Located atop the Neel Parvat on the Eastern summit of the Sivalik Hills, Chandi Devi Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess Chandi Devi in Haridwar. The temple was established by Suchat Singh in 1929. However, Adi Shankaracharya installed the main idol of the goddess in the 8th century at the temple. Also known as Neel Parvat Teerth, the temple is one of the Panch Tirth in Haridwar. The temple is one of the most ancient temples in India. A significant no. of pilgrims visit the temple to get their wishes fulfilled. In all, the temple is a must-visit place for visitors taking a tour to Haridwar.
Chandrabani Temple, one of the famous tourist attractions of Dehradun, is a temple dedicated to Goddess Chandrabani. This place was once inhabited by Rishi Gautama and his daughter Ajani. It is at this place that the Rishi meditated for years and hence, Chandrabani is also locally known as Gautam Kund. The natives of the place also believe that this is the place, where one of the fragments from the body of Goddess Sati fell. Another popular belief is, River Ganga, considered as the holiest river in India manifested from this place. Due to all these beliefs, the place has a lot of religious significance.
The temple is situated in the midst of the Shivalik Hills and is considered as an important place of Hindu pilgrimage, which is visited by thousands of devotees every year. They take a dip in the pristine water, which is considered to heal the body and soul. Though the tourists have to climb many steps to reach the top of the temple, the view from the top of the hill is simply marvelous, which makes the climb worth the effort.
The location of the temple amidst lush green landscape makes for a perfect getaway. Once you are in this place, do not miss the sunrise and the sunset as these timings are great for getting those perfect pictures. A great place for soothing the weary mind and the soul, this is a must- visit place, at least once in a lifetime.
Established in 1810 by Queen Dhankaur, Daksheswar Mahadev Temple is a Hindu temple in the town of Kankhal. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple is named after King Daksha Prajapati. There is a Das Mahavidya Temple, dedicated to the Mahavidyas near the temple. Devotees offer special puja at the temple during Navratri. The complex also has a temple dedicated to Ganga. Similarly, there is Daksha Ghat on the River Ganges and Nileshwar Mahadev Temple nearby.
Gangotri Temple, also known as Gangotri Dham or the Abode of Goddess Ganga, is one of the four ‘Chota Char Dhams’ of the Hindus. This place is known for its sacredness as well as, the immense natural beauty that is hard to find anywhere else. It is situated at an altitude of 3100 m (10,200 feet) and the great snow-clad Garhwal Himalayas surrounding the region make it a heavenly sight to behold. Millions of tourists visit this site to get drenched in the blissful aura of Gangotri.
In the early 18th century, a Gorkha Commander constructed the Gangotri Temple using white granite. It is the only temple of Goddess Ganga that is situated at such a high altitude. Goddess Ganga is enshrined in the white-colored Gangotri Temple in the form of a silver idol. The devotees need to take bath in the pristine holy river before visiting the shrine. At the onset of winter, on Diwali (October/November) the idol of Devi Ganga is transferred to the Mukhyamath Temple in Mukhba Village and brought back to the Gangotri Temple on Akshaya Tritiya (April).
Trekking from Gangotri to Gaumukh, trek to Gaumukh and Tapovan, Bhagirath Shila, Bhairon Nath Temple in Bhairon Ghati, Gangotri National Park, Ganganani, Pandava Gufa, Bhojwasa, Submerged Shivalingam, Shivling Peak, Dodi Tal, Kedar Tal, Harsil, Gauri Kund and Surya Kund, etc.
Har Ki Pauri located on the banks of the great Ganga River in Haridwar, is one of the most famous and holiest ghats in India. It is also a major religious landmark of Uttarakhand. Literally, the word ?Har? means ?Lord Shiva?, ?Ki? means ?of? and ?Pauri? means ?steps? and hence, the name. It is supposed that this is the place from where River Ganga enters into the Gangetic plain area. It is said that in the 1st century BC, King Vikramaditya built this ghat on the west bank of Ganga and later, in 1938, the ghat was extended and developed by a Zamindar of Agra, Hargyan Singh Katara. Many temples and ancient buildings are located around the ghat, which were mostly developed in the 19th century. Other than Har Ki Pauri ghat, there are several other ghats like Subhash Ghat, Ram Ghat, Vishnu Ghat, and Gau Ghat located beside the Ganga River in Haridwar, equally popular among the tourists and pilgrims. Throughout the year, from far and wide, countless sadhus, sanyasis, priests, and devotees come here for various rituals and to take holy bath in the mighty Ganga to wash away their sins. Last but not the least, the most important tourist attraction is the Ganga Aarti, which takes place in the Brahamakund area of Har Ki Pauri ghat every evening. Millions of tourists and pilgrims gather in both sides of the ghat in the evening to witness the great Ganga Aarti along with the sound of the temple bells.
