Uttarakhand, which is bordered by Nepal and Tibet and surrounded by high Himalayan peaks, is rich in natural beauty. The state is split into two regions: Garhwal in the north and Kumaon in the south. Some of the features that make a trip to Uttarakhand worthwhile include ancient holy locations, mountains, forests, and valleys, as well as a plethora of hiking opportunities. For ideas, consider visiting these top tourist destinations in Uttarakhand.
Here are the best places to visit in Uttarakhand:
1. Jim Corbett National Park
Jim Corbett National Park, one of India’s most popular national parks, is named after hunter-turned-conservationist Jim Corbett. It features deep forest and a variety of animals, however tiger sightings are less regular than in other parts of India. Jeep or elephant safaris are available everyday in the early mornings and afternoons to explore the park. The park’s Dhikala zone is the most panoramic, offering breathtaking valley vistas. It has the highest likelihood of seeing animals (which might be frustrating at times). You could see wild elephants if you’re lucky.
Ancient Haridwar (the “Gateway to God”) is one of India’s seven holiest towns and one of the world’s oldest living cities. It is particularly famous with Hindu pilgrims who come to bathe in the sacred waters of the swiftly flowing Ganges River and wash away their sins. It is located in the Himalayan foothills of Uttarakhand. The evening Ganga Aarti has a particular attraction.
Rishikesh, which is close to Haridwar, is as popular with western spiritual searchers as it is with Hindu pilgrims. People go to the many ashrams and yoga institutes to meditate, practise yoga, and learn about other parts of Hinduism. It is known as the birthplace of yoga. Despite an increase in visitors, the town’s lanes and alleyways have an old-world charm. It is still a lovely spot to rest and unwind in the midst of nature.
During the British administration of India, the hill village of Nainital in the Kumaon area of Uttarakhand was a favourite summer getaway for the British. It is known for the emerald-colored Nainital (Naini) Lake and The Mall, which is lined with restaurants, stores, hotels, and marketplaces. Enjoy one of the many woodland treks, horseback ride throughout the region, or relax in a lake boat. Because of its proximity to Delhi, this resort is quite popular throughout the summer, especially on weekends. Jeolikote, Bhimtal, Ramgarh, and Mukteshwar are all less developed and peaceful areas to stay around Nainital.
Mussoorie is another favourite weekend getaway for northern Indians and honeymooners. One of the key reasons for this is that it has several amenities designed specifically for tourists. Take a cable car to Gun Hill, go on a nature walk along Camel’s Back Road, take a picnic at Kempty Falls, or ride a horse up to Lal Tibba (Mussoorie’s highest mountain). Mussoorie also has a spectacular view of the Himalayas. Check out Landour if you’re seeking for a calmer option nearby.
Almora, presently the Kumaon region’s capital, was constructed as the summer capital of the Chand monarchs in 1560. It draws a fair percentage of international visitors who come to see the adjacent Kasar Devi Temple, where Swami Vivekananda meditated. There are several relaxing places to stay in the vicinity, such as Kasar Rainbow Resort and Mohan’s Binsar Retreat, as well as low-cost guest houses with private cottages just outside of Almora. The Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kausani (where Gandhi spent time composing his Bhagavad Gita treatise), Ranikhet, and the Jageshwar temple complex are all located near Almora.
7. Valley of Flowers National Park
The Valley of Flowers National Park in the Garhwal area comes to life during the monsoon season. This high-altitude Himalayan valley is home to over 300 distinct types of alpine flowers, which provide a colourful carpet against a steep snow-capped backdrop. It’s a popular hiking location that’s available from early June until the end of October.
8. Char Dham
The Char Dham (four temples) are located high up in Uttarakhand’s Garhwal area and mark the spiritual source of four holy rivers: the Yamuna (at Yamunotri), the Ganges (at Gangotri), the Mandakini (at Kedarnath), and the Alaknanda (at Badrinath). A visit to the Char Dham is considered particularly fortunate by Hindus. It is thought to not only wash away all sins, but also to free one from the cycle of birth and death.
Uttarakhand even has a ski resort! Auli is a three-kilometer-long slope with a gondola, chairlift, and Poma ski lift on the route to Badrinath. The greatest time to go skiing is from the final week of January to the first week of March. However, adequate snowfall is required, which is changeable. If you enjoy hiking, the Kuari Pass trailhead is located in Auli. This hike through Nanda Devi National Park is one of the greatest and most accessible in the state.
Chopta, not to be confused with the Chopta Valley in Sikkim, is located between Kedarnath and Badrinath in Uttarakhand’s Garhwal area, near the entrance to the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary. It draws visitors who wish to experience nature away from crowds and development. Chopta is the beginning point for hikes to Tungnath temple (open from June to September) and the peak of Chandrashila. It’s a short, picturesque, moderate walk that may be accomplished in a single day. Notably, the temple is the tallest Shiva temple in the world.
Uttarakhand offers numerous amazing spots to explore, including gorgeous snow-clad mountains, floral valleys, and mysterious areas. Go explore uncharted territory. Plan a vacation to Uttarakhand and experience the beauty of the awe-inspiring locations to visit in Uttarakhand mentioned above!