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Hill stations are the places where you get to observe nature at its best and experience the natural serenity. Such is the case with every hilly region and Chopta in Uttarakhand is not an exception. It’s lovely snow-capped mountains, lush green meadows, picturesque lakes, humming waterfalls, and serene valleys are just the perfect summer retreats.
Chopta has so much in store for anyone planning a trip there. It gives a much-needed break amidst tranquillity to the city dwellers. Be it a nature lover or an adventure junkie, Chopta with its unique wildlife, amazing trails and camping sites has something for everybody. There are several things to do in Chopta that will keep you mesmerized as well as excited during the whole vacation.
Interestingly, Chopta hasn’t always been a popular tourist spot. It gained the attention of nature lovers only a couple of years ago. However, it has always been a home to the magnificent temples and was noticed for its religious as well as historical significance. That is why it has been welcoming pilgrims from different parts of the country for several decades.
7 Things To Do In Chopta
Chopta is best known today as a haven for the trekkers, although much of it is still left unexplored. Leaving room for the exciting possibilities, who knows what you may stumble upon in Chopta if you choose to take the road less travelled! Prepare yourself for the seven exciting things in Chopta which will lead you to creating some unforgettable memories in life.
1. The Tungnath Trek – Beautiful Green Trail
It is situated in the Himalayan Range at a height of approximately 2,700 meters. This region is embraced within a lofty forest dominated by trees like deodars, oaks, and rhododendrons to make for a spectacular trail. This trekking trail is about 3.5 km long. Travellers can trek along a well-paved path to arrive at the Tungnath peak perched at 3680 meters. This trail is pretty smooth with only a few steep climbs or sharp turns.
Tungnath peak harbours an ancient temple that is said to be existing since more than 1000 years and from there offers you get a good view of the breathtaking Mandakini and Alaknanda river valleys below.
Suitable for: adventurists and nature lovers
Time for the Trek: The best time is considered to be the summers (May to June) because the weather is quite pleasant and the trail remains much easier as opposed to the rainy seasons or the winters.
2. Baniyakund – Camp At The Meadows
It is a long stretch of meadows, located at a distance of 4 km from Chopta and is surrounded by a few villages in and around it with the best possible view of the Garhwal Himalayas. It is usually a stopping point for those on the Tungnath – Chandrashila trek.
It is also regarded as a perfect spot for bird watching activity, especially the Parakeets, which are present in abundance at Baniyakund Meadows. There are a few local shops here that make it a convenient resting place.
Suitable for: Trekkers, campers and bird watchers
Time to Visit: Summers and monsoons are truly amazing for camping here owing to the charming weather as well as greenery, clear skies, and its cool weather. During winters, however, it receives heavy snow and therefore this season is not the best time to visit this region
Suggested Read: 15 Places To Visit In Uttarakhand This Winter 2020
3. The Chandrashila Trek – Another Great Trail
The entire Chopta – Tungnath – Chandrashila trail is approximately 5 km long.
Chandrashila peak is the highest peak in the Chopta region. Its location at an altitude of 4130 meters and this is why it is strategically important. The trail is a bit steep but otherwise, it is an easy route to explore. Trekkers can delve into many activities while enjoying the view of glorious Himalayan ranges. Likewise, witnessing the Kedarnath and Chaukhamba peaks makes the trekkers feel the warmth.
It is one such trail that is untouched by commercialization and is still well preserved. Thus, along the way, trekkers are bound to come across to the varied wild species of this region like the mountain goats and plethora of birds, including the famous ones like Fire – Tailed Sunbird, Brown Dipper, and more.
Suitable for: Trekking enthusiasts and bird watchers
Time for the Trek: As mentioned above, summer months are considered to be the ideal time to visit. Also, the sunrise from Chandrashila Peak is an experience of its own
4. Kanchula Korak Musk Deer Sanctuary – Encounter The Rare Himalayan Wildlife
This sanctuary is approximately 7 kilometres far from Chopta, along the Chopta-Gopeshwar road. It covers an area of 5 square kilometres. It is also known for breeding the Musk deer amongst many other animals. The sanctuary even has various rare flowers that are a treat to the eyes.
