Best Offbeat Places in Uttarakhand

Whether you’re looking for an affordable weekend getaway or a long vacation for adventure or a spiritual retreat, Uttarakhand provides you with the best of whatever you’re searching for. The mainstream tourist destinations of Uttarakhand are no doubt the best places of Uttarakhand. But if you like to explore, stay away from the tourist gatherings, and find your peace in places unexplored by the people, then you’ve come to the right place.

Peora

Peora is a small picturesque village, situated at an altitude of about 2,000mts in the Nainital district of Uttrarakhand. Surrounded by lofty pine forests, Peora offers a spectacular panaromic view of the mighty Himalayas. Reaching Peora is easy as it is located about 10km from Mukteshwar and about 23kms from Almora. Hike across the villages, savor apples from the orchards, and spend time at the lap of nature in Peora.

Route: Delhi – Moradabad – Kashipur – Ramnagar - Kaladhungi – Nainital – Bhowali – Khairna – Peora

Things to do: Hiking, bird watching, village tourism, wildlife photography

Khurpatal

Located just 12km from Nainital, Khurpatal is a small hamlet famous for its emerald blue green lake. The crystal clear lake offers a wide variety of fish species; perfect for people who love fishing. Surrounded by lofty pine and lovely chedar trees, Khurpatal is an escape from the rush of city life and provides a beautiful gateaway for rejuvenating your body and mind.

Route: Delhi – Kathgodam – Nainital – Khurpatal

Things to do: Fishing, photography, explore the vegetable farms

Kasar Devi

Full of stories and fascinating facts, Kasar Devi is a hushed hamlet surrounded by the Kumaon hills. The ancient Kasar Devi Temple dating back to 2nd Century CE is visited by pilgrims. Every year during Kartik Poornima, Kasar Devi Fair is held here. Notable western personalities have traveled to and settled in Kasar Devi including Bob Dylan, Sunyata Baba, Anagarika Govinda, Allen Ginsbery, among others. The famous Hippie Trail or the Crank’s Ridge has its own interesting story that piques your fascination for the place even more.

Route: Delhi – KathgodamAlmora – Kasar Devi

Things to do: Stroll across Crank’s Ridge, visit Kasar Devi Temple, meditate at Buddhist Meditation Centre, hike to Kalimath, photography

Didihat

Didihat derived its name from the Kumaoni word “Dand” meaning a small hill and the rich valley below known as “Haat valley”. Situated en route Kailash Mansorovar at an altitude of 1,725mts in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand, Didihat offers you a unique experience with its evergreen tales, wide variety of flora fauna, beautiful architecture, and ancient forts set amidst the panoramic view of the Panchachuli peaks. The otherwise quiet town of Didihat buzzes with vigor during festivals like Holi and Diwali when the entire town engulfs in music, dance, and traditions.

Route: Delhi – Tanakpur – Didihat 

Things to do: Visit Shirakot temple, wildlife tour at Askot Sanctuary, village tourism, hiking, camping

Khirsu

Surrounded by thick forests of pine, oak, and Deodar, Khirsu is a hidden gem 1700mts above sea level and at a distance of 15 kms from Pauri. Stroll across this quaint village as you witness the breathtaking view of the Himalayas. You can visit the ancient temple dedicated to Ghandiyal Devi and stroll around the apple orchards. Khirsu is an ideal place for people seeking solitude and some quiet time. The views from Khirsu are worth savoring and investing your time in. 

Route: Delhi – KotdwarPauri – Khirsu

Things to do: Visit Ghandiyal Devi temple, nature walks and hikes, village tourism

Chaukori

Tucked at an elevation of 2,010mts above sea level, enveloped under the Kumaon Himalayas, Chaukori as its name suggests is a hamlet shaped like a bowl encompassed by the Himalayas. The pristine beauty of the nature with its diverse flora fauna, captivating tea gardens, fruit orchards, and refreshing air of Chaukori revives your soul in such a way that leaving the place seems far too difficult.

Route: Delhi – RudrapurHaldwani – Kathgodham – Bhowali – Almora – Chaukori

Things to do: Visit temples, explore Ashok Sanctuary, trekking, photography

Chaukori - The offbeat destination of Uttarakhand.

Sitlakhet

Around 24kms offbeat from the ‘Queen’s Meadow’ Ranikhet, you’ll come across a quiet hill station with mesmerizing views of the Kumaon Himalayas. This hill station lies peacefully in the lap of Syahi Devi hills at an altitude of 1900mts and goes by the name of Sitlakhet. Calm your senses with the aroma of rosy rhododendrons, the sight of beautiful flora and fauna, and the touch of the soft cool breeze. 

