Best Hill Stations in Uttarakhand
Often referred as the ‘Dev Bhoomi’, Uttarakhand is a land of various ancient shrines and other holy destinations. However, there is more to Uttarakhand than meets the eye. Besides providing pilgrimage opportunities through Chardham circuit, Haridwar and Rishikesh, this North Indian State greets the travelers with various splendid hill stations like Ranikhet, Almora, Nainital, Kausani, Mukteshwar, Binsar Mussoorie and Auli. Be it the lofty mountains cuddled in snow, terrain embellished with green carpets or rivers embracing crystal clear waters, these destinations are bestowed with every natural marvel; thus, providing a soothing sight to sore eyes.
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Top Hill Stations in Uttarakhand
If you enjoy skiing, Auli is the best destination for you in Uttarakhand. For enthusiastic winter sports lovers, it houses some of the best slopes covered with Deoadar and Oak forest reducing the velocity of chilling wind. Witnessing the panoramic view of the Himalaya from Gondola can be an unforgettable experience. Best time to visit is January to March when nature decors the land with dusty snow. If you love to go for trekking, Auli to Badrinath and Auli-Kuari Pass trek are some of the best places for adventure trekking in Uttarakhand.
Mostly known for its beguiling lake, Bhimtal can be one of the best locations to spend your summer Holidays in Uttarakhand. Located at an elevation of 1371 m above sea level, this sprawling hill station enjoys a pleasant weather throughout the year. The magnificent hills hovering with lush greenery border the entire lake area. Bhimtal Lake has a strategically located restaurant at its centre, from where one can enjoy the scenic beauty of the entire lake. Boating on its calm water is an incredible experience. Angling is allowed here, but you need to take special permission from DCFR. One can indulge in rappelling or rock climbing in Bhimtal. Bhowali, Kainchi, Gorkhakhal, Bhimeshwar temple are some of the must see spots near Bhimtal.
Located at an elevation of 7600 ft above sea level, Binsar is known to be the highest hill station in the entire Kumaon region. It is one of the most beautiful places in Uttarakhand, and located amidst the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary. Witnessing the panoramic view of the Himalayan peaks from Zero point is the main attraction of this region. From nature lovers to adventure freaks, this region can satisfy all. The mesmerizing Himalayan oak and rhododendron woods are ideal for trekking. Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary houses more than 200 species of birds and other wildlife including leopard, black bear, pine marten porcupine etc. Do not forget to have a glimpse of snow packed mountains of Kedarnath, Trishul, Shivling and the Nanda Devi from famous Binsar Zero Point. The Bineshwar Temple of 13th Century India is highly attention grabbing.
Another famous hill station in Uttarakahand, Chakrata attracts attention of the tourists for its unique natural setting. Situated by the side of Yamuna and Tons River, this beautiful hill station is amongst one of the best locations to repose. The undulating terrains of the majestic hill, deep forests, and healthy climate make it a perfect destination for a soothing summer outing. Trekking to Kharamba Peak is a wonderful experience. The northern slants of Chakrata are famous for both skiing and trekking.
Encompassing some of the wonderful tourist attractions in Uttarakhand, Chopta is known to be the Switzerland of India. Mostly visited for adventurous activities, Chopta has pleasant weather and breathtaking ambiance to please cosmopolitan city dwellers. Among the adventurous activities, exploring the Chopta Tungnath Trek is the most amusing. This easy gradient track can be explored in one day. The journey starts from Chopta and ends at Tungnath summit (Chandrshila). This steady inclined trek passes through a striking forest of rhododendron. For having a glimpse of superb views of Chopta, September to November is the best time. Witnessing the snow covered mountain tracks while passing through the twist path is remarkable. The region is perched with numerous alpine meadow slopes which are great locations for skiing. You can also take part in camping on Chopta.
