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Dantewada

Dantewada, Chhattisgarh – Apart from the scenic beauty there are different sight seeing locations which are worth visiting

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Dantewada is a beautiful district in the south of Bastar region of the Chhattisgarh state. The place derives its name from its presiding deity, Devi Danteshwari, which is believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Sati, the epitome of Shakti (strength). It is believed to be one of the 52 sacred shakti peethas (seat of shakti , female power) of Hindu mythology. The hero of epic Ramayana, i.e Lord Rama is believed to have been taken shelter here for sometimes during his 14 years of exile. This region has also been ruled by the Nags, Satwahanas, Nalas and Chalukyas at different periods of history. You may also find traces of Buddhism and Jainism dating back to the 3 rd century AD can be seen here.  Dantewada is blessed with spectacular natural beauty having tall and long series of hills and profuse greenery of the sal and teak forests. The meandering rivers, Indravati, Godavari & Shabhari flowing through out the district enhances the natural beauty of the place. The perennial rivers like Shankhini and Dankiny creates panoramic water falls at different sites of the district. The forest of the region is a home to several wildlife species of which 2 are native to the area – the Pahadi Maina and the Wild Buffalo. Several tribal groups, like Maria, Muria, Dhurwa, Halba, Bhatra, and Gonds inhibit the region. They are renowned for their artistic excellence and produce outstanding terracotta, bell metal and bamboo-craft artisans. Dantewada is also a mineral rich area having minerals like Iron Ore, Uranium, corundum, granite, graphite, limestone and marble. Dantewada shares borders with three states – Maharashtra to the west, Orissa to the East and Andhra Pradesh to the south – each with a very different culture. As such, Dantewada’s culture is a rare and unique blend of all of these, with its own tribal traditions.

Places to see in Dantewada: Apart from the scenic beauty there are also different sight seeing locations which are also worth visiting. These include:

Bailadila

Mountain range, famous in the world for the enormous & top quality deposits of Iron ore. Total 14 reserves have been discovered in this range out of which the mining activities are going on in 3 deposits. As this range of mountain contains peaks that look like the humps of the ox at different places, this range of mountains is called as “Baila Dila”, meaning the hump of ox, in the local language. Bailadila has been established as an Industrial area that has been divided into two towns, namely Bacheli (29 KMs from Dantewada) & Kirandul (41 KMs from Dantewada). The Iron Ore mines are situated at the top most peak of this mountain range known as “Aakash Nagar”, which can be visited with prior permission from NMDC (National Mineral Development Corporation). A 22 KMs lengthy Ghat Road, that leads the visitors from Bacheli to Aakash Nagar thrills them with serpentine twists and offers a bird eye view of the entire region through out the journey.  Apart from understanding the mining activities of NMDC, one can enjoy the pleasant locality of Aakash Nagar, which is stretched into the blue sky, offering the visitors a panoramic view of the green forests and beautiful landscapes. Similarly 12 Kms Ghat Road from Kirandul takes the visitors to Kailash Nagar, yet another peak of Bailadila range. Kailash Nagar is equally beautiful as Aakash Nagar. One can find the rare and wonderful deposits of “Blue Dust” the sand like blue colored Iron Ore, which satisfies one’s quest to come in encounter with the wonders of Mother Nature.

Danteshwari Temple

This ancient temple is at the confluence of the Dankini and Shankini rivers, about one and a half hours from Jagdalpur. It was built by the Chalukya kings of Bastar in honour of their family Goddess, Devi Danteshwari, who is venerated by both Hindus and tribals in the entire Bastar region (Danteshwari is believed to be the new name of Manikeshwari, the family Goddess of the Naga Dynasty who preceeded the Chalukyas). The temple is divided into four parts – Garbh Griha, Maha Mandap, Mukhya Mandap and Sabha Mandap. The first two are constructed using stone. The temple itself has been constructed at various times, but the sanctum sanctorum is believed to be more than 800 years old. A Garud Pillar has been erected in front of the temple entrance.The Danteshwari Temple really comes to life during the Bustar Dassera festival season. Men have to wear a lungi to enter the temple.

Memory Pillars of Gama-wada

14 km from Dantewada, on the way to Bacheli, the small village of Gama Wada has giant stone pillars, erected centuries ago by the local tribes in memory of their deceased relatives.

Nearby attractions around Dantewada: You may also enjoy short trips to places like:

Barsoor

Located on the banks of the Indrawati river, about 32km (a one and a half to two hour drive)from Dantewada, Barsoor was once an epicentre of Hindu civilization. It is believed that there were once 147 temples and an equal number of ponds here. The ruins of these temples, dating back to the 10 th and 11 th centuries (i.e. over 1,000 years old) can be seen even today. Some beautiful images of Lord Vishnu can also be seen.One Shiva temple, with 12 carved stone pillars, has nude figures on the outside. Another Shiva temple has 32 carved stone pillars, a black granite Nandi (Shiva’s carrier) bull, and two sanctum sanctorum, with a common court. The ruins of this temple have been recently restored. A 50 foot high temple, known locally as Mama-bhanja-ka-mandir (temple of the maternal uncle and nephew), is in good condition, but lacks an idol. It is not clear to which deity the temple was consecrated, or even if it was ever consecrated. The biggest attraction though, is the Ganesha Temple. While the temple itself is in ruins, two sandstone images of Ganesh, both in the aspect of Maha-Ganapati, are amazingly intact. The larger of these, and the more impressive, is about 8 feet high and over 17 feet wide.

Bodhghat Sath Dhar

6 KMs from Barsur, river Indravati divides into 7 parts to form one small waterfall.  This spot, fully covered with dense green forests stands to explain the beauty of the combination of the river, water and the mountains. With all its beauty and peaceful locality Sath Dhar is an idle picnic spot.

Things to do in Dantewada: Sightseeing to different places and shopping local handicrafts goods from the tribal villages.

Best Time to Visit Dantewada: October to February are the best months to visit Dantewada.

How to go ?

By Air

Nearest Airport is Raipur having regular flights from all major cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Indore etc. A drive of 5hrs will take you to Dantewada.

By Rail

Direct trains (South East Railway) are available only from Vishakhapatnam to Bailadila which stops for a while at Dantewada. The nearest railway station is Raipur which is connected with almost all major railheads in India. A drive of 5hrs will take you to Dantewada. It is better to stay overnight at Raipur after a long journey and then head for Dantewada next day.

By Road

Dantewada is connected with Jagadalpur, the nearest town, by State Highway 9.Private Luxury Bus runs regular bus services from all the big cities of Chatthisgarh – Raipur, Bilaspur, Durg, Rajnandgaon – to Bailadila, and these go via Dantewada. .Dantewada is also connected by road with Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh, the neighboring state. Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) runs a regular bus service on this route.

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Where to stay ?

