Divine Destination: Best Things To Do In Uttarkashi, India

things to do in uttarkashi india
| 6 min read

Uttarkashi, India is an important tourist destination located in the Uttarkashi district on the banks of the river Bhagirathi. Popularly known as Devbhumi, which can be literally translated to ‘Land of the Gods,’ the divine destination of Uttarkashi is home to a number of temples, ashrams, and the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering. Pilgrims and adventure sports lovers flock to this region, due to its natural beauty and religious heritage.

Whether you are looking for eternal peace and happiness or adrenaline-pumping activities Uttarkashi has something great in store for you. From historical monuments, natural attractions, to adventurous and entertaining activities, here are some of the best things you can experience in Uttarkashi.

1. Gangotri

Gangotri is one of the four important pilgrimages of Char Dham (four religious places) in Uttarakhand. One of the origin sources of the holy river Ganga (Ganges), Gangotri is located on the banks of the river Bhagirathi. In ancient times, the river was called Bhagirathi and attained the name Ganga from Devprayag onwards where Bhagirathi meets with Alaknanda to form the Ganga River.

The Gangotri temple is located at a height of 3,200 m (10,498.69 ft) above sea level and is 100 km (62.13 mi) away from Uttarkashi. The temple was established in the 18th century by General Amar Singh Thapa. The goddess Ganga is worshiped here.

The Gangotri temple opens on the auspicious day of Akshay Tritiya in the month of May and closes down on Yama Dwitiya or Bhai Duj in the month of November. Due to heavy snowfall in the region, the Gangotri temple remains closed for six months and the deity is worshiped at Mukhwa, near Harsil. A number of ashrams are located on various sites, which offer decent accommodation.


Address: Gangotri temple Uttarkashi

Price: Free Darshan

Opening Hours: 6:15 am to 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm to 9:30 pm. Remains closed for six months from mid-November to mid-May

Duration: Around 3 hours required.

Access: 100 km (62.13 mi) away from Uttarkashi. It can be reached via four-wheeler. Well connected to Rishikesh, Haridwar, Dehradun, and Delhi.

Tip from Content Creator

Gangotri Gangotri Gangotri

Photos of Gangotri shared by content creator from India, Aman.

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2. Yamunotri

Yamunotri temple and ashram
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Atarax42 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The main source of the Yamuna River, Yamunotri is one of the four important pilgrimages of Char Dham in Uttarakhand. Gangotri and Yamunotri shrines are located just in the opposite directions. The road leading to Yamunotri divides from Dharasu, which is located between Rishikesh and Uttarkashi. The actual source of the river Yamuna is 1 km (0.62 mi) from the shrine, at a height of 4,421 meters (14,504.6 ft). The majority of the devotees worship at the temple since the way to the source is quite difficult to climb.

Located in the footsteps of the Garhwal Mountain Ranges, Yamunotri is bestowed with abundant natural beauty and is famous for its glaciers and thermal springs. This sacred abode of the Asti Muni, boasts many unparalleled panoramas of nature. The Yamuna is the sister of Yama the god of death, and according to Hindu tradition, a holy dip in this river ensures a painless death to the devotee.

Yamunotri lies adjacent to the Indo-Chinese border and is encircled by lofty peaks on all sides. Yamunotri has a romantic appeal for those who are young at heart. The trek to Yamunotri is magnificent, dominated by mesmerizing views of rocky peaks and intense forests.


Address: Left Bank of River Yamuna

Price: Free

Opening Hours: Yamunotri Temple remains opens for pilgrims from 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Aarti Time at Yamunotri Mandir: 6:30 pm and 7:30 pm. Remains closed for six months from mid-November to mid-May

Duration: Around 3 hours required.

Access: Road: Dharasu, 107 km. (66.48 mi), Tehri 107 km (66.48 mi), Rishikesh, 213 km (132.35 mi), and Dehradun, 172 km (107.497 mi) Rail: Nearest railhead is at Rishikesh, 213 km. (132.35 mi) and Dehradun 172 km (107.497 mi)

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3. Gaumukh

Gangotri glacier Gaumukh

Posted by Hind Journey on Monday, 27 February 2017

Another source of the Ganga River, Gaumukh is the second largest glacier of India and is 30 km (18.6 mi) in length and 4 km (2.5 mi) in width. One of the most popular and rewarding treks in the Garhwal Himalayas, the Gaumukh to Tapovan to Nandanvan Circuit crosses the gigantic Gaumukh Glacier and gives you the opportunity to camp at the foot of a lofty Himalayan peak. Gangotri acts as the base camp of the trek to the Gaumukh Glacier. Visiting the Gangotri Temple is a key attraction along this trek.

