Chopta also popularly known as ‘Mini Switzerland’ of India, lies 29 km from Ukhimath and 162 kms from Rishikesh on the road from Gopeshwar to Guptkashi. Chopta is a small settlement and valley that is located in Uttarakhand. The entire region is a haven of beauty, specially for the ones who are looking for a good place to relax, without the hustle and bustle of a typical tourist hotspot. One can visit Chopta valley and gaze in awe at the many peaks located a short distance away from the valley.
The best places to visit in Chopta are
Tungnath Temple at Chopta is the highest Shiva temple in the world, Tungnath Temple is at an elevation of 3680 meters. Tungnath is also one of the famous Panch Kedar shrines of Uttarakhand. One has to trek to Tungnath, but it is one of the easiest treks recommended for beginners. At the temple, one experiences an aura of spirituality and mesmerizing views of the Himalayas. This village is surrounded by evergreen forests of pine, deodar, and rhododendron.
Chandrashila is the summit of the mountain where Tungnath Mandir and Chopta is situated. Chandrashila is perched at an altitude of 4000 meters above sea level. Here, one can have a 360-degree view of the highest Himalayan peaks, including Kedar, Nandadevi, Chaukhamba and Trishul peaks.
According to ancient legends, Chandrashila is the place where Lord Ram meditated after defeating Ravana. You can also visit the temple which is dedicated to goddess Ganga atop Chadrashila.
Ukhimath houses the mighty Lord Shiva when Kedarnath shuts down during winters. Ukhimath is situated at an altitude of 1300 meters. A lot of devotees visit the temple every year and are blessed with an easy trek, amazing views of the Himalayan mountains and an unwavering spiritual connection.
KANCHULA KORAK MUSK DEER SANCTUARY
Kanchula Korak Musk Deer Sanctuary is situated on the Chopta-Gopeshwar road. The sanctuary spreads over a sprawling area of 5 sq. km and houses many exotic Himalayan birds and animals. The park earns its name from and houses the rare Himalayan Musk Deer. One can get up and close to wildlife and enjoy a relaxing time surrounded by natural beauty.
Sari Village, also known as Saari Gaon is a majestic Himalayan village near Chopta. It is the base camp for Deoria Lake trek. Sari gaon is located at an elevation of 7800 feet. The village is well-connected to the major spots of Chopta and can be easily reached via road.
Deoria Tal is a heavenly lake located around 3 km away from Sari village at an altitude of 2300m above mean sea level. One can experience peak serenity and peace as well as panoramic views of the Himalayan peaks. Mythological stories say that this place is the spot where the Pandavas were asked questions by Yaksha.
Rohini Bugyal is covered with the dense Himalayan fauna of Chopta Valley, “Rohini Bugyal” literally means a green meadow. One can visit this bugyal while trekking to Chandrashila peak via Deoria Tal. It serves as a perfect location for camping at Chopta. The meadow is filled with adventure, scenery and tall towering trees.
Madhyamaheshwar Mandir is also known as Madmaheshawar, devotees worship Lord Shiva’s abdomen at Madhyamaheshwar. The temple is situated at an altitude of 3200 m above sea level and is surrounded by the snow-covered Himalayas from one side and alpine green meadows from the other. You can also see the Neelkanth and Kedarnath peaks from this temple.
OMKAR RATNESHWAR MAHADEV
Omkar Ratneshwar temple is dedicated to Nag Devta, the king of serpents according to Hindu mythology. The temple is known for its unique architecture designed with reference to its mandap and main garbhagriha.
Kalimath is a powerful temple close to Chopta, as the name suggests, the temple’s patron goddess is the ferocious Maa Kali and according to folklore, this is the place that maa Kali, after killing the demon named Raktbeej.
Reaching Baniyakund takes a short 15 minute trip via road. At the end of the hour’s quarter, one witnesses the quintessential captivating beauty of Uttarakhand. Baniyakund is located in Kedarnath Musk Deer Sanctuary, overlooking the wide horizon of Garhwal Himalayas and is a serene retreat for all nature lovers.