Boasting of an enchanting view of the Himalayas, and cultural ethos that speak of simplistic living amidst nature and harmony – Uttarakhand is a land of sublime natural beauty and serene spirituality. On top of that, this paradise in India is home to numerous cant-miss experiences ranging from extreme adventurous activities to the ashrams where you can connect with your inner self - find salvation and enlighten with the purpose of life and existence.
Uttarakhand has everything in store for any tourist who is daring enough to face heights of the Himalayas, crazy enough to sail on the snow, and keen enough to explore himself. With some magnificent places to visit in Uttarakhand, there’s no reason you should be a part of the urban grind!
Amazing Places To Visit In Haldwani
Haldwani might not boast of the same roster of popular places as Nainital or Ranikhet, the lazy town in the foothills of beautiful Kumaon has its charms. The locals are friendly and the culture is frankly an educational experience.
In Kumaoni, Kathgodam stands for timber depot. Kathgodam may be a railway station for most tourists traveling on to more popular destinations, but it has an interesting history. Direct trains from cities such as Delhi, Kolkata, and Jammu Tawi to Kathgodam provide easy access to travelers to the Kumaon Himalayas. When you step out of the station and wait for your cab to take you to Nainital, Ranikhet, Almora or any of a number of places that are accessible from Kathgodam, take a step back to appreciate what may be the most beautiful railway station in India.
Surrounded by the hills and with the Lower Himalayas often in view, Kathgodam provides the perfect beginning to your magical journey into Kumaon. It is one of the best places to visit in Haldwani and you can reach it in 30 minutes by public transport.
2. Hidimba Parvat
If you are raring for a physical challenge, climbing the Hidimba Parvat is for you. Around 5 km from Bhimtal, the temple, dedicated to Bhima’s wife, offers gorgeous views of the hills from its premises. However, you should be advised, the place is crawling with rowdy monkeys and you should be ready to protect yourself. Also, the trek up the mountains is not suitable for people with heart or respiratory issues, as the oxygen gets thinner as you ascend.
Best Places To Visit In Gangotri
Whether you are a weary soul looking to reconnect with your ancient roots, a devotee seeking for God’s blessings, or simply a traveler looking for a simple getaway from the monotony of life, Gangotri is a perfect choice for everyone alike. Rooted deep in Hindu folklore, Gangotri offers pleasant sightseeing experience that will leave you mesmerized.
There is absolutely no dearth of places to visit in Gangotri. After a long day of Gangotri sightseeing, head out to the picturesque hamlet of Dharali that is nestled right on the tranquil and serene bank of the pious river Ganga. This beautiful village sits at an altitude of 648 meters above sea level and is surrounded by lofty trees of pine and deodar. There is no better place to stretch your tired feet and enjoy some fresh air. Also, the village is home to an ancient Shiva temple that is open all day.
Tip: When in Dharali, be sure to visit the apple orchards spread across the village and feast on the local Rajma delicacies.
Gaumukh is one of the many places to visit in Gangotri that is a revered Hindu pilgrimage site and a popular trekking destination. It takes 3 days from Gangotri to Gaumukh that is perched at a height of 13,200 feet and is said to be the second largest glacier of the Indian subcontinent. The Gaumukh snout that resembles the face of a cow is the source of Bhagirathi River. The views from Gaumukh will leave you awestruck and transport you to an enchanted world of ice, glaciers, and majestic views.
Best Time To Trek: The 3-day trail to Gaumukh is open to pilgrims and trekkers from May to October.
Tip: Weary trekkers can halt at Bhojbasa and rejuvenate themselves before trekking through the last 4 km stretch to Gaumukh.
Feel Blessed With Nature’s Bliss In Almora
A town profusely rich in cultural heritage, exquisite wildlife, and exhilarating views of the Himalayas, it should not be surprising that there are plenty of places to visit in Almora. Another jewel in the crown of Uttarakhand, the quaint, picturesque town of Almora makes a great destination for a peaceful hill holiday. You will feel blessed to set your eyes upon the many revered Himalayan Peaks like Nanda Devi and Trishul from the pinnacles of Almora. The deluge of centuries-old Almora temples which are a remarkable example of architecture will take you back in time. And, its invigorating air and verdant greenery are too much for the city people to take in.
