19 Offbeat Places To Visit in Uttarakhand

Known as Devbhumi, or the Land of the Gods, Uttarakhand is a place where there is immaculate natural magnificence and glorious pilgrimage sites. Carved out from the State of Uttar Pradesh some time ago, Uttaranchal, is a spot that not just brags of glimmering views of the Himalayas but is also a land of fairs and festivals where people live harmoniously with nature.

India is the home to one of the most intriguing places on the planet. Some of these places though are far less known to people. Uttarakhand is one such place which is abode to some beautiful and serene spots that could develop into flourishing tourist spots. You can do a lot of things in Uttarakhand. If you like Trekking you can go for Chandrashila trek, Kedarkantha trek.

If someone is interested in visiting temples then Uttarakhand is the best place to visit temples. Some people like doing adventurous sports. One can easily do Bunjee jumping in Uttarakhand as it has the India's largest Bunjee jumping. One can also have a thrilling river rafting experience. If some wants to visit a hill station they can definitely visits places like Mussorie and Dhanolti.

With oaks, birches, silver firs and rhododendrons decorating the precarious mountain slopes, Uttarakhand offers you a look into untainted, ideal tourist places, straight out of the pages of some old manuscript. Uttarakhand is the starting spot of the Ganga and the Yamuna, two of the most sacred rivers in India. Go to chaar dhaam yatra and feel the vibes there!

Uttarakhand is home to the Chota Char Dhams, which are four of the most sacred pilgrimage sites in India – Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. A large number of pilgrims visit Uttarakhand yearly to pay reverence to the Char Dhams along with Haridwar and Rishikesh.

Pleasing nature and picturesque landscapes in Uttarakhand invites every traveller to experience a perfect winter holiday. Uttarakhand is also widely perceived as a pilgrimage site because of the stunning temples it holds. The place offers exciting sights of majestic Himalayan ranges and the people live close to nature.

Hindu pilgrims flock the pious sites like Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath located in Uttarakhand. Lovely birds, craggy peaks, interesting people, delectable dishes all set to offer you a travel experience of a lifetime! Witness the snow sheathing the mountain peaks, mesmerized by the melodious chirping of birds, go on an arduous trek, gear up for the new enthralling adventures, and experience wildlife at Uttarakhand.

Uttarakhand is a land of god and if you are a person who loves to explore nature in its fullest form- well, visiting Uttarakhand should remain on the top of your list. Here, each step you will be taking will be filled with awwwn-ness, wow-ness, and oh my god- I can’t believe things. How about visiting Rishikesh for rafting! And the list is just never-ending. You visit any place and heaven lies in front of you.

Offbeat Places To Visit in Uttarakhand

Thus, even with all the commercialized places, Uttarakhand still has some offbeat places to offer its tourists.

1. Nainital

Nothing greets morning better than opening your curtains wide and seeing that blue peaked sky welcoming you to a new day. Nainital is the gateway of Kumaon also known as lake district of India and is a quaint village situated in the lush green Kumaon Hills of Uttarakhand. It truly defines what you call an offbeat place, with very less population in the village of about 250 people, you will feel more connected to the culture. The locals in the village are very helpful for any tourists visiting the village.

It gives you an added benefit of the breathtaking view of Kumaon Hills, with endless ranges in front of you. The village is situated near the famous hill station Nainital, taking you away from all the bustling noises of commercialized place into a peaceful journey of its own. There are a lot of things to do in Nainital.

Try to find a hotel in Tallital instead of Mallital and with minimum distance from the bus stand as it's the mid part of the whole area. There is no public transport there, you need to book a cab every time and they'll cost much more than your expectations. In evening you can roam around Mall road.

The Tibetan market of Nainital, also called Bhotia Market, is a go-to place for shoppers. There is a wide variety of winter wear, and the Tibetan food.

You can visit the local temples in village, or trek to the nearby hills to get a sight of mesmerizing sunset behind the hills of Uttarakhand. There is a zoo at the top of the mountains. You can also take a cab to reach there.

You can also visit Aarohi. There are homestays in the village. Famous for it's scenic beauty, salubrious climate, flora and fauna, there are plenty of tourist attraction in and out Nainital. You can add Jim Corbett, Ranikhet, Almora, Kausani and Binsar in your Nainital itinerary.

