Located in the lap of the Himalayas, Uttarakhand is called "Devabhoomi" meaning "Land of the Gods". It is one of the most gifted tourist destinations in India that was carved out from northern Uttar Pradesh. Uttarakhand became the 27th state of India on 9th November 2000. Dehradun is the capital of Uttarakhand. It is one of the most beautiful retreats in the sub mountain regions of India, known for its spectacular surroundings. The town sprawls in the Doon Valley, on the watershed of the Ganga and Yamuna rivers.
Translated to ‘a part of the North’, Uttarakhand is replete with mesmeric splendor of the North. Its pine-scented slopes, floral valleys, beauteous environs, fresh air, and snow transform it into a destination for every season. Uttarakhand is loaded with plenty of beauty with diversity.
Whatever your purpose might be - family holiday, honeymoon, adventure, or backpacking, Uttarakhand has everything you are looking for!
Languages Spoken in Uttarakhand
Hindi, Garhwali, Kumauni, Punjabi, Nepali
Where is Uttarakhand located?
Uttarakhand is located in the northern part of India. The state borders the Tibet Autonomous Region of China in the north, Uttar Pradesh to the south, the Sudurpaschim Pradesh of Nepal in the east, and Himachal Pradesh in the west and north-west.
Why should you visit Uttarakhand?
Uttarakhand is a beautiful state and can be visited for various purposes - religious, spiritual, adventure, or recreation. You can visit the famous religious Hindu temples such as Panch Kedar, Dhari Devi, Tungnath Temple, or opt for the famous Chardham. Visit its UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Valley of Flowers to witness the stunning flower species.
Pleasant weather, snow, adventure activities, scenic beauty, rolling valleys, and meandering rivers make Uttarakhand one of the most popular destinations in India. The state is home to an astounding confluence of five sacred rivers called Panch Prayag. This provides a scenic view when Alaknanda meets Bhagirathi and becomes Ganga.
This amazing travel guide is designed to help you plan your trip to Uttarakhand and explore it like a local. Know things to do, places to visit, local cuisine, wildlife sanctuaries, adventure sports, and more.
Chardham - Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, Yamunotri, Tungnath Temple, Rudranath Temple, Hemkund Sahib
Jim Corbett National Park, Rajaji National Park, Nanda Devi National Park, Valley of Flowers National Park
Famous Hill Stations:
Dehradun, Mussoorie, Auli, Nainital, Ranikhet, Bhimtal, NaukuchiaTal, Mukteshwar, Kausani, Lansdowne
Trekking, Rafting, Skiing, Camping, Mountain Biking, Paragliding, Fishing and Angling, Jeep Safari, Peak Climbing, Boating, Rock Climbing, Bungee Jumping, Boating
Kempty Falls, Mossy Falls, Tiger Falls, Vasudhara Falls, Bhatta Falls
Naini Lake, Bhimtal, Nakuchukia Tal, Nanak Sagar, Sat Tal, Hemkund Lake, Roopkund, Tehri Lakes
Ganga, Yamuna, Bhagirathi, Alaknanda, Bhagirathi
Yoga and Ayurveda:
Dehradun, Chamoli, Uttarkashi, Haridwar, Nainital, Tehri Garhwal
Fairs and Festivals:
Nanda Devi Mela, Purna Giri Mela, Phool Dei Festival, Harela and Bhitauli Festival, International Yoga Festival, Kanwar Yatra, Magh Mela, Bissu Mela, Kumbh Mela, Uttarayani Mela
Ringaal Handicraft, Aipan, Rambaans handicraft, Copperware, Wooden Crafts, Waxwork, Angora and Pashmina, Spices and Pickles
Popular Local Food:
Aaloo Ke Gutke, Kafuli/Kapaa, Phaanu, Baadi, Rus/Thhatwani, Jhangore Ki Kheer, Sisunaak Sag
How to Reach Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand is well connected to the major states of India. You can easily reach Uttarakhand via flights, trains, and road.
Uttarakhand has three airports, Jolly Grant Airport or Dehradun Airport, Pantnagar Airport, and Naini Saini Airport. The majority of domestic flights around the country land at Jolly Grant Airport. The airport is located about 30 km away from the city center and can be easily accessed via local transport.
There are more than 40 railway stations in Uttarakhand that are well-connected to several major cities in India such as Lucknow, Delhi, Kolkata, and Punjab. Haridwar Junction, Rudrapur, Tanakpur, Pantnagar, Kathgodam, Dehradun, Roorkee, Lal Kuan are some of the important railway stations in Uttarakhand.
The state is well connected via national highways such as NH 108, NH 109, NH 119, NH 121, NH 123, and NH 72A. These highways unite Uttarakhand with other major states of India. UTC (Uttarakhand Transport Corporation) bus service plies within Uttarakhand and adjoining states of Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir. .
