Dev Bhoomi – Land of Gods – Uttarakhand is a captivating place that is a religious and spiritual destination. For adventure seekers, go off the beaten track. The winding roads lead you to rugged landscapes that offers adrenaline pumping activities like bungee jumping, mountain biking, white water rafting, paragliding, trekking, and much more. The colonial rule is evident in its hill stations and the legacy left behind at Jim Corbett National Park (one of the highest populations of tigers). The natural beauty of Uttarakhand is a refreshing change that soothes the eyes, energises the body, and lightens the mind.
Uttarakhand tourism is largely dependent on the rocky, mountainous environment, dense forests, deep blue lakes, and cascading rivers. The state shares international borders with China and Nepal to the east and south west, respectively. To the north lies Himachal Pradesh, and to the west - Uttar Pradesh. The northern part of the state sits at the hem of the Himalayas, and the highest peak is Nanda Devi. The peaks of the mountain range are covered in glaciers and snow. The mighty mountains are also the source of two of India’s most significant and spiritual rivers – Ganges and Yamuna. The glaciers feed the rivers and lakes that dot the state.
Uttarakhand’s biodiversity is a thriving place that has sheltered snow leopards, leopards, tigers, Himalayan blue sheep, musk deer, lynx and monkeys. The ecosystem varies from the peak to the lowlands – it includes alpine shrubs, conifer forests, broadleaf forests, pine forests, grassland, deciduous forests.
Nature is the biggest appeal of Uttarakhand tourism. The state has preserved and restored several national parks. Some of the parks you should visit are Jim Corbett National Park -India’s oldest national park, Rajaji National Park near Haridwar, Govind Pashu Vihar National Park and Gangotri National Park near Uttarkashi. In Chamoli District there are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Valley of Flowers National Park and Nanda Devi National Park.
This varied ecosystem reflects the diverse climate that the state experiences. The northern mountainous region goes through Himalayan climate – freezing temperature and heavy snowfall. The weather turns bad, making certain roads inaccessible. As you come to the middle Himalayas, summer is warmer, ranging from 15 to 18 °C and in winter the mercury can go below 0 °C. The foothills of the mountains are hotter in summer. The temperature increases to 30 °C and winters are bearably cool.
The eastern side experiences heavy rainfall and the western region is fairly dry. The hottest area in Uttarakhand is the Gangetic plains. It is humid, and the mercury easily crosses 40°C. However, in winter, the plain feels the chill at 5 °C.
No matter the weather, this exciting state has a lot to offer in summer and winter. In summer, the mountainous regions turn into a bustling avenue for adventure sports like paragliding, trekking, mountain biking, kayaking, bungee jumping, and more. In winter, the snow-capped mountains open its slopes to skiers and snowboarders.
During the rainy season, the hills come alive with romance. Couples travel to places like Kanatal, where the atmosphere is perfect for snuggling and warming up with tea.
The geography and climate are few of the greatest attractions of the state. Indeed, it is cold and jagged, but it is blessed with overflowing rivers and jaw dropping scenery.
It is a gem of a place with activities for the entire family. From young to those in their golden years, Uttarakhand tourism offers national parks, gardens, adventure sports, spiritual places, wildlife, and hill stations.
This is one of the best places to go on a safari. You can choose to see the national park in a jeep, or atop an elephant which is a memorable experience. In the summer, beat the heat (that can reach 40 °C) with a trip to Binsar. This is the highest hill station that gives you a panoramic view of the Himalayan peaks. The Wildlife Sanctuary at Binsar shelters hundreds of species of animals and birds such as black bear, leopard, pine marten porcupine, etc.
For a sliver of Switzerland, head to Chopta. It is one of the most popular destinations for trekkers. Several hikes begin from Chopta and end at Chandrashila. The trail takes you through winding roads that open to views of snow-capped mountains. In winter, Chopta is a skiing hub.
Dharchula is a secluded region that offers peace and relaxation. It is located near the Kali River and invites you to discover new nooks and corners of solitude. Dharchula is dotted with trees like deodar, apple, oak, and pine, and you can get lost in the orchards. Some of the places to explore are Narayan Ashram, Chirkila Dam, Askot Sanctuary and Jaulijibi.
Those of you who are young at heart can take a trip to Munsiyari for a thrill of a lifetime. Set against the backdrop of snow-covered mountains, you will lose your inhibitions with the number of activities available. This region is home to animals like the Himalayan bear, raven, falcon, wagtail, monal, and Himalayan griffon.
Uttarakhand is steeped in heritage and culture, and Lohaghat is one such place in the state that has historical and mythological features. The tourist places in this region are Shyamal Tal, Forti Village, Galchaura, Vanasur Fort, Abbot Mount and Gurudwara Sahib.
There are numerous places to visit in Uttarakhand, but there are those hidden gems that you want to discover. SOTC is the expert in this region. They offer a variety of Uttarakhand tour packages and personalised itineraries to suit every traveller. Connect with SOTC for a memorable holiday.
Do's and Don'ts coming soon for Uttarakhand Tourism.