The place of Dantewada has very few accommodation options. These include:

Hotel Madhuban: +91-0756-299006
Regal Lodge (Dantewara Road, Bacheli): +91-07857-230010

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Guptkashi

Guptkashi, Uttarakhand – Only 47km from Kedarnath, this place holds equal religious importance as the holy town of Benaras

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Guptkashi is situated 47kms before the holiest shrine of Lord Shiva, Kedarnath. It is located on the route to Kedarnath in the northern Himalayan belt on the west side of the Mandakini river valley at an elevation of 1,319mts above sea level. Guptkashi is a religiously important town of Uttarakhand as it houses ancient temples like Vishwanath temple and Ardhnareshwar temple. The prime attraction of Guptkashi is the Manikarnik Kund. It is the meeting point of the two streams of the Ganga and Yamuna meet. Gaurikund, the town from where trek to Kedarnath commences is situated 34kms ahead of Guptkashi. The name of Guptkashi has a legendary significance related to the Pandavas of Mahabharatha. According to the legend, the Pandavas after the Kurukshetra war wanted to meet Lord Shiva for seeking his blessing and wash away their sins. But Lord Shiva avoided to meet them, for though they fought for the right cause, they were the destroyer of their whole dynasty. He took the form of a bull and met them in this spot and when recognized by the Pandavas he hid his face. Guptkashi has a great importance quite like that of Kashi.

Places to see in Guptkashi: This religious town has a few sightseeing spot with religious significance. These include:

Vishwanath Temple

The main temple of Guptkashi is dedicated to Lord Shiva as Vishwanath – “Lord of the Universe”. It is built by regional stones and is situated in an enclosed courtyard. The small temple to its left is Ardhanarishvara.

Manikarnik Kund

It is a place where two streams of the Ganga and Yamuna meet. It is situated in the premises of Vishwanath Temple.

Nearby attractions around Guptkashi: There are also many spots to visit around Gupkashi. These include:

Chattrakund

Chattrakund is a small lake of sweet crystal clear water near Auli, Joshimath. Located at an elevation around 3300 mts above sea level, Chattrakund is surrounded by lush green forest. Chattrakund lake is situated at a distance of 4 km from Auli and 3 km from Gurso Bugyal.

Trijuginarayan

It is the holy place where Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati. Trijuginarayan is situated 45kms from Guptkashi. The immortal flame is still burning around which the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were solemnised.

Chopta

Chopta is popularly known as Mini Switzerland of Uttaranchal. The number of tourists visiting Chopta has increased in recent years and the region has become popular vacation spot for adventure lovers and explorers. Tungnath is the highest temple of Lord Shiva situated only 3.5kms away from Chopta which should be covered on foot or by pony. Chopta is situated 36kms from Guptkashi. The region showers tourists with natural beauteousness during winters.

Ukhimath

Ukhimath is an important destination of Rudraprayag district as this place is the home of Lord Kedarnath and Madhyamaheshwar during winters. Ukhimath is mainly inhabited by the Rawal’s who are the head priests (pundits) of Kedarnath. Ukhimath is situated 12kms from Guptkashi. Snow capped peaks of the majestic Himalayan range can be easily seen from Ukhimath.

Gaurikund

Gaurikund is the commencement point of the trek of 14kms to the sacred shrine of Kedarnath. The place is named after Goddess Parvati, wife of Lord Shiva and a temple Gauri is also situated here. It is believed that Lord Shiva accepted to marry Parvati at this place and married her in Trijuginarayan. The place offers vivid greenery with Vasuki Ganga flowing from below. Gaurikund is situated 34kms from Guptkashi. The place also has natural thermal springs.

Things to do at Guptkashi: Trekking, hiking, sight seeing are the activities you can enjoy in Guptkashi. Named as Guptkashi or “Hidden Benaras”, this place is an abode of Lord Shiva. This pristine spot with its mesmerizing natural beauty seems to be the resting place of not only Lord Shiva but of all Gods and Godesses. Feel the spiritual ecstasy in this holy retreat. If doing nothing just sit on the green velvety grass and gaze upon the unparallel natural beauty of nature.

Best time to visit Guptkashi: The best season to visit Guptakashi is the winters and the onset of summers. The favourable months to visit the place are between October to March.

How to go ?

By Air

Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest Airport to Guptkashi situated at a distance of 190kms. Jolly Grant Airport is a domestic airport well connected to Delhi with daily flights. Guptkashi is well connected by motorable roads with Jolly Grant Airport. Taxis are available from Jolly Grant Airport to Guptkashi.

By Train

The nearest railway station to Gaurikund is Rishikesh. Rishikesh railway station is situated 168kms before Guptkashi on NH58. Rishikesh is well connected by railway networks with major destinations of India. Trains to Rishikesh are frequent. Guptkashi is well connected by motorable roads with Rishikesh. Taxis and buses are easily available from Rishikesh to Guptkashi.

By Road

Guptkashi is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Uttarakhand state. Buses to Rishikesh and Srinagar are available from ISBT Kashmiri Gate. Buses and Taxis to Guptkashi are easily available from all major destinations of Uttarakhand like Dehradun, Rishikesh, Haridwar, Pauri, Tehri, Uttarkashi, Srinagar, Chamoli etc. Guptkashi lies on National Highway 109 which connects Rudraprayag with Kedarnath.

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Where to stay ?

Guptkashi offers a number of hotels and lodges, comfortable for night stay. Some options are:

Mrityunjaya Palace: +91-01364 267 488
Kedar Camp Resorts: +91-9012817897 Website: www.kedarcampresorts.com
Hotel Shubham: 01364-267229, 267233

 Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Rudraprayag

Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand – One of the holy ‘Panch Prayags’ in Garhwal, named after Rudra, an incarnation of Lord Shiva

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Rudraprayag is renowned for being one of the famous five sacred prayags (Panch Prayag) of Garhwal and is located at a distance of 35 km from Deo Prayag at an elevation of 2,936 feet. Rudraprayag is named after the Rudra (an aspect of Lord Shiva). The site forms the gateway to both Kedarnath and Badrinath. Rudraprayag is located at the confluence of River Aloknanada and Mandakini. The roaring sounds of these two meandering rivers really give a thrilling effect upon the hearts of the visitors. The spectacular location is a feast for the eyes. While in Rudraprayag, forget all your tensions and anxieties and rest your soul amidst the lap of nature.

Places to see at Rudra Prayag: The sightseeing spots of Rudraprayag include mainly temple. These include:

Rudranath Temple

Rudraprayag is named after Lord Shiva and temple of lord Rudranath is situated at the confluence of Alaknanda and Mandakini. According to mythology Narada Muni worshiped god Shiva here to learn music from him. The god then taught him music in his form of Rudra (Lord of Music). There used to be a rock called Narad Shila where Narada is said to have sat in meditation.

Koteshwar Mahadev Temple

Situated 3kms from Rudrprayag on the banks of Alaknanda River, Koteshwar is a cave temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. According to myths and legends Lord Shiva meditated at this place before going to Kedarnath. Large numbers of devotees visit this shrine during the months of August and September because it is believed that Lord Shiva meditated here during these months.

Dhari Devi Mandir

This sacred temple is situated on the banks of the Alaknanda River. The deity of Dhari Devi temple is Goddess Kali and this holy shrine holds great importance amongst Hindus. Dhari Devi is situated 16km ahead of Srinagar on the way to Rudraprayag. One must trek down 1km from Dhari Village on road to reach the temple. It takes half n hour to reach Dhari Devi from Srinagar.

Kartik Swami

The Kartik Swami temple is dedicated to lord Kartikeya – son of Lord Shiva. It can be reached by a 3 km trek from Kanak Chauri village, which is located on the Rudraprayag-Pokhri route, 38 km from Rudraprayag. You can have a magnificent views of the snow-clad Himalayan range from the Kartik Swami temple.