Kedarnath Dham Temple is one of the most famous and sacred temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. The holy river Mandakini (a tributary of Ganga) flows beside this shrine. Every year, pilgrims visit this temple in huge numbers as this site is one of the ‘Char Dhams’ of the Hindus. It is one of those few temples in India that are located at great altitudes and the blissful surrounding and ethereal ambiance of this place mesmerize every visitor. From here, you can get awe-inspiring views of the great peaks of Garhwal Himalayas. It is believed that the earlier temple of Kedarnath was built by the Pandavas, however, the present shrine was constructed by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century AD using large slabs of grey-colored stones. The interiors of the temple are adorned with the images of various Hindu deities and mythological scenes. There are a Garbha Griha and a Mandap inside the shrine. At the entrance of the temple, you will find a big statue of Nandi Bull standing as a guard.
To reach Kedarnath, the pilgrims have to trek a long distance starting from Gaurikund. The shrine remains open for only six months (April to November) of the year.
Apart from paying homage to the shrine of Kedarnath and purify your mind and soul, you can also visit the nearby attractions like Vasuki Tal, Sonprayag, Shankaracharya Samadhi, Chandrashila, Chopta, Augustyamuni, Guptakashi, Triyuginarayan, Panchkedar, Bhairavnath Temple, Gandhi Sarovar, etc.
While in Dehradun, if you are looking for a spot to embark on an excursion, Malsi Deer Park has to be your choice. Now known as Dehradun Zoo, it is situated in the foothills of the Mussoorie Highway. It is spread over an area of 25 hectares and is surrounded by the Malsi Reserve Forest. It is a mini zoological park, where the main animal exhibit is deer.
You can easily find a herd of deer roaming in their natural habitat at the Shiwalik foothills while taking a tour of the park. Some famous animal species found here are the Indian two-horned deer, Nilgai, crocodile, leopards, and tigers. Other wildlife species, such as peacocks and rabbits have been kept in cages to ensure their protection. Tourists can feed these peacocks and rabbits. There is a separate aviary section, where bird species belonging to different shapes, sizes, and colors have been kept. Other than the wildlife species, the zoo also houses a variety of plant species.
Several slides, swings, and other rides have been installed in here. Children will find this place very attractive and can choose activities according to their tastes. By visiting this place, children can not only involve in fun activities but also, learn about many plant and animal facts. If you are hungry, there is a canteen in the park premise, which serves delicious delicacies. The picturesque location and the lush green scenery make this place an ideal spot, where photographers won’t mind spending hours. This park also serves as a picnic spot perfect for family outings.
Dedicated to the goddess Maya, Maya Devi Temple is a Hindu temple in the holy city of Haridwar, Uttarakhand. Sometimes, the temple is called Shakti Peetha because it is believed that the heart and navel of the goddess Sati fell at the location of the temple. The goddess is a three-headed and four-armed deity, who is said to be an incarnation of Shakti. The temple is one of the three Siddh Peethas in Haridwar as pilgrims worship at the temple to get their wishes fulfilled. Dating back to the 11th-century, the temple has an idol of the goddess Maya at the center, Kali on the left, and Kamakhya on the right. The temple also has two other goddesses in the inner shrine.
Naini Lake is one of the renowned lakes of the Kumaon District. The Naini Peak on the west and the Tiffin Point on the south-west and snow-topped crests on the north encompass it. The surface area of the lake is 120.5 acres and its depth is 27.3 m (90 feet). Visitors can witness stunning visuals here particularly early in the morning and nightfall. Another natural factor that adds an appeal to the crude magnificence of the spot is the greenery surrounding the lake. Naini Lake today fills in as a noteworthy place of interest for individuals from everywhere throughout the country. As this Lake is most renowned for its awesome scenic excellence, hence many people from all over the world flock together in this place for making family picnics, outings, etc. Being in the lake, one can enjoy activities like boat riding, walking near the lake at night, and viewing some splendid water birds, etc.
