Bordered by Tibet in the north, Nepal in the east, Himachal Pradesh in the west and the Gangetic plains in the south, Uttarakhand, the land of spirituality seems to be a jewel on the crown of Indian Territory. Being the originating point of significant Indian rivers, Uttarakhand is the abode of some of the best hill stations in north India. While the winter season can offer you the best views of snow packed mountain ranges, the same ranges can be the comfort zones in the scorching summer. From thrilling mountain climbing to relaxing leisure walk, each single activity is delightful and worthy to time spending.
To familiarise you with the highly trodden as well as the unexplored tourist destinations in Uttarakhand, I have prepared a list of must-see hill stations in the region. This list can work as a miniature form of Uttarakhand Travel Guide.
Mostly known as the ‘queen of the hills’, Mussoorie is the pride of Uttarakhand Tourism industry and a significant source of revenue for the state. Breathtaking scenic beauty of Mussoorie compels the travelers to accept the truth that nature has painted the canvas of this astounding tourist spot with sheer concentration. Nestled amidst the undulating Himalayan ranges, this region seems like a nest of peace. The average altitude of Mussoorie is 1,880 m whereas the highest peak is more than 2,290m high making it a paradise for the thrill seekers. March to June and September to November is the best time to visit this splendid spot.
Some of the most enticing trekking trails in Mussoorie are:
Night Safari and Night Camping in Mussoorie Wild life (Bird) sanctuary is the first of its kind in India.
Being one of the most popular hill stations in Uttarakhand, Nainital is the perfect retreat for the tourists of all taste. From lovely honeymoon couples to passionate youths, everyone has unique things to explore here. Lavish hotels are set in the densely wooded hills around the Naini Lake. The lush green hillsides offer mesmerizing views of the snow white Himalayan ranges. Nanda Devi temple on the northern bank of the lake is a historical sightseeing spot. Sher-Ka-Danda Ridge, Guano Hills, Tiffin Top, and Eco Cave Gardens are some of the popular places in Nainital. Nainital Zoo has a few rare species of animals like snow leopard, Himalayan black bear and steppe eagle. Enjoying boat ride on the pristinely set environment of Naini Lake is incredibly blissful.
If you are over with Nainital tour and yet have some spare time, head for Pangot, which is located 15 km away from Nainital. Birdseeing is the prominent activity in this region. More than 150 species of birds are observed here. Most of the birds come down to the lower region of Himalaya to check the chilling winter effect. There are special birding lodge in Pangot from where you can witness the cheerful activities of birds more closely. Pangot is a paradise for the wildlife photographers. For clicking that magic moment of a bird in the greenery, Snow View Point and Kilbury are the most appropriate places in Pangot.
Abbott Mount is located 6400 ft above sea level and one of the must-visit getaways in Uttarakhand. The astounding scenic beauty of this region is perched with deodar and pine forest and captivating views of the Himalaya. An artistically rich church is found amidst the dense forest. It is an ideal place for trekking, birding and photography.
Almora is well acclaimed for its picturesque landscape and rich cultural heritage. It is located on a horse shoe shaped ridge of Kasaya hill at an elevation of 1638 m above sea level. Mostly known for its sightseeing place, Almora has many unique temples like Golu Devta and Nanda Devi Temples. Other significant temples are Katarmal, Jageshwar and Kasar Devi. Katarmal is an 800 year old Sun temple. Enjoying the sunset or sunrise at Bright End Corner is a must to do activity in Almora.
If you enjoy skiing, Auli is the best destination for you in Uttarakhand. For enthusiastic winter sports lovers, it houses some of the best slopes covered with Deoadar and Oak forest reducing the velocity of chilling wind. Witnessing the panoramic view of the Himalaya from Gondola can be an unforgettable experience. Best time to visit is January to March when nature decors the land with dusty snow. If you love to go for trekking, Auli to Badrinath and Auli-Kuari Pass trek are some of the best places for adventure trekking in Uttarakhand.
