Try Out These Stunning Places In North India For Any Kind Of Vacation

Lotus Temple in Delhi

When it comes to looking up places for a vacation or a trip to North India, it is quite easy to get overwhelmed by the places you see. Whatever, the nature of your trip may be, you will find North India will have something which will satisfy the traveler as well as the nature lover in you. India’s culture and heritage, its natural beauty, and the stories which the places have to tell can leave you enthralled. It is one of the reasons why people traveling to India cannot help but fall in love with it. Here are some places to visit in the northern part of the subcontinent, whatever the nature of your travel may be.

Hill Stations:

The Hill Stations in North India will leave you mesmerized because you get to experience the majestic beauty of the Himalayas no matter where you go. You will find rapids and frozen lakes, deep valleys and stunning gorges, along with great weather and beautiful scenery. Here are some of the places which you may visit:

  1. Manali
  2. Mussoorie
  3. Gulmarg
  4. Dalhousie
  5. Auli
  6. Dharamshala
  7. Ranikhet
  8. Spiti Valley
  9. Abbot Mount
  10. Sanasar
  11. Varanasi
  12. Bodh Gaya
  13. Golden Temple
  14. Haridwar
  15. Lotus Temple
  16. Vaishno Devi Temple
  17. Ajmer Sharif Dargah
  18. Kedarnath Temple
  19. Sacred Heart Cathedral
  20. Rishikesh
  21. Taj Mahal
  22. Agra Fort
  23. Red Fort
  24. Qutub Minar
  25. Humayun’s_Tomb
  26. Fatehpur Sikri
  27. Hawa Mahal
  28. Mahabodhi Temple
  29. Rani ki Vav
  30. Mehrangarh Fort
  31. Chadar River Trek
  32. Snow Leopard Trek
  33. Markha Valley Trek
  34. The Great Lakes
  35. Chopta Chandrashila Trek
  36. Kedar Kantha Trek
  37. Sunderdhunga Valley Trek
  38. Valley of Flowers
  39. Dodital Trek
  40. Har ki Dun Trek

1. Manali

Snow in Manali

Manali was built by the British as a summer retreat and happens to be one of the most popular places in perhaps the entire country. It is a great hill station to visit with your family, or if you are on your honeymoon. Manali experiences snowfall almost every year and turns into a winter wonderland. The summers have their own kind of beauty and you would not have seen a prettier hill station. Yet, it is a budget place to be in so you will have a great vacation without burning a hole in your pocket. Do not forget to visit the Bhrigu Lake, the Hadimba Temple, the Solang Valley and the Rohtang Pass, one of the highest in the world. There are Tibetan Monasteries to visit and you must also try Heli- skiing, a popular adventure activity here.

Best Time to Visit: October to February if you want to see snow
How to Reach: Take a flight till Delhi and then a jeep

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2. Mussoorie

Mussoorie is known as the Queen of Hills and if dreamy mountain scenery is what you want for your vacation, then look no further. This hill station is so tranquil and peaceful, which is why even the renowned author Ruskin Bond has made it his home. The mountains are high yet lush with greenery and the quaint homes look as they are in a picture postcard. Many of the top boarding schools in the country are located here and there are many wonderful places to go sightseeing as well like Kempty Falls, Company Garden, the Lake, Happy Valley and the Jwala Devi temple.

Best Time to Visit: March to June is the best time for a pleasant weather How to Reach: Take a train or flight to Delhi and a cab from there

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3. Gulmarg

Gulmarg, in Kashmir, is known as the Meadow of Flower and is a major tourist spot. Although Kashmir is always shrouded in some kind of unrest, if you can indeed manage to go there, it will be a chance of a lifetime. There are daisies and blueberries and all kind of flower imaginable in the valley to be found here. If you are here, do not forget to try out the Gulmarg Gondola, the Biosphere Reserve and the Baba Reshi Shrine. You must also visit the sprawling Golf Course and the Shark Fin. This is also a skiing hotspot.

Best Time to Visit: October to February if you want to ski
How to Reach: Take a flight till Srinagar Airport and then a local transport.

