Uttarakhand, often known asDevbhumi(Land of the Gods) as it is the home of various pilgrimage centres along with the number of significant Hindu temples, located on the foothill of Hilmalay. The state is known for its characteristic magnificence of the Himalayas, the Terai and the Bhabhar.Uttarakhand is the place of the origin of the two most important and religious river for Hindus that is Ganga river and Yamuna river, the Yamuna is originated at Yamunotri and the Ganges at Gangotri. With great diversity of the region where snow-clad mountains, green hills, fertile valleys, flowing rivers and gorgeous lakes add to the natural beauty. Its pleasant weather and picturesque surroundings are some of the elements which makes this state as one of the most visited place.
It is better to have some tips you should do or don’t while in Uttarakahnd could add more success to your vacation.
Things to remember
Uttarakhand covers 80% of the hilly region, hence it is advisable to carry light woollen cloth while travelling to this region. In summers must carry light cotton cloths along with light woollen as the dramatic temperature changes. In winters carry heavy woollen cloths along with scarf, jackets and gloves. You also must carry Sunglasses, sunscreen and hat etc during summers.Raincoat & Umbrella are must during rainy season. Don’t forget to carry good quality trekking shoes.
There are ample options of hotels are available at the major towns/cities but in the offbeat locations only few options could be available, hence it is advisable that the Trip must be planned in advance as it results in choosing a hotel of your own choice and budget. Apart from hotel there are various options of GMVN (Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam) Tourist Bungalows and KMVN (Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam) Tourist Rest Houses, which wide range of services and facilities with very low price.
Some of hill stations of this region, hotels don’t provide A/C in the rooms.
Water & Beverages
It is strongly advised to carry and drink only mineral while in India. While buying mineral water, make sure that seal of the bottle is not Tampered. One must not drink Tap Water. Juices or Salads from the road side vendors must be avoided.
Shopping in Uttarakhand is an amazing experience, where you will get the chance to explore the real tradition and culture of this region.Explore the hilly roadside markets and buy some of the unique items of this region handmade accessories and gems, various woodcrafts, woollen articles and Gharwali paintings, beaded jewellery, idols of gods and goddesses, Jholas and more.Uttarakhand are known for their good quality woollensand various handmade items.
There are plenty of options for food for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Uttarakhand is well known for its delicious yet simple cuisine. The essential attributes of the Uttarakhand cuisine is that milk and milk based items is sparingly utilized here. Although you will get the all the major Indian along with continental foods here at hotels and restaurants, but don’t miss to try some authentic food of this region such as Bal Mithai,Dubka,Bhatt kiChurkani,Phanu, Kafuli, Thechwani, Chainsoo, Jholi, Chutney, Roat, Aaloogutuk and PinaluGutuk.
How to Reach:-
By Air:- Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, Pantnagar airport and Pithoragarh’sNaini Saini Airport. However, at the best of times, flights to all these airports are highly erratic, so it may be best to check if flights are operational.
By Road:- Dehradun, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Nainital, Kotdwar, Kathgodam, Pauri and Udham Singh Nagar are the major train stations of the state. These railway stations are well connected with all the major towns of Uttarakhand though buses operated by UTC or privet taxies.
By Train:-Uttarakhand is well connected by road to the rest of north India.Roads of the major towns of Uttarakhand are in good condition, although some Hill roads tend to be poor surfaces and landslides are common, especially in the more remote areas during the monsoon seasons. All the major destinations of this region are well connected by the buses operated by UTC. Travelling through privet vehicles/cars are also the best option of travelling to Uttarakhand.
While in Public Places:
India being and orthodox country doesn’t accept kissing or hugging at public places. Showing affection at public places seeks unnecessarily attention.
Smoking or Drinking:
Smoking and Drinking at public places is strictly banned in most part of India and is considered as a punishable offence. There are designated smoking zones and bars or pubs are available which can be visited whenever desired.
While visiting a temple, must ensure that you have read and understood the guidelines or rules and regulations. Each temple has its own rules and regulations. Some of the Temples do not allow non-Hindus to enter inside the Temples. Wearing footwear is strictly prohibited inside the Indian temples. Some Temples required a scarf covering the head while entering inside the temple.
The local language of this region are are Kumaoni and Garhwali, but everyone also understand and speaks Hindi very well. English is not so common at all the places, but well-understood and spoken in some parts..
The electricity supply in the state of Uttarakhand is similar to that of the rest of India. The voltage used in Uttarakhand is 240 Volts which alternates at 50 cycles per second.
