Are you having a dilemma on choosing between Harsil valley vs Chopta valley for your next trip to Uttarakhand. Well don’t worry I’ve got you covered.
Based on my travels, I’ve a super detailed comparison blog on Harsil valley vs Chopta valley based on aspects like ease of reach, accommodation, internet connectivity, places to visit etc.
Harsil Valley Vs Chopta Valley
Perched at dizzying heights above sea-level, both Harsil valley & Chopta valley are famous jewels of Garwhal Himalayas.
While Harsil, located in Uttarkashi district is the gateway to Gangotri Dham, Chopta valley is home to Tugnath being the biggest attraction of the valley.
By the way, if its your first time to Harsil, here is detailed blog on how to plan a trip to Harsil.
Harsil Valley Vs Chopta Valley – Ease of Reach
Reaching both Harsil valley or Chopta valley is not that difficult. Both are accessible from India’s capital, Delhi. If you have your own vehicle, the journey is pretty straightforward.
If you don’t, and rely on public transport you might face a bit of hassle. But nothing too big of a deal.
There are direct buses to Gangotri from Haridwar only during yatra season. Post that if you want to visit Harsil, you need to get to Uttarakashi town after which shared cabs can take you to Harsil.
For Chopta valley, you have to first reach Srinagar/Rudraprayag, from there you can get buses/cabs to Ukhimath and finally from Ukhimath you can get shared cabs to Chopta.
But from experience, I think it is a tad bit easier to Chopta than reaching Harsil. Although the distances are similar from Delhi (Harsil – 512 km & Chopta – 472 Km).
Expect to travel at least for 15 hours or more to get to both Harsil or Chopta if you are relying on public transport like buses and shared cabs. Thats like your regular journeys in the mountains.
Harsil Valley Vs Chopta Valley – Which Is More Beautiful
Landscapes of both Harsil & Chopta have their own charm. Their scenic beauty should not be compared. Both are beautiful in their own way.
Harsil is surrounded by lofty peaks with Bhagirathi river meandering across the valley. Towering pines and rustic villages dotted across the valley really adds to the impeccable setting.
Chopta is blessed with undulating meadows, stunning vistas of snowy peaks and beautiful pines. While Pink & red Rhododedron blossom during spring elevates the scenic beauty of Chopta valley.
Just a word of advice, Plan your trip either during late Autumn or early spring when high mountains have tons of snow and weather is rather clear for you to make the most of it.
By the way, here is a detailed comparison between Himachal Vs Uttarakhand to help my fellow travelers.
Does Harsil Valley Have Better Accommodation Options OR Chopta Valley
When it comes to accommodation both Harsil & Chopta have accommodation options.
In Harsil valley, market area of Harsil has a lot of hotels and guesthouses. Homestays are usually found in Bagori village and Dharali village along with guesthouses. Overall budget stays and hostels are really hard to find in Harsil.
In Chopta valley, campsites are the most widely available options with ton of campsites starting from Baniyakund until Chopta market. Rooms are available as well.
Chopta market also has a few basic guesthouses in the name of homestays, but those are only inexpensive during off-season. Sari village some 18 kms from Chopta also has decent stays options including luxury ones.
if you are on a very tight budget staying in Ukhimath might be your best bet. But certainly absence of hostels definitely makes it difficult for Solo travelers on shoe-string budget in both the valleys.
Harshil Valley OR Chopta Valley – Places to visit
There is no dearth of places to visit in and around both Harsil and Chopta. Ancient temples, pristine villages, trekking trails are something which both Harsil and Chopta have to offer.
Places to visit in Harsil include Jhala, Dharali, Mukhwa, Gangotri, Purali, Jaspur, Sukki, Gartang Gali, Nelong valley. Places to visit in Chopta include Sari, Ransi, Makku Math, Tugnath, Deoritatal, Ukhimath etc.
I personally felt that Harsil has way more places to visit which are actually quite nearby in comparison to Chopta. But apart from that there plenty of places to be visited in both the valleys.
