Uttarakhand, the land of abodes is packed with innumerable mystical as well as religious destinations where tourists come in huge numbers to attain religious as well as mythical connotations. Visiting this beautiful state of North India is one of the most acclaimed dreams or desires of each traveler in the country. This holy city boasts of uncountable temples nestled in different directions and dedicated to different gods and goddesses where each holding interesting mythological backgrounds. One can cover several pilgrimage circuits in this northern state including Panch Badri Yatra, Panch Kedar Yatra, Panch Prayag Yatra, and Char Dham Yatra is one of the most flocked spiritual Yatras in Uttarakhand.
Here is the rundown of some ultimate religious places in Uttarakhand where you can immerse your soul in the immense spirituality.
This revered city in Uttarakhand welcomes its guests with the chiming sound of temple bells and also the prayers enchanting of the priests. The city holds a great religious significance in Hinduism as River Ganga flows through this divine city. One of the seven holiest cities in the country, Haridwar has been mentioned in various holy Hindu scriptures. The narrow lanes of the city are dotted with gorgeous temples, ashrams, and Ghats like Har Ki Pauri where devotees come from different corners of the world flock. Kumbh Mela is also the major attraction of this city where not only Indians participate but also foreigners flock here.
What is Haridwar Famous for?
Mansa Devi Temple, Har Ki Pauri, Ganga Aarti at the Ghats, Patanjali Yogpeeth, Shantikunj, and Chandi Devi Temple are the key attractions of Haridwar. Wildlife Safari to witness several wildlife animals like panthers, deer, and elephants and if you are fortunate then you get to visit Royal Bengal Tiger too.
Shopping in Haridwar
On your Haridwar trip you can buy carved stone idols, brass and copper puja utensils, cane baskets, beads, fascinating and well-curated items, glass bangles, etc. re some of the most bought shopping items in Haridwar.
Best Time to Visit
Haridwar is the city that can be explored throughout the year except for January (it’s too cold in this month) and July (the region witnesses heavy rainfall).
One must avoid consuming alcohol and non-vegetarian food. Being a sacred destination the city doesn’t house any liquor shop and restaurants where you get non-veg. During the Kumbh Mela, Haridwar gets overcrowded so if you are visiting the spot during this festive season then maintain proper precautions especially when you are crossing the bridge.
How to Reach?
By Air– Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is the closest airport to reach Haridwar. Taxis and autos are standing out of the airport that you can take to reach your desired destination.
By Train- The city houses its railway station so one who is coming to Haridwar can get off from the train here.
Nestled at the foothills of the great Himalayas and the converging point of River Chandrabhaga and Ganga. This beautiful city is reckoned as one of the best weekend gateways to get indulged in adventure activities and to spend some peaceful moments amidst the serene and tranquil ambiance. Popularly called the “Yoga Capital of India”, Rishikesh is both spiritual as well a commercial hub that has been sprawled over a huge area and the popularity of this city is increasing day by day. It is believed to be the only city in the entire globe that holds importance in all aspects of tourism whether we talk about spirituality, adventure sports, or yoga. One must not miss out on the opportunity to get indulged in activities like kayaking, river rafting, trekking, rock climbing, bungee jumping, etc. Being an easily accessible destination in Uttarakhand, Rishikesh is considered to be the base point of all your exploring expedition.
What is Rishikesh Famous for?
This holy city in Uttarakhand is popular for various activities and laces like the two iron suspension bridges Ram Jhula and Lakshman Jhula, visiting the holy shrines of the city are the other major attraction here. Also, the city is considered to be the best platform for almost all adventure activities.
Shopping in Rishikesh
Market near the Triveni Ghat Area is called as the major shopping hub of the city. One can buy puja items, clothes, and the pieces of stuff needed for your day to day life.
Similar to Haridwar, Rishikesh also doesn’t serve you alcohol or non-vegetarian foods. However, if you search a lot then you may find one or two shops selling these items but one must maintain the decorum of the city and should not opt for such things. You can spot monkeys on the bridges but do not try to be so friendly with them as they can harm you too.
Best Time to Visit- There are two peak seasons to plan your Rishikesh Yatra i.e. from late September to mid-November and then from early March to the second week of May.
How to Reach Rishikesh?
By Air- One can take the flight to Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun to cover the distance between your place and this city.
By Rail- One can either get down at Haridwar Railway Station or Rishikesh Railway Station. After reaching the railhead you can easily get private or public transport to reach your preferred site.
By Road- Getting a bus from ISBT KashmereGate in New Delhi is not difficult and also it doesn’t require any sort of booking.
Char Dham in Uttarakhand
Many of us might not find it easy to cover the shrines located in four different states of the country but it is convenient for them to cover the pilgrimages falling in the Char Dham circuit in Uttarakhand. Yamunotri, Gangotri, Badrinath, and Kedarnath are the Dhams that constitute this holy circuit. Devotees come here with an unflinching faith of attaining the liberation from the cycle of birth and death and also wash away all your sins. Yamunotri falls first in the circuit that is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna. One needs to cover the challenging treks to reach this holy abode. The next pilgrimage in the circuit is Gangotri that is dedicated to Goddess Ganga however, reaching this site is not much physical taxing. Kedarnath is the third pilgrimage of this pious Yatra and is nestled at an altitude of almost 3584 meters above the sea level. Being a Jyotirlinga, Kedarnath holds a different charm and so the significance in Hinduism. This holy trip in Uttarakhand concludes at Badrinath, the prime destination of Vishnu worshippers.
