Nicknamed as Devbhumi, Uttarakhand is dotted with Hindu temples and pilgrimage sites throughout its extension. Even though this beautiful yet unexplored state is immensely popular for its temples and religious sites, it also houses numerous hill stations, lakes and beautiful forests.
With the presence of several peaks of the great Himalayas, Uttarakhand remains one of the most beautiful states in India. On account of its natural beauty and stainless environment, it draws tourists from all over the world. Following are the major places in Uttarakhand, which are must-visit destinations due to their extreme popularity amongst locals as well as foreigners.
PC- Dipankar Ghosh
The list cannot set off without adding Nainital to the itinerary. Unarguably, Nainital is the most visited hill station in Uttarakhand and attracts tourists from all over the world on account of its richness in hills and lakes.
Located in the outer Himalayas, Nainital is also known as the lake city. Being a year-round destination due to its pleasant weather, Nainital can be visited anytime. The major places of interest include Nainital Lake, Hanumangarhi, Sat Tal and Naini Peak.
Rishikesh is the perfect place to enjoy the natural beauty of Uttarakhand amid a spiritual ambience and cool surroundings. It is a major pilgrimage site for Hindus due to the presence of several Hindu temples within its boundaries. Even though it is has gained its popularity as the land of temples, it has also become a famous stoppage for rafters as the presence of pristine rivers provides its visitors with the opportunities of river rafting in its white relaxing waters.
PC- Paul Hamilton
The capital city of Uttarakhand, Dehradun is known for its deep valleys and towering hills. Surrounded by the lush greenery of beautiful hills, Dehradun is located in the Himalayas in the Doon Valley.
There are several legends about Dehradun which relate it to the period of Lord Rama and the epic Mahabharata. It is believed that Guru Dronacharya resided in the valleys of Dehradun and meditated there for a long period of time. Dehradun is also popular for its quality rice and bakery products.
PC- Anshul Dabral
It is rightly said that your visit to Dehradun is incomplete unless you have taken a bath in the spiritual waters of river Ganga flowing through the town. Haridwar is considered one of the holiest places in the world in Hinduism and the oldest place in Uttarakhand.
The history of Haridwar dates back thousands of years old. It is also known for its Kumbh Mela, which is celebrated once every twelve years on its pristine lands. What can be better than resting in the space of divinity and spirituality while being surrounded by beautiful hills and meandering rivers?
PC- Naresh Balakrishnan
Badrinath is another popular destination in Uttarakhand for Hindu pilgrims. It is famous amongst tourists for its world-famous Badrinath Temple and is one of the most prominent sites in the Char Dham pilgrimage in India.
Located in the Chamoli district in Badrinath Valley, this holy town also boasts of peaceful nature and calm surroundings. Being located on the banks of Alaknanda river, it also provides its visitors with certain opportunities of savouring the natural beauty and capturing the best of views.
PC- Paul Hamilton
Mussoorie is one of the most visited hill stations in the state of Uttarakhand and is popular for its green hills rich in biodiversity. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains and misty clouds, the breathtaking views of Doon Valley are clearly seen from its summit. It is also a popular weekend destination for trekkers and campers. The major places to visit in Mussoorie include Kempty Falls, Happy Valley, Gun Hill and Mussoorie Lake.
PC- Naresh Balakrishnan
Another major pilgrimage site in Hinduism, Kedarnath is one of the Chota Char Dham sites in Uttarakhand and is located in the Himalayas in the Rudraprayag district. It is popular for its Kedarnath Temple, which remains crowded with Hindu devotees during the festive seasons. It is believed that the Kedarnath Temple has been in existence since the times of Mahabharata. Surrounded by magnificent hills, Kedarnath also houses Chorabari Lake, which is lake-cum-glacier.