Thursday, 18 August 2011

Naukuchiatal, Uttarakhand

Naukuchiatal is, perhaps, the most beautiful of all the lakes in Uttarakhand. A unique nine-cornered lake, it is situated 24 km away from Nainital, in the foothills of Kumaon, at an altitude of 1,219 meters. The beautiful lake is alimented by an underwater spring. Naukuchiatal Lake is surrounded by dense oak forests from all the sides. The first sight of this tranquil lake is mesmerizing and eye-soothing, sure to leave you wanting for more. A famous perception amongst the locals is that whoever sees all the corners of the lake at the very first shot attains ‘Nirvana’, a state of complete bliss, delight and peace.

Naukuchiatal is a must-visit for those who love getting lost in the serenity of nature. The enchanting views of meadows and pastures that the lake provides to its visitors make it look more picturesque. This is a perfect place to get away from all the rush of the cities and rejuvenate your body as well as soul. An overview of Naukuchiatal gives an assumption of 'picture-perfect' beauty. The captivating surroundings and varied biodiversity that can be seen in the area within 10 km radius of Naukuchiatal gives it the perception of virtual heaven. 

Naukuchiatal is the perfect location to observe and admire the variety of wildlife species the almighty has blessed earth with. It is the place where you can enjoy the becharming compilations of colorful butterflies and the beautiful variety of Himalayan birds. Not simply because of its incomparable beauty, but also because of the uncommon adventurous opportunity it offers, the lake is a hit amongst tourists. Activities like angling, trekking, bird-watching, paragliding and parasailing attract a major chunk of Uttarakhand-visitors to this place.

What Activities to Do...........

What Activities to do in Naukuchiatal

Like any other hilly region, Naukuchiatal also offers umpteen opportunities to trek through jungles and orchards. Starting from the lake, different treks are organized to Jandhidhar and Jugliagaon, which are approximately 8 kms from Naukuchiatal. These treks also offer the chance to savor the abundance of flora and fauna of Kumaon.

If you want to try your hand at fishing, then the silent Naukuchiatal Lake is the best option for you. 

Horse Riding
For proficient horse riders, Naukuchiatal offers some challenging trails to groom their skills. But here, a novice can also make a move to enjoy horse riding without any ado. 

Though here guys won't offer you many gadgets and all that, they have simple equipments which can definitely give you the pleasure of paragliding. 

After all boating can be the best activity for anyone in Naukuchiatal. People who don’t want to try anything else, they can do boating while enjoying the natural beauty of the surroundings............

How to Reach Naukuchiatal

Delhi Airport is the nearest international airport. It is connected to all the national and international cities via airways.

Kathgodham Railway Station is the nearest railway junction which caters to the tourists traveling to this region.

Naukuchiatal is very well-connected to all the nearby places via road. It is at a distance of 320 km from Delhi through NH24............

Tehri, Uttarakhand

Tehri Garhwal’s name was derived from the word ‘Trihari’, meaning a place that washes away the three major types of sins of thoughts, words and deeds. It is said that preceding the time of 888 AD, Tehri Garhwal was divided into 52 Garhs or kingdoms. Kanakpal, prince of Malwa, married a local princess and consolidated all the kingdoms under his rule. Kanakpal and his successors ruled Tehri Garhwal for 915 years, till 1803 AD. 

Tehri Garhwal has a pleasant weather all through the year but sometimes it does get extremely chilly due to occasional snowing. Many of its tourist attractions like Dhanaulti , Kempty Falls and Nagtibba are very close to Mussoorie and hence very popular excursion / day picnic spots. The people of Tehri Garhwal are very hospitable are warm. The forests of Tehri Garhwal are literally a storehouse of health since many medicinal herbs, shrubs and trees are found here. The beautifully planned hill station New Tehri is the district headquarter of Tehri Garwal district.

Places to See:

Devprayag is known for basically two things, the confluence of Rivers Alaknanda and Bhagirathi and the 10,000 year old, uncemented stone temple of Sri Raghunathji. Both these places are extremely sacred and are visited by a large number of pilgrims every year. 

