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Rolling hills Uttaranchal
Written by Amitabh Das on May 15, 2020 Share on

Top 15 Awesome Places to Visit in Uttarakhand that should be on your list in 2020!

Mountains, mist, and wonderful people, surely are the first things that come to mind when you think about a vacation in the magical Uttarkhand. There are a lot of scenic Places to Visit in Uttarakhand which is bound to lift your senses and see nature in its purest form. It boasts of some of the most visited tourist places in the laps of majestic Himalayas. Offering a plethora of options for getting closer to nature, this place never fails to impress travellers from all age groups. Flanked by snow-covered peaks and picture-perfect alpine meadows, the destination attracts tourists from near and far alike. From practising some rejuvenating Yoga along the banks of holy Ganges in a Rishikesh Ashram and to trekking alongside the locals in the shadow of the snow-capped mountain peaks up north, Uttarkhand has a variety of unique experiences to offer for everyone.

Beautiful hills in Uttarakhand
The rolling hills (Credits: Pixabay)

True to its testimony the myriad places in Uttaranchal has inspired many visitors and connoisseurs alike. Arguably the most famous among them was “The Beatles”, one of the most successful contemporary bands in recent history who spent a considerable amount of time in Rishikesh and the inspiration rightly came out in their music!

We wrote about thirty new songs between us. Paul must have done about a dozen. George says he’s got six, and I wrote fifteen.

John Lennon after his stay in Rishikesh Ashram

Interesting enough?
So before your start listening to your favourite Beatles track, we have curated a list of 15 amazing places to choose from for your next visit to nature’s paradise and give you a much deserving break from the lull of city life.

Top 15 places to visit in Uttarakhand in 2020

  • Mussoorie – Quaint mountain getaway
  • Nainital- Relax by the lake!
  • Haridwar – The land of gods
  • Rishikesh – Yoga and Rafting!
  • Dehradun – the bustling capital
  • Gangotri – Mouth of the holy Ganges
  • Ranikhet – Meadows and Hills
  • Dhanaulti – Camping and adventure
  • Jim Corbett – up close with the big cats
  • Bhimtal – Romance along the serene lake
  • Kausani – Serene hill station with majestic views
  • Mukteshwar – An adventure getaway
  • Joshimath – Spirituality in the quaint hills
  • Badrinath – Holy shrine of Lord Vishnu
  • Valley of flowers – A visual feast for flora lovers

1. Mussoorie – The quaint mountain getaway

View of mountains from Mussoorie most popular Places to Visit in Uttarakhand.
A snow-capped view of Mussorie mountains (Credits: Rajesh Mishra)

Nestled among the misty hills near to the capital, its an ideal quick getaway for travellers to escape the urban chaos quickly. The scenic town aptly called the “queen of the hills” was the most favoured hill station of Late PM Indira Gandhi. Apart from just leisure, the town also offers some nearby sightseeing spots like the Kempty falls, Sir George Everest house, company gardens to name a few. Very well connected from Dehradun by a scenic mountain road, you can also expect a fair share of snow here in the months of January and early February. It is surely among the best Places to Visit in Uttarakhand.

Best time for visiting: Except monsoons, can visit anytime in the year
Ideal duration of stay: 1-3 nights.
Things to do: Stroll along the mall road, visit the town library, Kempty falls, Company gardens
Suited for: Couples, families, friends group, elderly people.
Accessibility from: A 5 hrs drive from Delhi or an hour from Dehradun. The nearest airport/railway head is Dehradun.
Popular Places to stay: The town has hotels to suit every budget from standard to luxury. Our recommendation: Country Inn, Sterling resorts, Royal orchid forest resort, Walnut Grove resort, Crystal Palace, The Savoy

2. Nainital- Just relax by the lake one of the most popular places to visit in Uttarakhand.

One of the most popular destinations in Uttaranchal, Nainital is an ideal getaway for couples and families alike. This makes Nainital one of the Best Places to Visit in Uttarakhand Nestled in the heart of mountains besides a scenic lake, people from near and far throng this scenic town in search of some peace amidst the noise. The small town has lots to offer in terms of stay and experiences with lots of things to do for people of all ages.