As mentioned earlier, boating is the major activity in this Lake that one must indulge in while in Nainital. The peaceful and pleasant ambiance of the lake encompassed by mountains that seem to be moving gently displays a serene view. While you are in your boat, the smooth breeze blowing around you will give you an enchanting feeling and take you to a dream world.
Shopping at Nainital Mal Road is another must-to-do thing here if you are a shopping buff. Mal Road lies aside the Naini Lake. There is no shortage of crafty things available here. You can pick anything starting from handiworks, an assortment of candles, wooden ancient rarities, wooden ancient rarities, shawls, hand weaving machines etc.
Pawan Dham is an ancient temple situated at Bhagirathi Nagar, Bhupatwala in Haridwar. It is a non-profit organization, which is a revered site in Hinduism. Run by the Geeta Bhawan Trust Society of Moga, the temple features detailed glasswork, intricate architecture, and beautifully decorated idols of the deities. The major attraction of Pawan Dham is the idol of Lord Krishna preaching the Bhagavad Geeta to Arjun.
Rajaji National Park is a tiger reserve and national park in Uttarakhand. Covering an area of 820 sq. km, the national park is spread across three districts of the state, namely Haridwar, Dehradun, and Pauri Garhwal. Named after C. Rajagopalachari, the park was formed by merging three wildlife sanctuaries of the region. Located between the Shivalik ranges and the Indo-Gangetic plains, the national park comprises of riverine vegetation, deciduous forests, grasslands, scrubland, and pine forests. In addition to the elephant being a major attraction, the park also has tiger, goral, chital, sambar, nilgai, leopard, hyena, jackal, Himalayan black bear, etc. The national park also inhabits more than 315 species of birds.
Ram Jhula, a famous iron suspension bridge, is a major tourist and religious attraction, located near Muni Ki Reti, in the holy town of Rishikesh. Initially, Ram Jhula was made of jute ropes without any beams, but later in 1980, the local PWD developed this hanging bridge by iron and steel construction with the help of Sivananda Ashram. That is why, this Jhula is also called as Sivananda Jhula. This iconic man-made bridge joins the Sivananda Ashram, Sivananda Nagar area, eastern bank of river Ganga with Swargashram, Pauri Garhwal area, western bank of river Ganga. Ram Jhula is situated around 2 km downstream from Laxman Jhula, which was built earlier. The total length of this bridge is 229 m, which is a little larger than the Laxman Jhula. The beauty of the bridge and the area is heightened by the mighty river Ganga flowing under it and the Himalayan natural greenery. Together, they create a beautiful scenery to enjoy and worthy of capturing in the lenses.
Many Hindu temples, Yoga Ashrams, and religious centers are situated in both sides of this popular bridge like Triveni Ghat, Swargashram, Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Sivananda Ashram, Gita Bhawan, Omkarnanda, Phool Chatti Ashram, Yoga Niketan Ashram, Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, Jumpin Heights, etc. Tourists can also participate and enjoy local amenities like yoga training, boat riding, river rafting, bungee jumping, paragliding, camping, ropeway, etc. You will also find plenty of shopping centers offering religious books, incense sticks, idols of deities, and different other attractive items, and restaurants, and food corners offering delicious eatables.
Located on the right bank of river Alaknanda between two mountains namely, Nar and Narayan, this temple is one of the most sacred shrines of Lord Vishnu and is an integral part of the Hindu pilgrimage – Char Dham Yatra. The temple is located at a high elevation of 3133 m (10248 feet). The idol of Badarinarayan is made of Saligramam. The Lakshmi Narsimh Mandir is located behind the Badrinath Mandir. You will also find the temple of Adi Sankara located close by.
The ancient temple structure dated back to the 8th century and the present-day temple was constructed by Adi Shankaracharya. The shrine is divided into 3 sections – Garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum) that enshrines Lord Badari Narayan, Kuber, Narad Rishi, Udhava, Nar and Narayan, Darshan Mandap, and Sabha Mandap. The morning pujas include – Mahabhishek, Abhishek, Gitapath, and Bhagwat Path and the evening pujas comprise Geet Govind and Aarti.