During this trek, you can have a glimpse of the Himalayan peaks of Sudarshan, Shivling, Meru, Bhagirathi sisters, Kharchkund, and more. Gaumukh is open for trekking and pilgrimage from May to October. Gangotri National Park remains closed during the winter due to heavy snowfall.


Address: Gaumukh is situated at a height of 4,023.36 m (13,200 ft) in Uttarkashi district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. It is a popular Hindu pilgrimage site, along with Gangotri, as well as a great trekking destination.

Duration: For a trek on Gomukh you must have permission from (D.F.O.) District forest officer, Uttarkashi. Only 150 permits are issued per day, permission can also be given via fax.

Access: Gomukh is 18 km (11.18 mi) from Gangotri in the foot hills of Bhagirathi. It is part of the Gangotri Glacier

Contact: District forest officer, Uttarkashi

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4. Vishwanath Temple

Posted by Vishwanath Temple on Saturday, 25 February 2017

The Vishwanath Temple, situated right across from the Shakti Temple, is a prominent religious shrine for the visitors coming to see Gangotri and the Yamunotri. Vishwanath, a title given to Lord Shiva, is believed to be the greatest benefactor and god of resurrection in Hindu religion and mythology. The shrine, known as the ‘linga,’ is in the temple, and is about 90 cm (35.4 in) wide and 60 cm (23.6 in) tall. The shrine has immense religious significance, due to its history of being a powerful wish-granting shrine.

Pooja in Vishwanath Temple: The deity of this temple is worshiped throughout the day, and the sound of bells and chanting of mantras by pundits greets visitors.

Vishwanath Temple

Address: Near main market Uttarkashi

Price: Free

Opening Hours: 9 am to 6 pm. Closed on public holidays.

Access: The Kashi Vishwanath temple is located 154 km (95.69 mi) from Rishikesh, (near the main market of Uttarkashi) near the main road leading to Gangotri Dham.

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5. Gangotri National Park

MY LOVE. MY HIMALAYA. In our life there exist some endeavours you just don't think of, as you are sure that it's too...

Posted by Софья Ставицкая on Sunday, 5 March 2017

Established in 1989, Gangotri National Park is situated in the upper catchment of the Bhagirathi River, covering 1,553 square kilometers (599.6 sq mi). Gangotri Glacier, the origin of river Ganga, is located inside Gangotri National Park. The captivating beauty of the area is decorated with snow clad mountains, springs, coniferous forest, meadows, and glaciers, which will give you a feel of eternal peace and tranquillity. Physically and biologically influenced by the trans-Himalayan elements, the Gangotri National Park has a typical high altitude ecosystem.

Various rare and endangered species, like black and brown bears, bharal or blue sheep, Himalayan Snowcock, Himalayan Monal, Himalayan thar, snow leopard, tiger, and musk deer, are found in the park. Other animals found in Gangotri National Park are the Himalayan Barbet, ibex, bulbul, partridges, pheasants, doves, parakeet, pigeons, and serow.

For adventure loving tourists, mountaineering, paragliding, hang gliding, hiking, jeep safari, river rafting, skiing, and trekking facilities are available.

Gangotri National Park

Address: Gangotri - Gaumukh Pedestrian Way, Post Taknaur Range, Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand - 249135

Price: Entry for per person : 50 INR / 0.76 USD

Nearest Railway Station : Dehradun Railway station

Access: Gangotri National Park ↔ Uttarkashi → 64 km (39.76 mi), Gangotri National Park ↔ Badrinath → 39 km (24.23 mi).

Contact: 0135 274 6934

Nearest Hotel: Forest Rest Houses

Website: Gangotri National Park

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6. Nehru Mountaineering Institute

Posted by Yugen Saraswat on Monday, 9 January 2017

The Nehru Mountaineering Institute was established in 1965 in memory of the First Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. This institute will give you the opportunity to interact with professional alpine trekkers and learn about their rigorous training schedules and expertise. You can also enroll yourself in a training course to peak Mount Everest. The experience of visiting the institute is exhilarating, and if not Everest, then at least you can trek to one of the shorter routes in town.

