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20 Top Pilgrimage Sites in Uttarakhand

Rishikesh at Night

Uttarakhand undeniably had become the earthly refuge to many gods in the past and thus, making it the land which has always defined spirituality. This state is home to many famous temples which even date back to 7th or 8th century and often believed to hold some divine aura around them. The most majestic quality of these temples is that they are nestled amidst the sublime natural beauty and tranquillity.

Uttarakhand has always been a place of attraction for different kinds of travellers from pilgrims to an adventurer. But above all these, it attracts millions of followers every year just because it is home to Chardham Yatra. Chardham Yatra holds a very powerful and spiritual significance among all the residents of India since it is a journey offending eternal salvation amidst the Himalayas. With lots of magnificent religious place to explore in Uttarakhand, here one can easily earn a wonderful chance to finally find themselves and spend some spiritual time.

Below is the list of 20 religious places in Uttarakhand to walk some spiritual journeys for a while and discover yourself.

1) Haridwar

Har Ki Paudi, Haridwar

Haridwar is also called as Hari-ka-Dwar in the local language that has a literal meaning as ‘Gateway to God’ in English. It is the most celebrated holiest place in India because this is the very place from where the Ganges descends from the Himalayas to the Northern Plains. Just upon a popular belief of getting a chance washing your sins away by taking a bath in the river Ganga, this city encounters thousands of pilgrims every day.

Haridwar is also home to some recognized religious spot which is filled with immense divine aura and one is bound to feel religious at those places. It is only 208 km away from Delhi so it wouldn’t give you too much of hassle in travelling.

How to Reach: One can take a direct bus from Delhi to Haridwar.

Places to Visit: Bharat Mata Mandir, Chandi Devi Mandir, Har-Ki-Pauri, Maya Devi Mandir, Mansa Devi Mandir, Sureshwari Devi Temple.

2) Rishikesh

Rishikesh at Night

Rishikesh is the place which gave ‘Yoga’ to this world, which has now become the most powerful regime in everybody’s life. It is a quaint little town nestled in the northern state of Uttarakhand which further leads your way to the Chardham Yatra. This town is also famous for its suspension bridges erected on the river Ganges. This town is also a popular refuge to many saints who can be seen walking by at every nook and corner of this small town.

It was in the 60s that this town became a popular phenomenon among the foreign countries when the Beatles came to this town to gather some offerings from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. These days many foreigners come to this town in search of spirituality and peace.

How to Reach: The city has a direct connectivity from Delhi, there are regular buses available from Delhi.

Places to Visit: Bharat Mandir, Gita Bhavan, Laxman Jhula, Neelkanth Mahadev Mela, Trimbakeshwar Temple, Triveni Ghat.

3) Badrinath

Sri Badrinath Dham

Badrinath is one of the places that a person explores during their Chardham Yatra. This small town is at a height of 3,133 meters in the Chamoli district of Northern State Uttarakhand. It is also home to some famous religious places of India and if estimations are to believed then, it encounters a total of 60,000 pilgrims every year. What makes this town even beautiful is Alaknanda River flowing across the town and the magnificent view of the Himalayas in the background.

The popular myth that surrounds this town is that Lord Vishnu found his abode at this very same place and he meditated here for a very long period of time. In this spree, Goddess Lakshmi turned into a berry tree to help him avoid any kind of external disturbance.

How to Reach: One can take a regular bus from Delhi to Rishikesh and from there it is advisable to book a cab to Badrinath.

Places to Visit: Badrinath Temple, Tapt Kund, Brahma Kapal, Neelkanth Peak, Mata Murti Mandir, Charanpaduka, Sheshnetra, Vasudhara Falls.

4) Gangotri

Gangotri Dham

Gangotri is a yet another place that has marked its name in the Chardham Yatra list. This small town is located at the height of 3,100 meters in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. This town is only 19 km away from Gaumukh glacier from where the river Ganges originated, so a day excursion to that place will be good thing for those who want to see the actual place from where river Ganges originated.

