Uttarakhand (earlier known as Uttaranchal), a state in northern India, is known as Devbhoomi – the land of the gods. It is largely a mountainous state that shares international borders with China to the north and Nepal to the east.
This vast Himalayan region displays the beauty of nature and devotion to the gods. It has two main regions – Garhwal and Kumaon – which have the charm of mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes, glaciers and many holy temples.
Tourists from all over the world visit Uttarakhand for skiing, its wildlife sanctuaries, river rafting, meditation and Char Dham Yatra. Here are the top 10 must-see places in Uttarakhand.
How to Reach Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand has two domestic airports – Jolly Grant Airport near the state capital Dehradun and PantNagar Airport near Nainital. Jolly Grant Airport is connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad. PantNagar airport connects only to Delhi.
Uttarakhand has a well-connected network of roadways, which makes it one of the best ways to travel through the state. Delhi and many Indian cities around the region are easily accessible by interstate buses or taxis.
There are about 12 major railway stations in Uttarakhand that connect Uttarakhand to other Indian cities. Being a hilly state, Uttarakhand does not have railway stations above 1,500 meters. You can find the train station only in the foothills.
Best time to visit Uttarakhand
Most of the hill stations in Uttarakhand receive snowfall in December, making it the best time to visit.
Places To Visit In Uttarakhand #1: Rishikesh
Rishikesh is one of the best tourist places in Uttarakhand. It is popular for its serene temples and thrilling adventure sports like river rafting, bungee jumping, zip-lining, trekking, giant swings and rock climbing. Nestled against the beautiful Himalayas, Rishikesh houses the holy Ganges.
Tourists come here for spiritual pilgrimage and wellness, as it is famous as the world capital of yoga and meditation. The twin bridges – Ram and Lakshman Jhula – are architectural achievements as these bridges are suspended 750 feet above the Ganges.
The holy Ganga is worshiped at various ghats in Rishikesh. Ganga Aarti and Triveni Ghat at Parmarth Niketan is an experience to cherish. Hundreds of lit lamps are floated across the holy river to illuminate the area and the sound of bells and chants make it a blissful spiritual experience. See Also: Top 10 Places To Visit In Rishikesh
How To Reach Rishikesh
By Air: Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun is the nearest airport to Rishikesh, approximately 35 km from the city.
By Road: Rishikesh is well connected by major roads and national highways and is easily accessible from all parts of the country.
By Rail: Rishikesh has a railway station which is not connected to major Indian cities except Haridwar. Hence, the nearest major station is Haridwar, which is well connected to other cities.
Uttarakhand Tourist Place #2 To Visit: Dehradun
Dehradun, the capital of Uttarakhand, is situated in the foothills of the Himalayas and is one of the tourist places in Uttarakhand. Dehradun’s natural beauty and calm pace of life help the tourists to relax. Dehradun tourist places that one can visit include caves, waterfalls and natural springs. Sharda, meaning ‘thousand-fold spring’, is a popular attraction.
It is famous for healing properties and medicinal properties, as the water contains sulfur. The ropeway near Sahastradhara takes visitors to a higher point to enjoy a panoramic view of the surrounding area.
Tourist attractions worth visiting in Dehradun include Robber’s Cave which is on Rajpur Road, Malsi Deer Park which is also on Rajpur Road, Rajaji National Park which is a little away from Dehradun Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE).
Dehradun is also a beautiful and ancient religious center. Laxman Siddha Temple, Tapkeshwar Mahadev Temple, Santala Devi Temple and Tapovan are the famous temples of Dehradun.
Mindrolling Monastery has a history of more than 300 years. It is one of the most important Buddhist sites in India and the tallest stupa in Asia. The monastery is 9 km from the city center in Clement Town. Math Timings: 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM (All 7 Days)
Entry Fee: Free
How To Reach Dehradun
By Air: The Jolly Grant Airport is located 20 km from the Dehradun city center. There are daily flights to Delhi. The nearest international airport is located around 235 km from Delhi.
By Road: Dehradun is well connected to other cities through a highway named NH 72. Ordinary, as well as deluxe buses are easily available from ISBT Kashmere Gate, Delhi to Dehradun.
By Rail: Train services are available from all the major cities of the country at Dehradun Railway Station.
Most romantic places to visit in Uttarakhand #3: Nainital
The scenic hill station of Nainital is one of the best places to visit in Uttarakhand. The hill station is surrounded by huge snow-capped peaks which are 7,000 feet above sea level. Naini or Nainital is a natural fresh lake in the center of Nainital, its water never gets spoiled.
This mango-shaped lake is one of the most famous lakes in the Kumaon region. It is an ideal place for boating, picnics and morning and evening walks. Nainital Lake is a mesmerizing place surrounded by seven peaks.
Take a boat ride to see the high mountains, especially the beautiful sunset over the mountains. Offer prayers at the Naina Devi Temple surrounded by the lofty mountains of the Himalayas. It is one of the holiest temples and popular Shakti Peethas in India, dedicated to Sri Devi Naina Ji.
