Top 5 Adventure Destinations in Uttarakhand

Poised in the lap of the snow-capped Garhwal Himalayas, Uttarakhand abounds in high peaks, craggy slopes, dancing streams and rugged terrain, offering enough opportunities for a thrilling adventure vacation out there. The article will introduce you to the top 5 adventure destinations of Uttarakhand.

Uttarkhand is full of places that are magical, mysterious and offer umpteen opportunities for the travel thirsty tourist. If you are an adventurer at heart then the top 5 destinations given below will enthrall you.

The Valley of Flowers

Valley of Flower Uttarakhand

Valley of Flower Uttarakhand

The Valley of Flowers is a huge expanse of 90 sq km field area that is filled with thousands of multi hued flowers of many known and unknown strains. The blooming of these beauties at an altitude of 3600 meters above the sea level will definitely mesmerize your senses. Going for a camp to the Uttarkhand Valley is not easy as the hike up is rocky and arduous but the natural bounty of exotic flora and fauna up there makes the trip totally worth it. There are many species of endangered animals like Asiatic Wild Bear, mountain bear, Hilly blue sheep, Snow Leopard etc who inhabit the valley of flowers. Valley of Flowers Uttarkhand forms a World Heritage Site.

Roopkund

Roopkund Trek

Roopkund Trek

Roopkund is a mysterious lake of ice that lies at a total altitude of 5029 meters above sea level. Roopkund is located in the middle of Trishul and Ghunti peaks . The nearby icy environment and a hazardous walk make this an adventurous destination fit only for the brave hearts. There is an interesting yet scary story circulating about Roopkund. It is said that a group of about 500 people went trekking to this beautiful and mysterious lake and then bodies of several were never found. The remnants of skeletons of the trekking group are still seen in Roopkund. The view of the lofty mountain ranges from Uttarkhand is simply amazing.

Rishikesh

 River Rafting at Rishikesh

River Rafting at Rishikesh

In case you are fond of water sports then head off to Rishikesh the hub of religious and adventure tourism in Uttarkhand. Rishikesh is a backpacker’s town and you will get to sample cultural adventure activities as tourists from all corners of the world visit Rishikesh. Rappelling, white water rafting, rock climbing are some of the adventurous activities you can engage in while visiting Rishikesh. The location of Rishikesh is at the confluence of the two mighty rivers Chandrabhanga and Ganga and it is known as the World Capital of Yoga. So if you have ever hoped to learn the moves of this organic body exercise form then Rishikesh is the number one adventure destination for you in Rishikesh.

Bedni-Ali Bugyal

Bedni Bugyal Trek

Bedni Bugyal Trek

Have you ever witnessed the splendor of high altitude meadows that display an unrelenting span of verdant greenery amidst the icy terrain? So you should definitely aim to visit these natural wonders in Bedni-Ali Bugyals which are two pristine high altitude meadows. Trekking around in the verdant greens, camping by the icy river and viewing the Nanda Ghunti and the Trishul peaks amidst fresh mountain breezes is truly the experience of a lifetime. You will have to reach Wan a picturesque village first to trek up to Bedni Bugyal. These two meadows are situated near each other at a moderate distance of 5 km.

Milam Glacier

Milam Glacier Trek

Milam Glacier Trek

One of the most admired pieces of natural ice sculpture in the worlds is Milam Glacier which draws in a huge tourist traffic from all corners of the word. There is a high altitude range of 5500 meters on which the Milam Glacier is perched and this allows it to provide one of the most splendid views in the whole of Uttarkhand. Trekking around, sightseeing options and photography opportunities are ample. Around Milam Glacier which is one of the loveliest destinations in Uttarkhand. Munsiyarii is a lovely place near Milan glacier which is the starting point of the trek to the top.

Scientific and Medical Reasons of Chardham Yatra

Thousands of pilgrims make a beeline to the holy Chardhams of Uttarakhand every year but apart from spiritual reasons there are other reasons too for embarking on a tour of the Chardhams. Read on to know what those are:

Ask any Hindu what he feels like after having completed the Chardham Yatra of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Yamunotri and Gangotri, and he will say that he feels at absolute peace with himself and with the world. He has fulfilled a religious duty which has given him immense satisfaction. His sins are washed away and he can hope for heaven.

