Panch Badri

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Lord Vishnu is worshipped at Panch Badri in different forms. THE SEARCH of man for God has led him to various vicissitudes for discovery-the hope remains unquenched and pines for ever eternal. It has done so far for countless centuries and will do so till God’s world and his creation last. The quest begins and leads through the shrines put up by man for his creator’s glorification. In Badrikeshwar, lord Badrinath is worshipped at five different places and under five different names-

Vishal Badri (Badrinath)
Yogdhyan Badri
Bhavishya Badri
Vridha Badri
Adi Badri

Vishal Badri (Badrinath)

badrinath2 Badrinath is one of the holiest towns of the Hindus located at Chamoli District. It is the most important of all the four dhams in India. The town of Badrinath lies between Nar and Naryana mountain ranges and in the shadow of Nilkantha peak, 301 km north of Rishikesh. The town is located at an elevation of 3,133 m above sea level on the left bank of Alakananda River.

The main attraction of Badrinath is the Badrinath temple also known as the Badrinarayan temple. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is also one of the 108 Divya Desams or holy shrines of Vaishnavities. The present temple is conical in shape, built two centuries ago by the kings of Garhwal. 15 idols are seated in the temple complex, each built in black stone. Lord Vishnu is represented here in a meditative posture and is flanked by Nar and Narayan. According to legend, the temple was originally established by Adi Shankaracharya and was renovated several times after its establishment. Badrinath is also one of the Panch Badris. The other four badris are Yogadhyan Badri, Bhavishya Badri, Bridha Badri or the ‘Old Badri’ and Adi Badri.

Some of the other attractions of Badrinath include the Tapt Kund, a natural thermal spring on the banks of the Alakananda. It is believed that the water of this pond have medicinal properties. An important pilgrimage destination of both the Hindus and the Sikhs is Hemkund Sahib located at a distance of 43 km from Badrinath. Neelkanth is another prime attraction of Badrinath which is a snow-covered peak. You can also visit the Panch Prayag i.e. Devprayag, Rudraprayag, Nandprayag, Karnaprayag, Vishnuprayag; from Badrinath and the Mata Murthi temple too, which is dedicated to the mother of Sri Badrinathji. 3 km from Badrinath is Mana village inhabited by an Indo-Mongolian tribe.

Yogdhyan Badri

yogdhyan_badri_0 Pretty often in the Garhwal Himalayas, tales from the Mahabharata, spring to life magically. Yogdhyan Badri, at 1,920 m, is located at Pandukeshwar, named after the Pandva’s King. It is said that the Pandavas, the victorious though emotionally scarred after their battle against the Kauravas, , came to the Himalayas. And it was here that they handed over their capital, Hastinapur, to Raja Parikshit and took up penance before seeking out the highway to heaven. The importance of the Yogdhyan Badri is immense and the sanctum has an image of the lord in a meditative posture.

Named after Pandu, who meditated at this place, 23 km from Sadrinath to lift the curses of a sage, and was blessed by the Lord, Pandukeshwar is the home of the Yogdhyan Badri. The village, as old as the Badrinath Temple has Copper Plates which authenticate the history of the temples as well as the Katyuri Chand rulers of Garhwal and Kumaon who issued them as far back as the fourth or fifth century A.D. The Temples are all dedicated to the Yogdhyan Badri, who blessed the meditation of the kings.

Bhavishya Badri

bhavishya_badri_0 The Bhavishya Badri is located at 2,744 m, amidst the thick forests surrounding Tapovan. According to a divination, it is here that all devotees will throng once Badrinath is no more. While there can be no conceivable reason why this should happen, scientists agree that Joshimath, the entry point into the area before the final, most strenuous climb, is sited on an ancient landslide and has been sinking, and with a barrage coming up close by, may actually see the fulfillment of the divine prophecy. But whatever happens.

Bhavishya Badri is popular even now; enshrined here is the lion-headed image of Narsingh. Visitors pass the serene Tapovan a place known for its hot water springs en route the banks of the Dhauliganga, and on to the shrine.

Vridha Badri

vridha_badri_0 Before Badrinath was designated one of the four Char Dhams of Hindu worship by Adi Shankaracharya, the idol of Badrinath carved by the divine Vishwakarma was enshrined and worshipped at Vriddh Badri.

Interestingly, the image was found by Adi Shankaracharya at Naradkund, and restored, though part of it remains damaged. This, the first Badri, is located at a height of 1,380 m at Animath. While Badrinath closes during winter, the idol and priests hibernating at Joshimath, Vridha Badri remains open throughout the year.

Adi Badri

17 kilometres from Karnprayag on the Karnprayag – Ranikhet road, are a group of sixteen temples, belonging to the Gupta period. Among them is the Narayan temple, where a black stone idol of Vishnu, three feet high is enshrined. This place is within the Badrikshetra, and Badrinath being the name for Vishnu, the temple is known as the Adi Badri.

It is believed that Adi Guru Shankaracharya had initiated the construction of these temples. The main temple of Narayan is distinguished by a raised platform in the pyramidal form, where the black stone idol of lord Vishnu is enshrined.

How to Reach Here

By air: The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport near Dehradun, around 317 km from Badrinath.

By road: There are regular buses operating to Panch Badri from Delhi, Haridwar and Rishikesh.

By rail: The nearest railway stations to Badrinath are at Rishikesh and Kotdwar, which are at distances of 297 km and 327 km respectively.

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Shri Hemkunt Sahib

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Shri Hemkunt Sahib is an important pilgrimage destination for Hindus and Sikhs. Hemkund is the breathtaking Lokpal lake located at an altitude of 4329 m from the sea level. The picturesque natural settings make this hill region an amazing place for rejuvenating vacations. One can reach this majestic lake through a challenging but interesting and enjoyable trek from Ghangharia.

Sikhs consider this as a scared region with one of the famous Sikh Gurudwara placed in the heart of the region. A Hindu shrine dedicated to mythological hero Lakshmana is attractive for Hindu Pilgrims. This temple is built on the banks of Hemkund.

Hemkunt Sahib is nestled amidst seven snow capped peaks and marvelous snowy glaciers. The nature is reflected here with all its mighty appearance in the crystal clear alluring water. Hemkund lake is fed by the glaciers from majestic peaks known as Hathi Parvat and Saptrishi peaks. A small stream known as Himganga originates from this imposing lake.

It is recorded in the holy Granth Sahib that the tenth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Govind Singh mediated on the serene banks of Hemkund in one of his earlier births. Guru Govind Singh is believed to be the Guru who founded all present characteristics of present Sikhism. The Gurudwara of the Sikhs on the banks of Hemkund is located at the place where Guru had meditated. Huge flocks of Sikh pilgrims pay their visit to this Gurudwara every year.

Hemkunt has got mentions in the Ramayana. It is believed that the younger brother of Lord Rama, Lakshmana regained his health by meditating on the banks of Hemkunt after the severe injuries he received from Meghnath during Rama-Ravana war. The Lakshmana temple is built at the place where Lakshmana meditated to regain the health.

More Pilgrimage Places for Sikhs

Nanak Matta Sahib

nanak_mattha Gurdwara Nanak Mata is a historical Sikh shrine in a town also named Nanak Mata (often pronounced Matta) in district Udham Singh Nagar, Uttarakhand northern India. Uttarakhand borders Tibet to the north, Nepal to the east, and the states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh in the west and south respectively.

The provisional capital of Uttarakhand is Dehradun which is also a rail-head and the largest city in the region.

The town is associated with Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Hargobind. It is situated on the bank of Deoha stream, which has since been dammed into a reservoir named Nanak Sagar. The Gurdwara is located 15 kilometres west of Khatima Railway Station on the Pilibhit-Tanakpur metre-gauge section of North-Eastern Railway. The holy shrine is near the town of Sitarganj.

Gurdwara Sri Nanak Mata Sahib is associated with the first Guru, Guru Nanak Dev ji who went there during his third Udasi in 1514 A.D. At that time, Gurdwara Sri Nanak Mata Sahib was the abode of the devotees of Guru Gorakhnath and it was called “Gorakhmata”.

The yogis who lived there did not want the local people to become learned enough to challenge his superiority. Therefore, by using their occult power, they successfully exploited the poor people and obtain advantage due to their ignorance.

Reetha Meetha sahib

reetha_meetha Meetha Reetha Sahib is located at Dyuri village of Champawat district which is 72 kms from Champawat. Basically this place is well connected with almost all the major towns of Kumaon region. Once Guru Nanak ji went to visit this place and it’s said that Nanak ji have had spiritual discussion with Gorakhpanthi Jogis over there. The Gurudwara of Reetha Sahib was constructed in 1960 at the confluence of Lodhiya and Ratiya river, which is near village Deyuri. This Gurudwara also knows as Meetha Reetha because there are famous trees of sweet Reetha (Sapindus emarginatus) in the Gurudwara premises, adjoining it to the temple of Dhernath. Before the motor Road build to Bhingrara, people used to come to see this place on foot. A fair is held at the Gurudwara on Baisakhi Poornima.

Ghangaria

gangaria_image Ghangaria is a scenic hamlet perched at an altitude of 3,050mts above sea level in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand state. It is the last human habitation centre on the way to Hemkund Sahib and the Valley of Flowers. Ghangaria is the confluence of Pushpawati and Hemganga River, which is then called Lakshman Ganga. Govind Ghat is situated on NH58 on the banks of Alaknanda River and acts as the commencement point of the trek to Ghangharia.

Ghangharia can be reached after an easy trek of 13kms from Govind Ghat. It is likely that you will fall in love with the beautiful mountains and cascading waterfalls enroute. The 10kms trek from Govind Ghat will end up in a bridge, and the further 3kms from the bridge to Ghangharia is steep. The region is prone to heavy snowfall during winters, therefore the region remains closed from December – April. A Gurudwara, GMVN rest houses and a few more private hotels provide accommodation facility at Ghangaria.

City Facts

State: Uttarakhand
District: Chamoli
Famous for/as: Pilgrim
Languages: Garhwali, Hindi
Best Season: Jun – Oct
Weather: Summer 2 to 25°C,
Winter: -17 to 18°C.
Altitude: 4200 m
Pincode: 249401
STD code: 01372

Distances

Solan to Hemkund Sahib 533 km

Rudra Prayag to Hemkund Sahib 89 km

Pilibhit to Hemkund Sahib 362 km

Paonta Sahib to Hemkund Sahib 416 km

Saharanpur to Hemkund Sahib 418 km

Best Season / Best time to visit

Hemkund Sahib has a cool climate in most part of the year and the best time to visit is from June to October.

Summers (June to October) have a pleasant cool weather with maximum temperature reaches to nearly 25°C. It is a good season for viewing the panoramic beauty.

Winters (November to May) are snow covered and difficult to visit the outdoor attractions. Minimum temperature can go well down with average minimum about -4 °C.

June to October is pleasant and ideal for the pilgrimage and also for the visit of the national park. August and September are eye catching months with blooming flowers. December to May is snow bound and road blocks prevent the tourist from visiting the outdoors.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Shri Hemkunt Sahib

Valley Of Flowers

vally_flower4 Valley of Flowers is beautiful 4 kms, easy trek from Ghangaria. The region of Valley of Flowers is rich in varied flora and fauna. The valley of flowers was declared as the National Park of India in the year 1982 and it is now a world heritage site. The virgin beauty of this mystical valley has always lured botanists, nature lovers and adventure lovers.

Ghangaria

ghangaria_0 It is the last human habitation centre on the way to Hemkund Sahib and the Valley of Flowers. Ghangaria is a scenic hamlet perched at an altitude of 3,050mts above sea level at a distance of 13km from Govind Ghat and 4kms before Valley of flowers. The trek becomes easy to moderate from this point if you are travel towards Hemkund Sahib. The region is prone to heavy snowfall in winters, therefore the region remains opened from May to October. A Gurudwara, GMVN rest houses and a few more hotels provide accommodation facility at Ghangharia.

How to Reach Here

By air: Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest Airport to Hemkund Sahib but the roads are only connected upto Govind Ghat from where you have to commence trek of 19kms to reach Hemkund Sahib. Govindghat is situated at a distance of 292kms from Jolly Grant Airport. Jolly Grant Airport is well connected to Delhi with daily flights. Govindghat is well connected by motorable roads with Jolly Grant Airport. Taxis are available from Jolly Grant Airport to Govindghat.

By road: Hemkund Sahib is connected upto Govind Ghat with motoralble roads and from here you have to commence trek of 19kms to reach Hemkund Sahib. Govindghat is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Uttarakhand state. Buses to Haridwar, Rishikesh and Srinagar are available from ISBT Kashmiri Gate. Buses and Taxis to Govindghat are easily available from major destinations of Uttarakhand state like Rishikesh, Pauri, Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag, Ukhimath, Srinagar, Chamoli etc. Govindghat is situated on National Highway 58 making it easy to reach.

By rail: The nearest railway station to Hemkund Sahib is Rishikesh but the roads are only connected upto Govind Ghat from where you have to commence trek of 16 kms to reach Hemkund Sahib. Rishikesh railway station is situated 273 kms before Govindghat on NH58. Rishikesh is well connected by railway networks with major destinations of India. Trains to Rishikesh are frequent. Govindghat is well connected by motorable roads with Rishikesh. Taxis and buses are available from Rishikesh, Srinagar, Rudraprayag, Chamoli, Joshimath and many other destinations to Govindghat.

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Kailash Mansarovar

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Even before the Himalayas rose into existence, Mount Kailash towered above them. The Kailash Range is 30 million years old and its supreme peak, the 6,675 meter high Mount Kailash was formed of shining granite with its white glacial crest, was already a huge, structure even when the Himalayas were just beginning to protrude out of the Tethys Sea. Hindus and Tibetans seem to have been aware of the uniqueness of this mountain from the most ancient times. To Hindus it is the earthy embodiment of the dominant mountain of heaven, Meru, and the residence of Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvati. To Tibetans it is Sumeru, the cosmic centre of the universe. Consequently Mount Kailash has held a great charm for pilgrims for centuries.

As might have been expected, most of the Himalayan passes in Kumaun and Garhwal provide access to this sacred mountain. Today, however, pilgrims from India are allowed to journey to Mount Kailash only through the Lipulekh pass in Kaumaun. Moreover, the pilgrimage to Kailash, and to the sacred Mansarover lake that lies 30 Km to its south, is run exclusively by a government organization, the Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam (KMVN). The organization works in collaboration with the Government of India’s Ministry of External Affairs, and the Government of China. Kailash – Mansarovar lies in Chinese-occupied Tibet.

City Facts

State: Uttarakhand
Famous for/as: Pilgrim
Languages: Tibetan, Hindi and English
Best Season: May – Oct
Weather: Summer 15 to 30°C,
Winter: -5 to 24°C
Altitude: 5750 m

Best Season / Best time to visit

Kailash Mansarovar is generally cool during nights and warm during days.

