The gem of Uttarakhand – Nainital is a charming hill station that sits prettily at the green foothills of the Kumaon ranges in the Himalayas. Located at an elevation of around 1938 meters, the epicenter of the town’s popularity and beauty lies within the gorgeous Naini Lake, after which the town is named. Founded by the British due to its resemblance to the Cumbrian Lake District, Nainital brims with elegant colonial structures that amplify the beauty of this place. It is a perfect weekend getaway from the Indian capital of Delhi.
This quaint little town experiences a pleasant climate throughout the year, making it a tourist getaway, especially preferred by families and honeymooners. The Naini Lake, along with the other lakes in the area, has earned this town the title of ‘City of Lakes’. Whether you want to go boating on the beautiful Naini Lake or any of the other lakes, relish some local delicacies, shop at the Tibetan Market and Mall Road, or take a ropeway ride to soak in the beauty of the Himalayas from Snow View Point, Nainital is sure to leave an imprint on you that will last a lifetime.
Located in the foothills of the Himalayas along the convergence of Ganga and Chandrabhaga River, Rishikesh (also called as Hrishikesh) is known for its adventure activities, ancient temples, popular cafes and as the “Yoga Capital of the World”. With whitewater rafting industry growing and varied camping and cafe spots springing up, Rishikesh has grown immensely as a favorite, catering to people with different needs.
Over the years, the tranquil town has become extremely popular as the top spiritual destination in the world, especially after the Beatles association with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi here in the late ’60s. As it lies on the holy banks of river Ganga, Rishikesh has been a hub of Sadhus (saints) with numerous ashrams teaching spirituality, yoga, meditation and Ayurveda springing up, the most popular of which is the Beatles Ashram.
With the influx of tourists, there has been a surge in the number of cafes and restaurants in the town. However, in the last few years, Rishikesh has also been developed as the hub of Adventure Sports in India as there is a multitude of options including White Water Rafting, Bungee Jumping, Flying Fox, and Mountain Biking among others. It also serves as the gateway to many Himalayan treks and is used as a popular camping site making it a beautiful melange of spiritual and adrenaline-pumping experiences. Rishikesh also holds the International Yoga Festival in the first week of March which sees yoga enthusiasts from all over the globe.
Dotted with the apple orchards, old oaks and pine trees there is no dearth of natural beauty in Auli. Apart from skiing you can also go for numerous treks in the hills of Garhwal Himalayas and enjoy the spellbinding views of the snow-draped mountains. Auli is a popular hill resort in the Himalayan range dating back to 8th Century AD.
Auli is a popular skiing destination in India because of its glittering slopes and clean environment. Dotted with apple orchards, oaks and deodars, Auli is a popular hill town with numerous ski resorts situated amidst the Himalayan range. Located at 2800 meters above sea levels, it is home to mountain ranges of Nanda Devi, Mana Parvat and Kamat Kamet. Many religious destinations are also scattered around Auli. It is believed that Shankracharya had blessed Auli with his visit.
If your idea of the perfect holiday involves tranquil hills, untouched nature and a holiday experience that is unadulterated in the truest sense of the term, Mussoorie is the place you should be heading to. Nestled amidst the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayan ranges, Mussoorie, also known as Queen of The Hills, stands at an altitude of 7000 feet above sea level and has a cool, pleasant climate throughout the year. The pristine, natural beauty of Mussoorie makes it a very popular choice of holiday for honeymooners. If you want to enjoy the beautiful sight of the rolling green slopes juxtaposed with the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas, Mussoorie is the place for you to be.
This beautiful hill station is the perfect retreat from the sweltering weather of the plains, and the fact that it was a very popular holiday destination during the British era can be seen from the multitude of British remnants engulfing the city, such as the archaic architecture of the hotels and churches dotting the entire terrain. One of the most popular tourist attractions in Mussoorie is The Mall (also known as the Mall Road), which is a slightly steep boulevard that has eateries and other shops lining its entire stretch. From the little houses spread around the area to the architecture of even the lamp posts, The Mall gives off a distinct colonial vibe.
Perched on the Garhwal hill tracks, near Alaknanda River, the most sacred Badrinath Temple or the Badrinarayan Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple is also one of the four Char Dham and Chota Char Dham pilgrimage yatras. Situated at the height of 10,279 feet, the temple is surrounded by lofty snow-clad Himalayas. Believed to be originally established by the saint, Adi Shankaracharya, the black stone idol of Lord Vishnu is 1m tall and is considered to be one of the 8 swayam vyakta kshetras or self-manifested statues of Vishnu. It also finds its mention in the 108 Divya Desams devoted to Lord Vishnu in India.The religious importance and purity of Badrinath Temple allures scores of devotees.
Placed between Nar and Narayan mountain ranges, Badrinath has been mentioned in various Vedas as well. It also derives huge importance due to mention in Hindu mythology especially related to Lord Shiva and given the array of legends, tales, and beliefs that surround it. The main gate of the shrine painted with myriad colors. It has not only the image of Lord Vishnu but, several other gods and saints are housed inside the temple. From November to April end, the temple remains closed due to extreme weather conditions. Badrinath is accessible by road and therefore driving up to this pilgrim spot is not difficult.
