One of the finest beginner-level treks is the Chopta trek. Chopta is the name of a meadow in the Garhwal Himalaya region of Uttarakhand in India. This trek usually begins from Chopta village and then moves to Tungnath temple and then to Chandrashila Peak. Many times, trekkers also complete the Deoriatal trek before arriving on foot or by road to Chopta.
When trekking this trail there are a lot of sightseeing options that one can do. Read on to know what you can do when doing the Chopta trek.
When winter arrives, the true extent of Chopra’s beauty shines. This region is known as “Mini Switzerland ” of the state for all the right reasons: tiny villages and their rooftops get covered with snowmaking it a delightful scene during the cold season.
Even during summers, the village and its surroundings can be seen filled with greenery from the deodar and pine forests. Pink and red rhododendrons make this place look like it is blushing and smiling at you with all its warmth.
The people of this quaint village are very hospitable. Enjoy chatting with them and listening to their anecdotes.
This is the world’s highest Shiva temple and is perched on the Chandrashila mountain at a height of 12,703ft. Every year throngs of Shivaites throng the temple during the Panch Kedar Dham pilgrimage in Uttarakhand.
“Panch” means five in Hindi and the other four Shiva temples are: Kedarnath, Rudranath, Madhyameshwar, and Kalpeshwar.
Trekking to the temple is the only way to reach it. Thus, it is an adventurous experience
The Chandrashila trek is hiking to the summit of Chandrashila mountain. It is here where the Tungnath temple is located. Shortly after this Shiva temple, 1.5km to be precise, is the Chandrashila summit.
No matter how steep the climb is, the view from the top is exhilarating. You can see the Chaukhamba massif along with the peaks of Nandadevi, Trishul, and Bandarpunch, among others.
Atop the peak, there is also a Ganga Dham temple dedicated to the Goddess of the Ganges river. During winters, the climb will get tricky due to icy, slippery slopes. So, it is better to have a guide while attempting the trek during the winter season.
Deoria Tal Lake
The Deoriatal lake is also associated with the Chopta trek. Trekkers do the Deoriatal-Chopta-Chandrashila trek. It is at an altitude of 8,000ft above sea level and is known for its clear, pristine waters. The trek to this lake starts from Sari village.
From Sari, this lake is at a 3-hour distance. Once you reach the top of the hill to this lake, you will have a picturesque setting of mountain peaks of Chaukhamba, Neelkantha, Kalanaag, and the range of Kedar. You can camp near the lake to enjoy the lovely night skies among the Himalayas.
The Deoriatal lake has been mentioned in ancient texts. One such text mentions the lake by the name of Indra Sarovar. According to Mahabharata, Yudhisthira was asked questions by the Yaksha present in the Indra Sarovar lake.
The term “bugyal” is a local term that refers to alpine meadows. The Rohini Bugyal is a beautiful green patch of land near Chopta. Cobbled paths and clear streams lined with rhododendron trees carve the way to this bugyal which will leave you breathless.
Views of mountains all around with so much greenery will leave you asking for more. This is a wonderful sight to camp. During winters the beauty of this meadow is two folds as it gets covered with snow and pleases the eyes.
Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary
The Chopta meadow itself is located inside the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary. This sanctuary is also known as Kedarnath Musk Deer Sanctuary as it is home to the rare Musk deers. Apart from deers, there are many other varieties of flora and fauna.
The park is also home to many Himalayan species of animals like the snow leopard, Himalayan Griffin, Black Bear, and Himalayan Thar among many other species of animals.
In close proximity to Chopta is the local town of Augustyamuni. It has been named after the great Rishi Agastya who has been mentioned in several significant Hindu epics and texts like the Ramayana and Mahabharata.
According to legend, this is the place where Agastya Muni, or Saint Agastya used to meditate and that is why a temple was built to commemorate the saint.
There is a helipad facility at Agastyamuni which allows for helicopter rides back and forth to Kedarnath temple.