Chardham Yatra of Uttarakhand

Chardham Yatra of Uttarakhand

The yatra does more than just deliver spiritual benefits. There are solid scientific and medical benefits of a chardham yatra, whether undertaken by the young or by the old.

Scientific Reasons

  1. For couch potatoes climbing a flight of stairs is a feat. The yatra to each of the char dhams involves trekking for miles over rough, sloping terrain and this is physically challenging. In the short time that you complete the yatra, your body becomes toughened and you develop stamina.
  2. The air here is fresh and pure. Simply breathing in this air revitalizes you a great deal.
  3. The scenery is absolutely out of this world. Tall conifers blend with rising slopes of the mountains, ending in snow capped peaks that touch the sky. You may come across rivers with fresh water you can drink straight away and lakes that are pools of serenity. It is spiritually refreshing just to view the scene and be in the midst of a fairy land dreamscape.
  4. Not many know it but the Badrinath Temple has a Bhairav Yantra that creates energy all around it and this energy balances your internal flow of energies and brings calm to your soul.
  5. Those in a hurry may complete the yatra in two to three days and head home but if you have time, go trekking, explore the rivers on a boat and camp by the side of lakes to experience oneness with nature. As you move along you notice little things such as the unique flora of this place and how even animals here survive in the harsh, rugged environment.
  6. Listening to the chanting of mantras and the ringing of bells does create positive vibrations inside your mind.

Medical Reasons

  1. It can be bitingly cold up there in the Himalayas. Walking toughens up your heart, improves your circulation and also your cerebro-spinal system. Trekking makes your bones and spine stronger and the effect will last for years. Undertake the yatra each year and renew your bodily vigor and strength.
  2. The pure air full of oxygen and ozone, fresh water and saatvik food do a lot to cleanse your system of toxins. You feel lighter, rejuvenated and full of energy after the trip.
  3. Bathing in the Tapt Kund, a hot water spring with dissolved sulphur, can heal those with skin ailments. Pilgrims also bathe in the Gauri kund and Narad Kund, both thermal springs with healing properties. Sitting in a hot water pond also helps the body get rid of toxins so a dip is just as suitable for perfectly healthy people.
  4. There is absolute peace and quiet in the mountains and this gives your system a chance to recuperate and rebuild. You emerge stronger after the trip, both spiritually and physically.
Tapt Kund

Tapt Kund

If Adi Shankaracharya created the “chota” char dhams, he did so and for good enough reasons. It was not simply the spiritual aspect but also the medical and scientific aspects which were woven into the char dhams that have been benefiting millions of Hindus who undertake the trip with a clear soul and strong faith.

Famous Fairs & Festivals of Gujarat

Gujarat is a colorful and gorgeous state. The trade and commerce of Gujarat makes it a renowned name all across the nation. The colorful sense of crafts, the lip smacking cuisines and most importantly the festivals of Gujarat has allowed the state to occupy a significant position in the entire map of India. Your visit to Gujarat during any of the festivals celebrated there will indeed make you bask in the glory of the celebrations and enjoy the immense pomp and grandeur with which each festival is celebrated

Gujarat is one of the more prosperous States of India where business courses through the veins of the warm hearted people here. If they focus on business and work, they also take time out to celebrate festivals with gusto. Should you think of holidaying in Gujarat, plan our holiday in Gujarat for a time when there is a major festival going on when the cities and even villages come alive.

Navratri-Dussehra Festival

Garba Dance in Navratri

Garba Dance in Navratri

Navratri is celebrated in Gujarat like nowhere else in India. This is the period of 9 nights when people worship Amba Mata, observe fast and dance the garba and ras till late at night to the tune of traditional folk music set to modern beats in the city but still retaining the old style in villages. This festival occurs during October (or November) so plan your trip to Gujarat accordingly if you wish to enjoy it. People go about their daily routines during the day but at night each city and village is lighted up and youth attire themselves in traditional costumes, ready to form a circle around the deity and dance the garba and raas through the night. On Dussehra day you can see people queuing up to buy fafda and jalebi, a sort of must have on this auspicious day. They also buy new vehicles or a new house on Dussehra.