Basukedar

Basukedar (reputedly where Shiva lived before coming to Kedarnath). It’s a Shiva temple constructed by Pandava. Architecture and idols seems to be at least 1000 yrs old. A good place for meditation and dhyan yoga. This is around 35 km from Agustmuni. around 1.30 hr by drive. This is actually an old track to visit Kedarnath. It is said that Lord Shiva stayed a night in Basukedar while he was travelling to Mount Kailash ( Kedarnath) this is the reason this place is called Basukedar

Nearby attractions around Rudraprayag: The location is adorned with a no. of break out spots too. These include:

Gaurikund

Gaurikund is the commencement point of the trek of 14kms to the sacred shrine of Kedarnath. The place is named after Goddess Parvati, wife of Lord Shiva and a temple Gauri is also situated here. It is believed that Lord Shiva accepted to marry Parvati at this place and married her in Trijuginarayan. The place offers vivid greenery with Vasuki Ganga flowing from below. Gaurikund is situated 66kms from Rudraprayag. The place also has natural thermal springs.

Trijuginarayan

It is the holy place where Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati. Trijuginarayan is situated 12kms from Sonprayag. The immortal flame is still burning around which the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were solemnised.

Khirsu

Khirsu is situated 56kms from Pauri at an altitude of 1700mts above sea level. Khirsu is situated in a tranquil place with numerous oak trees, deodar trees and apple orchards around. Located in the Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand state, Khirsu affords captivating views of the imposing Himalayan range.

Ukhimath

Ukhimath is an important destination of Rudraprayag district as this place is the home of Lord Kedarnath and Madhyamaheshwar during winters. Ukhimath is mainly inhabited by the Rawal’s who are the head priests (pundits) of Kedarnath. Okhimath is situated 37kms from Rudraprayag. Snow capped peaks of the majestic Himalayan range can be easily seen from here.

Chandra Puri

The village is situated at an altitude of 650mts above the sea level, on the bank of Mandakini River. The place is ideal for watching breathtakingly beautiful sunset on the bank of Mandakini river. It is only 24km from Rudraprayag.

Syalsaur

2km ahead of Chandra Puri, lies another beautiful location named Syalsaur. Syalsaur is a small, sleepy, picturesque village with the meandering Mandakini flowing through it and majestic Himalayas at the backdrop.

Things to do in Rudraprayag: The natural beauty of the spot will mesmerize you. Enjoy nature walks in this serene hamlet and explore the immensely beautiful nature with clear blue sky and lush green forests creating a marvelous contrast.

Best time to visit Rudraprayag: The best time to visit Rudraprayag is from March to October escaping monsoon months to escape heavy rain that damages road as it did this year.

How to go ?

By Air

The closest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport that is located in the city of Dehradun. The airport is located around 159 km from the town. Flights from Delhi are available to the airport regularly and this makes it ideal for those travelers who are arriving from abroad.

By Train

The closest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport that is located in the city of Dehradun. The airport is located around 159 km from the town. Flights from Delhi are available to the airport regularly and this makes it ideal for those travelers who are arriving from abroad.

By Road

Rudra Prayag is connected to many places such as Haridwar, Rishikesh, Tehri and Dehradun by road.

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Where to stay ?

There are both budget and luxurious hotels in Rudraprayag. Some options are:

Rudraprayag Tourist Rest House (GMVN): +91-01364-233347
Hotel Jwalpa Palace: +9109868939348  Website: www.hoteljwalpapalace.com
Shangrila Resort: +91-01364-233152  Website: www.shangrilla-resort.com
Hotel Balbir Palace: +91- 1364- 233038  Website: www.hotelbalbirpalace.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Yamunotri

Yamunotri, Uttarakhand – The first stop of the Char Dham yatra, this sacred spot is the origin of River Yamuna

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The source of River Yamuna, and the base of Godess Yamuna, Yamunotri is also one of the four sites of Char Dham pilgrimage. It is located at a height of 3293m above sea level. It is surrounded by mountains on all sides and lies in close proximity of the Indo-China border. This is the first stopover of the Char Dham yatra. The temple of Yamunotri is the western most shrine of the entire Garhwal region resting atop of Bandar Poonch Parvat. The origin of this sacred river is a frozen lake of ice and glacier (Champasar Glacier) located on the Kalind Mountain at a height of 4,421 m above sea level, about 1 km further up, is extremely difficult for the access of the pilgrims and therefore they offer puja at the temple itself. Yamuna, like the Ganges, is also elevated to the status of a divine mother for the Hindus and is responsible for growth and development of the Indian civilization. Yamunotri is at a distance of 236 km from Rishikesh, 21 km from Sanya Chatti 278 km from Dehradun, and 176 km from Chamba. This temple is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna. Large numbers of devotees visit this shrine during the months of May to October. Located close to the temple are the hot water springs. The devotees tie rice and potatoes in a muslin cloth and dip it in the hot water. The cooked food is carried back as prasadam. The devotees also pay respect to Divya Shila, a rock pillar just before entering the Yamunotri temple. The temple was originally built by Maharani Guleria of Jaipur in the 19th century. This temple was again renovated and said to have been built by Maharaja Pratap Shah.

Places to see in Yamunotri: Some of the prime attractions of Yamunotri include:

Yamunotri Temple

Yamunotri is one of the Char Dham and it is also first place to visit in the Char Dham Circuit. Thousands of devotees visit the sacred shrine of Yamunotri temple every month from May to October. Yamunotri Temple was constructed by Maharaja Pratap Shah of Tehri Garhwal. The temple opens on the auspicious day of Akshay Tritiya and closes on the second day after Diwali festival. The temple holds immense importance amongst the Hindus. Yamunotri is the source of the Yamuna River which is one of the major rivers of India.

Janki Chatti

It is the midpoint of the trek to Yamunotri which is accessible by jeeps. Janki Chatti is situated 7kms before Yamunotri and this place is popular for thermal springs.

Surya Kund

There are many natural thermal springs in Yamunotri of which Surya Kund is renowned. The water of Surya Kund has a surprising temperature of 1900F. Pilgrims tie potatoes and rice to cook it by immersing it under water of Surya Kund. After cooking it is served as ‘prasad’.

Divya Shilla

Divya Shilla is a rock pillar which is worshipped before entering the divine Yamunotri temple.

Nearby attractions around Yamunotri: Located near to Yamunotri are some outstanding locations. These include:

Hanuman Chatti

It is the commencement point of the trek to two popular destinations Yamunotri and Dodi Tal. Yamunotri is situated 13km from Hanuman Chatti which has to be covered by foot or on ponies. Jeeps are also available upto Janki Chatti which is 6km from Hanuman Chatti. Hanuman Chatti is the confluence of Hanuman Ganga and Yamuna River. You can purchase food items and raincoats from Hanuman Chatti.

Barkot

Barkot is situated at an elevation of 1,220mts above sea level in Uttarkashi district. Barkot is one of the important destinations of Uttarkashi district with good accommodation facilities available. Barkot has an ancient temple and it is situated 49km from Yamunotri.

Dodi Tal

According to mythology Lord Ganesha was born in this place. This mysterious lake is situated at an elevation of 3,307mts above sea level surrounded by dense forests of deodar, oak and rhododendrons. The pristine water of this lake is the home of endangered Himalayan Golden Trouts and many other fishes. The depth of this lake is still unknown. A visitor encounters splendor of nature en route Dodi Tal.