Naina Devi Temple is one of the most famous temple besides with a beautiful combination of hill and lake. There is a market near the temple, you would love to shop there. Ride in the Nainital ropeway, just 500 meters away, leading to the Snow View Point and witness the beautiful Himalayan snow-covered peak.

The cave garden is really a good place to visit. All surrounded by a different type of caves. There are six caves in the eco cave garden. Every cave has it's own charm. As it's a place in the mountains so you'll need to hike most of the time everywhere.

Now the seven tops consist of all tops excluding Nainital peak or China peak and tiffin top. You can't reach there by car. So the seven tops. Find a cab, you'll easily get that, all the brokers roam around the Mall road and everywhere. They'll cost you a maximum of 1000 INR and within 2 hpurs you'll get to see all tops including snow viewpoint, Himalaya view, sookha tal, suicide or lovers point, etc.

If you don't want to walk then you can also take a horse ride to reach the top. But if you're with a group or friends and want to enjoy the moment, just hike to the top. You'll enjoy doing that. A horse ride would cost you 800 per person.

As gifts or souvenirs you could purchase candles or wood work. You will find a variety of these in every shop around town. There are beer mugs, boats and all shapes and sizes not available anywhere else. Plan the trip in an optimum manner leaving time to visit the nearby towns like Bhimtal, Naukuchiatal, Kainchi dham and the others that are located just an hour away.

Do visit the Governor’s House which is a replica of Buckingham Palace. The guided tour through the estate is simply enthralling! There are certain varieties of plants that bloom only in this month. Plus collect the wood roses if you would like!

You could also visit The high altitude zoo, Snow View Point, Nanda Devi Mandir, Flats (the local market), the cave gardens and other points. Do take a ride of the rope way. What will be best is to book a cab for the day tell him your interest points and negotiate the price and time you would like to give to each place.

Among the local cuisine you must try the pahadi khana- dal chudkani, dum aloo and others. This will be available in any restaurant. You cannot miss the momos served in the Bhotia market (flats) and the thuppa too.

Bhowali is a gateway to many places in the Kumaon such as Almora and Bageshwar. The lakes nearby Bhowali are Bhimtal, Sattal, Naukuchiatal, Nal Damyanti Tal, Sukha Tal and Khurpa Tal. Bhowali is famous for its scenic grandeur and as a hill fruit market. It is located near Ghorakhal, known for Golu Devata temple.

Naukuchiatal is a gorgeous place where you can enjoy kayaking and other adventure activities and is approximately 303 km from New Delhi. Naukuchiatal, a little beautiful lake town is a goal for the individuals who look for solitude and serenity underneath the shade of unadulterated nature. As the name of the spot recommends, this spot is for the most part known for its nine cornered lake which measures up to 1 km long and 40 m profound.

Lying at some separation from clamoring slope station of Nainital, this spot is likewise appended to a legend. It is said that one look at all nine corners of lake with the two feet on the earth can influence the watcher to vanish into smoke to accomplish nirvana. The lake is bounded by the high and steep Naini peak on the North West side, by the Tiffin Top to the southwest side and snow view peaks on the north.

With numerous chances to restore your body and soul, Naukuchiatal is honored with extensively impressive environment and enamoring lake. The excellent climate consistently and a few attractions like lakes and sanctuaries makes a point to make your outing a flabbergasting knowledge.

2. Bhimtal

Bhimtal is a lake city named after Bhima, the magnetic legendary character of Mahabharata. Loved for its stylish excellence, Bhimtal gladly sits at a height of 1,370 meters above ocean level. This lake city is picking up ubiquity with every day as it is situated in the region of Nainital and highlights a portion of the stately inns that are relatively less expensive than that of Nainital.

Bhimtal is predominantly mainstream among the voyagers for the grand Bhimtal lake. You can do sailing in the lake and furthermore visit the island in the inside that must be gotten to through water crafts. Strolling around the slopes of Bhimtal is extremely prevalent as they are thick and are a perfect spot for winged creature viewing and photography.

You can likewise visit Garg Parvat which is the wellspring of waterway Gargi. Sattal Lake is another lake that vacationers can visit, yet it is less voyage. It fills in as a perfect spot for winged animal watching and is the home of numerous transitory fowls. While you are there you can likewise visit the Hidimba Parvat. You can trek up to the top. It is an exceptionally calming spot. Camping in fresh and greenery environment in the open is one of the best activities in Bhimtal.

