Tourist places to visit in Uttarakhand – An overview:

Uttarakhand is a tourist’s paradise nestled in the lap of the mighty Himalayas. It has rightly been called “Devbhumi” or the "Land of Gods." The state of Uttarakhand evokes many emotions and truly; epithets fall short of projecting it in totality. It is mysterious, beautiful, charming, alluring, exotic, magnificent, and blessed, all woven into a singular bouquet.

Even Mahatma Gandhi was so mesmerised by its natural beauty that he termed it the Switzerland of India. The state of Uttarakhand in North India comprises of thirteen districts distributed broadly in Garhwal and Kumaon regions. Each region is unique in its way, having distinctive cultures, traditions, and cuisine, and richly endowed with a number of attractive places to visit in Uttarakhand.

Notwithstanding its geographical location, the tourist places in Uttarakhand display the magnificence of the mighty Himalayas, which are a treat to the eyes and the surrounding forests, music to the ears. Nowhere else in India are one’s senses indulged to such an extent.  

How to Reach Uttarakhand?

With so many beautiful places in Uttarakhand, how can one not visit? You can travel and visit different places to visit in Uttarakhand using all three modes of transport – Road, Air, and Railways. 

How to Reach Uttarakhand by Air:

How to reach Uttarakhand by air

Uttarakhand is served by three airports, two in the Kumaon at Pantnagar and Pithoragarh and one in the Garhwal Region in Dehradun, which is by far the best connected of all.

How to Reach Uttarakhand by Train:

How to reach Uttarakhand

Direct trains connect many of the major cities of the country. Stations at Haridwar, Dehradun, Kathgodam, and Tanakpur act as gateways for destinations beyond, leading access to the entire state.

How to Reach Uttarakhand by Road:

How to reach Uttarakhand by road

By far, the most widely networked roadways lead to the coveted tourist places in Uttarakhand. The best mode of transport is the taxi and bus as the travel option of choice to different destinations.

Best time to visit Uttarakhand:

Uttarakhand is a destination that can be visited throughout the year, with each season offering something unique. The places to visit in Uttarakhand offer different experiences based on the season. 

Here's a brief overview of what to expect in each season: 

  • Uttarakhand in Summer (March to June) 

Uttarakhand in Summer

Summer is arguably the best time to visit to experience the attractions of Uttarakhand, with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 35°C. This season is ideal for exploring hill stations like Nainital, Mussoorie, Almora, and Auli. The weather is pleasant, making it perfect for outdoor activities such as trekking, hiking, and sightseeing​​​​. 

  • Uttarakhand in Winter (October to February) 

Uttarakhand in Winter

Winter in Uttarakhand is cold, with temperatures ranging from 5°C to 15°C during the day and often dropping below freezing at night. This season is great for experiencing snowfall in higher regions like Auli and enjoying winter sports. It's also a good time for wildlife spotting in Jim Corbett National Park. 

  • Uttarakhand in Monsoon (July to September) 

Uttarakhand in Monsoon

The monsoon season brings heavy rainfall, especially in the hilly areas, which can lead to landslides. It's generally not considered the best time to visit due to the humid and wet weather. However, the monsoon season also transforms the landscape into lush greenery, making it a beautiful time for those who don't mind the rain. The Valley of Flowers is particularly stunning during this season​​​​.

10 Top places to visit in Uttarakhand

The state of Uttarakhand thrives on its tourism potential laced with major as well as minor destinations to suit every taste and budget. Making a choice is a hazardous exercise as none of the tourist places in Uttarakhand are similar. 

Each one offers something different and unique for keepsakes. Yet it is worthwhile to hone in on the 10 top tourist places which any Uttarakhand travel guide will promote for the benefit of one and all. 

1. Haridwar and Rishikesh:

They are two of the best places to visit in Uttarakhand. Regardless of religious persuasion, Haridwar is famed for the footprints of Lord Vishnu on the revered ghat of Hari-ki-Pairi. The evening Ganga Aartiis an ethereal sight with myriad “diyas” (lamps) floating down the river.

A short distance away is Hrishikesh, the destination of ashrams and most excellent adventure sports facilities in the country. White water rafting and kayaking are not to be missed by the adventurous.

