Chopta in Uttarakhand is your best bet for a magical winter trip this season.
There’s no dearth of undiscovered winter destinations in India. We recently had a social media contest, asking our digital network to share their favourite hidden winter gems. Chopta, suggested by Deepa Dhan, is one of the top three lesser-known places we picked, where you can go to enjoy a snowy winter wonderland this season.
Rightly dubbed as the ‘Mini Switzerland of Uttarakhand‘, Chopta in the Garhwal region of the Greater Himalayas, is home to lush undulating meadows and thick forests and acts as the basecamp for the famous Tungnath trek. Come winter, and the little picturesque hamlet hides under a thick blanket of pristine white snow, right from the beginning of the winter season till the very end of March. Think occasional bouts of snowfall coupled with the breathtaking panoramas of the snowclad Himalayas and clear sunny skies! Arrive here when you wish to get away from the flocks of tourists and the clamour of city life.
During winter, the otherwise bustling Tungnath Temple, a revered pilgrimage site for Hindus and the world’s highest Shiva shrine at 3,680 metres, temporarily closes, offering you ample of time and space to enjoy the unspoilt landscape. Enjoy the uninterrupted views of Chandrashila or trek to the famous Deoria Tal to see the mountain ranges mirroring in its crystal clear water. With abundant flora and fauna, hiking trails, and camping sites, Chopta is every trekker’s dream come true.
Where to stay in Chopta:
The high concept luxury resort of Snow POD Makku (Chopta) offers eco-friendly igloo-like geodesic domes. Made up of pinewood and glass, these pod-suites give you a peek into the nature while allowing you to have a luxury glamping experience, thanks to their spacious interior with fully-equipped bathrooms, an outdoor patio, inbuilt earthen clay heaters, solar panels, and gourmet dishes prepared with locally-sourced ingredients from the inhouse restaurant.
What to do in Chopta:
Other than the Tungnath trek, you can go birdwatching in Baniyakund, hike up to the Chandrashila Peak, or encounter the elusive Himalayan wildlife at the Kanchula Korak Musk Deer Sanctuary.