uttarakhand travel

Uttarakhand Travel Guide

This Uttarakhand Travel Guide is all you need to know top places to see in Uttarakhand, how to travel there, travel costs and more.

Described by many as the land of Gods, Uttarakhand is the abode of the towering Himalayas, mesmerizing lakes and holy rivers.

Due to its proximity to New Delhi, it lures a significant number of Indian tourists every year and offers them a perfect reviving holiday.

It is moreover here where the Holy Ganges finds its origin before making its way to the other Indian states.

The four holy pilgrimage sites for Hindus – Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath – are also located here.

Uttarakhand Tourist Guide

It often confuses people to choose one of the two travel destinations: Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. (check my Himachal Pradesh travel guide if you are confused too).

Both are pretty similar in landscapes but what differentiates the two is the kind of tourists they get. Where Himachal Pradesh is more of a holiday destination, Uttarakhand is a cultural and religious destination.

Having said that, expect better experiences like better buses and better infrastructure while travelling in Himachal Pradesh and a little less of everything while travelling in Uttarakhand. Also, expect more Indian tourists here.

Now, moving forward in our Uttarakhand travel guide, let’s discuss a few useful tips before I talk about the top places to see in Uttarakhand.

  • Avoid the popular towns of Nainital, Mussoorie and Dehradun.
  • Most treks here require you to hire a guide, as per the local tourism authorities. Guides charge nearly 1000 Rupees per day. So make sure you bargain accordingly. You can also check the latest government-approved prices and other useful information on the government tourism website.
  • Unlike in Himachal Pradesh, camping is highly limited here. In 2018 the Uttarakhand High Court ordered the state government to remove all permanent campsites from the grasslands and meadows. It also put restrictions on temporary campsites.
  • This state witnessed some of the most brutal rains in the entire Indian Himalayas. Between June and August, landslides, in high altitudes are quite common. Be sure to check the weather report before you travel to Uttarakhand
  • Since it is considered a land of god and Hinduism discourages and curbs tourists from eating any meat and consuming liquor – getting both, particularly around a 50km radius of the four pilgrim sites (Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath) is almost next to impossible. Many hotels and restaurants here don’t even serve Onion and Garlic.

These were a few quick tips. Next in this Uttarakhand travel guide now is top places to see.

Top Places To See In Uttarakhand


Rishikesh is the yoga hub in India. Every year thousands of tourists travel to Rishikesh to learn yoga and meditation. Naturally, there are hundreds of yoga schools to choose from.

It is in Sivananda Ashram, in Rishikesh where even I once spent 2 months learning yoga and taking spiritual lessons. And the experience has changed me as a person. I suggest the same if you are visiting Rishikesh and have 2 months to spare. The only thing is, you need to be a male of Indian origin as Sivananda Ashram doesn’t admit females and non-Indian males. Check their website to apply. The course, including 2 months of accommodation and food, is moreover free.

Rishikesh is moreover a perfect place to meet other travellers; eat, sleep live on a budget; and enjoy a laid-back hippie life. Remember to get your accommodation near ‘Laxman Jhula’ as this is the best area in the entire town. You can check my best hostels in Rishikesh blog if you are looking for some recommendations on hostels. Also, read my Rishikesh travel guide for more on the top things to do there.

Jangalia Gaon

Located less than 350 km from Delhi, Jangalia Gaon offers a very village-like holiday experience. It is 15km from Bhimtal, making it easy to travel to.

I happened to visit Jangalia Gaon during my recent (in October 2020) one-month motorcycle trip across the Kumaon region in Uttarakhand and I loved it. It is easy to travel to, the experience of travelling to Jangalia Gaon is offbeat, and if you want to shop and do some touristy thing, you have a popular destination (Bhimtal) right next to you.

Check this YouTube video for more on what to expect from a holiday in Jangalia Gaon and why it deserves a place in this list of places to visit near Delhi under 500 km.


Nest, in my list of top places to see in Uttarakhand, is Auli.

To learn skiing or snowboarding in India, Auli is the closest place to New Delhi. The ski courses in Auli are moreover among the cheapest in the world.

The town moreover has a long chairlift-car ride, many trekking routes and camping as other adventure activities. Read my Auli experience when I visited and camped there with locals during summer.

Auli is located about an 8-10 hours drive from Rishikesh.

Pindari Glacier

Located in the southeast corner of Nanda Devi mountain ranges Pindari Glacier is the source of the Pindari River. Off late, the trek to Pindari Glacier has picked up a lot of popularity. From serious trekkers to seasonal tourists, all kinds of tourists have been showing interest in reaching the base camp (also known as the zero point) of Pindari Glacier.

Unlike most other treks in Uttarakhand though, Pindari is still quite offbeat. It is a 5-day trek taking you to an altitude of 3,660 m above sea level, from where you get beautiful views of the peak of the Pindari.

It is also possible to get glimpses of Panwali Dwar (6,683m), Maiktoli Peak (6,803m) and Nanda Devi Peak (7,816m) the second-height peak in India.

