Boasting of captivating scenic views of the gigantic Himalayas and cultural splendour that easily conveys the message of simple living in the lap of nature-Uttarakhand has earned the sobriquet of Dev Bhoomi (the land of Gods). Be it the mesmerizing views of the dense green forest of Binsar or the peacefulness of the Ashrams, everything about this state seems unmatched and caters to the needs of the tourists of all tastes without fail.
While the entire state offers plethora of can’t-miss destinations, it is better we prioritise on our favourite ones according to our requirements and need of the hour.
Mussoorie – the queen of the Hills
Being one of the most popular tourist attractions of Uttarakhand, it is found a bit crowded throughout the year. But, no matter how crowded the destination is, one would never find it overrated. The small town is located at a height of around 1829 meters and enjoys pleasant weather throughout the year. For the novice trekkers, it offers a few scenic treks, such as Yamuna Bridge trek – (20 kms), Bhadraraj Temple trek (15 kms) and Kempty Falls Trek – (8 kms). March to June and September to November is considered to be the best time to visit Mussoorie.
Nainital – the town of eye shaped lake
The Lake District of Nainital is preferred by the newly-wed couples, love birds, family as well as the regular vacationers. The main attraction of the city is the eye shaped lake which is also the highest yachting spot in the country. A laid back evening can be spent while boating in this lake or sitting idle next to it sipping a cup of coffee. One of the most popular national parks of the country, Jim Corbett is a must visit for wildlife safari and mainly for the Royal Bengal Tiger. The lucky amongst the travelers might witness snowfall in Nainital during the month of January. For the sightseeing enthusiasts Sher-Ka-Danda Ridge, Tiffin Top, Guano Hills, and Eco Cave Gardens can be ideal picks.
Almora – the town boasting of magnificent Himalayan beauty
The host of magnificent scenic vistas and rich cultural heritage, Almora is located at a horse-shoe shaped ridge of Kasaya hill. For the mountain persons, it serves as a tranquil getaway while the romantic couples, it is ideal to spend some private moment on the lap of nature. During winter season, the hide and seek of mist and sun serves an eye soothing element.
Auli – A must visit for the winter sports enthusiasts
One of the best skiing destinations in the country, Auli is known amongst the travelers as a popular winter sports destination. For the ardent winter sports lovers, it offers some of the best slopes covered with Deodar and Oak forest which reduces the force of chilling wind and helps to enjoy the sports without any hindrance. For trekkers, Auli to Badrinath and Auli-Kuari Pass trek are considered to be the best.
Binsar – The proprietor of untamed natural beauty
Claimed to be the highest hill station in the entire Kumaon region, Binsar is popularly known amongst the tourists for its wildlife sanctuary. Witnessing the views of the Himalayas from the Zero Point bestows the travelers with an unforgettable experience. The narrow treks of this region snake through the Rhododendron and Oak tree forests and often frequented by rare species of birds.
Chopta – Way to the Highest abode of Lord Shiva
Leaving all the worries apart, if one wishes to unwind themselves under open sky, there cannot be a better option than camping at Chopta. The basecamp to famous treks to Tungnath and Chandrashilla, this small Himalayan hamlet offers panoramic views of Trishul, Nanda Devi and Chaukhamba Peaks. Chopta- Chandrashila Trek passes through Tungnath, the sacred abode of Lord Shiva, which is claimed to be the highest temple of Lord Shiva in the world.
Chamoli – Gateway to the mysterious Rupkund Trek
A typical Garhwali village, rich in tradition as well as natural wealth, Chamoli is the ideal vacation spot with something for everyone. The most exciting attraction of Chamoli is famous Rupkund Trek which is known for the availability of human skeletons which are believed to be here since Palaeolithic age. The trek grade ranges from moderate to difficult and often found under snow during winter season. The Kuaripass Trek and Gopeshwar Helang are two more noteworthy options.
Pithoragarh – Ideal getaway for the peace lovers
Small hamlets peeping up from the expansive green terrains of Himalayas make Pithoragarh an ideal summer vacation spot in the northern part of India. Cascading waterfalls, snow clad mountain peaks, tranquil lakes, and rhythmic flow of the rivers gulp down the tiredness and boredom of the travelers. Pithoragarh is also popular among the tourists for being the starting point to Mansarovar and Kailash pilgrimage.
Munsiyari – holds enough to attract bikers
For being bestowed with the best of the Himalayas, Munsiyari is called the mini Kashmir of Uttarakhand. Mostly, Munsiyari is frequented by the trekkers and solo travelers who want to avoid rush and clamor. Due to less of congestion, here the bikers can explore the interior parts of the Himalaya without much tussle. Panchachuli, a group of five peaks, look like a chimney and add spark to the overall biking experience.
Haridwar – the abode of the supreme soul
The melodious sound of devotional music, bells and holy chanting keep resonating in the air of Haridwar throughout the day. The perfect vacationing destination for the religious at heart, Haridwar is located on the banks of River Ganga. Almost every corner of the city is endowed with spiritual elements and flocked by the tourists seeking mental peace. Ganga Aarti at the Har ki Pauri Ghat is a not to miss sight.
Rishikesh – the getaway to seek solace in serenity
For the water sports enthusiasts, Rishikesh is a must head destination. Usually known amongst the tourists for exhilarating experience of river rafting, this Himalayan getaway is also known as the Yoga Capital of the World. The tourists who are open to experiments can try their hands on various artistic activities such as playing sitar or tabla, trying Hasya Yoga (laughter therapy), practicing humming or gong meditation and many more. An idle evening can be spent walking over the two suspension bridges – Lakshman Jhula and Ram Jhula.
Lansdowne – the quaint little destination of utter peacefulness
When a city dweller gets fed up of noise, honks and pollution and wants to take a break from the mundane life, Lansdowne can be a perfect recluse for them. Housing the army cantonment area within its territory, this small town enjoys strict law and orders and very minimal noise. One can literally hear the rustles of dry leaves, chirping of birds and the sound of small waterfalls anytime of the day. One can go for boating in the nearest manmade lake and spend a laid back evening munching some spicy snacks by the lake side eateries.
Chakrata – a soothing summer vacation delight
The small post card settlements on the backdrop of magnificent Himalayan greenery enhance the beauty of this secluded hill station. An ideal getaway to seek some solitude amidst the tranquil Himalayan beauty, this hamlet is a dream destination for peace lovers. One can go for bird watching, taking photographs, trekking or nature walking and spend some time with their own selves.
Valley of Flowers – a landscape painted with only flowers
For those among the travelers who know to appreciate the natural beauty more than manmade wonders, Valley of Flowers is a nothing short of a paradise. It is famous World Heritage Site and located at an elevation of around 3658 m above the sea level. The major attraction of this hill station is the untouched Alpine flower garden which covers an area of 87.50 sq km. Trekking is the only option to reach at this heritage site. The trek to Valley of Flowers runs across the river Ganga and offers stunning views of precarious cuts, mountain sides and scenic waterfalls.
Rudraprayag– where Lord Shiva is meditating
At the confluence of the famous rivers Mandakini and Alaknanda, Rudraprayag sits as a travel destination with high religious sanctity. The road towards the famous temples of Kedarnath and Badrinath gets diverted from Rudraprayag. The most important attraction of Rudraprayag is the Kartik Swami Temple, which is connected to Rudraprayag town via an arduos trek. The views of the Himalayas from the temple is awe-striking.
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