A beautiful view of Naini lake - popular among the Places to Visit in Uttarakhand.
Naini lake (Credits: Visha | Wikimedia Commons)

Best time for visiting: From March to June and also during Aug – Oct.
Ideal duration of stay: 2-3 nights.
Things to do: Take a brisk walk along the lake and the mall, boating in Naini lake, check out GB pant Zoo, one among the few high altitude zoos in India, take the ropeway to Snow viewpoint, visit Tiffin top, Naina Devi temple
Suited for: Couples, families, friends group, elderly people.
Accessibility from: A 7 hrs drive from Delhi, the nearest railhead is Kathgodam (an hour’s drive). A regional airport Pantnagar is an hours drive but has limited connectivity to domestic network.
Popular Places to stay: Lakeside Inn, The palace Belvedere, Sterling Nainital, The Pavilion, Hotel Himalaya, Cygnett Resort Mountain Breeze

3. Haridwar – The land of gods

Aptly translating as the doorway to god, Haridwar is one of the most important and sacred pilgrimage centres by the bank of holy Ganges river. Famous for the famed Ganga Arati which adorns its banks very evening at Har ki Pauri, the ancient town finds its place in various sacred scriptures and Vedas. The vibes of the town will surely lift your spirituality and senses during a short visit, This town is also a gateway to many other scenic destinations further in the Himalayas.

Evening Ganga Aarti at Haridwar
Ganga Aarti at Har-ki-paur (Credits: Sutirtha Das)

Best time for visiting: All round the year
Ideal duration of stay: 2-3 nights.
Things to do: Indulge in an evening arati, visit Har ki Pauri ghat, visit Chandi Devi and Mansa Devi temple, Go for Ziplining and waterfall rappelling.
Suited for: Couples, families, friends group, elderly people.
Accessibility from: 5 hours from Delhi by road, Haridwar has also a railway station. The nearest air connectivity is from Dehradun, and hour and a half away.
Popular Places to stay: Ambrosia Sarovar Portico Hotel, Radisson BLU Hotel Haridwar, Hotel Golden Tulip Haridwar, Ganga Lahari by Leisure Hotels, Haveli Hari Ganga by Leisure Hotels

4. Rishikesh – Yoga and Rafting! ranking high among the places to Visit in Uttarakhand.

The Yoga capital of World, Rishikesh is well known for several of its ashram and rejuvenation centres. It is also an adventurer’s paradise owing to the formation of a number of rapids along the Ganges, which paves way for a world-class river rafting experience. You can choose to stay in the numerous riverside camps along the Ganges. The temperate climate all year round makes it a perfect getaway for people looking to seek spirituality and some adventure along the way. This makes Rishikesh one of the top Places to Visit in Uttarakhand.

View of Laxman Jhula in Rishikesh
View of Rishikesh (Credits: Pixabay)

Best time for visiting: All round the year for its Ashrams, September to June for rafting
Ideal duration of stay: 2-3 nights.
Things to do: White water rafting, nature camping, go for a spiritual retreat and practice some transcendental meditation, Laxman Jhula, Ram Jhula, Triveni ghat visit
Suited for: Couples, families, friends group, elderly people.
Accessibility from: 5 hours from Delhi by road, Haridwar has also a railway station. The nearest air connectivity is from Dehradun, and hour and a half away.
Popular Places to stay: Ambrosia Sarovar Portico Hotel, Radisson BLU Hotel Haridwar, Hotel Golden Tulip Haridwar, Ganga Lahari by Leisure Hotels, Haveli Hari Ganga by Leisure Hotels.

5. Dehradun – the bustling capital

One of the most beautiful capital cities in India and places to Visit in Uttarakhand¬†, Dehradun is on the foothills of Himalayas and is home to many famous national institutes and schools. Certainly, It has a rich tradition of being the nerve centre of knowledge and education. As a result It houses numerous institutes of national repute like the Indian military academy and National forest research institute which are also architecturally aesthetic. Also, there are lots of popular getaways in the vicinity of the city like Robber’s cave, Malsi deer park, Sahastradhara etc to name a few. Most importantly, the city is well connected to other popular tourist destinations inside the state by roadways.

FRI dehradun view from front side
Forest Research Institute in Dehradun (Credits: Torarne | Wikimedia Commons)

Best time for visiting: All round the year. The summers from May to August might get really hot
Ideal duration of stay: 1-2 nights.
Things to do: Robber’s cave, Nature Park, visit the Forest Research Institute, visit the Tapkeshwar Temple, go shopping in the Tibetian market
Suited for: Couples, families, friends group, elderly people.
Accessibility from: 4-5 hours from Delhi by road, Dehradun is served by Jolly Grant airport and also has a railway station.
Popular Places to stay: Lemon Tree Hotel, Hotel Saffron Leaf, The Solitaire, Red Fox Hotel, Palette – Ida, Regenta LP Vilas Dehradun, Walterre Resort

6. Gangotri – Mouth of the holy Ganges

One of the most sacred sites of Hinduism, the Gangotri is home to the shrine of highest temple in river Ganga which is revered as the holiest river in India. Also, located at an altitude of 3100 meters, the Ganga river is believed to be descended here from the locks of the hair of Lord Shiva for the penance of King Bhagirath. Above all, this is one of the Char Dhams and a revered pilgrimage for Hindus from centuries. The climate is cold but pleasant in the summers which is the ideal time to visit. The region receives heavy snowfalls during the winters and the whole town is shut down during that time.