The hot water springs of Tapt Kund, located on the embankment of Alaknanda is a must-visit spot. Pilgrims take holy dips in the Kund before entering the temple. While traveling to Badrinath, you can visit many other notable pilgrimage sites located nearby – Neelkanth, Narad Kund, Rudraprayag, Deo Prayag, Karnaprayag, Vishnuprayag, Brahma Kapal, Nandaprayag, Pandukeshwar, Vasundhara Falls, etc. Mountaineering and trekking options are also there.
Situated atop the Bilwa Parvat on the Sivalik Hills, Mansa Devi Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to goddess Mansa Devi in Haridwar, Uttarakhand. Also called Bilwa Tirth, the temple is one of the Panch Tirth in Haridwar. The temple is an abode of Mansa Devi, a form of Shakti, which is said to have emerged from Lord Shiva’s mind. She is also regarded as the sister of Naga Vasuki. As the term Mansa signifies wish, it is believed that the goddess fulfills all wishes of a devotee. The pilgrims tie threads o the branch of a tree in the temple to get their wishes fulfilled. When the wishes get fulfilled, people come back to untie the threads from the tree. The devotees also offer coconuts, fruits, incense sticks, and garlands to worship the goddess in the temple.
Tapkeshwar Temple, a very well-known pilgrimage site, located in the forest side of the Dehradun city, is also known as Tapkeshwar Mahadev Temple as this Mandir is dedicated to God Shiva. The shrine is situated in a natural cave, where the main Shivalinga is placed. In this temple, water droplets continually fall on the Shivalinga from the ceiling of the cave. According to Hindu Epic Mahabharata, Guru Dronacharya resided here; he used to teach the Pandavas and Kauravas, hence the cave also called as Drona Cave. This beautiful Shiva temple is situated between two hills, built naturally. Beside this temple, the visitors can spot a cool sulfur-water spring, where they can bathe before going inside the temple. This naturally designed temple is decorated by Rudraksha. At the entry of the temple, there is a big gate, from where the visitors have to march around 300 stairways to reach the main temple. An oversize sculpture of Lord Hanuman is another attraction of this temple, situated beside the main cave. The temple is located in the midst of natural beauty and greenery and thus, the tourists can relish all this beauty of nature while visiting the area.
There are many adventure activities that the visitors can participate in like river rafting, trekking, etc.
Situated above the Gangotri glacier, at a height of 14,640 feet above the sea level, Tapovan is the abode of Lord Shiva. Located in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, Tapovan is surrounded by gigantic mountain peaks and river streams and offers a serene environment to the visitors. Tapovan comes from two Sanskrit words, “Tapas” meaning penance and “Van” meaning forest. So, Tapovan means the forest of penance. As per the name, it is indeed an area of cold barren dry land, which is meant for offering penance.
The place was named Tapovan in honor of the great saint Tapovan Maharaj. At the foot of the Shivling Peak, an area situated at an elevation of 4,463 meters remains barren and serves as the home to several sadhus and hermits, even till this day.
This spot serves multiple purposes. Some tourists come here to undergo a spiritual journey, while some visit this place for sightseeing, yet others consider this as a place for trekking and seeking other adventure activities. The area of Tapovan also serves as a base camp for mountaineering expeditions of the Shiwalik Peak and the Bhagirathi Peak.
The presence of flowering plants, meadows, and streams presents a beautiful sight to the tourists.
Tapovan trek is one of the most sought-after activities. The trek begins from Gangotri and terminates at Tapovan and then back to Gangotri. The total duration of the trek is 4 days. Another famous trek is the Gaumukh-Tapovan trek, where one can pass through the beautiful glaciers of Gangotri, Meru, and Kirti Bamak. There is another spot, named Nandavan, situated near Tapovan, which is a spacious meadow and is visited by trekkers and pilgrims.