By the way, here is a detailed comparison blog if you are having dilemma between Harsil valley and Manali.
Harsil Valley Vs Chopta Valley – Which Is More Budget Friendly
To be very honest both are not that budget friendly. Inexpensive hostels, budget guesthouses and hotels are not very easy to find in both Harsil and Chopta.
From my experience, even a basic hotel, guesthouse or homestay room would cost at least INR 1000 in Harsil. Most of them quoted INR 1500 initially. So a solo traveler on a strict budget might have issues.
Food is not a problem though with plenty of inexpensive dhabas and eateries available. I personally stayed in a homestay so food was taken care off.
Similarly in Chopta, campsites are more prevalent. But a night in camps along with the food costs around INR 1500.
There are few basic guesthouses available if you wish to stay in Chopta market, but again only during off-season those will be affordable. Food can be managed by eating at Dhabas.
If you are on a strict budget, then you should probably stay at Ukhimath and then make day-trips to Chopta and Tugnath.
Harshil Valley vs Chopta Valley – Trekking & Hiking Trails
Both Harsil and Chopta have enough beautiful trails to keep you engaged. From easy-moderate day-treks to multi-day hikes Harsil and Chopta both have got you covered.
Ancient temples, beautiful meadows, otherworldly lakes, scenic vantage points are some of the rewards you get after hiking.
Short Hikes in Harsil include Lama top, Satal hike, Jhala-Purali-Jaspur hike. Multi-day treks include Kyarkoti trek, Lamkhaga pass trek, Dhumdhar Kandi trek, Sukki top trek, Awanu bugyal hike and many more.
Some famous treks around Harsil include Gaumukh-tapovan trek, Dayara bugyal trek, Gidara budgyal trek, Khedatal trek.
Shorts treks in and around Chopta include, Deoriotal hike, Sari to Chopta hike, Rohini bugyal hike, Syalmi bugyal hike, Tugnath-Chandrashila hike. Multi-day hike and treks include Bisudi tal trek.
I personally feel that Harsil beats Chopta valley when it comes very challenging multi-day hikes with the likes of Dhumdhar Kandi, Lamkhaga pass.
Harsil Valley OR Chopta Valley – As A Winter Destination
Both Harsil and Chopta are known to be buried in several feet of snow during the winters. Januaury and February being the peak snowy months.
Both the valleys when draped in fresh snow appear nothing short of a true winter wonderland. The clear weather in winter also makes the landscapes more beautiful when its not snowing or raining.
But again making a trip during peak winters could be a full of hardships if the snowfall is heavy that particular season.
By the way, if you are looking for a handy Harsil valley itinerary, here is one which will be great help to you.
Harsil valley Versus Chopta valley – In Terms Of Cafes
You’ll be grossly disappointed with both and Harsil and Chopta if you were expecting hippie cafes like in Manali, Kasol, Mcleodganj, Rishikesh, Jibhi.
Such cafes are almost non-existent in both and Harsil & chopta. One or two such cafes here and there could be present but nothing has broken through to be in the mainstream yet when it comes chopta and Harsil.
Expect only basic restaurants and Dhabas both in Harsil and Chopta. So this one is a draw in my opinion.
Here is detailed blog on what network works best in Uttarakhand in case you were wondering on the same.
Is Harsil Valley Better OR Chopta Valley – Internet Connectivity
When it comes to the internet connectivity and mobile network, Harsil easily triumphs Chopta valley.
Chopta valley does not have seamless mobile and internet connectivity. Although there is a intermittent connectivity but actual good connectivity happens to be on the Tugnath trail where people do not stay.
The whole stretch from Baniyakund to Chopta market does not have internet connectivity. Thus making remote-working render useless.
Harsil on the other hand is decent workcation option with decent internet speed. I personally worked remotely from Harsil for a couple of weeks and was able to seamlessly work from Harsil.
This was all I had for Harsil valley vs Chopta valley blog. I hope that this blog will help you decide between the two. In case you have any queries, do drop them in the comments below and I’ll be happy to answer them.