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4. Dalhousie

Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh was also hill station set up during the British era but now it is mostly known as the refuge of the Holy Dalai Lama. It is spectacularly beautiful and is located at a height of 2700 meters. You will be able to gaze upon the majestic Dhauladhar Range from here. There are many temples here that were built in 6th century and the temple of the Dalai Lama in nearby Mcleodganj is also a must visit. Do not forget to shop at the Tibetan Market and you must also try out the Bakrota and the Dainkund Peaks.

Best Time to Visit: March to May
How to Reach: You can take a flight till Delhi and then a cab or a jeep

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5. Auli

Auli is located in Uttarakhand and is surrounded by mountains on all sides as well. Tourists mostly come here to take part in the adventure sports, especially skiing. The hill station is located at an altitude of 2500 meters and if it is snow you want on your vacation, then this is your destination. The mighty Nanda Devi will greet you and there are some spiritual places here as well like Vishnu Prayag, Gurso Bugyal and Josshimath. The cable ride is great way to take in the beauty of the mountains.

Best Time to Visit: November to March
How to Reach: You could take a train or a flight till Chandigarh and then a jeep from there.

6. Dharamshala

Located at Kangra Valley, Dharamshala is located at an altitude of 1487 meters and is a stunningly beautiful hill station. You will get to see amazing pine and cedar forests and deodar trees lining the roads as your drive. The people here are very warm and welcoming as well. There are some notable places to visit here like Naam Art Gallery, Monolithic Rock Temple and Bhagsu Waterfall. You must also visit the Dal Lake, and the Dharamshala Cricket Stadium is a joy to visit.

Best Time to Visit: March to June and December to February
How to Reach: Take a flight or train till Delhi and a jeep from there.

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7. Ranikhet

Ranikhet is a wonderful place to be in and even the British loved it so much that they eventually moved their summer capital from Shimla to here for a while. You will find a wide variety of birds and plants here and hence it is a nature lover’s delight. The lush greenery of the mountains is enchanting and you will find many notable places to visit here like the Jhula Devi Temple, Sunset Point, Ashsiyana Park and Chaubatia Orchard.

Best Time to Visit: April to June
How to Reach: Take a flight or a train till Chandigarh and then a cab

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8. Spiti Valley

Spiti Valley is a cold desert mountain valley in Uttarakhand and it is one of the most stunning places you will ever visit. This place was once a seat of Vajrayana Buddhism and from here one can reach other parts of the Himalaya like the Rohtang Pass or Kunzum Pass. Do visit this stunning location with Lahaul and both these places will leave you mesmerized. If you are here, you must visit the Key Monastery and the Tabo Monastery and there are a number of mountain villages here as well like Komic and Hikim. The people have a very laid back lifestyle here and you will fall in love with the rustic, mountain beauty.

Best Time to Visit: For the snow, between October to March
How to Reach: Take a flight or a train till Delhi and then local transport

9. Abbot Mount

If you want to know what a British summer retreat looked like before independence, then you have to be here. This is perfect for a vacation with the entire family and it is a hidden gem in the Kumaon region. The hill station is located at an altitude of 7000 feet and from here one can see the peaks of the Gangotri Cliff to the Dhaulagiri range. The town was established in the 20th century by John Harold Abbot and till now, the pristine nature of the hill station has not been dented. There are 13 cottages here in five acres of woods and they are perfect.

Best Time to Visit: February to June
How to Reach: Get a local transport from Delhi or Chandigarh

10. Sanasar

Sanasar is an apt destination if you are in love with rolling meadows and lush mountains. Located in Kashmir, people often ditch this beautiful region in favor of more places like Srinagar, Pahalgam or Gulmarg. It is actually in the Jammu region and is about 20 km away from the hill station of Patnitop. There are sprawling meadows and you will get to experience the rustic mountain life, the farms and mud houses, streams and hills, all the while the Himalayas gazing down at you.

Best Time to Visit: Round the year
How to Reach: Take a flight till Srinagar and then a cab or a jeep.

