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Uttarkashi- The Varanasi of Uttarakhand

The district is filled with temples and shrines. Uttarkashi city lies in the Northern side of Uttrakhand, in the district Uttarkashi. The district Uttarkashi has Barkot, Bhaironghati, Chinyalisaur, Dharasu, Dhumku, Gangotri, Maneri, Naugaon, Nelang, Palar, Sang and Uttarkashi, as the small towns and cities . The district is located at the banks of Ganges. The hill named Varunavat is the neighbour of the city Uttarkashi. The place is utterly religious and people visit there for its prosperity, alienation and the cultural value. With places like Govind National Park for strolling and Haralu ki Jaonli, Radugaira Kharak, Nandanban, Karcha, Naga, Nilapani, Kiarkoyi, Tangun and Hrirai Thach, for camping, exploring, the district offers everything for all age groups. Purola, Rajgarhi, Bhatwari, Dunda has the Tehsil Headquarters as well as scenic spots of Uttarkashi. Kanatal, Hanuman Chhati and Barkot are some of the famous tourist spot in Uttarkashi.

How to Reach Uttarkashi

The place is easily reachable, less treaded yet interesting. The district Uttarkashi is majorly bordered by Tehri Garhwal, some part is also connected to Dehradun, Rudraprayag and Chamoli. NH94 enters Uttarkashi from Tehri Garhwal. From where one NH i.e NH108 treads from Dharasu, via Dhunda stops at Gangotri. And the other reaches to Yamunotri, the two sacred Hindu places. By train the nearest railway station is at Dehradun or Rishikesh, both of them are almost equally far from Uttarkashi District. Similarly the distance of airport too, nearest one is the Jolly Grant airport which is at 5 hours distance by road. It is about 180kms. It would take around 4 hours from Dehradun to Uttarkashi via bus. There are many state run buses available in there. Even private buses also take charge, this is the most convenient way to reach Uttarkashi.

Hotels in Uttarkashi

The presence of Gangotri and Yamunotri makes Uttarkashi district as well as the city, one of the most visited religious place throughout the year. Especially during the Chaar Dham Yatra season.from remarkably high end ones like 5 Elements Hotel, Hotel Sahal Villa or low budget, affordable ones like Hotel KNB Heritage, Hotel Radhika Palace, Queen hill are some of the famous ones in there. Most of the hotels are on NH94, the one leading to Yamunotri. The one starting from Rishikesh to Ampata then Tehri to Dharasu then Kuthnaur finally to Yamnotri. Ahead of Matli, the road leading to Gangotri also has many fully furnished accommodations.

Things to do in Uttarkashi

If nature could speak, the sound would be through Uttarkashi. This place is ever inspiring and enthralling. With some of the most adventurous spots for camping and treks. Some of the most accountable glaciers and valleys, the place has many things for atheists. But if you are a true devotee, temples of Yamunotri and Gangotri of the Uttarkashi district are the place for you. There are many more places to visit in Uttarkashi like:

  • Govind Pashu Vihar National Park
  • Harsil
  • Nanda Devi National Park
  • Barkot
  • Sankri
  • Jhanki Chatti
  • Purola
  • Kharsali
  • Maneri
  • Bhatwari

These places speak for themselves, but if we divide on how you should plan your itinerary, we should segregate according to the places you must not miss at all!

temples in uttarkashi

  • Kandar Devta Mandir
  • Kashi Vishwanath Temple
  • Kuteti Devi Temple
  • Shakti Temple
  • Parshuram Temple
  • Bhairav Temple
  • Lakha Mandal Temple
  • Duryodhna Mandir
  • Hanuman Mandir
  • Anna Purna Mandir

glaciers in Uttarkashi

  • Dodital
  • Gaumukh

treks in Uttarkashi

  • Dayara Bugyal Trek
  • Dodital Trek
  • Har ki Dun
  • Kedarkantha
  • Ruinsara Lake
  • Gomukh Tapovan Trek
  • Auden’s Col Trek
  • Panpatia Glacier Trek

Travelling to yamunotri in Uttarkashi

Yamunotri is a sacred place for Hindus. It is believed, the holy river Yamuna, starts from a glacier here. The place is beautiful and located in the Uttarkashi District. The place is usually reached by trekking, the main source of the Yamuna which is atop a hill, but the temple is located at the foothills and is quite approachable. It is located at the North of Uttarkashi. Yamunotri is the part of the four sacred places covered by Hindus in a lifetime, which is called the Chaar Dhaam Yatra.. The holy springs which are thermal and located just at 7kms from this place is the major attraction for the tourists. People flock here from all parts of the world, to be the part of this sacred Yatra. The management of the temple and other things are done by the people from Kharsali village which is near Janki Chatti. It is believed Sangya is the birthplace of the Yamuna which is in the Champasar Glacier just below "Banderpoonch Mountain".

Travelling to Gangotri in Uttarkashi

Gangotri the source origin of the Ganga river, is another of the four pilgrim destinations among the Chaar Dhaam Yatra. The place is at the height of 10 thousand feet. There is a temple, believed to be founded by Amar Singh Thapa. This river is known as Bhagirathi whilst at the source later it takes the name of Ganga from Devprayag there it meets the Alaknanda. The origin of the river is at Gaumukh which is a 19 km trek from Gangotri. Pandava Gufa and Bhagirath Shila are the two major tourist attraction there. It is believed by commencing this journey of the four places, especially these two, people get rid of their bad deeds, it is like a penance done in a journey of life which is filled with human mistakes. Gangotri has been a tourist attraction too for its beautiful location and trekking areas around it. From the city of Uttarkashi it takes around 4hours to reach Gangotri. The mythological story of sage Kapil is linked with the flowing of Ganga to Earth through the hair locks of shiva. King Bhagirath is known to have called Gangato Earth, to cleanse the soul of his ancestors who died due to a curse by sage Kapil. The visit to Gangotri is believed to sanctify and please one's ancestors also. It is visited after Yamunotri.

