In Uttarakhand there are numerous destinations which you can see, each more beautiful than the other. Out of those thousands, here we list out the top destinations to see in case you are on a short trip to Uttarakhand. Even if you are on a long visit, these are the ones which you must not miss out. Read more about them...
Almora, another popular hill station of Uttarakhand is known as the cultural capital of Kumaon. This town is situated on a 5 km mountain range situated at an altitude of 1,650 m and from a distance its shape resembles a horse shoe. Almora was not discovered and developed by the British, instead it was the seat of power of the Chand Dynasty who ruled the land of Kumaon for almost a millennium. The town has maintained its old customs and traditions that are visible in the way houses and roads have been built. The old forts, the historical monuments and the royal courts still exist in decent shape. The Kaushiki (Koshi) and Shalmali (Suyal) Rivers encircle the town, overlooked by the snows of the Himalayas. A must buy are the local Kumaoni sweets called Bal Mithai and Singauri.
Chamoli is a fascinating place on the earth powered with blessings by Mother Nature. Chamoli also referred as the "Abode of Gods" has a strong link with Hindu myths and legends. It is noted for its several shrines and temples. Chamoli is also the birth place of the renowned Chipko movement. Chamoli is known for villages and people rich in culture. The region of Chamoli is rich in varied flora and fauna. Chamoli lies in the Central Himalayas and is part of the "Kedar Khand." Chamoli is situated at an elevation of 995mts above sea level. The weather of Chamoli remains salubrious throughout the year. The highest temperature can reach up to 34 degree Celsius while the lowest can reach the freezing point. Chamoli receives moderate rainfall from June to September. There are several places of interest to enthrall the tourists looking for adventure, pilgrimage or nature’s bounty in the vicinity of Chamoli. Gopeshwar is a picturesque town and district headquarters of Chamoli district. The Valley of Flowers, Chopta, Auli, Hemkund Sahib and Badrinath are the most prominent places that lies near Chamoli.
Nestled in the mountain ranges of the Himalayas, Dehradun is the capital of Uttarakhand. It is one of the most beautiful resorts in the sub mountain tracks of India, known for its scenic surroundings. The name Dehradun is a collection of two words "dera" meaning camp and " dun" meaning valley. Said to be one of the oldest cities in India, it is believed that Lord Rama and his brother did penance here for killing Ravana, the demon king. During the 17th and 18th centuries Dehradun changed hands several times: Guru Ram Rai retreated here from Punjab, the Mughal Governor Najib-ud-Daula occupied it from 1757-1770 and the Gorkhas overran it on their westward expansion before ceding it to the British in 1815. Under the British, Dehradun became an elite town with many a fine institutions like Forest Research Institute, Doon School and Welham Schools for girls and boys, many more, like the ONGC and Wadia Institute of Himalayan Studies, were added in time. Dehradun has now become an important tourist destination.
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.
Pithoragarh is the easternmost district of Uttarakhand, neighbouring Tibet in the north and Nepal in the east. A place of exquisite natural beauty and serenity, Pithoragarh is popularly known as the 'Little Kashmir'. This captivating town with fascinating forests around it is located at an impressive height of 1,645 m and is nestled in a small valley. Pithoragarh town is a historical landmark. It was a major center of power during the regime of the Chand Kings in Kumaon. From here, pilgrims take their journey to the holy shrines, Kailash and Mansarovar.This valley also nestles the snow-crested peaks Nanda Devi East (7,434 m) and West (7,817 m). Below these mighty peaks lie the alpine valleys and glaciers like Milam, Ralam, Namik and Sundardunga.
The town of Uttarkashi is located in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. This town is a very important tourist destination in the region and it is located in the Uttarkashi district. The place is known for its stunning natural beauty, and is also called as Devbhumi, which can be literally translated to ‘Land of the Gods’. Pilgrims from all around the country flock to this region too, due to its religious heritage. There are many temples in Uttarkashi that you can visit during your trip to the place and the most famous one among these is that of Lord Vishwanath. This is the largest temple in the region, and the most frequented one as well. There are several smaller temples in Uttarkashi as well, and these are dedicated to the chief deities Hanuman and Durga. Many other shrines are present in Uttarkashi and they cater to a wide variety of Gods, including Parshuram, Annapurna, Dattatrya, Bhairav, Laksheswar and Ekadashrudra.
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.
Diverse in topography, the district of Pauri Garhwal varies from the foothills of the Tarai of Kotdwar to the soul-lifting meadows of Dhanaulti, sprawling at an altitude of 3,000 m, which remains snowbound during the winter months. Pauri Garhwal is surrounded by the districts of Chamoli, Nainital, Bijnor, Haridwar, Dehradun, Rudraprayag and Tehri Garhwal. Filled with places of tourist's interest, most locations in Pauri offer a breathtaking view of the snow-laden Himalayan splendour. Pauri City Is situated at an elevation of 1814 m above sea-level on the northern slopes of Kandoliya hills, Pauri is the headquarter of the district Pauri Garhwal and the Garhwal Division. Pauri provides a panoramic view of the snow clad Himalayan peaks of Bander Punchh, Swarga-Rohini, Jonli, Gangotri Group, Jogin Group, Thalaiya-Sagar, Kedarnath, Kharcha Kund, Sumeru, Satopanth, Chaukhamba, Neelkanth, Ghoriparvat, Hathiparvat, Nandadevi and Trisul.
The town of Champawat is located in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. This town is a very famous tourist destination and was also once the capital of the Chand rulers. Champawat is thus steeped in history, and a visit to the town is sure to excite even the most demanding tourist. Champawat has enormous religious significance as well, as Indian mythology mentions this as the place where Lord Vishnu appeared as ‘Kurmavatar’ (incarnated as a tortoise). Champawat is a destination that attracts many pilgrims as well, due to the sheer number of temples located in the region. All these temples are beautifully constructed and carved, and some of them date back to the time of the Chand rulers. The Baleshwar temple in Champawat is an important place that you must visit during your trip to the place. Dedicated to the chief deity Lord Shiva, this temple has a structure carved entirely out of stone. You can also visit the Nagnath temple during your trip to Champawat. This is yet another ancient structure that attracts tourists in droves. A temple dedicated to Kranteshwar Mahadev, located atop a hill, is another must visit destination in Champawat. You can also visit Lohaghat during your trip to Champawat, as this ancient city is located at a distance of fourteen kilometres from the town of Champawat.
Nestled amidst misty hills, located at the confluence of the Gomti and Saryu rivers, at a height of 960 meters above sea level lies the holy town of Bageshwar. This 1695.7 sq. km. land of 'Sadashiva' has attracted saints and devotees through ages. As described in the 'Puranas', this is the ultimate place that liberates one from the bondage of birth and death.The temple of Baghnath (Lord Shiva), situated here is venerated by one and all. Devotees gather here on 'Shivratri fair' to worship the lord.Apart from its religious sanctity, Bageshwar is also a trekker's paradise. Adi Shankaracharya, who trekked in the Himalayas in the 8th century A.D., was a pioneer who opened trekking routes in this part of India. The mountain adventure season which till recently was confined to the summer months in this region, now covers almost the full year including winters. Bageshwar is the entry point to the most popular trekking routes like Pindari, Kafni and Sunderdunga Glaciers.
More great destinations can be found in the Explore India page.