Gopeshwar is one of the most important and well maintained town of Uttarakhand state. The administrative district headquarters of Chamoli is located in Gopeshwar. Gopeshwar is one of the most important destinations associated with the Panch Kedar, Panch Prayag and Char Dham Yatra. It is a scenic place located on the lofty green mountain offering ravishing views. Gopeshwar is situated at an elevation of 1308mts and the climate is salubrious here throughout the year but very cold during December and January months. Gopeshwar has not only lured adventure and nature lovers but devotees too. There are many ancient temples at Gopeshwar with interesting mythological connections. The location of Gopeshwar makes it even more astounding as the scenic vistas are fantabulous from here. Gopeshwar is located near famous shrines like Badrinath, Kedarnath, Tungnath, Rudranath, Anusuya Devi etc. Gopeshwar is capable of captivating any tourist with its scenic beauty and mystic charm. Gopeshwar affords breathtaking views of the majestic Himalayan peaks and cascading water of the Alaknanda River.
Location of Gopeshwar
Gopeshwar is situated at an elevation 1308mts above sea level in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand state. Gopeshwar is situated on the left side of the Alaknanda River from where Chamoli can be easily seen. It is located 209kms from Rishikesh and 450kms from Delhi in the Garhwal hills. Gopeshwar is an important tourist destination as it is well connected with the Char Dham of Uttarakhand. Gopeshwar is situated on the road connecting Ukhimath with Chamoli.
Places to see in Gopeshwar
Gopinath Temple: Gopinath temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva built by Raja Saggar. According to myths and legends this is the place where a cow used to give milk on the Shiva Lingam every day. When the king saw this one day he decided to construct a temple at this very place and now this temple is very popular and is known as Gopinath temple.
Kedarnath Temple: Kedarnath temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is named after him. The temple was established more than 1000 years ago by Adi Shankaracharya. The temple is situated in a small town named after the temple Kedarnath which is situated 14kms from Gaurikund. Gaurikund is situated 93kms from Gopeshwar. To reach Kedarnath Temple you have to trek 14km commencing from Gaurikund. Kedarnath holds great importance with Shaivas and all hindus. Kedarnath temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas and the most important temple amongst panch kedar. Mythology says that Pandavas wanted to wash their sins they committed during the war by killing their own brothers, so they wished to meet Lord Shiva. Shiva was angry with and he didn’t want to bless them with his presence so Lord Shiva converted himself into a big bull and dug himself under the ground. The places where the body parts were founded were named as kedars. The hump of the bull was found here.
Chorabari Tal: Chorabari Tal is a lake 3kms ahead of Kedarnath. Chorabari tal is a pristine lake showing the reflections of the massive Himalayan peaks. The other name of Chorabari tal is Gandhi sarovar. The trek is easy but be careful while crossing the waterfall in between.
Vasuki Tal: Vasuki tal can be reached after a 7km moderate trek from Kedarnath. The lake is situated at an elevation of 4,150mts above sea level surrounded with Himalayan peaks casting their shadows on it.
Trijugi Narayan: It is the place where Lord Shiva and Parvati got tied in the unbreakable knot of marriage. Trijugi Narayan is a famous excursion of Kedarnath situated 107kms from Gopeshwar.
Ukhimath: Ukhimath is the home of the Kedarnath and Madhyamaheshwar deity during winters. Ukhimath village has a beautiful temple and some good places to stay. Ukhimath is one of the major spot in the Rudraprayag district. Ukhimath is located 74kms from Gopeshwar.
Deoria Tal: The stagnant water of Deoria tal shows the reflections of the snow clad Chaukhamba Peaks. Deoria tal is set at an elevation of 2,440mts above sea level. Deoria tal is located 3kms of easy trek from Sari, situated on Ukhimath-Chopta road.
