Uttarakhand literally means a landmass in North. A giant beautifully crafted piece in the Himalayas, an immense diversified nature makes you awestruck and one must visit once in their lifetime to see the beauty of landmass. Here I am sharing tips to travel economically and leisurely with family and friends.
Uttarakhand can be covered in a week time. We started from my home town Nagpur to all the way to the North in winter season. Nagpur is in the center of India and so it is easy to get the trains all over India. Whether it is South or North, East or West; one can traverse in any directions. One more fact I would like to include is that Nagpur is the only place in India where you can see a diamond crossing of railway tracks.
With Thermals, winter wears, and mummy’s special dry fruit laddoos, we were set out for our very first Family Outing of a week. We reached Delhi first.
Day 1 – Dilwalo ki Dilli !
And we have decided to spare one day in Delhi to visit our Capital. We got freshen and our Day one started with the New year very first day with a darshan at Sheesh Ganj Gurudwara in Chandani Chowk.
Chandani Chowk – one of the oldest parts of the city. And famous for Parathas. With small lanes and heavily crowded pathways we entered in Paratha Galli. The scene was not we had expected. There were big queue in front of small shops of Parathas everywhere. So we also joined them. And after a long wait, we could able to cope with our hunger. There were Parathas of various varieties. We ordered and enjoyed the exquisite parathas fully drenched in ghee!
Red fort has its own charm. Being the first day of the New Year, it was little crowded. But it enchants you with the magnificent structure of red stone built around 200 years ago.
An evening walk at India Gate around the vast gardens – it is really a piece of mind. As you approach towards gate of India from Red fort, one can experience the transition from Purani Dilli to New Delhi.And how to miss the ride of metro trains. One must have a ride with Metro trains. One can get mesmerized with the idea of such a giant structure beneath the crowded place.
CP- Canaught Place – the hub for the youth mostly and one of the city attractions. Even a one full day is less to visit this place. This you can somewhat compare it with South Bombay Fort Area. Variety of shops, exquisite restaurants, Shopping retreats and many more. This is a must visit place in Delhi.
With a Metro train from India Gate to Delhi junction, a one day visit to Delhi Came to end. And with a train to Dehradun, we are off to a Hill Station.
Day 2 – Dehradun – Mussoorie
Early morning view of Dehradun Station will make you remember the Scene from Shahrukh Khan Starring film Main Hoon Naa in which he walks on the Dehradun platform in all fog. The old styled platform where one can enjoy the vintage look of the city. With a bus to Mussoorie, we enjoyed the mystically beautiful ghats between Dehradun & Mussoorie. In the British era, Mussoorie was one of the famous hill stations in India where one can come for the rescue from the scorching heat of the Capital Delhi.
Motor vehicles are not allowed in the Mussoorie town which I like the most. No tourist vehicles, public transport is allowed inside the town. So we hire a cycle rickshaw for our hotel. The Rickshaw chalak was very kind and keen in telling us the about the beauty of Mussoorie and various sightseeing points on our way. The Camel Point, Echo point and many more. The serenity of this place has its own charm. With a check in Hotel and some rest, we went for an evening walk to the city mall road. A typical tourist place market.
Day 3 is for sightseeing across the Mussoorie. There are various packages available at the entry of the Mussoorie for sightseeings. We hired a car and visited Kempty Falls, Surkunda Devi Temple hike, Dhanolti – a view of snow clad mountains, National Park, and A Maggi.
Since we did not get the snow at Mussoorie we changed our plan instead of spending one more day I Mussoorie; we took a road trip to all the way to Auli on Day 4. And I can surely say, this was really a worth taking decision. Hiring a car from Mussoorie to Joshhimath (the gateway to Auli) was very expensive, so we decide to go by taking state transport bus services as suggested by the locals. We traversed one of the most beautiful regions of Garhwal – Devprayag, KarnaPrayag, Terna Dam, Srinagar, and Chamoli.
Though it was hectic journey of approximately 400 kms which took around more than 15 hours of being on road. But it was worth seeing such a beauty of nature – The tall mountains on one side while River Upper Ganga with its bank on the other, The pine trees along the route, funny signboards along the route, road development work in such a hilly regions, colorful blooming flowers, the Pahadi song which is not understood by us and many more.
Auli is a snow clad place which is only accessible through ropeway or hiking. We took a ropeway on Day 5 morning. The ropeway journey of around 30 minutes through snow clad pine trees, small huts where you’ll feel that you are not in India and somewhere else in Switzerland. It was the first time for my family to see a white snow. They became children again and that made me overwhelmed. The sliding on snow, hitting snow balls to each other, Making of snow man was worth visiting Auli.
Day 6 we started our journey to Haridwar. Luckily we got a car with whom we bargained a lot and finally a luxurious road trip started again to Haridwar. A rest in Shantikunj Haridwar and visit to Har ki Pauri in the evening.
Day 7 is for the adrenaline rush. We went to Rishikesh for river rafting and Bungee jumping. But unfortunately because of lack of time, we could only manage to do river rafting. My parents were scared for river rafting after watching the video at the Adventure sports shop and warned my sister and me not to do. But my sister and I already decided and we did it. And it is one the most adventurous river rafting I must say. Cliff jumping and many more. An evening with a Ganga Aarti mesmerized you with the peace and joyous environment around you.
Day 8 started with the return journey to Home Nagpur from Haridwar via Delhi. Since we booked two trains to cut down the journey time i.e. from Haridwar to Delhi & from Delhi to Nagpur. Since the second train from Delhi was late by 4-5 hrs, we thought of having a look around the NDLS terminal. We found out that Humayun tomb is nearby. Humayun tomb – the beauty on its own, the replica of Taj Mahal in Red color. The beautifully crafted structure enthralled us and made a happy ending
Crisp Itinerary –
|Day||Location||Places to visit|
|1||Delhi||1. Red fort
2. Humayun tomb
3. Chandni Chowk
4. India Gate
|3||Mussoorie||Kempty falls, Dhanolti, Surkunda Devi Temple hike, National park|
|4||Joshimath||Devprayag, KarnaPrayag, Terna Dam, Srinagar, Chamoli|
|6||Haridwar||1. Shantikunj Haridwar
2. Har ki Pauri
|7||Rishikesh||1. Lakshman Jhula, Ram Jhula
2. Ganga Aarti at Rishikesh
3. River Rafting in Ganga River
|8||Train||Haridwar to Delhi (Humayun tomb), NDLS to Nagpur|
- If booking air tickets, make sure to book it well in advance. It will save a lot of money which you can spend it in your vacation. www.skyscanner.co.in will give you wide range of economic flights which help to select with the best fares.
- Trains are the most economical mode of transport. And if you are travelling with your family or friends, you don’t have to worry about the time. It just passed away. And more importantly you get more time to be with the family and friends. Make sure to keep a considerable clearance between two consecutive trains as there are many chances of delay in trains so you won’t miss the upcoming train.
- It is okay to change the plan at the last minute. It will make you to interact more with locals and to get the best options to enjoy the trip at the fullest instead of sticking to a plan.
- Uttarakhand has wavy ghat roads, but they are safe as drivers are well aware of the conditions of roads. One must go for a road trip along the countryside of Uttarakhand.
- Take some time out and sit at the banks of River Ganga & enjoy the serenity ad calmness.
- Come back with the beautiful memories.