Situated at an elevation of 2286 m above sea level, Dhanaulti is an attractive tourist spot in Mussoorie. Enclosed with dense oak, alpine and rhododendron forests, this exotic location can be the best retreat to the city dwellers. Slightly apart from the crowd of Mussoorie, Dhanaulti fascinates tourists throughout the year. From weekend travelers to family vacationers and corporate groups, everyone has something unique to enjoy in this diverse land. For thrill seekers, there are scopes to enjoy soft adventure activities like Flying Fox and Burma Bridge. There are wonderful walking tracks and nice corners and sitting spaces to spend leisure. Barehipani fall (400m) and Joranda fall (150m) in Dhanaulti exude wonderful natural ambiance. There are different varieties of swings for kids. So, if you are with your family, your kids will also like this place.
Another important weekend getaway in Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand, Khirsu is one of the most peaceful tourist places in Uttarakhand. This small hill station at an elevation of 1700m fascinates travelers and offers some of the best views of central Himalaya and its snow clad peaks. If you love communing with nature, this is the right place for you. During winter, the mountain peaks get covered with the powdery white snow. The tranquil forest is thick in Oak, Deodar forests. Sweet smell of ripen apples is delightful. The ancient temple of Ghandiyal Devta in the vicinity is worth a visit. Pauri, Deval Garh, Dhari Devi, and Ulkha Garhi are some of the best sightseeing options in Khirsu.
Lansdowne is a perfect getaway to spend your holiday. An ideal destination to spend the relaxing moments without doing any activities is easily approachable from metro cities like Delhi. Located at an altitude of 1700m above sea level, this small hill station offers the best views of snow-laden peaks of Mt. Kedarnath and Chaukhamba. The hills are perched with green forests of Pine, Deodar, and Rhododendron and amplify the scenic beauty. Unpopulated environments, fresh cold breezes, colour of sunset & sunrise and bird paradise are the uniqueness of this tiny hill station.
For those young and enthusiastic individuals who love to feel the thrill of adventure, Munsiyari has multiple options. Located in Pithoragarh district at an altitude of 2298m above sea level this less polluted holiday destination houses a number of high altitude trekking routes. From beginners to experts, all can quench their thirst of trekking. Observe the mesmerizing view of the snow capped peaks of Himalaya while trekking. If you are in a long trip and want to explore more, do not forget to look for the multiple varieties of wildlife which is enriched by the rare species like Himalayan griffon, Himalayan bear, wagtail, raven, falcon, monal and many more. Birthi Fall is around 35/kms from Munsiyari and a must-see tourist attraction. A very old temple called Nanda Devi is another attraction of this vicinity. March to May and October to November is considered to be the best period to visit this mini Kashmir of Uttarakhand.
Mostly known as the ‘queen of the hills’, Mussoorie is the pride of Uttarakhand Tourism industry and a significant source of revenue for the state. Breathtaking scenic beauty of Mussoorie compels the travelers to accept the truth that nature has painted the canvas of this astounding tourist spot with sheer concentration. Nestled amidst the undulating Himalayan ranges, this region seems like a nest of peace. The average altitude of Mussoorie is 1,880 m whereas the highest peak is more than 2,290m high making it a paradise for the thrill seekers. March to June and September to November is the best time to visit this splendid spot.
Being one of the most popular hill stations in Uttarakhand, Nainital is the perfect retreat for the tourists of all taste. From lovely honeymoon couples to passionate youths, everyone has unique things to explore here. Lavish hotels are set in the densely wooded hills around the Naini Lake. The lush green hillsides offer mesmerizing views of the snow white Himalayan ranges. Nanda Devi temple on the northern bank of the lake is a historical sightseeing spot. Sher-Ka-Danda Ridge, Guano Hills, Tiffin Top, and Eco Cave Gardens are some of the popular places in Nainital. Nainital Zoo has a few rare species of animals like snow leopard, Himalayan black bear and steppe eagle. Enjoying boat ride on the pristinely set environment of Naini Lake is incredibly blissful.
Set amidst breath-taking natural scenario and holy spots, Pithoragarh is a significant hill station in Uttarakhand. Located at a height of 1,650m above sea level, this small village is a historical place too. Mansarovar and Kailash pilgrimage start from this region. Nepal and Tibbet are the neighbouring countries close to Pithoragarh. Pouring waterfalls, white glaciers, tranquil lakes, and gushing rivers gulp down the tiredness and boredom of the travelers. Walk around all unique elements of Pithoragarh starting from sightseeing to nature exploring and let your inner soul rejuvenate.