Summers (May to August) are very pleasant with moderate climate, with average around 15°C. Summers is ideal for all outdoor activities, temple visit, dip in holy waters and also for visiting nearby attractions.

Monsoons (September to November) are accompanied with little rain falls and also temperature drops down to 10°C.

Winters (December to April) are chilly days with average minimum touching near 5°C. Minimum can touch sub zero levels to -15°C. Snow falls often during winters.

The best season to visit Kailash Mansarovar is from May to November.

May to November offers cool and pleasant climate and the right period to spend meditation and also good for visiting temples in and around.
December to April is snow bound and chilly. Tourists typically keep off chilly snow bound days in winters.

How to Reach Here

By air: To Kathmandu and further by road to Lake Mansarovar. Land cruisers then take one to Mansarovar via Lhasa to Mount Kailash.
9 & 12-day helicopter tours of Kailash for those who are short of time or cannot take the rigours of a grueling high altitude road journey. The tour uses fixed wing aircrafts for the flight from Kathmandu to Nepalganj and from there to Simikot.

By road: From India – the Government of India organizes tours to Lake Mansarovar. This is a 26 days trek but you need to book your tickets well in advance, because the number of seats is limited. About 500 people make it out of the nearly 6000 that apply each year.

By rail:

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Corbett National Park

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Corbett National Park, established in 1936 with the name Hailey National Park and renamed as Ramganga National Park in 1952, got its present name in 1957 after Jim Corbett, the famous naturalist and photographer. This is India’s first national park and beyond doubt the most attractive Park in India. The Park is placed in the foothills of the Himalayas, in the midst of lush greenery and uneven mountains with varying heights, ranging from about 1300 feet to nearly 4000 feet. It is believed that the place, mostly lying on the banks of Ramaganga River, has prospered an ancient civilization.

The main attraction of tourists and wild life enthusiasts to this Park is that the majestic view of Tiger with all its wildness in this Park. This park is a natural habitat of the rare species of Tigers that are facing extinction. It is a place draws huge tourist inflow and offers excellent sightseeing. The headquarters of Project Tiger, Ramnagar is a good place to stay.

corbett2 Corbett National Park is famous for its wealthy flora and fauna. Also the wild animals, reptiles and bird with many varieties of species enrich the Park and it is haven for bird watchers, wild life enthusiasts, environmentalists and nature lovers. Very rich in vegetation, if we take statistics there are about more than 51 different kinds of shrubs, more than 30 kinds of bamboos and over 110 different species of trees, apart from the greenish grass seen only in meadows.

The Park, renowned for the majestic leopards and elephants, caters for the life of many rare species of mammals, birds and reptiles, more than 25 species of reptiles, 585 kinds of birds and over 50 varieties of mammal species. If one is interested he can indulge lively with deers, spotted in Corbett National Park, barking deer, spotted dear, sambar, chinkara are some of the different kinds of species seen in the Park.

Another major attraction here is the aquatic reptiles; different kinds of crocodiles can be spotted here. Corbett National Park is really a worth natural park to visit, to see the nature’s varieties and beauty. This is a park first among equals.

City Facts

State: Uttarakhand
District: Nainital
Famous for/as: Wildlife
Languages: Hindi, English
Best Season: Nov – Jun
Weather: Summer 16 to 40°C, Winter 5 to 30°C
Altitude: 1210 m
Pincode: 244715
STD code: 05947

Distances

Delhi to Corbett National Park 269 km

Nainital to Corbett National Park 127 km

Ranikhet to Corbett National Park 182 km

Almora to Corbett National Park 205 km

Dehradun to Corbett National Park 214 km

Best Season / Best time to visit

The climate in the Corbett National Park is temperate through the year but the best time to visit the national park is from 15th November till as during that time all the regions of the park are open for public.

Winter (November to February) has a temperature variation of 5 °C to 30 °C.Winter mornings can be foggy but pleasant afternoon makes it a good time for enjoying safari.

Summer (March to May) touch 40°C and the average temperature is about 30°C. Wildlife enthusiast should prefer booking Corbett tour package during this season as this period is perfect for animal sighting. They can move around the Park and enjoy wildlife safaris.

Monsoon (June to September) offer heavy rainfall; there can be light rainfall intermittently whole through the year. The monsoon is good to enjoy the natural beauty but a few zones of the park are closed during these months. Corbett National Park is a significant part of North India tourism and it can be visited anytime of the year but summer months are perfect for animal sighting if you’re a wildlife enthusiast. Winter months are ideal for safaris and taking up jungle activities. Monsoon is that period of the year when natural beauty blossoms making the region very picturesque and scenic to onlookers.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Corbett National Park

Corbett Museum

corbett3 Located at Kaladhungi, Corbett Museum is in a heritage bungalow of Jim Corbett, the renowned environmentalist, hunter as well as a front runner in the tiger conservation. This magnificent museum brings to the forefront of memory the life and activities of the spectacular and distinguished personality. Corbett National Park visits gets its full value only with the museum visit.

Corbett Waterfall

corbett4 The Corbett Waterfalls, a small but awesome view, is from a height of about 60 feet and is in the backdrop of scenic greenish forest. Full Moon light colored waterfall is really worth-while to observe. The area is admired as a camping site with a vast diversity of plants and birds. The wide area around the water falls provides very good parking and camping facilities. It is a very nice picnic spot. A near by attraction is ‘Nature Walk’ museum, where one can experience the pure nature in its primitive style and calm.

Jungle Safari

corbett5 As a tourist, if you like to move with some wild animals or to have some special view of herds of elephants or different species of deers, Corbett National Park offers you with the facilities of Jungle Safari. One can look for nature safari, to have bird watching and enjoying the precious nature. You can also have Jeep safari through the jungles of Corbett and if lucky enough can even spot some tigers. If adventurous further or to have some memorable moments, can take up an Elephant safari, really amazing experience. Resorts in Corbett arrange the required facilities. Visitor season: Dhikala Zone (15th Nov to 15th June), Bijrani Zone, Sonanadi Zone &Domundo Zone (15th Oct to 30th June), Jhirna Zone (Round the year)

How to Reach Here

By air: The closest domestic airport to Corbett National Park is 50 kms away from Corbett National Park at Phoolbagh, Pantnagar. At 295 Km from Corbett National Park, the nearest International Airport is at Delhi. The major air link for tourists coming from northern parts of India is at Dehradun and Lucknow. Preferably, passengers availing flight from within India, or other parts of the world, should land down either to Palam Airport (domestic) or to Indira Gandhi International Airport (International), New Delhi, accordingly. Both the airports have well facilitated air links within as well as outside India.

By road: Most people prefer to drive down to Corbett National Park. It takes approximately six hours from Delhi to cover the 295-km stretch.This Route to Corbett National Park from Delhi takes you through.

By rail: The closest railway station to Corbett National Park is Ramnagar, which is 12 km from the Park. Ramnagar is the terminus of Delhi-Moradabad-Ramnagar broad gauge branch of North East Railway.

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Mussoorie

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Mussoorie, Queen of the Hills, located some 290 km north of New Delhi, is among the most popular hill stations of the country. It is a captivating paradise for leisure travellers and honeymooners. mussoorie1 A perfect summer resort and a major educational and cultural centre has been rolled into one hub. Located on a 15 km long horseshoe ridge with the grand Himalayas as a backdrop, the colonial hill resort of Mussoorie spreads across at a height of 2,005.5 m above sea level. From this vantage point, Mussoorie offers superb scenic view of peaks of the Himalayas in western Garhwal. Mussoorie boasts of some of the most spectacular views of the Himalayas. Hill ridges, irregular in shape and partly wooded, form layer after layer to the horizon, where snow capped mountain peaks are visible as though you can touch them. From West to East, the mighty peaks of Bandar Poonch, Srikantha, the Gangotri group and the Chaukhamba present a mesmerizing panorama. 34 km from Dehradun, Mussoorie overlooks the majestic Doon valley to its south and the impressive Himalayas up north. The mountains beckon climbers, trekkers and adventure sport enthusiasts. Trekkers begin their journey into the popular trekking area of Hari-ki-Doon with its snowscapes and verdant-forested slopes from Mussoorie. The holy River Ganga is visible from one end of the ridge and Yamuna from the other, a stretch of around 20 km in all, from Cloud’s end in the west to Jabarkhet in the east.

One of the most easily accessible hill stations in Northern India, during the peak tourist season, Mussoorie becomes a bustling resort with hordes of holiday-makers ambling down the central Mall. The suburban area of Landour, about 300 m away from the main town, is quieter and has managed to retain some of its old colonial charm. Surrounded by lush wooded expanses and winding lanes, it offers exclusive opportunities for quiet walks. It overlooks the sprawling Doon valley and the city of Dehradun, the gateway to Mussoorie and to entire Garhwal.

AN INTRIGUING PAST

mussoorie2 Although Mussoorie, as a hill station, was established in 1825 by captain Young, it has quite an intriguing past. Mussoorie was never an official summer capital like Shimla – a hill station in the state of Himachal Pradesh which was the summer capital of the British Indian government or even like Nainital – the summer capital of the United Provinces Government in British India. Mussoorie always remained unofficial – for the affairs of the heart. It has always been a gossip place – with an air of informality and a tradition of romance – The Honeymoon Capital of India.

It was due to the conquest of the Garhwal and the Dehra in 1803 by the Gorkhas, under Umer Singh Thapa that Mussoorie implicitly came into existence. It was natural after that, at some point of time the interest of British security would have clashed with the expansionist policies of the Gorkhas and although the immediate cause of the war was different, another war inevitably broke out on November 1, 1814 and Dehradun was evacuated of the Gorkhas by 1815 and was annexed to the district of Saharanpur by 1819.

The history of Mussoorie town dates back to 1825 when Captain Young, an adventurous British military officer, together with one Mr. Shore, the resident Superintendent of Revenues at Dehradun, explored the present site and jointly constructed a shooting lodge. This laid the foundation of this holiday resort which now has few rivals. Its name is derived from a shrub locally called mansoor behind the house of the Captain. Some believe that perhaps that is reason behind the name of the town, which is also known as Mansoori among the natives of the surrounding area.

mussoorie3 Before the British came, there were only shepherds whose animals grazed on the ‘Mansur’ shrub. It is natural to suppose that the officers located the hills and eventually climbed them in search of sport and recreation. The first house erected on the ridge of Mussoorie was a small hut built on the Camel’s back as a shooting box by Mr. Shore, the then Joint Magistrate and superintendent of revenues of the Doon and Captain Young of the Sirmur Rifles in 1823. Soon Captain Young built his large residence called ‘Mullingar’ as his residence as the Commandant of Landour. The splendid climate and the good sport obtainable gradually attracted other Europeans. As the Doon and the hills to the north became better known in 1827, the Government established a convalescent depot for European soldiers at Landour. The town grew rapidly and a hundred years on, it had grown into a major settlement for the homesick British, away from the heat and dust of the plains.

In April 1959, after fleeing Chinese occupation of Tibet, the Dalai Lama decided to establish the Tibetan Government of Exile in Mussoorie, which eventually moved to Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh. The first Tibetan school was established in Mussoorie in 1960. Today, some 5,000 Tibetans live in Mussoorie.

MUSSOORIE – A ROMANTIC TOWN

Mussoorie is a wonderful place to unwind. Here you do what Mussoorie encourages you to do to your heart’s content.

The modern bungalows, malls and well-laid gardens located on the small hills around the area are enough to attract any tourist. The town has unavoidable romance in the air – an excellent breathing space for tourists and people who seek relief from the hot sultry conditions of the plains. Nature has gifted Mussoorie everything, which makes a place charming and cherubic.

mussoorie4 Mussoorie offers a beautiful nature walk known as Camel’s Back Road. This road takes its name from a hill shaped like a camel’s hump. There is also Gun Hill where cannons were kept for the defence of the town. The oldest Christian church in the Himalayas, St. Mary’s, is situated above Mall Road, and is currently undergoing restoration. Kempty Falls is a nice picnic spot. Company Garden (now Municipal Garden) is another popular tourist spot. During the season, the Company Garden presents a beautiful collection of flowers and plants. The Happy Valley has a small Tibetan temple. This was the first Tibetan temple built in India. The temple was constructed in 1960 by the Tibetan refugees. Lal Tibba is another tourist spot of Mussoorie. Beautiful Dhanaulti is about 24 kilometers from Mussoorie. Mussoorie also has India’s largest roller skating rink.

The main promenade in Mussoorie is called, as in other hill stations, the Mall. In Mussoorie, the Mall stretches from Picture Palace at its eastern end to the Public Library, Gandhi Chowk at its western end. During the British Raj, signs on the Mall expressly stated – ‘Indians and Dogs Not Allowed’; racist signs of this type were common place in hill stations, which were founded ‘by and for’ the British. Motilal Nehru, the father of Jawahar Lal Nehru, deliberately broke this rule every day whenever he was in Mussoorie, and would pay the fine. The Nehru family, including Nehru’s daughter Indira (Indira Gandhi) were frequent visitors to Mussoorie in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. They also spent much time in Dehradun, where Nehru’s sister Vijayalakshmi Pandit ultimately settled.

An idyllic stroll through any of the meandering mountain roads of the town on a clear and sunny day will bring you to some of the well known and not so well known spots – each having its own tales to tell – Landour Bazaar, Chaar Dukaan, Lal Tibba, Gun Hill, the Camel Back cemetery, the Mussoorie Library, and of course the Hotel Savoy – an historical edifice in itself. You may be able to recognize any or all of the old houses and estates or you may meet some descendant of any of the many well – known families of Mussoorie.

The weather is generally bright and clear – except during the three months (June to August) of Monsoons, – when mists envelope the mountain slopes and paints the sky with a mauve glow while the woods around – of pine, cedar, birch, oak, rhododendron and deodar – erupt greener. There usually is a bright Christmas and the breathtaking view of the snow-clad Mussoorie gives it the name – the Queen among hill stations. There are popular picnic spots in and around the town – Kempty Falls in the west and Dhanaulti, further up beyond the town.

LANDMARKS

Mussoorie has some lovely and charming old houses and estates, usually with names derived from the native places of those who built and lived in them. Today these old houses and estates are owned by financially well-off Indians, many of whom follow the life styles of their former colonial rulers. In most cases, the old names have been retained.

mussoorie5 Some of these old graceful houses are – Captain Young’s Mullingar Mansion, the oldest existing building in Mussoorie, Houses of Irish pioneers – Tipperary, Killarney, Shemrock cottage and the Tara hall, the houses of Scot pioneers – Scottsburn, Wolfsburn and of course the houses of the English rulers – Connaught Castle, Grey castle, Hampton court and Castle hill. There evidently were a lot of fans of the legendary writer Sir Walter Scott as we find old estates of the name of Kenilworth, Rockeby, Waverly and also Abootsford – the name of Sir Scott’s own house in England.

