If you want to take a trip where you can truly enjoy some time all to yourself, then head over to Chopta. This small little hill station away from the limelight of the whole tourism scene is one of the most pristine places in India. Book your ticket and take a trip up North to this small paradise in the state of Uttarakhand.
Chopta is one of the lesser known hill stations in India however its beauty and magnificence is no less than any other top hill station. People who have discovered this hill station before the tales of its beauty went far and wide are lucky as once the word spreads, this pristine land will also be like any other popular hill stations in India, over crowded and packed with people to the point where there is no privacy and the purpose of visiting a hill station to spend some time away from the madding crowd, is killed. Chopta’s beauty has earned it the title of ‘Mini Switzerland’, much of it owing to its beautiful green grasslands called Bugyals. From higher grounds of the hill station, one can look over the horizon and spot mountain ranges like Nanda Devi, Chaukhamba and Trishul. A total of 41 Himalayan peaks can be seen from Chopta and a whole panoramic view of the mountain ranges.
Accommodation in Chopta is pretty limited. There are no luxurious hotels or numerous lines of other budget hotels you can choose from. There are a handful of hotels and a few homestays which should not be a problem if you visit during an off season but incase you plan to visit during the time when all the pilgrimage treks start, you may have some problem in finding a room. The hill station is still very much primitive without proper electricity, roads or public transport. If you do not have a car for your trip, its better you hire a taxi from the start of your journey to take you around or else you will have to walk it through your entire stay. The only way to approach the city is by road. No other mode of transport touches ground here, hence you will have to plan your route accordingly. Check the train running status and check for the routes it touches for instance, look out for 11071 running status and all the stations it touches will be shown to you. You will have to look out for the train that touches Rishikesh train station and it should take you about 5 hours from there to reach Chopta.
The best time to visit this place is during the summers and monsoons. Chopta is blessed with beautiful breathtaking landscapes where on various points of the hill station you can simply stand and get a whole panoramic view of the Himalayas. The view and appearance of these landscapes changes with the season as summers are quite cool with beautiful blooms, while the monsoon washes all the leaves clean and the whole landscape glistens and the water bodies are filled up while winters see heavy snowfall and the whole landscape is a pure thick white. As snowfalls are very heavy in this hill station, a visit here during this time is not recommended, also the temperatures drop increasingly fast by evenings which will make you fall ill. The rich flora and fauna of Chopta never ceases to amaze and impress any visitor.
This place also serves as a basecamp for the Panch Kedar. Devotees looking to visit the Kedarnath temple or taking part in pilgrimage treks pass through this hill station. The Kedarnath temple is one of the Panch Kedars and one of the most important places of worship for Hindus all over the world. One of the 12 Jyotirlingas is in this temple and also over 200 idols of Lord Shiva. Another important places of religious importance near Chopta, and also another temple of the Panch Kedar is the Tungnath temple, the highest Shiva temple there is, in the whole world. The word Tungnath also literally means ‘Lord of the Peaks’.