contact Me page.
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