Gaumukh site at Gangotri Glacier, a holy pilgrimage among Places to Visit in Uttarakhand.
Gaumukh at Gangotri (Credits: Atarax|Wikimedia Commons)

Best time for visiting: April to June and September
Ideal duration of stay: 1-2 nights.
Suited for: Couples, families (without kids), friends group
Things to do: Pay homage at Gangotri temple, trek to Kedar Tal, trek to Gaumukh, visit Harsil for its apple orchards
Accessibility from: 10 hrs from Dehradun by cabs. Dehradun is the nearest air/railhead.
Popular Places to stay: Prakriti The Retreat, Dev Darshan, Hotel Neelkanth Palace, The Goat Village, Dayara Bugyal, Nelangana Resorts, Mountain Village Stay – Dharali Heights

7. Ranikhet – Meadows and Hills

A serene cantonment town in the Almora district, its is the perfect place to escape the summer heat. The town has a rich history of its own, as it was a contender for British India summer capital along with Shimla due to its comfortable temperate climate and unparalleled mountain views of the Kumaon Himalayas. The town was also briefly ruled by the Nepalese kings in the pre-British era. It is one of the upcoming Places to Visit in Uttarakhand.

Ranikhet after a mild snowfall in winters
Ranikhet in Winters (Credits: Imasmo|Wikimedia commons)

Best time for visiting: February to November, the region receives mild to moderate rainfall in the monsoon season. Jan – Feb – Can be visited in winters also to experience mild to moderate snowfall
Ideal duration of stay: 2-3 nights.
Suited for: Couples, families, friends group
Things to do: Visit the Golf course, Kumaon Regimental centre museum, Visit Chaubatia Orchard, Jhula Devi temple, visit Kakila village, visit the sunset point.
Accessibility from: 9-10 hrs by road from Delhi, the nearest railhead is Kathgodam 3 hours by car.
Popular Places to stay: Woodsvilla Resort Ranikhet, WelcomHeritage Windsor Lodge, TAG Resorts Queens Meadows, Summit Stonewood Hotel, Parwati Retreat

8. Dhanaulti – Camping and adventure

Tucked in the Garhwal Himalayas, Dhanaulti is an upcoming popular winter hill station as it gets a mild cover of snow during the colder months. The place is good to visit at another time of the year also owning to its mild temperate climate. Also, a lot of adventure activities are available to choose from in the region like river crossing, rock climbing, the overnight camp stays, short nature treks etc. Also Recently, there are a lot of specialised nature and adventure camps in the region like Dhanaulti adventure park and apple orchard resort.

Lush green Meadows in Dhanaulti - adventure location among the Places to Visit in Uttarakhand.
Scenic meadows in Dhanaulti (Credits: Alok Prasad | Wikimedia Commons)

Best time for visiting: September to June
Ideal duration of stay: 2-3 nights.
Suited for: Couples, families, friends group
Things to do: Visit Eco-park, Surkanda Devi Temple, Visit the Potato farm, an unusual experience, Camp Thangdhar and Dhanaulti adventure park for adventure activities
Accessibility from: 7-8 hrs by road from Delhi and 2-3 hrs from Dehradun, the nearest air/railhead is Dehradun.
Popular Places to stay: Junglee Camps & Resort, Silver Dew Resorts, Ransuli Resort, Hotel Mount View Dhanaulti Dreamz, Groove Garden.

9. Jim Corbett – up close with the big cats

One of the best national parks in India to experience wildlife and nature in its raw form, this park spans a huge area and is home to many endangered forms of flora and fauna. So, this was the first national conservation effort in India to protect wildlife and preserve the rich ecosystem inside the national park. Also, Corbett surely ranks top among the Places to Visit in Uttarakhand. The park is named after the famous British hunter turned conversationalist Sir Jim Corbett who dedicated his later part of life to protect the rich wildlife. There are a variety of Eco-friendly activities that can be done in an around the park vicinity, with great emphasis on sustainable tourism.

