Monsoon magic - Chopta & Deoria tal !

Tripoto
19th Jul 2018
Day 1

"Meadows in Chopta"

Photo of Chopta, Uttarakhand, India by Amer Ghauri

Chopta - Uttarakhand

The Place & Experience:

An urge to explore & motivation to travel to lesser known places, closed the discussion sooner this time “let’s do Chopta” I said to me & my friends. Nestled at 2680 m, it’s an incredibly beautiful place to visit. Surrounded by alluring meadows and forests of Deodar, Pines & Rhododendrons makes me alive again. I love the fragrance offered by forests that enhances the wilderness & peace which comes with it. The convenient view of the Himalayas particularly the peaks of Chaukhamba, Nandadevi & Trishul makes this place very special. It lies within the Kedarnath wildlife sanctuary & is a base camp for Tungnath

"This is what monsoons can do"

Photo of Chopta, Uttarakhand, India by Amer Ghauri

Monsoons are not the best time to visit is one perspective; I had a different one as monsoons are unique in its own ways in the mountains. You can experience the plush meadows as nature’s carpet all around the area, confronting with beautiful birds and wild animals is itself is special. Beauty of flora is exquisite during this season, vibrant colors of nature you might not witness in other months. To one’s interest witnessing the calm flights of the largest & the heaviest birds of the mountains the “Himalayan griffon” is easy here.

"flying high - Himalayan griffon"

Photo of Chopta, Uttarakhand, India by Amer Ghauri

We were 4, out of which 3 of us knew each other since childhood, traveling with old friends help you through the worst part of the journeys, in this one was the drive through the plains and waiting for the moment when we hit the mountains. This place runs on solar electricity and electricity generators which might feel a little restricted on contrary it makes you feel closer to nature. Entire village was shut when we arrived except 2-3 dhabas, it was more than just awesome to have tea and pakoras with rain pouring in the background and breathing fresh air. Not wasting too much of time in a dhaba, we decided to move & explore the village, due to off season nothing was opened here we decided to take a walk around and head towards Sari.

"Contemplating the nature"

Photo of Chopta, Uttarakhand, India by Amer Ghauri

Exploring the area

If you are on 2 -3 days trip, there are lot of options which this beautiful hamlet has to offer:

Tungnath temple - rich in its history and proud for being the highest temple (3680 m) among st the 5 kedars and also the Garehwal region is more than enough for a reason to visit, if you’re looking for one. It can be done on the same day if you start your day relatively early. With astonishing views of the range and moderate level of trek will make every moment of your time worth. You will find few options to stay and eat in Tungnath.

Chandrashilla – Mountain top ahead of Tungnath is certainly a must visit, provided you are planning to spend a night in Tungnath, which might not be that comfortable but worth trying. With 180 degree view of the Himalayas it makes it one of the best views I have witnessed. If you can make it before the sunrise, trust me you will not forget the moment easily. You cannot stay here so you have to consider starting very early from Chopta or a relaxing one from Tungnath.

Deoria tal – small yet enchanting and full of reflections of the blues & greens with the massive mountains in the background can make you speechless. You can either trek for 14 km to Deoria tal from Chopta or you can drive (12 km) to to a nearby village “Sari” and trek for 2-3 km from there.

Sari – facing the valley is a modest village which provides an opportunity to enrich your cultural experience in the region. Structure of life there gets us closer to understand the diversity our nation offers to us. Traditional style of construction, what local eat, their language, the food can keep you involved for days there.

Apart from the signature places, you can always explore the area; it offers beautiful and wild trails through the forests and pleasing views from different points.

"Forest around Chopta"

Photo of Chopta, Uttarakhand, India by Amer Ghauri

"Meadows unlimited"

Photo of Chopta, Uttarakhand, India by Amer Ghauri

"Beautiful camps in Chopta"

Photo of Chopta, Uttarakhand, India by Amer Ghauri

Climate:

Chopta can be visited throughout the year, except in winters when road might be closed due to heavy snowfall in the area. For excellent views & the blue skies, I would recommend the months of February, March, September & October, during these months temperatures during the days is around 15 degrees & nights can be cold sometimes dropping to -10. April to June are the most comfortable months with temperature varying from 10-30 degrees however you might not witness the clear views of the range due to heavy clouds and while you are on a trek it might get uncomfortable at times. July & August are generally full of rain so you can barely trek, however relaxing and enjoying the greenery can cheer you up with friends & family around. Winters are most harsh but for snow lovers it’s the best time around. In case Chopta is not accessible from road you can always go to Dugalbitta which is not so far and roads are generally open to this point.

Accommodation & Food:

Due to its rural character it does not offer a lot of variety, however there are options of basic cottages and camping. If you like you can always put your own tents as it offers many spots from where you will have nice views. Personally I had good experience of food in Uttarakhand, even the basic dhabas & restaurants somehow manage to prepare tasty food. In Chopta there are few dhabas and you will get the basic food easily. Keep the expectations low in the area will help you be happier.

Recommended properties: Chopta meadows heritage, Buzz Eco camps & Moksha lodge.

Deoria Tal & Sari - Uttarakhand

The Place & Experience:

Sari is a small village in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand situated at 2000 m above sea level. It is just 12 km from Ukhimath a well-known settlement in the state. Road conditions were decent considering the season we visited the place. It offers very an extensive view of the valley and the mountains. It has a lot of farms around the village and it was full of flowers and birds, we couldn’t find a single spot which wasn’t green in the village & around. I was excited as it was our first visit to Sari & Deoria tal. We decided to spend the night here as we intended to trek to Deoria tal next morning if we find clear weather.