Uttarkashi

It is perched at an elevation of 1,352mts above sea level at a distance of 78kms from Hanuman Chatti. Uttarkashi is a picturesque spot well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Uttarakhand state. It is situated on the banks of the holy Bhagirathi River. Uttarkashi houses one of the reputed mountaineering institutes of India i.e. Nehru Institute of Mountaineering.

Things to do in Yamunotri: Sight seeing is the best thing you can do in Yamunotri. Apart from this Yamunotri is also an ideal base for trekking.

Best time to visit Yamunotri: The ideal time to visit Yamunotri is during May to June and September to November.

How to go ?

By Air

Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest Airport to Yamunotri situated at a distance of 210kms. Jolly Grant Airport is well connected to Delhi with daily flights. Hanuman Chatti is directly not connected by motorable roads with Jolly Grant Airport. Taxis are available from Jolly Grant Airport to Hanuman Chatti.

By Rail

The nearest railway stations to Yamunotri are Rishikesh and Dehradun. Dehradun railway station is situated 175kms from Yamunotri and Rishikesh railway station is situated 200kms before Yamunotri on NH58. Rishikesh and Dehradun are well connected by railway networks with major destinations of India. Trains to Rishikesh are frequent. Hanuman Chatti is well connected by motorable roads with Rishikesh and Dehradun. Taxis and buses are available from Rishikesh, Tehri Garhwal, Uttarkashi and Barkot and many other destinations to Hanuman Chatti.

By Road

Yamunotri is directly not connected with motorable roads and the trek commences from Hanuman Chatti. Hanuman Chatti is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Uttarakhand state. Buses to Rishikesh are available from ISBT Kashmiri Gate. Buses and Taxis to Hanuman Chatti are easily available from major destinations of Uttarakhand state like Rishikesh, Dehradun, Tehri, Uttarkashi, Barkot etc.

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Where to stay ?

Yamunotri has very few accommodation options. GMVN runs a tourist rest house in Yamunotri. For booking details please contact:

Tourist Rest House (GMVN): www.gmvnl.com
You may stay at Janki Chatti, only 1.4km via trekking path.
Hotel Atithi Niwas: +91 9412140031, 9760170011, 8126691153  Website:www.hotelatithiniwas.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Kedarnath

Kedarnath, Uttarakhand – This holy Hindu town is the residing place of Lord Shiva, famous for Kedarnath Temple

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A holy Hindu town located in Uttarakhand, Kedarnath is one of the Char Dhams located in the Himalayas. It is resting at an elevation of 3584m above sea level near the head of Mandakini River. This pristine site is a very renowned religious spot for all Hindu pilgrims. The Kedarnath temple enshrining the highly revered Kedareshwar (the name with which Lord Shiva resides here), attracts thousands of devotees from all over the world. The Kedarnath temple lies amidst the incredible snow-covered Himalayan ranges. Due to the extreme weather conditions the temple here remains open from the end of April to the beginning of November. This is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. In Kedarnath alone there are about more than 200 shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is believed that the temple was built by the Pandavas of Mahabharatha and was later revived by Adi Shankaracharya. Legend has it that Pandavas performed a strong penance here to please Lord Shiva in Kedarnath. After having won the war against the Kauravas, the Pandavas felt guilty and wanted to seek blessings from Lord Shiva for redemption who was hiding from them. It is here in Kedarnath where Lord Shiva took refuge in the form of a bull. The bull hided his face into the ground, and his hump remained behind on the surface. The other four parts of Lord Shiva fell at Tungnath, Rudranath, Madhmaheshwar and Kapleshwar. Kedarnath along with these four are also described as Panch Kedar. The inner walls of the temple are sculpted with various deities. The scenes depict various mythological stories. To reach Kedarnath you have to trek 14km through a paved road from Gaurikund.  You can also take horse or ponies to climb up the steep path. Gaurikund is connected by road from Haridwar, Dehradun, Rishikesh and some other regions of Uttarakhand.

Places to see at Kedarnath: This residing place of Lord Mahadev is dotted with some sacred sight seeing locations. These include:

Kedarnath Temple

Kedarnath is one of the holiest Hindu pilgrims of India with Lord Shiva as its residing deity. This holy site is situated perched at an elevation of 3,584mts above sea level in the foot of imposing snow bound Himalayan peaks. Mythology says that Pandavas wanted to wash their sins they committed during the great war of Mahabharata by killing their own brothers, so they wished to meet Lord Shiva. Shiva was angry with them and he didn’t want to bless them with his presence so Lord Shiva converted himself into a big bull and dug himself under the ground. The places where the body parts were founded were named as kedars. The hump of the bull was found here. The temple was built by Adi Shankaracharya in the early 8th century. The temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of India and the main temple of Panch Kedar.

Chorabari Tal

Chorabari Tal is a beautiful lake situated 3kms ahead of Kedarnath in the mouth of Chorabari Bamak Glacier. Chorabari Tal is a pristine lake which shows the reflections of the gigantic Himalayan peaks. Chorabari Tal is also known as Gandhi sarovar. The trek is easy but be careful while crossing the waterfall in between.

Gaurikund

Gaurikund is the commencement point of the trek of 14kms to the sacred shrine of Kedarnath. The place is named after Goddess Parvati, wife of Lord Shiva and a temple Gauri is also situated here. It is believed that Lord Shiva accepted to marry Parvati at this place and married her in Trijuginarayan. The place offers vivid greenery with Vasuki Ganga flowing from below. Gaurikund is situated 66kms from Rudraprayag. The place also has natural thermal springs.

Vasuki Tal

Vasuki Tal can be reached by a 7km moderate trek from Kedarnath. The lake is located at an altitude of 4,150mts above sea level surrounded by Himalayan peaks casting their shadows on the crystal clear water of Vasuki Tal.

Shankaracharya Samadhi

Adi Shankaracharya was a great scholar and a saint who established four sacred dhams in India and after that he went to his Samadhi at an early age of 32.

Nearby attractions around Kedarnath: If you are in Kedarnath, there are some must visit location near to it. These include:

Trijuginarayan Temple

It is the holy place where Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati. Trijuginarayan is situated 12kms from Sonprayag. The immortal flame is still burning around which the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were solemnised.

Chopta

Chopta is popularly known as Mini Switzerland or the Switzerland of Uttaranchal. The number of tourists visiting Chopta has increased in recent years and the region has become popular vacation spot for adventure lovers and explorers. Tungnath is the highest temple of Lord Shiva situated only 3.5kms away from Chopta which should be covered on foot or by pony. Chopta is situated 70kms from Gaurikund. The region showers tourists with natural beauteousness during winters.

Ukhimath

Ukhimath is an important destination of Rudraprayag district as this place is the home of Lord Kedarnath and Madhyamaheshwar during winters. Ukhimath is mainly inhabited by the Rawal’s who are the head priests (pundits) of Kedarnath. Ukhimath is situated 42kms from Kedarnath. Snow capped peaks of the majestic Himalayan range can be easily seen from here.

Rudraprayag

The confluence of Alaknanda River and Mandakini River is known as Rudraprayag. The distance from Kedarnath to Rudraprayag is 80kms. Rudraprayag is the only confluence situated on Alaknanda River which is also considered as state district. Rudra is one of the 108names of Lord Shiva. The road to Kedarnath Dham and Badrinath Dham diverts from this point.

