Chopta In March : A Mini-Switzerland

24th Mar 2023
Photo of Chopta In March : A Mini-Switzerland by Juhi Bhadviya

Chopta is a slice of heaven in the heart of the Uttarakhand Himalayas situated 2,709 m above sea level. It offers breathtaking views of the mighty Himalayan range. Chopta village is surrounded by forest areas and it serves as a base for trekking to some of the spectacular hikes featured in the blog.

How to reach

You can take a bus from Haridwar/Rishikesh to Ukhimath and then a cab to Chopta from there. If you take a straight cab from Rishikesh/Haridwar to Chopta, you can stop at Devprayag or Rudraprayg along the route.

Photo of Chopta In March : A Mini-Switzerland 1/5 by Juhi Bhadviya

Where to stay

I discovered this lovely cottage Green View Palace, among the Chopta meadows, which offers an exceptional room view of the snow-capped mountains and serves delicious food. There are also some other options like Swiss tents available for your stay in Chopta.

Things to do

Tunganath Chandrashila Trek

Tunganath temple, the third of the Panch Kedars, is one of the world's highest Shiva temples, standing at a height of 3,690 meters. Due to considerable snowfall during the winter, the temple is only open from April/May to October.

This trek was a great experience for me. The walk began with gentle, gradual ascents through the lovely red and pink Rhododendron trees. As I ascended higher, the views became more mesmerizing and I could see snow-capped mountains. After a while, I noticed a small Maggie shop and decided to stop by on my way back.

Photo of Chopta In March : A Mini-Switzerland 2/5 by Juhi Bhadviya

The path to the Tunganath temple was stone-paved, but as I hiked higher, snow began to accumulate on the trail, making it a little difficult to walk. The journey to the Tunganath temple took me two hours, but once I arrived, I was rewarded with a stunning panorama. The temple was not open to tourists at that time. I started my journey to the highest point, Chandrashila, after pausing for half an hour to soak in the beauty of the place.

Photo of Chopta In March : A Mini-Switzerland 3/5 by Juhi Bhadviya

After leaving the Tunganath temple, there was no established trail, so I hiked over the snow-covered slopes. As I got closer to the summit, the ascent became a lot steeper, which added a new dimension of excitement to the hike. I didn't anticipate there being much snow in March, but to my amazement, the mountains were covered with a three to four feet thick blanket of sparkling pure white snow. It appeared as though I was ascending up white sand dunes. It took me another hour to reach the peak, and words cannot adequately depict the scenery from that point. I looked around myself, and there was snow everywhere.

Photo of Chopta In March : A Mini-Switzerland 4/5 by Juhi Bhadviya

After enjoying the spectacular vistas, I began my descent from this point. On the route, I spotted beautiful male and female monal birds. The snow hardened by the time I started my return journey which made the trail slippery, still getting back took less time than it did to get there. As planned, I made a pit stop at the shop on the way back, and much to my astonishment, it began to snow while I was there enjoying my Maggie.

It turned out to be one of the most memorable experiences of my life since not only did I get to see snow, but also blooming rhododendrons.

Deoria Tal Trek

Deoria Tal Trek begins from Sari village, which is about 20 kilometers before Chopta. Deoria Tal lake is located at an elevation of 2438 meters and provides an unparalleled view of the snow-covered Chaukhamba peak.

It is said that when the Pandavas were in exile, they came across this lake in search of water and were questioned by Yaksha before drinking. They died one after the other after dismissing Yaksha's questions. Finally, Yudhisthira decided to answer Yaksha's questions and revived his brothers.

The trek had a clear stone-paved path that was surrounded by Rhododendron trees, and there was no snow on the way. It took around an hour to get to the lake. The view from the lake was serene. Seeing the shadows of mountain ranges in the lake was a pleasant experience.There was also a small shop a few steps before the lake where I stopped and enjoyed Aalu Paratha and Braash (Rhododendron) sharbat before continuing my journey back.

Photo of Chopta In March : A Mini-Switzerland 5/5 by Juhi Bhadviya

What to bring along

Carry a trekking pole (for snow trekking), a pair of trekking shoes, woolen socks, and hand gloves, and if you forget any of these, you may rent them in Chopta.

Don't forget to bring your own sunglasses, as you may get eye irritation if you don't, as well as a good sunscreen.


If you are starting your tour from either of these locations, don't miss river rafting in Rishikesh (Shivpuri to Nim Beach is recommended) or morning Ganga Aarti in Har ki Pauri, Haridwar.

Begin the Tunganath-Chandrashila trek as early in the morning as possible because the snow becomes extremely slippery and difficult to walk after it hardens. Many individuals who started the walk in the afternoon had to return before the Tunganath Temple.

Carry some chocolates or energy drinks with you, especially on the Tunganath-Chandrashila hike, as there were no shops at the top.

Try Braash Sharbat at Deoria Tal or any other shop along the way.