Among others, the place to visit in Nainital is the Nainital Zoo, which is also known as the Bharat Ratna Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant High Altitude Zoo is the only zoo in Uttarakhand which is so high in the whole of Uttarakhand.
At an altitude of 2,100 meters above sea level, it has various animals that live only at high altitudes such as the Siberian tiger, serao, goat antelope and snow leopard.
The zoo is situated on the top of Sher ka Danda hill, at a distance of 1.8 km from Nainital bus stand. Timings: 10:30 am to 4:30 pm (Every day except Monday) Entry Fee: Rs 50 (Adults, between 13 to 60 years), Rs 20 (Children, between 5 to 12 years)
How To Reach Nainital
By Air: PantNagar Airport, 55 km away, is the nearest domestic airport to Nainital. The PantNagar airport near Nainital is well connected to the airports of New Delhi and Mumbai. Dehradun airport is 283 km from Nainital.
By Rail: The nearest railway station is Kathgodam Railway Station, 23 km from Nainital. Several direct trains run daily from New Delhi, Kolkata, Agra and Lucknow.
By Road: Nainital is well connected by roads with major destinations in North India. Nainital is connected by National Highway No. 87. Regular buses ply from Delhi, Agra, Dehradun,
Haridwar, Lucknow, Kanpur and more. Bareilly. Luxury coaches are available from Delhi. Private taxis like Haridwar Cab Service and overnight buses are easily available from Delhi to Nainital.
Famous Places in Uttarakhand #4: Jim Corbett
Jim Corbett Park is one of the most famous tourist places in Uttarakhand. The oldest national park in Nainital district of Uttarakhand is known for the endangered Bengal Tiger.
Jim Corbett National Park is a part of Nainital Corbett Tiger Reserve. Famous for its wildlife safaris, the park houses over 650 species of birds. Other predatory species include leopards, jungle cats, fishing cats, panthers, elephants, water buffalo, barking deer, sambar deer, chital, black bear and mongoose.
Jim Corbett National Park, Nainital is divided into five different zones. Visitors can get close to the animals in the main part of the park, demarcated as a buffer zone or core area.
Timings: Dhikala and Bijrani zones remain closed from June to October/November. The Dhela and Jhirna zones are open throughout the year. However, Jim Corbett National Park is prone to floods during monsoons.
Safari Timings: 07:00 AM to 10:00 AM and 02:00 PM to 05:30 PM (Timings are subject to change)
Entry Fee: Rs 200 (Indian)
Jeep Safari: Rs 5000 (Jeep ; Maximum 6 people and 2 children (5 to 12 years)) Jungle Safari is advised to book in advance.
How To Reach Corbett
By Air: PantNagar Airport is the nearest domestic airport, approximately 80 km from Corbett. Indira Gandhi International Airport (Delhi) is the nearest international airport, approximately four and a half hours drive from Corbett.
By Rail: The nearest station is Ramnagar Railway Station, located approximately 12 km away. Several trains connect Ramnagar to Delhi and other cities and towns in North India. A direct train from Delhi to Ramnagar Ranikhet Express is the best train to reach Corbett from Delhi.
By Road: Local taxis are available outside the station to take you to hotels and parks. Jim Corbett Park, which is a famous park, is 12 km from Ramnagar city and 227 km from Dehradun. It is connected through Uttarakhand State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) and some private travel services.
Uttarakhand Tourist Places #5: Ranikhet
Ranikhet, the best tourist place in Uttarakhand, is at an altitude of 1,829 meters above sea level in the Almora district of Uttarakhand. Ranikhet is a small village in the Himalayan region with colonial architecture.
The beautiful British era stone buildings add charm to this small town, making it one of the most beautiful places to visit in Uttarakhand. Ranikhet, meaning the land of the queen, is an ideal tourist destination for nature lovers.
It has beautiful gardens surrounded by apple orchards, apricot and deodar trees. It also has a dense forest and cascading waterfalls. Ranikhet is popular for its view of Nanda Devi peak, trekking range and hill climbing.
Ranikhet is also the headquarters of the Kumaon Regiment of the Indian Army and houses the Kumaon Regimental Center Museum. The best places to visit in Ranikhet are Bear Dam, Haidakhan Babaji Temple, Jhula Devi Ram Mandir, Golf Ground and Mankameshwar. Take a tour of the British era buildings or visit the beautiful temples in and around Ranikhet.
How To Reach Ranikhet
By Air: Pant Nagar airport is the nearest airport from Ranikhet.
By Rail: If you wish to come by rail then Kath Godam is the nearest railway station.
By Road: Ranikhet is well connected by motorable roads with major cities of Uttarakhand and North India. The distance between Delhi and Ranikhet is around 350 km and it takes around 10 hours. The distance from Nainital to Ranikhet is about 60 kms.