Kalimath

Kalimath is a Shaktipeeth having a temple of Goddess Kali. Famous Kali mata temple in Kalimath is visited by devotees all round the year and located near Ukhimath.

Things to do in Kedarnath: After visiting the holy Kedarnath temple, don’t forget to visit the Shankaracharya samadhi (his final resting place) behind the temple. Also take an easy walk to the Bhairav temple nearby.

Best time to visit Kedarnath: Summer i.e from April-May to October, is the ideal time to visit Kedarnath. Try to avoid the monsoon season as the site is prone to heavy rainfall and flood.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is about 239 km from Kedarnath. Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is a domestic airport located at about 20 km away from city center of Dehradun. Taxi cabs are available from Dehradun airport to Kedarnath.

By Train

Nearest railhead at Rishikesh, 189 km away from Kedarnath. One has to travel 207 km by road and the rest 14 km by foot to reach Kedarnath.

By Road

Kedarnath is well connected through road. The National Highway from Delhi to Mana (538 km) is accessible throughout the year. Kedarnath can be accessed by foot from GauriKund. Gaurikund is connected by state buses to Rishikesh, Dehradun, Kotdwara, Haridwar and other hill stations of Kumaon and Garhwal Hills.

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Where to stay ?

After the tremendous flood of 2013, most of the hotels and lodges the destroyed. The few accommodation information available to us include:

Kedarnath Tourist Bungalow (GMVN) : +91-01364-263228
Chardham Camps: +91-1334 -261026,266026 Website: www.chardhamcamps.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Badrinath

Badrinath, Uttarakhand – The abode of almighty Lord Vishnu, located at 3,133 mts on the Himalayan mountain range, is a sacred place for the Hindus

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Situated in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, Badrinath is a sacred town of the Hindus. This is the most important spot of the whole Char Dham yatra.  Badrinath was established by Adi Shankaracharya in the 9th century. The town is located at an altitudeof 3,133mts above sea level on the left bank of Alakananda River. This holy town lies between Nar and Naryana mountain ranges, with the Nilkantha peak shadowing the town. According to the Bhagavata Purana, “There in Badrikashram the supreme being (Vishnu), in his incarnation as the sages Nara and Narayana, had been undergoing great penance since time immemorial for the welfare of all living entities.” The Badrinath area was known as Badari or Badarikaashram in Hindu scriptures. The name Badrinath was derived from Badari meaning ‘berries’ and Nath meaning ‘Lord of’. The mountains around Badrinath are also mentioned in the Mahabharata. The Pandavas are said to have ended their life by ascending the slopes of a peak in western Garhwal called Swargarohini – literally meaning the ‘Ascent to Heaven’. According to the local legends the Pandavas passed through Badrinath and the town of Mana, 4 km north of Badrinath, on their way to Svarga (heaven). There is also a cave in Mana where Vyasa, according to legend, wrote the Mahabharata.

Places to see in Badrinath: The major attraction of Badrinath is the famous Badrinath temple. However there are also other sight seeing locations holding great religious significance. These include:

Badrinath Temple

Badrinath is the most sacred Dham of India. It is located at an elevation of 3,133mts above sea level in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand state. This Dham was established by Adi Shankaracharya in the 9th century. The deity of Badrinath temple is Lord Vishnu. The temple is situated on the right bank of the holy Alaknanda River. The colorful ‘Singh-Dwara’ at the entrance is very artistic creation. Every year millions of tourists and devotees visit this sacred place from May to October month. The temple remains closed during winter months as the region is prone to heavy snowfall.

Tapt Kund

Tapt Kund is a natural thermal spring where the devotees take a holy dip as it is very important to take a bath before visiting a temple. It is also believed that the kund has medicinal values and can cure allergies of the people. All the devotees take holy dip in the natural hot water together with unknown people. The people may be unknown to each other but their purpose of visit is same, i.e. to worship in the sacred Badrinath Dham.

Brahma Kapal

Brahma Kapal is a place where Hindus performs propitiating rites for their deceased ancestors. Brahma Kapal is a flat platform on the bank of river Alaknanda. You can see several pundits sitting with ‘pooja samagri’.

Neelkanth

Situated above the Badrinath Temple, Neelkanth peak is named after Lord Shiva. The cliff of the peak is the first place where the sun castes its crimson rays. Neelkanth is a Pyramidal-shaped snowy peak and if you carefully observe its cliff then you can see as if Lord Shiva is sitting looking at the sky. Neelkanth peak is situated at an elevation of 6,560mts above sea level. Numerous Brahmakal can be seen at the foot of Neelkanth Peak and the trekking route of 6km can be achieved easily.

Mata Murti Temple

Situated 3kms from Badrinath, Mata Murti Temple is dedicated to the mother of Lord Narayan. According to mythology Mata Murti prayed Lord Vishnu to take his next avatar by coming out from her womb. Lord Vishnu then happily agreed and came into world as twins, Nar and Narayan to kill a monster. Every year a fair is held in the month of August at Mata Murti Temple.

Charanpaduka

Situated 3km above Badrinath Temple lies a beautiful meadow carpeted with wild flowers in the summers. A boulder bearing the footprints of Lord Vishnu is located here known as Charanpaduka. It is said that when Lord Vishnu descended from Vaikunth he stepped on this boulder. The area is a steep climb from the town and is full of caves & boulders. This path leads you to the foot of Neelkanth peak where you can find several Brahmakamals.

Narad Kund

Located near Tapt Kund, this kund is believed to be the recovery source of the Badarinath idol. The hot water springs comes out from beneath the Garur Shila and falls into a tank. Darshan of Badarinath is always preceded by a holy dip in this kund. Apart from that there are many other hot water springs. Devotees take a dip in them for their religious and medicinal value.

Mana 

Mana is very close to Tibet border and it is one of the last villages of India. Most of the tourists who visit Badrinath also come to see the end of the road at Mana. Mana is inhabited by Indo-Mongolian tribes often called as bhotias. Mana is situated 3kms from Badrinath.

Bheem Pul

Bheem Pul is an enthralling and adventurous place with mythological importance. This is the place where Bheem threw a big massif rock to make a path joining two mountains so that Draupadi could walk easily on it. Saraswati River is coming from between the mountain with immense force to merge with the water of Alanknanda River.

Vyas Cave

Vyas Gufa or Vyas Cave is the place from where Ved Vyas dictated entire Mahabharata to God Ganesha so that he could write. Ved Vyas also meditated in this cave

Ganesha Cave

Ganesha Cave is the natural cave where he wrote Mahabharata as dictated by Ved Vyas from Vyas Gufa.

Sheshnetre

On the opposite bank of the river Alaknanda, in the lap of Nar Parvat, there are two small seasonal lakes. Between these lakes is a boulder having an impression of the legendary snake, Sheshnag. The formation of eye on the boulder is natural.

Panch Dharas & Panch Shilas

The Panch Dharas (five streams) which are famous in Badaripuri are Prahlad, Kurma, Bhrigu, Urvashi & Indira dhara. The most striking of these is the Indira dhara, about 1.5 km north of the town Badaripuri. Around the Tapt Kund there are five blocks of mythological importance called Narad, Narsimh, Barah, Garur & Markandeya Shilas (stone).