Badrinath Temple has a Tapt Kund, a hot water spring which is considered to have medicinal values. River Alaknanda is known to originate from here. The vibrant festivals of Mata Murti Ka Mela and the Badri Kedar Festival give you another reason to visit the temple. Both these festivals are celebrated with vim and vigor. The temple with its purity and serene beauty brings you to a different world, bereft of chaos and sin.
Kedarnath is one of the most sacred Hindu temples as it is a part of Chhota Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand. The temple is the highest among the 12 Jyotirlingas dedicated to Lord Shiva. This abode of Lord Shiva can only be reached from Gaurikund through a trek and remains closed for the six months of winters due to heavy snowfall. Kedar is another name of Lord Shiva, the protector, and the destroyer, and its believed that a journey to this sacred land opens up doorways to “Moksha” or salvation.
Located on the Garhwal Himalayan Range in the Rudraprayag District, the Kedarnath Temple is situated at a height of 3,583 meters. Set amidst the snow-clad mountains near Chorabari Glacier with Mandakini River flowing in front of it, Kedarnath witnesses lakhs of devotees every year due to its religious significance.
The present Kedarnath Temple is believed to be re-constructed by Adi Shankaracharya, initially built by the Pandavas thousand years ago from enormous stone slabs over a large rectangular dais.
Jim Corbett National Park Tourism
Corbett National Park, set amidst the foothills of Himalayas, houses a variety of flora and fauna including rare ones such as tigers and is a treat for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers.
The first national park in India, Jim Corbett National Park was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park and is home to the critically endangered species of the Royal Bengal Tiger. It was the first place where Project Tiger was launched in 1973. Located in Uttarakhand and along the banks of Ramaganga River, it is home to around more than 480 species of flora and fauna. Spread over an area of more than 500 sq km covering riverine belts, hills, marshy depressions, lakes, streams, and grasslands. The Park is divided into 5 zones: Bijrani, Dhikala, Jhirna, Domunda and Sonanandi and all of them have different gates. A visit to Corbett National Park is incomplete without a jungle safari, so make sure you go for a safari. There are many resorts inside the national park for a perfect getaway.
Haridwar, considered to be among the seven holiest cities in India, is an ancient city located on the banks of River Ganga in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. Dotted with temples, ashrams and narrow lanes across the city, Haridwar is a famous Hindu temple town where millions of devotees come to take a dip in the holy Ganges. It’s believed that taking a dip in the holy Har Ki Pauri relieves you of all your sins.
Every evening, Haridwar is witness to a set of rituals for the famous Ganga Aarti at the Ghats (River Banks) where thousands of devotees come together to pray to the river. Once in every twelve years, Haridwar is host to the mega-gathering during the world-famous Kumbh Mela which sees millions of visitors from all over the country. Along with Prayagraj, Nashik, and Ujjain, Haridwar is one of the only four cities in India which can host the Kumbh Mela.
Haridwar also acts as the base destination for some of the other tourist towns of Rishikesh and Devprayag as Hardwar is well connected by trains and roads. Apart from the religious angle, Haridwar is also now developing as a multifaceted cultural and spiritual center. It’s also known for its food and some of the must-try dishes include kachoris at Kashyap Kachoriwala and the aloo puri at Mohanji Puriwale.
Revered as the origin of Yamuna river, the pilgrim center (among one of the ‘Chhota Char Dham’) nestled in the laps of Garhwal Himalayas at 3293 mts high uses its natural elements to fascinate you with its visuals and create a spiritual charm.
This sacred home of sage Asti is surrounded by undulating peaks, Himalayan glaciers, and thermal springs. Hindu mythologies hail the Yamuna as the sister of Yama- the God of Death, and it is believed that a bath in the Yamuna can make death painless. It appeals to all sorts of tourist from the pilgrims, to the ones in search of a romantic destination as well as adventure enthusiasts who are sure to find an abundance of thrill and excitement in its grand and awe-inspiring sceneries, given the location.
This pilgrimage destination situated in Uttarkashi is mostly famous for the four religious centers, or as they say, the Char Dham spots.
Mythological stories will have you believe that following King Bhagirathi’s penance spread over centuries, Goddess Ganga transformed herself into a river to wash away the sins of his forefathers. Lord Shiva then gathers Ganga into his matted locks to minimize the immense impact of her fall, and ever since the Himalayan glacier from which Ganga emerges has also been called Bhagirathi. Ganga derives its name after the river passes Devprayag and merges into the river Alaknanda
Cradled in the wilderness of Himalayan ranges, the sprawling town of Almora shaped like a horse-shoe is a hill station that boasts of a pre-British heritage and an idyllic vibe.
