View of Nanda Devi massif and Nanda Devi East from near Almora.
Uttarakhand , until 2007 known as Uttaranchal, is a stunningly beautiful state in the Himalayan North of India. It is broken up into a western part, named "Garhwal", and an eastern part named "Kumaon". Garhwal is more
A view of the Ganges flowing through Rishikesh.
Meadows & Clouds at Chopta.
Camps at Har Ki Dun Valley,Uttarkashi.
Highest Shiva Temple,Tungnath/Chopta, built by Pandavs/Adi Shankaracharya.
Pauri at dawn, Himalayas as the last upper ridge in the background.
Himalayas near Ukhimath,Rudraprayag.
Kedarnath & Neelkanth peaks from Ukhimath, Rudraprayag.
Chamba Town & Valley, near Mussoorie.
- Dehradun - the capital, called "Oxford of India" known for boarding schools - Doon School, has Indian Military Academy,ONGC headquaters,Forest Research Institue,Rajaji National Park & lots of other beautiful picnic places & many Govt./ Educational Institutions.
- Almora - a hill station
- Chopta - It's in Rudraprayag, also known as "Switzerland of Garhwal" for it's beautiful meadows. It has the highest Shiva temple in the world - Tungnath and from Chandrashila (4300 mts) one can get the most panaromic view of the Central Himalayas.
- Gwaldam - it's a beautiful hamlet in the Chamoli District, one can get close up views of Trishul & Nanda Devi peaks, it's a base camp for Roopkund & Bedni Bugyal (meadows).
- Haridwar - holy city on the Ganges and one of the sites of Kumbh Mela, the world's largest festival
- Jageshwar - temple town
- Joshimath - gateway to Badrinath, valley of flowers, Hemkund and the ski resort of Auli
- Lansdowne - a beautiful hill station, there's Garhwal Rifles Headquaters.
- Chamba - near to Mussoorie, provides a great view of Chamba Valley & the Bhagirathi River (The Ganga). It's a paradise for nature lovers, as it's surrounded by Alpine forests. It's proximity to Dehradun, Rishikesh & Tehri Dam is a great plus.
- Munsyari, Pithoragarh - Paradise on earth
- Mussoorie - hill station, also known as "The Queen of Hills". It provides panaromic views of both the Himalayas & Doon valley.
- Nainital - hill station;The Lake District
- Pauri - a hill station, it commands 180 degree view of the Central Himalayas, from Kandolia one can see all the known & unknown peaks of the Himalayas, plus a beautiful valley on the other side. The sunset here is mesmerizing. There are lots of temples here, the known one is Kunkaleshwar temple dedicated to lord Shiva, established by Adi Shankaracharya (who had established the char dham of Sanatan Dharm).
- Panwali Bugyal - One of the most beautiful bugyals (meadows). It's in Tehri District, on the trek from Gangotri to Kedarnath.
- Bedni Bugyal - another beautiful bugyal in Chamoli District, providing breath taking views of Trishul & Nanada Devi peaks.
- Dayara Bugyal - a beautiful bugyal in Uttarkashi District. A world class ski resort is comming up there.
- Uttarkashi - the valley of saints
- Harshil - a real paradise on the earth, on the way to Gangotri.
- Rishikesh - the Yoga capital of the world, the biggest agglomeration of ashrams,meditation centers and temples.It is famous for its lakshman and ram jhula also.Sachcha Dham, ashram of Sachcha Baba is near lakshman jhula.Also there is Neelkanth Mahadev temple few kms from Rishikesh.
- Roorkee - the educational capital of Uttarakhand.One of the seven Indian Institutes of Technology is here.
The local languages are Kumaoni and Garhwali, but everyone also speaks Hindi. English is not so common, but well-understood and spoken in some parts.
Nainital, Mussoorie and Ranikhet though it's better to treat these slightly overcrowded, touristy 'hill stations' as base camps to explore lots of other hidden jewels further afield in UA. In Garhwal, Pauri and Gwaldam are very peaceful & scenic places. In Kumaon region if near to almora you want to stay secluded you may choose Peora or Mukteshwar also. But do remember in Uttarakhand the journey itself is destination.
Uttarakhand is one of the best regions in the world for trekking. At the lower levels, there are forests and wildlife. At the upper reaches, you go past the tree line to snow clad mountains.
There are many trip designs which can be conceived of, but there are perhaps around 20 trips
which are the most popular. See also: Leave-no-trace camping and Wilderness backpacking
- Roopkund Trek - Bedni Bugyal, Chamoli District - one of the most popular treks
- Panwali Bugyal Trek, Tehri District - it leads to Triguninarayan, a place where the eternal flame of Shiva & Sati's (Parvati's previous incarnation) marriage is still kindling
- Gangotri Glacier Trek - Tapovan (meditation ground of Gods), Gaumukh (source of Ganga)& Shivling Mountain
- Satopanth Trek - near Badrinath, one of the most pristine treks
- Pindari glacier trip
- Chandrashila Trek, Chopta - Chandrashila commands the most beautiful view of the Himalayas in the whole region, especially Chaukhamba & Nanda Devi. There's one of the Panch Kedars - Tungnath's temple - the highest temple of Shiva
- Madmaheshwar Trek, near Ukhimath, Rudraprayag - one of the most beautiful treks leading to a Panch Kedar, it's at the base of Chaukhamba Peak (7300 mts).
- Kuari Pass Trek - near Auli, quite popular with foriegn tourists
- Khatling Glacier, near Gangotri
- Valley of Flowers Trek, near Badrinath - the most beautiful valley
- Har ki doon
- Trekking inside Nanda Devi Sanctuary
- Sunder dhunga trek
- Thailisan - Binsar Trek in Pauri, an uplifting trek, providing panaromic view of Himalayas
- Milam glacier trek
- Kafni glacier trek
- Kalindni Pass Trek - Gangotri to Badrinath - a lifetime dream for many an adventurer.
Pretty much all kinds of food is available here.
In the tourists centres such as Badrinath, Gujarati, Marwari, and other regional cuisines are available for the hordes of religious pilgrims that descend on the holy sites every summer.
Uttarakhand has high excise taxes on beer and alcohol: a bottle of beer can cost 80-90 rupees, nearly double the price of some other states in India. Quite a few holy towns including Haridwar and Rishikesh are officially dry.
Cannabis is illegal, but widely used anyway.
The roads are a bit tricky, and taxi rides in the hills may appear dangerous, but otherwise Uttarakhand is a pretty safe place for tourists. However, tourists are known to encounter problems in the urban centres and the plains districts such as Haridwar.