Route: Delhi – Rudrapur – Haldwani – Kathgodham – Bhowali – Almora – Sitlakhet

Things to do- Visit Syayi Devi Temple, stroll across Chaubattia orchard, visit Jhula Devi Temple, explore the town of Khoont, check out the natural spring

Munsiyari

Seated at an elevation of 2,298mts, Munsiyari is a scenic hill station cuddled in the beautiful Kumaon hills. The literal meaning of Munsiyari is ‘a place of snow’. The snow-capped higher Himalayan ranges of Panchchuli looks breathtaking from Munsiyari and is one of the star attractions of the place. Top it with the serene untouched beauty of Munsiyari, often compared with Kashmir, and you’ll fall in love with this quaint hill station. Munsiyari serves as a base for trekking to Milam, Ralam, and Namik glaciers, so it is apt for trekking and camping.

Route: Delhi – Kashipur – Nainital – Bhowali – Almora – Sheraghat – Thal –Munsiyari

Things to do- Trekking, camping, photography, village tourism, shopping

View of Panchachuli Peaks at Dusk from Munsiyari.

Kanatal

Located on the Mussorie-Chambal road at an elevation of about 2,590mts, Kanatal is a small picturesque village ideal for people seeking peace and an environment full of natural life. Walk across pleasing orchards, explore Kodia Jungle, seek blessings from the sacred temples, and meditate in the lap of the Himalayas.

Route: Delhi – DehradunMussoorieDhanaulti – Kanatal

Things to do: Explore Kodia jungle, visit Tehri dam, photography, village tourism

Abbott Mount

Abbott Mount is a striking hill station with amazing trails and walkways that leads to wonderful locations. Settled in the Champawat district of Kali Kumaon region at an elevation of 2,100mts, Abbott Mount is enveloped with ambrosial deciduous forests and offers splendid views of the Himalayas. It is one of the best places for birding and photography. Visit the beautiful church from the colonial period and if you are into ghost stories, you can visit the house of a mad scientist who is said to have conducted experiments on the local people. The ghosts of the people is said to haunt one of the rooms of the house.

Route: Delhi – Rudrapur – Khatima – Tanakpur – Lohaghat – Abbott Mount

Things to do- Bird watching, photography, visit the colonial period church

Lohaghat

Situated at an altitude of 1.745mts and seated peacefully at the banks of Lohawati River, Lohaghat is an enchanting hill station full of historical and mythological stories. It is decorated by rhododendrons and enveloped with dense pine and oak trees, adorned in the beauty of nature. The climate of Lohaghat is ideal for spending quality time with nature and talking walks across the hill station. 

Route: Delhi – Rudrapur – Khatima – Tanakpur – Lohaghat

Things to do- Nature walks, visit Abbott Mount, Champawat, and Banasur Fort, explore Khadi Bazaar, Galchaura, and Forti village.  

Jeolikot

Popularly known as the Gateway to Naini Lake, Jeolikot is a small village rich in flora and fauna and an ideal place for photographers, writers, and poets. Renowned philosophers like Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo have meditated here. Jeolikot is located at an altitude of 1,219mts and at a distance of 17kms from Nainital. The surrounding Himalayas provide a perfect backdrop to this charming hill station. The wide variety and flora makes Jeolikot a fitting location for floriculture, horticulture, butterfly catching, and bee keeping. Popular tourist destinations like Mukteshwar, Naini Lake, Corbett National Park and Ramgarh are located in its vicinity.

Route: Delhi – Kathgodam – Nanital – Jeolikot

Things to do: Bird watching, floriculture, butterfly watching, meditation, photography

 

Bhowali

Bhowali is famous for its juicy fruits like apples, strawberries, plums, peaches, apricots, etc. Perched at an elevation of 1,706mts above sea level, Bhowali is located 11kms from Nainital and offers spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains along with delicious regional delicacies. Bhowali has a rich wildlife and is perfect for people seeking solitude and a retreat from the busyness of life. Walk across the lakes, orchards, and tea estates of Bhowali all while soaking in the pure air of the Himalayas.

Route: Delhi Rampur – Rudrapur – Haldwani – Bhowali

Things to do: Visit Golu Devta temple & Folk Cultural Museum, explore Shyamkhet tea garden, taste the regional delicacies and lip smacking pickles from ‘Food Bazaar’

Snowfall at Rewa Retreat Hotel in Bhowali

Manila

Sitting solemnly at an altitude of 1,820mts, the small village of Manila is the abode of Manila Devi, the family goddess of the Katyuri Clan. The dense forests and the overlooking Himalayas, make Manila a place undisturbed by the noises of the city life and crowded population. Watching the sunrise and sunset over the three mighty peaks of Panchachuli, Trishul, and Nanda Devi and relishing the experience of being surrounded by nature is an ideal gateaway for nature lovers and adventurers.