Famous for its rich cultural heritage, unique handicrafts, sumptuous cuisine, and magnificent wildlife, coupled with easy accessibility, Almora promises its tourists a visit full of fun and unforgettable moments. This agrarian town has two major rivers- Koshi (Kaushaki) and Suyal (Salmali) flowing through it. “The enchanting beauties of the Himalayas, their bracing climate and the soothing green that envelopes you leave nothing more to be desired. I wonder whether the scenery of these hills and the climate are to be surpassed if equaled, by any of the beauty spots of the world. After having been nearly three weeks in Almora Hills, I am more than ever amazed why our people need to go to Europe in search of health. ” – Mahatma Gandhi
Valley of Flowers Tourism
Valley of Flowers is located in Chamoli district (near Badrinath) of Uttarakhand, approximately 300 km to the north of Rishikesh. This is a picturesque national park, gracing the beauty of Western Himalayas. Valley of flowers was discovered in 1931 and is a World Heritage Site for its wild untamed blooms surrounded by white peaks.
At the meeting point of the Himalayan ranges, Zanskar and Western and Eastern Himalayas, the valley of flowers discovered by Mountaineer Frank S Smith in 1931 has been declared a world heritage site for its wild untamed blooms surrounded by white peaks. Famous for its exotic varieties of medicinal herbs, it is also believed that Hanuman brought Sanjivani to the ailing Lakshmana from the valley of flowers. A perfect place to laze around the umpteen number of Himalayan water-falls, streams and paddocks and let the beauty of the place sink in.
Nestled amidst the Doon Valley in the state of Uttarakhand, Dehradun is a very popular hill station that beckons solo travellers, families and couples alike. Proudly boasting of a scenic backdrop of the Garhwal Himalayas, Dehradun is located at an altitude of 1400 feet above sea level and has a pleasant climate all year round. Regardless of whether you want to explore family-friendly tourist spots, try thrilling adventure activities with your friends, or watch a mesmerizing sunset with your partner amidst the mountains, Dehradun is the answer.
As you would expect from a city located in the foothills of the Himalayas, Dehradun abounds in caves, waterfalls and natural springs. One such extremely popular spot is Robber’s Cave, which is a natural cave surrounded by hills. Dip your feet in the ice-cold water or walk through it – travellers are free to take their pick, making Robber’s Cave one of the most popular picnic and excursion spots in the city. Another popular spot for nature lovers is Lacchiwala, where you can sit and enjoy a relaxing sunset around the man-made lake and the lush greenery around it. Lacchiwala also has arrangements for trekking and birdwatching, if you’re up for it.
Mukteshwar is a small hill town located around 50 km from Nainital in Uttarakhand. Known for adventure sports and a dazzling view of Himalayan ranges, Mukteshwar is named after the 350-year-old Shiva Temple housed here called Mukteshwar Dham.
The quaint town got its name from the belief that Lord Shiva killed a demon here and gave him Mukti or salvation. With lush green trails and narrow lanes, Mukteshwar is a popular destination for trekking, apart from rock climbing and rappeling. Major attractions here are the picturesque orchards, coniferous forests, rolling meadows, and little cottages and homes built in quaint colonial style. The charm of Mukteshwar lies in spending tranquil time – enjoying nature and listening to the chirping of the birds.
With minimal human intrusion, without overloading or overwhelming your senses or expectations, Dhanaulti slowly seeps into your conscience like a long lost pleasant dream, bringing with it comfort and quiet, and giving you the much needed break from your humdrum routine life.
Located at a distance of 62 km from Mussoorie, this little town in Uttarakhand is an offbeat destination located at a height of about 2200 meters above sea level.
Once a deserted land, today Kanatal is a usual haunt for those travelers who seek peace and solitude. Kanatal is said to be named after a lake that once existed there. Apart from peace, the place exhibits a charm in form of majestic hills, fruit trees, apple orchards and lush green forests.
This quaint hamlet sprinkled with plethora of wild flowers and small temples lies in the proximity to other major hill stations of the state like Dehradun (78 kms), Chamba (12 kms ahead) and Mussoorie (33 kms). Perched at the height of 8500 ft above the sea level, the salubrious weather and the untouched beauty of this place is well connected via well maintained roads unlike its other counterparts.
Ranikhet meaning Queen’s farm, is a hill station developed by the Britishers around ancient temples, undulating Himalayan hills and forests.
Ranikhet with its cool climate and simple natural beauty can freshen up your senses to the very core. It is also popular as the Headquarters of the Kumaon Regiment of the Indian Army and has the Kumaon Regimental Centre Museum. The museum has a splendid display of weapons, photo etc. to introduce you the grandness and significance of military and its various historical instances. Ranikhet is popular for its views of the Nanda Devi Peak, trekking ranges, mountainous climbs, golf courses, orchards and temples.
Lansdowne is a quaint little hill town located at a distance
of 258 km from Delhi in Pauri district of Uttarakhand. Laden with oak
and pine forest and dotted with buildings of the colonial era, this hill
station is a haven for bird watchers, casual hikers and weekenders from
The town was discovered by British and got its name from the then Viceroy of India, Lord Lansdowne. The guesthouses here are fading reminders of the colonial period, and they offer a stunning view of the mountains from their balconies.