3. Mukteshwar

Perfect place to have a breathtaking view of Himalayan peaks, head to Mukteshwar for a full day excursion. Located in the Kumaon hills, Mukteshwar is popular tourist destination. Look for the blessings in the Mukteshwar temple, which is an ancient temple located in a beautiful isolated place.

You can also visit the small church that is 75 years old and located on the side of the hill. In addition, you can enjoy a cable car ride up to the point of view of the snow. The small town of Mukteshwar is an easy drive from Delhi and is one of the most beautiful monsoon destinations in Uttarakhand. A rich bouquet of flowers, birds and variety of trees is a delight to watch.

Famous for its quaint cafes and the 360 view of the Himalayan range from the famous Mukteshwar temple top, Mukteshwar is a not too near or not too far destination from Delhi (approx 333 km from New Delhi). A river picnic or easy trek walk in the mountains with your camera will capture the most gorgeous views and memories.

4. Chaukori

Chaukori is a tiny hill station in the Pithoragarh district set among the lofty peaks of the western Himalayas. It is located about 10 km from Berinag, another small hill station. Very close to Chaukori, Jhaltola is a must to see birds and great views of the Himalayas of Kumaon. Chaukori is the home to endangered musk deer in the Musk Deer park in Mahruri about 5 to 10 Kms from Chaukori towards Bageshwar district.

The fragrant environment around these deer is inviting and peaceful. The tea gardens of Uttarakhand are less known but they produce quality tea and add to the serenity of this beautiful hill town.

5. Landour

Do you want to start 2021 with breathtaking views of the Himalayas and the Doon Valley? Landour, less than 6 hours drive from New Delhi, is pretty cool year round. The town which is made up of a series of crossroads on mountain ridges, is home to a cluster of writers and artists like Ruskin Bond too.

Take some steep walk up and down flinty trails in the bracing thin air, and then enjoy some peaceful contemplation eating momos and other Tibetan snacks, or tea and pastries, in Landour's many cafe's and resting stops. It’s great for rejuvenation, the outdoorsy souls, warm afternoons indoors, and cuddles from the resident doggos for pet lovers.

It’s also a cultural centre! What’s great about the location is that you can also explore the nearby Jabarkhet Nature Reserve, or enjoy a barbeque while stargazing among the deodar trees.

6. Chakrata

If nature is a chocochip cake, Chakrata in Uttarakhand is like your favorite piece of that cake. Dehradun and Mussoorie are so basic and are always flooded with tourists. If you are looking for an unexplored, less traveled destination, take a trip to Chakrata. Chakrata is one of the army cantonment stations in India. Tiger falls is 6 km from Chakrata.

Falling from 312 meters high, the water that gushes noisily between the hills producing the sound of a tiger's roar. Therefore, the name. There is a pool below the fall that you can consider as your natural Jacuzzi. The weather is pleasant in the summers. In winter, the hill station is flanked by snow.

Deoban, the Gods own Forest is where you can find exotic bird species such as the white-necked blackbird and the woodpeckers of the Himalayas. A walk through the woods gives you a true and peaceful atmosphere, and a time for contemplation. 15 minutes on foot through the dense forests will take you to the place where Rishi Vyas wrote the epic Mahabharata.

Budher caves remain unexploited to date. Exploring the cave would be your closest experience living as a caveman. Also known as the place of the Mioli caves, the only way to get to these caves is by trekking. Walk to the highest point of Chakrata, which is the neck of Chilmiri, and admire the magnificent views of the Himalayas.

Breathe your lungs with some fresh air as you walk to the point of Chilmiri Neck. Your reward will be the amazing view of the beautiful Bandarpoonch, Rohini and Swarg Peaks. Located on the banks of the Yamuna River, Kalsi is a historic city where the stone edicts of King Ashoka are present. The landscape is beautiful for a picnic. You can also fish in the river if you have a prior army permit.

7. Almora

Almora is one of the famous destinations in North India and this is a perfect place to plan your trip with your family, friends or loved ones. Almora is a small village located in the state of Uttarakhand. Its beauty of hills, snow-capped mountains and green valley can not be ignored. Almora gives you some stunning natural beauty, panoramic views of the Himalayas, tasty cuisine and rich cultural heritage.