Route: Delhi – Kashipur – Nainital – Bhowali – Almora – Manila

Things to do: Watch sunrise and sunset, hiking, photography, village tourism


Nagthat

Located 78kms from Dehradun and situated at an altitude of 1,646mts, Nagthat is a serene spot encompassed with dense deodar forests, lush green meadows, bubbling creeks, and the snow clad mountains standing tall. Summers in Nagthat are cool and the winters bring with it beautiful white snow. There’s not much to see in Nagthat apart from the scenic views around you, the wild flora and fauna, and the joy of spending time in a place completely different from what you’ve been accustomed to live in. 

Route: Delhi – Dehradun –Nagthat (by bus).

Things to do: Hiking, photography, visit Mahasu Devta Temple, Bairatkhai, Bisoi, Laksiyar, Rainbow Fall

Ramgarh

The ‘Fruit Bowl of Kumaon’, Ramgarh is renowned for its lively orchards of fruits like apples, apricots, peaches, and pears. Located at an elevation of 1,729mts in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand, Ramgarh offers spectacular views of the surrounding Himalayas and has a rustic charm to it. Rabindra Nath Tagore composed few versus of his spectacular Gitanjali here. 

Route: Delhi – Kathgodam – Nanital – Ramgarh

Things to do: Visit orchards buy fruits, hiking, photography, explore bungalows with British architecture


Gangolihaat

Gangolihaat is a small hill station located at the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand. Situated at an elevation of 1,760mts with the Himalayas overlooking it and surrounded by Saryu and Ramganga rivers, Gangolihaat is a place filled with vibrant natural beauty, rich culture, and interesting places to visit. Gangolihaat is renowned for its Shakti Pithas of Hat Kalika also known as Goddess Kali. You can visit Kalika Temple, Chamunda Temple, Vaishnavi Temple, and Ambika Dewaal. The view of the majestic Himalayas from the Vaishnavi Temple is breathtaking. Explore the underground caves, namely Shaileshwar Gufa, Patal Bhuvaneshwar and Pataleshwar Gufa for an added adventure.

Route 1- Delhi – Haldwani – Gangolihat 

Route 2- Delhi – Tanakpur – Gangolihat

Things to do- Visit Kalika Temple, Chamunda Temple, Vaishnavi Temple, and Ambika Dewaal, explore Shaileshwar Gufa, Patal Bhuvaneshwar and Pataleshwar Gufa, hiking, photography, village tourism


Gwaldam

Snuggled on the border of Garhwal and Kumaon hills of Uttarakhand at an elevation of 1,940mts, Gwaldam is a quaint little hill station surrounded by apple orchards and the majestic peaks of Nanda Devi, Trishul, and Nanda Ghuti. Gwaldam serves as a trekking base camp for numerous treks and the place is filled with wonderful flowers, mesmerizing springs, and colorful birds. 

Route: From Garhwal: Rishikesh  - DevprayagSrinagarRudraprayag – Gauchar – Gwaldam
From Kumaon: Rampur > Rudrapur – Haldwani – Bhowali – Almora – Someshwar – Kausani – Garur – Gwaldam

Things to do: Visit the ancient dak kana & Chaykhana, hiking, trekking, village tourism, photography

A Beautiful view of Dak banglow, Gwaldam, Chamoli.

Sankri

Sankri is a scenic hamlet situated at the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand inside Govind Ballabh Pant National Park at an elevation of 1,920mts. The beautiful village of Sankri is adorned with majestic mountains, lofty pine trees, and the gushing Tons river. Sankri serves as a base camp for many treks and its ideal atmosphere provides an ideal gateway for people seeking quietude, adventure, and nature’s beautiful wonders.

Route: Delhi – Dehradun – Sankri 

Things to do- Trekking, hiking, photography, village tourism

Sainji village

Located near Mussorie, Sainji is a small village popularly known as the ‘Corn Village’. The most awe striking feature of this village is that every house in the village is decorated with a bunch of corn cobs. The corn cobs are hanged in the windows, balconies, and roofs of the houses. The small hamlet of about 35 families is strikingly beautiful and clean with colorful houses. A visit to Sanji is bound to refresh your outlook in life and offer a peaceful refuge for anyone seeking a gate-away. 

Route: Delhi – Dehradun – Mussorie – Sainji

Things to do: Trekking, hiking, photography, village tourism

 Photo Source : traveldiaryparnashree.com

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