Char Dham

As I said above, travelling in Uttarakhand is all about travelling to religious destinations. And among all, the four sacred sites of Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath are the most popular ones.

Open between April/May to Oct/Nov each year these four destinations are moreover the most visited and top places to see in Uttarakhand.

Where Gangotri and Badrinath temples can be visited in a car or a bus, to reach Yamunotri and Kedarnath temples, you need to trek approx 5 km (and back) and 16 km (and back) respectively.

Read my Char-Dham yatra blog for more details on how to do a self-planned trip to these places.

Munsiyari Road Trip

Unlike Himachal and Ladakh, where you have many popular adventure motorcycles trials like Spiti Valley, Manali to Leh, and Sach Pass road trip, Uttarakhand doesn’t have many.

Though of course, you can ride to one of the Char Dham locations mentioned above, the other travellers you are going to find on the way won’t share the interest. Naturally, the journey feels a little incomplete.

Out of all the places I have been to here, Delhi to Munsiyari is the only route where people travel for leisure, making it the only route for a motorcycle trip in Uttarakhand.

Haridwar, For Ganga Arti

Though some find it a crazy, frenzied experience, in my view, if you can handle a little chaos in Indian cities, attending the daily Aarti at Har Ki Pauri, in Haridwar, at least once in your lifetime is a no-miss.

Since it’s only a 45-minute drive from Rishikesh, you can come to Haridwar for a few hours and head back to your silent refuge in Rishikesh.

You read any Uttarakhand travel guide out there, and you will find mentions of Haridwar Ganga aarti in it.

Darma Valley

Located right next to the Nepal border in its East, and stretching to Tibet, Darma Valley, by far, is my favourite tourist destination in Uttarakhand.

According to Indian mythology, it was in Darma Valley that the Pandavas cooked their last meal on the five peaks of Panchachuli before leaving for heaven. ‘Panchachuli’ or ‘ Panch Chuli’ means `five-pointed oven’.

The popular Panchachuli Base Camp Trek is also located in Darma Valley.

Kalagarh and Jim Corbett

If you are into wildlife, visit the national parks of Jim Corbett and Kalagarh, located very close to New Delhi. Both places are known for Leopard spots. Where Jim Corbett is more mainstream, Kalagarh is comparatively offbeat.

It is possible that accommodation in Jim Corbett feels a little pricier and harder to find as compared to Kalagarh.

Khati Village

Out of all the villages I have explored in Uttarakhand — or the entire Indian Himalayan region perhaps — Khati happens to be one of my top favorites. From a picturesque locale to friendly locals to beautiful graffiti done across the village, there is a lot to see and plenty more to capture there than just the mountains.

Here’s a video (from my YouTube channel) for Khati and Dhakuri Pass, during my Pindari Valley tour. The video includes a few drone shots too, take a look…

Valley of Flowers

Imagine a colourful endless sight spread over an uneven land for as far as you can see – that’s what the Valley of Flowers, in a nutshell, is. And since the place is all about flowers, it is open to visitors only during monsoon – between June and September.

To reach the valley, you need to do a min 3-day trek that takes you through the charming meadows of alpine flowers, germinated and burst into reds, purples and yellows.

The Valley of Flowers Trek is the most beautiful trek in the entire Indian Himalayas. The Valley of Flowers trek is located in the UNESCO heritage recognised Valley of Flowers National Park.

Gomukh Trek

Since Gomukh is the source of the Bhagirathi River, an important tributary of the Ganges, the Gangotri Gomukh trek is recommended. If you’re planning to trek in Uttarakhand, which is on the Char Dham route but not a part of the pilgrimage, you should try this.

The Gangotri Gomujh trek is fairly easy and can be done in 2-3 days. You can hire a guide or go on your own, though a guide is recommended as the walk is a little confusing at times. It was moreover the first trip I did after I quit my job and became a blogger in 2016. So yeah, an obvious mention in this Uttarakhand travel guide.

This was all about the top places to see in Uttarakhand. Next in our Uttarakhand travel guide is the cost of travelling and the best time to visit Uttarakhand.

Kailash Mansarovar Road To Lipulekh Pass

In late 2020, the Border Road Organisation gave the Indian motorcycle community a new adventure trail — Lipulekh Pass on Kailash Mansarovar Road. This Kailash Mansarovar motorable road can now take tourists from Dharchula to Om Parvat and Adi Kailash in only 2 days.

It is at Lipulekh Pass, on the newly built Kailash Mansarovar Road, that India concludes its territory to Tibet (now under China).

As per rough estimates, this is how the distances on the newly built Kailash Mansarovar Yatra Road will look…

  • Dharchula to Gunji via Chialekh [Day 1]
  • Gunji to Nabhidang to Lipulekh [Day 2]

What Is The Best Time To Travel to Uttarakhand

For Rishikesh, Haridwar and Auli, the ideal time to visit is the winter months of November to March.

