Top 5 Offbeat Places in Uttarakhand

Top 5 Offbeat Places in Uttarakhand

April 25, 2017

Uttarakhand, also known as Devbhumi or Land of Gods, is the destination of choice for most travelers for weekend getaways from Delhi and NCR. It not only attracts travelers looking for spiritual and religious getaways, but also those looking for Adventure Travel and Sightseeing. While Haridwar, Rishikesh, Nainital, Mussoorie, etc., are the places that are most frequented by travelers, we bring to you some of the less frequented places where you can discover new experiences that will stay with you throughout your lives.

Binsar
Binsar
 Binsar. Image Credit

Located on the top of Jhandi Dhar Hills at an altitude of approximately 2400m, Binsar is a Bird Watchers’ paradise with over 200 species of birds. Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its rich flora with 25 varieties of trees, 24 types of bushes, and 7 types of grass. If you are in Binsar, then you must head out to a place called Zero Point from where you can get breathtaking views of Himalayan Peaks such as Kedarnath, Nanda Devi, Trisul, Chaukhamba, and Shivling. The best time to visit Binsar is from March to June.  Besides Zero Point and Binsar Wildife Sanctuary, you could also visit Baneshwar Temple and Golu Devata Temple.

Chopta
Chopta Chopta. Image Credit

Located at approximately 2700m above sea level, Chopta is among the few remaining destinations that are unspoiled. Often referred to as a ‘Mini Switzerland’, Chopta offers a stunning view of Himalayan ranges such as Chaukhamba,  Kedar, Trishul, and Nanda Devi. The place attracts trekking enthusiasts to explore the trails of Chandrashila Peak, Tungnath, and Panch Kedar. The Pine, Deodar, and Rhododendron forests and the rich flora and fauna are also a major attraction for tourists. The best time to visit Chopta is from March to May. The places to visit are Deoria Tal & Kanchula Korak Musk Deer Sanctuary. In case you are looking for religious and spiritual travel, you can also visit Tungnath Temple and Ukhimath.

Munsiyari
Munsiyari
Munsiyari. Image Credit
Nestled within the foothills of the Panchachuli peaks, Munsiyari is abundant in natural beauty that is not spoilt by tourism as it’s off the beaten track. As the name suggests, the Panchachuli peaks are a group of five snow clad mountains, so being able to get a glimpse of snow clad mountains from Munsiyari is a given, through the year. Munsiyari has special appeal for bikers and trekking enthusiasts. Infact, it serves as a base camp for several popular treks. From Munsiyari, one can trek to the Milam, Ralam and Namik Glaciers; the Nanda Devi Temple; Khalia Top; Khalika Pass; Chiplakot Bugyal and Birthi Falls. Other places of interest are the Tribal Heritage Museum at the Nanasen Village, the Mehsar Kund, camping (and/or rafting) near the Gori Ganga and walking through the scarlet coloured rhododendrons at Betulidhar. One can even go skiing at Betulidhar. The best time to visit here would be either before monsoons (i.e., March to June) or post monsoons from September till around November. During monsoons, parts of the connecting roads may become un-motorable and several activities may be suspended as the region experiences heavy rainfall.
Chakrata
Chakrata
Chakrata. Image Credit

Part of a military cantonment in the Dehradun district, Chakrata is known for it’s picturesque beauty and for having a certain tinge of romanticism. With lush green, dense forests of alpine trees (Rhododendrons, Conifers, Deodars and even Oak trees), the place is abundant in flora and fauna and is perfect for travelers wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and experience nature. Some places of interest here are the Tiger waterfalls, trekking to the Kharamba Peak (the highest in the region at 10,000 ft.), Budher Caves for the Stalactite & Stalagmite formations & for those seeking an adrenaline filled caving experience, Mundali for skiing, Deoban & Chilmiri Neck for the stunning view and the temples such as the Chinta-Haran Mahadev temple if you’re looking to take a dip in the holy waters, among others. Chakrata has several temples that are now under the supervision of the ASI and which are believed to trace their origin to the time of the Mahabharata. Best time to visit here is between the months of April to June and September to November.

Chaukori
Chaukori
Chaukori. Image Credit
Situated at an altitude of 2010m and between Tibet and Terai, the hill station of Chaukori seems to be a stone’s throw away from the Himalayan peak and offers a spectacular view of the Nanda Devi and Panchachuli peaks. Equally spectacular is the sunrise and sunset that one can see from Chaukori. The best time to visit Chaukori is from April to June. Besides sightseeing, travelers can also visit a lot of places and temples such as Patal Bhuvaneshwar Cave, Arjuneshwar Shiva Temple, and Kapileshwar Temple.

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