Tour a picturesque region also known as the Land of the Gods for the many temples scattered among Himalayan valleys. Visit holy sites and enjoy outdoor pursuits.
Uttarakhand, which was formerly called Uttaranchal, is a vast Himalayan region of rivers, lakes, mountains and glaciers. The diverse landscape is also filled with sacred shrines, temples and pilgrimage sites. Swim in India’s holiest river, hike above the clouds on snowcapped mountains and tour temple sites.
There are many ways to experience Uttarakhand’s great natural beauty at all times of the year. Ski the resorts of Auli, bike along the rugged mountainous terrain of Garhwal and go rafting over the challenging rapids of the Alaknanda and Dhauliganga rivers.
Hike paths that pass through the peaks surrounding Vasuki Tal Mountain Lake in Kedarnath. Test your fitness on a walk along the 9-mile (14.5-kilometer) Kedarnath Mandir trail. While you are near the town, visit Kedarnath Temple, dedicated to the god Shiva. The ancient shrine is more than 1,000 years old and is located in the Rudra Himalaya mountain range.
One of Uttarakhand’s most spiritual destinations is Rishikesh, nicknamed the Yoga Capital of the World. Here, there are many ashrams along the Ganges River where you can find yoga and meditation classes.
Visit the original Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram where the Beatles stayed with their guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the late 1960s. The site was abandoned years ago, but you can visit the meditation cells and the bungalows where the band stayed. The lecture hall has been turned into a Beatles-themed art project. Join the many pilgrims who come to the town to bathe in the river. The Ganges is considered to be the most sacred river by many Hindus.
More than 10 percent of Uttarakhand's terrain is covered by national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Go on an open jeep tour of Rajaji National Park to see deer, boars, antelopes and cheetahs.
There are many ways to reach Uttarakhand, including buses, trains and planes from New Delhi. Much of the region lies in the mountains, and once you are here, a car is the most convenient way to get around.
Uttarakhand is a wonderful vacation spot to enjoy nature, thrilling adventures or relaxation. Leave enough time to experience all three.