Chopta also known as “The Mini Switzerland” is a small region hidden in the evergreen forest area, which is also the part of Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary situated in Uttrakhand, India. The region is also a base camp for trekking to Tungnath which is the third temple of Panch Kedar situated 3.5 kilometers away.
Chopta, which is a preserved natural destination, lies in the lap of the Himalayas. As it lies there it offers scenic views of the imposing Himalayan range which includes Nanda Devi, Chaukhamba and Trishul. It lies at an elevation of 2,709 meters i.e 8,888 ft above sea level. The small town is covered with forests of pine, deodar and rhododendron with a variety of flora and fauna including rare species of birds and musk deer.
|Elevation||2608 meters or 8556 ft.|
Why is Chopta known as “Mini Switzerland”?
Chopta Trek is referred to as “Mini Switzerland” because of its lush green pastures and meadows. It has a wide variety of flora and fauna in its dense forest covered with large trees of deodar.
How to find Chopta?
One can easily find the “Mini Switzerland of India” as it lies only 45 kilometers away from Rishikesh. From the capital of India – Delhi it is 450 kilometers away.
Transportation to Chopta
To reach Chopta, one has to reach Rishikesh first by bus or train and then take a shared cab or buses to Ukhimath which is 40 kms away from Chopta. In Ukhimath one can find direct transportation to Chopta. It takes only one day to reach Chopta from Rishikesh.
When to consider visiting Chopta?
One should consider visiting this hillside destination in months from April to November. Chopta is especially beautiful during the winter season due to snowfall. From December to March, the famous Tungnath temple and Chandrashila are covered with snow.
Activities in Chopta
The region offers many treks and trails through the dense forests and grasslands. The place also offers camping and other activities.
- Yoga sessions
- Survival activities
- Rock craft, rock climbing and rappelling
- Photography of rare himalayan species like musk deer, pika mouse, monal bird etc.
Trekking in Chopta
The small hillside region offers many treks and trails cutting through the thick and evergreen forests and grasslands of Himalayas. The Chopta trek is usually extended to Chandrashila Peak which provides inclusive views of himalayas on the journey. Kund is usually the starting point of the treks of Chopta.
- Kund to Deoria Tal- It is a 3-5 hour long trek. It begins at Kund, a town in Uttarakhand lies at 1350 meters.
- Deoria Tal to Chopta- It is a 4-5 hour long trek.
- Chopta to Chandrashila Peak- It is a 4-5 hour trek. On the way, one can stop at Tungnath Temple. Chandrashila peak is 1 km away from Tungnath temple.
The return path is the same from Chopta to Kund.
Must visit places in Chopta
- Tungnath Temple- Tungnath is a shiva temple situated at an altitude of 3680 meters and is known as the world’s highest Shiva temple. People usually trek to reach this temple. It is said that the place offers the best scenic view.
- Madhyamaheshwar Mandir- It is also a Lord Shiva mandir situated at 3200 meters above sea level. It is said that the stomach of lord shiva is worshiped by the devotees here. One can view snow covered himalayas on one side and alpine green meadows on the other.
- Sari Village- It is a small village on the way to Deoria Tal Lake. It is generally a camp for the Deoria tal lake trek. People of the village are friendly and welcoming. The village offers a beautiful view. The village also serves homestays during heavy rainfalls and snowfalls.
- Deoria Tal Lake- The lake is known as the reflection lake because of its miraculous reflection of Chaukhamba peaks. The lake lies at a height of 2438 meters above sea level. People prefer to trek to visit the lake.