Chopta, a hidden gem nestled in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, India, is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. This picturesque destination offers breathtaking views of the majestic Himalayas and is the starting point for two popular treks – Tungnath and Chandrashilla. In this comprehensive travel guide, we will explore the enchanting beauty of Chopta and provide you with all the information you need to plan your trip.
Where and What Exactly is Chopta?
Chopta is a small village located in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand, at an altitude of approximately 2,608 meters (8,790 feet) above sea level. It serves as the base camp for the Tungnath and Chandrashilla treks. Surrounded by dense forests of rhododendron (Buras) and deodar, Chopta offers a serene and tranquil environment for visitors.
Activities to Do in Chopta:
Chopta offers a range of activities to suit every traveller’s preferences. Here are some must-try experiences in Chopta:
Chopta is renowned for its two popular treks – Tungnath (3.5km trek) and Chandrashilla (5km trek). These treks take you through enchanting forests, and pristine meadows, and offer panoramic views of the snow-capped Himalayan peaks.
Spend a night under the starry sky by camping in Chopta. There are several campsites available, offering a unique wilderness experience.
Chopta is a haven for birdwatchers, as it is home to a variety of bird species. Keep your binoculars handy and spot some rare and beautiful birds in their natural habitat.
With its breathtaking landscapes, Chopta provides ample opportunities for photography enthusiasts to capture stunning shots of the mountains, valleys, and flora.
The Best Season to Visit Chopta-Tungnath:
Chopta offers a different charm in different seasons. Here are the reasons to visit Chopta in winter and summer:
Winter (October to February):
Winter in Chopta transforms the region into a winter wonderland. The snow-clad mountains and frozen meadows create a mesmerizing landscape, making it ideal for snow lovers and avid trekkers.
Summer (March to September):
During the summer months, Chopta experiences pleasant weather with temperatures ranging from 10°C to 25°C (50°F to 77°F). The blooming rhododendrons (Burans) and lush greenery make it an ideal time for nature walks and camping.
How to Reach Chopta?
Chopta is well-connected by road and can be reached from major cities like Delhi and Dehradun. The nearest railway station is Haridwar, and the nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun. From these points, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Chopta. The journey to Chopta is a scenic delight, with picturesque landscapes and winding mountain roads.
Route to Chopta
There are various routes you can take to Chopta but here we share the most comfortable and reliable route Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to reach Chopta from Rishikesh:
- Start from Rishikesh: Rishikesh is approximately 210 kilometres (130 miles) away from Chopta, and the journey takes around 7-8 hours.
- Head towards Rudraprayag: From Rishikesh, take the National Highway 58 (NH 58) towards Rudraprayag. The route passes through Devprayag, the confluence of rivers Alaknanda and Bhagirathi.
- Continue to Ukhimath Region: Ukhimath is a small town and acts as a winter seat for the deity of Kedarnath Temple. Here you found many camping hotels and homestay services, rest for the night and continue your journey the next day.
- Ukhimath to Chopta: From Ukhimath, take the road that leads to Chopta. The drive from Ukhimath to Chopta is approximately 30 kilometres (18.6 miles) and takes around 1 hour.
- Arrival in Chopta: After a scenic drive, you will arrive in Chopta, the picturesque village known as the “Mini Switzerland of Uttarakhand.” The village serves as the base camp for the Tungnath and Chandrashilla treks and offers breathtaking views of the Himalayas.
How Many Days Will It Take for a Complete Trip to Chopta-Tungnath-Chandrashilla Trek?
To fully experience the beauty of Chopta, Tungnath, and Chandrashilla, it is recommended to allocate a minimum of 3 days for the trip. Here’s a suggested itinerary:
Day 2: Start early in the morning for the Tungnath trek. Visit the Tungnath Temple and spend some time exploring the serene environment. Afterwards, continue the trek to Chandrashilla and witness the stunning panoramic views from the summit. Descend back to Chopta and spend the night.
Day 3: If you have an extra day, you can choose to explore nearby attractions such as Deoria Tal, a pristine lake known for its crystal-clear waters, or enjoy leisurely walks amidst the beautiful meadows of Chopta. Otherwise, check out Chopta with memories of a wonderful trekking experience.
Tungnath Temple Trek from Main Road:
The Tungnath Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is one of the highest temples in the world. The trek to Tungnath starts from Chopta and covers a distance of approximately 3.5 kilometres (2.2 miles). The trail takes you through dense forests and offers breathtaking views of the Himalayas. The serene ambience and spiritual significance of the temple make it a must-visit destination.
Chandrashila Trek from Tungnath
Once you have visited the Tungnath Temple, you can continue your adventure by embarking on the Chandrashila trek. Chandrashila, meaning “Moon Rock,” is the summit located at an elevation of 4,000 metres (13,123 feet) above sea level. The trek from Tungnath to Chandrashilla is approximately 1.5 kilometres (0.9 miles) and offers panoramic views of the Himalayas, including peaks like Nanda Devi, Trishul, and Chaukhamba.
The trail to Chandrashilla is relatively steep but rewarding. As you ascend, you will witness the breathtaking beauty of the surrounding landscapes, with snow-capped mountains and lush green valleys stretching as far as the eye can see. The summit of Chandrashilla provides a mesmerizing 360-degree view of the Himalayas, making it a perfect spot for sunrise or sunset photography.
Chopta-Tungnath and Chandrashilla Trek offer an unforgettable experience for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. From the serene beauty of Chopta to the spiritual aura of Tungnath Temple and the breathtaking views from Chandrashilla, every moment of this journey is filled with awe-inspiring landscapes and tranquillity. Whether you choose to visit in winter or summer, Chopta welcomes you with its pristine beauty and offers a variety of activities, including trekking, camping, and birdwatching. Take the time to immerse yourself in the serenity of the Himalayas, breathe in the fresh mountain air, and capture the moments that will stay with you forever.
Plan your trip to Chopta-Tungnath and Chandrashilla, and get ready to embark on an adventure that will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.