Uttarakhand is one of the biggest tourist attractions in India. Uttarakhand, formerly known as Uttaranchal located in the northwestern part of India. It is crossed by the Himalayas and is known for Hindu pilgrimage sites. The state has two capital cities; the winter capital is Dehradun, and the summer capital is Gairsain. Uttarakhand hosts important temples and religious gatherings. It is also referred to as ‘Devbhumi’, which stands for ‘The Land of Gods’ because of the numerous Hindu temples and pilgrimage centers

Beatles Ashram / Chaurasi Kutia

Chaurasi Kutia, famously known as Beatles Ashram, is one of the most popular places in Uttarakhand’s Rishikesh city. It is in the foothills of the Himalayas and near the Ganges River. In the 1960s and 1970’s it served as a training center for students of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who was a mentor for the Transcendental Meditation technique. Even though the ashram was famous and important for the locals, international attention began with the famous English boy band The Beatles visited. In 1968 the group decided to find peace with mediation and visit the ashram to get training from Maharishi. They mentioned that they got so inspired and wrote hundreds of songs here. In 1990 the ashram was abandoned, and it became an incredibly popular visiting place for Beatles fans. 

The Beatles Ashram, located in a big forest area, includes bungalows, Mashari’s residence, meditation domes, and lecture halls. Today the site is under the forestry department of Uttarakhand and is still open for visitors.

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The Beatles Ashram abandoned accommodation building_©Matthew Clayfield
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Meditation dome on the rooftop of accommodation building_©Matthew Clayfield
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An artwork by Pan Trinity Das in the “Beatles’ Cathedral Gallery”_©Matthew Clayfield
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_Meditation huts in the forest of Beatles Ashram_©Matthew Clayfield

Triveni Ghat

Triveni Ghat is located in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand. It is the biggest and most known ghat in Uttarakhand at the banks of the Ganges. Tri means three, and veni means confluence. So Triveni means the confluence of the three. It is believed that the Ganges, the Yamuna, and the legendary Saraswati flow together at this place. Triveni Ghat has spiritual value and is considered an important pilgrimage site. Triveni Ghat is the most popular place for both visitors and locals to experience the holy ritual of dipping in water and getting rid of sins. Every morning and night, the Maha-Aarti is performed here, which is the Hindu ceremony of light. It is a magnificent experience of the culture. The ceremony is an expression of one’s real and complete love towards God, where candles and flowers are served with songs and prayers. Triveni Ghat is a prominent place with many potential experiences in addition to religious rituals such as local food markets, temples, and yoga lessons. It is one of the must-visit places in Uttarakhand.

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Triveni Ghat_©Sadhak Yogi
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Ganga Aarti ceremony_©ecotravel.com
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Triveni Ghat_©incredibleindia.org

Tungnath Temple

Uttarakhand has various temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Tungnath Temple is one of the most special Shiva temples being the world’s highest. It is situated on the mountains of Tungnath and is believed to be almost 1000 years old. It is an attractive trekking point for visitors with a significant mountain view. Due to the weather conditions, the temple is covered with snow in the winter, so it is only open for visitors for a few months in the summer. 

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Tungnath Temple_©Varun Shiv Kapur
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Tungnath Temple in winter_©Dheeraj Sharma

Parmarth Niketan

Parmarth Niketan is one of the most famous and largest ashrams in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand. It serves as a spiritual experience facility with 1000 accommodation opportunities. The Parmarth Niketan ashram was founded in 1942 by Pujya Swami Shukdevanandji Maharaj (1901-1965). Since 1986, Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji Maharaj has been the president and spiritual head of Parmarth Niketan. For the past 25 years, Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati has lived and taught at Parmarth Niketan Ashram. 

Parmarth Niketan is a facility that serves spiritual experiences with professional instructors and mentors today. Being in a forest, it has extraordinary views and a natural environment. The divine tree of heaven, Kalpavriksha, was planted in this ashram. Another attraction point of the Parmarth Niketan is the 14 feet Shiva statue located on the banks of the Ganges. Parmarth Niketan ashram is open to all visitors all year.