Religious Places:

India is a religious country and the people here often go on pilgrimage. There are plenty of places in North India which will be perfect for your visit if you want to get closer to God. Here are some of them:

11. Varanasi

Varanasi is the hub of spirituality in India and is located on the banks of River Ganga in Uttar Pradesh. Also known as Benaras or Kashi, the city is also known for imparting musical and spiritual education. It is the primary holy place of the Sapta Puris and people often come here believing if they die here, they will attain moksha. There are hundreds of temples here and if you want to learn and practice yoga, this is where you can come to. The Ganga aarti in the evening is a must watch.

Best Time to Visit: Round the year
How to Reach: There are plenty of direct trains to Varanasi

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12. Bodh Gaya

Bodh Gaya in Bihar is where Gautam Buddha attained spiritual enlightenment. He came to Gaya district to understand life and sat under a large fig tree, which is known as the Bodhi tree now. He discovered the Noble Eight Fold Path or Ashtangika Marga and still today, his life and teachings guide people throughout the world. The Mahabodhi Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the city is decked up during Buddha Purnima.

Best Time to Visit: Round the year
How to Reach: Get a train or a flight to Patna and then a local cab

13. Golden Temple

The Golden Temple in Amritsar is perhaps the most sacred place on the planet for the Sikhs. The official name for the temple is Harmandir Sahib, also known as the Darbar Sahib and it was built by the fifth sikh guru, Guru Arjan. The most sacred place inside the complex is the Amrit Sarovar, and it is said that its waters have healing powers. The temple is made of white marble with a golden dome and the langar of the temple is said to feed 1 lakh people every day.

Best Time to Visit: Any time
How to Reach: You can take a train directly to Amritsar.

14. Haridwar

Located in Uttarakhand, Haridwar is perhaps one of the busiest pilgrimage sites in the entire country. It where the holy river Ganga completes her journey through the mountains and merges into the plains. It is also considered one of the seven Sapta Puris and it is believed that by coming here and dying here, one can break the cycle of birth and death. A dip in the Ganga here is said to absolve everyone of all sins. The temples here are majestic and it is a treasure trove of spiritual information.

Best Time to Visit: Round the year
How to Reach: You could take a cab from Lucknow or there are direct trains to Haridwar

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15. Lotus Temple

The Lotus temple, or the Bahai House of Worship has a very interesting, lotus like structure and draws people every year in huge numbers. The temple serves as the bahai Motehr Temple for the whole of India. People of every faith and religion and come here to pray. The temple has 27 free standing petals arranged in groups of three and there are nine pools around it. Even in a chaotic city like Delhi, this temple is a haven of peace and quiet.

Best Time to Visit: Round the year
How to Reach: You could take a flight or a train directly to Delhi.

16. Vaishno Devi Temple

Located in the Trikuta Mountains of Jammu and Kashmir, the Vaishno Devi temple attracts thousands of tourists each year. It is the second most visited temple in the country, after the Tirupati Balaji Temple located in South India. The interesting part is that one has to trek for 13 km or so to reach the temple and it signifies the hardships one has to go through to attain the blessings of the Goddess. There are of course, horses, ponies and palanquins  for assistance of the old people. The temple is set amidst panoramic beauty of the mountains.

Best Time to Visit: February to June
How to Reach: Travel to Katra and from there it is a 13 km trek

17. Ajmer Sharif Dargah

This Sufi shrine, dedicated to Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, as Islamic Imam, and philosopher is considered to be one of the holiest places in the entire country. The shrine has the saint’s grave and it is said that people come to pray here whenever they are going through difficult times and it is solved. The dargah receives a heavy footfall in the 6th and 7th months of the Islamic calendar, Rajab, which is the death anniversary of the saint. There are three massive gates to the shrine, built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, the Buland Darwaza by Mahmood Khilji and another one by the last Nizam of Hyderabad. All three of them are great works of art.

Best Time to Visit: Round the year
How to Reach: Take cab from Delhi, Chandigarh or Jaipur

18. Kedarnath Temple

The Kedarnath Temple is located by the Mandakini River in Uttarakhand and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. To reach the temple, one can trek for 14 km from Gourikund. However, there are horses and ponies to be availed as well. It is a very important temple among the 12 Jyotirlingas in the country and it is said that the temple was first built by the Pandavas and then was later rebuilt by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century CE. The temple is set amidst stunning scenic beauty and is surrounded by glaciers and snowy peaks. The temple is open from April to November. Many people come to visit this temple from every part of the world.

