Uttarakhand is the land of dense forests, icy white glaciers, clear gurgling streams and towering mountains, beautiful hill stations; a land which has been known as 'Dev Bhoomi.' Two contiguous areas - Garhwal and Kumaon - comprise Uttaranchal, and right across this stretch are hundreds of temples, shrines, and ashrams. Devout Hindus believe that these hills are the abode of the gods, and that visits to the shrines here will bring salvation.
And for the not so devout, in this lovely state of Uttarakhand there are mountains to climb, rivers to ford, deodar forests to explore and trails to trek. Make your way up to tiny villages in Uttarakhand hidden away in misty hills, wend your way through a rhododendron forest ablaze with red blossoms, or just sit under a tree and watch the sun go down in a burst of color. It doesn’t get lovelier than this!
Capital: Dehradun, Nainital
Best Time of Visit:
- Even though Uttarakhand is a place that is generally visited throughout the year, the best time to visit Uttarakhand is during the summers while some places are better off during the winter season. The summers
( March – June) in Uttarakhand, at certain places, can get pretty hot.
Min Days Required: 7 days
Places of Interest:
- Vallery of Flowers National Park
- Corbett National Park
- Char Dham
- Uttarakhand's diversity in terms of altitude means a corresponding diversity of climate. And the range of temperatures is very wide indeed, all the way from tropical to perpetually sub-zero.
- Low lying areas, known as the Bhabhar plains (at the foothills of the Himalayas) fall within the warm tropical zone, and the higher you go, the lower the temperature goes- ranging, with increasing altitude, from sub-tropical, through warm temperate, temperate and alpine to glacial and perpetually frozen.
- Average temperatures range in summer from 30ºC in the plains to 14 or 15ºC in the mountains (snowbound regions are sub-zero throughout). Winter temperatures in the plains average 10 or 11ºC, and fall well below freezing higher up.
- Most of Uttarakhand is affected by the southwest monsoon in the summer months, and snowfall occurs in the mountainous zones.
Things to carry:
- Generally weather in Uttarakhand is quite pleasant, although at places it can get pretty hot during the summers. Hence, it is advisable to carry loose cotton clothing for the summers.
- Avoid any kind of body hugging or synthetic material if you are visiting during summers. But, if you are going to the hill stations like Mussoorie, Auli, etc. then don't forget to carry woolen clothes even during the summers, as it can get pretty chilly in the hills.
- As for the winter season, it gets extremely cold during the winters and almost all the hilly areas experience heavy snowfall. So, take some heavy woolen clothes with you.
- In case you are not carrying special or winter clothing, it is readily available for purchase at most of the urban locations.
How to get there:
- There are a couple of domestic airports in Uttarakhand: Dehradun’s Jolly Grant Airport, Pantnagar airport and Pithoragarh’s Naini Saini Airport.
- However, at the best of times, flights to all these airports are highly erratic, so it may be best to check if flights are operational.
- More than three-fourths of Uttarakhand lies in the mountains, consequently, the railway network is fairly meager. Important junctions include Dehradun, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Nainital, Kotdwar, Kathgodam, Pauri and Udham Singh Nagar- nearly all of them lying in the southern and southwestern districts of the state.
- Train connections to other cities in northern India, including Delhi, Lucknow and Varanasi, are frequent, and from these towns regular buses travel northward to other parts of Uttarakhand.