Uttarakhand Solo Trip For Crazy Travellers and Nature Lovers:
****Exploring Uttarakhand- If you really want to explore this state very closely, visit small villages hidden in the valleys. Even every single village has its own stories and hidden gems for travellers.*****
Travelling alone will be the scariest, most liberating, life-changing experience of your life. As you travel solo, being totally responsible for yourself, you will inevitably discover just how capable you are. Travelling solo means getting to know the real you.
Uttarakhand is the land and the doorway of the Gods. Being crossed by the Himalayas, the state has a close border with Tibet (illegally captured by China) and Nepal.
Uttarakhand state’s geography is divided into two regions, Kumaon and Garhwal. Both regions are very tough and challenging when it comes to infrastructure, facilities, or modern digital connectivity.
The state holds the privilege of having the second-highest peak in India: Nanda Devi at 25646 ft (7817 meters) and Kamet peak at 25446 (7756 meters).
One of the most prominent rivers of Uttarakhand is Ganges and Yamuna. Bhagirathi and Alaknanda rivers become Ganges in Devprayag (A small town in the Garhwal region).
Uttarakhand’s significant towns or cities are Rishikesh, Haridwar, Dehradun, Pauri, Almora, Pithoragarh, and Joshimath.
Geographic location and weather of Uttarakhand:
Being a mountainous region, the soil is highly enriched with nutrition that helps locals to produce quality crops.
The most challenging weather in monsoon because of physiographic conditions, adverse geological setting, and improper land. Even winter hits very hard and cuts off the places like Nelung, Badrinath, Niti, Kedarnath, and some parts of the Kumaon region for the rest of the country for more than six months.
How to Reach Uttarakhand by Road:
Plan Uttarakhand Solo Trip via Local Taxis or Buses:
All major towns are well connected via roads. But still, some of the high terrain villages are not connected with roads with no electricity supply.
Plan Uttarakhand Solo Trip via Own vehicle(Car/Jeep/Bike):
One of the best ways to plan your solo trip to Uttarakhand is via your own vehicles such as an open Jeep or Motorcycle. It is the best choice to experience the new life while passing in between the mountains and lovely nature.
Things to Remember while Planning Uttarakhand Solo Road-Trip:
- You have limited fuel stations across Uttarakhand after crossing Rishikesh and Haridwar. So, better to have some collection of fuel.
- A navigation map is essential. Get a local map of Uttarakhand from Hardiwar or Rishikesh. Otherwise, network connectivity and routes are significant challenges in the mountains.
- Do not drive a Car or Bike at night due to rare visibility in the single narrow lane.
- Carry a first aid kit or emergency medical kit because of the frequent unavailability of hospitals and dispensaries.
- Know your limits while driving on the roads.
- Take small breaks and drink as much water as you can.
- Do not depend on online/internet hotel booking.
- Reach your destination as soon as possible in the evening and start early the next day.
- Carry extra warm layers of cloth because of the high altitude.
- If you are not a fitness freak, then prepare yourself by doing running and Yoga. Your stamina and breathing process should be right. Physical fitness and good stamina help travellers to explore Himalaya more.
Best Places to visit in Uttarakhand on Road Trip for Solo Travellers:
Chopta is the most scenic road, lust from dense forest to the wide-open meadow peak. Chopta is widely popular as “Switzerland of Uttarakhand” because of the forest department’s strict rules and regulations. The place is well maintained and still untouched by most of the travellers.
The best road-route to travel to this place is from Ukhimath -Chopta -Mandal -Chamoli -Gopeshwar. It is an 80-100km beautiful journey that you will experience in every corner of nature. The entire road route crosses between forest reserves, and that helps to experience wildlife and biology.
Days and Accommodation:
For Chopta and the surrounding area, at least three days are required to explore prominent places and trails. Swiss camps and small resorts available at the top of the Chopta. Accommodation is limited due to massive crowds in winters and limited hotels because of the forest reserve area.
Best places to explore in Chopta:
Tungnath- The highest temple of Lord Shiva
Deoria Tal- A mesmerizing crystal clear lake from which you can also see the Kedarnath wildlife sanctuary’s beautiful view. Also, one of the easiest trails for beginners.
Chandrashila Trek- The exertion of the hike for which Chopta is famous for.
Duggalbitta- A blissful small land in between the mountains.
Ukhimath- Religiously significant place because of the winter abode of the deities Kedarnath.
Auli is also known as the skiing destination of north India. Auli holds the highest ropeway cable tour for more than 15km all the way from Joshimath.
