It will be very difficult to put in words the surreal and untouched beauty that is displayed in Uttarkashi. With snow-clad hills, lush green alpine woods, scenic valleys and a wonderful air of spirituality which will definitely get you by surprise. It is mostly explored by spirituality seekers and outdoor adventure enthusiasts or even people interested in exploring some offbeat destinations. If it is still not on your travel list then here are the top 10 places to visit in Uttarkashi which will make you want to plan your next trip there:
01. Gangotri Temple
Seat of goddess Ganga, this gleaming white temple standing peacefully on the fast-paced river of Bhagirathi is one of the most prominent landmarks here. This pristine yet humble looking temple is one of the parts of the Chardham Yatra circuit of Uttarakhand. It can only be visited for a limited duration of 6 months when the snow is cleared and the routes are made accessible again. A large number of devotees make their way to the shrine of the goddess who is believed to have descended at this very spot from the heavenly realm.
02. Har Ki Doon
This is probably one of the most pristine and scenic trekking adventures that you will ever experience in your life. The views of the surrounding mountain is one of a kind and you will definitely get mesmerized by the bountiful beauty of nature here. The name of this place literally translates into ‘The Land of Lord Shiva’ and along with this it holds a lot of historical and religious importance for the people here. The place consists of temples and important places of worship making it a must-visit destination.
03. Nachiketa Tal
Surrounded by the thick forest cover of pine and oak and settled peacefully in the central part of it this lake is situated on an altitude of 2,453 metres above sea level. The interesting story behind this lake is that it was created for Uddalak son Nachiketa who had founded the entry into hell along with the meaning of life and death. The place is very serene owing to its beautiful natural surroundings and the absence of crowd. A temple is located in its close proximity which is dedicated to the Nag Devtas and the region springs to life especially during the auspicious time of Nag Panchami.
04. Gaumukh Glacier
Situated ahead of the temple of Gangotri is the source of river Ganga i.e. Gaumukh Glacier which is named so due to its shape like a cow’s snout. It is a hub for adventure and thrill seekers but due to strict conservation regulations now it is only accessible if you have a permit. The terrain here is rugged and consists of loose rocks which makes accessibility here very difficult and physically testing. The place is an ideal location if you are looking to explore the adventurous side of Uttarakhand.
05. Dayara Bugyal
Popular for being one of the most famous trekking destinations in Uttarakhand this place serves as the perfect place of exploration if you are a beginner in trekking. With the gently sloping and undulating landscape here you will be able to watch the beauty of the Himalayas unfold in front of you. It is the perfect trekking destination if you are looking to go on an adventure during the winter months when you will be able to see the land turn from Green to white snow cover which will be a magical experience in itself.
The pristine and stunning hamlet of Harsil is one of the most untouched tourist destinations in Uttarakhand. With the clear river making its way through the scenic hamlet and a type of lush greenery that you may have never experienced before, this place is an ideal destination for peace seekers, spirituality enthusiasts and even photographers. It is so beautiful that the famous Bollywood movie – Ram Teri Ganga Maili was shot. A village tour here will make you come in closer contact with the amazing natural beauty that is housed in India.
07. Yamunotri Temple
The famous starting point for the Chardham Yatra of Uttarakhand is located in the district of Uttarkashi and flocks with pilgrims during the on season of the pilgrimage journey. The temple houses a shrine of goddess Yamuna and seems like it is perched on the edge of a cliff. The presiding deity is in the form of a gleaming black stone which is set on a pedestal along with containing several images of different deities. The temple is surrounded by the towering rolling green mountain peaks, cascading waterfalls and several hot water springs that are naturally occurring. The temple also marks the final accessible point for the source of river Yamuna to the Champasar Glacier.
08. Kashi Vishwanath Temple
Dedicated to Lord Shiva this is probably one of the most ancient temples of India and due to its religious significance is frequented by a large crowd of pilgrims and devotees from all over the world. Surrounded by the magnificent snow-capped mountain peaks and located right on the banks of the holy Bhagirathi River this temple is abode to a stunning shiv ling that adorns the shrine and where the devotees offer their prayer. It is also mostly visited during the holy Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand.
09. Maneri Dam
This concrete gravity dam is built on top of the Bhagirathi river and is one of the most prominent places of sightseeing in Uttarkashi. The dam is surrounded by huge mountain peaks on all sides including a thick lush greenery which allows you to relax and spend some peaceful time here in the deep serenity. The dam’s purpose is to divert the water of Bhagirathi into a tunnel into the Tiloth Power Plant.
10. Dodi Tal
This is the ultimate location for you to relax and unwind away from the teeming tourist crowd. This Tal is located on an elevation of 3,024 metres above sea level and is one of the most stunning freshwater lakes of Uttarakhand. The lake holds religious importance for being the place of permanent abode for Lord Ganesh. The lake is also home to the Himalayan fishes known as Dodi and is also an ideal destination for picnic with your family. It also serves as the base camping location for the trek to Darwa top and Hanuman Chatti.