Mostly known for its beguiling lake, Bhimtal can be one of the best locations to spend your summer Holidays in Uttarakhand. Located at an elevation of 1371 m above sea level, this sprawling hill station enjoys a pleasant weather throughout the year. The magnificent hills hovering with lush greenery border the entire lake area. Bhimtal Lake has a strategically located restaurant at its centre, from where one can enjoy the scenic beauty of the entire lake. Boating on its calm water is an incredible experience. Angling is allowed here, but you need to take special permission from DCFR. One can indulge in rappelling or rock climbing in Bhimtal. Bhowali, Kainchi, Gorkhakhal, Bhimeshwar temple are some of the must see spots near Bhimtal.
If you want to explore some of the less trodden mountain peaks in Uttarakhand, Bhowali is the destination for you. Situated in Nainital district, this unique tourist spot is located at an altitude of 1,076m above sea level. Enjoy nature walks, horse riding, or even rock climbing and rejuvenate yourself. There are wonderful forest walks in this area where a walk to the Dorothy’s Seat picnic spot at Tiffin Top can be a memorable experience. Trekking to Naina Peak is another significant activity to be enjoyed here.
Located at an elevation of 7600 ft above sea level, Binsar is known to be the highest hill station in the entire Kumaon region. It is one of the most beautiful places in Uttarakhand, and located amidst the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary. Witnessing the panoramic view of the Himalayan peaks from Zero point is the main attraction of this region. From nature lovers to adventure freaks, this region can satisfy all. The mesmerizing Himalayan oak and rhododendron woods are ideal for trekking. Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary houses more than 200 species of birds and other wildlife including leopard, black bear, pine marten porcupine etc. Do not forget to have a glimpse of snow packed mountains of Kedarnath, Trishul, Shivling and the Nanda Devi from famous Binsar Zero Point. The Bineshwar Temple of 13th Century India is highly attention grabbing.
Another famous hill station in Uttarakahand, Chakrata attracts attention of the tourists for its unique natural setting. Situated by the side of Yamuna and Tons River, this beautiful hill station is amongst one of the best locations to repose. The undulating terrains of the majestic hill, deep forests, and healthy climate make it a perfect destination for a soothing summer outing. Trekking to Kharamba Peak is a wonderful experience. The northern slants of Chakrata are famous for both skiing and trekking.
If you want to explore a hill station in fresh environs and stunning scenic beauty, Chamba can be an excellent option for you. The picturesque scenic beauty of the region with its unspoiled nature offers an outstanding feel to the tourists. The tiny hill station, decorated with pine trees and Deodar forest offering an impressive view of Himalaya. The pleasant weather of summer makes it a popular retreat for most of the people residing in cities. Monsoon is romantic here and winter season is chilling. Sometimes the temperature goes beyond freezing point and one can witness snowfall as well. According to the legends, Chamba was earlier a part of the Gorkha Kingdom but it was Kings of Garhwal who later ruled this place. As the region is located near to Mussoorie and Rishikesh, one can enjoy camping, trekking and climbing.
One of the most famous sightseeing spots in Uttarakhand, Champawat is known for its rich cultural heritage. There are a number of historical locations in this place which include astounding architectural establishments. Extensive variety of flora and fauna make it a magical city to explore to the fullest. Religious spots like Baleshwar Temple and Nagnath Temple display the excellent architectural beauty of the place. Banasur ka Kila is a significant sight to visit. Other attractions include Chaumu Temple, Barahi Temple, Abbott Mount, Advaita Ashrama, Kranteshwar Mahadev Temple etc.
If you are in need of a break from your hectic lifestyle, Chaukri has multiple options. It is located in the high hill of Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand at a height of 2010m above sea level. Chaukori is famous for its tea garden. The vergin beauty of Chaukori is unaffected by pollution and crowd the undulating terrains are perched with emerald green tea gardens overlooking the benign summits of Chaukhamba, Nanda Devi, Panchauli or Nanda Kaut. Due to the unpolluted environ both the views of sunset and sunrise is unique in Chaukori. The forest is rich in pine, oak, and rhododendron trees and interspersed with cornfields and orchards. Detached from all sorts of artificiality, this natural setting is the best location to compel tourists to plan a special holiday trip to Uttarakhand. Some of the prominent sightseeing places in Chaukori are Arjuneshawar Shiva Temple, Kalinag, Bashukinag, Feninag, Pinglenag, Mostamanu Temple, Harinag Temple, Ghunsera Devi Temple and Kapileshwar Mahadev Temple.
