Uttarakhand is a state in northern India that was formerly known as Uttaranchal. Due to the numerous Hindu temples and pilgrimage centres found throughout the state, it is often referred to as the “Devabhumi” (literally “Land of the Gods”). The Himalayas, Bhabar, and Terai regions of Uttarakhand are renowned for their natural beauty.
Uttarakhand has some fantastic trekking, mountain climbing, and white-water rafting opportunities for adventure tourists. In this post, I have listed best places to visit in Uttarakhand.
Nainital, Uttarakhand’s crown jewel, is a charming hill station nestled in the green foothills of the Himalayan Kumaon ranges. Nainital is situated and built around the beautiful Naini Lake, after which the town is named, at an elevation of around 1938 metres.
The Naini Lake, along with the other nearby lakes, has given this town the moniker of “City of Lakes.” Boating on Naini Lake is the most popular activity for visitors to Nainital, while trekking in the surrounding mountain regions is also popular.
If you want to go boating on the beautiful Naini Lake, eat some local delicacies, shop at the Tibetan Market and Mall Road, or take a ropeway ride to Snow View Point to take in the Himalayan beauty, Nainital will leave an indelible impression on you.
Even though Nainital is a year-round destination, the best months to visit are March to June, when the weather is good for sightseeing and boating on the Naini Lake. The winter season, which runs from late November to February, is the best time to visit Nainital to see snowfall.
Mussoorie is one of Uttarakhand’s most famous hill stations, located 290 kilometres from Delhi in the Dehradun district. Mussoorie, also known as Queen of the Hills, is situated at an altitude of 7000 feet above sea level and has a calm, nice climate all year. It is surrounded by the Shivalik range of Himalayas and the Doon Valley.
British relics in the region, such as the archaic architecture of the hotels and churches, show that it was a popular holiday destination during the British period.
The Ropeway to Gun Hill is another big Mussoorie attraction. Gun Hill is Mussoorie’s second highest point, and visitors can take a cable car ropeway trip there for a breathtaking view of the entire city as well as the surrounding Himalayan mountains.
The summer season, from April to mid-July, is the best time to visit Mussoorie because the weather is perfect for sightseeing. Mussoorie and Dehradun are also at their busiest during this period. Another good time to visit Mussoorie is between September and mid-November, when the Himalayas are shrouded in mist. December to February is the best time to visit Mussoorie if you want to see snow.
Rishikesh is a small town in Uttarakhand’s Dehradun district, near Haridwar, situated in the foothills of the Himalayas along the confluence of the Ganga and Chandrabhaga Rivers. Rishikesh (also known as Hrishikesh) is the “Yoga Capital of the World” and is known for its adventure activities, ancient temples, and famous cafes.
Rishikesh is a pilgrimage town and one of the holiest places for Hindus, as well as the gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas. The Beatles visited Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in Rishikesh in the 1960s, and the city became popular around the world. Today, the location is known as The Beatles Ashram, and it attracts visitors from all over the world.
Rishikesh has become a centre of Sadhus (saints) due to its position on the holy banks of the Ganga, with numerous ashrams teaching spirituality, yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda springing up. Non-vegetarian food and alcohol are strictly prohibited in this religious town.
The months of September-June and November are ideal for white water rafting in Rishikesh. From February to early May is another good time to visit Rishikesh. In the first week of March, Rishikesh hosts the International Yoga Festival.
Haridwar is an ancient city on the banks of the River Ganga in Uttarakhand’s Garhwal district, and is considered one of India’s seven holiest cities. Haridwar, a famous Hindu temple town dotted with temples, ashrams, and narrow lanes, is a popular Hindu temple town where millions of devotees flock to take a dip in the holy Ganges.
Since Haridwar is well connected by trains and highways, it also serves as a base destination for some of the other tourist towns of Rishikesh and Devprayag. Apart from its religious significance, Haridwar is now establishing itself as a multifaceted cultural and spiritual hub.
Every evening, thousands of devotees gather at the Ghats (River Banks) in Haridwar to participate in a series of rituals for the popular Ganga Aarti. Haridwar hosts a mega-gathering once every twelve years during the world-famous Kumbh Mela, which attracts millions of tourists from all over the region.
The months of October to February are the best for visiting Haridwar because the weather is cool. Haridwar, on the other hand, has a pleasant climate during the year, enabling devotees to participate in various ceremonies and rituals. The best times to visit if you are a pilgrim are during the Kanwar Mela in July and Diwali in October.
Valley of flowers
The Valley of Flowers is situated in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district (near Badrinath), about 300 kilometres north of Rishikesh. For its wild, untamed blooms surrounded by white peaks, the Valley of Flowers is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is open every year from June to September.
The valley of flowers, known for its exotic varieties of medicinal herbs, is also where Hanuman is said to have brought Sanjivani to the sick Lakshmana. A great spot to relax and take in the scenery, which includes numerous Himalayan water falls, lakes, and paddocks.
Each year, the valley opens on June 1 and closes in October. The best time to visit the Valley of Flowers is from July to September, when the valley is at its most beautiful. August is the best month to see the flowers bloom; however, due to landslides and heavy rain, getting there could be difficult.
Kedarnath, in the Rudraprayag District of the Garhwal Himalayan Range, is one of India’s most holy temples and holiest Hindu pilgrimages. Kedarnath is the most prominent of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India dedicated to Lord Shiva, and it is part of the Chhota Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand.
The current Kedarnath Temple was reconstructed by Adi Shankaracharya from enormous stone slabs over a wide rectangular dais, which was originally built by the Pandavas thousands of years ago.
The diety is moved from Kedarnath Temple to Ukhitmath and worshipped there during the winter months, from November to May. Lord Shiva is also known as Kedar, the protector and destroyer, and it is believed that visiting Kedarnath would grant one “Moksha,” or redemption.
Between September and October, and May and June, is the best time to visit Kedarnath because the snow has melted and there is no rain. Due to snowfall in the area, Kedarnath is closed for 6 months each year from November to March.
In next vacation, don’t forget to visit the best places of Uttarakhand.