ESCAPING TO EXEMPLARY CHOPTA………..THE SWITZERLAND OF INDIA
A journey to Uttarakhand is a different kind of adventure! The picturesque “Chopta” imbibes immense beauty in it and thus remains a top spot in the state. This place is famous all over the world due to its natural shades and panoramic views. With an almost consistent temperature around the year, you can endure the soothing weather of this tranquil place anytime you wish. With your eyes getting drenched with the divine views of snow-white mountains, you can definitely relate as to why it is termed as “The Mini Switzerland”. Owing to this very fact, British commissioner Atkinson’s famous conundrum “A BIRTH ON EARTH IS USELESS, IF, YOU HAVE NOT SEEN CHOPTA ONCE IN LIFETIME” may seem to be superlative to some people, but the beauty of the place still remains amazing; an unprecedented one.
BEST TIME TO VISIT: MAY–NOVEMBER
Can be visited other times also, but, due to heavy snowfall, the roads are closed so the journey then is mostly pedestrian.
ROADS TO ADVENTURE
If you are fond of skiing, if adventure and adventurous trips entice you, then you are definitely going to enjoy Chopta in the seasons of January and February. Located about 500 km away from Delhi, Chopta can be reached through either of the two ways: First, Delhi-Rishikesh-Gopeshwar-Chopta wherein Gopeshwar lies at 212 km from Rishikesh and is 40kms early to Chopta. Second, Delhi–Rishikesh–Ukhimath–Chopta wherein Ukhimath is 178km away from Rishikesh and 24 km early to Chopta, which is connected only by roads. Regarding conveyance, Rishikesh offers bus services for both Gopeshwar and Ukhimath. Besides, you can also book taxis and jeeps. To add wings of comfort and make your stay luxurious rest houses of Garhwal Mandal Vikas Corporation at both Gopeshwar and Ukhimath are also available.
THE BELLS OF LIFE–TUNGNATH
Situated at the highest point in Panch Kedar, Tungnath mountain range is known for its weather and beauty and remains as the source of the top three streams, from which Akshakamani river forms. Built at an altitude of 3680 m above sea level, this temple is located 3 km away from Chopta and is believed to be 1000 years old. If you are a “Shiv Bhakt” you may not be missing worshipping Lord Shiva here as one of the Panch Kedars. It is believed that this temple was built by Pandavas to please Lord Shiva, who was furious over the Pandavas due to the massacre in Kurukshetra.
WITH GREEN MEADOWS, CHOPTA IS ENDORSED
You are surely going to miss the completeness in your trip if you fail to visit Bugyal, situated at an altitude of 14,000 ft that remains as one of the most beautiful places in the Himalayas. The place remains snow-covered in January-February and reflects its utmost premium beauty in the months of July-August. In these months, there is mammoth grasslands spread over miles and the beauty of flowers blooming in them is worth seeing. That is why experienced tourists do not hesitate to compare it to Switzerland. The most important thing is that this is the only area in the entire Garhwal region where bus can be directly accessible to the world of Buggy. That is, this extraordinary area is in simple reach of devotees and tourists.
THERE IS MUCH TO SEE…
This whole area is known as Panchkedar. From Rishikesh to Srinagar and Gharwal on the banks of the Alaknanda, the journey moves ahead. If you want to take the way of Ukhimath, once you reach Rudraprayag, you have to exit Alaknanda and enter the Mandakini valley. The route from here is very narrow. While exploring the roads to this place you will find the views extremely captivating and beautiful. Moving further you will see a small town called as Agastya Muni from where you can see Himalayan Nandakhat peak.
ALLURING VIEWS OF DEORIA TAL
After covering a distance of about 8 km from Chopta, Deoria Tal, that lies south of Tungnath temple. Covered with dense forest of bamboo and Rhododendron arboreum from one side and an open field on the other, the Tal remains much differentiated from others. This transparent lake, 500 m in diameter, gives the clear mirror reflection of Himalayan peaks like Chaukhamba, Neelkanth etc.
On the way from Chopta to Gopeshwar, you’ll see deer breeding farms too. Your heart will be filled with a unique thrill after having a glimpse of the beauty of the musk deer. In the month of March-April, the whole path is lit with the unique tinge of beautiful Rhododendron arboretum. But, the varying weather has changed the timing at which they bloom. In the month of January-February, the entire area is covered with snow, but the present day weather is quite pleasant, as well.
“BIRTH ON EARTH IS USELESS, IF, YOU HAVE NOT SEEN CHOPTA ONCE IN LIFETIME”