Best Time to Visit: April to November
How to Reach: Trek the last 14 km from Gourikund

19. Sacred Heart Cathedral

This stunning cathedral is located in New Delhi and is a Roman Catholic Church. It happens to be the oldest church in the city and belongs to the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. The church was founded in 1929 and it has stunning Italian architecture and a wonderful combination of red and white colors. The altar is made of white marble and the turrets of the cathedral seem to reach the sky. There is a stuning fresco of the Last Supper and you cannot miss this church when you visit Delhi.

Best Time to Visit: Round the year
How to Reach: Take a flight or a train directly to Delhi

20. Rishikesh

Rishikesh is situated in the foothills of the Himalayas and is named after Lord Vishu. It is a famous spiritual center and is known as the Yoga Capital of the World. From time immemorial, sages have come and settled in this temple city. It is physically and spiritually uplifting to practice yoga amidst the mountains. The city has another side to it as well- it is the hub of adventure sports in the country! You must not visit the Ganga Aarti at the Triveni Ghat in the evenings.

Best Time to Visit: Anytime except monsoons
How to Reach: You could take a train directly to Rishikesh.

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Historical Places:

North India is the perfect place to visit for history buffs, because the great kings and rulers have constructed tons of monuments in this part of the country. You will get a taste of what India’s culture is like by visiting some of the monuments here.

21. Taj Mahal

This list has to start with the Taj Mahal. It is not only a major historical place in India but is also one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Its grandeur is unmatched and the structure is built entirely of white marble. The monument is a tomb, built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1632 for his late wife Mumtaz Mahal. It took 22 years to be completed and when the emperor died, he was buried beside her. This is the greatest symbol of love which the world has perhaps seen. Night time shows inside the complex is a must see.

Best Time to Visit: Round the year
How to Reach: You will get many direct trains to Agra

22. Agra Fort

One must visit the palatial Agra Fort in Uttar Pradesh to understand how magnanimous the Mughals were when it came to art and architecture in India. The fort is built completely of red sandstone and it was built in 1565 by the Emperor Akbar. The Amar Singh gate and the Delhi gates are two massive gates through which one could enter in earlier times though now only the former one is used. The fort is filled with mosques, courts and passageways inside. There are also palaces inside like the Jahangir Palace and the notable mosques are Nagina Masjid, Moti Masjid, Mina Masjid and the Zenana Mina Bazaar.

Best Time to Visit: Round the year
How to Reach: You can take cab from Delhi

23. Red Fort

The Red Fort in Delhi was also built by the Emperor Shah Jahan and it took ten years to be completed, from 1638 to 1648. The fort was commissioned when the Emperor shifted his capital from Agra to Delhi and back then it was known as the Qila- E- Mubarak. The fort is octagonal is design and happens to be one of the most popular sites in North India. The Independence Day is still celebrated here with the national flag being hoisted here. It is said that the fort was actually white, made of white limestone, but the British painted in red when the limestone started chipping off and hence got its present name.

Best Time to Visit: Anytime, but the fort is closed on Mondays
How to Reach: You can take a train or a flight directly to Delhi.

24. Qutub Minar

The Qutib Minar in Delhi was commissioned by the Emperor Qutub- ud- din Aibak and completed by Allauddin Khilji. It is a fine specimen of Indo- Muslim architecture and is made from intricate red sandstone. The tomb has carvings from the Quran and in Arabic and Nagari languages. The mosque of Quwwat- ul- Islam is also located at the foot of the Qutub minar. The complex has an iron pillar which is said not to have rusted 2000 years.

Best Time to Visit: Round the year, but especially during October and November during the Qutub Minar Festival
How to Reach: You could take a flight or a train directly to Delhi.

25. Humayun’s Tomb

The tomb of Humayun is a great synthesis of Indian and Persian architecture and it was built by his wife Hamida Banu Begum after the emperor’s untimely death. It was built in 15th century but does not fail to draw awe from the visitors even now. The tomb has beautiful alcoves and beautiful domes. There are elaborate corridors and there are dome is splendid. It is said that this tomb was a great inspiration behind the Taj Mahal.