According to the legends, the grandson of King Sagara, Bhagirath went into a deep prayer at this place. He prayed for many years only to ask for a way so that his family can rid of a curse and finally be forgiven for their grave sins.

How to Reach: One can take a regular bus from Delhi to Uttarkashi and from there one can book a cab to Gangotri since it is only 98 km away.

Places to Visit: Gangotri temple, Dharali, Kalindi Khal, Maneri, Gangotri National park, Gaumukh, Jalmagna Shivling.

5) Kedarnath

Kedarnath Dham

Kedarnath is also one of the places which had its entry in the Chardham Yatra. This small town is situated at an altitude of 3,553 meters in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. It is home to Jyotirlinga which is famous in India for a hiding place of Lord Shiva in the form of light. It is accessible among all the other abodes of Chardham Yatra and is beautifully guarded by massive snow-clad peaks.

As per legends, it was this place where the Pandavas came for forgiveness after the war and left their body behind to finally earn the chance of entering into the paradise.

How to Reach: One can take a regular bus from Delhi to Rishikesh and from there one can book a cab to Kedarnath.

Places to Visit: Kedarnath temple, Gandhi Sarovar, Phata, Sonprayag, Gaurikund temple, Vasuki Tal, Triyuginarayan temple, Bhairavnath Temple.

6) Yamunotri

Yamunotri Dham

Yamunotri is the place from where a pilgrim embarks on a journey of Chardham. This is a small-town located only 13 km away from Hanuman Chatti which is nestled in the Northern region of Uttarkashi district in the state of Uttarakhand. The town is famous for its Yamunotri temple which is also considered the source of river Yamuna along with being a crucial part of the holy Gangotri Yamunotri yatra. There is hot water spring flowing out of mountain cavities, the spring is called as Surya Kund and has a great importance in Indian Mythology.

As per legends, the river Yamuna holds a very important status in Hinduism since it is considered to be responsible for nurturing Indian civilization.

How to Reach: One can take a regular bus from Delhi to Uttarkashi and from there one can book a cab to Yamunotri.

Places to Visit: Yamunotri temple, Janki Chatti, Hanuman Chatti, Saptarishi Kund, Divya Shila, Kharsali.

7) Tungnath

Tungnath Temple

Tungnath temple is located in the Tungnath district of Uttarakhand and is also the highest Shiva temple in the world at an altitude of 3,680 meters. The temple is believed to be constructed around 100 years back and is one of the Panch Kedars. It not only attracts many pilgrims of India but it is also popular among the young travellers as a trekking spree. The temple has a very distinguished beauty since it surrounded by many impressive mountain peaks and is one of the many reasons why travellers from everywhere are attracted to this.

If the legends to be believed, there is an old tale that surrounds the temple construction that Lord Rama participated in a deep meditation at this place for all the sins he committed in his war against Ravana.

How to Reach: One can take a bus from Delhi to Chopta and from there you will have to walk to this temple.

Places to Visit: Chandrashila peak, Deoria Tal, Chopta, Kanchula Korak Musk Deer Sanctuary.

8) Rudranath

Rudranath Temple

The Rudranath temple is the fourth temple in the list of five Kedars to visit. It is located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand and is toughest of all the other five temples to reach. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and it was built by the Pandavas. It is nestled within the dense Alpine pastures and Rhododendron dwarfs.

The temple is only 3 km away from Sagar village and 241 km away from Rishikesh. There are some other beautiful Himalayan peaks adding to this temples glory.

How to Reach: One can take a bus from Delhi to Rishikesh and from there one can book a cab to this place.

Other Places to Visit: Madhyamaheshwar Temple, Kalpeshwar, Nandikund, Pitradhar.