Nehru Mountaineering Institute

Address: Nehru Institute Of Mountaineering Uttarkashi - 249193​, Uttarakhand (India)

Price: Depending on course

Access: Uttarkashi is well connected by a road via Dehradun, Rishikesh, Haridwar. ​​Rail: Nearest railway station is at Dehradun, 145 km (90.09 mi). The nearest airport is Jollygrant; Distance from Campus: 162 km (100.66 mi)

Contact: Tel: +911374-222123, 224663, 223580 Fax:+911374-223344. E-mail: nimutk2004@gmail.com

Website: Nehru Institute Of Mountaineering Uttarkashi

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7. Harsil

Harsil Village

Posted by Yogesh Sarkar on Tuesday, 28 February 2017

The town of Harsil is located at an altitude of around 2620 meters (8,595.8 ft). The countryside is dotted with many small temples and you can experience pure mountain air and captivating glimpses of beautiful mountain scenery. Harsil is also known for its apples and is a very good place for adventurous activities, like trekking, and adventure buffs with a penchant for adrenaline lined moments can visit this place. The Bhagirathi River serves as an ideal companion for this sleepy town. Sattal, which has seven lakes, is also located near Harsil. The best time to visit is in the summer from April to June, before the rains start, or just after the rains up to October. Summers are pleasantly cool while winters can be extremely cold at the high altitude.


How to Reach: By Air: Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, is the nearest airport and is located 235 km (146.022 mi) from Harsil. By Train: Rishikesh Railway Station is the nearest railway station and is located 218 km (135.45 mi) away from Harsil. By Road: Gangotri is connected by road to Uttarkashi, Tehri Garhwal, and Rishikesh and from there to other parts of the country.
Important road distances are: Uttarkashi 97 km (60.2 mi), Tehri 167 km (103.8 mi), Dharasu 125 km (77.7 mi), Yamunotri 232 km (144.158 mi), Mussoorie 250 km (155.343 mi).

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8. Maneri

The Chardham Camp Maneri Uttarkashi (Gangotri)

Posted by Uttarakhand Chardham Yatra on Friday, 7 January 2011

Maneri is located 13 km (8.07 mi) from Uttarkashi on the way to Gangotri. A dam across Bhagirathi River is the major attraction of the village. The resulting lake adds elegance to Maneri.

The Chardham Camp, Maneri is a property of Leisure Hotels and Resorts, and operates throughout the year in Uttarkashi. The camp mainly acts as a transit for the Chardham pilgrims during May to September. The Chardham Camps at Maneri are pleasantly located in the vicinity of clear waters and mountains of the Garhwal Himalayas. Set amidst the serenity of lush flora, a stay at the spacious hotel in Char Dham makes you feel like you are living in heaven.

Maneri Char Dham Camps

Address: Maneri Char Dham Camps, Near Sainj Village, Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand

Price: 1,800 INR and up (27.53 USD) from Sept. 1, 2016 to April 15, 2017. 2,100 INR (32.12 USD for breakfast & dinner and 2,400 INR (36.71 USD) for breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Facilities, Services: Accommodation in spacious, all-weather proof, independent, thatched roof luxury-tents. Attached baths and toilets with running hot & cold water, multi cuisine dining facilities. Hot water bottles and sun down service. Guided visits to the shrine. First aid at camps with oxygen cylinders. Escorted walks and visits to nearby areas.

Access: Maneri Char Dham Camp in Uttarkashi is situated at a distance of 15 km (9.3 mi) from Uttarkashi on NH 108. It is located just before Sainj Village.

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9. Dodi Tal Lake

Posted by Dodital Uttarkashi on Thursday, 14 August 2014

The 18 km (11.1 mi) trek to Dodital Lake from Agoda following a path flanked by towering trees, reaching a crystal clear lake filled with trout, and the splendor of nature will make you feel as though you are in heaven. You even have the option of a day out after a tiring trek, with a bucket full of bait and fishing rods after obtaining permission from the Divisional Forest Officer of Uttarkashi.

According to mythology Lord Ganesha was born here. This mysterious lake is surrounded by dense forests of deodar, rhododendrons, and oak. The primeval water of this lake is the home of endangered Himalayan golden trouts and many other fish. The depth of this lake is still unknown.

Dodi Tal Lake

Access: The 22 km (13.67 mi) easy trek to Dodi Tal from Sangam Chatti ends at Dodi Tal. But if you are planning a further visit to Darwa Top (high altitude pass) then be prepared for a moderate route. Sangam Chatti is connected by roads with Uttarkashi.

Dodital Nearby Tourist Places: Apart from Dodital you can visit the temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. This temple is situated at one corner of the lake. Do visit Darwa Top. Numerous named and unnamed Himalayan peaks are distinctly visible from Darwa Top. If you want to trek down by a different route, then you can travel to Dayara Bugyal.

Website: Dodital

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Find your treasure trove

Whether you are looking for eternal peace and happiness or adrenaline-pumping activities, Uttarkashi, India is a treasure trove of history. You have to come and experience them for yourself at least once in your lifetime!

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Journalist and a freelance writer based in India, traveling for K.Venkateshwar.Rao means exploring the world in search of arts and culture, interesting people, great food, and hidden gems. He has...Read more

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