There are quite a few well – known families in Mussoorie, who over the times have become a part of the history, culture and the landscape of this place – the Rajmata of Jind, Princess Sita of Kapurthala, the Gantzers, the Badhwars, the Barrettos, the Skinners, the Keelans, the Alters, Lala Banwarilal, Ram Chander and Brothers, Pooranchand and Sons and P.C. Hari’s family. Most of the shopkeepers of Mussoorie and Landour Bazaar are descended from the merchant who first came here with the British soldiers and settlers over 160 years ago.

At the Camel Back Cemetry, thousands of British graves cling to the steep slopes – a constant reminder of the British presence in Mussoorie. Here lie the hill stations’ first pioneers and settlers as well as Generals and common soldiers, memsahibs, gentlemen and brewers. Here also lie John Lang, the Australian born novelist and Fredrick Wilson, better known as ‘Pahadi Wilson’, who married a girl from Harsil. He was the first man to float timber down the Ganga river who lived a life which would have been the envy of kings.

City Facts

State: Uttarakhand
District: Dehradun
Famous for/as: Hill Station
Languages: Kumaoni, Garhwali, Hindi, Gorkhali, English
Best Season: Sep – June
Weather: Summer 24 to 35°C,
Winter: 1 to 22°C
Altitude: 1826 m
Pincode: 248179
STD code: 013563.

Distances

Chandigarh to Mussoorie 192 km

Delhi to Mussoorie 271 km

Shimla Manali to Mussoorie 306 km

Jaipur to Mussoorie 534 km

Pune to Mussoorie 1700 km

Best Season / Best time to visit

The climate is cool and pleasant all through the year but the best time to visit is from September to June.

Winter (October to February) are of freezing weather and snow. Night temperature can touch to subzero levels and roads get blocked by snow and snowfall is common from December till mid of February.

Summer (March to June) are very pleasant with average temperature around 37°C and is good time for sightseeing and adventures. It is in fact great months for Mussoorie tourism.

Monsoon (July to mid-September) are medium and can cause landslides, making it difficult for travelling. Mussoorie is a popular cool summer retreat in India where summers are the best times to have trekking, rock climbing and camping. Winters are cold and are dominated by snowfall. Couples always prefer booking honeymoon packages in Mussoorie during this period. Post monsoons during September to November are ideal months for those seeking to enjoy water rafting.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Mussoorie

Gun Hill

gun_hill Gun Hill is the second highest peak of Mussoorie. The Mall is the starting point for the cable car towards the summit of Gun Hill. The thrill of the ride is memorable and offers beautiful views of the Himalayan Ranges.

The Mall

The Mall is the main shopping area in Mussoorie. The Mall Road connects the two bazaars, Kulri and Library. It is the heart of the town. Alongside the Mall is the tourist office, rows of Tibetan trinket and sweater vendors and shops selling walking sticks and cane items. Cycle rickshaws can be seen here, plying down the Mall. The Mall is the starting point for the cable car towards the summit of Gun Hill, 2142 m above sea level. On clear days, the peaks of Kedarnath, Badrinath and Nanda Devi can be seen from this hill clearly.

Mussoorie Lake

mussoorie_lake The artificial Mussoorie Lake is situated about 6 km short of Mussoorie on the way from Dehradun. The Mussoorie Lake is a delightful spot where paddle-boats are available. It commands an enchanting view of Doon valley and nearby villages.

Landour

Landour is situated at the east end of town, situated at an altitude of 2270 m above sea level. Landour is an Indian style bazaar. Woodstock School, an international school which has a sister school in Kodaikkanal in South India, is also located here. The Convent Hill and Happy Valley are also situated here where the Tibetan refugees have settled.

Camel’s Back Road

Camel’s Back Road is suitable for horse riding, walking and beautiful sunset views of the Himalayas. A superb rock formation, with a life-like resemblance to a sitting camel can be seen from this spot.

Lal Tibba

lal_tibba Lal Tibba is the highest hill and situated at an altitude of 2438m above sea level. The view to the north and the snow-capped peaks is stunning and best at sunrise.

Sir George Everest House

The George Everest House is the estate of Sir George, the surveyor General of India. Sir George had his office and residence here. The Mount Everest, the highest peak of the Himalayas was named after Sir George.

Jwalaji Temple

The Jwalaji Temple is situated on the top of the Benog Hill and has an idol of Mata Durga. The temple is surrounded by the thick forests and offers a panoramic view of the Himalayan peaks, Doon valley and Yamuna valley.

Tibetan Temple

tibetan_temple This temple is located in Happy valley area of Mussoorie. Both Municipal gardens and Tibetan temple can be seen in one day. They are located one kilometer from Lal Bahadur Shastri National Administrative Academy. The Tibetan temple is evidence to rich Tibetan cultural heritage.

Cloud’s End

A British major had a building constructed in 1838. This beautiful building was converted into hotel and was named Cloud’s End. It got the name because it appears that the clouds have ended here. From this place one can have a good view of the valley. Cloud’s End is located some eight kilometers west of Mussoorie hills. Due to its location, at the end of horizon, it is very popular among the Honeymooners and Foreign tourists.

Municipal Gardens Or Company Bagh

municipal_gardens The Municipal Gardens or the Company Bagh was previously (before independence) known as Botanical gardens of Mussoorie. Famous geologist, Dr. H. Fackner laid foundations of these gardens in the last century.

Lake Mist

This place is 7 km on way to Kempty Falls. Lake Mist offers a perfect resting place for tired and weary tourists. One has to pay Rs. 25 to enter Lake Mist. There is provision for accommodation as well.

Nag Devta Temple

It is an ancient temple situated on cart Mackenzie Road, about 6 km from Mussoorie. Vehicles can go right up to the spot. It provides a charming view of Doon Valley as well as of Mussoorie.

Kempty Falls

kempty_falls Kempty Falls is located about 15 km away on the Yamunotri road. It is a popular and picturesque waterfall, located in the beautiful valley surrounded by the high mountains. The bath at the foot of the falls is refreshing. From Kempty Falls, the area west to the Yamuna gorge is being declared as a sanctuary. This sanctuary is rich in bird life, and also has some wildlife including leopards.

Surkhanda Devi Temple

Surkhanda Devi Temple is the highest point in the area, located at a height of 3021 mt on the top of hill. It is situated about 35 km from Mussoorie and 11 km from Dhanaulti. It is an important pilgrimage centre. The temple offers extensive view of the snow ranges and exclusive experience one can never forget.

Mossey Falls

It is 7km from Mussoorie via. Balahisar or Barlowganj. It is a beautiful fall surrounded by a dense forest.

Jharipani Fall

It is 8.5 km from Mussoorie. Visitors can go by car upto Jharipani (7 km.), from where the distance to the fall is 1.5 km. by foot.

Bhatta Fall

bhatta_fall Bhatta Fall is beautiful & natural fall amidst most serene environment, 8 km. from Mussoorie on Mussoorie-Dehradun road. A fall has different ponds for bathing and amusement, making it an ideal place for picnic – a picnic spot with a difference. Accessible by car or taxi up to the fall itself.

Lakha Mandal

Lakha Mandal is on the Yamunotri road, past Kempty Falls. There are hundreds of idols of archaeological importance that have been preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India. According to the legend, the Kauravas made a shellac house and conspired to burn the Pandavas alive here.

Dhanaulti

dhanaulti If you walk past the clock tower and look between the plains and the rising slopes of Landour, you’ll see a road that leads to the green meadows and deodar forests of Dhanaulti, 24 km away. There’s both a forest bungalow and a tourist bungalow at Dhanaulti and it’s a delightful place to spend a quiet weekend.

How to Reach Here

By air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant at Dehradun (82 km). Taxis are available from the airport.

By road: Dehradun is well connected by roads. Take the Tehri bypass from Mussoorie and drive down the Mussoorie-Chamba road.

By rail: The nearest railhead is Dehradun (68 km).

Image & Information copyright by uttarakhandtourism.gov.in

Haridwar

haridwar_banner

Haridwar is the gateway to the four pilgrimages of Uttarakhand. It’s also your starting point on the journey to the sacred sources of the rivers Ganga and the Yamuna. According to legend, Prince Bhagirath performed penance here to salvage the souls of his ancestors who had perished due to sage Kapil’s curse. The penance was answered and the river

Ganga trickled forth from Lord Shiva’s locks and its bountiful water revived the sons of King Sagara. In the tradition of Bhagirath, devout Hindus stand in the sacred waters here, praying for salvation of their ancestors.

City Facts

Population: 14,44,213 (2001 census).
Area: 12,302 sq km.
Altitude: 294.7 m.
Summers: 40.9°-15.6°C.
Winters: 16.6°-06°C.
Season: Round the year. Clothing:
Summers: Cottons and tropical.
Winters: Woollens.
Languages: Hindi and English.

Distances

Chandigarh to Haridwar 205 km

Delhi to Haridwar 210 km

Shimla Manali to Haridwar 320 km

Lucknow to Haridwar 492 km

Jaipur to Haridwar 505 km

Best Season / Best time to visit

The climate of this holy religious place is temperate all through the year, but the best time is from October to April.

Winter (October-February) is little chilly with minimum night temperature of about 6°C. The day temperature in winter never crosses 30°C, making the season pleasant and sunny. Karthik Poornima is celebrated in November.

Summer (March-May) has a temperature band of 18°C to 40°C. This is a good time for enjoying festivals like Ramnavmi and Buddha Purnima

Monsoon (June-September) receives moderate rainfall and humidity increases, making day activities a challenge. Haridwar hosts many religious festivals as a place of religious significance. Kanwar Mela (July) and Diwali (October) are some festivals celebrated here with much festivities. It is estimated that nearly 3 million people attends Kanwar Mela in July. It can be visited anytime of the year, monsoon can make commuting difficult.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Haridwar

Hari Ki Pauri

hari_ki_pauri Hari ki pauri ghat was built by King Vikramaditya to commemorate the descending of Ganga after years of difficult prayers and fasting done by his ancestor Bhagirathi. Lord Vishnu is believed to have left his foot prints on a rock at this ghat. Everyday at twilight the Har ki pauri ghat comes to life with singing prayers and lit up lamps along the Ganges where people in hundreds and thousands view this mesmerizing and cleansing ritual. It is believed that the one who bathes at Har ki pauri gets rid of all sins and completely cleanses their soul. Floral tributes and lit up diyas floating on the Ganges is the most enchanting sight one gets at this ghat.

Chandi Devi

Standing atop the Neel Parvat, the Chandi Devi temple was built in 1929 AD by the king of Kashmir Suchat Singh. It is believed that the main statue of goddess Chandi devi, who killed the demon brothers Shumbh-Nishumbh, was laid here in the 8th century AD by Adi Shankracharya. The Chandi Devi temple can now be reached by a ropeway as well.

Mansa Devi

mansa_devi Situated on the southernmost hill of the Shivalik ranges is the Durga temple called Mansa Devi. One can reach this temple either on foot or by a cable car. Perched on Bilwa Parvat, the temple provides a panoramic view of the Haridwar city with the Ganges flowing in its middle.

Sapt Rishi Ashram & Sapt Sarovar

It is at this place that Ganges is believed to have divided itself into seven small streams to not to disturb the Sapt (seven) Rishis meditating and worshipping here.

Bharat Mata Mandir

bharat_mata_mandir It is one of its kind temples in Haridwar and is dedicated to Mother India, tracing its history from the times of Ramayana to present day. This eight storied temple houses the pictures and idols of some of the great Indian men from ancient to present times and pictures of the cities of the country. A must visit to get a sneak preview in to the history and culture of India.

Sati Kund

This is the holy place where the wife of Lord Shiva, Mata Sati is believed to have done the ritual of self-immolation. The ghat here is thus famous today as Sati Kund.

Rajaji National Park / Chila Wildlife Sanctuary

rajaji_national_park The Rajaji National Park, spread over an area of 240 sq km, houses the Chila wildlife Sanctuary and is situated at a distance of 10 km from Haridwar. Situated on the banks of River Ganges, the sanctuary is a haven for a large number of animals. This biodiversity park boasts of nearly 23 mammals and about 315 fauna species. The river in the park houses large number of fishes and fauna in the water. At Chila you can have the pleasure of spotting leopard, tigers, jungle cat, herd of elephants, wild boar, stags, spotted deer, sloth bear, langur, monkeys, woodpecker, king cobra etc. During the monsoons the park remains closed and otherwise it is open after sunrise and closed after dusk.

How to Reach Here

By air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant, Bhaniawala, Dehradun, 41 km. Deccan Airlines services from Delhi. Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi (220 km)

By road: Haridwar on National Highway no. 45 is well connected to all major cities and other parts of the state viz. Delhi (214 km), Agra (386 km), Ambala (168 km), Badrinath (325 km), Dehradun (52 km), Kedarnath (250 km), Saharanpur (81 km), Nainital (286 km).
Local Transport Services :
Private bus services, tempos (vikrams), auto rickshaws, tongas, cycle-rickshaws and taxis.

By rail: Connected with all important cities of India viz., Bombay, Delhi, Agra, Howrah, Varanasi, Allahabad, Ujjain, Amritsar, Dehradun, Lucknow, etc..
Major trains are:
4309 / 4310 Ujjain-Haridwar-Dehradun.
2019 / 2020 Bombay-Haridwar-Dehradun.
4041 / 4042 Delhi-Haridwar-Dehradun.
4265 / 4266 Varanasi-Haridwar-Dehradun.
3009 / 3010 Howrah-Haridwar-Dehradun.
2017 / 2018 Delhi-Haridwar-Dehradun.

Image & Information copyright by uttarakhandtourism.gov.in

Nainital

naintal_pic1 Commonly known as the “Lake District of India”, Nainital is one of the most beautiful hill stations in North India. Surrounded by mountains on three sides Nainital is located around the beautiful lake Naini Tal. This lake resort is situated at a height of 1,938 meters. There are many legends associated with the place. According to one, Nainital has derived its name from the Goddess Naina while the other legend says that when the Goddess Sati lost her eyes, she was being carried by Lord Shiva and a lake was formed. (‘Naina’ means eyes and ‘Tal’ means lake.) This beautiful small town in surrounded by seven hills, popularly known as ‘Sapta-Shring’ – Ayarpata, Deopata, Handi-Bandi, Naina, Alma, Lariya-Kanta and Sher-Ka-Danda. The majestic mountains and the sparkling waters of the lake add an immense lot to the beauty of the town.

The city is a beautiful mixture of all the hues of nature. Naini lake is the pride Nainital and the many gaily coloured yachts on the sparkling lake have now become synonymous with this beautiful picture-postcard resort. A national level yachting competition is organized here during the season.

Nainital used to be the summer capital of United Provinces (Uttar Pradesh) during the British era and remained so for many years even after Independence. The British were the first to ‘discover’ Nainital as a holiday resort in 1841. Today, it has grown into a highly popular tourist destination. The emerald waters of this mountain lake continue to retain their charm and beckon tourists from far and wide.