Things you should know about char dham yatra

  • All the shrines, especially Gangotri and Yamunotri are located at high altitudes, you must carryheavy woollens while travelling.
  • You must get your medical health check up done, in case you are allergic of some kind of food, fruit or flower, you must keep medicines accordingly. You must take care of your blood pressure levels, which may fluctuate at high altitude.
  • You must carry dark chocolates, nuts, glucose, energy biscuits, so that even if you are stranded somewhere, your glucose level should not decrease, which is fatal at such a height.
  • Start warming up and do exercises atleast one month before you plan to visit, the trekking routes are tough and are not meant to be dealt with easily. You must take care that you do not lack stamina, as crossing miles in steep hill is something the people from the plains are not usual.
  • Do not make a plan during rainy seasons as the places are prone to landslides and other natural disasters due to rain.
  • You must not hurt the religious sentiments of the locals there, you should not carry drugs, alcohol or non vegetarian food while going there.
  • Helicopter facility is also available, but for that you must make prior arrangements and then proceed, check for hotels etc beforehand as most of the hotels are preoccupied through tele or online booking.
  • The best route map used for both the routes : Yamunotri and Gangotri are:

  • Yamunotri route from Rishikesh:

    Rishikesh - Narendra Nagar - Chamba - Brahmkhal - Barkot - Hanuman Chatti - Phool Chatti - Janki Chatti - Yamunotri

    Gangotri route from Rishikesh:

    Rishikesh - Narendra Nagar - Chamba - Brahmkhal - Barkot - Uttarkashi - Gangotri

  • The other two places in the Char Dham Yatra are Kedarnath, which is located in Rudraprayag and Badrinath, which is located in Chamoli districts of Uttarakhand.

Food in Uttarkashi

Due to presence of two of the Hindu religious shrines in Uttarkashi district. Neither the city, nor the whole district is more into Non Vegetarian food, even though if you are die hard Non vegetarians you may get one or two food outlets, but majorly simple vegetarian food is preferred by people there. The locals are highly religious and follows a particular routine.Some of the popular food outlets there can be: Shangri- La, Devdarshan Restaurant, Amardeep Restaurant, Shree Gokuldham food and restaurant, Naveen Restaurant, Janak, Sachin Restaurant etc . People knows these names, and are familiar with the state of the delicious food they offer. There are many new eateries, bakeries and cafes, since tourism has boosted and every year the toll of people travelling for Char Dham Yatra increases, thus it is evident that the food is easily available in the main cities. It is an issue to get food variety near the shrines, but still you may manage to get your hunger sated.

Trend and culture in Uttarkashi

People are easy going, religious and humble They are down to Earth and understands the issues of tourists. The locals are helpful too, but you should beware of the increasing rate of thugs, who may meet you as guides or travel agents and you may get looted. Thus, don’t rely on anyone, but don’t worry much about security too, the administration and arrangements are done for the convenience of people. You must avoid any tussle with locals, or arguments in views as they are from a very different background. You may get to hear many folklores, some may even be hard to believe. But there they are, living a life full of faith and devotion, you must respect it. However, you may not agree with what all they say, but most of them has their reasons.

weather in Uttarkashi

Most of the time it is raining in Uttarkashi, Due to the high altitude the weather is always cool, even in June the temperature is within 28 degrees or so,while in winters the mercury drops to -1 or below, there is a harsh cold breeze in winters and many people stride down from the hilly areas to the main cities for the winters. As both the religious shrines remain closed during winters, thus it is preferred to stay in the cities where the cold is still bearable. Due to high precipitation, thunderstorm, lightening and high rain showers are common in the areas, especially during rainy season, the landslides and land drift are usual sights across Uttarkashi.

Necessities and utilities in Uttarkashi

If you are stuck with a jam debit or credit card, or you are searching an ATMs around, you must know which banks are there in Uttarkashi, here is the list which may come as handy for you.

  • Oriental Bank of Commerce
  • State Bank of India
  • Uttarakhand Gramin Bank
  • Punjab National Bank
  • Syndicate Bank
  • Uttarkashi Zila Sehkari Bank
  • DCB Dunda
  • Union Bank of India

While you may also need to know about hospitals and clinics, health care centres in Uttarkashi. Here is the list that may come as handy if any untoward happening occur while travelling.

  • District Hospitals
  • Ayumaan Hospitals
  • Govil Maternity and Ortho Centre

There are small clinics also, while the health care centres are also located near the shrines.

Uttarkashi has other tourist spots as well, like NIM, Dodital, Ujeli, Tiloth Power Plant, Maneri Dam, Bhali Dam, Nachiketa Tal, Gyansu and Palla Gyansu, Joshiyara, Matli, Mahidanda etc are some of the common spots preferred by people here. The place is energetic, and full of vigour,c olor of nature.

Tourism is at its peak during summers, you must take care of the bookings before hand. Tour packages are also set according to the shrines and other places to visit in Uttarkashi. You should take care of the high altitude and the frequent change in the weather condition. And while taking in the trek route, you must take care of the guides and make sure that you have kept all the necessary stuff for the journey.

#Welcome to the city of shrines. Devotion has a name!!! Its Uttarkashi!

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