How to get around
You can use private cars, shared cabs, state buses, trains, etc. to travel to places in Uttarakhand. Towns like Nainital, Kathgodam, Kotdwar, and Haridwar have railway stations. At higher altitude places, you can travel via buses or taxi/car. Buses connect all the major towns and pass through several remote villages. You can also hire or bring your own vehicle to easily get around in Uttarakhand.
Best time to visit Uttarakhand
The months of March to April and September to October are the best time to visit Uttarakhand. The favorable climate of Uttarakhand attracts tourists throughout the year and helps to enjoy several popular activities and sightseeing.
Summer (March to June)
Summer is considered to be the peak season and is enjoyed by adventure lovers as summer opens the gate for amazing thrilling activities. Bhitauli, a famous festival of Uttarakhand is celebrated during this time. The famous Char Dham yatra also begins in this season.
Monsoon (July to September)
Uttarakhand turns lush green in monsoon and is considered the best budget-friendly tour season for those who want to adore the beauty of Uttarakhand. Harela festival marks the beginning of the monsoon. In this festival people of Uttarakhand also celebrate the wedding of Lord Shiva to Parvati.
Winters (October to February)
Winter is the peak season in Uttarakhand. The pleasant weather of the state attracts honeymooners and young couples. Winter is a great season for families to enjoy a peaceful vacation. Winter has a misty atmosphere, chill winds, and beautiful landscapes. Uttarayani Fair is celebrated where masses take a dip in River Saruya.
Places to Visit in Uttarakhand
The abundant flora and fauna, beautiful hill stations, wondrous wildlife sanctuaries, majestic peaks, tranquil lakes, holy rivers, and embracing culture are great attributes you get to experience in Uttarakhand.
There are a lot of places to visit in Uttarakhand that include hill stations like Nainital, Bhimtal, Ranikhet, Mussoorie, Almora, Dhanaulti, Munsiyari, Lansdowne, Kausani, and Lohaghat.
Things to do in Uttarakhand
Misty Himalayan peaks with unbeatable charm fascinate travelers from near and far. Uttarakhand offers limitless opportunities for exploration and adventure. Pilgrimage, Wildlife, Adventure, and Yoga and Meditation - there is something for everyone. From its beautiful villages to adventure trekking trails, there are a lot of attractions in Uttarakhand for a spellbinding experience.
If you are looking for a peaceful vacation in India with ultimate adventure activities, then nothing beats Uttarakhand.
Along with its scenic surroundings, it is home to one of the major Hindu pilgrimage sites popularly known as Chardham. Adventure sports in Uttarakhand include treks, camps, nature, wildlife, shopping, eating, religious sites, and road trips.
Where to Stay
There are various best and unique places to stay in Uttarakhand. From silent valleys to bustling cities, you can find various hotels, resorts, ashrams, camps, guest houses, homestays, and tourist bungalows.
What to Eat in Uttarakhand
Uttrakhand treats you with different flavors and aromas from luxury restaurants to roadside vendors. The food habits change according to seasons. So, if you visit in winter you will find Mathir and Til Laddus or Madua Rotis, and in summers Dubkas with Chholia Rotis. Savor the Garhwali and Kumaoni food on your Uttarakhand trip.
Festivals and Fairs in Uttarakhand
The Fairs and Festivals in Uttarakhand add color to the lives of the people. Some of the famous festivals are Butter Festival (Aug), Kumbh Mela (Jan to Apr), Kanwar Yatra (Jul), Nanda Devi Raj Jaat (Sept), Uttarayani Mela (Jan), Baithaki Holi (Dec/Jan), and Syalde Bikhauti Mela (Apr/May).
Nightlife in Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand nights are serene and peaceful or hip and happening. Choose what you like. Rent a bike and drive in Mussoorie at night or witness the evening aarti in Uttarakhand. If you are a party animal who loves dancing and chilling out, make sure to visit places like Dehradun for a fun time.
Is it safe to visit Uttarakhand?
Yes, it is completely safe for tourists to visit Uttarakhand. However, know about the places you wish to visit to avoid any scams. Avoid people asking for donations in the name of religion. Before booking the hotels, read reviews about that particular hotel for a better holiday experience.
How to save money on an Uttarakhand trip?
- Travel through local bus and train.
- Stay at budget places and eat in small restaurants.
- Avoid unnecessary shopping.
- Explore places on foot. It allows you to explore and save money at the same time.
Uttarakhand Travel Tips
- Be prepared for low signal areas meaning No GPS, no social media, and no online banking.
- There is not much development in some regions, so try to pay your bills through cash. Always be kind to people in Uttarakhand.
- They are ready to help you with directions and other stuff.
- Weather is unpredictable. So, always carry warm clothes with you.
- Avoid going out at night. Most areas do not have road lights and you can get attacked by animals.
- Don’t accept anything, especially food from strangers even if it is packed. It may be laced with drugs.
- If any important document gets stolen or lost, immediately inform local police stations. Your documents can be misused.
- Don’t wear revealing clothing especially at pilgrimage sites.
- In smaller villages, people only speak local languages. Learn local phrases.
- Go with a registered tour guide, if needed. Local guides can charge you extra with inauthentic information.