The tiny, picturesque Chopta will enchant and captivate you as it does millions of tourists. Located at a height of 2680 meters, Chopta is blanketed by forests of pine and deodar and guarded by tall mountain peaks such as the Chandrashila, standing an imposing 4000 meters high.
From here you can have a grandstand view of the Nanda Devi, Trishul and Chaukhamba Mountains. Chopta is pristine and virginal in its beauty and innocence that will go straight to your heart. In addition, it is the starting point of treks to these mountains and to Tungnath.
Rishikesh is the nearest railway station, about 202 kilometers away. From here you can take taxis or travel by bus to Chopta. Chopta lies on the road connecting Gopeshwar with Guptkashi and you can easily get buses to this charming hill station from major towns in Uttarakhand. Dehradun is the nearest airport, about 220 kilometers away, from where you take buses or travel by taxis the rest of the way. The best time is from March to October. As the bus or taxi winds its way up slowly up the steep roads, you can admire the scene, drink in the fresh air and relax. When you arrive here, it is as if you have arrived in a different era and a different place.
Places to see and things to do
- Tungnath, about 4 kilometers away, is where you will find the holy temple of Lord Shiva, one of the five Kedars. You have to trek from Chopta to Tungnath over rough, steep rocky terrain.
- Chandrashila is about 1 kilometer up and above the Tungnath temple, at a height of 4000 meters, the highest point of the mountain on which Chopta is located, giving you an astonishingly spectacular view.
- Deoria Tal is a lake in the vicinity, at a height of about 2350 meters, where you can go boating, watch birds or take in the surrounding breathtaking scenery.
- From Chopta you can take a trip to the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary abounding in pines and oaks and populated with variety of fauna. One of the most popular activities here is bird watching since the area is full of a number of bird species.
- Atrimuni Falls is another attraction here at Chopta.
- Then there are excursions to Madhmaheshwar, Gaurikund, Gopeshwar and Kalimath.
For adventure seekers, Chopta is the start of trekking to Tungnath, Deoria Tal and Chandrashila—all of them challenging to say the least. If these are too difficult you can clamber down to grasslands and stroll along relatively flat lands of the Bugyal Meadows. Then you can go snow skiing in winter, rock climbing, rappelling and mountain climbing.
Since Chopta is located at a height of over 2500 meters, you would need to spend a day or two to get acclimatized to the rarefied atmosphere before you attempt to go trekking or undertake any strenuous activity.
There are resorts and hotels in Chopta ranging from modest to luxury types. You can also opt to stay in tent style resorts or stay out in the open in tents, a popular method with adventure seekers.