Day 2

"Sari village"

Photo of Sari, Uttarakhand, India by Amer Ghauri

"clicked from cafe Buransh"

Photo of Sari, Uttarakhand, India by Amer Ghauri

Staying options are limited in the village due to its rural character; still it has a beautiful guest house called “Cafe Buransh”. Buransh is Rhododendron in Hindi, the the guest house and the village was surrounded by them and many other variety of flowers. Just above the cafe was a small yet attractive temple you can always add on to visit or to do in the village. I loved the Eco-friendly structure of the property. It was managed by 2 local guys from the village. Despite being a long day and fatigue we were high on energy and we decided to cook dinner ourselves for a change, so we drove to Ukhimath from there we bought all the supplies we needed for dinner and our stay there. The drive was short though lovely as we stopped at waterfall right on the roadside, which is common in monsoons in the mountains. Biryani was made by my friend, he has a good history with cooking, so we were over indulged and ended the night with very complete satisfaction.

"Cafe Buransh - Sari"

Photo of Sari, Uttarakhand, India by Amer Ghauri

"Temple in Sari"

Photo of Sari, Uttarakhand, India by Amer Ghauri

"monsoons in Sari"

Photo of Sari, Uttarakhand, India by Amer Ghauri

"Flora in Sari"

Photo of Sari, Uttarakhand, India by Amer Ghauri

Fortunately morning was clear when we woke up, so wasting no time we had breakfast and left for Deoria tal, walking through the orchards of peaches & apple with many birds around definitely complimented our trek. After a moderate climb of around 1:30 hours finally we arrived to the lake of reflection. We got a glimpse of few peaks though it was for 5-10 minutes only. Being there on the lake with peaks in the background simply seized the moment for us. We just explored the lake by walking around; there is one old trek route of 14 km which goes to Chopta from here however it is not used anymore due to availability of road. As clouds started to build in the sky we knew we did not have much time to spend, but it was worth every single minute to be here so far. We started to walk back for Sari, there was a nice dhaba in somewhat middle of the trek, where we had refreshments and enjoyed the nature.

"Deoria tal"

Photo of Deoria Tal, Uttarakhand by Amer Ghauri

"trek to Deoria tal"

Photo of Deoria Tal, Uttarakhand by Amer Ghauri

"the glimpse"

Photo of Deoria Tal, Uttarakhand by Amer Ghauri

"dhaba on the way to Deoria tal"

Photo of Deoria Tal, Uttarakhand by Amer Ghauri

"view from Deoria tal"

Photo of Deoria Tal, Uttarakhand by Amer Ghauri

"Deoria tal"

Photo of Deoria Tal, Uttarakhand by Amer Ghauri

Accommodation & Food:

During season time, there are camping options available at Deoria tal, however all of them were shut during our visit, so we stayed in Sari at Cafe Buransh. I would recommend Sari as the camps in Deoria tal might not be equipped as per your likes and it would be cold at night. Moreover trek is doable in 1 day, for short trips you can do more in if you stay in Sari.

There are few dhabas in Sari, also wherever you chose to stay, food will be provided, if you try to keep simple north Indian food like vegetables, dal & rice then usually you will have decent experience.

Day 3

"on the way... somewhere"

Photo of Ukhimath, Uttarakhand, India by Amer Ghauri
Day 2

"way to Deoria tal"

Photo of Deoria Tal, Uttarakhand by Amer Ghauri

Road Map:

Chopta is 450 km by road from New Delhi and it might take 12-15 hours to drive depending on the road conditions and the way you drive. There are 2 route options I will suggest.

1st – New Delhi – Rishikesh – Srinagar – Rudraprayag – Ukhimath – Chopta.

First route is the most common route, with decent traffic on the road as it covers major towns of Uttarakhand. It is more convenient if you are planning a halt in Rishikesh.

2nd – New Delhi – Meerut – Lansdowne – Srinagar – Ukhimatt – Chopta

This route will take you to the mountains sooner, and is more scenic, however road conditions might not be good as it’s a state highway and less traveled. Generally people living there are taking this road. Map screenshot will help you understand better.

"Multiple roads to Chopta from New Delhi"

Photo of Monsoon magic - Chopta & Deoria tal ! by Amer Ghauri

The Conclusion:

With some deep conversation with old friends, drinks, co incidentally delicious biryani cooked by my friend made it very special. It’s a paradise for people who like to take pictures; it was marvelous experience, the meadows, the lake, the peaks, the silence & the feeling satisfying the sense of travel in us. It is a must try option in my opinion.

Suggestion, questions & opinions from you will be appreciated. Idea is to help the travel community. Happy traveling to all the good souls out there; You can connect with me on Insta – Opulentnature & Facebook – Amer Ghauri.

3 Comment(s)
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Beautiful place.. really mesmerising.
Wed 04 10 19, 15:57 · Reply (1) · Report
thanks Bridget... :)
Wed 04 10 19, 16:01 · Report
Thanks it is a lesser traveled place comparatively... you can always add in your next trips ..:)
Wed 04 10 19, 15:55 · Reply · Report
Very informative blog..seems to be unexplored place by tourists
Wed 04 10 19, 15:51 · Reply · Report