Nearby attractions around Badrinath: The pristine town of Badrinath is also dotted with some nearby attractions. These include:

Vasudhara Falls

It can be reached by a short and easy trek of 4km from Mana Village. Vasudhara falls is 400 feet high and it is set at an elevation of 12,000feet above sea level. It is believed that the scattered drops of the waterfall don’t falls on the sinners. If you see the waterfall from distance it will look like as if milk is falling from the mountain.

Satopanth

Satopanth Lake holds immaculate and pristine water and it it believed that Bheema was denied to enter heaven from this very point. Satopanth is the place which leads the path to Swargarohini peak from where Yudhishthir and the dog were sent to heaven according to the Mahabharata. The trek to Satopanth is moderate and there are no villages and rest houses, people generally sleep in caves and tents here. The route to Satopanth Sarovar blesses the individuals with nature’s beauteousness.

Pandukeshwar

This place is believed to have been established by King Pandu, father of Pandavas. It is situated at 4 kms from Govind Ghat, 219 kms from Kedarnath and 24 kms from Badarinath. There are two temples – one for Lord Yoga Badari Narayan and the other for Lord Vasudev. During winter, Lord Vasudev temple functions as the abode for Lord Badari Narayan and all the daily rituals connected with worship are performed here. Both the temples are centuries old.

Joshimath

Joshimath is one of the four ‘math‘ created by Adi Shankaracharya. Joshimath is the home of Shri Badrinath during winters. Joshimath is connected with Auli by highest cable car of Asia. Joshimath is situated at an elevation of 1,890mts above sea level. Do visit Kalpavriksha and Narsingh temple while a visit to Joshimath. It is situated 46kms from Badrinath.

Auli 

Auli is the most popular skiing and paragliding spot of Uttarakhand situated at an elevation of 3050mts above sea level. Auli affords astounding and celestial views of the enchanting snow laden Himalayan range. Asia’s highest and longest cable car is situated in Auli connecting it with Joshimath. Auli is also connected with motorable roads, situated 60kms from Badrinath.

Valley of Flowers

Valley of Flowers National Park is nestled in the west Himalayas covering an area of 87.50sqkms. The trek of 16km to Valley of Flowers commences from Govindghat. The valley is entirely covered with blooming flowers from June to October and with the sheets of snow during winters. The valley of flowers was declared as the national park in the year 1982 and it is now a world heritage site. The virgin beauty of this valley lures the botanists, nature lovers and adventure lovers as well.

Hemkund Sahib

The tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Govind Singhji mediated at Hemkund Sahib for years. The word Hemkund literally suggests ‘Lake of snow’ and the immaculate water of this lake is as cold as snow. Hemkund Saheb is located at an elevation of 4,329mts above sea level amidst several snow capped peaks, which are collectively called Hemkund Parvat. A star shaped gurudwara near the lake is visited by thousands of devotees every month. A temple dedicated to Lakshman, brother of Lord Rama is also located here. One must complete a trek of 19km starting from from Govindghat via Ghangaria to reach Hemkund Sahib.

Adi Badari

The main Temple is of the lord Narayan that is distinguished by a raised platform in the pyramidal form. Here a black stone idol of lord Vishnu is enshrined. Local tradition attributes the building of the temples to Adi Guru Shankaracharya. It is situated at a distance of 17 Kms from Karnaprayag and is easily approachable by motorable road.

Things to do in Badrinath: This pristine location offers abundant activities for the tourists. After paying homage to the supreme Lord Badrinath, you can enjoy sight seeing to some nearby locations. The shopping lovers can buy local products available in the markets which includes handicrafts items, wooden toys and also many other unique products. If doing nothing just open the window of your guest house and stare on the spectacular snowy mountain range. This abode of Lord Vishnu (Badrinath) gives a completely different feeling as you keep your first step upon this divine step.

Best time to visit Badrinath: The peak visiting season is from May to November. However due to heavy monsoon the visitors may face difficulty to reach the temple during monsoon (late June to Aug).

How to go ?

By Air

Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is the nearest airport to Badrinath. It is a domestic airport 326 km away from Badrinath. Nearest International airport is New Delhi (491 km), which is well connected to all major cities in India and most of the major foreign cities too.

By Train

Rishikesh (nearly 283 km), Haridwar (nearly 305 km) and Kotdwar (nearly 330 km) are the nearest railway stations. These railway stations are well connected to other cities in India.

By Road

There are many public and private buses from New Delhi, Rishikesh and Haridwar. Special tourist daily buses are also available from these places to Badrinath.

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Where to stay ?

The location provides an array of accommodation facilities. Some options are:

Devlok Tourist Bungalow (GMVN): +9101381-222212
Sarovar Portico: 093103 33317
Sree Sree Balananda Tirthashram: +91-01381-222254
Hotel Dwarikesh: www.hoteldwarikesh.in

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Uttarkashi

Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand – 145km from Rishikesh, this holy town is famous for the Vishwanath temple and adorned with glittering scenic beauty

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Uttar Kashi meaning north Kashi is a holy town of Uttarakhand that is set on the banks of river Bhagirathi. It perches at an altitude of 1158 metres. Located at a distance of 145 kms from Rishikesh the place is an important stopover for the pilgrims of Gangotri. It is considered to have similar religious importance as Kashi. The famous Vishwanath temple here is dedicated to Lord Shiva. In front of the temple is unique Mahadev-ka-Vishal Trishul or Shiva’s Great Trident, made of eight major metals. It is believed Lord Shiva killed Vakasur with this trident. Other important temples are dedicated to Lord Parashuram, Lord Ekadash Rudra and Goddess Kali. With stunning natural beauty and scenic vistas, Uttarkashi is a very popular tourist spot. The site also forms a centre for adventure sports.

Places to see in Uttarkashi: The sight seeing spot of Uttarkashi include:

Nehru Institute of Mountaineering

Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM) is rated as one of the mountaineering institute in Asia. NIM was established at Uttarkashi on 14th Nov 1965 to honor the great desire of Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, an ardent mountain lover. The aim of the Institute is to introduce and initiate young men, women and school children to the mountains and nature through its various Mountaineering and Adventure courses.

Viswanath Temple

The Viswanath Temple is the most important and ancient holy shrine in Uttarkashi. It is unrivalled in importance. Shiva, the presiding deity of this temple, is worshipped all day here. Every evening, visitors are greeted by the sound of bells, and the chanting of mantras by pundits at the puja.Within the courtyard of the Vishwanath temple, and to the front of it, is the Shakti Temple, dedicated to the goddess of strength.

Dodi Tal

According to mythology Lord Ganesha was born in this place. This mysterious lake is situated at an elevation of 3,307mts above sea level surrounded by dense forests of deodar, oak and rhododendrons. The pristine water of this lake is the home of endangered Himalayan Golden Trouts and many other fishes. The depth of this lake is still unknown. The 18km trek to Dodi Tal commences from Agoda. A visitor encounters splendor of nature en route Dodi Tal.

Maneri

Maneri is situated 13kms from Uttarkashi on the Gangotri route. A dam across Bhagirathi River is the major attraction of the village. The consequential lake adds exquisiteness to Maneri.