Chandrabadani is a well known Shakti Peeth of Goddess Durga. It is said that when Lord Shiva was carrying her dead body to Mount Kailasa, Ma Durga’s torso fell down here. 

Dhanaulti is a very convenient mid point between Mussoorie and Chamba, with just is 24 kms from Mussoorie and 29 Kms from Chamba. Dhanaulti is enveloped with impenetrable and lush green forests of Deodar, Rhododendron and Oak. The place is very relaxing and serene. 

Chamba is small hill town, about 67 Km from Mussoorie, located in Tehri district of Uttarakhand. It is situated at an altitude of 1676 m. It is an unexplored, unscathed, serene destination, approximately 60 km from Mussoorie. It is an excellent place to relax, amidst the beautiful hills and snow-clad mountains. This place offers several scenic vistas of the snow clad ranges of the Himalayas and the beautiful views of river Bhagirathi. The place is famous for its beautiful orchards as well. 

Buda Kedar Temple

Situated at the confluence of Bal Ganga and Dharma Ganga rivers, the Buda Kedar Temple is about 59 kms from Tehri Garhwal. It is allegedly the place where Duryodhana of the epic Mahabharata performed peace meeting for in his father’s memory.

Kempty Falls

Only 15 kms from the tourist town of Mussoorie, Kempty Falls is one the largest and most beautiful waterfalls located in the charming valley of Tehri Garhwal. Many people like to take dip in the ice cold water after the arduous downward trek to reach it. 


This place is simply perfect for those who are interested in adventurous activities such as trekking and mountain climbing. One can witness a mind blowing and breathe taking view of the Himalayan mountains............

How to Reach Tehri

Nearest airport to Tehri Garhwal is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, about 35 kms from Haridwar.

The nearest railway station is in Rishikesh, approximately 76 kms away from Tehri. Rishikesh is well-connected to major Indian cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Lucknow, Varanasi and Dehradun.

Tehri is well-connected to major cities like Dehradun, Mussoorie, Haridwar, Pauri, Rishikesh, Uttarkashi and many other parts of the region............

Chamba, Uttarakhand

Chamba is a small hill town, situated at an altitude of 1676 m, in the Tehri district of Uttarakhand. It is an unexplored, unscathed, serene destination, approximately 60 km from Mussoorie. Away from the crowd and rush of the cities, it is an excellent place to unwind and have fun, amidst the beautiful hills and snow-clad mountains. The place offers several picturesque sites and scenic vistas ranging from the snow clad ranges of Himalayas to the wonderful, yet awe-inspiring sights of the verdant ravines and the beautiful views of river Bhagirathi - all of them a delight to one’s eyes. 

The beautiful, un-spoilt forests of Chamba, with pine, deodar and apple trees, are undoubtedly captivating. Due to its rich cultural background, the town has enclosed with in itself the beauty of several mores and ethnicity, still unexplored by the world beyond its boundaries. Due to its strategic location, as the entry point to inner Himalayas, and common boundaries with Uttarkashi, Chamoli, Pauri, Rudraprayag, this place is certainly going to become one of the most popular tourist spot of Uttarakhand in future.

Places to See:

Surkanda Devi Temple

The sacred Shaktipeeth, “Surkanda Devi”, is situated only 24 km from Chamba. Visited by a large number of devotees every year, it is surely an excursion you should undertake, when in Chamba.

New Tehri

The New Tehri town is credited with being the first planned hill town in India. It was established to rehabilitate the villages that were submerged due to the construction of Tehri Dam. 

Tehri Dam

Tehri dam has been built on the union of river Bhagirathi and Bhilangana, giving birth to the marvellous Tehri Lake. The view of Tehri dam and lake is surely enthralling and surely worth a dekko. 

Narendra Nagar

Merely 44 km from Chamba, the former capital of Tehri state, Narendra Nagar stands with its charming endeavor to attract tourists. It is an extremely beautiful town with magnificent scenic vistas. The popular palace of Maharaja Narendra Shah and the famous Anand Spa, a super luxury spa resort in the Himalayas, are also located nearby............

