Why The Chopta Valley in India Is A Hidden Gem Among Destinations
India is a country where travel enthusiasts are in for a treat each time they plan a trip. Be it international tourists or people calling it their home, destinations in the country have something to offer to everyone. What attracts travelers to different destinations here is the country’s diversity and warm hospitality. This is why people get attached to the nation quickly and they keep coming back to satiate their thirst for travel. India has a range of travel destinations to choose from, some being lesser-explored hidden gems among them. One such travel destination is the Chopta Valley located in the state of Uttarakhand.
Uttarakhand, formerly known as Uttaranchal, is a state which has a unique bond with nature and spirituality. It is popular for its multitude of religious places and it is also known as ‘Devbhumi’ (Land where Gods reside). Chopta Valley is one of those regions in the state which has unadulterated nature in its full bloom. Boasting of forests, sanctuaries, and snow-capped mountains and temples, this place is more than just ‘diverse’. Now, let’s delve deep into this majestic valley and what potential travelers should look out for while visiting here.
Chopta Valley, Uttarakhand:
Popularly known as ‘Mini Switzerland’, Chopta lies at a distance of 450 km from Delhi and 162 km from Rishikesh. Located at 8790 ft above sea level, it is surrounded by dense forests with different species of trees and birds. Although a trip can be planned at any time of the year, April-November is the appropriate time to visit this heavenly abode. During the winters, Chopta becomes a visual treat for the travelers due to the snowfall that it receives. It can be reached easily via the road which connects Gopeshwar with Guptkashi and it mostly has pleasant weather. If you love trekking, then this place is meant for you as there are mighty peaks awaiting your presence. These are the things that set the Chopta Valley apart from the other winter destinations of the Indian subcontinent:
• A Trekker’s Paradise:
With the mountains that lie at a short distance from this village, Chopta is undoubtedly a trekker’s dream. It is the base for trekking to the Tungnath temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, which lies almost 4 km uphill. The summit of Tungnath is known as ‘Chandrashila’, literally meaning ‘Moon Rock’. The famous Himalayan peaks that are located nearby are Nandi Devi, Trishul, and Chaukhamba. This place offers a complete and clear view of the Himalayas, far from the hustle and bustle. This trek is quite adventurous as it has to be executed through grasslands and forest areas.
• A Perfect Destination For Pilgrimage:
Home to one of the world’s highest temples of Lord Shiva, the Tungnath temple is a great attraction for tourists. It is also one of the highest of the Panch Kedar temples situated in the Tunganath mountain range in the Rudraprayag district. The Tunganath range, which means ‘Lord of the Peaks’, comprises the Alaknanda and Mandakini river valleys. Unlike other Kedar temples where the priests belong to South India, Tungnath’s priest is a local Brahmin from the Makku village. It also has a historical and enriching link with the Pandavas, the protagonists of the Hindu epic, ‘Mahabharata’.
• Kanchkula Kharak Musk Deer Sanctuary:
This deer sanctuary is a must-visit for people who love to enjoy nature in its full glory. Located at a distance of 7 km from Chopta on Gopeshwar Road, it covers a vast area of 5 sq. km. It is home to the musk deer and the Himalayan wildlife which is a treat for all the wildlife enthusiasts. The sanctuary is filled with greenery and there are innumerable known/unknown varieties of vegetation that can be found. This whole expanse is a part of the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary.
Some other places nearby Chopta that deserve a visit include Deoria Tal, Kalimath, Sari Village and Rohini Bugyal. Hopefully, you will now have a fair idea about how to chalk out your itinerary while visiting this heavenly abode. So, put your travelling shoes on and give this place all the love and appreciation that it is worthy of.