What is Chardham Famous for?
Millions of devotees partake this divine annual pilgrimage and the devotees flocking to this place come from different corners of the world. This splendid Yatra is famous for its spiritual bliss and also the mythologies associated with them. Also, there are various sightseeing destinations falling en-route these dams.
Shopping in Char Dham
However, the journey is not much shopping oriented yet you can buy some of the things here especially the puja items.
Best Time to Visit
This is an annual pilgrimage that starts in the last week of April and concludes in the very first week of November but does keep in mind that monsoon months make the region slippery and sometimes even block the roads.
How to Reach Char Dham?
By Air- Jolly Grant is the only airport where you can land to start your journey. After this, if you are on the trip by helicopter services then you can reach the Sahastradhara helipad from where you fly for the journey.
By Rail- You can either book your train tickets to Rishikesh Railway Station or Haridwar Railway Station.
By Road- This is the second most convenient and also the budget-friendly way to reach these holy sites.
Being an annual pilgrimage, covering this Yatra requires concrete planning like booking of tickets and hotels. Also, you are required to carry ample cash and woolens with you so that you stay fit throughout the trip.
Madmaheshwar Temple, Kedarnath
Despite being popular for its religious significance, a major portion of Madmaheshwar tourism depends on the sightseeing portion as the city offers some of the most amazing views in the state. One of the most important and significant shrines in the Panch Kedar circuit, Madmaheshwar is located at a giant altitude of approx. 3500 meters above the sea level and this falls fourth in the circuit of this pilgrimage. Inside the main sanctum of the temple, one can find the naval-shaped Shiva Lingam that is made up of black stone and apart from this you can also pay your homage to the two small shrines established in the vicinity. One of these smaller shrines is dedicated to Goddess Parvati (Lord Shiva wife) and at the other shrine, you witness the idol of Ardhnarishwar. Also, on the right side of the main shrine, you can see a small temple dedicated to Goddess Saraswati idolized in white marble.
What is Madmaheshwar famous for?
The holy abode of Lord Shiva, Madmaheshwar is obviously famous for its immense spiritual vibes and then it is also popular among tourists as a perfect place for showing their trekking skills. This trekking destination near to Madmaheshwar is considered difficult to trek and is located at a distance of almost 6km at Kanchani tal.
Best Time to Visit- The holy abode of Madmaheshwar is not opened throughout the year and is opened from May to October as the weather is quite pleasing and favorable during these months.
Shopping in Madmaheshwar- There is nothing more to buy at this religious site but yes if you spend some extra time in walking along the lanes then you may find some shops.
Travel Tips- Do check the opening and the closing date of the temple before you plan to visit this holy shrine as due to unfavorable weather conditions, the pilgrimage is closed from November to April. Also, stay tuned with the recent weather conditions so that you don’t get troubled on the trip.
How to Reach?
By Rail- Haridwar Railway Station is the nearest railhead (almost 202 km from Ukhimath) to this religious place in Uttarakhand. Reaching Ukhimath is not much hectic as one gets the bus from Rishikesh very easily.
By Road- However, you can get buses to Ukhimath from several destinations including Delhi, Dehradun, Haridwar, and Rishikesh yet catching a bus from Haridwar and Rishikesh is much easier than taking it from Dehradun and Delhi. Frequent buses are running to these destinations and to reach on time take the transport that plies early morning.
By Air- Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is the nearest airport from where you catch public transport to reach the destination.
Also called as “Kashi of North ”, Uttarkashi is a small quaint hamlet located amidst the great Himalayas and are adorned with the scenic vistas of the lush green valleys, colourful and scented meadows, etc. the entire region of Uttarkashi boasts of panoramic splendor, mesmerizing and irresistible natural beauty, divine heritage, peaceful ambiance and most importantly the divine heritage. You can find many glimmering lakes and the gorgeous temples that make your Uttarkashi trip a revamping and a revitalizing one. Initially, the region was only popular for its religious values but gradually it started serving as a perfect platform to quench the thirst of adventure experiences so now it is even flocked by non-religion tourists too.
What is Uttarkashi Famous for?
Nachiketa Lake, Dodital Lake, Shakti Temple, Dayara Bugyal Trek, Dodital Dayara Pass Trek, etc. Also, if you want to add some unique experience to your travel then make your visit to Nehru Mountaineering Institute.
Shopping in Uttarkashi
If you are looking for some of the items that you can buy from here as souvenirs then you can check out handicraft items and also the woolens. You can also look for religious items in the city.
Best Time to Visit- March to November is considered to be the most ideal time to Uttarkashi as during these months the weather is pleasant and favorable. Also, the festive season of Chardham Yatra adds more charm and complements to your Uttarakhand visit.
Travel Tips- Being located at a higher altitude, Uttarkashi doesn’t house many ATMs so to keep yourself ready for any emergency you are advised to carry enough cash with you. If you are planning your tour to Uttarkashi in the monsoon months then stay updated with the weather forecast.
How to Reach Uttarkashi?
By Air- If you are covering the distance between your place and the destination by air then book a flight to Jolly Grant in Dehradun as this is the closest airport located at a distance of 160 km.
By Rail- Rishikesh Railway Station is the nearest railhead to Uttarkashi and the railhead welcomes numerous trains regularly that come from different cities of the country.
By Road- Buses to Uttarkashi are easily available from many cities of the state including Rishikesh, Dehradun, Barkot, etc. Reach any of these stopovers and board your bus to this holy site.