Uttarkashi in Uttrakhand
India Tourism Travel

Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand – a lot more than the entrance to Char Dhams of India

Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand is a holy town located at an altitude of 3800 feet on the banks of sacred River Gangotri. It is the entrance for spiritual Char Dham Yatra and is also known as the Kashi of North India (just like Varanasi). Apart from this, it is a home to multiple Ghats, shrines, ashrams and Nehru Mountaineering Institute. Many people/ tourists/travelers come and stay here in Ashrams and Dharamshalas for several days to learn mountaineering and climbing. Others make it home for exploration, meditation and some in search of Nirvana.

Uttarkashi in Uttrakhand
Source: www.wikimapia.com

The small town Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand is not only picturesque but serene too. It has mountains, lakes, rivers, dense forests, glaciers, green meadows. Did I miss something? So the single sentence for this place will be; it has everything that a traveler or tourist wish to see while traveling. It is painted by Pine and Deodar trees on one side whereas the gushing, clear, greenish blue Ganges flows on the other side.

Ghats of Uttarkashi in Uttrakhand
Source: eUttaranchal

Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand was a well-flourished town till 20122013. But a havoc of one cloudburst after another and floods in the region changed the whole picture. The wreck and destruction were so massive that people of Uttarkashi migrated to the nearby safer locations. But now once again with the prevailing years; conditions in the town have improved and it is flourishing.

Route to Uttarkashi from Delhi: Delhi – Ghaziabad – Meerut – Muzaffarnagar- Roorkee- Haridwar- Rishikesh – Chamba – New Tehri – Dharasu – Uttrakashi

Distance from Delhi to Uttarkashi – 411 km

Time from Delhi: 10-11 hrs

Stops in between – I stopped at Tehri in between, the other options can be Haridwar, Rishikesh, and Chamba

Season– April to October

Offseason (Best time to visit) – November – March

Temperature during wintersMin: 1-5 degree Celsius; Max: 21 degree Celsius and Summers- Min: 15 degree Celsius; Max: 30 degree Celsius

Things to do in & around Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand

Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand is the entrance to famous four Hindu Dhams (Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath) but beyond these, there are certain more attractions in and around Uttarkashi which are worth exploring and can rush your adrenaline.

1. Uttarkashi town:

The first and foremost attraction is Uttarkashi town itself. There are more than 30 temples in the town and the must visit one is:

Kashi Vishwanath temple: This is an ancient temple built by Sage Parshuram in 1857. Here, in this temple, there is Syambhu Linga i.e. a self-manifested image and not set up by human hands.  This Shiv Linga is 56 cm in height and 90 cm in circumference and is tilted towards the south.

Kashi Vishawnath Temple at Uttarkashi in Uttrakhand

Shakti Temple: Just opposite to Kashi Vishwanath temple is Shakti temple, dedicated to Goddess Parvati. The main attraction of this temple is a huge metal Trishul which is 1500 years old, 6 meters high, 90 cm in circumference and is made up of metal Iron from top and Copper from the bottom.

Trishul at Shakti temple of Uttarkashi in Uttrakhand
Source: Tripadvisor

The Amazing fact about Trishul- Believe it or not: It doesn’t move when you apply the entire body force but it will vibrate as soon you apply the finger pressure. (Honestly, I failed to understand the logic behind it. It was some Magic for me).

Some other Temples which we didn’t visit but one can visit are: Kandar Devta Temple, Parshuram Temple, Kuteti Devi Temple, Ekadash Rudra Temple etc.

2. Dodital Trek

The Legends believe that Lord Ganesha choose Dodital situated at a height of 3024 meters, as his abode. So, there is a fresh water lake and temple here. To see this Lake one needs to ride by Car/ jeep till Sangamchatti and then trek between pine trees, snow covered slopes and Himalayas for 21 Kms. According to the locals and trekkers, this trek is really a gentle one. This trek is done with one night halt at Agora and Bebra village. At Dodital too, the option for stay is forest rest houses or one can do camping.

Dodital lake from Uttarkashi in Uttrakhand
Source: www.tourmyindia.com

From Dodital, One can continue trek till Dayara Bugyal.

