Erstwhile Uttaranchal, Uttarakhand is an Indian state in the northern Himalayan ranges. It is sometimes called the ‘State of Hill Stations’ due to the abundance of the number of hill stations present in the state. These hill stations become a perfect escapade for you and your family, especially when during the summer season. People generally have a tendency to beat the heat by heading to the pleasant and cool weather offered by hill stations. The stunning natural beauty that the state offers in the form of snow-clad hills, sun-kissed mountains, and milky rivers from the icy glaciers will definitely entice you to give up your fast-paced life and make the mountains your home. The views that you will get to see in every corner of this state cannot be described in words. It is an experience that needs to be lived.
Uttarakhand in bordered by Tibet in the north, Himachal Pradesh in the west, Nepal in the east, and the Ganges in the east. Whether you are travelling with your friends, family or partner there is something for everyone in this beautiful abode. At the popular hill stations in Uttarakhand you can either enjoy the peace and tranquillity and the natural beauty that the places are surrounded by or take part in some adventurous or sports like mountain biking, trekking, paragliding, jet skiing- say no more! Read on to know more about these hill stations and let the magic begin!
Top 12 Places To Visit in Uttarakhand
Welcoming you aboard to the capital of this state. Dehradun happens to be a major tourist place since time immemorial. It is often confused with Mussoorie mainly due to its geographical closeness. The other name given to this is place is ‘Oxford of India’ as it is home to many famous educational centres like boarding schools. Important government offices such as Indian Military Academy, ONGC and Survey of India are located in the state. Some of the other attractions include Zonal Anthropological Museum, Robber’s Cave, Tapkeshwar Temple, Mindrolling Monastery, Malsi Deer Park, and Lachhiwala. Rishikesh and Haridwar are situated very near to Dehradun, you might as well drop by in these religious cities. There is no such best time to visit Dehradun as you can relish the famous tourist places located in the city throughout the year.
One of the most visited hill stations in Uttarakhand is Auli. You will be mesmerized by the hilltops covered in deodar and oak trees. It is a true hot spot when it comes to adventurous activities and winter sports. You can ski through the slopes and also go trekking in the morning hours. For adventure trekking, Auli-Kuari Pass trek and Auli – Badrinath Pass are the best options. The panoramic views of this hill station will make you spellbound. It is something that you take back with you to cherish. The best time to visit this place is most likely in the winter months from November to February. Though it can be quite snowy and windy, your stay will be worth your time. Nevertheless, do not forget to carry your winter essentials when you visit in this place.
Next on the list is an amazing hill station in Uttarakhand that you need to swing by. This bowl-shaped town lies in the heart of the state. From Chaukori you can get to see the famous peaks of Nanda Devi and Panchachuli. The greenery of the tea gardens, the magnificence of snow-capped peaks, and phenomenal scenery will give you an unforgettable experience. The climate stays pretty cool and pleasant in the mornings and the evenings are chilly. It is the perfect time to try on some of the local cuisines that specializes in beating the chills. The best time to visit this place is from the months of October to February.
Gangolihat is another fascinating hill station in Uttrakhand. This is where you can find mountain terrains along with numerous shrines and Hindu temples. Do pay a visit to Vaishnavi Mandir, Haat Kalika Mandir, Chamunda Mandir, and Ambika Dewaal Temple. These are located in the same block. The best time to visit this station is said to be in the summer months. It is deemed to be a perfect escape from the heat in the plains. The captivating views that the place offers of the Himalayas are a special add-on for vacation planners. Beat your summer waves in the laps of Mother Nature in Gangolihat.
Tucked in the arms of Himalayan ranges, the next destination is equally stunning. The town of Ramgarh boasts of unexplored natural beauty. It is an idyllic vacation spot for you and your family. Ramgarh is popularly known as the ‘Fruit Bowl of Kumaon’, because of it being the biggest supplier of fruits in the country. On the slopes of this location, you will find orchards of plums, peaches, apples, grapes, and apricots. It is located almost 1800 meters above sea level. If you are here in the winters, do not miss out the amazing sunrise and sunsets. This is an exceptional hill station, especially if you need some time and space away from the busy city life. The serenity of this hill station echoes in its surroundings.