It has lush-green surroundings and remains beautiful all year round. You can explore it by indulging yourself in multiple activities while also taking a closer look at the rare Himalayan wildlife as a nature lover.
Suitable for: Animal lovers, bird watchers and photographers.
Cost: The tickets cost Rs. 50 for the Indian nationals while Rs. 300 for foreigners.
Time to Visit: This sanctuary is accessible throughout the year. You can explore its diverse vegetation and wildlife for a memorable experience to cherish by visiting here anytime.
5. Ukhimath – Explore The Culture
Famously called ‘the Winter Seat of Kedarnath,’ this small village of Ukhimath is about 28 km from Chopta. Not only is it a great spot for sightseeing but also gives a chance to the travelers to learn about its well-preserved culture. For instance, the Madhameshwar Mela and a great number of ancient temples give a more vivid peek into the colourful culture and vibrancy of the place through folklore, songs, and dances. The festivities include the Pandava Dance which also have the enacting episodes from Mahabharat.
Suitable for: Travellers who want to explore the spiritual aspect of the entire region
Time to Visit: It is a pleasant place to visit throughout the year. During the winters though, you can watch the much-celebrated migration of the deities from the Kedarnath temple to the Omkareshwar temple in Ukhimath
6. Deori Tal – Dive into the Crystal Clear Waters
Located at a distance of 3 km from the Sari village on the Ukhimath – Chopta road, Deoria Tal remains the most popular tourist attraction for its enchanting view. It is surrounded by the cool, quiet and dense woods and that appeals to all and sundry. The lake lies at the base of the silvery Chaukhamba peaks and also includes the view of the Neelkantha, Yellow Tooth and Kedar peaks that seem like the glistening jewels from the Deoria Tal to make a visitor feel rejuvenated. It is also considered a great site for bird watching. That is why bird lovers can’t miss it.
Mostly is preferred as a camping site. However, it involves a bit of the trek of about 2 km from the Sari village. It is an unpaved rocky trail and you will need to go with a guide in the monsoon or during the wintertime. If you are lucky, you may also come across a spotted deer or two that make your trek that much more magical!
Suitable for: Campers, bird watchers and nature lovers
Time to Visit: The trekking trail may become difficult for beginners in the winters and monsoons. Therefore, summers are the best times for this unpredictable trail. However, the lake is great campsite throughout the year
7. Bisuri Tal – A More Adventurous Trekking Trail
Bisuri Tal is a lake located at an altitude of 4100 meters. It is the highest point for a lake in the Chopta region. To reach the lake, you have to trek from Chopta for about 30 km. The entire trek would take around 5 days to complete. While the difficulty levels of the Tungnath, Chandrashila and Deoria Tal treks range from an easy to moderate one, the Bisuri Tal trail is for the brave hearts only. It is also a trail less travelled not only because it is a tough one but also because it has been discovered only recently.
Be it trekking, camping, watching Himalayan wildlife, enjoying the lush greenery of the meadows or forests, the serenity of rivers and waterfalls, Bisuri Tal packs the entire Chopta experience in itself for you to cherish and remember for a lifetime.
Suitable for: Experienced trekkers
Time to Visit: During the winter, the snow makes it impossible to trek this area. There also remains the possibility of dangerous snow slides. Therefore, summers and monsoon are the ideal time for the same
Chopta is called the ‘Mini Switzerland’ or ‘Switzerland of the East’ and for valid reasons! It is bountiful in natural beauty and takes efforts to keep that beauty intact. It is a respite from the meandering rapidity of the lives of most of us thus lets us take a break in the laps of nature. When planning a trip to Uttarakhand, visiting Chopta is a must! For an interesting visit, don’t forget to try out the above-listed things to do in Chopta!