Popularly known as the "Mini Switzerland", Chopta is among the most popular hill stations of Uttarakhand. Located at an altitude of 2,700 metres, Chopta is surrounded by dense forests. It also offers majestic views of the snow blankets of Himalayan Ranges, with lush green meadows around. Being the starting point of the trek to famous Tungnath Mandir (PanchKedar Temple) and Chandrashila Summit, the Chopta region is full of varied flora and fauna with plenty of Rhododendron and Deodar trees all around it.
Chopta is an excellent getaway for trekking. It offers an easy trek of 4 kms, with amazing Himalayan Views. It also has the shortest trek to reach the altitude of 4,000 metres. This unspoiled and non-commercialized Hill Station is perfect for a peaceful vacation with family and friends, for it is undoubtedly the most picturesque spot in Uttarakhand.
Location: Located on the Rudraprayag – Ukhimath – Gopeshwar Highway
Climate: Chopta has pleasing summers, but freezing winters. Snowfall in winters makes Chopta look like ‘Mini Switzerland’. Sleeved shirts, tracking pants and boots, woollen socks and a jacket, a pair of sunglasses and a first-aid kit are a must to carry in this trip.
Best Time to Visit: Best time from March to May
How to reach:
By Air: Jolly Grant Airport
By Train: From Rishikesh, you can easily go to Chopta by road
By Road: Buses and taxis
Places of interest
Location: Chandranath Parbat, Rudraprayag district
Timings: Opens during April or May. It is closed during winter season. Best months May- September.
How to reach: 4 km. trek from Chopta
The famous five shrines of Lord Shiva known as the Panch Kedar are established by the Shaivite sect and Tungnath is the second one of them. The 1,000 year old temple is the highest and is located at a literally breathtaking elevation of 3,860 metres. It is also believed that the temple was built by Pandavas to appease Lord Shiva. The temple poses the only challenge of the 3.5 km long trek with a sudden steepness of the slope. But, overall the trek is a very fulfilling experience for you.
Location: 90 kms from Chopta
Timings: Summers is the best time. If you are snow lovers, then choose winters
How to reach: 1.5 km. trek from Tungnath
The summit of mountain where Tungnath Mandir and Chopta are situated is famous as Chandrashila. Famous to be known as ‘Moon Rock’, Lord Rama meditated here after defeating the demon Ravana. It is also famous as the place where moon spent a time in self-punishment. With an enjoyable view of snow- covered mountains including Kedar, Nandadevi, Chaukhamba and Trishul peaks from Chandrashila, it is also well known for trekking, except from the onset of winter here.
Location: Rudraprayag district, near the Mandakini River
Timings: Opening date is Shivratri in mid May. Closing date is the second day of Diwali in November
How to reach: Easily reachable by your own vehicle or public transport. Nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport. Helicopter services are available. Trains till Rishikesh.
Being one of the Panch Kedars and one of the char Dhams, this temple has a Shivalinga considered as one of the 12 Jyotirlingas all around India. The pyramidal form of the structure of the temple has its situation in the middle of the Himalayan ranges. Consisting more than 200 idols of Lord Shiva, the temple is believed to have been constructed by Adi Shankaracharya. Sculpture form of Deities and stories can also be seen on the walls of the temple.
Location: Rudraprayag District
Timings: Best time is round the year
How to reach: Easily reachable by road, rail or air
Named as the winter seat of Lord Kedarnath, the sight is worshipped during winters. The Lord Shiva temple invites heavy snowfall in Kedarnath during each winter. Apart from this, Ukimath has the temple of Shiva and Parvati as well as that of Usha and Anirudh within its premises.
Kanchula Korak Musk Deer Sanctuary
Location: 7 kilometres from Chopta
Timings: Open from March to May
How to reach: Easily reachable by road
Another prominent attraction situated in Chopta-Gopeshwar road, the sanctuary extends over an area of 5 sq. km. and houses rare Himalayan wildlife. It is also famous for breeding the rare musk deer, housing dense forest and diverse species of fauna all around.