Best Time to Visit: Any day but closed on Fridays
How to Reach: You just have to take a cab from Delhi.

26. Fatehpur Sikri

This royal city was the erstwhile capital of the Mughals and was built by Emperor Akbar. This city once had palaces, mosques, public buildings and quarters for the entire king’s armies. It had great pillars and carved columns and was like dream land. However, it was later abandoned as water supply to the city became scarce. Many people still come to pray at the dargah of Salim Chisti, and it is said that barren women who prayed for a child here never returned empty handed. The most notable places to visit here are Dewan- e- Aam and the Dwan- e- Khaas.

27. Hawa Mahal

Hawa Mahal, quite literally meaning the Palace of the Winds, is located in Jaipur and is designed as a honeycomb, with 853 intricately carved windows. The shape however, is that of a crown, and it was believed, that the ruler who built this palace, Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, was a great devotee of Lord Krishna. It is said to be the tallest building in the world built without a foundation. Although it is curved, it still stands strong due to its pyramidal shape. The palace windows were so designed that the ladies could look out without hindering their privacy.

Best Time to Visit: Round the year
How to Reach: Just take a train or a flight directly to Jaipur.

28. Mahabodhi Temple

One of the four major holy grounds of Buddhism, it is here that Buddha attained enlightenment. The earliest temple here was built by Emperor Ashoka, when he gave up violence and turned to spirituality and converted to Buddhism in the 3rd century BC. The temple has a massive statue of the Lord Buddha touching the earth with his right hand. It is believed that this spot will be the last to disappear when the world comes to an end and the first to appear when it is recreated.

Best Time to Visit: Round the year
How to Reach: You can take a flight or train to Patna and a cab from there.

29. Rani ki Vav

Rani ki Vav in Gujarat

Located in Gujarat, it is a step well going down into the earth. It is a massive structure which is 24 meters deep and was built in the 11th century. It was built by Rani Udaymati for her husband, Rana Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty. The lowest level of the stepwell was earlier used as an escape route to neighboring villages. The central level of the stepwell has the 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu and there is a sculpture of Vishnu lying on thousand snake heads. There are also sculptures of Yokinis and Apsaras.

Best Time to Visit: Round the year
How to Reach: Get a cab from Ahmedabad

30. Mehrangarh Fort

The fort was commissioned in 1459 by Rao Jodha and is one of the biggest forts of the country. In fact, many people still live inside the fort, many of them descendents of the earlier inhabitants of the fort. There are several entrances to the fort, the most striking one of them being the Vijay Gate which was built when King Man Singh won over Bikaner and Jaipur. The Rose Palace and Glass Palace inside the fort are a must- visit and do not forget to go shopping in the old markets inside the fort. The fort is located at a height of 410 meters.

Best Time to Visit: Round the year, but avoid the summers if you can
How to Reach: You can take a train to Mehrangarh.

Trekking in North India:

For all the adventure lovers in India, there are so many options if they want to go for a trek through rocky terrains. North India has countless trekking trails and the weather here is almost always pleasant. Go for a trek and camp under the stars and you will realize you do not want much from life.

31. Chadar River Trek

This trek will take you to Ladakh and this is not a trail for novices. Come here only if you are seasoned trekker. The terrain is such that children risk their lives even while they go to school. The ice here changes color though and you will get to walk on the frozen Zanskar River. The entire trek will take about six days.

Best Time to Visit: October to February
How to Reach: You can travel to Jammu and then hire a keep to take you to Ladakh.

32. Snow Leopard Trek

Ladakh will never fail to amaze you, which is why bikers and trekkers cannot have enough of this place. On this trail, you might just get a chance to spot the elusive snow leopard, the blue sheep and the herds of yak. You will also encounter monks who live in the monasteries here. Do stop by at the Rumbak village and do not forget to try some local yak butter tea and biscuits. Again, this trek is not for the faint hearted. The trek can last anywhere between 4 to 10 days, depending on how long you want to continue.