8 km north of Almora, is the pleasant village of Kasar Devi. The cedar and rhododendron forest below the modest temple of Kasar Devi is nicknamed hippieland by some of the locals. Stop to visit the Kainchi Dham Ashram, where Steve Jobs stayed many years for his meditation and introspection practices.

8. Ranikhet

Ranikhet is the queen of Kumaon Hills. Definitely Ranikhet is worth visiting as the place has a lot to offer with a variety of flora and fauna surrounded by the mountains. One can find really great spots for a beautiful view of nature. It’s a perfect place to enjoy nature and relax. Ranikhet reflects the best of the celestial Himalayas.

Its lush green forests, majestic mountain peaks, exotic plants and attractive wildlife. To see the nature and the elements in total harmony of the Himalayas the right place is Ranikhet. One can experience the traditional life of the people by visiting a small yet beautiful village Manila.

Manila is well known for its beauty as the views get better and better with the size of hills increasing as you climb up towards Manila. There are many villages in Manila that are well connected by roads but it is quite challenging for people to trek up the hills and reach to the destination.

This place is a great place to go birding for the beginner and expert. It would be a steep climb at first through dense pine and oak forests. The trail meanders through the Shitlakhet market, though it is the most convenient way to approach this sanctuary and to go around is to walk trough from Chaubatiya or from Kakrighat.

One of the best excursions that can be done on a weekend morning is the hike to the Syahi Devi temple, a natural and cultural wonder. Through the jungle you will sometimes see views of the valley. Then, you reach a small plateau that is the location of the Syahi Devi temple. The walk ends at the temple with views of the Himalayas.

The temple was one of the places where Vivekananda meditated while on his own journey through the Himalayas. It is one of the quietest places you will find and a great place to enjoy a game of chess!

The best time to visit Ranikhet is from March-October as the weather remains pleasant in the summers. From November to February, the place becomes really cold because of the snowfall in the winter months.

9. Binsar

Binsar is a small town in Uttarakhand known for the snow-laden Himalayan peaks and shady dense forest. Binsar is located at a distance of 33 km from Almora, 95 km from Nainital and 40 km from New Delhi. If you have booked a rest house in KMVN, you will be staying very close to wildlife sanctuary, as you will feel the moist air laden with alpine fragrance.

At an impressive altitude of 2420 m, it is one of the most scenic spots in the Kumaon Himalayas filled with oak, pine and deodar trees. It is home to beautiful green meadows and is a trekker’s paradise. The forest is home to oak, chir pine, rhododendron and deodar trees. The trees are so dense that it seems to be whispering the secrets of the universe.

Watching sunset is a must experience activities. It requires a short trek of 2 km to reach the zero point. As you start to trek you will feel as you have entered into a abundance of deep dense and majestic plant life. The trees look like the towers of the forest, ageless as they seem to touch the sky their roughness had been worn down by the soft greenness of moss.

The multitude sounds in the jungle is created by the playful birds twittering and flying from tree to tree and the crimson and orange leaves of the forest floor composed a rustling sound as your feet go shuffling through the leaves. While getting mesmerized in the pleasures of the forest, you will reach the zero point.

Zero point inside the sanctuary offers scintillating views of the snow capped Himalayan ranges of Kedarnath Peak, Shivling, Trishul and Nanda Devi! The Kumaon Himalaya ranges includes Nanda Devi, Kedarnath, Trishul, Nanda kot and Panchchuli. Here you will be enthralled to see the red sun fall below horizon casting it's divine magic into the woods. Your heart will lament as you leave the forest.

The night is fairly glamorized by the heaven full of silent stars. The forest and darkness seems to be each other's admirer, where a sense of affection prevails. The dawn puts a imprint on the campaign of the sun in the sky. The first sun rays kisses the peaks of Trishul turning into bleak golden, actually promising to turn from fine coppery into purest yellow, watching this modest spectacular event you are bound for aesthetic appreciation of the peak.

The lower passes has a cover of greenery, the peaks are embellished with ice, without a word passing between them, creating a land of green and cold virgins. A part from the charming solitude corners, include the temples dedicated to Shiva. Binsar is a beautiful hill town near the city of Almora which is also home to the Binsar Mahadeva temple. Bineshwar Mahadev Temple was built in 16th cehtury.

The Gananath temple lies amidst the natural caves situated around 25 km away from Binsar.

