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Located at the foothills of the Himalayas, Uttarakhand is a state of northern India. Referred to as the “Devabhoomi” or the “abode of the Gods” for its pilgrimage sites like Rishikesh and Haridwar, Uttarakhand is a land of divine beauty, beautiful temples and lots of adventurous activities to do in your vacation. Having one of the richest cultures in the world, Uttarakhand blesses its visitors with its beauty.
The winter in Uttarakhand provides you with some of the best snowy mountain range views. From trekking on mountains to rafting in rivers, there is a ton of things to do in Uttarakhand. There’s an abundance of activities to do here. So what are you waiting for? Spend a great time and make memories with your family and friends with all there is to do here during your stay.
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Top 30 Things to do in Uttarakhand, India
1. Rafting in Rishikesh
Being one of the most adventurous cities of India, Rishikesh brings you loads of extreme sports activities. You call also camp here during your adventures. Along the campsite lies the beautiful valley. Mountains surround the whole campsite whileyou can see an amazing view of the flowing river. There’s also a flowing waterfall if you want to make those waterfall pictures memorable.
The main attraction of the place would be rafting on the Ganga for about 9 kilometers. You can also take part in cliff jumping or body surfing. The adrenaline rush is real with this place.
2. A minimal Retreat to Nainital
Nainital is one of the most famous hill stations among all the hill stations you get to see in Uttarakhand. People of all ages come here and experience the place in different ways. Around the beautiful Naini lake are lavish hotels. In the lake itself, you’ll find loads of things to do. The view of the snow white-topped mountains of the Himalayan ranges stands stall with its mesmerizing beauty. Just a peaceful boat ride in the lake, you will feel relaxed in this pristine environment.
You can also avail many fun activities near the hotels like Nature trail, ATV rides, paragliding, and kayaking. There are also places where you can sit down with your loved ones for having a picnic or better yet, a bonfire.
3. Witness the beauty of Dehradun and Mussoorie
Next on our list of things to do in Uttarakhand are visiting Dehradun and Mussoorie, two places that will make your trip worthwhile. Dehradun, the capital of Uttarakhand has an amazing view of both the Himalayan mountain ranges and the river Ganga.
Mussoorie otherwise, known as the ‘queen of hills’ is one of the most tranquil hill stations of Uttarakhand.
Being at an altitude of 1,880m Mussoorie is compared to paradise. The captivating weather makes the tourists want to stay here a little longer and demand late checkouts. The activities here include river rafting.
4. The Kedarnath Trek
You up for some thrill? This is what you do next. The Kedarnath trek is the most looked for trekking destinations in the whole of India. Beautifully decorated with snow and with pine trees on the borders, The Kedarnath Peak stands tall. To reach the trek you’ll start from the capital Dehradun and pass Mussoorie on the way.
In no way should one miss this trek on their visit to Uttarakhand, if he’s willing to face a difficult challenge. If you seek adventure, this is the place to go.
5. Paying a visit to the Corbett National Park
Coming in next on this list of things to do in Uttarakhand, is a visit to the Corbett National Park. This is one of the oldest wildlife sanctuaries of the country. The main attraction of the park is notably the Royal Bengal Tiger. This park encompasses an area of over 520 square kilometers. It’s home to 600 species of birds and about an equal amount of animals. It also has around 488 types of plants and trees.
The park organizes safaris and hiking trails into the dense forests of Uttarakhand throughout the whole year. If you’re a nature and photography enthusiast, you have to keep Jim Corbett in your itinerary.
6. Skiing at Auli
One of the famous things to do in Uttarakhand is skiing. Auli Hill Station is the place to visit. Auli is said to be amidst the best skiing destinations in the whole of India. It’s famous for hosting the SAF Winter Games and is considered one of the best skiing resorts if the world with its perfect slopes that attract people of all classes, whether novice or experts. Located at the Garhwal Hills of Uttarakhand, Auli attracts tourists throughout the year with its sheer beauty. Especially in winter, the snow makes the hills look like Snow White.
Other than skiing, Auli is also famous for its beautifully designed temples like the Nanda Devi, Mana Parvati, etc. If you’re up for some long skiing, Auli is where you’re going.
7. Visiting Almora
This is one of the more offbeat places on our list of things to do in Uttarakhand. To escape the summer heat this place is widely recommended. The picturesque beauty of the views is suggested to the mountain lovers. The destination comes with its glance of romanticism. Why you should visit Almora is because the natural and scenic beauty that Almora is offering is really hard to find.
If you’re in Uttarakhand to shop for handicraft products, this is the place to be. You can also go for trekking being surrounded by the scenic beauty.
8. The mini Switzerland of India: Chopta
With a mix of extreme adventure and a peaceful environment, this place will surely suit everyone’s taste. Chopta, made of few of the most attractive tourist spots of Uttarakhand, is often referred to as the mini Switzerland of India. It offers a 360 degrees panoramic view of the great mountains like Trishul and Nanda Devi. Its pleasant weather and amazing ambiance allow the people to stay clear from the hustle of daily lives.
