Situated at a distance of a kilometer from Chopta, the Tungnath Temple is one of the five Panchkedar temples. Dedicated to the Lord Shiva, this temple is believed to be the second in order with respect to the other Panchkedar temples. This temple is more than 1000 years old. Situated at an altitude of 3680m it is highest Hindu shrine. Although there is no exact date of its construction, it is believed that this temple along with the rest of the Panchkedars has been built by the Pandavas.
At a small distance from the Chopta, there is the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary. It is also popularly known as the Kedarnath Musk Deer Sanctuary. Covering over 975 square kilometers, this national wildlife sanctuary is the only one in the Western Himalayas. Its primary aim is to conserve the local species of the Himalayan Musk deer. Apart from there are a number of other species which are part of the protection and conservation projects of this reserve.
This little village of Chopta is yet an unexplored territory in this region. Situated in the Rudraprayag district of the state of Uttarakhand, Chopta is abundant in picturesque locations. It is surrounded by beautiful valleys and the majestic Himalayan Mountain range which offers stunning views of its natural heritage.
Chopta, due to its geographical location, has several Himalayan mountains around it. These mountains are covered with alpine forests comprising pine and deodar trees. Also, the valleys and mountains are dotted with rhododendrons which turn the area red when they are in bloom.
This region is also rich in various species of flora and fauna. Due to its location, there are several species of birds which can be found here. For this reason, it is flocked by birdwatchers, from all over the world, every year. It is best to visit this region in the months from May to November. It is during this period that thousands of pilgrims also come here to visit the Panchkedars. However, it is during the winters that the real beauty of this region can be felt and enjoyed. Due to the snowfall, it becomes immensely charming. That is why Chopta is also referred as the ‘Mini Switzerland’. So all your dreams and desires to watch snowfall will come true in Chopta.
Chopta is situated in the district of Rudraprayag in the state of Uttarakhand. It is one of the least populated districts in this state. It is located in the Garhwali region, as a result of which, it is dominated by the customs and cultures of the Garhwali society. Although, Hindi is the official language of the state, the garhwali language and other local dialects are also spoken and understood. There are numerous festivals and events that take place all around the year. These festivals are very important to the local people and often these are enjoyed with much pomp and show.
Chandrashila Peak: Situated at a distance of 6 km from Chopta, it is the summit of the Tungnath Temple. This 4000 meter high peak offers some of the best panoramic views of the Himalayan Mountains like Nanda Devi, Kedar Peak, Chaukhamba Peak, etc. The trekking is quite easy to this summit which requires moderate level of expertise.
While you are on your way to visit the Tungnath Temple, you will find that this journey is a small excursion in itself. It is a 4 km long trekking trail, which, depending on a trekker’s ability, can be covered in 4-5 hours. The trek path is quite convenient as it is stone-paved. Also, there are resting stations at regular distances. It is best to undertake this trekking pilgrimage to the shrine in the summer months starting from May to October. However, if you want to avoid the pilgrim’s rush, and you have proper equipments and expertise, then you can come and trek during the winters.
Chopta is an ideal place to relax and rejuvenate while you get to absorb breathtaking views of 41 Himalayan peaks around it. This village is one of the retreats where you can stay away from the chaos and commotion of daily mundane lives. The serene and clam nature of Chopta is sure to enchant you and you can be rest assured that you will not want to leave the place any time soon.
Needless to say every morning while you enjoy your daily morning tea, you also get to enjoy the scenic beauty of the surrounding Himalayan peaks covered by pine and deodar forests.
The people of this area prefer having locally gorown ingredients in their dishes. There are varieties of vegetables, cereals, pulses and fruits which are very popular in the region. Both wheat and rice are consumed on a regular basis. Chicken and mutton are consumed by the locals here.
The local resorts and hotels have their own restaurants where they serve local food. They also offer other popular cuisine like Punjabi, South Indian and Chinese which have been suitably modified as per the local taste. The local eateries are known as Dhabas and they serve oven fresh Indian flat bread or roti and farm fresh lentil soup.
The nightlife in this part of the country is not as vibrant as in the other metropolitan cities of India. Here, people lead a very simple and traditional life, which has very less influence of the western culture. There are very less options for nightclubs and pubs. Moreover, as this region has several important Hindu temples, here alcohol may not be available as elsewhere.
Here, you will find some local markets which have stores and shops offering daily basic need items. Even though Chopta is not an overtly commercialized tourist destination, you will be able to buy memorabilia for youself and for friends and family.