How to Reach Haridwar: 

It is well connected by Indian Railways with different parts of the country. Road travel by buses and cars is abundantly common.  Air connectivity is provided by the Airport at Dehradun. 

2. Mussoorie: 

It is popularly known as the “Queen of the Hills” and one of the most attractive places to visit in Uttarakhand. Perched precariously on a high ridge, it offers a panoramic sight of the Doon Valley below and the towering Himalayas all around. A stroll in the winding lanes of the town or a visit to the Kemptee Falls makes up for a pleasant stay

How to reach Mussoorie: 

The easiest way is to reach Dehradun by train and take a taxi to Mussoorie, which is 36 km away.

3. Auli:

It is considered to be one of Uttarakhand’s top tourist places and one of the best ski destinations in India, offering an exhilarating skiing experience. For others who love serene beauty, Auli could be the answer for a quaint holiday in total bliss. The splendour of Nanda Devi appears sublime from Auli and is sure to leave one speechless by its aura.

How to Reach Auli:

The route to Auli is circuitous. From Delhi, one has to reach Joshimath via Hrishikesh, completing an overnight journey. From Joshimath, one has to avail of the cable car to reach Auli.

4. Nainital: 

The town surrounds pristine Naini Lake, from which the name has been derived. Offering a majestic view of the Himalayas, it is the gateway to several such lakes in the neighbourhood. Boating experience in the lake is the height of romanticism so well portrayed in umpteen movies. 

How to Reach Nainital:

It is only a 23 km taxi drive away from Kathgodam, the nearest railhead.

5. Corbett National Park: 

Named after the famous Jim Corbett, it is one of the best places to visit in Uttarakhand for wildlife aficionados. Apart from the king of the jungle, Tiger, it is home to more than 500 species of birds and 400 types of trees, making it an ecological paradise. 

How to reach Corbett National Park: 

The nearest railway station on the Delhi route lies at Ramnagar. Alternatively, one can reach Kathgodam and drive down to Ramnagar to arrrange a safari to the National Park.

6. Almora:

Almora is renowned as one of the best hill stations in India, offering a tranquil holiday experience amidst the Himalayas. The town is known for its panoramic views, lush greenery, and rich cultural heritage. You can explore vibrant markets for traditional handicrafts, visit ancient temples like Nanda Devi and Chitai Golu Devta known for exquisite architecture, and enjoy nature walks in the scenic Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary for stunning views and wildlife spotting.

How to Reach Almora:

The way to Almora from Delhi is a bit long. You need to go to Hrishikesh first and then to Joshimath. After staying overnight in Joshimath, you can take a cable car to reach Almora.

7. Chamoli:


Chamoli is one of the picturesque places to visit in Uttarakhand known for its stunning natural beauty and spiritual significance. The town is surrounded by snow-capped mountains, lush valleys, and glistening rivers. Do visit the sacred Sikh pilgrimage site Hemkund Sahib, known for its beauty and spiritual significance. Explore the Valley of Flowers National Park, famous for its stunning meadows and diverse flowers. You can also trek to Auli Bugyal, a beautiful meadow near Auli, for breathtaking views of the Himalayas.

How to Reach Chamoli:

The route to Chamoli is through Dehradun. From Dehradun, travellers can reach Chamoli by road. The town is well-connected by road, with regular bus services from major cities.

8. Lansdowne:


Lansdowne is a charming hill station located in the Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. The town is known for its pristine beauty and colonial charm.

You can pay homage at the War Memorial honouring Garhwal Rifles' sacrifice, explore colonial-era architecture in churches and bungalows, and relish nature walks along scenic trails like Lover's Lane and Tip-in-Top, offering panoramic views of the Himalayas and the town's landscape.

How to Reach Lansdowne:

To get to Lansdowne, you'll need to pass through Dehradun. From there, you can reach Lansdowne by road. The town is easily accessible by road, with regular bus services from major cities.

9. Ranikhet:

Known for its peaceful atmosphere, Ranikhet is one of the most beautiful places in Uttarakhand offering stunning Himalayas views. It's a great place to relax and enjoy nature. You can explore Chaubatia Gardens for its apple, peach, and apricot orchards, offering picturesque mountain views for leisurely strolls. Ranikhet also has one of Asia's highest golf courses. Golfing with stunning Himalayan scenery is a treat for any golfer.