It is used to be a strategic place because of its training and development center and the northern command headquarters of the Indian Armed forces.
Auli and Gulmarg are two popular and internationally recognized skiing destinations in India. During winters, international skiers enjoy glittering slopes and a clean environment.
This hill station is popular among adventure lovers and trekkers because of a clear view of India’s highest peak Nanda Devi and other Himalayan ranges.
Auli is just 200km from Rishikesh. The road is narrow and rugged, but the entire region’s beauty bounds everyone to ignore the patches and spend one of the most memorable moments of life.
Days and Accommodation Required to visit Auli-Joshimath:
Well, five days trip is enough to explore Auli, Joshimath, and its nearby locations. It offers a wide range of hotels and resorts to its tourists, which is only 15km downhill.
Best Places to Explore in Auli-Joshimath:
Auli Lake- An artificial lake at the top of the ridge.
Joshimath Market- The cultural hub and local ethnic wear market.
Vishnuprayag- Mysterious place with a beautiful view of the town.
Tapoban- Dense meadowland that is perfect for nature lovers.
Bhavishya Badri Temple- Ancient temple and a ritual place popular among locals and tourists.
Mana is the last Indian village close to Tibet (Illegally captured by China). A special inner line permit is required to visit Mana Pass. Surprisingly, it is the highest motorable road in the world at the height of 18478 ft.
Joshimath to Badrinath is only 40km, and Mana village is 3km from Badrinath. The patches and cutting edge road between rocks and bridges over Alaknanda bank makes it the craziest road in Uttarakhand.
Days and accommodation:
Three days trip to Badrinath-Mana pass is good enough to experience every crazy thing. You can start your journey from Joshimath.
Badrinath is one of the important pilgrimage sites, and it is the birthplace of Lord Vishnu (Hindu God).
You will not get any hotel or campsite beyond Mana village. So better to stay before or in Mana village.
Top Places to Explore in Badrinath-Mana pass:
Badrinath Temple- Ritual place and pilgrimage site.
Mana Village- The last Indian Village.
Vasudhara Falls- Breathtaking view and heavenly falls
Bheem Pul and Veda Vyasa Cave- Mysterious place with incredible history
Mana Pass- 50km from Badrinath; the highest motorable road and last frontier line of India.
Rishikesh and Haridwar:
Rishikesh and Haridwar are some of the craziest places that youths like. People visit Rishikesh from all over the world because of adventurous sports activities and the center of Yogic culture.
Most of the temples are crowded because Rishikesh and Haridwar are popular spiritual places. Beyond temples, Yoga, and Ayurveda, tourists enjoy river rafting and rock climbing.
Forest camping is one of the memorable things you can do in Rishikesh and Haridwar. Forest camping is advisable along with local guides because of the diversified wildlife.
Number of Days Required to visit Rishikesh and Haridwar:
3-5 days trip is the ideal time to explore the best places, tourist destinations, and other natural attractions in Rishikesh and Haridwar, including nearby areas as well.
A wide range of hostels, apartments, hotels, resorts, and riverside camping is available across the places.
Har ki Pauri- Ganga ghat and Evening Prayer
Lakshman Jhula and Ram Jhula- Hanging Cable Bridge
Rajaji National Park- Adventurous place to explore wildlife which is only 15km from Rishikesh
The Beatles Ashram and Gita Ashram- The most attractive spiritual place.
Nilkanth Mahadev Temple- Religious and Spiritual Tourist Attraction
Niti valley is the “Ladakh of Uttarakhand,” not just because of the tough terrain. Still, the Tibetan plateau adjusts to the iconic last village Niti and wooden village Malari which has its own history. The entire region of Niti Valley is part of Nanda Devi National Park.
The wide-open single lane road is the desire and a dream come true for every solo travellers. Here, you will see rare passenger vehicles moving on this road apart from road authorities and military vehicles.
The area has no network connectivity and almost a different paradise on earth. Dhauli Ganga and Rishi Ganga rivers cover this region and become Alaknanda in Joshimath.
Gamshali and Niti villages are closest to the border.
Number of Days Required to Visit Niti Valley and Where to Stay:
Well, three days are sufficient to explore the best visiting places of Niti Valley.
Niti Valley has limited accommodation availability. I would say almost nil because of the sensitive border area. Camping is the only option that anyone can opt for. This place is restricted for International travellers or special permits required to visit.
