Uttarakhand Unlock Guidelines- Hotels Can Reopen But Not Tourist Places
Celebrated author and raconteur Ruskin Bond once said about travelling the adventure is not in getting somewhere, it’s the on-the-way experience. It is not the expected: it’s the surprise. Bond could well be the epitome of the mountain-life in Uttarakhand, having lived for numerous years in Mussoorie in his quiet and picturesque cottage. Such is the beauty of the majestic mountains, greenery and natural splendors dotting the State of Uttarakhand that never fails to captivate travellers and locals alike.
For those of you struggling to cope with the lockdown blues and looking to get a whiff of fresh air (quite literally!), there is good news in store. You will now be able to enjoy your Uttarakhand travels as the Government has clarified that hotels and homestays can open for business again. So if you don’t live in a high-load COVID-19 city (cities with the highest numbers of cases), you can definitely explore an upcoming holiday in Uttarakhand.
A few basics that you must be aware about
Agreed, rules and regulations may sound morbid when you’re finally planning an elusive holiday. Yet, some guidelines should definitely be on your mind before you finalize your hotel booking. Don’t book hotels present in containment zones and within the DMC (Dehradun Municipal Corporation) jurisdiction while traveling to the State as per guidelines. COVID-19 negative test results are compulsory for traveling to the State (something you must endeavor to get before your vacation) along with minimum hotel bookings for 7 days.
As long as you carry this result, you can freely move about the State since borders have been opened once again for inter-district and inter-state travel and tourism. If you’re living in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, Chennai, Lucknow or Noida, you will have to wait a while before venturing into the State. If you’re living in a city with a lower COVID-19 case count, you can definitely travel without venturing into tourism spots or public places. Undertakings may be sought by your hotel in this respect. The silver lining is that shopping malls and restaurants will function between 7 AM-7 PM.
Just a little more information overload (really important)
If you’re looking to visit Mussoorie, you should know that entry will only be provided once a 7-day booking is shown. A negative COVID-19 report is a must as mentioned before (should be issued in the last 72 hours). Without the same, a tourist will have to be quarantined for a period of 7 days. Night curfew starts from 10 PM and extends till 7 AM each day as well. For Dehradun, the Smart City Dehradun portal is where you will have to upload the COVID-19 test report while registering. Your hotel will have to make sure that those booking for periods less than 7 days get RT-PCR tests done from authorized laboratories within 72 hours.
Phew! While these guidelines do sound intimidating, the reality is that they are basic or standard protocols issued by the Government for the steady resumption of travel and tourism. You should follow all rules and regulations carefully while enjoying your trip to the veritable land of the Gods, one of India’s most revered States, Uttarakhand.
Top hotels in Uttarakhand that you can visit now
There are tons of reputed and clean hotels offering sanitized stays with all necessary precautions for guests. Here’s looking at them from a location-wise perspective:
- Capital O 71874 Hotel Winterland
Located strategically on the Mussoorie Road in Barlow Ganj, this is one homely establishment that will charm you with its amazing views and comfortable accommodation.
Visit the beautiful Mussoorie Park for a morning/evening stroll while digging into piping hot snacks and tea at Bewafa Chai Wala and other establishments. Evening entertainment can be found at the Nirvana Lodge and Lounge while some interesting attractions nearby include the gorgeous Bhatta Falls, St. Francis Monastery, Bhadraj Temple and Ikya Island.
Work or relax in peace with the charming rooms offering ample space and big picture windows with views to die for (Distraction alert sounded!). From televisions and air conditioning to hearty complimentary buffet breakfasts, you’ll be comfortable here in no time! Power backup ensures that you can work seamlessly minus interruptions.
- OYO Home 12828 Mountain Glory Homestay
Relish your Mussoorie trip like never before with a sanitized stay at this quaint homestay that is well-equipped with all necessary amenities. The strategic location near the Library Bus stand definitely helps.
Visit the Gun Hill and Panda Hill nearby for a glimpse of natural splendor along with the imposing Bhatta Fall which will certainly light up your Insta feed! The Christ Church is another nearby attraction that you should not miss along with hot meals at Chick Chocolate.
Work and play in style with the comfortable interiors and free Wi-Fi round the clock. Refrigerators, power backup, air conditioning, televisions and geysers make your stay doubly comfortable while parking space is a major plus.
- Capital O 43252 The Avenue Stay
Nestled in a picturesque location near IMS University in Dehradun, this hotel at Bhagwant Pur will enliven your stay by all means.
