17 Things To Know Before Travelling to Uttarakhand, India
1. Destination Overview of Uttarakhand:
Uttarakhand is a state in Northern India. It is one of the three Himalayan states together with Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. It is a popular tourist destination for its natural beauty, culture, and religious importance. Uttarakhand is home to the Char Dhams (the four Hindu pilgrimage sites of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri) and is a major Hindu pilgrimage site. It is also a base for trekking, skiing, and other adventure sports.
2. Top Activities to do in Uttarakhand:
• Skiing: Uttarakhand is a popular destination for skiing, with Auli being the most popular destination for skiing.
• Trekking: Uttarakhand is a great destination for trekking, with many popular trails such as the Kedarkantha Trek, Valley of Flowers Trek, Kuari Pass Trek and the Roopkund Trek.
• Rafting: White water rafting is popular in Uttarakhand, with the Ganges River being the most popular destination for rafting.
• Wildlife: Uttarakhand is home to many national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, including Rajaji National Park, Corbett National Park, and Valley of Flowers National Park.
• Adventure Sports: Adventure sports such as paragliding, rock climbing, and mountain biking are popular in Uttarakhand.
3. Best Places to Stay in Uttarakhand:
• Luxury Places: The Oberoi Cecil, Nainital; The Haveli Hari Ganga, Haridwar; The Lalit Grand Palace, Srinagar.
• Mid Range: Sterling Nainital, Nainital; The Gateway Resort, Corbett; Sterling The Mall Road, Mussoorie.
• Budget Friendly: Hotel Grand, Almora; Hotel Ganga Kinare, Haridwar; Hotel Grand View, Mussoorie.
4. How to Travel to Uttarakhand?:
The nearest airport to Uttarakhand is Dehradun Jolly Grant Airport, which is located about 30 km away from the city of Dehradun. The nearest railway station to Uttarakhand is the Dehradun Railway Station, which is located about 25 km away from Dehradun. There are regular bus services from Delhi to Uttarakhand.
5. Must Try Local Food and Drink in Uttarakhand:
• Aloo ke Gutke: A traditional dish of boiled potatoes cooked with spices.
• Jhangore ki Kheer: A sweet dish made with roasted buckwheat and jaggery.
• Gur Ka Halwa: A sweet dish made with jaggery, ghee, and flour.
• Bhang Ki Chutney: A spicy chutney prepared with ground cannabis leaves.
• Bal Mithai: A traditional sweet made with khoya and sugar.
• Phaanu: A traditional dish made with pulses, spices and jaggery.
• Kafuli: A traditional dish made with spinach and spices.
• Arsa: A traditional dish made with wheat flour and jaggery.
• Sisunak Saag: A traditional dish made with sisunak leaves.
• Kaapa: A traditional dish made with wheat flour and spices.
• Aloo Gobi: A traditional dish made with potatoes and cauliflower.
6. Best Places to Eat in Uttarakhand:
• Bhoj – Mussoorie: A popular restaurant serving traditional Kumaoni food.
• Shiv Sagar – Nainital: A popular restaurant serving North Indian and Chinese cuisine.
• Chotiwala – Rishikesh: A popular restaurant serving North Indian and Chinese cuisine.
• Shivam Restaurant – Haridwar: A popular restaurant serving North Indian and Chinese cuisine.
• Cafe De Arts – Dehradun: A popular restaurant serving Italian and Continental cuisine.
7. Weather and Climate:
Uttarakhand has a temperate climate with hot summers and cold winters. The best time to visit Uttarakhand is from April to June and from October to December. July and August should be avoided as it is the monsoon season.
8. Local Customs and Etiquette in Uttarakhand:
Uttarakhand follows traditional Hindu customs and it is important to be respectful of local customs and traditions. When visiting temples, it is important to dress modestly and remove your shoes before entering. Tipping is not expected but appreciated.
9. Popular Scams in Uttarakhand:
• Fake guides who charge exorbitant amounts for their services.
• Taxi drivers who take you on a longer route to your destination and charge more.
• Porters who charge more than the agreed upon price.
• Overpriced souvenirs and items.
• Fake priests who demand money for their services.
10. Suggested Trip Duration:
A minimum of 8 days is recommended for a first time visit to Uttarakhand.
11. Total Estimated Budget Per Person:
• Stay: INR 6,000 – INR 10,000 per person
• Food: INR 2,000 – INR 4,000 per person
• Activities: INR 3,000 – INR 5,000 per person
• Tickets: INR 1,000 – INR 2,000 per person
12. NearBy Cities:
• Dehradun (30 km)
• Haridwar (90 km)
• Rishikesh (90 km)
• Nainital (120 km)
• Mussoorie (125 km)
• Almora (150 km)
13. Local Language and Communication in Uttarakhand:
The official language of Uttarakhand is Hindi. English is also widely spoken. It is advisable to hire a guide who speaks English.
14. Accepted Currency and Money:
The Indian Rupee (INR) is the accepted currency in Uttarakhand. Credit cards are accepted in most places and ATMs are available. Tipping is not expected but appreciated.
15. Health and Medical Information:
No vaccinations are required to visit Uttarakhand. However, it is advisable to get vaccinated for common illnesses such as malaria, dengue, and typhoid. There are several medical facilities in Uttarakhand, including hospitals and pharmacies.
16. Packing Tips for Uttarakhand:
• Lightweight, comfortable clothing suitable for the climate
• Comfortable walking shoes
• Sunscreen and sunglasses
• Hat or cap
• Insect repellent
• Water bottle
• Power bank
17. To sum up:
Uttarakhand is a destination for outdoor adventure, pilgrimage, and culture. It is home to the Char Dhams (the four Hindu pilgrimage sites of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri) and is a major Hindu pilgrimage site. It is also a base for trekking, skiing, and other adventure sports.