9) Tarkeshwar Mahadev

Tarkeshwar Mahadev Mandir

Tarkeshwar Mahadev is a small-town located in the Garhwal district of Uttarakhand and is popular for its Tarkeshwar Mahadev Temple. There are Deodar trees surrounding the vicinity of the temple and giving a very tranquil atmosphere to its visitor. The temple also provides an accommodation to all the pilgrims that come here.

This town is only 38 km away from Lansdowne and the legends say that the temple was built in the memory of the popular war between Tarakasur and the son of Lord Shiva who went on to kill that demon afterward.

How to Reach: One can take a bus from Delhi to Lansdowne and from there one can book a cab to this place.

Other Places to See: Tarkeshwar Mahadev Temple, Bhullatal Lake, Bhimtal Lake.

10) Bhavishya Badri Temple

Bhavishya Badri Temple

Bhavishya Badri temple is located at an altitude of 2,744 meters above sea level in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. This temple is dedicated to Lord Narasimha, who is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and if legends to be believed, a major landslide occurred in the Badrinath region. That landslide blocked the path to Badrinath and after that, the god himself appeared at this place.

This temple is only 23 km away from Joshimath and can also be reached by the regular buses from Auli.

How to Reach: One can take a bus from Delhi to Joshimath and from there one can book a cab to this place.

Other Places to See: Kauri Bugyal, Auli artificial lake.

11) Binsar Mahadev Mandir

Binsar Mahadev Mandir

Binsar Mahadev Mandir is an ancient rock temple located in the Pauri Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. This temple stands tall at the edge of Deodar forest and is dedicated to Lord Bindeshwar, who is assumed to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva. The temple also holds a big fair on Vaikunth Chaturdashi every year.

The temple is only 18 km away from Ranikhet and is assumed to be built during the 9th century.

How to Reach: One can take a bus from Delhi to Ranikhet and from there one can book a cab to this place.

Other Places to See: Brahmadhungi, Peethsain, Dudhatoli.

12) Nandaprayag

Nandaprayag Sangam

Nandaprayag is a small-town in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand and is situated at the confluence of river Alaknanda and river Nandakini. This town makes way for the Chardham Yatra and can be a spiritual break when one travels for Badrinath. Many pilgrims usually take a break here during the Chardham journey and bathe in the serenity of this place.

This town is only 195 km away from Haridwar and is surrounding with peaceful beauty that can also uplift a lost soul.

How to Reach: One can take a bus from Delhi to Haridwar and from there one can book a cab to this place.

Other Places to See: Karnaprayag, Alaknanda River, Nandakini River.

13) Neelkantha Peak

Neelkantha Peak

Neelkantha, which is also called as Garhwal Queen by the locals, is a mountain helmed under the name of Lord Shiva. The trekking for this site is one of the mesmerizing trails of India, it will take you through the natural beauty that you have never seen before. It is still believed that Lord Shiva resides there now also, protecting the mother earth from the darkness.

Neelkantha is only 9 km ahead of Badrinath and one has to walk up this place since it is not motorized area.

How to Reach: One can take a bus from Delhi to Haridwar and from there one can book a cab to Badrinath which then leads you to the walking zone only.

Other Places to See: Satopanth Glacier, Panpatia Glacier.

14) Chitai Golu Temple

Chitai Golu Temple

Chitai Golu temple is dedicated to Golu Ji deity, who is an incarnation of Lord Shiva. This temple is famous for numerous numbers of copper bells that are hung in its premises. It is also called as a temple of justice since many pilgrims come to this temple to pay homage and ask for wishes. It is believed that many of their wishes are followed.

It is only 8 km away from Almora in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand and has a very spiritual aura that even surprises many devotees.

How to Reach: One can take a bus from Delhi to Almora and from there one can book a cab to this place.

Other Places to See: Valmiki Mahadev Mandir, Sun temple, Tagore Bhavan.