Dayara Bugyal

In regional language Bugyal means ‘high altitude meadow’. Dyara Bugyal is situated at an elevation of 3,048mts affording splendid view of the Himalayas. A picturesque small lake is also situated at Dyara Bugyal. The road to Dayara Bugyal branches off near Bhatwari and the vehicles can go up to Barsu village, from where an easy trek of 8kms commences.

Nearby attractions around Uttarkashi: Uttarkashi is also dotted with some nearby locations. These include:

Gangotri 

Gangotri is the highest temple of Goddess Ganga and one of the four dhams of Uttarakhand state. Gangotri is situated at an altitude of 3,048mts above sea level at a distance of 93kms from Uttarkashi. Gangotri offers scenic splendors of rugged terrains, gushing water of Bhagirathi River and snow clad peaks. The place holds great importance amongst Hindus. Gangotri remains opened from May and get closed on the day of Diwali festival.

Gaumukh Glacier:

Gaumukh glacier is the source of Bhagirathi River which is also known as Ganga River before the confluence of Devprayag. Gaumukh Glacier is situated 18kms from Gangotri. Gaumukh is the second largest glacier of India, first one is Siachen. Gaumukh is 30kms long and approximately 3 to 4km wide. It is source of the Bhagirathi River which is one of the most important tributary of the sacred Ganga River.

Kedartal

Kedar Tal can be reached after a difficult trek of 14kms which starts from Gangotri. Kedar Tal holds crystal clear icy cold water with reflection of snow capped Himalayan peaks. The maximum elevation that you will encounter enroute Kedar Tal is shocking 4,912mts above sea level. The lake is perched at an elevation of 4,225mts above sea level with the majestic Thalaysagar Peak providing captivating scenery.

Gangnani

Situated 46kms after Uttarkashi, Gangnani is popular for its natural thermal springs. People take a dip in this natural hot water spring before heading towards Gangotri.

Harsil

It is one of the hidden jewels of Uttarakhand offering ample scope for nature and adventure lovers. Harsil is situated on the banks of Bhagirathi River at an elevation of 2,620mts above sea level. The distance from Uttarkashi to Harsil is 72kms. You can plan a short and easy trek to Sattal from Harsil.

New Tehri

New Tehri is the only planned town of Uttarakhand state which was made during the construction of the Tehri dam. Every month thousands of tourists visit Tehri to see the stagnant water of the massive Tehri Dam. The Dam is situated amidst high mountains many of which are submerged under water. New Tehri is very well connected with motorable roads. Tehri is situated 74kms from Uttarkashi. There are many good hotels in New Tehri.

Barkot

Barkot is situated at an elevation of 1,220mts above sea level in Uttarkashi district. Barkot is one of the important destinations of Uttarkashi district with good accommodation facilities available. Barkot has an ancient temple and it is situated 49km from Yamunotri. The distance from Uttarkashi to Barkot is 68kms.

Chamba

Chamba is one of the best excursion of Dehradun as the place offers panoramic views of the majestic Himalayan range and the sacred view of the Bhagirathi River. Chamba is situated 85kms from Uttarkashi at an altitude of 1,676mts above sea level. Chamba is unlike Mussoorie as the place provides peace and tranquility. The place is quite and serene with pine and deodar trees everywhere.

Things to do in Uttarkashi: Uttarkashi is the paradise of the adventure enthusiasts. Here you can enjoy water sports like rafting in the frivolous River Bhagirathi. Trekking upto Dodhi tal( 18kms from Uttarkashi) is also quite adventurous. This apart if you are not interested in adventures, then make a visit to the nearby sightseeing locations.

Best time to visit Uttarkashi: February to May will be the best time to visit.

How to go ?

By Air

Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest Airport to Uttarkashi situated at a distance of 160kms. Jolly Grant Airport is well connected to Delhi with daily flights. Delhi is the nearest international airport, connected to all cities in India and major cities abroad.  Uttarkashi is well connected by motorable roads with Jolly Grant Airport. Taxis are available from Jolly Grant Airport to Uttarkashi.

By Train

Trains to Uttarkashi can be taken till the railway station at Rishikesh/Haridwar. The railway station at Haridwar is well connected to all nearby locations and other prominent locations in the country like Mumbai, Delhi, Lucknow, Dehradun, and Howrah.

By Road

Uttarkashi is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Uttarakhand state. Uttarkashi is situated on NH108 which connects Gangotri. Buses to Rishikesh are available from ISBT Kashmiri Gate. Buses and Taxis to Uttarkashi are easily available from major destinations of Uttarakhand state like Rishikesh, Dehradun, Tehri, Barkot, Chamba etc.

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Where to stay ?

Tourist Lodge (GMVN) Uttarkashi: +91-01374-222271, 222222
Monal Tourist Home: +91-1374-222270  Website: www.monaluttarkashi.com
Hotel Shivananda: +91-01374 223 674
Geetanjali Resort: +91-098370 80427

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Gangotri

Gangotri, Uttarakhand – The most important of the ‘Char Dham Yatra’, this divine location is famous for the Gangotri temple

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The scenic town of Gangotri is located at an altitude of 3,048mts above sea level in the Uttarkashi district. With the holy Bhagirathi River flowing across Gangotri is one of the Char Dham of Uttarakhand. The highest and the most important temple of Goddess Ganga is located in this sacred location. The small town derives its name from the Gangotri temple. The present temple of Gangotri was built by Amar Singh Thapa, Gorkha General in the early 18th century. The scenic vistas of rugged terrains, gushing water of Bhagirathi River and snow covered peaks are really captivating. It is a highly esteemed pilgrimage of the Hindus. Gangotri remains opened from May and get closed on the day of Diwali festival. The temple remains closed during winters due to heavy snowfall.

Places to see at Gangotri: The centre-most attraction of Gangotri is the Gangotri temple. This apart there are also other tourist attractions in Gangotri. These include:

Gangotri Temple

Gangotri is the highest temple of Goddess Ganga and one of the four dhams of Uttarakhand state. Gangotri is situated at an altitude of 3,048mts above sea level. Gangotri offers scenic splendors of rugged terrains, gushing water of Bhagirathi River and snow clad peaks. The place holds great importance amongst Hindus. Gangotri remains opened from May and get closed on the day of Diwali festival.

Tapovan

You can proceed to Tapovan and Nandanvan after reaching Gaumukh Glacier. Astounding views of Shivling and other major peaks of the Garhwal Himalayas are distinctly visible from Tapovan.

Bhairon Ghati

Near the confluence of Jat Ganga and Bhagirathi River lies a scenic Bhairon Ghati. It is located 10kms from Gangotri. The temple of Bhairav Nath is surrounded by dense forest. Bhairon Temple can be reached after traveling by road from Lanka to Bhaironghati andby crossing the Jahanvi River on foot.

Submerged Shivling

A natural rock Shivling submerged under water is an attractive tourist spot of Gangotri. It can be easily seen when winters are on their way because the water level decreases during this period. According to myths and legends this was the place where Lord Shiva was sitting when he received Ganga in his matted locks.

Nearby attractions around Gangotri: While in Gangotri, you can also make excursions to places like:

Kedartal

Kedar Tal can be reached after a difficult trek of 14kms which starts from Gangotri. Kedar Tal holds crystal clear icy cold water with reflection of snow capped Himalayan peaks. The maximum elevation that you will encounter enroute Kedar Tal is shocking 4,912mts above sea level. The lake is perched at an elevation of 4,225mts above sea level with the majestic Thalaysagar Peak providing captivating scenery.

