Rudraprayag: An eco-tourism zone is set to be developed in the Chopta Valley of Rudraprayag district, famously known as Switzerland. The Forest Department has initiated the process for this, and they have sent a proposal to the Eco-Tourism Board for a budget of over three crores. Once approved by the board, the department will begin the preliminary works.
Divisonal Forest Officer Abhimanyu of Rudraprayag mentioned that the Principal Secretary has given directions to create eco-tourism zones in all districts.
Based on a survey conducted by the Forest Department, Chopta Valley has been identified as the most suitable location for this purpose in the district.
Chopta attracts tourists from all over India and abroad every year. It is home to the world’s highest Shiva temple, Tungnath, which attracts lakhs of devotees annually.
Additionally, thousands of tourists visit here for winter tourism. The development of a well-organized tourism zone will benefit both the state government and the local community. The department has sent a Detailed Project Report (DPR) of over three crores to the Eco-Tourism Board and the government. Upon approval, Phase-1 will be carried out in 2023-24, and Phase-2 in 2024-25.
The Chopta Eco-Tourism Zone will cover a total area of 500 hectares. It will include the protected forest areas around NH-107, Ragasi, Makkum, and Ushada. The main attractions will include an eco-park, tree houses, a bird interpretation center, and a cultural and heritage center.
All eco-tourism development activities will be carried out in an eco-friendly manner without disturbing the natural habitat. Photo points, signage, and 3D models of animals will be established around NH-107.
The Ushada Forest Reserve will have an eco-park featuring tree huts, adventure activities, canopy bridges, photo points, signage, and more. Local bird guides, binoculars, bird books, and souvenirs will be made available for birdwatching enthusiasts.
The provision of bio-toilets, food cafés, tourist information booths, and souvenir shops will be developed for the convenience of locals and tourists. Additionally, a herbal garden will be established for the conservation of medicinal and aromatic plants.
The Culture and Heritage Center will showcase traditional clothing, ancient artifacts, glimpses of local folklore, religious beliefs, and spiritual significance. The camping site will be permitted in selected areas, with the active participation of local residents and the forest community.
Apart from Chopta, eco-tourism zones will also be developed at Chirbatiya and Kartik Swami Ghimatoli Circuit in the district, which are known for their tourism potential.”
Please note that this translation may not be perfect, as some technical terms and specific location names may have slightly different meanings or interpretations.