Beatles Ashram, also known as Chaurasi Kutia, is an ashram situated in the holy city and the Yoga capital of Rishikesh. The ashram is located on the eastern bank of river Ganga and opposite to Muni Ki Reti area. The ashram was built by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi to continue the yoga and meditation practice in Rishikesh, around 1 km away from the Ram Jhula. During the International Academy of Meditation visit of Maharishi in London in 1967, the famous English rock band “The Beatles” members met him to gain the knowledge of Indian antique yoga and meditation practices. Later in 1968, inspired by this session with Maharishi, who introduced the Transcendental Meditation technique, the band members along with the other famous celebrities like Donovan, Mia Farrow, and Mike Love, came to Rishikesh to join Maharishi’s team and continue the learning process. That time, the Beatles team stayed here for a few days and during this time they wrote and composed around 40 songs and published albums, called “White Album”. During their stay in the ashram, they used to perform Transcendental Meditation regularly with their four-piece band. That is why the ashram was named as “The Beatles Ashram”. From that time, the ashram and Rishikesh got a lot of international exposure. The main ashram building has a center hall, designed and furnished according to the English culture, called Beatles Cathedral, which was used by the Beatles band for residential purpose in the ashram. The main ashram has a total of 84 chambers in the form of caves for yoga and meditation, which are made of the local river stones. Now, the Ashram is under the Rajaji Reserve Forest and National Park, administratively maintained by the Uttarakhand Government.
Triveni Ghat is located at the bank of River Ganga. This place is the meeting point of the 3 mighty rivers Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati, and hence, the name “Triveni”. One of the astounding attractions here is the aarti in the evening, also called the Maha Aarti. It is performed between 6 to 7 PM daily. It is a standout amongst the most famous ceremonies of the town of Rishikesh attended by numerous devotees. The aficionados release little drifting leaf vessels in the river with oil lights or sparkling diyas in them. Due to this, the whole river lights up with small but magnificent yellow flames, which create a stupendous view.
Another major attraction of this place is the sunrise, which the viewers can enjoy in the early morning. Coming here at this time of the day and taking a stroll on the banks of River Ganga and to intake the fresh air are a mind-blowing proposition. Devotees take holy dips in the sacred river. Alongside it, they also offer milk as well as, feed the fishes in the Ghat.
Many people come here to perform the ritual of “Pindha Shraddha”, which is held to pray and offer respect to the souls of their ancestors.
Previously known as Bhyundar Valley, the Valley of Flowers National Park is located in the Garhwal Himalayas in the upper region of Bhyundar Ganga, close to the city of Joshimath, about 300 km north of Rishikesh (near Badrinath). It’s a part of the core zone of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. In order to reach this park, the travelers have to cover a distance of about 17 km via trekking. The starting point of this stunning valley is a ravine located over the Pushpawati River. This lovely valley spreads over an area of 87.50 sq. km at the meeting point of the heavenly beautiful Zanskar Range and Western and Eastern Himalayan ranges. This amazingly beautiful valley was discovered by the famous mountaineer Frank S. Smith in 1931 and since then, it has been a well-known tourist destination. This enchanting valley and now, a World Heritage Site is surrounded by snow-capped mountains, glittering glaciers, and lush greenery making it no less beautiful than the paradise.
During the winter months, the valley remains covered with snow and with the onset of the summer, colorful myriad alpine blossoms embellish the entire valley. The valley should best be visited during the monsoon to catch the best glimpses of the exotic flora that covers the area. There are many exotic medicinal herbs that grow in the valley and as per mythological belief, to cure ailing Lakshmana, Hanuman brought the magical Sanjivani herb from this Valley of Flowers. To witness this breathtaking natural beauty on earth, you have to visit this park.
While trekking towards the valley, the visitors can get numerous eye-soothing views of cascading waterfalls, babbling streams, flowery meadows, as well as get a glimpse of the rich and endangered species of wildlife in the park that includes Flying Squirrel, Lime Butterfly, Himalayan Black Bear, Himalayan Weasel, Brown Bear, Asiatic Black Deer, Musk Deer, Snow Leopard, Red Fox, Gray Langur, Blue Sheep, etc.
The Garhwal range of Himalayas has many Hindu pilgrimage sites and one such is Yamunotri Dham, one of the Char Dhams of Uttarakhand. Situated at a height of 3293 meters above sea level, Yamunotri is surrounded by the Himalayan range on all sides. It is considered to be the point from where River Yamuna originates. It is believed that taking a bath in the holy water of Yamuna can cleanse all sins and protect one from a painful death.
This place is naturally endowed with abundant beauty as it is surrounded by mountain peaks and streams with gushing water. This site is famous for its thermal springs and glaciers. The legendary story says that Yamunotri used to be the abode of Asit Muni.