Dodital to Dayara Bugyal Trek from Uttarkashi in Uttrakhand
Source: Moderate Trek

3. Nachiketa Tal

Nachiketa Tal situated at an altitude of 2453 meters is just like a lake in fairy land after passing through Rhododendron and dense forests. The lake is elliptical shaped and there is no know-how of its inlet and outlet. This Nachiketa Tal is believed to be named after 10 years old Nachiketa who found the gateway to hell and the truth behind life and death. Nachiketa Tal is around 33 Kms from Uttarkashi, out of which 30 Kms are motorable and 3 km trek from Chaurangi Khal.

Nachiketa Tal from Uttarkashi in Uttrakhand
Source: www.highwaycabs.com

4. Maneri Dam

The Maneri Dam is located at a distance of 8-9 Kms from Uttarkashi on the river Bhagirathi. This is the stage 1 of Maneri Bhali Hydroelectric Project and the unique part is water is fed through 8 kilometers long tunnel to the turbines. The Maneri River around this dam has emerged as a tourists attraction and they host several water sports like boating, kayaking, etc.

Maneri lake near Uttarkashi in Uttrakhand
Source: Tripadvisor

5. Dayara Bugyal Trek

The Dayara Bugyal trek is again considered as easy and one of the breathtaking treks of this regions. It is nestled amidst snow peaked towering mountains. It brings you to widespread lush green meadows spread over 28 km at an altitude of 10,000 -12,000 feet. In winters this diverse grassland turns to wonderful skiing slopes. The Dayara Bugyal trek is 29 Kms and it starts from small village Barsu, which is located 32 km from Uttarkashi.

Dayara Bugyal Trek from Uttarkashi in Uttrakhand

6. Gangnani Hot Water Springs

The Gangnani hot water spring is also known as Rishikund tirth. It lies at a distance of 46 Kms from Uttarkashi and is an ideal retreat for the people who want to meditate or get mesmerized in nature. There are wildflowers, giant rhododendron trees and clinging peaks on the sides and at some point glistening in the Ganges.

The hot water kund at Gangnani near Uttarkashi in Uttrakhand
Source: My Yatra Diary

In the ancient era, when it was tough for devotees to reach Gomukh (the source of origin of River Gangotri), they used to bath here in hot water spring and say Ganga Yahi Nahani hai – So, now its short form is Gangnani.  There are separate Kunds (Bathing areas) for men and women. 12 Kms ahead, to Gangnani, lies another place called Bhatwari, dedicated to sage Parasara, the father of Veda vyas.

Some tips for traveling to Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand 

  • Check weather conditions before leaving for this route.
  • Always carry some woolens with you, as sudden rain can lower down the temperature.
  • Don’t expect to get phone or internet signals everywhere. The only network which works in some areas is BSNL.
  • There will be many people on the way asking for lifts. It is good to help, but be careful.
  • The rooms/ hotels/tents to stay have all basic amenities and don’t expect much.
  • Don’t fall into the traps of fake Sadhus and Saints.
  • Always carry some snacks with you, as on some routes you won’t even find small tea and Maggi stalls.
  • Book your hotels/ homestays/ guest houses beforehand; as in season majority of them are fully occupied and in off season majority of them are closed.
  • In offseason, don’t expect to get a wide variety of food options.

Uttarkashi in Uttrakhand - A lot more than entrance to Char Dhams of India

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allgudthings
I am a traveler who loves capturing each moment which gives me happiness and reason to explore more.
http://www.allgudthings.com

36 thoughts on “Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand – a lot more than the entrance to Char Dhams of India

  1. I am trying to find a way from Tajikistan this summer into this area of India without going to Delhi and back up. This article just reinforces the fact that I must travel in this part of India. Each of the areas you described was excellent especially the hot springs. Are you able to take advantage of them?

  2. I can never forget the way water swirled around that huge Lord Shiva sculpture during the cloud burst!!! It was a difficult time and no wonder the people left the land for better life…. The tourism there looks different today with treks and hot springs etc!

  3. I like how the curve of the river runs through the town.
    A trek though pine trees and snow slopes? That sounds like an adventure to me! That hot spring would be a must stop for sure.

  4. Wow, some really good information here. As I’ve mentioned before, I appreciate the careful way that you inform others how they could do the same thing. The information is really specific, which makes it worth bookmarking. Thanks!