How to Reach Ranikhet:

The route to Ranikhet is through Kathgodam. Travellers can reach Ranikhet by road from Kathgodam. The town is well-connected by road, with regular bus services from major cities. The nearest railway station is in Kathgodam, which is about 75 kilometres away from Ranikhet.

10. Mount Abbott:

Mount Abbott

This is a serene and picturesque hill station nestled in the Kumaon region and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding snow-capped Himalayan peaks, lush green valleys, and dense forests. You can enjoy nature walks through scenic trails, have picnics with stunning views of the Himalayas, and take photos of the beautiful landscape and colonial heritage. For adventure seekers, trekking in the region offers breathtaking views of the mountains and forests​

How to Reach Mount Abbott:

By road, Mount Abbott is easily accessible from cities like Delhi, Nainital, or Kathgodam. The drive from Kathgodam takes about 5-6 hours, covering 160 km, and regular bus services connect major cities in Uttarakhand to Mount Abbott​.

Things to do in Uttarakhand

Things to do in Uttarakhand

Known as the Land of the Gods or Devbhumi, Uttarakhand’s tourist places offer experiences to satisfy the desires of peace seekers and adventurous alike. 

Among the most popular things to do in Uttarakhand, associated with Uttarakhand tourism, is pursuing religious and spiritual indulgence, enjoying the bounty of nature, and, for the adventurous, an exciting range of daring sports.

1. Spiritual Pilgrimage: 

No state in India is gifted with such a range of shrines and sites related to religion and mythology, recalling the heritage of our country. Tourists in search of spiritual experience cannot miss out on some of the unique places to visit in Uttarakhand:

  • Panch Badri: The worship of Lord Vishnu in different forms.
  • Panch Kedar: Madhmaheshwar, Tungnath, Rudranath, Kalpnath, and Kedarnath comprise the Panch Kedar. 
  • Panch Prayag: It comprises the five confluences of Vishnu Prayag, Nanda Prayag, Karn Prayag, Rudra Prayag and Dev Prayag to form the river, Ganga.
  • Char Dham: Comprises the four pilgrim destinations of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath.
  • Haridwar: A paradise offering a cornucopia of Indian culture and civilization.
  • Hrishikesh: Epitome of tranquillity in its ashrams and Ayurveda centres.
  • Jageshwar: The temple town in the Kumaon region.

2. Adventure:

Uttarakhand offers the best options to thrill-seekers who not only absorb the natural beauty on display but also pursue acts that keep the adrenalin flowing. Outdoor adventure sports are abundant in different destinations spread across Uttarakhand.

3. Skiing: 

The popular Uttarkhand resort for skiing in Auli is offering the best slopes in the winter months, extending from December to March. Other ski spots in Uttarakhand are Munsiyari, Dayara Budgal, and Mundali.

4. Rafting: 

Stretches along the Alakananda, Dhauliganga, and Kali rivers offer the best rapids for an enthralling experience of white-water rafting. The season for rafting extends from September to June.

5. Paragliding: 

It is a dare-devil sport amply supported by the unique topography of Uttarakhand. The lofty peaks of Himalayas and the plains of Terai offer some of the best paragliding options in the world.

6. Trekking: 

Thrilling trek circuits in both Garhwal and Kumaon regions and matching Mountaineering and Rock-climbing options make the adventurous make a beeline to the state at all times.

7. Environment and Ecology: 

Nature has been generous with the state of Uttarakhand, providing an unparalleled bounty. The state also boasts of an unenviable record in conservation. It is worth recalling the Chipko Movement initiated in the state to save trees.

8. Lakes: 

The lakes called "Tal," spread around the popular Nainital to make it a heavenly destination.

9. Mountains and Glaciers: 

Snuggled in the laps of pristine Himalayas, Uttarakhand abounds in Mountains, Rivers, and Glaciers.

10. Rivers: 

Two of the sacred Indian rivers, Ganga and Yamuna, originate in the state. 

11.Heritage site: 

The Valley of Flowers is tagged as a UNESCO Heritage site.

12. Wildlife: 

The flora and fauna of Uttarakhand are diverse in 12 National Parks and Sanctuaries, making it an ideal destination for wildlife enthusiasts. The Corbett National Park is a popular destination for nature lovers.

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