Uttarkashi which literally means Kashi of North, is a district which lie on the banks of Bhagirathi. The two destinations of the famous ‘Char Dham’ Yatra, namely Gangotri and Yamunotri lies in this District. Uttarkashi is an ideal location for spiritually inclined and meditation lovers as it has many ideal spots that can embrace these needs. Uttarkashi also offers some adventurous high altitude treks too, which makes it a paradise of trekkers and hikers also. It is located at around 153 Km from Rishikesh and there are state buses from Rishikesh ISBT to Uttarkashi.
Things to Do in Uttarkashi
Gangnani is a small town around 46 Km from Utarkashi, which is an ideal location for natural lovers and spiritually inclined. Gangnani is a very serene and picturesque destination which gives a mind blowing view of the mountains surrounding Gangotri. Rishikund, a hot water spring adds to the features of this place, which is believed to be an ideal spot for meditation.
Vishwanath Temple is one of the most important temples of Uttarkashi. The main diety of this temple is Shiva, worshipped all though the year. A main point of attraction in this temple is the massive brass Trident, standing at around 26 feet high with an 8 feet base. It has inscriptions of how Vishwanath temple was built. There is a Shakti temple in the vicinity of the temple complex, dedicated to the Goddess Shakti. There is a 6 meter Trident in this temple, which is believed to have been used by the goddess to slay the demons.
Situated at around 30 Km from Uttarkashi, Nachiketa lake is offers an exciting panoramic view of Banderpooch peak. A dip in this lake is considered to be sacred by the local villagers, and it is practiced as a ritual during the Nagpanchami. There is a Nag Devta temple in the vicinity of the lake. Chaurangikhal is the nearest village which is well connected by road, from where it takes hardly a 3 Km trek to the Lake. The hike to this lake is accompanied by the dense woods and the thrilling views of Himalayan Peaks which makes the place ideal for nature lovers.
Dodi Tal is one of the high altitude natural lakes of Himalayas which is a hidden beauty of Uttarkashi. This place is believed to be the birth place of Lord Ganesha and has a temple dedicated for him. This is an extremely popular destination for trekkers and adventure lovers as it takes a 22km trek from Sangamchatti to reach the lake. Sangam chatti is located at 16 km from Uttarkashi and is well connected by motorable roads. This is a difficult trek with no hotels enroute, so it is advised to pack some food or arrange a cook in prior. It is likely to get lost in this route so it is ideal to hire an experienced guide for a safe journey. One of the highlights of this place is the tiring climb to Darwa pass, which offers a beautiful view of some Himalayan peaks. There is also a trail that leads to Dayara Bugyal from Darwa pass.
Gangotri is located at around 99 Km from Uttarkashi which is one of the destinations in Char Dham Yatra. Gaumukh glacier which is around a 20 Km trek from Gangotri. Temple is the origin of the Ganges. The Gangotri Temple is dedicated to Goddess Ganga. Prior permission has to be taken from the forest department before the trek. The trek gets little tricky after Bhojbasas as there are a few glaciers afterwards. There are so many cheap accommodation options in Gangotri near the temple. It also offers a few cuisines which are not so economical if you go for South Indian dishes.
Maneri Dam is located at Maneri, around 8 Km from Uttarkashi. It is a gravity dam that is used to produce hydro- electric power. It is built on the basin of River Bhagirathi and the presence of rich nature around it makes it a good spot to visit when you are in Uttarkashi.
Located at the Garhwal region, this is a high altitude lake which is located near the Gangotri Glacier. It is one of the hardest treks in the region, which will take around 7-9 days to complete. This trek takes you through very rough terrains of the Himalayas and it is almost 5000 meters of altitude climb from where you start, which makes it very difficult to catch breathe. Good Physical fitness is highly recommended for this trek as it can get tiresome and very tricky. It is a very less traveled trail and there is hardly chance of coming across trek groups, which adds to the pristinity of the lake. It is worth a climb as some of the high altitude peaks of Meru, Bhrigupanth, Thalay Sagar are visible from here. The trek starts from Gangotri, which can be accessed by road.
Harshil is around 80 Km from Uttarkashi which is a village situated enroute Gangotri. Harsil is a small village which is enriched by dense deodar forest and the Bhagirathi river. The place has a few temples and it can be a pit stop for motor cyclists and private vehicles while visiting Gangotri. The village offers some stunning view of Himalayas especially during the evening. Harsil is well known for Apricot, Apple, Walnut and Rajma cultivation. Harsil is a paradise for those who love solitude and loneliness as this place is still not quite popular among tourists. There are numerous trekking trails from Harsil which makes it the perfect spot for people looking out for some adventure.
Situated at around 44 Km from Uttarkashi this place offers one of the most beautiful meadows in India. The view of high peaks like Bhagirathi and Bandarpoonch, rich flora and fauna, ancient villages and lush green meadow makes it a perfect trekking destination for beginners. It is an easy to moderate trek which will take 4 days to complete. During the winter season, the white blanket of snow covers the entire regions including the meadows. The trek starts from Raitha and its an all season trek.
Apple and Walnut Plantation
Uttrakashi is quiet famous for its Apple and Walnut plantations. Seek permission from a local planter before entering one and then you can pluck and taste these juicy fruits from there.