Lansdowne is a pretty little town in the Garhwal Hills of Uttarakhand. It is situated approximately 6000 meters from the ground levels. It is a famous tourist place, best known for housing Garhwal Rifle regiment of the Indian Army Forces. Still untouched by industrialisation and commercialisation this sleepy town is a great place to sit back and relax. And that is why you can choose this hill station in Uttarakhand to contemplate and meditate for a while. There is also no best time to visit this place and it welcomes you with open arms throughout the year. It can be visited solo or with family and friends.
Head to Harsil as it is one of the hidden jewels in the state. Located on the banks of River Bhagirathi, it is a top-notch tourist place. Also, it is roughly 3000 meters above sea level. One of the many things that you can do is trekking. For that, you can try doing so from Harsil to Chitkul via Lamkhaga Pass. It is the best place to drop by when you are in real need of peace. What is most mesmerising is viewing the green apple orchids against the snow-clad mountains. The best time to visit is in the summer months. The pattern that is formed by dense deodar forests, which let you question the wonders of nature.
Kausani is a hill station present amidst the Kumaon Hills of Uttarakhand. It is a must-visit place advised for newlywed couples. The breathtaking nature valleys add romance in a certain way. You may perform activities like rock climbing, trekking etc. Some of the important trek routes are Base Kausani, Bageshwar- Sunderdhunga Trek, and Adi Kailash Trek. The smell of freshly ripened apples and dense forests of oak and pine produce a phenomenal feel. One can also walk through the banks of River Gomti and Kosi. Do swing by a couple of waterfalls and ashrams present nearby such as the Anashakti Ashram, Lakshmi Ashram, Rudradhari Fall etc. If you are a worshipper of nature a visit to this stunning location is a must. This place has all the ticks required in your checklist when wanting to go travel to a hill station.
Popularly known as “mini Kashmir” Munsiyari is situated at an altitude of 3000 meters above the sea level, it is located in the Pithoragarh District. This is again the right choice for you if you want to quench your thirst of trekking. Wildlife enthusiasts would absolutely love this place as you will find a wide variety of fauna in the area like bear, griffon, raven, and more. About 35 kilometres from here, you will see Birthi Falls, which is a renowned tourist place. The best time to visit this place is in the winters. The overall scenery of the mountain terrains amidst the verdant greenery is a big reason why tourists flock around in here. If time permits, make sure to visit a very ancient temple called Nanda Devi.
Ranikhet stands out from the rest of the hill stations due to its charming topography and evergreen forests. One can see different collections of rare trees and colourful flowers in the gardens. Paragliding and camping are organized every now and then. They provide you with well-ventilated safari tents that add to your comfort. This is where you can see old style stone houses, a first of its kind in the city. Jhula Devi Temple, Binsar Mahadev Temple, Katarmal (Sun Temple) are a few noteworthy examples of religious places in the city.
If your travel mates are mostly family members, who are in search of piousness, then this is where you land. It lies really close to Kashi City. It is best known for housing numerous shrines and Hindu temples. Throughout the plains, you will see flocks of devotees during the Aarti hours. It is situated roughly 1200 meters from sea level, on the banks of River Bhagirathi. The place has rich foliage, which is made up of pine and oak trees. At Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, you can be trained as successful mountaineer as well. There are few options for trekking too. You can trek away from Uttarkashi to Dodi Tal and then to Dayara Bugyal.
Known to be one of the most prominent Hindu pilgrimages in the country- Badrinath is a famous tourist place. Located on the banks of River Alaknanda, in the lap of Himalayan ranges, it is a much sought after tourist destination of all time. It is one of the ‘char dhams’ and ‘panch badris’ in the country. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, with his idol in a meditating position. You will see many other small temples in the premises. Seeing Tapt Kund is another thing that you should do when you visit this town. It is a natural thermal spring that is believed to have the medicinal cure for diseases. It has been worshipped over the decades. It is nearly 3000 meters atop the sea level. The importance of this hill station is immense in the chapters of Indian Mythology.
Apart from the aforementioned places, you can also call in on places like Gangotri, Yamunotri, Hemkund Sahib, Chamoli, Rudrapur, New Tehri, Pauri, Naukuchiya Tal etc. Now that you have acquired some knowledge about the state, the hill stations that you can visit and some additional information, all you need to do is pack your bags. Book your tickets right away before it is too late. Let Uttarakhand welcome you with all the love and hospitality.