Encompassing some of the wonderful tourist attractions in Uttarakhand, Chopta is known to be the Switzerland of India. Mostly visited for adventurous activities, Chopta has pleasant weather and breathtaking ambiance to please cosmopolitan city dwellers. Among the adventurous activities, exploring the Chopta Tungnath Trek is the most amusing. This easy gradient track can be explored in one day. The journey starts from Chopta and ends at Tungnath summit (Chandrshila). This steady inclined trek passes through a striking forest of rhododendron. For having a glimpse of superb views of Chopta, September to November is the best time. Witnessing the snow covered mountain tracks while passing through the twist path is remarkable. The region is perched with numerous alpine meadow slopes which are great locations for skiing. You can also take part in camping on Chopta.
Situated at an elevation of 2286 m above sea level, Dhanaulti is an attractive tourist spot in Mussoorie. Enclosed with dense oak, alpine and rhododendron forests, this exotic location can be the best retreat to the city dwellers. Slightly apart from the crowd of Mussoorie, Dhanaulti fascinates tourists throughout the year. From weekend travelers to family vacationers and corporate groups, everyone has something unique to enjoy in this diverse land. For thrill seekers, there are scopes to enjoy soft adventure activities like Flying Fox and Burma Bridge. There are wonderful walking tracks and nice corners and sitting spaces to spend leisure. Barehipani fall (400m) and Joranda fall (150m) in Dhanaulti exude wonderful natural ambiance. There are different varieties of swings for kids. So, if you are with your family, your kids will also like this place.
Located on the border of Pithoragarh district, Dharchula is a lower hilly region in Uttarakhand. Slightly detached from all major cities, this location is one of the unexplored getaway destinations in Uttarakhand. This small hill station stands on the bank of River Kali and houses important spots to explore. This is an excellent option for those who seriously need a break to relax. Flourishing forest is perched with trees like Pine, Oak, Apple and Deodar. An extensive variety of dry fruit plants are also found here. You can visit some popular places like Jaulijibi, Narayan Ashram, Askot Sanctuary, and Chirkila Dam.
One among the major tourist destinations in Uttarakhand, Didihat is located 64 km away from Dharchula. The diversity of flora and fauna in this region is imposing. The entire region is enclosed with deep green ridge. Witnessing the Panchachuli Peaks from any corner of the vicinity is breathtaking. Being the ancient kingdom of Katyur Dynasty, Askot is a popular tourist spot in this area. The remains of many historical forts are also found here. The Malika Arjun Temple and the Ashram of Swami Narayan are major religious spots in Didihat.
Situated in a beautiful natural set up, Dwarahat is one of the best places to visit in Uttarakhand. Mostly popular among the regular tourists as a significant sightseeing location, Dwarahat has a group of 55 temples which were mostly built by the Katyuri Kings. Paban Maharaja Ashram or Durga Temple is located at high altitude and one has to climb 500 steps to reach atop the hill. The view of the Himalayan peaks and the surrounding vicinity of Almora, Ranikhet and Kasauni are amazing. A couple of fairs are also organized in Dwarahat. Syalde Bikhauti Mela is celebrated on Vishuwat Sankranti Day and dance and music play a major role in this fair.
There are many interesting spots to explore while you are spending your holidays in Uttarakhand. Gwaldam is one such less trodden landscape in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. It is located at an elevation of 1700 m above sea level. Nestled in wooded vicinity with undisturbed tranquil ambiance, this beautiful natural setting invites tourists of all ages to spend their holidays in Uttarakhand. A 3 km short track runs up to Talwari which is set in a breath-taking environ. The sideway of the track is rich in multihued flowers, varieties of birds, and endless springs. Trekking to the majestic Roopkund Lake will be the most wonderful memory of Gwaldam. Badhangarh Temple stands on a narrow ridge and one can go for a short evening walk on its beguiling trails.
If you are a peace loving soul and the boisterous city life has snatched away your sleep, take a break and head for Harsil, one of the hidden jewels of Uttarakhand. Murmuring water of river Bhagirathi, chirping of birds and dense deodar forest transform the land into a heaven-like getaway from the unexciting honks of metros. The region is located at an elevation of 2620 m above sea level and occupies a picturesque landscape. During summer it has a pleasant weather and the winter is as usual chilling. If you are dying to see a lot of snow, January to March is the ideal time for that. Trekking from Harsil to Chitkul via Lamkhaga Pass adds to thrill. Other than witnessing the snow packed Himalayan peaks closely, you can see the apple orchards flourishing with fresh apples.