For most of the other tourist places, with high altitudes, the best time is between April and June or September and October.

Monsoon (except for Valley of Flowers) is the worst time to visit.

What Is The Cost of Travelling In Uttarakhand


Food in Uttarakhand is quite cheap. And if you’re on a strict budget just go to any seemingly cheap-looking hotel and ask for a ‘Thali’. This is standard Indian food which gives you unlimited rice, Chapattis, Dal and some kind of mix vegetable – all for abour 70 Rupees (except the usual +/- 20 Rupees depending upon the kind of place you’re dining at).

For better quality food in a good restaurant, expect to pay somewhere around 150 Rupees per person.


You can get a private room for as low as Rs 500 almost in any season and in most places.

That’s all in this Uttarakhand travel guide. If you have anything to add to the tips, or in the top places to see in the Uttarakhand list, please leave a comment below. Your suggestions can help someone plan their trip better!

Let’s connect on Instagram if you have any questions to ask.

Categories India


I am Dev, and I've been travelling full-time since 2016. I was a journalism student & started my corporate career as a documentary film-maker in England, before moving to India & becoming a full-time nomad. 25+countries. 50+ Brand Partnerships. And the adventure continues...

  1. sikandar saifi

    Nice work. Thank you so much for providing detailed information on uttarakhand as one can explore these places without much difficulty and amazing blogs as well. Keep it up

  2. Shubham chauhan

    Excellent Blog! Uttarakhand is a small and beautiful state of India. Uttarakhand known as a Devbhoomi .Very nicely they express and write about Uttarakhand .Thanks for sharing this information.And people want to more this place come to this site. http://www.chauhantourandtravels.in/

  3. Gaurav rawat

    Uttarakhand is a great place where people as well as tourist live their culture so much. whereas people refers as Dev Bhoomi. sir your post is excellent. i read it completely thanks for providing information to us. SIR please check my site my site is about Uttarakhand as well as uttarakhand tourism to provide information please check sir. how you inspire to write this post.
    thankyou sir

  4. very nice your blog so thnks helpfull blog
    apke blog ko kafi dekha he bhut khubsurat bnaya hua he

  5. Pawan borana

    Thanks gave very good information about the Uttarakhand trip and it helped tourists like me a lot.

  6. Indian Traveler

    Uttarakhand is a great destination for everyone, whether they are nature lovers or religious everyone finds something in Uttarakhand.

  7. Very detailed and to the point guide on Uttarakhand.

  8. Very Nice post bro. very helpful for someone traveling to Utarakhand.

  9. Shreekala Subramanya

    Hello Dev,

    Its been a Long awaited solo trip to Uttrakhand, Your write up is crisp and informative. I was being skeptical about choosing the places. Your blog gave me a fairer idea to plan my trip. Apart from this if you can share how good an idea for a female traveler to go solo that to for the first time. Look forward for your inputs.

    Warm regards,

  10. Ukboy Suyal

    nice information dev..
    i’am from uttarakhand.

  11. Swatantra Chauhan

    Uttrakhand is beautiful.

  12. It seems to me that Uttarakhand is awe-inspiring and tranquilizing too. I live in Delhi and I will going to visit it this year.

  13. Yes sonny, you take your maa on pilgrimage and Sri Hari/My Krishna will definitely take note,as it is written in our shastras that taking your parents to the Tirthas is a good deed (but when they wrote it times were different ) No pun intended, it was really a nice thing to do, every parent love to travel with his child ; i don’t know why but we somehow feel whole and contented with our children.

  14. Thank you so much for sharing information about Jim Corbett National Park Trip. Your guide about travel is also helpful for everyone.

  15. yash sagar

    lovely and attractive place uttarakhand there are a lot of mountains… these place has too much peace.. really nice your article thanks for sharing n thanks a lot……..!

  16. Battulal Jewellers

    Wonderful article..love to visit Uttarakhand.

  17. Muktai Panchal

    Hi Dev,

    Great travel blog! I am planning to visit Uttarakhand in December. Why have you advised on avoiding popular places like Nainital, Mussoorie and Dehradun?

    • For two reasons: They’re popular and they are quite town-like. The Himalayas is all about soaking in the beauty. And in popular towns, there’s hardly left any.

  18. Very useful information Dev. I myself live in Uttarakhand but never traveled as much across as you did.

  19. Hi. We are planning to visit uttarakhand in month of jan last week. Would it be suitable time to visit 4 pilgrimage centre.

    • Definitely not Lavanya. The pilgrim sites aren’t open during the winter. You may be able to go and visit the temples from outside if there’s no snow, though I think in January heavy snowfall will even have the routes blocked.
      The temples in Gangotri, Yumnotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath open only sometime between May and October.

  20. Parvesh Jain

    Great guide for Uttarakhand dev. I too recently visited Lansdowne solo that too on bike an wrote an article about it.

    Hope you will like it.

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