The hilly landscape of Uttarakhand is dotted with numerous hill stations. The most popular ones include Mussoorie and Nainital. But there are several hill towns which still remain unexplored. The state of Uttarakhand is divided into two regions, Garhwal and Kumaon. Along with Mussoorie and a few other hill towns, Garhwal is home to many important pilgrimages of Hindus. Kumaon, on the other hand, is full of towns and villages which offer a peaceful retreat in the hills. The most sought after destination in Kumaon is Nainital. Off late a few other towns have also geared up to host the travellers. Here is the information on the most popular hill stations of Uttarakhand.
Mussoorie is an eventful hill station, and is amongst the most well-known travel destinations in Uttarakhand. It is a popular getaway in North India because of the easy access from Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi. This town is spread over a long narrow stretch of a ridge on a hill. The best view to look out for in this town is of the snow-covered peaks of Garhwal Himalaya. You also get commanding views of the Doon valley from various places in Mussoorie. This town was a favourite hill retreat of the British and the affluent Indians during the colonial period. The bungalows constructed by them still stand to give you a glimpse of the bygone era. Read More
Nainital is the largest town in the Kumaon Region of Uttarakhand. Centred on a picturesque lake, this town sprawls on the slopes around. Off late, this town has seen a lot of construction. So, to explore real Nainital, you’ve got to visit the surrounding hills. While itself being a wonderful destination, Nainital also serves as a base to explore the deeper pockets of Kumaon. The salubrious weather of the town and its forested hills have been attracting travellers from across the country since decades. Nainital was popular even during British era which is evident from the several colonial-era buildings that dot this hill station. Read More
Sattal means ‘seven lakes’. And indeed it has seven lakes out of which four are interconnected. The area around Sattal is shaded by tall oaks and pines and the Himalayas offer a picture-perfect backdrop. Trails abound here for nature walks, also many activities like mountain climbing, rappelling, boating, and biking are on offer. The day-trippers are mostly concentrated near the lakes where they enjoy boating and satiate their cravings at the food stalls. If you are a solitude-seeker, you’ve got to stick to your nature trails. Though there are a couple of hotels in the vicinity, the real taste of Sattal can be had only in the campsites. Read More
Exploring Ranikhet is about walking through orchards and forested roads; visiting temples; and savouring the marvellous vistas. This peaceful cantonment town is situated at a height of 6000 ft, 55 km north of Nainital in Uttarakhand. Sprawling along a ridge, this town is home to Indian Army’s Kumaon Regiment. The forested cantonment area has many old colonial cottages. They can be discovered by walking on one of the many trails the area offers. The biggest charm of Ranikhet lies in its panoramic vistas of the snow-capped Himalayan peaks. Read More
The drive to Mukteshwar from Nainital or Bhimtal is very scenic with the views of terraced fields on the slopes leading to the valley and the distant snow-tipped peaks. This town, perched on a ridge at a height of 7510 ft, is an ideal choice for communing with the nature. It is worth knowing that most of the resorts and retreats in this town won’t offer worldly pleasure like television. But there is little chance that you’ll need them. Here you will be entertained by the solitude and the panoramic vistas of the Himalayas. If you feel an urge to do some activity, you can go on a wooded trail.
Auli, situated in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, is a ski destination. Otherwise a small hill town, Auli receives scores of skiing enthusiasts. Whether you are a seasoned player or looking to learn the sport, you’ll find the kind of slopes you look for. There are both baby slopes and advanced slopes, and to escort you back they have ski-lifts. The altitude of Auli varies from 8,200 ft to 10,000 ft. The surrounding peaks of the Himalayas appear mesmerizing from here. Even reaching Auli is also an exhilariting experience. You’ve got to reach Joshimath, and from there a cable-car flies above the towering oaks and pines to cover the 4 km ascend. Alternatively, you can also drive for 16 km from Joshimath.
This lake town is utilized by many travellers as an alternative to Nainital. They use it as a base to explore Kumaon region. Bhimtal is a C-shaped lake surrounded by low hills. It is bounded on one side by a dam. The 17th century temple here is dedicated to Bhimeshwar Mahadev.
During your travels in Kumaon if you have fallen in love with the panorama of Himalayan peaks, Kausani is meant for you. Situated at a height of 6200 ft, Kausani offers fantastic views of the 365 km stretch of the Himalaya. This town has wonderful flora and the best way to discover it is through leisurely ambles. There are also several lookout points in the town. Don’t forget to check out Anashakti Yoga Ashram where Mahatma Gandhi had stayed in 1929.
Kumaon’s divisional headquarter, Almora, sprawls on a hilltop. There are spectacular views of soaring peaks from the town. Amongst these peaks, Trishul and Nanda Devi take the pride of the place. Almora has a huge market that caters to the requirements of the surrounding villages. With Almora as base, you can easily explore the surrounding areas of Jageshwar, Binsar and Kasar Devi. There are a few ancient temples situated north of the market.
Munsiyari is one of the finest places to visit in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. To reach Munsiyari, you have to do a scenic but gut-wrenching drive of 214 km from Almora. This quaint Himalayan village offers a closer view of the soaring peaks of Panchachuli range. A short drive from Munsiyari will take you to Goriganga river.