Uttarakhand is one of the recently formed Indian States, cut out from large Uttar Pradesh. It is bordered by Himachal Pradesh, another Indian State and China to the north, Nepal to the east, Haryana to the west and Uttar Pradesh to the south. It is popularly called the land of gods, at the foothills of the Himalayas. It attracts tourists from all over the world. There are lots of tourist destinations in Uttarakhand because of its scenic and religious significance.
The State of Uttarakhand is divided into two zones — Kumaon and Garhwal.
Most attractive tourist spots in Uttarakhand
Haridwar or Hardwar is situated along the right bank of the sacred Ganga and comprises one of the most popular Hindu pilgrimage sites. Haridwar is popularly called the ‘Gateway to gods’. The Ganga enters the north Indian plains here. Hindu pilgrims and devotees assemble at Hardwar to offer prayers on religions occasions. It also serves as a venue for the Kumbha Mela (every twelfth year). A trip to Hardwar is like venturing into a completely different world, where the sparkling waters of the Ganga, the calm and serene environment, steep mountains, saints offering prayers in ashrams — all form a wondrous panorama. Several temples and ashrams dot this town.
Dehradun nestled in the Doon Valley is a picturesque city with a mild climate. It is the capital of Uttarakhand.
Rishikesh is a famous religious town. The Shivalik Range of the Himalayers borders Rishikesh on three sides, which adds to the scenic beauty of this sacred place. It is the beginning point of Char Dham pilgrimage — Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath.
Mussoorie is a fascinating hill station. The important destinations of Mussoorie are Gun Hill, Camel’s Back Road, Jharipani Fall, Bhatta Fall, etc.
Ranikhet offers its visitors the best of the Himalayas including the snowcapped Nanda Devi (7,817 m) and lush green forests and wildlife.
Nanda Devi is the second-highest mountain in Uttarakhand, and the major attraction of Nanda Devi is trekking and Nanda Devi National Park.
Kumaon is a popular tourist destination with snowcapped mountains, valleys, glaciers, alpine meadows, lakes and forests.
Nainital is a beautiful hill station amidst the Kumaon Hills, which once served as the summer capital of the former United Province. Studded with lakes, it is termed “City of 60 Lakes’.
Vasuki Tal is one of the charming tourist spots. It is surrounded by the imposing and magnificent Himalayan mountain ranges and offers a spectacular view of the Chaukhamba peaks nearby.
Pancha Dharas is considered to be one of the most attractive tourist destinations. These represent an assemblage of five spectacular streams showered with emerald blue waters. Among them, the Bhrigudhara spans across a few exquisitely carved caves that will captivate you in a state of trance. There are many legendary stories that are carefully sealed inside the walls of the stupendous caves.
Gaumukh and Gangotri are special attractions for tourists. Gangotri glacier protrudes into the Gaumukh. The Bhagirathi river, which is a major tributary of Ganga, has originated from Gaumukh. Hindu pilgrims consider a dip into the ice-cold water of Gumukh very holy. Hence it has developed into one of the traditional Hindu pilgrim spots.
Yamunotri Temple is another tourist spot. There are some hot water springs near the Yamunotri Temple in Yamunotri and they flow into many pools. Surya Kund is the most important of them. It is so-called because the Yamuna is the mythological offspring of Surya or Sun.
The best times to visit the tourist spots in Uttarakhand are from March to May and September to October.