Cover Image Credit: MaxPixel
Hill stations are places where you get to observe nature at its best and experience the natural serenity. This is not the case with every hilly region and Chopta in Uttarakhand. These are beautiful snow-capped mountains, lush green meadows, picturesque lakes, lukewarm waterfalls, and tranquil valleys that are a perfect summer retreat. Chopta has a lot to offer for anyone planning a trip there. This gives the townspeople a much-needed break in the midst of peace. Be it a nature lover or an adventure addict, Chopta has something for everyone with its unique wildlife, amazing trails and camping spots. there are several Things to do in Chopta This will keep you excited as well as mesmerized during the entire holiday.
Interestingly, Chopta has not always been a popular tourist destination. It attracted the attention of nature lovers only a few years ago. However, it has always been home to magnificent temples and is also seen for its religious and historical significance. That is why it has been welcoming pilgrims from different parts of the country for many decades.
7 things to do in Chopta
Chopta is nowadays known as a haven for trekkers, though much of it is still unclear. Leaving space for exciting possibilities, who knows you might stumble into Chopta if you choose to travel less on the road! Prepare yourself for the seven exciting things in Chopta that will inspire you to make some unforgettable memories in life.
1. Tungnath Trek – Beautiful Green Trail
It is situated in the Himalayan range at an altitude of about 2,700 meters. The area is hugged within a lofty forest dominated by trees such as cedar, oak, and rhododendrons to make for a spectacular trail. This trekking trail is approximately 3.5 km long. Travelers can go through a well-paved road to reach the Tungnath summit at an altitude of 3680 meters. The trail is very smooth with only a few steep climbs or sharp turns.
Tungnath peak is an ancient temple which is said to have existed for over 1000 years and from there you get a nice view of the breathtaking Mandakini and the valleys of the Alaknanda River.
Suitable for: Adventurer and nature lover
Time to trek: The best time is considered to be summer (May to June) as the weather is very pleasant and the path is very easy as opposed to rainy season or winter.
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2. Baniyakund – Camp at Meadows
Camping is considered one of the best Things to do in Chopta And so a must try! It is a long stretch of grasslands, which is located at a distance of 4 km from Chopta and is surrounded by some villages around and with the best view of the Garhwal Himalayas. It is usually a stopping point for those on the Tungnath – Chandrashila trek.
It is also considered as an ideal place for bird watching activity, especially perkets, which are abundant in Baniyakund Meadows. There are some local shops here which make it a convenient resting place.
Suitable for: Trekkers, Camper and Bird Watchers
time to go: Summer and monsoon are truly amazing to camp here due to the attractive weather as well as the greenery, clear skies, and its cool weather. During winter, however, it receives heavy snow and hence this season is not the best time to visit the region.
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3. Chandrashila Trek – Another great trail
The entire Chopta-Tungnath-Chandrashila route is about 5 km long.
Chandrashila Peak is the highest peak in the Chopta region. Its location at an altitude of 4130 meters and that is why it is strategically important. The trail is a bit steep but otherwise, it is an easy road. Trekkers can indulge in many activities while enjoying the view of the magnificent Himalayan ranges. Similarly, trekkers feel the heat from seeing the Kedarnath and Chaukhamba peaks.
It is a mark that is untouched by commercialization and is still well preserved. Thus, along the way, trekkers are obliged to visit the region’s diverse wild species such as mountain goats and piles of birds, such as fire-tailed sunbirds, brown dippers, and more.
Suitable for: Trekking enthusiasts and bird watchers
Time to trek: As mentioned above, the summer months are considered the ideal time to travel. Apart from this, sunrise has its own experience from the Chandrashila peak.
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4. Kanchula Korak Musk Deer Sanctuary – encountering rare Himalayan wildlife
This sanctuary is about 7 kilometers from Chopta, on the Chopta-Gopeshwar road. It covers an area of 5 square kilometers. It is also known for breeding musk deer among many other animals. The sanctuary also has various rare flowers which are a treat for the eyes.
