Major Tourists’ Attractions of Uttarakhand Are:
Religious Places : Located in fascinating landscapes, there are dozens of religious places. Surprisingly, the sacred shrines of Char Dham, Lord Shiva's Panch Kedar, Lord Vishnu's Panch Badri, holy Panch Prayag, and many other illustrious temples are enshrined in the state of Uttarakhand. Millions of devotees not only from different regions of India, but also from many countries of the world visit Uttarakhand every year.
Major religious places are :
- Badrinath: It is located in Chamoli District of Uttarakhand. Badrinath dedicated to Lord Shiva is one of the most sacred religious places and one of the char dhams in India. It is located at the altitude of 3,133 meters on the left bank of Alakananda River. The place remains frozen almost for 10 months. However, during summer season it opens for the devotees.
- Kedarnath : It is located at the altitude of about 3,584 meters near the head of River Mandakini. Kedarnath is one of the char dhams. Further, it is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. Interestingly, the temple is enshrined in the wonderful scenic landscapes of Himalayan mountain range that remains covered with snow almost round the year. However, temple opens merely for a few months during summer seasons
- Gangotri : Located at the altitude of 3,048 meters in district of Uttarakashi on the bank of Bhagirathi River, it is one of the Char dhams of Uttarakhand. Devotees worship here the natural rock Shivling which is submerged under water. The most sacred temple of Ganga is located here. Above all, the river Bhagirathi originates from Gaumukh glaciers, which is located at the distance of 18 kms from Gangotri.
- Haridwar : It is located on the bank of Ganga River. Interestingly, the literal meaning of the name ‘Haridwar’ is “Gateway to God”; so, the place remains filled with its devotees round the year. However, the best time to visit the place is from October to March. Haridwar is one of the places (among four) where the largest religious mela of India i.e. Kumbh Mela takes place after every 12 years. Har-ki-Pauri at the River Ganga is significant place in Haridwar because all devotees take dip before visiting the temples.
- Rishikesh : It is located on the bank of River Ganga. Though, Rishikesh is popular as a religious place, but it is also one of the most preferred destinations for yoga where people from all over the world visit for yoga classes. Tourists also love here adventure tourism i.e. river rafting.
- Devprayag : It is located in the district of Tehri Garhwal. Interestingly, Devprayag is the confluence point of River Bhagirathi and River Alaknanda; and, after this point, the most sacred river of India i.e. Ganga starts its journey towards south-east and finally debouches in the Bay of Bengal.
Other Popular Religious places of Uttarakhand
Rudranath Rudraprayag Yamunotri
Adi Badri Adi Kailash Almora
Augustmuni Baijnath Dwarahat
Gangnani Gangolihat Gaurikund
Jageshwar Janki Chatti Joshimath
Kalpeshwar Karnaprayag Madmaheshwar
Guptkashi Hanuman Chatti Hemkund
Ghangaria Patal Bhuvaneshwar
- Mussoorie : It is located at the altitude of about 2,000 meters on the foothills of Himalayas. The place is locally known as ‘Queen of the Hills.’ Origninally, the city is established by the British officers. The place has amazing and mesmerizing landscapes. In addition, Mussoorie is also known for the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration where Indian Administrative Officers are trained.
- Lansdowne : Located at the altitude of about 1,700 meters, it is a beautiful landscape to enjoy holiday in peace. It is named after the Viceroy Lord Lansdowne.
- Ranikhet : It is located in Almora district of Uttarakhand in the fascinating Himalayan Range.
- Nainital : It is located at the altitude of about 1,939 meters. Nainital is more popularly known as “Lake District of India” because it is the home of many lakes. Among all lakes, Naini Lake is the most significant lake in Nainital. Nainital Zoo and Eco Cave Garden are also significant attractions for the tourists.
- Dehradun : In fact, Dehradun is NOT a hill station, but it is the capital of Uttarakhand. Located in the plain region, it is linked with roadways, railways and airways; therefore, this is a junction from where tourists can take buses for other different tourists’ point of the state.
Other Popular Hill Stations of Uttarakhand
Munsiyari Almora Uttarkashi
Abbott Mount Bhimtal Binsar
Chakrata Chamba Champawat
Chaukori Dhanaulti Dharchula
Gangolihat Harsil Kanatal
Kausani Lohaghat Mukteshwar
National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries
- Jim Corbett National Park : It is located in the District of Nainital. Jim Corbett National Park is the oldest National Park of India and primarily it was known with the name ‘Hailey National Park,’ but later on it is changed as Jim Corbett after the name of a hunter and conservationist Jim Corbett who played a key role in popularizing this national park. popular for the ecotourism destinations, it is protected area for the endangered Bengal Tiger. Other significant wild lives are elephant, chital, king cobra, sambar deer, wild boar, nilgai, hedgehog etc.
- Valley of Flowers : It is located in the western Himalayas. Valley of Flowers is fascinating home of endemic alpine flowers and many other varieties of flora. Other, significant animals of this park are snow leopard, Asiatic black bear, blue sheep brown bear, and are also the family members of this biosphere.
- Nanda Devi National Park : It is located in the premises of the Nanda Devi Mountain Peak. The park is located at the altitude of about 3,500 meters. Interestingly, along with Valley of Flowers, it is enlisted World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
- Rajaji National Park : It is located in the region of Shivalik, foothills of the Himalayas. This park is named after the name of renowned leader of India C. Rajagoplachari. This park has the highest number of elephants. Other significant animals are Bengal Tiger, Leopard, Striped Hyena, Jungle Cat, Goral etc.
- Govind Wildlife Sanctuary : It is located in the Uttarkashi District of the state. It is popular for the “Snow Leopard Project”.
Adventure Tourism in Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand is pretty popular for the adventure tourism; fascinating adventure tourisms in the state are:
- Trekking : Trekking in the state is not only adventures but also gives opportunity to explore the hidden jewels of Uttarakhand. Thousands of tourists from all around the globe visit Uttarakhand especially for trekking every year. Significant trekking points in the state are – Kedarnath, Valley of Flowers, Adi Kailash, Yamunotri, Rudranath, Pindari Glacier, Munsiyari, Nanda Devi National Park, Sunderdhunga Glacier, etc.
- River Rafting : River rafting is a sort of boating in the fast moving white water of river. Because of very fast water current and mountainous region, it is definitely a daredevil act. Some of the significant points for river rafting are Rishikesh, Haridwar etc.
- Paragliding : Paragliding is a thrilling activity in the air. In the state there are points where paragliding facility is available. Major spots for the paragliding are Dhanaulti Ridge, Mukteshwar, Ranikhet, Naukuchiayatal, Dayara etc.
- Rock Climbing Tours : Rock climbing is another adventurous activity that fascinates many younger people. In the state there are many places for rock climbing; significant of them are: Uttarkashi, Rishikesh, Dharamshala, Chamoli, Pauri, etc.
Other Adventure Tourism
- Biking Tours : Biking/cycling in the Himalayan region is one of the most challenging activities that many younger tourists love to do that.
- Wild Life Jungle Safari Tours: Watching wild animals in open jungle is another fascinating tour.