Diwali

Diwali Festival

Diwali Festival

Diwali is another major festival celebrated with pomp in Gujarat. Diwali night and each house is adorned with lamps and electric lights. People come out and start bursting crackers for hours. The streets are filled with light and sound of bursting crackers and, these days, it is the in thing to send up rockets that explode in jewels of light sparkling in the night sky, a truly wondrous spectacle.

Uttarayan

Uttarayan - The Kite Festival of Gujarat

Uttarayan – The Kite Festival of Gujarat

Uttarayan on 14th January is another glorious festival where kites of every shape, color, pattern and size fill up the skies. Gujaratis are plainly and simply huge kite flying aficionados. Even before the break of dawn people go on to the rooftops and the air resounds with shouts as one cuts the string of another and this goes on throughout the day. Plan your Gujarat trip for this date and Join a family for kite flying and try your hand at engaging in an aerial battle. The rush you get is indescribable and when you cut the string of another kite flyer, you whoop and holler in victory. The day is celebrated as even women and the aged join the boys and men on the roof tops, punctuating kite flying with sampling of undhiyu and til chikki. If you happen to be in Ahmedabad visit the International Kite Flying Festival organized along the Sabarmati Riverfront.

Holi

Holi Festival Celebration

Holi Festival Celebration

Holi marks the advent of spring. On Holi you will see the streets lined with mounds of wood and cow dung pats ready for the evening bonfire symbolically representing the burning of the evil Holika. The next day is dhuleti, the day when boys, girls, men and women go out in groups and spray each other with water color and color powders. It is fun and frolic so put on your old clothes; colors at hand and then venture out to color and be colored in return.

Janmasthami

Janmashtami Celebration

Janmashtami Celebration

Janmashtami celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna occurring in August. Dwarka is where you should be since this is where the major celebrations take place but in all major cities you can witness a grand procession of a large number of trucks or rathas carrying people chanting “Jai Ranchod Makhan Chor” and distributing Prasad to the people gathered around. There are small fairs in the cities and villages.

There are numbers of smaller local and regional festivals but these are the major ones you can enjoy as the entire State goes on a holiday and everyone gets into the festive mood.

Places to Visit During Chardham Yatra And Make the Most of Your Trip

During the spiritual yatra of the Chardhams, apart from visiting the four Dhams, there are many other places in between notable for their spiritual significance and natural splendor. The article below will introduce you to the many other places which you can visit in the course of your Chardham yatra.

It takes time and effort to prepare for a pilgrimage to the famous char dhams Yamunotri, Gangotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath. The entire region abounds in natural beauty and when you visit spare time to visit nearby attractions.  Here is what you may want to know about local attractions in each place.

Yamunotri

Yamunotri Dham

Yamunotri Dham

Your char dham yatra usually starts with a trip to Yamunotri, source of Yamuna River and a site where the temple dedicated to Yamuna Mata attracts millions of devotees.

  1. Once you have attended the aarti and had a darshan, it is time to think of visiting nearby places of interest. Janki Chatti is where you will find thermal springs. Since it is on the route to Yamunotri, you could stop here and have a quick bath before going on to Yamunotri.
  2. Surya Kund is another thermal spring said to have medicinal properties.
  3. Hanuman Chatti is about 13 Km from Yamunotri and you have to trek or take a pony to this place said to be the confluence of the Yamuna and Hanuman Rivers, a place of wild rugged beauty.
  4. Uttarkashi is about 78 km from Hanuman Chatti, a longish trip if you consider you are traveling on curving mountain roads but well worth the efforts since it has religious connotations as well as scenic beauty to capture your heart. The frolicking Bhagirathi river challenges you to take to water rafting and the mountains beckon you to climb their rugged faces.
  5. After all the trekking and travels you may want a brief respite. Barkot is a hill resort about 49 km from Yamunotri with decent accommodation and fresh air to invigorate you even as you take time to explore the town and admire the Himalayas in the distance.
  6. Dodi Tal is another nearby attraction, located at a height of 3307 metres and said to be the birthplace of Lord Ganesha. If not for the religious significance this lake is just as attractive for its limpid waters, cool atmosphere and lovely view of the forests carpeting the mountain slopes.