15) Jageshwar Dham Temples

Jageshwar Dham Temples

Jageshwar Dham temple is an arena comprising many temples and all of them are dedicated to Lord Shiva. There are a total of 124 small as well as big temples here and is surrounded by some lush green mountains. A Jata Ganga stream is flowing along this temple and it also comes under the Archaeological Survey of India. The temples are believed to date back to many centuries ago.

It is located in the Almora district of Uttarakhand and is often visited by the saints who are in search of places to practice deep meditation.

How to Reach: One can take a bus from Delhi to Almora and from there it is the walking distance.

Other Places to See: Zero-point, Bright End Corner.

16) Chandrabadni Temple

Chandrabadani Temple

This temple is perched atop the Chandrabadni Mountain and is dedicated to Sati who went to paradise in search of her husband. It is believed that it was this place where she left her body and all her weapons in order to get an entry in heaven. The temple has a Shri Yantra and it is a ritual to tie a piece of cloth to Shri-Yantra.

The Chandrabadni Mountain is located on the border of Devprayag and Pratap Nagar district of Tehri region, will also offer a mesmerizing view of Kedarnath and Badrinath peaks.

How to Reach: One can take a bus from Delhi to Devprayag and from there one can book a cab to this place.

Other Places to See: Tehri Dam, Sem Mukhem Temple, Khatling Glacier.

17) Hemkund Sahib

Gurudwara Shri Hemkund Sahib

Hemkund Sahib is a very acknowledged Sikh shrine located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. It is also near to valley of flowers which is considered on the scenic place in India, where thousands of travellers come every year. The surrounding around this town is like a drug for many people since travellers come to this town in the wake of finding peace in this chaotic world.

The gurudwara is located at an altitude of 4,329 meters above sea level and is also known as the world’s highest gurudwara.

How to Reach: One can take a bus from Delhi to Haridwar and from there one can book a cab to this place.

Other Places to Visit: Valley of Flowers, Bheem Pul, Saraswati River.

18) Joshimath

Narsing Mandir complex at Joshimath

Joshimath is one of the four monasteries established by famous Indian philosopher Adi Shankaracharya during the 8th century. It is located at an altitude of 6150 feet above the sea level and is surrounded by various snow-capped Himalayan ranges. It lies in the Vishnu Prayag region where two main river Alaknanda and Dhauliganga meet.

Joshimath is only 49 km away from Badrinath and is home to many beautiful temples which dates back to many centuries before.

How to Reach: One can take a bus from Delhi to Haridwar and from there one can book a cab to this place.

Other Places to See: Ghangaria, Tapovan, Nanda Devi National Park, Narsingh temple, Vishnuprayag, Govindghat.

19) Kainchi Dham

Kainchi Dham, Nainital

Kainchi Dham is a religious pilgrimage site located in the Kainchi village of Nainital and as the name suggests in a local language, it means bending of two sharp hairpins. It is visited by many famous people like Apple founder and Facebook founder in the past which is why it is popular among the business world as a place to revive a person’s career.

It is beautiful shrine nestled amidst the seclusion and is only 17 km away from Nainital, so one can book a cab and can also take a city bus from there.

How to Reach: One can take a bus from Delhi to Nainital and from there one can book a cab to this place.

Other Places to See: Naina Peak, Snow View Point, Hanuman Garhi.

20) Bhadraj Temple

Bhadraj Temple

Bhadraj temple is located in the Mussoorie district of Uttarakhand which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is built atop a mountain from where one can have a mesmerizing view of Doon valley, Chakrata range. It is visited by many travellers as it gave them the best trekking experience and the view.

It is only 18.8 km away from Mussoorie and this temple also organizes a fair in mid –August, where many devotees come to gather blessings from Lord Bhadraj.

How to Reach: One can take a bus from Delhi to Mussoorie and from there one can book a cab to this place.

Other Places to See: Lakha Mandal temple, Lal Tibba.

With this list of 20 religious places to visit in Uttarakhand, one has many great options to explore and dive deep in the river of spirituality.

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