Top Places to Explore in Niti Valley:
Niti Pass- Located at 16633 ft height close to Tibet border
Ghamshali- Typical mountainous village
Malari- Among the oldest village of Uttarakhand; also known as the village of Dhauli Ganga valley
Dronagiri or Sanjeevani Mountain- Ancient mountain ranges in which Hanuman (Devotee of Lord Rama) lifted Sanjeevani mountain (life-saving herb mountain). Locals say and believe, Sanjeevani Parvat has herbs that cure and save many lives.
Lansdowne and Ramnagar:
Lansdowne and Ramnagar is one of the offbeat hill stations and least explored by most families and tourists. Its beauty is still hidden from the rest of the travellers.
Dense single lane road, green forest, and small ridges are simply blissful. During monsoon, the place is covered from the fog and gives a different feeling to breathe in pure nature.
Natural plants and crossing wildlife animals over peaceful roads are ideal tourist places for photographers, YouTubers, and travel bloggers.
You can see the British churches and bungalows in the town.
Jim Corbett National Park is adjacent to Ramnagar that makes this place even more adventurous.
As a solo traveller, you should travel through the route of Kotdwar- Lansdowne- Ramnagar- Kashipur and drive through small villages close to Bani forest and Sona forest along with Jim Corbett. A trip to Lansdowne and Ramnagar is the ultimate joy for any solo traveller. I still remember my two years old solo trip to Lansdowne and Ramnagar second by second.
Number of Days Required to Visit and Explore Lansdowne and Ramnagar:
Four days are adequate to cover all major destinations, including Kalagarh Tiger Reserves. Even this is an excellent place to spend a perfect weekend as well.
Apart from the Kalagarh tiger reserve, accommodations are limited. Prominent places to explore in Lansdowne and Ramnagar
Major Attractions and Tourist Spots in Lansdowne and Ramnagar:
Tiffin Top- An eyecatching top viewpoint of Shivalik ranges in Lansdowne
Bhulla Lake- One of the famous picnic spots in town.
Jim Corbett National Park- Paradise of tigers in India and the oldest national park in India.
Marchula- Small village between Lansdowne and Ramnagar that offers a wide range of accommodation.
Ramnagar- Sitabani forest reserve and gateway to the jungle safari.
Rudraprayag and Kedarnath:
Rudraprayag and Kedarnath are the discovery of voyages for tourists. In the monsoon, the mountainous regions change their color in complete green.
Moreover, many Hindu believe that Kedarnath is the holy place where a humans’ life can be sanctified by praying to Lord Shiva.
It is one of the most challenging roads to drive. Nowadays, roads are wide enough to drive 4X4 vehicles and good off-road motorbikes.
Small villages along the river Mandakini make this place even more charming.
Number of Days Required to Visit best places in Rudraprayag and Kedarnath:
A 7-days trip to Rudraprayag and Kedarnath is ideal for exploring every corner. You should not miss Kedarnath temple hiking and Deoria Tal.
Rudraprayag and Kedarnath offer wide ranges of resorts and lodges available in the route.
Kedarnath Temple- The abode of God’s home
Madhyamaheshwar Temple- Remote located natural valley and temples
Rudraprayag- The meeting point of Mandakini and Alaknanda river and district headquarter
Guptkashi- Hub of temples and ritual places in the entire valley
Nelong and Gangotri:
Nelong and Gangotri are the most beautiful valleys of Uttarakhand situated on the bank of the Bhagirathi river.
The best route for you is to start your Uttarakhand solo trip from New Tehri- Dharasu- Uttarkashi- Harshil- Nelong- Gangotri. It is a lifetime memorable road journey of 230km through lush green forest and eye-catching nature.
Gangotri is the origin of the river Ganges (Bhagirathi river till Devprayag). Nelong is to be a trade route between Indo-Tibet.
Days and accommodation
If you opt for trekking and forest camping, then a four days trip to Nelang and Gangotri is fair enough.
You should have your camping gear and complete survival kit. As you will get limited accommodation, hence it is advisable to carry a sleeping bag and tent. Beyond Gangotri, there is almost less habitation; thus, finding accommodation is the biggest challenge.
Best Places to Visit and Explore in Nelang and Gangotri:
Nelong Valley- The deadliest skywalk in the Gartang Gali
Gangotri Temple- One of the ritual places among Char Dham Pilgrimage in India
Harsil Valley- scenic beauty of the Himalayan mountain
Chairbasa and Gaumukh- Trek to Gangotri glacier and Tapovan gives a fantastic view of Shivling peak and Bhagirathi I, II, III Peaks.