Once this area had many lakes and it was called the region of 60 lakes. Most of the lakes in the region have gradually disappeared and whatever remains is just a glimpse of what they might have been in the past. Today the life of Nainital revolves around the lake Naini though in close proximity lie other lakes e.g. Bhimtal, Naukuchiatal, Sattal etc. These picturesque lakes have retained their charm and the region is justifiably called The Lake District.

naintal_pic2 Nainital has an advantage of being situated in vicinity of several other lesser known hill stations that are connected through all season motorable roads.Vantage points around Nainital offer a panoramic view of Himalayan peaks on one side and the plains spread out on the other. Narrow wooded lanes through forests of oak, pine and deodar are excellent for short refreshing walks. The older parts of Nainital also retain colonial vestiges, including sprawling bungalows, public schools, churches and the old Christian cemetery.

On reaching the head of the town where the highway from the plains meets the main Mall at Tallital, one gets a dramatic view of the beautiful Naini Lake that seems to be nestled in a remote cocoon. Brightly coloured sails of yachts dot the calm waters of the lake while crowds of holiday makers throng the Mall at its edge. Boating in the lake is just one of the favourite activities of the tourists. Others come here for trekking in the densely forested mountains that surround the town.

DEEP INTO HISTORY

naintal_pic3 Nainital is referred in the ‘Manas Khand’ of the ‘Skanda Purana’ as the Tri-Rishi-Sarovar, the lake of the three sages, Atri, Pulastya and Pulaha who were reputed to have arrived here on pilgrimage and penitence. Finding no water to quench their thirst dug a hole and siphoned water into it from the sacred Mansarovar lake in Tibet.

The second mythological reference to Nainital is as one of 64 ‘Shakti Peeths’. Legend says that Sati, the consort of Shiva consigned herself to the sacrificial fire when her father Daksha insulted her lord. In grief, Shiva danced the tandava with the lifeless body of Sati, until Vishnu cut it into bits scattering it all over the land. It is said that the left eye (Nain) of Sati fell here. Consequently it turned into the patron deity of town Nainital. It is said that the lake is formed in the shape of an eye. Naina Devi temple is located at the northern end of the lake.

naintal_pic4 According to recent historical records, Nainital was discovered by a British sugar merchant P. Barron in 1839. He was so deeply enthralled by the lake settlement and its forested surrounding that he came back with a sailing boat and built a house named ‘Pilgrim’s Cottage’. Thus started the process of settlement in this once secluded mountain resort, with colonial villas and promenades coming up one after the other. Soon, it became an important administrative town as well, with the summer capital of the erstwhile United Provinces being set up here.

A major landslide in 1880 led to the formation of the flats, the level ground by the lake. Torrential rains resulted in a devastating landslide that destroyed several buildings including the Victoria Hotel at the north end of the lake near Mallital. The area was later levelled out and became a popular meeting ground and sports area. Known as The Flats it is now also used for parking vehicles during the peak tourist season.

Prior to 1839, the valley was covered by thick forests and inhabited by hill tribes. The main attractions of Nainital range from quiet walks in meadows the forests of pine and deciduous trees to adventure sports (rock climbing, yachting etc.) to popular entertainment.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

naintal_pic5 Nainital in the Kumaon hills maintains pleasant weather throughout the year except the winter months. The temperature is mild at any time but in winters it becomes very cold. The climate of Nainital is regulated by the lake here which showers rain almost every afternoon. The best time to visit the place is between April to June and then again in September and October. The months of January to March are marked by snowfall. Equipped with right clothing, this unique hill resort can otherwise be visited any time of the year.

City Facts

State: Uttarakhand
District: Nainital
Famous for/as: Hill Station
Languages: Kumaoni, Hindi, Garhwali Best
Season: Mar – Jun
Weather: Summer 15 to 30°C,
Winter: 0 to 24°C
Altitude: 2084 m
Pincode: 263001,263002
STD code: 05942

Distances

Delhi to Nainital 286 km

Bangalore to Nainital 2206 km

Almora to Nainital 60 km

Ranikhet to Nainital 81 km

Corbett National Park to Nainital 127 km

Best Season / Best time to visit

Nainital is one of the most prominent hill stations in the country that welcome tourists any time in a year. However, the best time to visit Nainital is from February to November.

Winter (October to February) offer a chilly climate with a maximum of 15°C and minimum going below 0°C. Heavy snowfalls are common during winters. This is an apt time for honeymooning so newly married couples can plan their honeymoon or book the best Nainital honeymoon package during this period.

Summer (March to May) are very pleasant with temperature never crossing 27°C and minimum is about 10°C. This is the best time for Nainital tourism. Tourists can enjoy sightseeing and adventure activities.

Monsoon (June to September) are occasional and brings out the best of the natural beauty.

Though this charming hill station can be visited at any time of the year, tourists should come here during the Dussehra celebrations, which last for nine days during October and are very attractive with many colourful processions and festivities.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Nainital

Naina Lake

naina_lake In a mythological account, this picturesque lake is said to be one of the emerald green eyes of Shiva’s beloved consort, Sati (nain is a Sanskrit word for eye). When Sati’s father failed to invite Shiva to a family sacrifice, she burnt herself to death in protest. Shiva gathered the charred remains in his arms and proceeded to engage in a cosmic dance tandav, which threatened to destroy the creation. To bring the dance to an end, Vishnu chopped up the body into pieces, and the remains were scattered. The Naina Devi Temple at the northern end of the lake is built over the precise spot where the eye is believed to have fallen.

Snow View

snow_view From the Nainital town the Snow View top is a 3 kilometer trek. Part of it can also be covered comfortably by cars and small vehicles. At the top, one can have a close up view of Nanda Devi (7816m), the second highest Himalayan peak of the country.

There’s a small temple dedicated to Dev Mundi, housing images of Goddess Durga, Lord Shiva, Goddess Sita, Lord Rama, Sri Lakshmana and Sri Hanuman. From Snow View one can walk west to another point and then continue on to the main road to Kilbury. One can also continue up to Cheena Peak or head down the road to Sukhatal, passing great views of the lake en route. On the walk up to Snow View one can take a peek in the tiny Gadhan Kunkyop Ling Gompa of the Gelukpa order (of which the Dalai Lama is the spiritual head).

Naina Peak

Naina Peak is locally known as the Cheena peak. This is the highest point in Nainital. From here Nainital appears like a majestic shining bowl. You can walk or take ponies to reach the peak. Naina peak also gives a good view of the Camel’s Back, another interesting peak. There are no hotels or restaurants on the top so it is advisable to carry food and water along.

Naina Devi Temple

naina_devi At the upper end of the attractive Nainital lake, a temple of Naina Devi is located. Dedicated to the patronizing goddess of the town, Naina Devi, this temple and its complex becomes the location of the famous Nanda Devi Mela, held every year on Nandashtami during September.

Hanuman Garhi

The place is of great religious importance. Situated at a height of 1951 meters, this place was established by Baba Neem Karauli. A very beautiful Hanuman temple is at the top. Watching the Sunset from Hanuman Garhi, is an out-of-the-world experience. You can leisurely walk down to Hanuman Garhi from Nainital town.

Observatory

The clearly visible skies over Nainital encouraged the government to set up an observatory here. The observatory has one of the most advanced telescopes in India. This telescope measures the movement of stars, planets and other heavenly bodies to great precision. The entry in the observatory is by permission only and timings are fixed.

Zoo Gardens

zoo_gardens Nainital has a small but a very beautiful Zoological garden. There are several animals including Deer, Bears, Tigers and many more. Special efforts have been put in to make the environment of the zoo hygienic and clean. Not surprisingly this zoo is one of the cleanest zoos in the country. The zoo can be reached on foot or by small vehicles.

St. John’s Church

This church was built in 1847. A brass memorial is kept in memory of the people who were buried in the infamous landslide in the 19th century. The few bodies which could be dug out were buried in the church premises.

BEYOND NAINITAL

Bhowali

Located at 1706 meters above the sea level and 11 km away from Nainital Bhowali is famous for its scenic grandeur and is an important hill fruit market. It is also known for its T.B. sanatorium established in 1912.

Ghorakhal

Famous for the temple of Lord Golu (the most famous and revered local deity of Kumaon) and the well-pedigreed Army School, Ghorakhal is at a distance of 3 km from Bhowali.

Sat Tal

sattal At a distance of about 23 km from Nainital and at an altitude of 1370 meters, Sat Tal is a unique, unforgettable spot having cluster of lakes snuggled amidst thick forests. Western travelers have often compared it to Westmoreland of England. As one approaches Sat Tal, the first lake one comes across is the old Nal-Damyanti Lake. On moving further, there is the ashram set up by Stanley Johns, an American Missionary. Next lake is called Panna or Garuda. As we move down, there is a cluster of three lakes. These lakes are named after Ram, Laxman and Sita.

Kilbury

Kilbury is 12 km away from Nainital town. Located amidst green forests this tranquil place provides a break from the city. Kilbury gives a breathtaking view of the Himalayas. The forest department has an old guest house here. Kilbury takes one into the laps of nature from the hustle bustle of the town, in no time at all.

Kainchi Dham

On the Nainital – Almora Road, 9 km from Bhowali and 17 km from Nainital is a modern pilgrim centre. This place has achieved recognition owing to the ashram of the famous Neem Karauli Maharaj.

Bhimtal

bhimtal 22 km from Nainital and 11 km from Bhowali at an altitude of 1370 m, Bhimtal takes pride in its beautiful lake, that offers magnificent vistas for visitors.

Mukteshwar

51 km from Nainital, this exciting place is at an altitude of 2286 m. Surrounded by fruit orchards and thick coniferous forests, it was developed by the British as an important Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) in 1893. It is the celebrated scenic spot overlooking long ranges of the Himalayas. An old temple of Lord Shiva exists on the top of a rock.

Naukuchiatal

naukuchiatal Situated at a distance of just 3 km from Bhimtal the deep crystal clear lake called Naukuchiyatal with its nine corners is a captivating sight. This beautiful lake is 983 m long, 693 m broad and 40.3 m deep. It is located within the confines of an enchanting valley, offering an opportunity of angling and bird watching. There is ample scope for rowing, paddling or yachting.

How to Reach Here

By air: The nearest Airport is Pant Nagar, at a distance of 65 km

By road: Nainital is well connected via roads.

By rail: Kathgodam is the nearest railhead.

Image & Information copyright by uttarakhandtourism.gov.in

Abbott Mount

abbott_mount_banner

At an altitude of 7000 feet, there lies the tiny hamlet of Abbott Mount from where one could witness the snowcapped cliffs of the mighty Himalayas in its full glory. This momentous hilly resort on the eastern side of the Kumaon Hills unravels a passable vision of the massive peaks from the Gangotri cliff to Dhaulagiri range.

Like all other hilly resorts, this hill station is also a noble venture of the progressive English men, especially John Harold Abbott, who wants a retreat from the tiresome life of the plains. Though this is established during the early part of the 20th century, it succeeded to keep its identity till now.

Abbott Mount has spectacular trails and walkways that make the picnicker spell bound. Picturesque and serene surroundings of deodar and pine forest are a haven of exotic Himalayan birds whose twittering and chirping creates a melodious environ. It would be a perfect quixotic location for young couples and honeymooners.

Abbott Mount encompasses a cluster of thirteen Cottages set in the midst of five acres of marvellous woods. On its pictorial ambience, this hamlet holds a lovely church, which provides an ethereal appeal to its magnificence. You can opt for a tour to this hilly resort at any time of the year. If you prefer slower and easy paced vacation, you choose the summers when the entire surroundings would be filled with the diaphanous shades of large variety of butterflies. Those who prefer some thrilling expeditions can try out some fishing and other allied adventures.

City Facts

State: Uttarakhand
District: Champawat
Famous for/as: Hill Station
Languages: Kumaoni, Hindi
Best Season: Throughout the year
Weather: Summer 17 to 25°C,
Winter: -5 to 15°C
Altitude: 2150 m
Pincode: 262525
STD code: 05965

Distances

Delhi to Abbott Mount 384 km

Indore to Abbott Mount 1024 km

Nagpur to Abbott Mount 1157 km

Kolkata to Abbott Mount 1424 km

Almora to Abbott Mount 160 km

Best Season / Best time to visit

The hill station Abbott Mount has a pleasant cool climate all through year.

Summers (March to June) are very pleasant with temperatures touching down to 10°C during nights and reaching a maximum of 20°C during day times. Tourist would like to explore the natural beauty during this season.

Monsoons (July to September) offers intermittent showers and cooler than summers. The place looks marvellous during showers.

Winters (November to February) are chilly with temperature touching down freezing levels. Many tourists avoid venturing outdoors during freezing period of December – January.

Best time to visit Abbott Mount is March to November.

March to June is perfect for sight seeing and outings.
April and May are good season for fishing in the surrounding Rivers.
July to October is majestic with monsoon showers and is deal for sight seeing with majestic lusting greeneries.
November to February suits for those like chilly climate.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Abbott Mount

Lohaghat

lohaghat Lohaghat, located on the shores of the Lohawati River at an altitude of 1706 metres, is only 7 km from Abbott Mount. Mayawati Ashram or Advaita Ashram, some 9 km from Lohaghat is a pilgrimage for many devotees.

Lohaghat serves as the hub to many nearby tourist spots like Shyamla Taal, Gurudwara Ritha Sahib and Devidhura. Varansur Fort, which is 7 km from Lohaghat can also be visited. The sleepy town of Lohaghat becomes busy during Raksha Bandhan because the Bagwal fight carnival is held in Devidhura during this time.

Pancheshwar

Pancheshwar is located at the border of Nepal and India, some 47 km from Abbott Mount at the converging point on the Rivers Saryu and Kali. Its Chaumu Temple and annual fair are well renowned.

A dip in these rivers is believed to be sacred. The presiding deity of this temple is Lord Shiva, who appears here in the form of protector of animals. Pancheshwar is also popular as an angling spot.

Mayawati Ashram

Mayawati’s Advait Ashram is located in the Old Tea Estate, at an elevation of 1940 metres, 16 km from Abbott Mount. With the Himalayas as a part of this ashram, this place has become a hub for pilgrims from India and foreign countries. With boarding and lodging facilities, a small museum and a library is also present in this ashram, which impressed Swami Vivekanada in 1898.

Vanasur Ka Kila

vanasur_kila Vanasur ka Kila is 25 km from Abbott Mount via Lohaghat. In this journey, nearly 2 km has to be travelled by foot to arrive at Vanasur ka Kila. This place, which is considered to be demon Vanasur’s capital that Lord Krishna defeated in a battle, is situated 1,859 metres above sea level.

How to Reach Here

By air: The nearest working Airport to Abbot Mount is Pantnagar Airport. It is a domestic airport well connected with flights from Delhi and Chandigarh. It is situated 180 kms from Pantnagar Airport.