Gangotri

Gangotri Dham

Gangotri Dham

Gangotri Temple is about  234 Km from Rishikesh and is the second leg of the chardham tour, a significant on considering that it is where the holy River Ganges starts and there is a temple dedicated to Ganga Mata here. A picturesque spot located at a height of 3100 metres, Gangotri has quite a few attractions in the vicinity you may want to visit once you have completed your worship here.

  • Only 14 Km way but a strenuous walk nonetheless, Kedartal is rewarding as you gaze into the clear waters of the lake reflecting the Himalayan mountains. It is at a height of 4912 metres and can get very cold so plan to get there during morning hours and return well before sunset.
  • About 47 km away is Gangnani, site of thermal springs and immersing yourself in the hot waters is a relief from the cold, icy winds that can chill your marrow. Just look up and admire the beauty of the mountains.
  • Harsil is on the banks of the Bhagirathi River and is a place of ineffably charming beauty, a place you will fall in love with even though it takes quite an effort to traverse the 21 km distance.

Kedarnath

Kedarnath mandir

Kedarnath mandir

Kedarnath is the site of one of the 12 Jyotirlingas and the Shiva Temple. From here you can go on to visit Vasuki Tal, a 7 km trek and one place that is too lovely for words. However, before you reach Kedarnath, stop at Gaurikund, at a distance of 14 km and worship Goddess Parvati or Gauri as She is known. Do take time off to visit the Samadhi of Adi Shankaracharya in the vicinity: it is he who established these mini char dhams to fulfill religious aspirations of millions of Hindus who could not undertake a pilgrimage of the major chardhams spread across the four corners of India.

Trijuginarayan Temple is the place where Lord Shiva married Parvati after proposing to her at Gaurikund.

Chopta is a place you must not miss. It is like Switzerland in miniature and is fast becoming one of the most popular winter resorts as well as a summer getaway. From here you may want to go on to Tungnath where you will find a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

The other places worth a visit are Ukhimath, where the idol of Lord Shiva resides during winter, and Rudraprayag, a holy place made holier by the confluence of Alaknanda and Mandakini Rivers. For the religiously inclined, Kalimath is a must-visit Shaktipeeth and, luckly, is open throughout the year unlike the char dham temples that are open only during summer.

Badrinath

Badrinath Temple Night View

Badrinath Temple

Badrinath is the last leg and home to temple of Lord Vishnu. There are myriads of places in the vicinity worth a visit. In and around Badrinath you will walk to TaptKund, a hot spring and bathe before going to the temple and then visit Brahma Kapal, a site where hindus conduct ceremonies for their ancestors. It is a short climb to Neelkanth where there is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. More enchanting is the view from here as the sun sets. Narad kund in the vicinity of Tapt Kund has thermal springs and a dip here is obligatory for devotees. Take a walk to the cave where Ved Vyas is said to have dictated the Mahabharata to Lord Ganesha who sat in his cave as he wrote the epic. As you walk you will come across Sheshnetre, site of two small picturesque lakes resembling a snake. You cannot miss the Panch Dharas or five streams of which the most striking is Indira Dhara.

Other places to visit are the Vasudhara Falls, Satopanth Lake with its pure waters and Pandukeshwar 24 km from Badrinath and home to two temples. Joshimath is the temple set up by Adi Shankaracharya to serve as the winter home of Lord Badrinath. Auli is a must visit resort close by not only for the enchanting view but also for a ride on the longest cable car in Asia. Round off your trip with a visit to the Valley of Flowers, a place that seems like heaven.