Driving Tips in Uttarakhand:
- Always keep your vehicle on left side of the Road.
- Use Horn at curves on hills as please note the local people in the hills are often very bad about honking their horns, hence ensure, however, that you keep blowing yours so that you don't meet up with any unpleasant surprises round a corner.
- Avoid driving after sunset, as it is not allowed in hilly area of Uttarakhand.
- In the winter especially, day driving is the best. Fog may engulf you after sunset and, if its's thick enough, fog lights become ineffective - sometimes you can't see even your own car bonnet.
- Most petrol pumps closed down at 7 pm in the hills and along highways, so keep an eye on your fuel gauge.
- Before retiring for the night in extremely low temperature, run your engine for at least 10 minutes.
- Use shoes instead of slippers while driving.
- Never try to race with the other vehicle.
- It is always better to drive at a slow speed. This makes the risk of you getting badly injured less even if you meet with an accident.
- Check your Brakes and Hand Brakes before starting journey.
- Check the Headlights, Break light and Parking lights of your vehicle.
- Always give way to uphill vehicles.
- Keep your vehicle's valid documents with you to avoid inconvenience.
- Before journey, make sure that fuel tank of your vehicle is full, in case of landslides you might have to take alternate long routes.
- Ensure to refuel, where ever easily you get chance, during season there might be long queues in Petrol Pumps at main stations.
- Carry first aid box with you.
- Do not drink alcohol while driving.
- In case of traffic jam, park your vehicle at the end of the queue. If you initiate a parallel queue, the traffic from other side might force you to drive in reverse gear, till
- Loud music are not allowed while driving on the hilly region.
Char DhamYatra Travel Tips:
It is advisable not to hurt the religious sentiments of the people or litter the waste in such remote and scenic locations during your visit to Char Dham.
We have managed to list down few tips, things to do and things to avoid during your CharDham Tour of Uttarakhand.
The following Yatratips will help to make your Char DhamYatra comfortable, hustle free and will keep you healthy and fit during the entire trip.
- The chardham or the four pilgrimage destinations are accessible only for six months throughout the year. The region becomes inaccessible during the other half of the part of the year due to snowfall. You can check opening and closing dates of Char Dham Temples.
- One should remove shoes and cover head with a piece of cloth before entering the Holy Place such as mythological sites, shrines and temples,
- Carry heavy woollen clothes to protect from cold weather during the month of October-November and carry moderate woollen during Summer Season.
- Carry woollen Blanket, an umbrella, Raincoat, Torchlight, minimum luggage and canvas shoes with you.
- You can carry woollen sweater, monkey cap and muffler, which will enable you to with stand cold winds, at the upper level of Himalayas.
- Do carry creams, moisturizers, sunscreen creams.
- Pack a medical kit with painkillers, antibiotics, cough lozenges, Antiseptic cream, Iodine, tube-squeeze cream and medicines for cold and fever.
- Carry your routine medicines, as you might find only limited and general medicine at such remote locations.
- Carry dark chocolates, dry fruits, Glucose, toffees. They will provide your instant energy during the trekking and during long jams.
- When asking for directions, speak to shopkeepers, not pedestrians. Check with at least two persons or more.
- Do not take pictures if cameras are not allowed in any particular area. Do not play with the sentiments of any particular religion.
- Though self-managed tours happen to be economical, it is advisable for your Chardhamyatra to go for a guided tour arranged by an expert local travel agent.
- Carry extra batteries and films for your camera, as electricity is not regular in such remote places.
- Do not travel in the rainy season as there are a lot of landslides during that time.
- Book hotel rooms in advance if you are travelling close to the temple opening dates, there is a heavy rush of pilgrims.
- Alcohol or non-vegetarian food is not permitted during Char DhamYatra Tour.
- Drink packaged water or boiled water only.
Clothing during Char DhamYatra
- Summers (May, June, July, August)- Moderate Woollens
- Winters (April, September, October, November)- Heavy Woollens
- Train Connectivity: Rishikesh, Haridwar and Dehradun are well connected to major cities of India by Railway Network. From here you can get bus or you can hire taxi as well.
- Air Connectivity: Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun. Helicopter service to Kedarnath is available from Phata, Augustmuni.
- You reach again at end of the original queue. And you may find it very difficult to drive long in reverse gear on a hilly road.
- Do not compete with local vehicles/drivers. They know the terrain very well.
Medical Emergency Number
In case of any serious medical emergency, call 108 (The Mobile emergency service from Government of Uttarakhand). Don't make fake calls, as it is punishable offence.