The tourist comeshere mainly for adventurous activities. Photography enthusiasts also drool over the scenes when they reach.
Eager to get mind-blowing aerial views of the mountain peaks? Paragliding is the way to go. Even if you’re afraid of heights, the paragliders will assist you in taking off to landing safely. You’ll be able to conquer your fear of heights. First time for everything, right?
If you’re a learner, your pilot will make sure you get the full comfort while having the most beautiful view of the sky and the mountains around you. The safety of the gliders is always the priority. You can do this from the hill stations of Ranikhet, Dayara, Dhanoti ridge and Nanital.
10. Camping in Tons Valley
Next on this list of things to do in Uttarakhand is a popular option with groups. To set yourself free from the clutches of a busy life and to witness the natural beauty with your own eyes, camping is what you should do. Camping includes other activities like swimming, hiking, fishing, etc. The Tons Valley is located at about 3600 feet above sea level and is one of the most suitable places to set camp.
If you’re looking forward to enjoying nature with your friends and family, this is what you should be doing.
As soon as the summer heat pours, many people get set to travel to Tons Valley to set camp.
11. Rock Climbing in Rishikesh
Rishikesh is one of the main spots for extreme sports activities in Uttarakhand. Rock climbing is one of these sports. This one’s a demanding sport both physically and mentally. Your body is pushed to its limits when your strength, agility and mental calmness is tested in rock climbing. Just like paragliding, the safety of the participants in the priority here. The thrill to reach a certain mountain top while climbing is one thing. The joy of reaching the top and seeing the world from there is another.
These are handled by professionals and you do not have to be scared even if it’s your first time.
12. Cliff Jumping
Along the banks of the river Ganga, and the lower hills of the Himalayas, cliff jumping is another sport that’s going to test your limits. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, you’ll be motivated to jump off from a cliff and live.
The primary height to jump from a cliff is about 25-30 feet. But if you want to ride on that adrenaline rush you built up, you can go higher. Rishikesh is famous for removing your fears of heights. You’ll be able to live life to its fullest.
13. The Rajaji National Park
Another national park you can visit during your stay in Uttarakhand is the Rajaji National Park which is located at the foot of the Shivalik Range of the Himalayas. With an area of over 820 square km, the park stretches over the districts Pauri Garwal, the Capital Dehradun and Saharanpur. The park is home to innumerable birds and other flying species.
If you’re a wildlife lover, don’t miss this on your visit to Uttarakhand.
14. Body Surfing
In recent years, body surfing has grown up to be one of the more popular activities in Uttarakhand. All you have to do is lie on your back and the motion of the river current will take you with it. The necessary accessories for this activity are a pair of hand fins and wave blades. You’ll be able to buy these at a cheap price here.
Before starting, you must complete an introductory session with a professional body surfer. This will help you while surfing on your back in the river Ganga.
15. The Ranikhet Hill Station
Probably the greenest hilltop of the Himalayas, the Ranikhet hill station is a cantonment town too. The word ‘Ranikhet’ directly translates into the words Queen’s Meadows. Queen Padmini once visited this place and was mesmerized by its beauty. So the king named it Ranikhet.
For the city dwellers who are deprived of the charm of nature, this place brings a certain calmness in mind that words can’t express, you have to see it to believe it. Mountain trekking is one of the main activities here.
16. The Ram Jhula
One of the two most popular hanging bridges of Uttarakhand is the Ram Jhula. Put up in the year of 1986, the hanging bridge connects two ashrams, the Shivananda ashram, and the Swarg ashram. Named after Lord Ram, the bridge is one of the main tourist attractions of Uttarakhand.
The vicinity has other famous ashrams that you can visit too. All the ashrams have certain spiritual importance. A walk on the bridge provides the view of the snowcapped mountain peaks.
17. The Lakshman Jhula
The other famous hanging bridge of Uttarakhand is the Lakshman Jhula. Named after Lord Sri Ram’s younger brother, Laxman, the bridge has a story. According to Hindu mythology, this is the bridge that Laxman used to cross the river, Ganga. The bridge is 450 feet long and is suspended across the river Ganga. It’s used as a pathway to connect the Geeta Bhaban and the Swarg Ashram.
The famous 13 story temple, Tarah Manzil is also around the Lakshman Jhula.
The long walk across the bridge provides you with scenic beauty on both sides with many ashrams and temples.
18. Mukteshwar Temple of Nainital
One of the most popular and ancient shrines of the whole of India is the Mukteshwar temple of Nainital. Its name comes from the hill it’s situated on, Mukteshwar. The devotees of Lord Shiva and many travelers come here to visit the holy Shrine, and to get the blessings of Lord Shiva. People from all around the world also come here to witness the scenic beauty with their own eyes.
The 350 years old temple attracts visitors from far away. Placed at over 2300m above sea level, the view from around the temple gives you a peace of mind.
19. The Naina Peak
One of the main highlights of Nainital and also one of the highest peaks of Nainital is Naini Peak. It’s settled at over 2600 m above sea level and is about 6km away from the town.