Munsiyari and Dharchula:
Munsiyari and Dharchula is a scenic hill station perched at an altitude of 8000 ft. it offers stunning views of snow-capped mountains and Panchachuli.
Panchachuli is a group of five mountain peaks.
Dharchula is popular for its vivid tradition and Pahari culture. The place connects the international border with Nepal in the district of Pithoragarh. It is a real offbeat place among all of them, and you must explore on your Uttarakhand solo trip.
The quaint town of Dharchula is encircled by towering peaks and is situated in the pristine valley located on the banks of the Kali river. It is also known as a gateway of Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.
Number of Days Required to visit and explore the beauty of Munsiyari and Dharchula:
You, as a solo traveller, can spend five days in the beauty of Munsiyari and Dharchula. The Kumaon region is widely known for rough terrain. Do not expect luxury treatment and high modern facilities in Munsiyari and Dharchula.
Prominent places to visit and explore in Munsiyari and Dharchula:
Munsiyari- Picturesque beauty and trekking excursion; famous for high altitude mountain peaks.
Dharchula- Gateway to the holy yatra of Kailash Mansarovar and diverse wildlife
Kuti- Small traditional village famous for waterfall, flora, and fauna
Jauljibi- The real beauty lies in the authenticity of this place and its people.
Jolikong- Adi Kailash Mountain Peak
Dehradun (also known as Doon) is one of the oldest cities in India. It is a gateway to the hill stations of the lower Himalayas, Mussoorie, and Kedarnath. Pleasant weather makes it a most preferred tourist hill station and a hotspot destination throughout the year.
The best solo trip via road is to ride on Delhi- Dehradun- Mussoorie- Landour- Dhanaulti- Kanatal route. It is the best and hustles free passage. Even the most popular snow trek, Kedarkantha peak, is close to Dehradun.
How many days are required to visit Dehradun and Mussoorie:
A 5 days trip is useful to explore Dehradun and Mussoorie, including nearby places. Stays and accommodations are not an issue in the entire region of Dehradun and Mussoorie. It offers a wide range of homestays, guesthouses, hostels, hotels, and resorts.
Best Places to Visit in Mussoorie and Dehradun:
Dehradun- Sacred Temples, Parks, River, and Valleys
Mussoorie- Gun Hill famous as Queen of Hill Stations, Lal Tibba, Kempty Falls and Panoramic view of Himalayan ranges.
Kanatal- small village secretly famous for meadow forest and lush green terraces.
Nainital is a resort town of Uttarakhand surrounded by a beautiful lake. Pleasant weather across the year increases tourist footfall throughout the year. Naini lake is the perfect picnic spot with family.
Almora is famous for its delicious cuisine and handicraft, which is just 70km from Nainital.
How Many Days are Required to Visit Nainital and Almora:
You can plan a decent trip of 5 days and visit all the beautiful and top Nainital and Almora places.
Hotels, resorts, hostels, and wooden cottages are easily available at affordable rates.
As solo Travellers, What are the Best Places to Visit in Nainital and Almora:
Nainital- Mall Road, Naini Lake, Naini Peak, and Neem Karoli Baba Temple.
Almora- Scenic Beauty of Martola Grandeur, Lakhudiyar and Sun Temple
Bisar- Small Hill Station Famous for Sloppy Mountain; Zero Point clear view of Himalaya’s Snow Capped Ranges.
Bhimtal- Less explored lake town popular for pedal boating and weekend gateway
Pithoragarh is the Kumaon region’s headquarters, surrounded by Nepal in the east and Tibet in the north. It is only 500km from the Indian capital New Delhi.
Pithoragarh is also known as little Kashmir of Uttarakhand because of its natural beauty. The villagers’ life is simple and highly cultured.
Cultural festivals and forts built by Gorkhas are the most popular tourist attractions in Pithoragarh. In contrast, Champawat’s land is spiritual and has an ancient temple.
Required Days to Explore in Pithoragarh and Champawat:
Due to the rugged terrain, you need a three-day trip to visit the best places in Pithoragarh and Champawat. In winter, you may face landslides and snowfalls on the road.
You can have accommodation only in towns.
Best Places to Explore in Pithoragarh and Champawat:
Pithoragarh- Pithoragarh Fort, Arjuneswar Temple, Gangolighat, and Thal Kedar Temple.
Champawat- Pancheshwar Temple, Baleshwar Temple, Lohaghat, Abbott Mount, and Nagnath Temple
Chalthi- Barpas, Sipty Waterfall, and Sapteshwar Temple