5. Zero Point
Get up close and personal with the snow-capped mountains at Zero Point, one of the must-visit places to visit in Almora hill station. The mountains feel so close you won’t even realize your hands reaching out for them. Kedarnath, Shivling, Nanda Devi, and other revered Himalayan peaks stand in aplomb so that you can take pictures of them. One of the famous Almora tourist places, the point is located inside Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary where you can enjoy the sound of birds chirping.
Recommended: Take a pair of binoculars with you to spot the mountain peaks clearly.
How to reach: Zero Point is situated at the heart of Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary which is 33 km north of Almora. You will even have to trek for 2 km from the parking space to the Zero Point.
Timings: Sunrise till sunset
Entry Fee: INR 150 per person, INR 250 for vehicle
A historic-cum-hippie village near the town of Almora, Kasar Devi temple is dedicated to Kasar Devi and is as old as 2nd century CE. The serene environ and comeliness of Kasar Devi Village have even attracted the likes of Bob Dylan, Nehru, and Cat Steven to spend a vacation here. While the temple is popular among the pilgrims, nature and harmonious surroundings of this Kumaoni village make it one of the best places to visit in Almora which attract a lot of trekkers and tourists.
Recommended: If you are visiting Almora during Kartik Poornima which is celebrated in the month of November-December, you should visit the special ‘Kasar Devi Fair’.
How to reach: It is 5 km away from the Almora city and can easily be reached through trekking.
Timings: 7 AM to 7 PM
Entry Fee: None
7. Bright End Corner
When was the last time you cherished the views of dusk and dawn? If you can’t even remember, head straight to the Bright End Corner in Almora from where you can enjoy the alluring views of sunrise and sunset. The sunrays splatter beautifully over the quaint town of Almora that it almost feels like a painting. There is nothing more soothing to your visual senses than the tangerine hues of the dusk and dawn. Watch the sun setting behind the lush green mountains in the evening and emerging again at the time of sunrise.
How to reach: It is just 2 km away from the city center and can easily be reached by walking.
Entry Fee: None
Timings: Open all hours
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Breathtaking Places In Kumaon
Kumaon is a breathtaking region extending from the northern ends of Uttarakhand up to Tibet. Blessed with an abundant natural beauty, biodiversity, crystal clear lakes, and snow-clad mountains, there are numerous tourist places in Kumaon that draw thousands of tourists annually.
Top Kumaon tourist attractions include the likes of Nainital, Ranikhet, Mukteshwar etc. In addition to sightseeing, visitors can also enjoy a host of activities here such as trekking, camping, paragliding, nature walks, fishing, golfing and much more. All in all, Kumaon has something for all kinds of travelers. While some places can be accessed all year round, others are more seasonal.
Your list of places to visit in Kumaon must include Nainital, also known as the crowning jewel of Uttarakhand. The hill station is perhaps the most visited in the region and has numerous tourist attractions nearby. This quintessential hill station is ideal for a perfect weekend getaway.
Best Time To Visit: All year round (Avoid the monsoons)
Places To See: Nainital Lake, Snow View, Tiffin Top, Naini Peak
Things To Do: Sightseeing, Ropeway Rides, Elephant Safari, Boating, Camping, Trekking
Ranikhet is among the most popular tourist places of Kumaon. Ranikhet is aptly named the Queen of Meadows as this magnificent hill station is a paradise for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts. The landscapes are blessed with a lush forest cover, colorful flowers, pine trees, and spectacular views for a quiet and peaceful getaway.
Best Time To Visit: April-September (Avoid the monsoons)
Places To See: Jhula Devi Temple, Mankameshar Temple, Chaubatia Gardens, Upat Golf Course, Majkhali, Bhalu Dam
Things To Do: Nature Walks, Trekking, Fishing, Golfing, Visit a Temple, Paragliding, Camping
Mahatma Gandhi nicknamed Kausani as the Switzerland of India and rightly so as it’s a hidden paradise located amidst the magnificent Himalayas. If you are a nature lover and passionate about photography, then make sure you visit this heavenly hill station.