It has lush green environment and remains beautiful throughout the year. As a nature lover, you can explore this by taking a closer look at rare Himalayan wildlife as well as indulging yourself in many activities.
Suitable for: Animal lovers, bird watchers and photographers.
Cost: Ticket price Rs. 50 for Indian nationals. 300 for foreigners.
time to go: This sanctuary is accessible throughout the year. You can come here and explore its diverse flora and wildlife for a memorable experience to cherish.
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5. Ukhimath – Explore Culture
Famously called the ‘winter seat of Kedarnath’, this small village in Ukhimath is about 28 km from Chopta. It is not only a great place for sightseeing, but also gives travelers a chance to learn about its well-preserved culture. For example, the Madamaheshwar Mela and a large number of ancient temples add more to the colorful culture and vibrancy of the place through folk songs, songs and dances. The festival also includes Pandava dance with enacted episodes of Mahabharata.
Suitable for: Travelers who want to explore the spiritual aspect of the entire region
time to go: It is a pleasant place to visit all year round. During the winter, you can see the much awaited migration of the deities from the Kedarnath temple to the Omkareshwar temple in Ukhimath.
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6. Deori Tal – Dive Into Crystal Clear Waters
Located 3 km from Sari village on Ukhimath – Chopta road, Deoria Tal remains the most popular tourist attraction for its enchanting view. It is surrounded by quiet, serene and dense forest and it appeals to all and diverse people. The lake is situated at the base of the Chaukhamba peaks and includes views of the Nilkanth, Yellow tooth and Kedar peaks, which look like gems gleaming from the Deoria Tal, which can lead to a visitor’s rejuvenation. It is also considered to be an excellent site for bird watching. This is why bird lovers cannot miss it.
Mostly preferred as a camping site. However, it involves a trek of about 2 km from the village of Sari. It is an unpaved rock trail and you will have to accompany the guide during the monsoon or during the winter. If you are lucky, you can also come upon a spotted deer or two that make your trek more magical!
Suitable for: Campers, bird watchers and nature lovers
time to go: Trekking trail in winter and monsoon can be difficult for beginners. Therefore, summer is the best time for this unpredictable trail. However, the lake is a great camp during the whole year.
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7. Bisuri Tal – A more adventurous trekking trail
When in search of peaceful as well as adventure Things to do in Chopta, Then trekking should be considered. Bisuri Tal is a lake situated 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 about 30 km from Chopta. The entire trek will take about 5 days to complete. While the difficulty level of the Tungnath, Chandrashila and Deoria Tal treks range from easy to medium one, the Bisuri Tal trail is only for the brave hearts. It is a difficult journey not only because it is a difficult one, but also because it has only been discovered recently.
It is trekking, camping, watching Himalayan wildlife, enjoying the lush greenery of grasslands or forests, the tranquility of rivers and waterfalls, Bisuri Tal to cherish the whole Chopta experience for you and remember it for a lifetime.
Suitable for: Experienced trekkers
time to go: During winter, snow makes it impossible to trek the region. There also remains the possibility of dangerous ice slides. Therefore, summer and monsoon are ideal times for that.
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Chopta is called ‘Mini Switzerland’ or ‘Switzerland of the East’ and for valid reasons! It is rich in natural beauty and strives to retain that beauty. It is a breath of relief from the softness of the lives of most of us, thus allowing us to take a break in the lap of nature. While planning a trip to Uttarakhand, visiting Chopta is a must! For an interesting trip, don’t forget to try the things listed above to do in Chopta!
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Frequently Asked Questions to do in Chopta
A. The trekking trail of Chopta to the peak is about 5 kilometers long. On the way, one gets to see some of the best scenic views and at the end of the trek you will get a chance to visit the famous Tungnath temple.
A. Yes, Chopta is considered a very safe place. This is because the locals are quite welcoming and polite. However, some care should be taken when walking or trekking during the night hours.
A. No, Chopta does not get snow in the month of June. If you want to see snowfall in Chopta, then you should plan your trip to this city between January and March.
A. The distance between Chopta and Rishikesh is 210 kilometers. You can easily cover this distance by car in about 5 hours.