Uttarkashi is a town situated in the state of Uttarakhand in India and is also known as Shivnagri. The town has suffered from a great deal of life loss due to the natural calamities like flash floods, landslides and earthquake, but the unceasing will power of the people of Devbhoomi Garhwal has helped them cope amidst the calamities and emerge as a flourishing hub of tourism industry. This town is similar to Varanasi as it is located on the Ganges which lies adjacent to the hill Varun Parvat. It is situated on the union of two rivers Asi and Varuna. It also has Manikarnika Ghat and a temple devoted to Lord Shiva.
The origin of the region’s history dates back to the era of Mahabharata. The region of Uttarkashi has been under the rule of hill tribes and Panwar Dynasty, Shah of Delhi and the British. The Uttarkashi district was formed in the year 1960. Its ancient name was ‘Barahat’ which means ‘large market’. This Uttarakhand district also falls under the Garhwal Kingdom which was ruled by the famous Garhwal Dynasty. Later in 1807, the Gorkhas (from Nepal) invaded this district and Amar Singh Thapa eventually became the Governor.
Geography of Uttarkashi
The geography of Uttarkashi suggests that the name stands for the Kashi of North. It is also named as Shivnagri. The hilly tourist attraction has Yamuna and Ganga flowing through this region. Uttarkashi is situated at a location of 30.73 degree N 78.45 degree E on the map and is elevated at a height of 1165m above the sea level. However, the town of Uttarkashi is located on the banks of the River Bhagirathi.
Climatic Conditions of Uttarkashi
The region of Uttarakhand district enjoys a sub-tropical climate and therefore the seasons of this region are distinct in nature. The climatic conditions vary with the seasons. The months of summer season stretches from April to June with an average maximum temperature of 30 degrees Celsius. The monsoon sets in the month of July and lasts till September.
The region experiences heavy rains during this season owing to the southwest winds. The months October to February experiences the winter season with a temperature that can range as low as 0 degree Celsius. The region experiences moderate to heavy snowfall is common in this weather.
The best times to visit Uttarkashi are the months of March to June and September to November. The beauty of nature is at its peak around this time and almost all the major festivals are celebrated during this period which makes it another important reason for visiting Uttarkashi during this time.
Uttarkashi Tourism: The Best Tourist Attractions
Uttarkashi hill station has conquered one of the top spots as a holiday destination in Uttarakhand tourism. Uttarkashi is not only famous as a hill station but also as a popular trekking base. The presence of the two holy rivers, namely the Ganga and the Yamuna and their dis-tributaries add on to the region’s spiritual significance.
Besides the Pilgrims and Ashrams, the region of Uttarkashi is one of the best vacation spots of tourism in India. Owing to the fact, it is blessed with immense natural beauty that is enjoyed in forms of rivers, waterfalls, dense forests and magnificent hills, and is abundant in popular tourist attractions spots, adventurous places and romantic places for the couples. The following are some of the popular places to visit in Uttarkashi that boosts the tourism in Uttarkashi:
- Kashi Vishwanath Temple: The temple is located on the banks of Bhagirathi and is among the oldest, most sacred and essentially most famous temples in Uttarkashi. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and its location offers a breathtaking view of the majestic mountains overlooking the river Bhagirathi.
- Maneri Dam: It is a concrete gravity dam that is situated on river Bhagirathi at Maneri. This dam steers the water into a tunnel and about 90 megawatts which in turn is about 1,20,000 HP run of the Tiloth power plant. The location of the Maneri Dam is blessed with immense beauty that makes it a must among other sightseeing places.
- Govind Wildlife Sanctuary: The wildlife sanctuary in Uttarkashi was built in the year 1955 and spreads across an area of over 957kms and is renowned for its rich bio-diversity and natural inhabitants which include the Himalayan Snow Cock, Snow Leopard, Black Bear, Musk Deer, Golden Eagle, Monal Pheasant, etc. The sanctuary also harbors adventurous treks of the region and is also rich in medicinal plants and scenic beauty.
- Dayara Bugyal: This place is located at an elevation of 3.048 metres and offers a beautiful view of the Himalayas. At this place, a charming lake is situated. For reaching this place, the vehicles can only go up to Barsu village and from there a trek of 8 Km starts.
- Gangotri: This is the temple of Goddess Ganga which is situated at the highest point and it is also one of the ‘Four Dhams’ of Uttarakhand. It is located at an elevation of 3,048 meters above sea level. This place is 93 Km from Uttarkashi. This place is opened from the month of May and it gets closed on the day of Diwali. This is a special place for Hindus.
- Gaumukh Glacier: The source of Bhagirathi River which is also known as Ganga River before the union of Devprayag is called Gaumukh Glacier. It is located 18 Km from Gangotri. This place has a very significant meaning and also known as Cow’s face. If you look carefully, the glacier looks like Cow’s mouth. After Siachen, this is the second highest glacier of India.
- Kedartal: You can reach here after a trekking of 14 Km that starts from Gangotri. It contains clear and chilled icy water with reflection of snow covered Himalayas. It is located at 4,912 metres above sea level.
- Gangnani: It is located 46 Km from Uttarkashi. Before heading to Gangotri, people take a dip in this natural hot water.
- Dodital: This tourist place is not only rich in scenic beauty but also happens to be one of the popular hubs for the tourists who seek adventure. Dodital is among the famous fresh water lakes in Uttarkashi and offers at 21km trek which begins at Sangam Chatti. This place serves as one of the exotic honeymoon destinations for the couples who like the taste of adventure.