Binsar is the home to Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary for preserving several endangered endemic species of flora and fauna. Binsar wildlife sanctuary located in the Himalayas on the Jhandi Dhar hills, is known for the rarest of the species of animals, birds, butterflies and exotic flora. It is also home to many wild animals such as leopard, Himalayan black bear, jackal, Indian red fox but they can be seen occasionally.

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, is a must-visit place. It is a reserved habitat for a myriad of flora and fauna. It is home to the rarest species of animals, birds and butterflies. These include the state bird of Uttarakhand, the beautiful vibrant Monal.

It's rich forests and quiet atmosphere make it the perfect tourist destination, however, it is still unheard of by most.

Binsar, is known for its exotic bird population and staying there gives you the opportunity to experience some bird watching. Pack your bags for a fascinating time in Binsar, which is also very famous as a bird sanctuary. Get uninterrupted views of the Himalayas, an interesting insight into the life of the Kumaon hills and enjoy nights of stargazing.

And if it gets too foggy to look at the stars, light a fire, curl up in a blanket, take a book and sleep in the heat of the Himalayas. No wordplay here. Binsar is a place to unwind and give your worn soul that much needed rest with a promise to yourself to be back again into this serenity.

Binsar is nothing less than a paradise for nature lovers to see birds and live in solitude and cool place. One can reach Binsar from Almora by taxi. There you can experience snowfall several times in winter during the months of November to January. From here a wide range of Himalayas can be seen. In addition to the KMVN Tourist Rest House in Binsar Century, there are a few retreats, resorts, guest houses.

Tourists coming to Binsar - also like to stay in hotels outside the sanctuary. Hotels, resorts, guest houses of every budget is available in the places Paparasaili and Kasar Devi. Kasar Devi near Binsar is also a very beautiful place. Trekking, hiking, village walk, photography, bird watching can also be enjoyed in Binsar.

10. Auli

Nestled in the lap of Himalayas, Auli is gorgeous hill-station in Garhwal, Uttarakhand. It is a perfect winter destination for people coming from metros. Found yourself in the vicinity of snow-capped mountain peaks like Nanda Devi and Mana Parvat. If you’re out for adventure, Auli will never disappoint you rather it might surprise you with its offerings.

Go to Auli and try skating. Auli, also known as Auli Bhugyal is a hill station in the Chamoli district of the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand and is a winter wonderland! The perfect spot for skiing and camping! You can embark on Gurso Bugyal trek which is a 3kms trek from Auli, a land of green pastures and panoramic views of coniferous trees and oak trees. You can also trek to Chattarkund, 1 km from Gurso Bugyal known for its sweet water in the middle of a dense forest!

Get ready for some adventure in Auli this winter. Auli is a stunning hill station in Uttarakhand and an ideal weekend getaway from Gurgaon. If the words camping in the wild, trekking and skiing makes you feel thrilled and excited, you need to head towards this fabulous little town of Auli on a weekend. It is amidst the snowcapped hills and mountains that you will get over all the stress, anxiety about travel and tiredness from those long working hours.

Get allured by the spectacular sunrise. Go on a trek to Nanda Devi Peak, the second highest peak in the country through the not-so-wide pathways and catching the amazing sight of the Himalayan ranges. At night, spend quality time with your group around a campfire. Every corner of this amazing place is blissful and charming for an onlooker.

At 10,000 feet altitude, 3 km from tower 10, the last one for the ropeway originating from Joshimath lies the Gorson Bugyal amidst the tall ranges of Garhwal Himalayas. Quite popular for the trekkers since this is on the way to Kunwari pass a popular trekking destination. This amazing meadow is covered with snow during the winter.

As the temperature rises the field is slowly unleashed, nature then stitches it with green grass and then it is perfectly ready to offer you a Green carpet welcome. This place is easily accessible by foot if you stay at Upper Auli or reach the last tower by cable car. Else one can hire a horse for Rs 1000 (to and fro charges).

The dense pine forest on the way to Gorson is a bonus on this route. A beautiful temple in the solitary of pine woods is always there to welcome the tourists. The adventure freak crowd loves Auli only in winter but believe it or not this amazing hill station has so much to offer even in summer especially for someone who loves greenery on the hills and enjoys solitary.

Auli is one of the best places to visit during winter and summer. This place is extremely cold in winter, and is considered ideal for enjoying the natural beauty and for adventurous activities. One can experience snowfall several times between November and February. It is a wonderful destination for those who like to enjoy skiing, camping, trekking and plan their holiday in a cool place.