Best Time to Visit: March to July
How to Reach: Take a cab from Jammu

33. Markha Valley Trek

This trekking trail is also located in Ladakh and is located at a stunning height of 18,000 feet. This trek will take you to what was in ancient times known as the Indus Valley. You will also be able to experience the culture of Little Tibet and so apart from the thrill, you will find that this trek will be very educational. You will be able to watch the local going about their daily work and you will also find out how to cross the Zanskar River on a box and a cable bridge. You will also see how the locals grow crops here.

Best Time to Visit: Mid June to Mid October.
How to Reach: Get a jeep to Markha valley from Jammua and then start your trek.

34. The Great Lakes

The trek around the great lakes of Kashmir will leave you spellbound. You will be able to experience the beauty of nature at its finest and the beauty of the Himalayas will leave you mesmerized. The Lakes here are pristine and you can pitch camps at night beside them and gaze at the starlit night sky. The Himalayas will are lush during the summers and they create a great sight at dawn.

Best Time to Visit: February to June
How to Reach: Take a flight directly till Srinagar.

35. Chopta Chandrashila Trek

This trekking trail in Uttarakhand is also a haven for photographers. The trek is about 30 km in all and you will get to see all kinds of flora and fauna here. The summers will especially lighten up your route with vibrant colors. The trek will take you by the Deorital Lake and it ends at the Chandrashila Peak, where it is said that Lord Rama came to pray after he defeated Ravana. The trek will take about 6 days to complete.

Best Time to Visit: March to June
How to Reach: You can take a cab till the starting point from Srinagar.

36. Kedar Kantha Trek

This trek is Uttarakhand will take you to some of the best camping sites of the Himalayas. One of the most popular ones here is the Akroti Thach campsite and it is a lovely wooded spot surrounded b walnut and pine trees. The Pukhrola campsite is based on an open meadow and the views of the sunrise and the sunsets from here will take your breath away. The locals here are very friendly and you will hardly realize how the trek ended. The trek takes about 5 days.

Best time to Visit: March to October
How to Reach: Get a jeep to the starting point from Rishikesh.

37. Sunderdhunga Valley Trek

This trek will also take you to Uttarakhand and it is the most magnificence trails you will come across. You will get to experience firsthand what mountain life is like. Camp for the night at the Jatoli village, which still does not have electricity. You will see manmade rickety bridges, slopes, plains and grasslands where sheep graze and the trek happens to end at the glacier. The trek will last for about 6 to 9 days.

Best Time to Visit: You may visit during both summer and winter
How to Reach: Get a cab till the starting point from Rishikesh

38. Valley of Flowers

This trail in Uttarakhand is moderate and so beginners can also try this out. As the name suggests, your path will be strewn with flowers, quite literally. The journey is spectacular and you will see so many wonderful flowers along the way. This is a very colorful valley and during the spring and summers, they bloom in full. You will see rolling hillsides full of colors all around you. It is truly one of the most romantic places in the entire Himalayas. The trek will take about 4 days.

Best Time to Visit: March to July
How to Reach: You will get multiple local transports from any nearby town.

39. Dodital Trek

If you have ever wanted to trek through the snow, then this is perfect for you. You are sure to feel you are in a different world altogether. You will be able to camp under the stars and the trek will take you by the pristine and calm Assi Ganga River. You will have to cross stone bridges and if you have some energy left, you can get into a snowball fight with friends. There are also some mountain villages in the way. Remember to carry lots of woolens as temperature plunge near freezing point. The trek is about for 4 to 6 days.

Best time to Visit: October to March
How to Reach: You can get a cab from Rishikesh to the starting point.

40. Har ki Dun Trek

Har ki Dun Trek

This trek will take you to Uttaranchal, and right into the Garhwal Himalayas. You will fall in love with the place instantly. The hanging valleys here are most noticeable and the mountains will show you something unique with every turn. This is still one of the hardest trekking trails in the Himalayas and it is said that it is also one of the oldest. Sages and wise men from ancient times travelled deep into the Himalayas via this route to a hidden temple of Lord Shiva to pray. By the time you finish, you will be at a height of 11,000 feet. The trek will take about 8 days to complete.

Best time to Visit: March to June, September to November
How to Reach: You can take a cab till the starting point from Rishikesh

As mentioned earlier, the sites and places of North India will never fail to amaze you. Do include some of these places in your itinerary for your next vacation and you will be glad you came here.

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