Nature lovers will have a ball, visiting the nearby Shikhar Fall and also the Malsi Reserved Forest which is a must-visit for more adventurous tourists. You’ll love the Dehradun Zoo as well, for obvious reasons! Grab delicious bites at nearby eateries like Taste of Haryana, Gazebo Restaurant & Party Lawn and Sagar Ratna.
Contemporary furnishings, big cupboards, king/queen sized beds and center tables create a comfy vibe in the rooms while free Wi-Fi and power backup are a godsend for those looking to get some work done on their trip. Other features include televisions, air conditioning, mini fridges, tea/coffee makers, parking, hair dryers, intercom facilities and more. In short, everything you need to be snug and happy.
- OYO Home 36838 Exotic Studio Stay Dehradun
Located on Canal Road, this stylish hotel elevates your experience by several notches with spacious rooms and easy access to the Dehradun Railway Station and Rajpur Road.
Once you venture out, there’s a lot to take in, including the Khalanga War Memorial, Malsi Deer Park, MDDA Park, Sahastradhara and even Robber’s Cave for some adventure and fun! Indulge in retail therapy at the Pacific Mall nearby while feasting on sumptuous local grub at nearby eateries.
Power backup is a major feature that will help you stay connected without any hassles while ample parking space, televisions, geysers, air conditioning, 24-7 check-in (a boon for business travellers) and clean bathrooms are major features enabling a more comfortable trip.
- OYO 5175 Hotel Rama Blue Point
Located in close proximity to the Bilaspur Road at Naukuchiatal, this hotel promises warm and comfortable experiences for all travellers.
The list of nearby attractions includes the awe-inspiring Mathpal’s Museum and Art Gallery for culture aficionados along with the Karkotak Mandir. Relish delicious meals at several nearby eateries and restaurants.
Free Wi-Fi and power back-up help you work in peace while the wooden décor theme and plush sofas create a comfortable ambience whenever you’re in the mood to relax. Parking space aside, intercom facilities, king sized beds, geysers and televisions enable comfortable experiences as well.
- OYO Home 10867 Exotic 1bhk Apartments
This comfy and warm homestay is located near Rajkiye Inter College in Bhumiyadhar. The age-old proverb simplicity is elegance is best reflected through this establishment. Proximity to the NH-109, Nainital Bus Stand and Bhowali Bus Stand certainly helps.
Get access to some of the biggest and most popular attractions in Nainital from here, including the Tiffin Top, Nainital Lake and Cave Garden. Head out to the famous Naina Devi Temple and spend a quaint afternoon exploring the Ghorakhal Tea Factory. Shop till you drop at the Tibetan Market and Mall Road, picking up unique souvenirs and delightful candles to take home. Fancy a delicious meal? Try the Machaan Restaurant nearby (you’ll thank us later!).
Basic amenities include televisions, parking space and 24-7 check-in provisions. Additionally, you’ll appreciate uninterrupted power supply, especially if you have work to get done along with geysers (for those lingering hot baths) and mini fridges in rooms (for that nightly snack or sudden cold beverage).
- OYO 24603 River Valley Hotel
Located near the Laxman Jhoola Enclave at Tapovan, this comfortable hotel offers access to several nearby attractions along with adventure activities.
Red Chilli Adventure and Outbound Adventure organize several adventure activities in the vicinity while you can easily visit Laxman Jhoola as well. The Neergarh Waterfall is another beautiful landmark nearby and will fill your heart with sheer delight. Fancying a bite or two? Check out happening cafes nearby including The Ganga View Café, Tatev Café and Bistro Nirvana.
The WFH brigade will appreciate free Wi-Fi and complete power backup while geysers, spacious rooms, clean bathrooms, air conditioning and televisions add to the comfort factor. You can take periodic breaks at the in-house restaurant with its wide selection of lip-smacking treats.
- OYO 61460 Rajaji Wild Trail
Situated strategically near the picturesque Rajaji National Park and Chilla Dam in Rishikesh, this beautiful hotel looks out onto lush natural greenery and a lovely garden. Both the Raiwala Junction Station and Jolly Grand Airport are situated nearby.
The beautiful Ganges flows nearby and you can check out the Rajaji National Park if you’re in for some adventure and natural bliss alike. The Chilla Dam is another hotspot in the vicinity along with popular eateries like Bonfire Pizza Point, Mohan Ji Lehri Wale and Ever Green Fast Food.
Power back-up, 24-7 check-in, parking facilities and a charming garden/backyard are major plus points along with comfortable twin beds, kitchens, air conditioning, an in-house restaurant and more.