By road: Abbot Mount is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Uttarakhand. Even though it is well connected by motorable roads, this place is remote in its own way. Buses and taxis are easily available upto Lohaghat from where you can hire a shared taxi or a private one.

By rail: The nearest rail heads to Abbot Mount are Tanakpur and Kathgodam. Kathgodam railway station is situated 163 kms from Abbot Mount, whereas Tanakpur is situated 80kms from Abbot Mount. Both these railway stations are well connected by railway networks with major cities of India.

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Rudrapur

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Rudrapur is a town that is located in the Udam Singh Nagar district of the state of Uttarakhand. The town has become a hub of commerce in recent years. It is 500 year old city and has a rich history as well.

There are many tourist spots that are located in the city. The Atriya Temple that is located in the place has many legends surrounding it and it is a popular tourist destination in the region. One can also visit the nearby hill station of Nainital that is located around 72km away.

There are many old monuments that are still surviving and these are good places to visit. The main attraction of the hill town is its rustic atmosphere and the peaceful location. The town is surrounded by lush green hills and excellent scenery and there are many vantage points that are located in the place.

The Chaiti Devi Temple is another tourist site in the town and the temple is considered extremely sacred by the local population and is a must see site while visiting the place. The Giri Sarovar Lake is also a popular place and it is located around 2 km from the Kashipur Bus Stand.

City Facts

State: Uttarakhand
District: Udham Singh Nagar
Famous for/as: Historical
Languages: Pahari, Hindi, English
Best Season: Throughout the year
Weather: Summer 35-40°C,
Winter: 8-24°C
Altitude: 248197
Pincode: 05944

Distances

Delhi to Rudrapur 239 km

Lucknow to Rudrapur 343 km

Kanpur to Rudrapur 415 km

Pune to Rudrapur 1546 km

Haridwar to Rudrapur 239 km

Best Season / Best time to visit

The cool and pleasant conditions make the place a popular destination throughout the year. The town is set amidst mountains and the air is always crisp and fresh. Summers are hot and it is uncomfortable for a short period. The winters can be chilly and one has to carry protective clothing while travelling during this period. The place gets rainfall during the monsoon season.

The summer season is from March to June and the temperatures range from a minimum of 26°C and a maximum of 46°C. The month of May is especially hot and the highest temperatures are experienced during this period. However this is a popular time to visit the place as well.

Rainfall can be expected for a short period from July to September. The place receives rain from the South West monsoon. The months of October and November are mild and comfortable. This is good time to visit, before the onset of the winter.

The winter season is from the month of December to February. The conditions are much milder and the temperatures can vary from a minimum of 8°C to a maximum of 15°C. Many visitors can be seen during the winter season.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Rudrapur

Atariya Temple

atariya_temple The deity of Atariya temple is Goddess Atariya. This sacred shrine is situated 2km from the bus stand of Rudrapur. A 10 day fair is held here during the sacred Navratras. Large numbers of devotees visit the shrine on this occasion.

Nainital

It is situated at a distance of 79kms from Rudrapur at an elevation of 1,938mts above sea level. Nainital is given the epithet of “Lake District” because it dotted with five lakes Nainital, Bhimtal, Naukuchiatal, Khurpatal, and Sattal. Nainital is a glistening pearl of the panoramic Himalayan Range blessed with spectacular natural splendors and varied flora and fauna. The lake is on its majestically height during the night time when the light of the houses, cottages and hotels situated on the mountains covering Nainital reflects upon it and makes the view invigorating. Nainital is an ideal destination for families, honeymooners, poets and writers, nature lovers and adventure lovers as well.

Bhimtal

bhimtal It is situated at a distance of 64kms from Rudrapur at an altitude of 1,375mts above sea level. The main attraction in Bhimtal is the Bhimtal Lake which has a small island at its centre. Bhimtal is an ancient place named after the legendary Bhima of Mahabharata when Bhima visited the place during the exile period of pandavas. Bhim Tal is older than the town of Nainital and is considered as one of the best excursions of Nainital. Bhim Tal is well connected with Kathgodam and all Kumaon regions and Nepal. It is an unsolved mystery but this place might have been the part of the ancient silk route of China.

Jim Cornett National Park

jim It is the oldest national park of India named after Jim Corbett a British hunter who gave up hunting. Corbett national park was founded in 1936 as Hailey national park in the Nainital district of Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. The park covers an area of 521sqkms. There are 488 different types of plants and over 585 types of birds and many species of animals. But the most important reason why tourists visit this place is tigers and herds of elephants. Jim Corbett National Park is situated 80kms from Rudrapur

How to Reach Here

By air: Pantnagar airport is the nearest airport which is located around 14kms from Rudrapur. Taxis are easily available from Pantnagar airport to Rudrapur. Pantnagar is connected to Delhi with daily flights. Pant Nagar Airport is well connected by metalled road with Rudrapur. It is a domestic airport and its nearest International airport is New Delhi.

By road: Rudrapur is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of northern India. Taxis are easily available from major destinations of Uttarakhand to Rudrapur. Many private bus service providers operate luxury buses between Delhi to Rudrapur. Buses to Rudrapur are easily available from ISBT Anand Vihar. Rudrapur is well connected by road through NH 74 (Delhi-Nainital Highway) and NH 87 (Khatima-Panipat Highway)

By rail: Rudrapur is well connected by railway networks with major destinations of India like Kashipur, Lucknow, Rampur, Moradabad, Bareilly, Kathgodam, Dehradun and Delhi. Rudrapur Railway Station is situated 2kms from Rudrapur city. Trains to Rudrapur are frequent with major destinations of India. Taxis are easily available from Rudrapur Railway station to Rudrapur City.

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Bhowali

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Situated at an altitude of 1706 m on the main Haldwani – Almora – Ranikhet road, Bhowali is a major health resort, also known for its breathtaking Himalayan views. Bhowali is 11 kms away from Nainital town. It is also a major export centre for apples, apricot, plums, pears etc.

Right on the motorable road to Kathgodam and Almora, its healthy climate made it an ideal location for the opening of the first T.B. Sanatorium in the State. Four kms from Bhowali are the famous Golu Devta Temple and Sainik School in Ghorakhal.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Bhowali

Bhowali is famous for its fruit orchards. You can buy apples, apricots or pears, from the growers directly during the fruit season (May-August).

At Ghorakhal, a temple of Golu, the revered god of the Kumaoni people is located at a charming place with alluring views of the valley of Bhimtal.

Sainik School

This army school is renowned all over India. Students come here to study and for their all round development, in a healthful atmosphere.

Jeolikot

A fascinating hill station and a famous health resort known for fruit orchards, mushrooms, honey and butterflies.

Beyond Bhowali

Mukteshwar

mukteshwar At an altitude of 2286 m Mukteshwar is one of the prettiest Himalayan resorts, at a distance of about 53 km from Nainital. Surrounded by fruit orchards and thick coniferous forests it was developed by Britishers as a centre of research and education in veterinary sciences in 1893. It is a celebrated scenic spot overlooking extended Himalayan ranges.

An old Shiva temple (Mukteshwar Mahadev) exists in a spout like rock is the highest spot of the small township. Foreign scientists used to call it the ‘Wish Temple’. There are a P.W.D. inspection bungalow, a Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam rest house and number of private hotels to accommodate visitors. Mukteshwar is a small hamlet offering basic facilities only. It is connected with outside world with Radiotelephone, besides the normal line telephones, which gets snapped in winters due to snow.

How to Reach Here

By air: The nearest airport, Pant Nagar, is at a distance of 71 km

By road: Nainital is just half an hour drive. Buses ply every half an hour. Taxis ply frequently from Nainital (11 kms), Kathgodam (34 kms), Ranikhet (50 kms) and Almora (55 kms).

By rail: The nearest Railhead Kathgodam, which is connected to Delhi and other North Indian cities, is just 34 kms away.

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Ramgarh

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Ramgarh, a serene and secluded cool hill station in Kumaon region of Uttaranchal placed at a height of 1789 m above the sea level, is renowned for fruits and orchards. This hill station is founded by Bristish and was frequently visited by many high profile personalities of India and British. The hill station carries the legacy of some ancestral buildings, used as inspection bungalows and temporary stay palaces for officers, dating back to British colonial period.

The most attractive place in the Kumaon region, Ramgarh is Scenic which feat the eyes of visitors. The plain is home to many orchards of apricots, plums, peaches and apples. The famous world renowned Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore was fond of this place and was a devoted visitor to this place. Really this place fills your hearts with calm, cool and secluded thinking, arises the fancy, fantastic and artistic ideas. Many writers and thinkers visit this place to rejuvenate their thinking. It is recorded that some of the compositions of Rabindra Nath Tagore was composed while his stay here.

Ramgarh is an ideal destination for leisure trips and happy holidays in solitude, calm and serenity with pleasing atmosphere and weather conditions. One can get the luckiest chance of unobstructed views of verdant Himalayas.

City Facts

State: Uttarakhand
District: Nainital
Famous for/as: Hill Station
Languages: Kumauni, Garhwali, Hindi
Best Season: Nov – May
Weather: Summer 15-30°C,
Winter: 0-24°C
Altitude: 1518 m
Pincode: 263137
STD code: 06187

Distances

Delhi to Ramgarh 292 km

Mumbai to Ramgarh 1604 km

Bangalore to Ramgarh 2223 km

Nainital to Ramgarh 18 km

Ranikhet to Ramgarh 40 km

Best Season / Best time to visit

Ramgarh has a pleasing climate all through the year. Summers (May to June) are pleasant and have a maximum temperature of 30°C and a minimum of 20°C. Winters (November to February) are on harsher side and have a maximum temperature 10°C and a minimum of 2°C. Monsoons (June to September) have medium rainfalls.

Holi (February-March), Diwali (October) and Dussera (October-November) are celebrated with much enjoyments.

Best time to visit here is all through the year, except winters.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Ramgarh

Nathuakhan

nathuakhan Nathuakhan is a ravishing hamlet near Ramgarh at an elevation of 6,365fts above sea level. Tourists can enjoy nature walks, meditation or can relax in the beautiful gardens. The serenity and calmness of the surroundings of Nathuakhan is blessed with picturesque forests, lush green valleys and hilly terrains.

Mukteshwar

mukteshwar2 Mukteshwar is situated at an elevation of 2285mts above sea level in Nainital district of Uttarakhand state. Mukteshwar got its name from a 350year old temple Mukteshwer Dham whose presiding deity is Lord Shiva. The immaculate beauty of Mukteshwar has a lot to offer. Wake up with the chirping of birds and sun rays kissing the cliffs and enjoy short treks in the woods. Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot, Nandaghunti, Trishul and Panchachuli are the major peaks visible from Mukteshwar. Mukteshwar is situated 25kms from Ramgarh and is an idyllic place for leisurely holidays with pleasant weather conditions.

How to Reach Here

By air: Pantnagar airport is the nearest airport, which is located about 76kms from Ramgarh. Taxis are easily available from the airport to Ramgarh. Pantnagar is connected to Delhi with daily flights. Pant Nagar Airport is well connected by metalled road with Ramgarh.

By road: Ramgarh is a remote destinations but it is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Kumaon and cities of northern India. Buses are easily available from ISBT Anand Vihar, New Delhi to Haldwani, Nainital and Almora. Taxis are also available from major cities of Kumaon region and Garhwal region to Ramgarh. Many private bus service providers operate luxury buses between Delhi to Kathgodam and Nainital from where you can easily get a taxi to Ramgarh.

By rail: Kathgodam Railway station is the nearest railhead to Ramgarh situated at a distance of 45kms. Kathgodam is well connected by major cities of India like Lucknow, Kolkata, Delhi, etc. There are two trains that run daily between Delhi to Kathgodam and vice-versa. Trains are frequent to Kathgodam as it is the gateway of Kumaon region. Taxis and buses are easily available from Kathgodam to Ramgarh.

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Panch Kedar

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Madhmaheshwar, Tungnath, Rudranath and Kalpnath with Kedarnath form the Panch Kedar, the five most important temples of Lord Shiva in Garhwal Himalayas.

Madhmaheshwar

madhmaheshwar One of Panch Kedars, the temple of Madhmaheshwar is located at an altitude of 3,289 m above sea level, on the slope of a ridge, 25 km northeast of Guptkashi. There is a motorable road from Guptkashi to Kalimath. The best statue of Har Gauri in India measuring over a metre high is found in the Kali temple.

The trek from Kalimath to Madhmaheshwar is distinguished by wild unparalleled scenic beauty and engulfed by Chaukhamba, Kedarnath and Neelkanth peaks. Gaundar at the confluence of Madhmaheshwar Ganga and Markanga Ganga, is the last settlement before one reaches Madhmaheshwar, the place where Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of belly.

Tungnath

tungnath3 The arms of Lord Shiva came out as per the Kedarnath myth at Tungnath. He is worshipped here as one of the Panch Kedars. Tungnath Temple at an altitude of 3,680 m, is the highest Shiva shrine among the Panch Kedars but the easiest to reach from Chopta, the nearest road head.

Rudranath

rudranath2 Situated amidst thick woods, here the ‘mukh’ or the Lord’s face appeared and Shiva is worshipped as Neelkanth Mahadev. Situated at a height of 2,286 m, all around the shrine are fragrant flower-laden meadows where herbs grow in profusion. In the background, in all their glory, are the glittering snow-covered peaks of Trishul, Nanda Devi, Devasthan etc. Near the temple is a stream of sparkling water known as Vaitarini – the ‘Water of Salvation’. Passing through the glorious mountain scenery, the 17 km trek passes on its way through Anusuyadevi. At a height of 2,439 m.

Nandikund is a place where the people worship some rusty old historic swords thrust into the rocks. The local populace earnestly believe that the swords belonged originally to the Pandavas. The temple is surrounded by a number of pools – Surya Kund, Chandra Kund, Tara Kund, Manas Kund – while the great peaks of Nanda Devi, Trishul and Nanda Ghunti form a fabulous background.

Kalpnath

kalpnath1 This small rock temple to be entered through a cave, 2km from Urgam and 11 km from Helang, bear the manifestation is of the Shiva’s hair or Jata. The 14 km distance from Joshimath to Helang is motorable and the rest 11 km is a bridle path via Urgam, that begins with the crossing of the Alaknanda at Helang.

Most of the trek is a gradual climb. Just 2 km before Kalpheshwar is the friendly village of Urgam (2134 m.) set amidst mesmerizing natural surroundings.

Kedarnath

kedarnath1 The Kedarnath Temple is situated at an altitude of 3580 m amidst the background of snow covered mountain peaks and forests. The temple is built of large, heavy and evenly cut grey slabs of stones and is considered more than 1000 years old. The temple has a garbha griha (inner sanctum) where a conical rock formation is situated and a Mandapam for seating of pilgrims and visitors. A large statue of the Nandi Bull is situated outside the temple door. The nearest motorable road reaches Gaurikund . The pilgrims have to trek 14 km to reach the temple.

