The summers have officially started in the northern plains of India and people are looking for destinations to get away from the sweltering heat. Luckily Uttarakhand is a breath of fresh air and offers the perfect getaway option from the scorching sun. This popular hill station in India attracts tourists all year round and offers a serene environment for you to rejuvenate on the lap of the Himalayas. What makes this place special? The tranquility of the hills laced with spiritual essence and the warmth of the welcoming locals makes it the best place to be for some time away from the busy city life.
Here are a few handpicked destinations in Uttarakhand to give you an idea about where to go this summer:
01. Kausani, Bageshwar
Nestled amidst the rich and untouched greenery of the Garhwal Himalayas and deemed as the ‘Switzerland of India’ by Mahatma Gandhi, Kausani is a rare gem amongst the many wonders of Uttarakhand. If you want to explore the rich cultural local heritage of the local villagers here, this place allows you to kick back, relax and unwind in the cool Himalayan environment. You will be able to gaze at the far away snow peaked mountains and bask in its tranquil glory.
Places of Attraction: Sumitranandan Pant Museum, Anasakti Ashram, Lakshmi Ashram and Baijnath Temple.
02. Chopta, Rudraprayag
The picture perfect destination of Chopta is the perfect option for a summer getaway. Perched on a high elevation this place offers a cool climate throughout the year. People visiting can explore the nearby trekking and hiking destinations and what’s better than taking up any route and coming in face to face with the grand beauty of nature. If you are a believer then you can also go for a quick spiritual tour of Kedarnath by helicopter which will only take half a day. With meadows, evergreen forests and an exotic collection of Himalayan fauna, Chopta is every traveller’s dream come true destination for a summer vacation.
Places of Attraction: Chandrashila, Tungnath, Bugyals and Deoria Taal.
03. Jeolikot, Nainital
No matter if you are travelling alone, with a group or with your family with kids, this pristine destination is known for its untouched beauty and allows you to explore a more offbeat road which stays hidden away from the general eyes of the tourists. With pleasant weather throughout the year summer time in Jeolikot has a charm of its own with warm sunshine lighting up the whole region.
Places of Interest: Himalayan Botanical garden, Sariyatal, Sattal Lake and Kilbury Road.
04. Binsar, Almora
This scenic hamlet perched on top of the Jhandi Dhar hills is a quiet getaway tucked within the Binsar wildlife Sanctuary. Before gaining commercial popularity and attention from peace seekers this place was already known for being the summer capital for the Chand king, rulers of the Garhwal. With lush green beauty of the higher Himalayas and surrounded by the magnificently snow clad peaks of Himalayas, Binsar has always been a summer vacation favourite.
Places of Attraction: Zero Point, Bineshwar Temple, Golu Devta Temple and Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary.
05. Munsiyari, Pithoragarh
Popular for being the base for various trekking expeditions to the inner Himalayan regions, Munsiyari is Famous for splendid 180 degree view of the surrounding Himalayas. Currently it has become extremely popular as a biking destination as well as a yoga and meditation hub for domestic as well as international tourists. Also referred to as ‘Little Kashmir’ Munsiyari literally translates into ‘a place of snow’.
Places of Interest: Nanda Devi Temple, Birthi Falls, Maheshwari Kund and Madkot Village.
With an almond-shaped glistening lake at the centre of the town, Nainital is named after this lake which is the prime attraction here. No matter which time of the year you plan on visiting Nainital you will always be greeted with a number of tourists. It is also one of the top places to visit for a weekend getaway from Delhi and has been developed primarily to escape from the summer of the lower altitude regions.
Places of Attraction: Tiffin Top, Naini Lake, Naini Peak, Snow View and Eco Cave Gardens.
07. Valley of Flowers National Park, Chamoli
A UNESCO world heritage site and popular for being dotted with colourful high altitude exotic Himalayan flowers, this place is covered in a lush green carpet and the absence of a tree makes it an even better option for a summer getaway. The park remains open for only selective months out of the year in order to keep its pristine beauty untouched and preserved. If you have a spiritual bend then you can also go on a Badrinath yatra which is situated at a distance of 40 kms.
Places of Interest: Badrinath, Hemkund Sahib, Bhyundar Valley and Ghangaria.
08. Auli, Chamoli
Situated on the southern end of the famous Hindu pilgrimage temple of Badrinath, Aulis is popular as one of the most exciting winter vacation getaway. However, when the region is not blanketed in snow it displays its lush green rolling meadows where people visit to go on hiking journeys and camp out. Linking Auli to Joshimath is a fun ropeway which can be one of the best summer vacation experiences in Uttarakhand. Gazing at the far off mountain peaks with the cool breeze brushing away all the summer tension will make for a memorable holiday.
Places of Attraction: Gurso Bugyal, Kwani Bugyal and Joshimath
09. Lansdowne, Pauri Garhwal
Named after Lord Lansdowne and believed to be one of the most untouched and pristine hill station in Uttarakhand and situated on an altitude of 1,700 metres above sea level, this place is surrounded by Lush and thick pine forests. With well built, smooth rods this place was developed for the Britishers and by the Britishers for getting away from the inhospitable and uncomfortable summer heat of the plains. This is evident with a few remaining government buildings and is the perfect place to laze among the quiet natural habitat.
Places of Attraction: St. John ’s church, Tarkeshwar temple, Bhulla Tal, Darwan Singh Museum and War Memorial.
10. Nag Tibba
At 3,022 metres above sea level this lush green carpeted mountain is a famous trekking and adventure Destination since it is also the highest peaks in the lesser Himalayan region. This place gets its name from the Nag Tibba range which it is a part of and is frequented mostly during the summer months. Owing to its altitude the environment in and around this region remains cool and calm throughout the year (except during snow fall).