This summer, plan for a never had before family trip to Jeolikot and feel the charm of exploring the boundless nature to the fullest. From calm and serene environment for relaxation to enthusiastic adventurous activities, Jeolikot has wonderful options for all ages. Famous tourist spots like Mukteshwar, Naini Lake, Corbett National Park, and Ramgarh are close to this place. Enjoy the ambiance of orchards flourishing in seasonal fruits. The village of Jeolikot is paradise for nature enthusiasts. The adventure lovers can enjoy bird watching or nature walks. Try to explore the colonial history and heritage of one of the small villages of this region.
A drive of 6-7 hours from Delhi will take you to Kanatal, a quaint place tucked away in the dense forests of Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. 33/kms from Mussoorie, this wonderful getaway is located 8500Ft above sea level. Like other hill stations of the state, this place is also blessed with Goddess Nature in its full bloom. But what separates it from other known names is its untouched beauty and intact rustic appeal. Kanatal and its less-explored passages attract tourists for rejuvenation, for self-exploration and for praising the Creator. Another major attraction of Kanatal is its proximity with Chamba, and Dehradun as well as its adventurous zeal.
A paradise of tranquility, a hub of unbound freshness; Kausani is nestled amidst magnetic Kumaon hills of Uttarakhand. Extensive undulating terrains are perched with emerald green tea gardens and induce you to stroll by the garden side. Absolutely detached from the noisy environment of city life, it is a perfect retreat for the worshippers of nature. Newly married couples can stroll on its breathtaking nature walking trails and can make their trip to Kausani more romantic. Some of the important trek routes from Kausani are Base Kausani trek, Adi Kailash trek, and Bageshwar- Sunderdhunga trek. Most of the routes pass through oak and pine forest and the smell of ripen fruits will fascinate you. One can also indulge in rock-climbing or stroll through the edge of Gomti and Kosi to spend the leisure in solitude. There are couple of beautiful ashrams and waterfalls at Kausani among which the major names are Anashakti Ashram, Lakshmi Ashram,Rudradhari Fall etc.
Another important weekend getaway in Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand, Khirsu is one of the most peaceful tourist places in Uttarakhand. This small hill station at an elevation of 1700m fascinates travelers and offers some of the best views of central Himalaya and its snow clad peaks. If you love communing with nature, this is the right place for you. During winter, the mountain peaks get covered with the powdery white snow. The tranquil forest is thick in Oak, Deodar forests. Sweet smell of ripen apples is delightful. The ancient temple of Ghandiyal Devta in the vicinity is worth a visit. Pauri, Deval Garh, Dhari Devi, and Ulkha Garhi are some of the best sightseeing options in Khirsu.
Lansdowne is a perfect getaway to spend your holiday. An ideal destination to spend the relaxing moments without doing any activities is easily approachable from metro cities like Delhi. Located at an altitude of 1700m above sea level, this small hill station offers the best views of snow-laden peaks of Mt. Kedarnath and Chaukhamba. The hills are perched with green forests of Pine, Deodar, and Rhododendron and amplify the scenic beauty. Unpopulated environments, fresh cold breezes, colour of sunset & sunrise and bird paradise are the uniqueness of this tiny hill station.
Located in the Champawat district, Lohaghat is a 1745m high hill station in Uttarakhand. Well acclaimed for its pleasant environment this little quaint destination is important from mythological as well as historical point of view. This small town is situated by the river Lohawati and a retreat from the mad rush of city life. Salubrious weather, abundant nature trails, and deep green landscapes rejuvenate the flagging spirit. Abbot Mount, Shyamal Tal, Gurudwara Sahib, Forti Village, Vanasur Fort, Galchaura are some of the significant tourist spots in this area. Try to visit the mystical Mayawati Ashram popular among the follower of Advaitins. Adventure lovers can participate in river water rafting as well.