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the exquisitely carved and sculpted Kedarnath temple is built of extremely large, heavy and evenly cut gray slabs of stones, it evokes wonder as to how these heavy slabs were handled in those ancient days! The present temple, built in the 8th century by Adi Shankaracharya, stands adjacent to the site of an earlier temple built by the Pandavas. The inner walls of the assembly hall are decorated with figures of various deities and scenes from mythology. Outside the temple door a large statue of the Nandi Bull stands as guard.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Panch Kedar

Vasuki Tal(6 Km)

vasuki_tal_0 A picturesque lake, 4,135 m above sea level is surrounded by lofty mountains and offers a commanding view of the Chaukhamba peaks.

Chorabari (Gandhi Sarovar)

Only a 2 km trek from Kedarnath. Floating-ice on the crystal clear waters of the lake fascinates the visitors.

Ukimath

Winter home of the deity at Kedarnath temple and the seat of the Rawals of Kedarnath. Ukhimath is connected by bus services to Rudraprayag and other major centres.

Trijuginarayan

trijugi_narayan According to legend, this was the place where the wedding of Lord Shiva and Parvati was solemnized. In front of Shiva temple, is an eternal flame, which is said to be witness of the marriage. It can be reached after a 12 km drive from Sonprayag.

How to Reach Here

By air: Nearest airport is Jolly Grant, Dehradun, 239 km.

By road: Kedarnath is approachable on foot, 14 km from Gaurikund, which is connected by road with Rishikesh, Kotdwar, Dehradun, Haridwar and other important hill stations of Garhwal and Kumaon hills.

By rail: Nearest railway station is Rishikesh, 221 km.

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Panch Prayag

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Panch Prayag means “Five Confluences”. It refers to the five confluences which takes place at Vishnu Prayag, NandaPrayag, KarnPrayag, Rudraprayag and Devprayag respectively to form river Ganga. Ganga, the most sacred of Indian rivers, is worshipped as the life-giving goddess, which brings salvation to this land. This great river, emerges from the icy glaciers of the Himalayas. Pilgrims bathe in the Ganga on various auspicious days and the water of Ganga is used for purification rituals.

According to the Hindu Mythology when Goddess Ganga started descending to earth, to cherish the mankind, Earth was not able to face the force which Ganga had. To temper her force Ganga was splitted into 12 channels. The siblings again gets unite into single stream after Devaprayag. After the confluence of Alaknanda with Bhagirathi at Devprayag, the river is known as Ganga (Ganges). Four other confluences higher up add up to form the five holy confluences or Panch prayag, which pilgrims visit for worship.

Attractions

Karnaprayag

karanprayag Karnaprayag is located on the way to Badrinath, on the confluence of two holy rivers Alaknanda and Pindar. It is said that Karna of Mahabharata meditated here for many years to acquire the impregnable shield, which made him a formidable warrior in the battlefield. Swami Vivekananda meditated here for eighteen days with his Guru Bhai, Guru Turianand ji and Akharanand ji. It is the sub-divisional head-quarter of district Chamoli. Roads from here go to Almora, Nainital and Jim Corbet National Park.

Nandaprayag

nandprayag 21 km from Karnaprayag, on the main route to Badrinath, where the Alaknanda and Mandakani rivers meet, is a destination which has become a major tourist halting point. Named Nandaprayag, it honours the pious and truthful King Nanda, who had performed a ‘Yajna’ and gave donations to the Brahmins to win the love and blessings of God. The famous Gopalji temple is also situated here.

Devprayag

devprayag One of the Panch Prayag (five confluences) of Alaknanda River, Devprayag is a pilgrimage town in Tehri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers merge to form the holy River Ganga at Devprayag. The small town is situated on the route from Rishikesh to Badrinath and is about 71 km from Rishikesh.

Devprayag literally means the ‘holy confluence’. It is an extremely important religious site for Hindus. Ganga, the biggest and the holiest river in India, starts its journey to the plains and further towards Bay of Bengal from Devprayag.

Situated at an altitude of over 850 metres, Devprayag is the last prayag or confluence of Alaknanda River. Vishnuprayag, Nandaprayag, Karnaprayag and Rudraprayag are the other four confluences of the river. The entire town was destroyed in 1803 by an earthquake. Nonetheless, the heritage structures of Devprayag were restored soon and the ancient charm of the holy town has been retained.

Rudraprayag

rudraprayag Named after Lord Shiva (Rudra), Rudraprayag is a small pilgrim town located on the holy confluence of river Alaknanda and Mandakini which is venerated as one of the five sacred confluences or the ‘Panch Prayag’. at a distance of about 40 kms. from Kalimath. The meeting of the Mandakini and Alaknanda rivers has a unique beauty of its own and it seems as if two sisters were embracing each other. It is believed that to master the mysteries of music, Narad Muni worshipped Lord Shiva, who appeared in his Rudra Avtaar (incarnation) to bless Narad.

The Shiva and Jagdamba temples are of great religious importance. Till recently, Rudraprayag was a part of district Chamoli and Tehri. In 1997, the Kedarnath Valley and parts of district Tehri & Pauri were conjoined to form Rudraprayag as a new district. it is the junction for visiting Badrinath and Kedarnath Dham.

There are several temples worth visiting in Rudraprayag one of the most prominent being the Koteshwar Mahadev Temple on the shores of the Alaknanda River. Covered with lush foliage, this beautiful cave-temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is believed to have stopped and meditated here.

Vishnuprayag

vishnuprayag Hormed by the confluence of the impetuous Vishnu Ganga (known after this point, as the Alaknanda) and the Dhauliganga river, Vishnu Prayag, 1372m, has an ancient temple called Vishnu Kund. It is said that the sage Narad worshipped Vishnu at this sanctified spot. Visitors will find the Kagbhusandi Lake bewitching with its emerald green depths giving it a still surface, while on the banks, blossoms evoke the colours of nature in all her glory. The lake can also be approached from Vishnuprayag beside from Bhundhar village near Ghangaria.

How to Reach Here

By air: Nearest airport is Jolly Grant, Dehradun, 239 km

By road: All five Prayag are well connected by road with Rishikesh, Kotdwar, Dehradun, Haridwar and other important hill stations of Garhwal and Kumaon hills.

By rail: Nearest railway station is Rishikesh.

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Rajaji National Park

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Rajaji National Park is distinct for its pristine scenic beauty and rich bio-diversity. A paradise for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts, the wildlife of the park is blessed with elephants, tigers, leopards, deers and ghorals as its best known life forms. Three sancturies in the Uttarakhand, Shivaliks – Rajaji, Motichur and Chila were amalgamated into a large protected area and named Rajaji National Park in the year 1983 after the famous freedom fighter Late Sri C. Rajgopalachari; popularly known as “Rajaji”.

This area is the North Western Limit of Asian elephants. Spread over an area of 820.42 sq km, Rajaji is a magnificent ecosystem nestled in the Shivalik ranges and the beginning of the vast Indo–Gangetic plains, thus representing vegetation of several distinct zones and forest types like sal forests, riverine forests, board–leaved mixed forests, scrubland and grassy. It posseses as many as 23 species of mammals and 315 bird species.The abundance of nature’s bounties heaped in and around this park, are bound to attract a large number of wildlife conservationists, nature lovers and eco-friends to visit this most breathtaking wilderness area.

City Facts

State: Uttarakhand
District: Haridwar, Dehradun, Pauri Garhwal
Famous for/as: Wildlife
Languages: Hindi, English
Best Season: Nov – Jun
Weather: Summer 32 to 45°C
Winter: 20 to 25°C
Altitude: 300-1350 m
Pincode: 249407
STD code: 01334

Distances

Chandigarh to Rajaji National Park 185 km

Delhi to Rajaji National Park 223 km

Shimla Manali to Rajaji National Park 299 km

Dehradun to Rajaji National Park 21 km

Haridwar to Rajaji National Park 43 km

Best Season / Best time to visit

Every season is merriment in Rajaji National Park. Summers from March to June have a moderate climate. Winters from October to February are pleasant and have a cool climate. Monsoons months from July to September receive mighty rainfalls.

Summers is the best season for an elephant ride in the park, which is very enjoyable and a popular activity. The park is open from 15th November till 15th June every year. Post monsoon is best for spotting migratory birds.

Best season to visit here is from October to June.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Rajaji National Park

Jungle Safari

jungle_safari To enjoy the wildlife and nature in its pristine and undulated form, the jungle safari in Rajaji National park is a perfect option. The enchanting experiences of nature walks, Jungle safari by walk or by vehicle at Rajaji National Park is really awesome.

Adventurous tourists can venture out for Jeep Safaris and Elephant Safaris in the 34 km long tracks of Rajaji National Park. One can make a breath taking safari through hilly terrains, lusting greenish valleys and plains, undulating forest tracks, vegetated river beds, thick and dense forest lands and unexplored sprawling grasslands.

During the safari one can spot many wild animals including Asian Elephants, Tiger and King Cobra, Panther, Bear, Chital, Sambar, Wild Boar, Kakar, Python, Monitor Lizard, Wild Cats. You can also spot many birds and many species of different plants, shrubs and trees.

The Jungle Safari is a visitor’s delight and one can never forget the real majestic experience getting from the safari.

How to Reach Here

By air: Nearest airport is Jollygrant which is 21 km away from Rajaji National Park and is situated in Dehradun. Jollygrant airport, Dehradun is well connected to Delhi airport. Taxi services are available from airport to Rajaji National Park and it costs about Rs 600. Delhi is the nearest international airport which is 223 km away. Delhi is well connected to all major cities in India and many cities abroad.

By road: Rajaji National park is well connected to many cities in the region by buses. Private and public buses offer services from Rajaji National Park to Haridwar (43 km), Rishikesh (14 km), Dehradun (21 km) and also to Delhi (223 km).

By rail: Nearest railway station is Haridwar, which is just 43 km away from Rajaji National park. Dehradun is the major rail junction nearby, situated at a distance of 21 km from Rajaji National Park. This station is connected to all cities in India. Taxi services are available from Dehradun to Rajaji National Park, costing about Rs 500.

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Chopta

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Chopta is a small settlement and valley that is located in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. This region is very popular among tourists, mainly because of the number of options it provides for exploring. The entire region is a haven of beauty, and the ones among you who are looking for a good place to relax, without the hustle and bustle of a typical tourist hotspot can visit Chopta valley and gaze in awe at the many peaks located a short distance away from the valley.

The valley is a great place for adventure buffs and trekking enthusiasts, because trekking is a popular activity in the valley. During your trip to Chopta valley, you can take a trek to the nearby region of Deori Tal. Deori Tal is a very famous lake that is surrounded entirely by forests on all sides. This lake lies under the Chukhumba peak, and a trek to this lake can be taken provided you receive proper services from a guide in the region. You can stay near the lake for as long as you want to as many tourists camp out here.

You can also take a trek to the temple in Tungnath. This trek can be easily completed without any guidance, as the roads to this temple are well paved and set. The temple at Tungnath is located at an altitude of 3660 metres.

City Facts

State: Uttarakhand
District: Rudraprayag
Famous for/as: Hill Station
Languages: Kumaoni, Hindi
Best Season: Apr – Jun, Sep – Nov
Weather: Summer 15 to 24°C,
Winter: -15 to 5°C
Altitude: 2900 m
Pincode: 246442
STD code: 01364

Best Season / Best time to visit

Summers in the region of Chopta extend through the months of March, April and May. These three months will experience a maximum temperature of around thirty degrees (30°C) and a minimum temperature of around ten degrees (10°C). Chopta valley is best visited during the summer, due to the pleasant weather.

The months of July, August and September are the monsoon months in Chopta. Rainfall during this time will be mild, and the overall weather will be pleasant. You should carry along adequate rain gear during your trip to Chopta at this time.

Winters in Chopta run through the months of November, December, January, and February. The maximum temperature in the region during this time will be around fifteen degrees (15°C) and the minimum temperature will be around minus fifteen degrees (-15°C). Visiting Chopta during this time is not advisable, as trekking routes will all be cut off.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Chopta

Tungnath Temple

tungnath2 Tungnath is the highest temple of Lord Shiva perched at an elevation of 3,680mts above sea level. The sanctity of the region of Tungath is considered unsurpassed. Tungnath is one of Panch Kedar and Shiva’s arm is worshipped here.

The trek to highest temple of Lord Shiva commences from Chopta. You can reach Tungnath by a 4km easy but steep trek.

Chandrashila

chandrashila Chandrashila can be reached after a little more than 1km trek from Tungnath. From Chandrashila you can enjoy 360 degree panoromic views of the gigantic Himalayas. Chandrashila is the highest point of the mountain on which Tungnath Temple and Chopta are located.

Chandrashila is situated at an astonishing altitude of 4090mts above sea level.

How to Reach Here

By air: Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest Airport to Chopta situated at a distance of 221kms. Jolly Grant Airport is well connected to Delhi with daily flights. Chopta is well connected by motorable roads with Jolly Grant Airport. Taxis are available from Jolly Grant Airport to Chopta.

By road: Chopta is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Uttrakhand state. Buses to Rishikesh and Srinagar are available from ISBT Kashmiri Gate. Buses and Taxis to Chopta are easily available from major destinations of Uttarakhand like Rishikesh, Pauri, Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag, Gaurikund, Srinagar, Gopeshwar etc. Chopta is situated on the road connecting Guptkashi with Gopeshwar.

By rail: The nearest railway station to Chopta is Rishikesh. Rishikesh railway station is situated 202kms before Chopta on NH58. Rishikesh is well connected by railway networks with major destinations of India. Trains to Rishikesh are frequent. Chopta is well connected by motorable roads with Rishikesh. Taxis and buses are available from Rishikesh to Srinagar, Rudraprayag, Ukhimath and Chopta.

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Tehri Garhwal

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With its proximity to Dehradun (110 km) and New Delhi (300 Km). It is accessible to both Indian and International tourists, who can reach easily. New Tehri itself is a modern town now spread over an altitude from 1,550 mts. To 1,950 mts above sea level, overlooking the gigantic lake and the Tehri Dam. In fact, the USP of New Tehri is this lake and dam.

Tourists come to New Tehri to see the Tehri Dam which is one of the World’s largest hydroelectric projects harnessing waters of two important rivers of the Himalayas namely Bhagirathi and Bhilangana. And the lake provides a hundred opportunities to the adventure lovers who love to throw caution to the winds. Be it Scuba Diving, Angling, Canocing, Rowing, Boating, Water scooter, speed Boating, Rafting, Kayaking, House Boat, Cruise boating. Or any other water sports that you can think. Government is planning to have them all at Tehri Lake.

