Just like any other hill station, that we have visited, Chopta does not cease to amaze you.
The lush green and deep valleys, the silver snow-capped peaks of the mountains, the craggy trails that take you to the highest peaks, the trekking and much more. But it wasn’t just the beauty of this hill station that beguiled me. This place gives you much more than just a beauty to behold.
Most of the people visit Chopta for the trek to Tungnath, the third temple of Panch Kedar and if the weather is kind enough, you can elongate your trekking to ChandraShila. The rest of the trekking details you can get easily from any travelogue or Wikipedia but they won’t tell you why this place is as soothing the way it is. Best part, many people don’t know about this hill station and hence it is still untouched from the crowd and the noise and the filth that we create in most of the hill stations. You won’t find the fleet of vehicles or crowd ruining the white of the snow. Most of the camps are located deep in the valley and you need to walk to reach there.I felt like my trekking had started right there and if you are lucky enough, you wont fall while climbing down the steep trails :p
Picture this… It’s 6:30 AM in the morning and temperature around 3 degrees or maybe less, the grass beneath you is still moist due to the snowfall last night. You are standing in a valley with just the beautiful sound of the morning-mountain birds. Although you are standing in the shadow of the mountains but the sky is lit up from the crack of dawn. The snow-covered peaks of the mountain looking like un-cut diamonds due to the sunrise. You just can’t get enough of that. The excitement of yours asks you to run down the valley to see how deep it goes and while coming up, you can hear your own heartbeat. Loud and clear…How rare does that happen?
So, something changed in this extreme impatient girl who cannot sit quiet for 5 minutes. She just sat there, in the middle of the valley, looking at the aurora of the beautiful white and grey mountains, listening to her own heartbeat and talking to her own self. No rush to run somewhere, no need to complete anything, no cell phone, no eagerness to take picture and post it to social media (well, posted it later, obviously!! :p).
In that moment, it was just the mountains, the valley and in between that beauty, no matter how little or how insignificant, there was me…just me and nothing else.
Those four days, they made me realize that you owe this to yourself. You just don’t go traveling for the heck of it… you travel to feel that you are alive. The feeling of peace without the need to run around. And you won’t get that, in these cities where pubs and clubs with the loudest noise is known to be the coolest.
Chopta is still a hill station like any other but I am grateful that just for some time, it made me cherish those moments and gave me so many reasons to travel more.
As far and as much as possible…
Work ridiculous shifts to save your money
Go without the latest iphone…
Throw yourself out of your comfort zone
Find out how other people live
And realize that the world is much bigger than the city you live in
And when you come back home,
Home may still be the same…
And yes, you may go back to the same old job of yours…
But something in your mind will have shifted…and trust me that changes everything.”