Located at an elevation of 2286 meters (7500 feet) above the Kumaon Hills, Mukteshwar is the nearest getaway from Delhi and Nainital. Though this hilly region is well known for the temple of lord Mahadeva, the scenic beauty is the central attraction. Witnessing the breathtaking natural ambiance of Himalaya from the temple premise is unforgettable. Chauli-ki-Jali is known for its overhanging cliffs where sporty individuals can enjoy rock climbing and rappelling. Have a glimpse of the excellent view of the valleys below. Trek by the woods in early morning and feel the freshness of air which is totally absent in a city life. Ramgarh has a few amazing orchards whereas Sital is known for its gushing waterfalls.
For those young and enthusiastic individuals who love to feel the thrill of adventure, Munsiyari has multiple options. Located in Pithoragarh district at an altitude of 2298m above sea level this less polluted holiday destination houses a number of high altitude trekking routes. From beginners to experts, all can quench their thirst of trekking. Observe the mesmerizing view of the snow capped peaks of Himalaya while trekking. If you are in a long trip and want to explore more, do not forget to look for the multiple varieties of wildlife which is enriched by the rare species like Himalayan griffon, Himalayan bear, wagtail, raven, falcon, monal and many more. Birthi Fall is around 35/kms from Munsiyari and a must-see tourist attraction. A very old temple called Nanda Devi is another attraction of this vicinity. March to May and October to November is considered to be the best period to visit this mini Kashmir of Uttarakhand.
If solitude is your bosom friend, Naukuchia Tal is the perfect tourist spot for you. Known for its one km long nine-cornered lake, this wonderful tourist spot is situated at an altitude of 1220 m above sea level. Unpolluted, clamor-free environ is echoed with the chirping of birds. Enjoy paddling by the lake side which is a great experience. If you want to explore some other destinations, Mukteshwar and Sat Tal are not very far.
The Himalayan foothills are popular pilgrimage destinations since eternity. Most of the caves are either explored for adventure or religious belief. Patal Bhuvaneshwar is one such mystical and spiritual place which is located 1350m above sea level. It is a limestone cave and the entrance to the cave goes through a long and narrow tunnel. Devotees believe that 33 crore deities are residents of the cave. Worshipping here is regarded as equivalent to Char Dham Yatra. Though the central deity of the temple is Shiva, but numbers of other deities are also seen here. Other wonders found in this cave are hair of Lord Shiva, Airavat of Indra, Tongue of Kaal Bhairava and some more. This mysterious cave has four entrances and the entire cave is around 160m long and 90 feet deep.
The salubrious weather and astounding scenic beauty of Pauri is enough to make your short holiday trip to Uttarakhand surprisingly memorable. The picturesque landscape is perched with skyscraping mountain peaks covered with pristine white snow. Witnessing sunrise atop the mountain peaks is an unforgettable experience. Kedarnath, Bander Punchh, Gangotri Group, Neelkanth, and Nandadevi are some of the significant mountain peaks that one can witness from Pauri.
Set amidst breath-taking natural scenario and holy spots, Pithoragarh is a significant hill station in Uttarakhand. Located at a height of 1,650m above sea level, this small village is a historical place too. Mansarovar and Kailash pilgrimage start from this region. Nepal and Tibbet are the neighbouring countries close to Pithoragarh. Pouring waterfalls, white glaciers, tranquil lakes, and gushing rivers gulp down the tiredness and boredom of the travelers. Walk around all unique elements of Pithoragarh starting from sightseeing to nature exploring and let your inner soul rejuvenate.
If you are one among those individuals who love to interact with bare nature in solitude, Ramgarh in Kumaon district of Uttarakhand must be your next holiday destination. Detached from the rush of city life, the environment of this region is calm and serene. Have a glimpse of the gigantic Himalaya from the sprawling fruit orchards of apricots, apples, peach and pears. Go for paddling across the orchards and enjoy the fresh ripen smell of the varieties of fruits.
One of the significant hill stations in north India, Ranikhet is a must see tourist spot for the adventure loving youths. Apart from bewitching topography, the region attracts many tourists for the amazing trekking trails. The artistic canvas of this region is perched with varieties of rare trees and multihued nameless flower gardens. Paragliding camps are organized by different tour organizer groups. The campsite is around 12km ahead of the main town of Ranikhet and located by the oak forest. There is airy safari tents to smaller trekking tents in this area to add to your comfort. You can also choose to spend a leisure night in old style stone houses of the village. There are a few beautiful temples at Ranikhet, among which Jhula Devi Temple, Binsar Mahadev Temple, Katarmal(Sun Temple) are noteworthy.