And if you have a mind to explore the places close by, don’t miss the towns of Devprayag and Chamba. Devprayag is one of the five scared prayags (confluences) of the Alaknanda, and Chamba is a township lying high at an altitude of 1524 mts., offering a splendid view of the snow capped the Himalayas and the serene Bhagirathi valley, Similarly, Chandrabadni mountain hold a beautiful temple which commands a beautiful view of the Surkunda, Kedarnath, and Badrinath peaks.

Located 54kms from Tehri, at an altitude of 1326mts. lies the capital of the former King of Garhwal . The Palace of the Tehri Raja is situated amidst a forest. Situated at a height of 2903 mts.., is also the Temple of Nagraja at Sem Mukhem which is held esteem by the people of the area. Visitors also come to see the Budda Kedar, the temple situated at the confluence of the Bal Ganga and Dharma Ganga rivers at a distance of 59kms. From Tehri. Kunjapuri is the name given to a peak situated at an altitude of about 1,676 mts. and 52 kms. From Tehri. Kunjapuri is said to be one of the Sidhpeeths established in the region by Jagadguru Shankaracharya.

tehri1 The district of Tehri Garhwal is one of the largest districts in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. This district is considered to be one of holiest places in the state, and it is located in the foothills of the Himalayan mountain range. There are many places that you can visit during your trip to Tehri Garhwal, as there are numerous temples in the region and also many old forts built during 823 AD – 886 AD.

You can visit Buda Kedar, which is a prominent temple located in the district. This temple is considered really sacred by Hindus, and it is located at a point where the rivers Dharam Ganga and Ganga converge. This temple houses a Linga of Lord Shiva, and many pilgrims visit this place during the festive season.

You can also visit Khatling Glacier during your visit to Tehri Garhwal, and this glacier lies around sixty two kilometres away from the town of Tehri. This is a very popular tourist spot where you can try your hand at skiing. The popular hill station Chamba is yet another famous destination in the district of Tehri Garhwal, and this place is located at an altitude of around 5000 feet, just sixty kilometres from Tehri.

Other important places to visit in Tehri Garhwal include Badrinath (known for its hot springs), Devaprayag, Gautam Rishi’s temple and Sem Mukhem temple.

City Facts

State: Uttarakhand
District: Tehri
Famous for/as: Pilgrim
Languages: Garhwali, Hindi Best Season: Throughout the year
Weather: Summer 8 to 20°C,
Winter: -10 to 10°C
Altitude: 1676 m
Pincode: 249001
STD code: 01376

Best Season / Best time to visit

The district of Tehri Garhwal experiences mild weather throughout the year and the climate can be classified as subtropical. The basic seasons involved are those of summer, winter and monsoon. The district can be visited throughout the year, as the many hill stations will provide respite from the heat during the summer and winters provide options for skiing.

Summers in the district of Tehri Garhwal are moderate and the maximum temperature during the summer months of April, May, and June will experience a maximum temperature of around thirty eight degrees (38°C) and a minimum temperature of around twenty five degrees (25°C).

Winter in the district of Tehri Garhwal extend through the months of October, November, December and January. These months will experience a maximum temperature of around fifteen degrees (15°C) and a minimum temperature of around one degree (1°C). Winters in Tehri Garhwal are cold, and you’ll need to carry proper woollen clothing along during your trip.

The monsoon months in Tehri Garhwal are July and August. These months will experience moderate to high rainfall, depending on the altitude of the particular location. Snowfall in high altitude regions is common during winter time. The annual precipitation in Tehri Garhwal depends on the South West monsoon.

How to Reach Here

By air: Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest Airport to Tehri situated at a distance of 91kms. Taxis are easily available from Jolly Grant Airport to Tehri. Jolly Grant Airport is well connected to Delhi with daily flights. Tehri is well connected by motorable roads with Jolly Grant Airport.

By road: Tehri is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Uttarakhand and northern states of India. Luxury and normal Buses to Tehri are available from ISBT Kashmiri Gate. Buses and Taxis to Tehri are easily available from major destinations of Uttarakhand like Dehradun, Mussoorie, Rishikesh, Haridwar, Devprayag, Srinagar, Uttarkashi etc.

By rail: The nearest railway station to Tehri Garhwal is situated in Rishikesh. Rishikesh is well connected by railway networks with major destinations of India. Trains to Rishikesh Railway station are frequent. Tehri Garhwal is well connected by motorable roads with Rishikesh. Taxis and buses are easily available from Rishikesh to Tehri.

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Valley of Flower

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A sprawling expanse of 87 square kilometres in the Chamoli District of Uttarakhand, Valley of Flowers is set in the backdrop of the majestic Zanskar Ranges. This virtual paradise on earth has been unknown to the outside world till the great Mountaineer Frank S Smith discovered it in the year 1931.

A world heritage site, the valley is situated at a very remarkable area, which is the conversion point of Himalayan ranges, Zanskar and Western and Eastern Himalayas. This fairyland located in the high altitudes of Himalayas is protected by snowy mountains. Bounded by the magnificent mountain ranges and glittering glaciers, this place unfolds the charisma and charm of nature at its best.

Unspoiled by human invasions this imposing land lay iced up in the colder months, and burst into its majestic boom on the arrival of hotter months. During these months the valley sheds its somnolent nature with its multitudes of exotic flora. When the monsoon clouds began to drizzle, the valley shows its flowery face and the entire region would glisten like a colourful carpet.

A scenic place where nature blooms with its entire vista can be accessible by a tedious but lovely stroll. Eye catching spectacles like the cascading waterfalls, small streams and above all the flowery meadows awaits the visitors all through the way. With the flamboyant paddocks, crystalline streams and majestic peaks, this baroque of flowers is a worthy watch spectacle.

City Facts

State: Uttarakhand
District: Chamoli
Famous for/as: Wildlife, Trekking
Languages: Hindi, English
Best Season: Mar – Oct
Weather: Summer 13 to 27°C
Winter: 7 to 20°C
Altitude: 3250-6750 m

Distances

Chandigarh to Valley of Flowers 422 km

Delhi to Valley of Flowers 441 km

Nagpur to Valley of Flowers 1344 km

Mumbai to Valley of Flowers 1824 km

Pune to Valley of Flowers 1859 km

Best Season / Best time to visit

Valley of flowers has a cool but pleasant climate all through the year.

Summers (June to October) have a cool weather with maximum temperature reaches to nearly 17 °C and is a good season for viewing the panoramic beauty.

Winters (November to May) are snow covered and difficult to visit the outdoor attractions. Minimum temperature can go well down with average minimum about 7 °C.

Best Season to visit Valley of Flowers is from July to October.

July to October is pleasant and ideal for the visit of the national park and is good for spotting endangered animals.

August and September are eye catching months with blooming flowers.

December to May is snow bound and road blocks prevent the tourist from visiting the outdoors.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Valley of Flower

Hemkund Sahib

hemkund1 The tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Govind Singhji mediated at Hemkund Sahib for years. The word Hemkund literally suggests ‘Lake of snow’ and the immaculate water of this lake is as cold as snow. Hemkund Saheb is located at an elevation of 4,329mts above sea level amidst several snow capped peaks, which are collectively called Hemkund Parvat.

A star shaped gurudwara near the lake is visited by thousands of devotees every month. A temple dedicated to Lakshman, brother of Lord Rama is also located here. One must complete a trek of 6km from Ghangharia to reach Hemkund Sahib. The best time to visit this place is from July to November.

Ghangaria

ghangaria It is the last human habitation centre on the way to Hemkund Sahib and the Valley of Flowers. Ghangaria is a scenic hamlet perched at an altitude of 3,050mts above sea level at a distance of 13km from Govind Ghat and 4kms before Valley of flowers. The trek becomes easy to moderate from this point if you are traveling towards Hemkund Sahib.

The region is prone to heavy snowfall in winters, therefore the region remains opened from May to October. A Gurudwara, GMVN rest houses and a few more hotels provide accommodation facility at Ghangharia.

How to Reach Here

By air: Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest Airport to Valley of Flowers but the roads are only connected upto Govind Ghat from where you have to commence trek of 16kms to reach Valley of Flowers. Govindghat is situated at a distance of 292kms from Jolly Grant Airport. Jolly Grant Airport is well connected to Delhi with daily flights. Govindghat is well connected by motorable roads with Jolly Grant Airport. Taxis are available from Jolly Grant Airport to Govindghat.

By road: Valley of Flowers is connected upto Govind Ghat with motoralble roads and from here you have to commence trek of 16kms to reach Valley of Flowers. Govindghat is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Uttarakhand state. Buses to Haridwar, Rishikesh and Srinagar are available from ISBT Kashmiri Gate. Buses and Taxis to Govindghat are easily available from major destinations of Uttarakhand state like Rishikesh, Pauri, Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag, Ukhimath, Srinagar, Chamoli etc. Govindghat is situated on National Highway 58 making it easy to reach.

By rail: The nearest railway station to Valley of flowers is Rishikesh but the roads are only connected upto Govind Ghat from where you have to commence trek of 16 kms to reach Valley of Flowers. Rishikesh railway station is situated 273 kms before Govindghat on NH58. Rishikesh is well connected by railway networks with major destinations of India. Trains to Rishikesh are frequent. Govindghat is well connected by motorable roads with Rishikesh. Taxis and buses are available from Rishikesh, Srinagar, Rudraprayag, Chamoli, Joshimath and many other destinations to Govindghat.

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Auli

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Auli in the Indian state of Uttarakhand is renowned for the fascinating ski resorts and stunning natural vistas. Bounded by the snowy peaks of the mighty Himalayas, this hilly terrain offers the enchanting sceneries of oak fringed slopes and coniferous forests. At an average height of 2800 meters, this might be the single spot where the visitors would get the unusual opportunity of a nice promenade.

Walking through the misty slope provides one with the imposing spectacles of some of the lofty mountain ranges like Nanda Devi, Mana Paravati and Kamat Kamet. Besides these snowy miracles, the boulevards through the slopes offers marvellous views of gorgeous apple orchards and fine deodar trees, which make ones morning, stride a precious experience.

Auli proffers a credible past that dates back to the 8th century. It is believed that this pretty locale is blessed with the sacred visit of Sankaracharya. As a toddler in the tourism arena, Auli proffers an unspoiled ambience. The harsh frosty storms, the sylvan peaks and the long stretch of snowy valleys would make idyllic surroundings for a skier. Aptly called as the haven for skiing activities, this hilly resort is turned to be the only tourist destination where skiing is the most sought after past time.

The erstwhile training ground of the Indo-Tibetan Police Force, Auli has gained the status of a popular hill resort within a short span of time. The sheer inclines of Auli are a hot spot of courageous men who dare to explore the demanding environs. The snowcapped mountain ranges, the screech of the winds and the entertaining skiing, Auli is bestowed with all that is enough to thrill the onlookers. The nature at its full bloom gives a feeling of an awe inspiring time, which cannot be wiped out from our wildest dreams.

City Facts

State: Uttarakhand
District: Chamoli
Famous for/as: Skiing, Scenic
Languages: Garhwali, Hindi
Best Season: Nov – Mar Weather:
Summer: 15 to 30°C,
Winter: -4 to 24°C
Altitude: 3049 m
STD code: 013172

Distances

Delhi to Auli 500 km

Indore to Auli 1289 km

Nagpur to Auli 1402 km

Bangalore to Auli 2465 km

Chennai to Auli 2519 km

Best Season / Best time to visit

Auli has a cool climate all through the seasons.

Summers (March to June) are very pleasant with moderate climate, with average around 15°C. Summers is ideal for all sight seeing, skiing and also for visiting nearby attractions.

Monsoons (July to October) are accompanied with scanty rains and also temperature drops down to 12°C.

Winters (November to February) are chilly days with average minimum touching near 4°C. Minimum can touch sub zero levels (-8°C). Snow falling seen very often during winters. These months are perfect for travelers liking chilly climates.

The best season to visit Auli is all through the year. Tourist attraction in Auli is Snow Skiing and is best during November to March.

May to November offers cool and pleasant climate and the right period to spend relaxing moments in the outdoors.

December to February is snow bound and chilly. Keep winter clothes to cover up the body if opt for a visit during this period. This period is ideal for snow skiing.

March and April are very pleasant and perfect for all sight seeing and outings.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Auli

Gurso Bugyal

gurso_bugyal 3km trek from Auli will lead you to the picturesque Gurso Bugyal. Views of the imposing Himalayas like Nanda Devi, Trishul and Dron parvat are invigorating from Gurso Bugyal. Gurso Bugyal transforms to a green pastureland during spring season and wears sheets of snow during the winters. Perched at an elevation of 3,056mts above sea level Gurso Bugyal has mixed forest of oak and conifer. Gurso bugyal is only 1.5km from the last tower of Gondola ropeway.

Chattrakund

It is small lake holding crystal clear water. Chattrakund is situated just 1km ahead of Gurso Bugyal. Located amidst jungle this mysterious lake showers us with fairy tale surroundings.

Kwani Bugyal

kwani_bugyal It is a popular destination with trekkers situated 12kms from Gurso Bugyal at an elevation of 3,380mts above sea level. The best time to visit Kwani Bugyal is June and September.

Chenab Lake

One must pass through the last village of Joshimath, Dang Village to reach Chenab Lake. The place is still unknown with most number of tourists and it is quite inaccessible by motorable roads. Therefore, Chenab Lake does not see much of tourists, but the virginity of this place makes it an enchanting spot.

Joshimath

joshimath1 Joshimath is one of the four ‘math’ created by Adi Shankaracharya. Joshimath is the home of Shri Badrinath during winters. Joshimath is connected with Auli by highest cable car of Asia. Joshimath is situated at an elevation of 1,890mts above sea level. Do visit Kalpavriksha and Narsingh temple while a visit to Joshimath. It is situated 14kms from Joshimath.

How to Reach Here

By air: Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest Airport to Auli situated at a distance of 286kms. Jolly Grant Airport is well connected to Delhi with daily flights. Auli is well connected by motorable roads with Jolly Grant Airport. Taxis are available from Jolly Grant Airport to Auli.

By road: Auli is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Uttarakhand state. Buses to Haridwar, Rishikesh and Srinagar are available from ISBT Kashmiri Gate. Buses and Taxis to Auli are easily available from major destinations of Uttarakhand state like Rishikesh, Pauri, Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag, Ukhimath, Srinagar, Chamoli etc. Auli is situated only 14kms from Joshimath which lies on NH58.

By rail: The nearest railway station to Auli is Rishikesh. Rishikesh railway station is situated 264kms before Auli on NH58. Rishikesh is well connected by railway networks with major destinations of India. Trains to Rishikesh are frequent. Auli is well connected by motorable roads with Rishikesh. Taxis and buses are available from Rishikesh, Srinagar, Rudraprayag, Chamoli, Joshimath and many other destinations to Auli.

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Patal Bhuvaneshwar

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Patal Bhuvaneshwar is a phenomenal place that is located in the state of Uttarkand. It is situated in the Pithorgarh district in the Kumaon region. The place has an intricate system of caves that are located in the village of Bhuvaneshwar. The entire system is complex and one can see many caves within caves in the place. These limestone caves are completely lit up using electric bulbs and they are generally safe. There are many stalagmites and stalactites that can be seen in these caves and walking through these can be a breathtaking experience. The complete network of caves has not yet been explored and there are many small passageways that can be found here.