If you’re up for a peaceful and calm experience, the view from the top can give you that. The eye-shaped Naini looks so beautiful from the top. The white-capped mountains of the Himalaya range also look amazing from above.
20. Trekking at Kuari Pass
Next up on this list of things to do in Uttarakhand is a famous trek. It’s been decades since the alpine meadows of Kuari Pass has been attracting people from afar. Kuari Pass is at the center of one of the most talked-about regions of Garhwal for its serene environment.
Situated at a relatively moderate altitude of over 12000 feet, Kuari Pass has a valley as its background which is also the entrance of the Rishi Gorge. The main attractions here would be camping sites and treks.
21. Flying Fox
The flying fox at Rishikesh is one of the more extreme sports one attempts at Uttarakhand. It’s an exhilarating sport and while doing it, you feel like you’re living life to the fullest. Flying over the river Ganga and the mountain tops of the Himalayas, the view inspires awe. The whole of the sport from start to finish is monitored and handled by professional experts and safety is kept in mind.
You’ll also get a certificate for completing the fly if that seems lucrative.
22. Jungle Safari
The whole state of Uttarakhand is at a relatively higher height from the sea level. Among the various adventurous activities to do while your visit, the Jungle Safari is an interesting one. The jungle safari at the safari parks is an experience you just cannot miss!
You can participate in fishing as fishes are abundant here.
23. The Badrinath Temple
The Badrinath temple of Badrinath is one of the main tourist attractions. Especially for the devotees of Lord Vishnu. The temple and the town around it hold great importance in the Hindu community. Badrinath is one of the most important pilgrimage site in India.
At over 3000m above sea level on the banks of the river Alakhnanda, the temple is one of the 108 Divya Desams of Lord Vishnu.
24. Visiting the Tehri Dam
The Tehri Dam is a popular tourist attraction in Dhanaulti of Uttarakhand. Located at about 2200m above sea level, and with minimal human intrusion, Dhanaulti makes you feel like you’re dreaming a pleasant one. Blessed with a serene view of hills as backdrops and clear waterfronts, it’s the place like no other.
At about 60 km away from Mussoorie, it’s an underrated and offbeat location where you can come and enjoy the scenic beauty. It’s the perfect getaway spot.
At an elevation of 8500 feet, Kanatal is a low key village in Mussoorie and is located at the Chamba-Mussoorie road. The village will offer you the awe-inspiring views of the Shivalik mountain ranges and lush green forests. The place calls out the adventure lovers along with family and friends. The ideal time to visit would be from October to January and from April to June
If you’re up for some thrilling water activities and want to spend the night in a tent, this is a place you must check out.
26. The hill town of Joshimath
The Himalayas wrap around the hill town of Joshimath. At a relatively lower height of 600 feet, the place is one of the coldest in Uttarakhand. The place is connected spiritually according to the Hindu text of Atharva Veda.
It’s one of the main religious hubs for the Hindu pilgrims and is quite close to Badrinath, home to the Badrinath temple. This one’s ideal for religious travelers.
27. Soak in the serene Lake Naukuchiatal
Naukuchiatal is a small village that has a beautiful lake and is surrounded by a perfect natural setting. Located close to Nainital, it’s away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Its name comes from its lake which has 9 corners. This has an interesting mythological story attached to it. It’s suitable to visit any time throughout the year.
You can take a boat ride across the lake and witness the amazing view. The beautiful temples are also a delight to visit.
28. Mountain Biking at Rishikesh
The hilly terrain with the amazing Himalayas range as the background and the river Ganga flowing right beside, mountain biking is a must when you’re in Uttarakhand. Riding from the mountains to the town, it’s a different way to experience the visit to Rishikesh. It’s not an average bike ride, it’s a ride where you’re surrounded by the beautiful nature running along with you as you go.
29. Walk by the Flower Valley
The Valley of Flowers is in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand and located a few hundred kilometers north of Rishikesh. It’s another national park. The valley of Flowers has been declared as a world heritage site for its magnanimous beauty. The park is full of the flora of numerous species. It’s particularly famous for its medicinal herbs. People believe that Hanuman brought Sanjivani to the ailing of Laxman from the flower valley.
You may let the beauty of this place sink in by witnessing many Himalayan water-falls and streams and spend a wonderful time with your family and friends.
30. Ganga Aarti at Haridwar
Ganga Aarti is a type of religious prayer of the Hindus that takes place at the banks of the river Ganga in Haridwar. The location brings tourists and devotees from all over the world. It’s a ritual that is performed when the priests perform their prayers with bowls with rings of fire and ringing of the temple bells. It’s a ritual of light and sound. The visitors float ‘diyas’ which are small candles onto the water surrounded by the chants of the mantras. The reflection of light on the surface of the water is said to be the blessings of the Goddess Ganga herself.
It’s a calm place where one can come in search of spirituality and away from the busy daily schedule.
So get off your bed and hit the road to the magnificent mountains of Uttarakhand. Choose an activity to do that compliments your personality. Always do something you enjoy. But never be afraid to try out something new and adventurous. Uttarakhand has activities everyone can enjoy.