Chopta - Popular as Mini-Switzerland

Popularly referred to as the ‘mini Switzerland’ of Uttarakhand, Chopta (at an approximate altitude of 2,608 m) is a slice of paradise tucked away in the Garhwal Himalayas. Surrounded by bugyals or velvety meadows and pristine snow-capped peaks, Chopta is an all-year holiday destination: pleasant in summer, rain-fresh in monsoon and a snow-clad fairyland in winter. Chopta is at the epicentre of the Panch Kedar – the five most sacred Shiva temples in the state. On its left are located Kedarnath and Madmaheshwar shrines and on the right, Rudranath and Kalpeshwar, and just above it, the Tungnath temple. Chopta is a birding paradise and you can see over 240 species of birds here, including native and migratory species like Himalayan monal, Himalayan swiftlet, Himalayan griffon, scarlet finch, hill partridge, and so on. Nearby places like Dugalbitta, Mandal village, Makkumath and the Tungnath trek route are the best sites for watching our feathered friends. Chopta has been declared as an important bird-watching site by national and international conservation and biodiversity organisations.

Best time to visit Chopta

Chopta is ideal for vacations all over the year but November to May are the best months to visit.

Places to visit in Chopta

  • Chandrashila temple: Perched on top of the eponymous peak, this simple stone temple is dedicated to Goddess Ganga. The peak, at altitude of around 4,000 m, is one of the most stunning mountains in the region and offers stunning views of several Himalayan peaks, including Nanda Devi, Bandarpunch, Chaukhamba and Kedar peak. According to legend, Chandrashila is the place where Lord Rama meditated after defeating Ravana. Another lore says that Moon god or Chandra spent time here in penance. Chandrashila literally means “moon rock”. The trek to the summit is one of the most popular at Tungnath. Chandrashila peak is a steep 1.5 km trek from Tungnath temple, which is around 3.5 km away from Chopta.
  • Deoriatal: Around 50 km from Chopta, this beautiful high-altitude lake (around 2,438 m) sitting amidst mountains and forests makes for a refreshing trek.
  • Ukhimath: Located around 45 km from Chopta, Ukhimath is the winter seat of Lord Kedarnath. There are several other well-known temples here like the ones of Usha and Aniruddha.
  • Kanchula Korak Musk Deer Sanctuary: Located around 7 km from Chopta is the Kanchula Korak Musk Deer Sanctuary, a dense forest spread over 6 sq km, where the rare musk deer can be spotted. It makes for a relaxing nature walk.
  • Tungnath Temple: Known as the world's highest Shiva Temple, Tungnath is on the route to the trek from Chopta to Chandrashila peak.
  • Chandrashila Peak: At 4,000m, the Chandrashila peak is the summit of the Chandranath Parvat on which the Tungnath temple is located. Chandrashila (literally meaning moon rock), the majestic peak offers a stunning panoramic view of the Himalayas. It's a popular trekking route and it is a challenging 5-km trek. 

How to reach Chopta

By Flight: Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest airport to Chopta situated at a distance of 221kms. Jolly Grant Airport is well connected to Delhi with daily flights. Chopta is well connected by motorable roads with Jolly Grant Airport. Taxis are available from Jolly Grant Airport to Chopta.

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