Dhanaulti, Uttarakhand

Dhanaulti , amidst thick forests of oak, deodar, pine and rhododendron, is a perfect destination to retreat from the maddening crowds of big cities. Nestled in Garhwal Himalayas, Dhanaulti is a treat to the soul that seeks serenity and tranquility.

There is a lot that one can do in the pristine locale of Dhanaulti. Dhanaulti is blessed with abundant natural wealth. It offers breathtaking views of snow clad higher Himalayas. 

Dhanaulti is not like any other commercialized hill station of India. It is away from noise and crowd of usual hill destinations. There are a number of beautiful fruit orchards in and around Dhanaulti that one can visit either trekking or on horse back. 

Dhanaulti though, hasn’t got any high end hotels and restaurants; one can be rest assured of a comfortable stay at some of the rest houses like GMVN’s Tourist Bungalow and the Forest Rest House of Uttarakhand Forest Department. 

Besides the orchards and spellbinding view of snow clad Himalayan peaks, day trips to places like Surkhanda Devi Temple and Chamba are sure to make for an unforgettable experience. 

Dhanaulti can be visited all through the year; however, monsoon season must be avoided as one can be marooned due to occasional land slides in this area during heavy rains. 

Winters in Dhanaulti are severe when the entire place is clothed in sheets of snow. Heavy woolens are recommended for those visiting Dhanaulti during winter months. In summers, temperatures can rise to about 31 degrees C while drop to about 7 degrees C. Light woolens are recommended for those visiting during this season of the year. 

Surkhanda Devi Temple

Situated at an altitude of about 3000 meters above the sea level, this temple is dedicated to Goddess Parvati. Surkhanda Devi temple is one of the most revered temples of this region. It is believed that after Goddess Parvati became a sati, her head fell at this location where the temple stands today. 

Sukhanda Devi is about 10 Km from Dhanaulti . One has to trek 2 Km to reach the top of the mountain where the temple is located. This location offers a breathtaking 180 degree view of higher Himalayan peaks............

Chandrabadni Temple

The Chandrabadani Temple is dedicated to the Goddess of power. According to the legends, Lord Shiva while carrying torso of his consort Sati, accidentally dropped it here and her weapons got scattered all around the place. Thus, even today huge number of iron trishuls (tridents) and some old statues can be seen lying around the revered temple of Chandrabadani............


Devprayag which is situated at an altitude of 472 meters above the sea level is famous for many reasons. Devprayag lies at the confluence of rivers Bhagirathi and Alaknanda and thus is the starting point of the holy river Ganga. 

Devprayag is also home to much revered Rughunathji Temple which is claimed to be constructed about 10, 000 years ago using massive uncemented stones. However, the temple and other buildings of Devprayag were shattered by an earthquake in 1803 which were subsequently repaired using generous grants by Daulat Rao Scindia. 

Devprayag is the seat of pandas of Badrinath Dham. It is administered as a teshsil of Tehri Garhwal District of Uttarakhand. Devprayag has a number of dharamshalas where pilgrims and other tourists can put up. Besides, there are other boarding and lodging facilities like hotels and tourist guest houses that offer a comfortable living. 

Places to See:

Raghunathji Temple

Brahm Kund

Vashishth Kund

Baital Kund

Surya Kund

Indradyumna Tirth

Pushyamal Tirth

Varah Tirth


Baitalshila (A bath here is claimed to cure leprosy) Varahishila

The shrines of Bhairava, Bhushandi, Durga and Vishveshvara
A temple dedicated to Bharata...........

Lansdowne, Uttarakhand

Lansdowne was founded in 1887 by Lord Lansdowne. Lansdowne was originally one of the most favorite hill stations of the British. Surrounded by thick forests of oak and blue pine, Lansdowne is a charming hill destination devoid of the usual hustle bustle other hill stations. 

Lansdowne was developed by the British as the recruits training centre for Garhwal Rifles of British Indian Army. Today, Lansdowne is home to the command office of the famous Garhwal Rifles regiment of the Indian Army. 

It is interesting to note that originally this picturesque hill destination was known as Kaludanda, Kalun meaning Black and Danda meaning hill in local language. It was only after the British found out this charming hill destination and decided to develop it, that Kaludanda was named Lansdowne (named after the then Viceroy of India, Lord Lansdowne). 