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Parmarth Niketan Ashram_©sadhviji.org
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Parmarth Niketan entrance gate_©ccandidop/tripadvisor
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Lord Shiva statue and yoga day celebration_©travelmail.in

Forest Research Institute

Forest Research Institute is an educational center for forestry research in India located in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. The institute’s main building is under Natural Heritage, which is set in a large green estate spread over 450 hectares. The main building is represented as a Greco-Roman, colonial-style architecture with a recognizable structure. It includes laboratories, a library, a herbarium, arboreta, and experimental field areas for forestry research. In addition to being a valuable information center, its botanical museum and natural environment attract visitors during the year. Forest Research Institute is one of the important places to experience while visiting Uttarakhand.

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Courtyard entrance_©Shashank Sawant
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Corridors_©Shashank Sawant
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Garden path_©Shashank Sawant

Baijnath

Baijnath is a small town famous for its ancient temples, which are recognized as Monuments of National Importance, located on the bank of the Gomti River in Uttarakhand. Town got its name from the important temple Baijnath which is an attractive place for visitors. The Baijnath Temple is one of the town’s most important and significant places to visit. The temple was built in the twelfth century, and it is important according to Hindu mythology because it is where Lord Shiva and Parvati were married. 

The structure itself is a unique design with the value of craftsmanship. The ornamentations and deity figures are carved on the stone pillars. In April, a special festival called Rali is held in the Baijnath, which tells a story about obtaining suitable husbands and wives. It is a unique cultural experience, and Baijnath attracts visitors with its beautiful scenery and unique structures.

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Baijnath view_©Shikharsaxena1618/wikipedia
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Group of temples in Baijnath_©Jaiambey/wikipedia

Buddha Temple

Buddha Temple, also known as Buddha Garden or Mindrolling Monastery, is one of the most visited places in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. It is one of the biggest temples for Buddhists in Asia. It is built to promote Tibetan culture in India. With extraordinary architecture, it is an important attraction in the city. Both exterior and interior ornamentations are of the special points of the temple. The artwork of the Great Stupa in front of the temple was added in 2002. It is a unique Buddhist art with a height of 220 feet. Fifty artists made the golden ornamentation in the entrance in 3 years, which represents the life of the Buddha. The complex itself works to provide experience about Tibetan culture with various food places, cultural clothes, and books. 

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The Buddha Temple and the memorial statue_©Moonstruckjoie/wordpress
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Buddha Temple complex_©Manish Singh Rana
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Buddha Temple front view_©eUttaranchal.com

Valley of Flowers National Park

There are various natural visiting places in Uttarakhand other than sacred places. Valley of Flowers National Park is one of the most famous. It was established in 1982 and is located in Chamoli, Uttarakhand. It is known for its endemic alpine flowers and wide range of fauna and flora. Valley of Flowers National Park is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site List. It is a popular trekking site in the Himalayas with a great experience of nature. Other than flowers, the site also includes rare species of wildlife animals. Although it is not a certain thing to see them while visiting, wild and rare flowers can be seen from May to October. 

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Valley of Flowers National Park_©Naresh Chandra
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Trekking road in the Valley of Flowers_©eUttaranchal.com
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Trekking road in the valley_©Virag Sharma

Roopkund

Roopkund, also known as Mystery Lake or Skeleton Lake, is one of Uttarakhand’s most popular trekking places. The lake is located in the Himalayas, with a high-altitude glacial lake in Uttarakhand. It is surrounded by rock glaciers and snow piles from the mountain. Roopkund is frozen in the winter, and the mystery begins when it starts to melt. Roopkund is mostly known for the found ancient human skeletons when it melts. More than 300 human remains were found in 1942, and some of them were displayed in the Anthropological Survey of India Museum, Dehradun. Local legend says that the remains are from King Raja Jasdhaval, with his pregnant wife, Rani Balampa, and their servants’ pilgrimage visit when they caught a storm. Roopkund was featured in a National Geographic documentary called ‘Riddles of the Dead: Skeleton Lake’, and The Indian Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology documentary called ‘The Mysterious Frozen Lake in the Himalayas’ where the scientific background explained. 