Best Time To Visit: April-September (Avoid the monsoons)
Places To See: Rudradhari Falls and Caves, Baijnath Temple, Kasauni Tea Estate, Someshwar, Sumitranandan Pant Museum, Stargate Observatory
Things To Do: Shopping, Temple visits, Sightseeing, Trekking, Rock climbing
Places To Visit In Bhimtal
Bhimtal, a small lake city that hasn’t yet been overwhelmed by tourism and is far less crowded than Nainital. It’s a mesmerizing destination steeped in legend. Named after Mahabharata’s Bhima, it’s older than Nainital and its road connecting to the Kumaon Hills, Kathgodam, Nepal, and Tibet is believed to be part of the ancient Silk Route. It’s still in use to this day. There isn’t an endless list of places to visit in Bhimtal but it boasts stunning locales that more than make up for it.
11. Bhimtal Lake
The crown jewel of the lake city and the first on any traveler’s list of places to visit at Bhimtal, Bhimtal Lake is the largest in Kumaon and about 20 kilometers from Nainital. It’s incredibly picturesque and one of the best ways to spend the day while in the city is to go boating across the lake. There are numerous opportunities for photography. In fact, you’ll find picture-perfect spots almost everywhere you look and won’t be able to put down your camera! At the center of the lake is a small island with a large aquarium. It houses various species of fish brought in from Mexico and South Africa
12. Naina Peak
Naina Peak is one of the most famous places to visit in Bhimtal and Nainital. It’s the highest hilltop and offers splendid views of Nainital town and the mighty Himalayas. The best way to get to it is to hike six kilometers up a steady incline. Although a short hike, it will leave you satisfyingly out of breath. Don’t forget to carry a camera and capture shots of nature at its best.
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Surreal Places To Visit In Mussoorie
One of the most popular hill stations in Uttarakhand, Mussoorie is a paradise for nature lovers and those who are looking for some peace and relaxation.
Just a few kilometers from the bustling Mussoorie, there’s a peaceful heaven called Landour. You may not have heard a lot about it, but it is among the most serene places to see in Uttarakhand. You can either stay at a heritage property in Landour or make it a day-long visit from Mussoorie. But if you prefer places that are less commercialized and crowded, you can ditch Mussoorie for Landour. You can check out this guide to Landour for more information.
Best Time To Visit: Throughout the year
How To Reach: It’s easily accessible from Mussoorie. One can take a cab from the Mall Road or can walk if you prefer walking through the cold woods.
Things To Do: Buy homemade marmalade, jam, cheese, and try their bread. At Char Dukan, do not forget to try their delicious pizzas and pancakes.
Nestled amid the lofty Himalayan peaks, Dhanaulti is just about 60 km from the popular hill station called Mussoorie. Dhanaulti may not have grand tourist attractions and many things to do, but those who are looking for a peaceful weekend getaway near Delhi, must pay a visit. It is probably one of the most scenic tourist places in Uttarakhand for family trips.
Best Time To Visit: October to January and April to June
How To Reach: Dhanaulti is about 60 km from Mussoorie, and it’s also easily accessible from Dehradun. There isn’t a frequent public transport facility, but you can take a shared/private taxi.
Things To Do: Watch a perfect sunrise and sunset, jungle camping, and long walks through dense pine & deodar forests
A serene and picturesque village in Mussoorie, Kanatal is quietly located on the Chamba-Mussoorie road. At an elevation of 8,500 feet, the village offers mesmerizing views of the Shivalik mountain range and lush green & brown pine forests. Among the most fun Uttarakhand destinations, Kanatal makes a perfect weekend getaway.
Best Time To Visit: October to January and April to June
How To Reach: Dehradun is just about 75 km from Kanatal. One can either take a city or a private taxi from Dehradun ISBT.
Things To Do: Trekking, nature-walks, camping, and valley crossing
Uttarakhand has many magical places to visit with everything from beautiful snow clad mountains to the valley of flowers to the mystical lands. Go experience the unexplored land.
1. What are the best places to visit in Uttarakhand in December?
A. Auli, Dhanaulti, Dehradun, Mussoorie, Mukteshwar, Nainital, Bhimtal, Ranikhet, and Chopta are some of the best places one can visit in Uttarakhand in the month of December.
2. What is the best time to visit Uttarakhand for a honeymoon trip?
A. Nainital, Mussoorie, Kausani, Ramgarh, and Bhimtal are some of the most romantic destinations in Uttarakhand to go on a honeymoon.