The best way to explore the pristine surrounds of Lansdowne is by going for nature treks. There are a number of trails through the woods that one can take. Camping and river crossing are very popular tourist activities besides hiking expeditions, for which Lansdowne proves to be more than a comfortable base camp.

Places to See:

Garhwal Rifles Regimental War Memorial

Founded on 11 November, 1923 by Lord Rawlinson of Trent, the then Commander-in-Chief of India, the Garhwal Rifles Regimental War Memorial is one of the most popular destination to explore in Lansdowne. The memorial has portraits of war heroes and war weapons. People who are on the expedition trip to Lansdowne should explore the rustic charm of the memorial. 

Tarkeshwar Mahadev Temple

Situated atop 2092 mts, the Tarakeshwar Mahadev Temple is located close to Lansdowne. One of the ancient holy sites or SiddhaPitas, the temple enshrines the deity of Lord Shiva. The location of the temple is an added advantage. Amidst hick blue pine forests, oak trees and dense Deodars, the temple extends a panoramic view. One of the spectacular features of the hotel is that even at this high altitude, there are many water pools that flow continuously. Though people flock to the temple in large numbers regularly, the occasion of Mahashivratri witnesses a humungous crowd. 


Bordered by thick forests and hillocks, Kanvashram is a sacred ashram located in Lansdowne. The temple bears a mythological importance related to the Sage Kanvan. As per a school of thought, it is believed that that ‘Shakuntala’, the step daughter of Sage Kanvan had given birth to her son Bharath in this Ashram. The lovely location of the ashram makes its all the more an inevitable place to explore, when on an escapade in Lansdowne. 


A popular religious place in Garhwal area, the place adores a temple dedicated to Goddess Durga. The place is of utmost importance. Worshippers flock to the temple in large numbers all round the year. However, during Navratras, the crowd gets enormous. On each day of the Navratras, a special religious festival is held at this this temple.

What Activities to do...........

What Activities to do in Lansdowne

Nature Walk

Instead of reveling in the charm and beauty of the place superficially, explore the place and soak yourself in its allure. The best way to have an enthralling stay in this hill station would be to indulge in nature walk. Enveloped by thick oak trees and blue pine woods, amidst wild flora and fauna, the place extends tourists just the right opportunity to have a walk in the blissful surrounding. For instance, you can walk up to Tiffin Top, near the Supply Depot, and even stroll around to the Snow View Point, from above the State Bank of India branch.

Bird Watching

The close proximity of Lansdowne to the Sona Nadi division of Corbett National Park makes it an ideal bird watching area as well. There are about 600 species of birds that migrate to Lansdowne every year. So, for those interested in bird watching, all you need to do is just invest in a good pair of binoculars. The colorful birds forming a spectacular plumage in the sky would be an enthralling site for you to revel in. 


Trekkers are sure to define Lansdowne as a haven, what with the hill station providing umpteen opportunities for hiking. A number of treks into the hillside are launched from Lansdowne, which serves as a popular base camp. You can indulge in simple treks that last for an hour or go for those that last for a couple of days.


For adventure enthusiasts, Lansdowne is nothing less than a paradise. The large stretch of wilds in the Kalagarh Wildlife Sanctuary would rightly cater to your interest, making the trip an absolutely pleasurable experience. The cool and subtle atmosphere will act as a, boon further stimulating your craving for adventure. However, make sure you abide by all the safety measures during the wildlife tour............

How to Reach Lansdowne

Jolly Grant, the airport located at Dehradun, is the nearest air link from Lansdowne that connects this blissful haven to the rest of the country.

Kotdwar (40 km) is the nearest railway link that connects the beautiful hill station of Lansdowne to other parts of Uttarakhand and the country in general.

By road, Lansdowne is well connected to Kotdwar, Meerut, Gopeshwar and other important region. From Delhi, one has to take NH 58 to Meerut, via Modinagar and then take state highway to reach Kotdwar, via Bijnor and Najibabad. From Kotdwar, a state highway will lead to Lansdowne via Dugadda. Lansdowne is about 233 km from Delhi and about 95 km from Haridwar............
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