If you love birding and if photography is your passion, spend your next weekend in this camera-friendly destination of Sattal. As the name suggests, Sat-Tal means a cluster of seven lakes. Water of these lakes is crystal clear and unpolluted. The region is located 1370m above sea level. To escape from the intolerable cold of the extreme peaks of the Himalaya, varieties of migratory birds come down to this region. The weather is pleasant during summer. In monsoon, the greenery of this region flourishes impressively.
The only planned city of Uttarakhand, New Tehri is a renovated form of Old Tehri Town. Mainly visited by the dwellers of plains in summer for its pleasant weather, this modern town is spread over an altitude of 1,550-1,950 m above sea level. Tehri Dam is known to be the tallest dam in India. The panoramic views of Chamba are spectacular.
Mainly known for its Atariya Temple, Rudrapur is a small getaway destination in Uttarakhand. It is located on the Rudrapur-Haldwani route. Every year during Navratras, a 10 days long fair is held in this region. People from across the state join in this fair to seek blessings from Goddess Atariya.
Located at an elevation of 995m above sea level, Chamoli is a great place for pilgrimage as well as adventure activities. It is a part of the ‘Kedar Khand’ and situated in the Central Himalaya. While the winter is chilling here, the summer is rather moderate and pleasing. For adventure lovers, there are trekking trails in Chamoli. Roopkund Trek, Kuaripass Trek, Gopeshwar-Helang Trek are noteworthy. One can enjoy rock climbing and skiing as well.
A famous centre for pilgrimage and the starting point of most of the adventurous activities, Joshimath is an 1890m high hill station in Uttarakhand. It is the gateway to Hem Kund and Badrinath Temple. Vishnuprayag, the confluence of Alkananda and Dhauliganga is located at the foothill of this mountainous region. Joshimath is the base of Kuari Pass Treks, Valley of Flowers and Auli Ski Resort. A number of tour organizers arrange trekking, skiing, white water rafting, and mountain climbing packages on demand.
The historical temples of Jageshwar are the central attractions of this unique tourist destination in Uttarakhand. This religious town is situated at an elevation of 1,870m above sea level and more than 124 temples are found here. The temples are nestled amidst the deodar forest with a stream flowing at its backdrop. The temples depict ancient Indian sculpture and date back to the Gupta dynasty. Mrityunjay Temple is the oldest temple in Jageshwar while Dandeshwar Temple is the largest. More than 25 inscriptions of different ages are found in the temple premise. While the summer is pleasant in this area, monsoon may bring heavy rainfall and winter season is chill.
If you are planning for a religious tour to Uttarakhand, the divine land of Gangolihat has some of the best spots for you. It is a small hill town in Pithoragarh and famous for its Shaktee Pithas of Hat kalika or Goddess Kali. There are a number of ancient temples and underground caves to explore in this place. Temples like Haat Kalika Mandir, Chamunda Mandir, Vaishnavi Mandir, and Ambika Dewaal are very significant from a religious point of view. The Vaishnavi Mandir is situated atop the Shail Parvat and the panoramic view of the Himalaya mesmerizes the devotees and travelers alike. Exploring the underground caves like ‘Shaileshwar Gufa’, ‘Patal Bhuvaneshwar’, ‘Mukteshwar’, and ‘Pataleshwar Gufa’ is truly interesting.
If you are panning for a religious family trip to Uttarakhand, Uttarakashi is the perfect place in terms of piousness as well as sightseeing options. Close to the main town of mystical plains of Kashi City, this busy town houses a number of shrines and temples. The vicinity is located at an elevation of 1165 m above sea level and the holy river Bhagirathi flows by this town. The forest of this region is rich in fir, pine and deodar trees along with number of medicinal herbs and shrubs. Nehru Institute of Mountaineering is located in this region to train you in mountaineering. Trekking from Uttarkashi to Dodi Tal and Dayara Bugyal are very popular among the adventure lovers.