Tourists can also stay in Joshimath. Hotel fares are less in Joshimath than in Auli. Joshimath to Auli can also be accessed by ropeway cable car. Currently, the fare for the round trip to is 1000 rupees and takes 10-12 minutes to reach Auli by cable car. During winter there is extreme cold in high altitude places in Uttarakhand like Auli so keep heavy warm clothes, shawls, thermal wear with you.

Enter a hotel or lodge before dusk. The temperature often drops below zero. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast you shouldn’t miss the opportunity of camping in Auli. Nestled in the hills these camps offer surrounding views of mountains.

And if you’re not an adventure person. Utilize this opportunity to visit Vishnuprayag. It is one of the Panch Prayag named after Vishnu. There is a beautiful Vishnu temple there which you can visit and take blessings. It is 20 km from Auli and can be reached by cab. Visit back to Joshimath on the same day for overnight stay.

11. Joshimath

Visit Joshimath and feel how it feels to see god from such closeness. Bhavishya badri or the future Badrinath is one among the Panchabadri temples of Garwhal himalayas. lt is situated at an altitude of 9000 feet above and is 18 kms from Joshimath temple in Subhain village. A moderate 6 km trek through amid dense forest, along the Dhauli ganga river leads to this temple in Nithi valley.

Chamoli is popularly known as the abode of Gods. Besides, it's also known as the valley of flowers. Renowned for its holy places, sanctuaries, and associations with Indian folklores and stories. The spot is visited by millions of visitors for its towns and rich Garhwali traditional. Chamoli is that perfect excursion spot with something for everybody. It is a perfect melange of the journey, excursion, and spiritual peacefulness.

The closest air terminal is Jolly Grant which is about 222 km away. The closest railway station is at Rishikesh. It is linked with several other urban areas like Rudraprayag, Srinagar, and Pauri.

12. Rudraprayag

As a break from the days you can enjoy an interesting session of yoga and meditation classes in the morning in Devprayag, where the rivers Alaknanda and Bhagirathi meet in the Ganga. After having breakfast you can go on a city tour to Rudraprayag where we can visit Guptakashi and Mahadev Koteshwar Temple. Also visit the local markets and get to know the life of the people in Rudraprayag.

13. Munsyari

Munsyari is picture-perfect village that is located up high in the remote corner of Kumaon Region of Uttarakhand. It is almost 520 Km away from Delhi. Also, known as “Little Kashmir” this place offers a panoramic view of famous Panchachuli Range which is the group of Five Himalayan Peaks. Best month to experience snowfall is January and February.

As winters are not the peak time of tourism in Munsyari, hence this place can be enjoyed at its best during this time. Okay, if you are a person who wants to see if tigers are real, Jim Corbett is your destination. Start the tour with a wildlife safari and a stay in the Corbett National Park. Then you can visit the Corbett museum in Kaladhungi as well.

Corbett, is the perfect chance to satiate your appetite. No crowds, no worries, just you and the flowing Ramganga river before you to wash your concerns away. Sit back with a book in the cool, mud-walled open verandahs, or go for an early morning walk in the woods. Pack your bags for a long weekend, and drop us a call to get a hold of this environmentalist home before it’s gone - so you can enjoy some much needed forest bathing, cool laps in the river, organic food, and memorable fireside chats.

Arrive at Nainital. Go on a horse tour around Nainital.

Depart to the small and picturesque city of Munsyari, a small town in the picturesque Pithoragarh district, with beautiful Panchchuli peaks with views. Trek to Upper Khaliya, located at 11,500 feet. Munsiari, is a great attraction for trekkers, photographers, adventure sports lovers and peace seekers. The mesmerizing sight of sunrise and sunset in the mountains will surely rekindle your love.

Walk along the Gori Ganga River, part of the Milam glacier. Here you will have the opportunity to enjoy reel fishing.

14. Pangoot

Leave for Pangot, 15 kms from Nainital, for a nature walk along the Kilsbury point.

15. Kausani

Then drive to Kausani - a beautiful place situated in the Bageshwar district. Kausani is famous for its scenic beauty, snow-clad peaks, misty valleys, and pine forests. Visit the famous temples in Kausani like Someshwar temple, Rudrahari Mahadev temple, Baijnath temple, and Kot Bhramari Temple. Take a tour of the famous ashrams like Anasakti or Gandhi Ashram and Lakshami Ashram.