Places of Attraction: Landour, Jharipani Falls and Dodi Tal Lake
11. Mukteshwar, Nainital
Popular for offering an unobstructed and clear view of the Himalayas on cloudless days and situated at a distance of 72 kms from Haldwani, this place is seated high on the hills of Kumaon and is the perfect place to give yourself some time off from the city and soak in the cool breeze. It is also one of the most sought after weekend getaway destination for people from Delhi and other nearby regions. The entire region is also steeped in rich cultural and historical value that makes it extremely fascinating.
Places of Attraction: Mukteshwar Dham (350 yrs. Old), Chauli Ki Jali, Indian veterinary research institute.
12. Ramgarh, Nainital
Rich with fruit orchards that have earned its name for being the ‘fruit bowl of Uttarakhand’, Ramgarh is the best place for spending your summer days. Divided between Malla (Malla) and Talla (downhill) Ramgarh is one of the most peaceful places in Uttarakhand. If you are lucky you will be able to witness a random shower which will only elevate its natural beauty. The region is doused in deep and thick greenery and Falls en route Mukteshwar so it cannot be missed. Visiting here with your family to spend some time bonding with each other is a great way to go.
Places of Attraction: Dadi View Point, Fruit Orchards (Peaches, Apricots, Pears and Apples).
13. Harsil, Uttarkashi
No words will be enough to describe the beautiful paradise that Harsil truly is. Located on your way to Gangotri Dham this place is utilized as a base for further pilgrimage. With the Bhagirathi River making her way through its valley and covered in a thick green blanket of rhododendrons, peaks and deodar this place offers the perfect getaway option for a summer getaway to Uttarakhand. You can hike to different nearby local villages from here is you want to escape the pilgrim crowd.
Places of Attraction: Dharali, Mukhwas, Gangotri and Gangnani.
14. Ranikhet, Almora
Literally translating into ‘queen’s land’ and situated on an elevation of 1,869 metres above sea level this Hilly escape town is a cantonment that is primarily maintained by Indian Army and it offers some of the most panoramic views of the surrounding snow clad mountain peaks. One of the most striking features of Ranikhet is its terraced orchards consisting of fruit laden trees and the cool weather here makes it an even more likeable destination to spend summer with your family.
Places of Attraction: Jhula Devi Temple, Mankameshwar Temple, Golf Ground, Chaubatia Orchards and Dwarkahat.
15. Dhanaulti, Tehri Garhwal
Located on the foothills of the Garhwal ranges of the Himalayas and encapsulated in a deeply calm and serene environment Dhanaulti has always been one of the most sought after destinations to indulge in the cool breezes and beat the heat of the plains. The panoramic view of the snow laden Himalayas throughout the year is like a cherry on the cake for your travel plans this summer. The tall green trees sway in the cool summer breeze and allow you to get some much-needed peace of mind.
Places of Attraction: Dhanaulti Eco Park, Surkanda Devi Temple, Dashavatar Temple and Deogarh fort.
Known all over the world for being the top choice among Delhi items for a quick weekend getaway, Mussoorie has always been a centre for tourist activities since the time it was developed. With charming view points, clean air and a pleasant temperature throughout the year, this place is a great option if you don’t have a lot of time in your hand but are looking to leave the bustle of the city behind for a few days but quickly and even indulge in some fun paragliding, trekking activities.
Places of Attraction: Lake Mist, Cloud’s end, Kempty Falls, Gun Hill and Benog Wildlife Sanctuary.
This thriving little hamlet is set on the banks of the holy river of Bhagirathi and its spirituality is equivalent to the holy pilgrimage twin town of Haridwar and Rishikesh due to the presence of the holy Gangotri dham here. The crystal clear flowing river provides this holy hamlet with cool wind and breeze which has also managed to sustain a thriving collection of High altitude flora and fauna. Not just this you will also be able to explore the deep thick forests of pine, deodar and fur among others.
Places of Attraction: Vishwanath Temple, Kuteti Devi Temple, Shakti Mandir and Gangotri Temple.
18. Chakrata, Dehradun
Peacefully perched between the rivers of Yamuna and tons, Chakrata was originally developed as a cantonment area for the British Indian army. The place offers some of the most incredibly Pictresque views of the surrounding snow clad mountain peaks and the river flowing through it adds some much needed peace and charm to it. Visiting this magnificent hill town during summer months is a great idea if you are planning on ditching the common tourist attractions in Uttarakhand.
Places of Attraction: Ramtal Garden, Vyas Shikhar and Tiger Falls.
19. Bhimtal, Nainital
This pristine lake city is named after the strongest mythological character of Mahabharat and is highly revered for its aesthetic beauty. This is the perfect place to explore with your family and spend some peaceful time with your family and bond over some boat rides and hiking trails. Say goodbye to the hot summer winds and embrace the cool mountain breeze here which will be a refreshing change.
Places of Attraction: Bhimtal Lake, Nal Damyanti Tal, Folk Culture Museum and Bhimeshwar Mahadev
20. Chaukori, Pithoragarh
The imposing snow bound hills of Himalayas can be clearly seen from Chaukori and the cool breeze here seems like it has made its way from the top of the mountain itself. The name of this hamlet literally translates into ‘bowl shaped’ and has been one of the most sought after choices for not only outdoor adventure seekers but peace lovers and bird watchers as well. Its remote location along with the pristine beauty of nature lets you enjoy the summer time in peace.