- Sangam Chatti: It is a famous trekking hub for tourists and is situated on the banks of the river Assi Ganga. The dense forests of pine, deodar and oak surround the trek and offer a picturesque view of the land. It is a 30m trek and is a splendid camping site for tourists.
- Harsil: The picturesque valley is among the stunning romance attraction places in the region and acts as a perfect romantic sojourn for young couples. The renowned ‘Sat Dal’ or the cluster of seven lakes is a popular spot for the tourists.
Fairs (Melas) and Festivals of Uttarkashi District
The mystical land of the Incredible India is rich in cultural diversity and deep rooted traditions. The cultural value of the locals in Uttarkashi is rooted in their religious sentiments and sense of spirituality. The rituals and customs that are unique in nature are practiced by the locals to observe the festivities of the region.
- Shivaratri: This auspicious day is celebrated with great pompousness as it happens to be the birthday of Mahadev (Lord Shiva). From worshipping the Lord to offering prayers, this occasion is marked as important.
- Holi: Distributing sweets and getting indulged in the festival by using vibrant colors. The people of Uttarkashi celebrate Holi by dancing to the rhythm of the music.
- Diwali: Just like the whole nation, Uttarkashi lights up during this festival. Crackers are burst and sweets are distributed, Diwali holds a great place in the lives of the people of Uttarkashi.
- Magh Mela: Popular fair like the ‘Magh Mela’ is observed every year in the holy month of Magh in order to commemorate ‘Makar Shankranti’. The fair draws in a large number of tourists to the region.
- Anduri Utsav: During this festival, Mother Nature is paid homage. People are seen smearing each other’s faces with ‘Butter Milk’ and ‘Chhaach’. It is then followed with songs and dances.
Ramnavami, Nagpanchmi, Raksha Bandhan, Janmashtami and Dussehra are some of the widely celebrated festivals of the region. Folk dances and songs are an integral part of the culture and traditions of the land.
Interesting Facts about Uttarkashi
- As per the consensus of 2011, the total Uttarkashi city population is 330,086.
- The population density of Uttarkashi is 41/km sq.
- Around 92.64% of the total population of the district of Uttarkashi lives in towns, villages or rural areas.
- The regional language of the district is Garhwali
- The average literacy rate of the district is 75.81%
- The Jolly Grant Airport at Dehradun is the nearest airport to Uttarkashi.
- The ‘Thadiya Dance’ is a popular form of folk dance that signifies the onset of spring while the ‘Mela Dance’ portrays the events from the epic of Mahabharata
- Bhatwari, Dunda, Rajgarhi, Mori, Chiniyalisaur and Puraula are tehsils of Uttarkashi
Shopping Hunt in Uttarkashi
The Uttarkashi district harbors a bunch of talented artisans and handicraftsmen. The local markets of the region like to display its varieties of wooden handicrafts, artifacts, colorful woolen items, fresh fruits, delicious fruit jams and other local goods to the tourists. The district lacks the presence of shopping malls and movie theatres.
Hotels and Resorts in Uttarkashi
A number of cheap hotels and lodging facilities are available in Uttarkashi. You should browse the Uttarkashi travel guide for detailed information about the place and can also check out the top tips before you go on a trip to Uttarkashi. Do thorough research on best hotels and resorts to grab the best deals even in the peak season.
- Kuflon Basics – Sangamchatti Road, Village Kuflon, 249193
- Shivlinga Resort – Gangotri Highway, Laksheswar, 249193
- Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi – Kot Bangalow Road, 249193
- The Chardham Camp Harsil Gangotri – Dharali Harsil, 249193
- Shiv Parivar Resort – Bhareti Chungi, New Bypass Road, 249193
Educational Institutions in Uttarkashi
Even this hill station spreads the importance of education among the populace. Not only the conventional courses but also unconventional courses are taught in this magical land. The names of renowned institutions are:
- Nehru Institute Of Mountaineering – Motor-able road via Dehradun, Rishikesh, Haridwar
- Manjira Devi Shikshan & Prashikshan Institute – Hitanu Dhanari, Dunda, 364290
- Masseeh Dilasa School – Tiloth Uttarkashi, 249193
- Sahara Christian Academy – Gusain Bhawan, Near I.T.I., Joshiyara, 249193
- Government Polytechnic Uttarkashi – Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand – 249193
Hospitals in Uttarkashi
Proper treatment is needed to cure any disease. But what if a place does not have a remarkable hospital? Well, do not worry as Uttarkashi will serve your purpose well. Some of the best hospitals are situated in this place. The names are:
- District Hospital – Zila Chikitsalaya, 249193
- Lakshmi Dental Clinic – On the way to the Uttarkashi Main Bus Stand
- Uniyal Clinic – Bhairon Chowk
- Khanna Clinic – Main Market
- Sri Hari Dental Clinic – Court Road
Let’s appreciate the motives of Indian tourism for introducing the people with such a beguiling place like Uttarkashi. The Uttarkashi tourism is attracting thousands of people throughout the season and it’s time for you to pack your bags and reach even the distant corners of this heavenly land. This honeymoon destination is considered to be a romantic place for couples. Take a chance and visit Uttarkashi, the spellbound beauty is waiting for you. Answer to the calls from the mountains and weave beautiful memories in this exotic land situated in Uttarakhand.