Also, check out Sumitranandan Pant Gallery which opens from 10.30 am to 4.30 pm and the ticket is just for 10 INR per person. You can take a trek to Rudrahari falls which is quite engrossing and thrilling through thick and plush pine woods. There are many exciting adventure sport like rock climbing, mountain biking, and rappelling. Shop at Mall road and later you can dine at a restaurant.

16. Kanatal

A series of narrow, zigzag streets surrounded by pines, cedars and rhododendrons fragrant trees lead to Kanatal, located 44 km from Mussoorie at an altitude of 8,500 feet. I go through the magnificent hills of Mussoorie and Chamba. It bears the name of Lake Kanatal, which for the locals is supposed to have once existed there.

A short excursion through the unexplored land of Kanatal takes me through apple orchards, pine forests and musk deer, wild boar and Kakar of Kodia Jungle. At 35 km from Kanatal, at the confluence of two rivers, Bhagirathi and Bhilangana, is the magnificent Tehri Dam.

17. Chopta

Another destination in Garhwal is Chopta. Chopta is about 105 km from Auli. Located at about 2,650 meters high is Chopta, in the Garhwal region. Chopta is located in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand and is well known as a base point for a walk to Tunganath temple and further to Chandrashila peak. Ukhimath is located 31 KM from Chopta, where the deity of Kedarnath moves in winters. There are local temples of Usha and Anirudh, Shiva and Parvati.

It is a beautiful natural picturesque hill destination to enjoy the cool weather and is ideal for trek lovers. Chopta is more than 70 kilometres away from Rudraprayag, while the Google map shows this distance less than 25 kilometres.

If you search distance from Tungnath instead of Chopta, you will get more accurate information however Tungnath is not connected to motorable road, and you have to trek from Chopta for 4 to 5 kilometres to reach there. Chopta is 29 km from Ukimath and 180 km from Rishikesh. Unlike the hustle and bustle of urban life - common life here runs at a normal pace.

It is an ideal place to live in peace. You can trek Tungnath and Chandrashila from Chopta. The Tungnath temple is closed in winter. There are many camping sites to stay in Chopta. Bring warm clothes with you in winter.

18. Sankri

Sankri, located in high hills in Uttarkashi District of Uttarakhand, is on the way to Har Ki Doon trek. Buses leave from Dehradun to Sankri from the Hill Bus Station near Dehradun Railway Station. Buses leave early in the morning at 5:30 AM, 6:30 AM and 7:30 AM. Sankri is not just an ordinary hill station. It is located in high hills, and is conneted by roads that have steep gradient and you are always near a deep gorge or a high cliff.

Also, do not be misled by the shorter travel time (by car) shown by the Google Maps and the travel websites. Travelling in hilly roads takes more time. You just can’t exceed the speed limit of say 20 to 25 KM per hour. Higher speed in high hills is highly risky. So, just do not venture out without proper guidance even if you have your own car. It is always better to employ a trained driver, to hire a local driver who knows the route.

19. Askot

Askot is a village in the Pithoragarh district. Askote is not only one of the pitstops as it moves towards the Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage, it is also home to one of the rare deer species. Askot is known for its Askot Musk Deer, which is a must see.

A turquoise coloured river flow boisterously down the valley, with deodar trees decking up the slope, providing a shade of green to the otherwise barren mountains of Nelang Valley. The river is called Jadh Ganga. It flows from the glaciers of Nelang valley, which is one of the most beautifully kept secret of Uttarakhand and it continues to be a secret, for even with a permit you can’t venture much into the barren terrain, which resembles closely to the high altitude regions of Spiti.

You can safely call that Spiti of Uttarakhand, and this river as Spiti river of Uttarakhand, but then it’ll take its own unique identity, of how this river flows with a history of thousand years, about the old trade routes of Bhotia people, where traders from as far as Mongolia would arrive with their yaks to the holy lands of Uttarakhand, where now stands Indo-Tibet border and numerous army camps.

But the river, least bothered about the human tensions, flows through these beautiful valleys, singing its own songs, donning its own colours, and if you happen to look at it, just don’t mistake yourself for a bird and take a leap to fly away. Instead, just stand there, and fold your hands at this marvel of nature.
Kalyan Panja