  5. Thanks for sharing a detailed blog on Uttar Kashi. Recently it had been in news due to the cloud burst but your blog post is a real eye opener! I loved nachiketa tal portion the most!

  6. This place is so beautiful. I would love to see the hot springs among all the other things. Someday I hope to do all these places in and around Uttarkashi.

  7. Such a lot to see and experience there! Cool itinerary made for this place. Wonder how many days will be required to see all these very well.

  8. There are some really interesting things to do in and around Uttarkashi. Especially some beautiful treks.
    Nicely compiled article with all the important information you have provided. A must visit place in the beautiful state of Uttarakhand.

  9. From past few months, I was thinking about Uttarkashi. I could not believe my luck when I saw your blog. I love mountains and forests, I am partial towards Uttarakhand. Loved the medows of Dayara Bugyal, play of shadows in Maneri Dam picture, but full points for Dodital trek, amazing place. All the elements that I love are there, lush green forest, water and lord Ganesha.

  10. oh wow this is a very beautiful place!!!! it reminds me of the pictures I see of Canada and the hot springs looks so relaxing. I appreciate this type of scenery and it is indeed a pleasant surprise considering that I have never heard of this place before. Thank you for sharing

  11. Uttarkashi is gorgeous place. I had never heard of it before. But wow I would love to experience this wonderland of natural beauty. Taking the Dayara Bugyal trek or visiting the hot spring or all of it really. Thanks for introducing it.

  12. I went to Uttarakhand and Uttarkashi as a kid with my parents. Your post brought back some fond memories from the past. I am happy that the places don’t seem to have changed too much over the years. They still look as fresh and beautiful

  13. The treks look amazing but the Dodital trek is the one I’d love to take! The dams and hot water springs are tempting attractions. I loved the Nachiketa Tal. I love the pictures.

  14. Uttarkashi looks like a surreal destination to experience the fragrance of the mountains and freshness of nature. Though I feel that that road trip from Delhi to Uttarkashi would be quite long and inconvenient for those having altitude sickness.

  15. I gotta be honest, the names confused me a bit. Had to read them over and over hahaha… Anyway, Uttarkashi looks like a marvelous place, I mean, it’s beautiful. It was also interesting to read the stories behind the places you mentioned. The Maneri dam is my favorite. I think I could gaze at that body of water for hours on end and never get tired of it. Looks so peaceful. But the hot spring, oh boy that one I want to visit too.

  16. This place is perfect both for spiritual and nature explorations. I’d love to go to the hot spring and also I wish to see the giant trees. How tall are they? I also wanna know more about Char Dahms.

  17. This town is heaven for trekkers and for meditators! For someone like who loves nature, I find this place very relaxing and very much love to visit this soon. 🙂

  18. The hot springs are just what I need right now since spring is still holding off here! That Dam has some super blue water that looks really enticing. I would love to go to India one day and explore everywhere!

  19. Uttarkashi looks like a wonderful place to visit especially that is surrounded by nature. I have been to Varanasi before and I can see the resemblance to it, with the ghats on the river. The nature surrounding Uttarkashi is so pretty, perfect if you want to enjoy some relaxing time, or if you like hiking and spending the night in a tent, listening to the sounds of nature.

  20. Uttarkashi is a beautiful places and I don’t even need to say this. But going there requires a lot of planning specially since of late the climate has been unpredictable. You’ve written an exhaustive post, I loved how this is a one stop solution for anyone who is planning to trip there!

  21. Uttarkashi looks like an amazing place surrounded by nature. I’d definitely like to visit the hot springs, they sound so relaxing! It looks like a beautiful place to hike around, I’ll definitely have to check it out whenever I make it to India.

  22. Uttarkashi looks like a paradise to the travel enthusiasts. Those pictures of emerald lakes and lush green hills are awe-inspiring. We would love to visit and experience some of those amazing treks. Dayara Bugyal trek with those rich green meadows and floating clouds are entrancing. And those Gangnani hot water spring will definitely be on list.

  23. Thanks for listing out all the major attractions around Uttarkashi. This post reminded me what I must do this summer. This year I am definitely going to make it although I missed out on the previous few occassions.

  24. Uttrakhand is my home state! I am really surprised accurate your information. Great article, Very informational

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