Pack your bags and get ready to explore some of the most interesting and picturesque places in all of Uttarakhand. This road trip circuit is focused around the Garhwal hills of the state. A road trip around Devbhoomi (Uttarakhand) is best experienced between May and June and in the months of September and October. You can either hire a cab from Delhi or take your own vehicle for a spin around the winding Garhwali roads.
Check the brake oil and coolant in your vehicle and rev your way up the hills on the next long weekend; Delhi – Kanatal -Harsil – Gangotri – Tehri – Delhi.
Delhi – Kanatal
The journey from Delhi to Kanatal takes around 10-11 hours and passes through beautiful forests of lower Himalayan ranges. Kanatal is a serene hill station offering breathtaking Himalayan range views. The place is known for its picturesque landscape, scenic beauty, and pleasant weather throughout the year.
The place offers travelers a wide range of activities such as trekking, camping, rock climbing, and nature walks. Accommodation options include cozy cottages, campsites, and luxurious resorts, providing travelers with a perfect blend of comfort and adventure.
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Kanatal – Harsil
Harshil is located at the confluence of the rivers Bhagirathi and Jalandhari, in Uttarakhand. This serene town rose to fame with Raj Kapoor’s film Ram Teri Ganga Maili, and it is also known as the Mini-Switzerland of India. Charming apple orchards and vast meadows cover most of the area in Harshil, and in the winters it turns into a snowy paradise.
Located about 160 km from Delhi, this Garhwali hamlet will take you extremely close to nature and mesmerize you with its enchanting aura. The drive to Harshil is long and arduous that takes up to 6-7 hours from Kanatal but the sights you will cross will take away all the fatigue and pump you up for the places that lie ahead. Harshil offers many options to stay for the night and break your journey. You can choose to stay in the camps or find a simple hotel in the town and have a good night’s sleep before traveling further. You can also hike up to the Mukhba temple which has beautiful views of the Garhwal Himalayan ranges.
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Harsil – Gangotri
Next up on this circuit is Gangotri, one of the holiest places in the world for Hindus. This calm and divine place is about 20-25 kms from Harshil and the road cuts through near-vertical cliffs lined with evergreen trees. The mighty Bhagirathi river rushes down the hills from the Gomukh glacier, and it is this very river that is known as Ganga, after its confluence with Alaknanda at Devprayag. The temple at Gangotri is visited by millions of pilgrims annually and it remains crowded for a major part of the year. You can choose to stay at the budget hotels at Gangotri or head to the town of Uttarkashi for the night. If you choose to stay at Gangotri, make sure you book rooms in advance.
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Tehri is a small town situated on the banks of Tehri Lake. The journey from Gangotri to Tehri takes about 7-8 hours and that total distance is around 220 kms. The place is known for its scenic beauty, breathtaking views of the Himalayan range, and rich cultural heritage. For travelers, Tehri offers a plethora of activities such as water sports, trekking, camping, and bird watching.
Accommodation options in Tehri include luxurious resorts, cozy cottages, and campsites, providing travelers with a comfortable stay. The return journey from Tehri to Delhi takes up to 8-10 hours and the total distance is 300-350 kms.
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Most of the hotels and restaurants along this road trip circuit serve only vegetarian food, and if you cannot live without meat, then you must mentally prepare yourself to adapt to the vegetarian lifestyle. Driving back to Delhi from Tehri is also a spectacle in itself. You will cross dense forests and low-rising hills that add a mystical charm to the route. This road trip circuit is best experienced with people close to you. If you choose to go with friends who might not be very close, you can rest assured about the fact that you will have created an unbreakable bond with them by the time you reach Delhi.