Those who want to go for a holy trip to Uttarakhand and want to visit the popular pilgrimage destinations, Gopeshwar is a fine option It is located at an altitude of 1300 m above sea level and houses some of the ancient temples of unidentified age. The entire region is surrounded by the four well known Hindu temples, i.e., Tunganath, Badrinath, Anasuya Devi and Rudranath. Tunganath is the highest temple among the Panch Kedars of Lord Shiva. Badrinath is the temple of Lord Vishnu which has a great importance from religious point of view. Vaitrani Kund is the holy pond where devotees take bath to cleanse their sins.
More than just a simple religious destination, this wonderful temple is mostly visited for its surrounding location and majestic trek from the base of the hill. It is located at an elevation of 3050 m above sea level in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. The idol of Lord Kartikeya is formed automatically out of a marble rock. The trek to the main temple starts from dense forest and ends atop a ridge surrounded by splendid landscape.
Located on the bank of the holy Alakananda River, and in the lap of the gigantic Himalaya, Badrinath is one of the most prominent Hindu pilgrimages in Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. Situated at an average elevation of 3,100 m above sea level, this spiritual getaway has great mythological importance. One of the ‘Char Dhams’ and ‘Panch Badris’, this tranquil holy place encompasses a breath-taking natural ambiance and surprisingly calm and serene environment. The central deity of the temple is Lord Vishnu, and he is seated in a meditating pose. The entire temple premise is set with other small temples and idols of different other deities. Tapt Kund, a natural thermal spring flows by the Alakananda River and is believed to have some medicinal properties. Other must see spots are Neelkanth, Panch Prayag and Mata Murti Temple.
More than just an ordinary worshiping spot, Gangotri is a geologically important place in Uttarakhand. The main town area is located on the bank of river Bhagirathi at an elevation of 3140 m above sea level. But, the most important location is Gaumukh in Gangotri Glacier which is located around 19km away from Gangotri Town. This is the starting point of river Ganges, the holiest river mentioned in Hindu scriptures. Gangotri is one of the ‘Char Dhams’ and has great religious importance. The submerged lingam of Lord Shiva is seen in the mid river and adds to the surprising elements of this region.
One of the Char Dhams of Hindu belief, Yamunotri is the abode of Goddess Yamuna and the starting point of the same (Yamuna River). It is located at an elevation of 3292 m above sea level and houses a number of unique sights to be explored. The sacred thermal spring at Janki Chatti is located around 7 km away from the major attractions of Yamunotri. The actual starting point of River Yamuna is a bit far from the main temple at a height of around 4,421 meters (14,505 ft). The scenic beauty of this divine land is enhanced by the dense pine and deodar forest and nameless streams rolling down by the rocky hills. Surya Kunda contain naturally boiling water whereas, Gauri Kund has lukewarm water for bathing. The temple of deity Yamuna opens on the day of Akshay Tritiya in April and closes after the Yam Dwitiya in October. The best season to enjoy the beauty of this place is May to October.
For the nature worshippers of the neighbouring regions to Uttarakhand, the Valley of Flowers National Park is a paradise. This famous World Heritage Site is located at an elevation of 3658 m above sea level and covers an area of 87.50 sq km of Myriad Alpine flowers. This boundless land of multihued flowers is perched with many nameless species of flowers including some of the significant species like Brahmakamal, Cobra Lily, Blue Poppy and a lot more. Other than nature lovers, this can be a paradise for Botanists. Trekking is the ideal way to explore this myriad flower bed. This 3 days trek passes through the precarious cuts on the mountain sides and edges the serpentine source of river Ganga. The trek starts from Govind Ghat and ends at Ghangria.
Only 2.1 miles from the mesmerising Valley of Flowers (VOF), Hemkund Sahib is the highest Gurdwara of the Sikh community. It is located at an elevation of around 4329 m above sea level. This holy place is situated in the bank of a pristine lake which is watered by the melting Himlayan snow. The shrine is surrounded by seven peaks – known as the Sapt Sring. It is believed that the tenth Guru of the community, Guru Govind Singh Ji meditated on the hills of Hemkund and thus the abode is dedicated to this great soul. The shrine is built in star shape and the vicinity is fascinating. One can complete trekking to Valley of Flowers and can reach at Hemkund for relaxation.