Bengal tiger spotting in Jim Corbett
A lone tiger at Jim Corbett (Credits: Rito|Wikimedia Commons)

Best time for visiting: November to February when all the zones are open, can be visited throughout the year too
Ideal duration of stay: 2-3 nights.
Suited for: Couples, families, friends group
Things to do: Go for a wildlife jeep or elephant safari, Elephant ride, Visit Corbett waterfall, Corbett Museum, Dhikala complex,
Accessibility from: 5-6 hrs by road from Delhi, Dehradun is the nearest airport/railhead about 150 km away
Popular Places to stay: Corbett river creek, Sterling Corbett, Wild luxury Jim Corbett, The Riverview Retreat by Leisure Hotels, The Solluna Resort, Jim’s Jungle Retreat, Tag Resorts The Banyan Retreat, Upvan Wildlife Resort – Pura Stays

10. Bhimtal – Romance along the serene lake hidden gem among the places to Visit in Uttarakhand.

An alternate destination to the famed Nainital, this serene lake town has gained popularity recently owing to its less commercial and less crowded offbeat atmosphere. Also, apart from being situated at an altitude of 1370 metres, it has a small island in the centre which houses an aquarium. The quaint town is flanked on all sides by rich vegetation which comprises of evergreen Pines, Rhododendrons and Oak forests which further increases the charm of the beautiful hill station.

View of romantic Bhimtal lake
Bhimtal lake (Credits: Animesh|Wikimedia Commons)

Best time for visiting: From March to June and also during Aug – Oct.
Ideal duration of stay: 1-2 nights.
Suited for: Couples, families, friends group, elderly people
Things to do: Take a stroll along the lake, Visit the 17th-century Bhimeshwara temple, Victoria dam, The aquarium on Bhimatal island, Hidimba parvat.
Accessibility from: A 7-8 hrs drive from Delhi, the nearest railhead is Kathgodam (an hour’s drive). A regional airport Pantnagar is an hours drive but has limited connectivity to domestic network.
Popular Places to stay: Mapple cottage, Fishermen’s Lodge, Van Vilas Resort Bhimtal, Fern Hillside Resort Bhimtal, Panambi Resort Naukauchiatal, Sea Hawk Hill Resort Bhimtal.

11. Kausani – Serene hill station with majestic views

A hidden gem in the lesser Himalayas, this scenic hill station was named “Switzerland of India” by Mahatma Gandhi. Also, rightly to its fame, this small hill station gives does provides stunning unobstructed views of the Greater Himalayan range with its majestic peaks like Trishul, Nanda Devi, Panchchuli shimmering with its snow-clad peaks at a distance. Densely forested with lush green coniferous trees, it is becoming a very popular summer getaway for tourists who are looking at alternates from the more well-known hill stations making it a hidden gem among the Places to Visit in Uttarakhand.Do ask for a mountain view room when you are planning to stay in this beautiful town.

View of Trishul and Nanda Devi peaks from Kasauni
View of Trishul and Nanda Devi peaks from Kasauni (Credits: Sanjoy|Wikimedia Commons)

Best time for visiting: Throughout the year except monsoons, April to June for the glimpse of peaks, Mild to moderate snowfall from Late December to February
Ideal duration of stay: 3-4 nights.
Suited for: Couples, families, friends group
Things to do: Rudradhari Falls, Gwaldham, Bajinath temple, Kasauni tea estate
Accessibility from: A 11-12 hrs drive from Delhi, the nearest railhead is Kathgodam (4-5 hour’s drive). The nearest airport is Pantnagar – 4-5 hours drive.
Popular Places to stay: Heritage Resort Kausani, Chevron Eco Lodge, Pratiksha Himalayan Retreat, Sun n Snow Inn by Leisure Hotels, Stars & Pines.

12. Mukteshwar – An adventure getaway

Situated at an altitude of 2171 metres, in the Kumaon Himalayas, Mukhteshwar is an idyllic hill station and a nature lover’s paradise. Secondly, surrounded by beautiful evergreen vegetation, this small village can be reached by a pleasurable drive through the meadows and lush green forests and orchards. It surely is an ideal place to stay in a nature camp and provide ample options for adventure seekers like rock climbing, rappelling and adventure hikes.