The caves have to be reached by climbing down a set of 100 steps and one gets the feeling of entering the depths of the earth on reaching the inner sanctum of the place. Every stalagmite is said to resemble many gods, goddesses and other mythological creatures.

There is a family of priests who perform the religious activities in the place, and they are a storehouse of many tales and myths. This is an interesting way to spend time in this place as well.

City Facts

State: Uttarakhand
District: Kumaon
Famous for/as: Pilgrim
Languages: Kumaoni, Hindi
Best Season: Mar – Oct
Weather: Summer 19-47°C,
Winter: 4-25°C
Altitude: 1350 m

Best Season / Best time to visit

Patal Bhuvaneshwar experiences a mild and pleasant climate through the year and one can visit the place at any point. The rainfall is quite extensive during the monsoon season and this might make travel difficult. The summers are very pleasant and the temperatures are rarely extreme. The winter season is also a popular time to visit and the conditions are refreshing.

The summer season is from April to June and the temperatures range from a minimum of 19°C to a maximum of 36°C. The humidity is limited and the place is generally dry during this period. The hottest month of the year is May.

Monsoon season in the region is from July to September and the place gets rainfall from the South West Monsoon. Rainfall is generally scattered over this period and the humidity also increases significantly during this time. The post monsoon months of October and November are pleasant and a good time to visit the place.

The winter season starts in the month of December and ends in February. Temperatures can be expected to fall to around 4°C during this time. Maximum expected temperatures during the winters season is around 25°C.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Patal Bhuvaneshwar

Patal Bhuvaneshwar Cave

patal_bhuvaneshwar2 This mystical cave is 160m long and 90 feet deep where limestone rock formations have created various impressive stalagmite figures. Almost every god that you would have heard of resides in this mystifying cave. It is also believed that you can worship at Patal Bhuvaneshwar is equivalent to worshipping at Char Dham of Uttarakhand.

One can see the gateway of the great ages in Patal Bhuvaneshwar. There are four entrances inside the cave named as ‘Randwar’ ‘Paapdwar’, ‘Dharamdwar’ and ‘Mokshadwar’. The Paapdwar was closed soon after the death of Ravana and the Randwar, literally, the road to war, was closed down after the great Mahabharata war. At present only two gateways are opened. You can see the tongue of Kali Bhairav, Aravati of Indra, hairs of Lord Shiva and several other wonders inside the caves of Patal Bhuvaneshwar.

How to Reach Here

By air: The nearest airport to Patal Bhuvaneshwar is Pantnagar Airport. Pantnagar Airport is situated 244kms from Patal Bhuvaneshwar. Taxis are easily available to Patal Bhuvaneshwar from Pantnagar Airport. Patal Bhuvaneshwar is well connected by motorable roads with major towns of Kumaon.

By road: Patal Bhuvaneshwar is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Uttarakhand state. Buses from ISBT Anand Vihar are available to Tanakpur, Champawat, Pithoragarh, Lohaghat and many other destinations from where you can easily hire a local cab or bus to reach Patal Bhuvaneshwar.

By rail: The nearest railhead to Patal Bhuvaneshwar is Tanakpur situated at a distance of 154kms. Taxis and buses are easily available from Tanakpur Railway Station to Patal Bhuvaneshwar, Gangolighat, and Lohaghat etc. Tanakpur is well connected with major destinations of India like Lucknow, Delhi, Agra and Kolkata. Trains are frequent to Tanakpur Railway Station.

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GuptKashi

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Guptkashi is situated 47kms before the holiest shrine of Lord Shiva, Kedarnath. It is located on the route to Kedarnath on a ridge on the west side of the Mandakini river valley at an elevation of 1,319mts above sea level. Guptkashi is a religiously important town of Uttarakhand as it houses ancient temples like Vishwanath temple and Ardhnareshwar temple. The centermost attraction of Guptkashi town, Manikarnik Kund is a place where two streams of the Ganga and Yamuna meet.

Gaurikund, the town from where trek to Kedarnath commences is situated 34kms ahead of Guptkashi. Guptkashi is situated on the mountain facing Ukhimath town. The name Guptkashi means ‘Hidden Benares’ and the town’s mythological history is associated with the epic Mahabharata. When the Pandavas were searching for a glimpse of Shiva, Shiva first concealed himself in Gupt Kashi but later fled from them further up the valley to Kedarnath. The hereditary pilgrimage priests of Kedarnath temple live in Guptkashi. The main temple of Guptkashi is dedicated to Lord Shiva as Vishwanath – “Lord of the Universe”. It is built by regional stones and is situated in an enclosed courtyard. The small temple to its left is Ardhanarishvara.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in GuptKashi

Vishwanath Temple

vishwanath_temple The main temple of Guptkashi is dedicated to Lord Shiva as Vishwanath – “Lord of the Universe”. It is built by regional stones and is situated in an enclosed courtyard. The small temple to its left is Ardhanarishvara.

Manikarnik Kund

It is a place where two streams of the Ganga and Yamuna meet. It is situated in the premises of Vishwanath Temple.

How to Reach Here

By air: Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest Airport to Guptkashi situated at a distance of 190kms. Jolly Grant Airport is a domestic airport well connected to Delhi with daily flights. Guptkashi is well connected by motorable roads with Jolly Grant Airport. Taxis are available from Jolly Grant Airport to Guptkashi.

By road: Guptkashi is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Uttarakhand state. Buses to Rishikesh and Srinagar are available from ISBT Kashmiri Gate. Buses and Taxis to Guptkashi are easily available from all major destinations of Uttarakhand like Dehradun, Rishikesh, Haridwar, Pauri, Tehri, Uttarkashi, Srinagar, Chamoli etc. Guptkashi lies on National Highway 109 which connects Rudraprayag with Kedarnath.

By rail: The nearest railway station to Gaurikund is Rishikesh. Rishikesh railway station is situated 168kms before Guptkashi on NH58. Rishikesh is well connected by railway networks with major destinations of India. Trains to Rishikesh are frequent. Guptkashi is well connected by motorable roads with Rishikesh. Taxis and buses are easily available from Rishikesh to Guptkashi.

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Madhyamaheshwar

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A pretty location at the foot hills of lovely peaks, Madhyamaheshwar in the Gharwal region of the great Himalayas has an appealing elegance and pictorial surroundings. Blessed with unblemished and numinous surroundings, this diminutive locality is famed as the most scenic spot among the Panch Kedars. Like all other pilgrim sites, Madhyamaheshwar also has a fabulous but interesting legend of its own. It says that after the Mahabharat war, the Pandavas decided to pay reverence to lord Shiva in order to absolve them from the sin of gotra hatya. Seeing the Pandavas, the Lord concealed himself as a bull and tried to pitch himself underneath but Bhima stopped the lord from doing so and as a result of the struggle different parts of Lord Shiva’s body appeared at various places and it is believed that the middle portion had fetched here at Madhyamaheshwer.

A remote locale, Madhyamaheshwar trip would be full of escapades and adventure. A tedious but memorable trek through the mesmerizing ambience would truly be a once in a lifetime experience. As you move on from your base camp at Mansuna, the mystic beauty of the Gharwal range would be slowly began to unveil before you. Gushing streams, lustrous meadows and all around greenery, the unparalleled beauty of the surroundings would be awe inspiring. These breathtaking vistas, like the majestic peaks, magnificent rivers that you come across on your trip are only a precursor of what awaits you in Madhymaheshwar.

City Facts

State: Uttarakhand
District: Rudraprayag
Famous for/as: Pilgrim
Languages: Pahari, Garhwali, Hindi
Best Season: May – Sep
Weather: Summer 12 to 15°C,
Winter: -5 to 5°C
Altitude: 3497 m

Best Season / Best time to visit

Madhyamaheshwar has a cool climate all through the seasons.

Summers (May to August) are very pleasant with moderate climate, with average around 14°C. Summers is ideal for all sight seeing, temple visit and also for visiting nearby attractions.

Monsoons (September to October) are accompanied with scanty rains and also temperature drops down to about 12°C. During rains the climbing hilly roads will be slippery.

Winters (November to April) are chilly days with average minimum touching near 4°C. Minimum can touch sub zero levels. Snow fall is seen during winters.

The best season to visit Madhyamaheshwar is from May to October.

May to October offers cool and pleasant climate and the right period to spend relaxing moments in the outdoors and is ideal for temple visits.
November to April is snow bound and chilly.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Madhyamaheshwar

Madhyamaheshwar Temple

madhyamaheshwar2 Legend has it that the stomach of lord Shiva fell on Madhyamaheswar when Bhima tried to stop the lord from vanishing. A Shiva temple has been built at the place where the body parts of the lord is believed to be fallen and this temple complex at a hovering height of 3490 meters turned to be a busy spot of Shiva devotees.

It takes a tedious trek of 24 kilometres to be at the sanctified premises of Maheswar, but it is really worthy and pay high dividends in the form of picturesque surroundings. The unwinding paths through the lush meadows and woody forests proffers the possibilities of a nice stride, the warmth of which is memorable forever.

A black stony structure with nice carvings, set in the background of majestic peaks, Madhyamaheshwar temple imparts a peculiar feeling to all those who gathers there. Madhyamaheshwar temple stands elegantly in the southern most part of a lovely crinkle, whose Kashni Dhar appears as if it soars in to the heaven. Though the shrine is not a gigantic structure is an oasis of serenity and devoutness. Tiny ponds that surround the tranquil environs attribute the calmness of the holy premises to a great extent. Madhyamaheshwar is indeed a divine spot that inspires one’s soul and mind with its aesthetic appeal.

How to Reach Here

By air: Jolly Grant Airport Dehradun is the nearest airport 196Km from Ukhimath from where tourists go to Uniana and start the trek to Madhyamaheshwar.

By road: Road route to Madhyamaheshwar starting from Delhi is here sited as thus: Delhi-Meerut- Haridwar- Rishikesh- Devprayag- Srinagar- Rudraprayag- Ukhimath-Uniana. Once in Uniana, Madhyamaheshwar is 21Km trek from Uniana. Uniana to Bantoli is an easy trek but need to trek steep hill from Bantoli to Madhyamaheshwar.

By rail: The nearest railhead is at Rishikesh 181Km from Ukhimath from where tourists go to Uniana and start your trek to Madhyamaheshwar.

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Dharchula

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Dharchula is a town that is located in the PIthorgarh district of the state of Uttarakhand. Dharchula is a small and remote place and it is located along an ancient trade route through the Himalayan Mountains. The town is completely surrounded by hills on all sides and the views are breathtaking. The people of the town of Dharchula have any similar characteristics to the people of the town called Darchula in Nepal, which is just across the border. There are a few places of tourist interest that are located in the town, however most tourists who travel here, come to witness the unique culture and diversity of the people.

Some of the main attractions in the place are Narayan Ashram, Manosarovar Lake, Chikrila Dam, Kali River and Om Parvat. The Narayan Ashram is located around 98 km from the town of Dharchula and it can accommodate up to 40 people at any given time. The Manosarovar Lake is a pilgrim center and many devotees come to the place to take a holy bath, in the frigid waters.

City Facts

State: Uttarakhand
District: Pithoragarh
Famous for/as: Hill Station
Languages: Garhwali, Nepali, Hindi, English
Best Season: May – Oct
Weather: Summer 35-45°C,
Winter: 5-15°C
Altitude: 1865 m
Pincode: 262545
STD code: 05967

Best Season / Best time to visit

The climatic conditions of the town of Dharchula are extreme and one can find hot summers and cold winters in this region. The summers in the town are similar to the summers in the lowlands and the heat is quite intense. Winters jump to the other extreme, and they can be bitterly cold. Snowfall is not prevalent in this region. Many landslides are caused during the monsoon season due to the torrential rainfall.

The summer season is during the months from March to June. The conditions are extreme during this period and it is difficult to travel around during this time. One can expect temperatures to rise to around 45°C in the Dharchula Valley. The lowest expected temperature in the town is around 30°C.

The monsoon season consists of the months from July to September. Heavy downpours occur during this season and it makes life difficult for the local population. Travelling during this period is not advisable and the roads might not be in good condition as well.

The winter season starts in the month of December and ends in the month of February. Temperatures vary from a minimum of 5.5°C and can climb to a maximum of 8°C.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Dharchula

Jauljibi

jauljibi Jauljibi is situated 23kms from Dharchula at a scenic location. Jauljibi is located at the confluence of Gori River and Kali River. The fair is held here in the month of November which attracts people from different places. The people of Nepal also visit this place during this fair as the river holds great importance for them.

Narayan Ashram

The ashram was established by Narayan Swami in the year 1936. It is situated 44kms from Dharchula. This spiritual-cum-socio educational centre is set at an altitude of 2734 metres amidst scenic surroundings. It has a school for local children’s and imparts training to local youth. There is also a library, meditation room and samadhi-sthal.

Askot Sanctuary

askot_sanctuary This sanctuary is not only rich in varied flora and fauna but it also affords the charming vistas of nature’s beauteousness. Askot Sanctuary is located at an elevation of 5412ft above sea level. You can see bharals, monals, snow leopards, Himalayan black bears, chirs, koklas, pheasants, musk deers, snow cocks, tahra, and chukors.

Chirkila Dam

Chirkila dam is built on Kali River at Chirkila. Chirkila is situated 20km ahead of Dharchula. The dam has a capacity of producing 1500kW of energy. The dam is adjoined by an invigorating lake which is 1km in length. This lake will soon be facilitated with water sports by Uttarakhand Government.

How to Reach Here

By air: The nearest airport to Dharchula is Pantnagar Airport. Pantnagar airport is situated 317kms from Dharchula in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand state. Taxis are available from Pantnagar Airport to Pithoragarh, Champawat and Dharchula. Pantnagar is connected to Delhi with daily flights. Pant Nagar Airport is well connected by metalled road with Dharchula. It is a domestic airport and its nearest International airport is New Delhi. Naini Saini Airport is situated near Pithoragarh but it is not very active

By road: Dharchula is well connected by metallic roads with major destinations of Uttarakhand and northern India. Buses from ISBT Anand Vihar are available to Champawat, Almora, Tanakpur and many other destinations from where you can easily hire a local cab to reach Dharchula. Taxis and buses are easily available to Dharchula from major destinations of Uttarakhand state.

By rail: The nearest railhead to Dharchula is Tanakpur. The distance from Tanakpur Railway station to Dharchula is 218kms. Taxis and buses are easily available from Tanakpur to Dharchula and Pithoragarh. Tanakpur is well connected by railway networks with major destinations of India. Trains to Tanakpur are frequent with major destinations of India.

Image & Information copyright by uttarakhandtourism.gov.in