- OYO 67184 The Grand Hotel
Located near Aakash Institute at Ranipur More, this delightful hotel offers comfy interiors and a soothing ambience. You can access the hotel easily from the Haridwar Railway Station and Jwalapur Railway Station.
Relish some much-needed solitude at the famous Ganga Ghat or visit Har Ki Pauri along with the hallowed Shri Mata Mansa Devi Mandir for a spiritual experience unlike any other! Feast on sumptuous local delicacies at Mocha 93 Café, The Village Restaurant and Maharaja Bakers and Fast Food Joint.
From free Wi-Fi and power backup to private entrances, 24-7 check-in provisions and intercom facilities, everything is tailored to help you work productively while relaxing in style as well. Other comfort features include televisions, air conditioning, plush queen sized beds and more.
- OYO 5851 Mehfil Hotel
Located strategically near the Jwalapur Railway Station, Jwalapur Bus Stop and Shastry Nagar Bus Stop near the Enfield Showroom, this hotel is a traveler’s delight by all means.
Embark on a visit to Haridwar’s popular attractions including Har Ki Pauri, Vaishno Devi Mandir and Shri Parshwanath Digambar Jain Temple. The Bharat Mata Temple is also worth a visit. If you’re in the mood for a quick bite, try Bikanerwala and McDonald’s nearby.
Workation inclined travelers will have ample support in the form of free Wi-Fi, dedicated seating and dining areas for guests, power backup and a conference room. The charming furnishings, wooden fixtures and basic offerings like geysers, televisions, air conditioning and parking facilities will definitely make your stay more comfortable. Sink into the plush queen sized beds once you’re done for the day or relish a piping hot meal at the in-house restaurant.
These are some of the top hotels in Uttarakhand that you can consider for your trip, that is if you’re planning one anytime soon!
Why should tourists have all the fun?
Indeed, why should tourists be the only ones enjoying the pristine beauty of Uttarakhand alone? Locals and residents of nearby States, cities and towns can certainly book weekend trips to various destinations in Uttarakhand. If you’re among the local holiday brigade, here are some of the top tourist spots in various locations that you might be interested in.
Nestled in the Himalayan foothills along the banks of the Ganges, Rishikesh is where spirituality convalesces harmoniously with adventure. The Yoga capital of the world is an amazing weekend destination for locals. Here are some of the top activities/spots for you to indulge in here:
- Sway thrillingly over the mighty Ganges at Ram and Laxman Jhoola.
- Take a nostalgic trip down memory lane at the Beatles Ashram.
- Meditate and tap into your inner self at the Swarg Ashram.
- Go on a jungle safari at the Rajaji National Park.
- Shiv-Bhakts can pay homage to their Lord and Protector at the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple.
- Witness the splendid Ganga Aarti at Triveni Ghat and take some drool-worthy pictures.
- Go river rafting, indulge in water sports or trek up the majestic hills for an indescribable adrenaline rush!
If Rishikesh is the Yoga Capital, then Haridwar is definitely the country’s spiritual capital. Devotees and pilgrims congregate at this famous holy town every year during the iconic Kumbh Mela and it is believed that a dip in the sacred Ganga will cleanse away all sins. Here are some of the top activities for you in Haridwar:
- Prepare to be mesmerized by the floating lamps and soulful melodies during the Ganga Aarti.
- Embark on a thrilling ropeway ride to Mansa Devi and Chandi Devi.
- Feast on sumptuous local cuisine at Chotiwala.
- Go on a romantic boat ride ideally with your beloved in tow!
- Go temple-hopping for an insight into some of the country’s most famous and popular religious sites.
The main Jyotirlinga, Kedarnath is another popular holy town in Uttarakhand and is one of the famous Char Dhams amidst the Himalayas. Situated 3584 meters above sea level, the views are straight out of a dream! Here are some of the top activities worth enjoying in Kedarnath:
- Get a taste of spirituality at the Shankaracharya Samadhi, Kedarnath Temple, Anusuya Devi Temple and Triyuginarayan Temple.
- Take magazine-worthy sunset snaps at Chopta Valley.
- Reconnect with your inner self at the beautiful Lake of Compassion or Gaurikund.
- Trekking enthusiasts can consider the Vasuki Taal route with spectacular sights to be captured along the way.
- Go camping and enjoy the mystic magic of the Himalayas.
Another one of the Char Dhams, Badrinath is an equally popular holy town that worships Lord Vishnu and is nestled at a whopping 10,279 feet in terms of height. Here are some of the activities that you cannot miss during your stay here:
- Embrace the magic that is the Vasundhara Falls.
- Go trekking or ski about in Auli (beats Switzerland any day as you’ll see!)