View of peaks from Mukhteshwar, hidden gems among the Places to Visit in Uttarakhand.
View of peaks from Mukhteshwar (Credits: Sanjoyg|Wikimedia Commons)

Best time for visiting: Throughout the year except monsoons, March to July, Mild snowfall from Late December to February
Ideal duration of stay: 2-3 nights.
Suited for: Couples, families, friends group
Things to do: Bhalu Gaad waterfalls, Kapileshwar temple trail, Chauli ki Jali for adventure sports, Mukteshwar Dham Temple
Accessibility from: A 8-10 hrs drive from Delhi, the nearest railhead is Kathgodam (2 hours drive). The nearest airport is Pantnagar – 2-3 hours drive.
Popular Places to stay: The Moksh Eco Inn, Ojaswi Himalayan Resort, Chirping Orchard, Mukteshwar, Casa Dream – The Resort

13. Joshimath – Spirituality in the quaint hills

The gateway to several treks and pilgrimage in the greater Himalayan region, Joshimath is a religious town which houses the Lord Badri in the winter months when the idol is brought down from the Badrinath temple. Also, It is one of the major pilgrimage gateway from the Places to Visit in Uttarakhand. It is also a scenic hamlet and the starting point for many treks, further in the greater Himalayan belt. Ideal for a short stay before and after coming down from the higher reaches of Himalayas, the place offers a full-fledged market and also is the starting point of some scenic nature treks.

View of Joshimath town in the backdrop of mighty peaks
View of Joshimath town (Credits: Wikimedia Commons)

Best time for visiting: April to November except for the monsoon months
Ideal duration of stay: 1-2 nights.
Suited for: Couples, families, friends group, pilgrimage groups
Things to do: Ropeway to Auli, shopping, Gorson Bugyal, Vishuprayag river camping
Accessibility from: A 8-10 hrs drive from Rishikesh, the nearest airport/railhead is Dehradun (11-12 hours drive).
Popular Places to stay: The Royal Village, Blue poppy resort, The Tattva

14. Badrinath – Holy shrine of Lord Vishnu – the most Sacred among Places to Visit in Uttarakhand.

The home to the sacred shrine of Lord Vishnu, this picturesque pilgrimage is one of the Char Dhams of India and revered by Hindus worldwide. This surely is one of the the most popular Places to Visit in Uttarakhand for pilgrimage. The legends date the original temple to Vedic times, but the present temple was established by Adi Shankaracharya in around 7th century A.D. Also being nestled in the Garwhal Himalayas the town remains snow-covered for almost 6 months and remains inaccessible. In addition, the drive from Joshimath to Badrinath is one of the most scenic mountain drives in the upper Himalayas.

Badrinath - The shrine of Lord Vishnu
Badrinath Temple (Credits: Vishwanath|Wikimedia Commons)

Best time for visiting: April to October except for the monsoon months
Ideal duration of stay: 1-2 nights.
Suited for: Couples, families, friends group, pilgrimage groups
Things to do: Pay homage at the Badrinath temple, Charanpaduka, Vasundhara falls, Neelkanth, Saraswati river, Alka Puri Glacier, Satopanth Lake.
Accessibility from: A 11-12 hrs drive from Rishikesh, the nearest airport/railhead is Dehradun (13-14 hours drive).
Popular Places to stay: The pilgrimage centre offers very basic accommodation. Sarovar Portico, GMVN hotel, New Snow crest hotel, Hotel Dhanesh

15. Valley of flowers – A visual feast for flora lovers

The valley of flowers is a stunning high altitude alpine meadow in the upper reaches of Chamoli region. Due to remoteness this place was hidden for a very long time from humans and came to limelight in recent times only. Also, being on the top reaches of Chamoli Himalayas, and perenially fed by glacial waters, the place almost magically transforms after spring as the white snow layer makes way for a meadow with myriad coloured flowers. The species of the flowers are short living and during a season also the valley changes colour multiple times as one flowering species makes way for another. The valley can be accessed from Ghangaria from where its a trek through some picturesque villages. It is completely cut off from the outside world for six months of the year.

A view inside the valley of flowers national park
Valley of flowers (Credits: Naresh|Wikimedia Commons)

Best time for visiting: May to September except for the monsoon months
Ideal duration of stay: 2-4 nights.
Suited for: Couples, families, friends group, adventure seekers
Things to do: Nature walks through the valley and discover a truly amazing face of nature
Accessibility from: A 11-12 hrs drive from Rishikesh, the nearest airport/railhead is Dehradun (13-14 hours drive).
Popular Places to stay: Only homestay and very small local lodges are available. Pre-booking is always advised through your travel partner.

So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and Plan a trip to set yourself on a journey to the magical land! Mountains are indeed calling! Do check out Pickyourtrail.com to plan a trip to this magical land and honestly anything under the sun! See you there.

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