The natural environment of the Roopkund is beautiful and worth experiencing the scenic view while trekking itself, but the background mysterious story also made the place famous.

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Frozen Roopkund Lake_©Deepak Bafila
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Roopkund Lake trekking_©moxtain.com

Raj Bhawan Governor House

Raj Bhawan is a British-era building that serves as a Governor of Uttarakhand house today. It is located in Nainital, which was a capital city in the pre-independence era. The building looks like a Scottish castle built by a British architect and engineer. It is a European-style building that embraces Gothic architecture. Raj Bhawan has a striking look. The building is open to visitors every day, and it is an excellent opportunity to experience this historical side of India as well.

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Raj Bhawan Governor House_©governoruk.gov.in
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Raj Bhawan Governor House_©governoruk.gov.in

Ek Hathiya Ka Naula

Ek Hathiya Ka Naula is a stone structure located in the forest of Champawat, Uttarakhand. It is a famous place for tourists with an extraordinary work of carved stone. Legend has it that a one-hand artist built it in one night. With details of stonework, history, scenic place, and legend, it is one of the must-visit places in Champawat, Uttarakhand.

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Carved stone details_©Shailendra Singh Bisht

Clock Tower Dehradun

The Clock tower in Dehradun, the capital city of Uttarakhand district, is a landmark in the city center. It is an 84-meter-tall tower that can be seen from a distance. It has six sides which diverse it from the other clock tower in Asia and makes it one of a kind. It is a very popular place in the city with crowded and lively surroundings. As in many other cities, it is a meeting point with its distinguished look. 

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The Clock Tower Dehradun_©Pvivek Negi
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The Clock Tower Dehradun_©Alan Hilditch

Dhari Devi Temple

The temple for the Goddess Dhari Devi is located on the banks of the Alaknanda River, Uttarakhand. It is believed that Goddess Dhari Devi is the guardian and protector of the district Uttarakhand, so it is a very special temple for the locals. The temple has an open roof since it is believed that the shrine Dhari Devi likes to sit in an open area. In 2013 the temple was relocated for the construction of the dam, and during this period, a tragic incident, a flood, happened and caused the death of hundreds of people. In the new location, the temple was leveled up with concrete piles to protect from the flood. Today it is one of the most visited temples in Uttarakhand.

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Dhari Devi Temple_©Kukuur
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Ariel view of Dhari Devi Temple_©trendyindia.in

Badrinath Temple

Badrinath Temple is located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. It is one of the Char Dham, which means the four important pilgrimage sites. It is the most tourist-attracted place; according to the records, it had 2.8 million visitors in the two months of 2022. It is open for six months every year, from April to November. Badrinath Temple’s colorful and ornamented facade invites people from its surroundings. The detailed work of art is a common and extraordinary thing about temples in India. 

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Entrance of the Badrinath Temple_©Anubha khare
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Badrinath Temple at night_©uttarakhandtourism.gov.in

Tera Manzil Temple

Tera Manzil Temple, also known as Trimbakeshwar Temple, is in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand. It is a very popular place for tourists. It attracts with its colorful facade while standing near the river with multi-stories. It has 13 stories, and on each level, it hosts several idols of the Hindu God or Goddess, different from the other temples that serve only one shrine. It has a beautiful river and mountain view of Rishikesh. 

_Tera Manzil Temple_©holidfy.com

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Author

A graduate student who sees architecture as a way to think critically. Using her architectural background, she aims to draw attention to the ways of existing with the earth, not against earth with her writings. She believes that critical thinking will open different doors to both people and the world.

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