- Spend time viewing the Neelkanth peak and pay your respects at the Charanpaduka.
- Take romantic walks in the Valley of Flowers National Park.
- Check out the natural stone bridge called Bheem Pul on the Saraswati River.
Uttarakhand’s Capital, Dehradun is located in the Doon Valley and is one of those charming mountain towns straight out of a novel. Located between the Yamuna and Ganga Rivers, this spectacular hill retreat is dotted with colonial-era monuments and is an amazing picnic spot too. Here’s what you simply cannot miss:
- A trip to the 6-sided marvel that is the Ghanta Ghar.
- Embracing Buddhist solitude at the delightful Mindrolling Monastery.
- Visiting the Nanaksar Gurdwara for spiritual bliss.
- Indulging in some shopping at Paltan Bazaar.
- Taking a dip at Sahastradhara (it is believed that this cures skin diseases).
- Going paragliding, angling or river rafting for the sheer thrill and adventure!
Named after the pristine Naini Lake, Nainital is popularly known as the City of Lakes, offering majestic backdrops of the Himalayas covered in snow along with lush natural greenery and picturesque surroundings. Here’s what you should not miss during your stay:
- Charming boat rides with your other half.
- Spiritual fervor at the Naina Devi Temple.
- Adventurous cable car rides or Yachting.
- Relishing authentic Tibetan and Pahari dishes.
- Visiting China Peak and witnessing delightful snowfall at Snow View.
An offbeat destination often preferred by locals, Almora offers cool weather, colonial-era charm and rows upon rows of magical pine and fir trees. The interesting bit is that Almora is shaped like the saddle of a horse, lending it a special character of its own in a manner of speaking. Here’s what you should do while you’re here in this delightful hillock:
- Visit the Nanda Devi and Kasar Devi temples.
- Have a ball with your loved ones at the Deer Park.
- Enjoy shopping at the Lala Bazaar which is 200 years old.
- Buy specialty Angora clothing.
- Take in the gorgeous sunrises and sunsets at Bright End Corner.
India’s Skiing Capital, Auli, is a treat for those who love snow and adventure alike. Thinking of giving skiing a try and finally taking those lessons? This is where you do it and with panache no less! Here’s what you shouldn’t miss here:
- Snowboarding, skiing and mountaineering.
- Trips to the Trishul Park and the world’s highest manmade lake.
- Ride the longest cable car in Asia starting from Joshimath.
- Delving deeper into the mysteries of Vansh Narayan Kalpeshwar.
Lansdowne and summer vacations were once synonymous with the British and locals alike! This picturesque pine forest dotted hill station is a lesson in cleanliness as well, being a Cantonment Area of the Garhwal Rifles. Snow-laced mountain peaks and amazing natural beauty aside, here are the top things that you should enjoy here:
- Adventurous Jungle Safaris with the whole brood in tow.
- Charming boating experiences at the pristine Bhulla Lake.
- Viewing the magically yet perfectly balanced Bhim Pakora, i.e. two huge stones positioned atop each other.
- Keep a date with history and national pride at the fascinating Darwan Singh Regimental Museum.
- Paying obeisance to Lord Shiva at the Siddha Peeth Tarkeshwar Mahadev Temple.
Visiting Uttarakhand will always be incomplete without traipsing up to Mussoorie, the Queen of Hills nestled amidst the Doon Valley and Shiwalik Ranges. From awe-inspiring colonial relics to delightful waterfalls and natural splendor, Mussoorie has something for everyone. Here’s what you shouldn’t miss here:
- Savor panoramic mountain views at Lal Tibba.
- Check out the enlivening natural wonder that is Lake Mist and the gurgling Kempty Falls.
- Reach the end point of Mussoorie, namely Cloud’s End and embark on a cable car ropeway ride till Gun Hill.
- Go paragliding or take the Nag Tibba Trek (not for the faint-hearted).
- Get fascinating insights into Himalayan ways of life and culture at the Soham Heritage & Art Center.
- Fill up your feed with delightful pictures alongside global political leaders and celebrities (alas only in wax but fun nonetheless!) at the K Dev Bhoomi Wax Museum.
Now that you’ve got all the deets on Uttarakhand’s best places to visit and regulations concerning the arrival of tourists, it is time to plan a much-needed trip that you’ve been putting off for a while now. Happy travelling!
Preeti Asri is a SEO Consultant in India. She has a hands-on experience of more than 10 years in SEO. It’s her passion to help online SMEs grow their business. Because she believes that her career graph is directly proportional to how much her clients’ businesses grow organically.