Panch Kedar: Kedarnath, Madhyamaheshwar, Tungnath, Rudranath and Kalpeshwar are five kedars and to reach upto them you should have to trek for at least 4kms. Tungnath is the highest Panch Kedar set at an elevation of 3680mts above sea level, but it is also easily accessible. Tungath is situated 4kms from road, Kedarnath is situate 14kms from road, trek to Madhyamaheshwer and Rudranath is of 22kms and kalpeshwar is 12kms away from motorable roads. Only kalpeshwar remains opened throughout the year amongst the five kedars. The trek to Kalepshar commences from Helang.
Saggar: Saggar is the commencement point of the trek to Rudranath which is 4th Kedar dedicated to Lord Shiva. The 22km trek to Rudranath is the toughest one amongst the Panch Kedar. Saggar is located 5kms from Gopeshwar on Gopeshwar Ukhimath road.
Joshimath: Joshimath is one of the four ‘math’ created by Adi Shankaracharya. Joshimath is the home of Shri Badrinath during winters. Joshimath is connected with a cable car upto Auli and this is the longest and highest trolley of Asia. Joshimath is located 58km from Gopeshwar.
Badrinath: Badrinath is set at an altitude of 3,133mts above sea level in the Chamoli district of Garhwal region in Uttarakhand state. The deity of Badrinath temple is Lord Vishnu and the temple was established in the 9th century by Adi Shankaracharya. Badrinath Temple is the main attraction of the town and it is visited by every tourist. The temple has a height of approximately 15mts with the top covered with a gold gilt roof. The temple is situated on the right bank of the sacred Alaknanda River with the colorful ‘Singh-Dwara’ at the entrance. The temple remains closed during winter months as the region is prone to heavy snowfall. The sacred Badrinath Temple of Lord Vishnu is situated 105kms from Gopeshwar.
Auli: Auli is situated 72kms from Gopeshwar. Auli is popular for skiing and paragliding. This tourist destination offers stupendous views of the snow clad peaks of the majestic Himalayan range. Asia’s highest and longest cable car is situated in Auli connecting it with Joshimath.
What to do in Gopeshwar
Explore the excursions and nearby popular destinations. Do creative work in the presence of nature like composing poems, drawing pictures and enhancing photography skills etc. The place is rich in flora and fauna with great and popular trekking excursions like Kalpeshwar, Chopta-Tungnath, Rudranath etc. Carry raincoats with yourself as the weather is unpredictable there. Do bring back all the polythene bags if you took some of them while trekking as throwing them anywhere would harm the beauty of such a heavenly place.
Accomodations Hotels in Gopeshwar
Gopeshwar offers good hotels and resort where you can make a healthy and comfortable stay with quality food. Dev Darshan Hotel, Mahadev Tourist Lodge, Annapurna Hotel and Mayadeep Guest House are some better and affordable options to stay. GMVN Tourist Bungalows are also available at Gopeshwar providing comfort at its best.
Best time to visit Gopeshwar
Gopeshwar can be visited any time throughout the year. The place offers panoramic views throughout the year. But generally people try to avoid the monsoon period because of the blocking of roads due to land sliding. But the beauty of this region is on its high during monsoons with enchanting and luring greenery. A real nature and adventure lover would never miss the opportunity to visit this place and explore its excursions during this very period.
How to reach Gopeshwar
By Road: Gopeshwar is well connected with motorable roads from cities like Delhi, Rishikesh, Rudraprayag, Nainital, Ukhimath and other hill stations of Garhwal making it easy to explore other places as well. Gopeshwar is well connected with Garhwal region as well as Kumaon hills. There are regular buses and taxis operating upto Gopeshwar from Rishikesh, Rudraprayag etc. Gopeshwar is situated 450kms from the capital city of India, New Delhi.
By Rail: The Nearest Railway station to Gopeshwar is Rishikesh situated 209kms away. Buses and Taxis are available from Rishikesh to Gopeshwar.
By Air: The nearest Airport to Gopeshwar is Jolly Grant near Dehradun situated 230kms away. Taxis are available from here to Rishikesh.