Gangnani

Situated 47kms before Gangotri, Gangnani is popular for its natural thermal springs. People take a dip in this natural hot water spring before heading towards Gangotri.

Harsil

It is one of the hidden jewels of Uttarakhand offering ample scope for nature and adventure lovers. Harsil is situated on the banks of Bhagirathi River at an elevation of 2,620mts above sea level. The distance from Gangotri to Harsil is 21kms. You can plan a short and easy trek to Sattal from Harsil.

Gaumukh Glacier

Gaumukh glacier is the source of Bhagirathi River which is also known as Ganga River before the confluence of Devprayag. Gaumukh Glacier is situated 18kms from Gangotri. ‘Gau‘ means Cow and ‘Mukh‘ means face hence the combined meaning of Gaumukh is cow’s face. If you carefully observe the glacier it will resemble as a cow’s face. Gaumukh is the second largest glacier of India, first one is Siachen.

Gaumukh is 30kms in length and approximately 3 to 4km in width. It is a source of the Bhagirathi River which is one of the most important tributary of the sacred Ganga River. One can reach Gaumukh by a trek of 18km. The trek to Gaumukh glacier is easy but it goes through a rocky surface. The trek goes through Bhojbasa offering splendors of nature throughout.

Submerged Shivling: There is a natural rock Shivling in Gangotri submerged under water which can be easily seen when winters are on their way as the water level decreases during that time. According to myths and legends this was the place where Lord Shiva sitting when he received Ganga in his matted locks.

There is a Tourist Bungalow at Bhojbasa, 14kms from Gangotri where lodging and other facilities are available. Gaumukh glacier is situated at an elevation of 3,892mts above sea level. You can encounter several majestic Himalayan peaks like Shivling, Thalay Sagar, Meru, Bhagirathi III etc., while trekking owards Gaumukh.

In recent times, the retreat of the glacier has quickened significantly. Major steps have been taken by the government of Uttarakhand towards this severe problem. Now only 100 persons can trek to Gaumukh each day.

Things to do in Gangotri: The trek lovers can organize trekking upto Tapovan via Gaumukh. Pay homage to Mata Ganga in the Gangotri temple. Go for an itinerary to the nearby locations in and around. Apart from this if you are just doing nothing take a stroll around this beautiful town.

Best time to visit Gangotri: The best time to visit the holy city of Gangotri is from April to June and September to November.

How to go ?

By Air

Nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is a domestic airport located at about 260 km away from city center. Taxi cabs are available from airport to Gangotri city. The airport operates daily flights to Delhi. Nearest International airport is Delhi, which is about 452 km away.

By Train

Rishikesh is the nearest railway station, which is about 250 km away. The station is well connected to many major cities in India. The cabs are available from Rishikesh to Gangotri.

By Road

Gangotri is well connected by state owned bus services. Many buses are available from Gangotri to Uttarakashi (97 km), Yamunotri (232 km), Mussoorie (250 km) and Tehri (167 km).

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Where to stay ?

You will find plenty of accommodation facilities in Gangotri. Some options are:

Tourist Rest House (GMVN): +91-013772-22221
Shivlinga Tourist Complex: +91-01374-223518, 222418, 222118  Website: www.shivlingauttarkashi.com
Motel Bhagirathi: +91-01377-2222233

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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patal-bhubaneswar

Patal Bhubaneshwar, Uttarakhand – The land of Lord Shiva, this sacred pilgrimage is also the residing place of almost all the Hindu Gods and Godesses

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One of the renowned and mysterious pilgrimage Patal Bhuvaneshwar is a popular tourist spot in the Kumaun district of Uttarakhand. This quaint pilgrimage is situated at an elevation of 1,350 mts above the sea level and is mainly dedicated to Lord Shiva. This limestone cave is only 13kms from Gangolighat in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand state. A long and narrow tunnel will take you upto the tunnel. Besides Lord Shiva the forms of Sheshnag, Kal Bhiarav, Ganesha and several other gods are found in Patal Bhuvaneshwar.

The cave is believed to be the abode of 33 crore Gods and Goddesses. Written in Skanda Purana Patal Bhubaneshwar was first discovered by the King Rituparna of Sun Dynasty in Treta yug, as is mentioned in. The great explorer Adi Shankaracharya visited this cave in 1191 AD. The priests of Patal Bhuvaneshwar from 20 generations are Bhandaris who live in nearby Bhuvneshwar village. This mystical cave is 160m long and 90 feet deep where limestone rock formations have created various impressive stalagmite figures. Almost every god that you would have heard of resides in this mystifying cave. It is also believed that you can worship at Patal Bhuvaneshwar is equivalent to worshipping at Char Dham of Uttarakhand. One can see the gateway of the great ages in Patal Bhuvaneshwar.

There are four entrances inside the cave named as ‘Randwar’, ‘Paapdwar’, ‘Dharamdwar’ and ‘Mokshadwar’. The Paapdwar was closed soon after the death of Ravana and the Randwar, literally, the road to war, was closed down after the great Mahabharata war. At present only two gateways are opened. You can see the tongue of Kali Bhairav, Aravati of Indra, hairs of Lord Shiva and several other wonders inside the caves of Patal Bhuvaneshwar.

Nearby attractions around Patal Bhubaneshwar: Enjoy excursion to the places like:

Dharamghar

Dharamghar is only 9 km from Patal Bhuvaneshwar. The famous disciple of Gandhiji, Sarla Behn spent her last days in this serene location. Here you can enjoy a stunning view of the Himalayan peaks.

Berinaag

The site offers the beautiful vision of the Himalayas and the tea gardens located here. The place yields high quality tea.

Things to do in Patal Bhubaneshwar: Make a visit to the revered temple of  Patal Bhubaneshwar. You can also enjoy the picturesque natural beauty of the place. The spot is ideal for trekking and hiking.

Best time to Visit Patal Bhuvaneshwar: The best time to visit Patal Bhuvaneshwar is from April to June and from Mid September to October end.

How to go ?

By Air

The closest airport is located Pantnagar and it is connected to Delhi by regular flights. Two main airlines operators offer services to the airport. This is a viable option for those who are interested in arriving by air. Up on arrival travelers can opt for taxis that are located outside

By Rail

The nearest Railhead is Kathgodam, 192 kms. with train connections from Delhi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Dehradun and Mathura.

By Road

Government buses are available from places such as Pithorgarh and Bageshwar to the town of Gangolihat. These state run buses are a common mode of transport and they are invariably crowded.

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Where to stay ?

There are a number accommodation options in Patal Bhubaneshwar.  Some options are:

Parwati Inn: + 91 5966 220325, 61 Website: www.parwatihotels.com
Tourist Rest House (KMVN): +91-8650002543
Frozen Woods Hospitality: 
+91-9953277415 Website: www.frozenwoods.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Rishikesh

Rishikesh, Uttarakhand – A serene pilgrimage town, 24km from Haridwar, where Holy Ganges River descends from the Himalayas to the plain

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Rishikesh is a small scenic town situated in the panoramic location where Holy Ganges River descends from the Himalayas to the plain. Rishikesh is also spelled Hrishikesh, Rushikesh or Hrushikesh. The site rests at the base of the Himalayas of the Garhwal region. It is the gateway to the upper Garhwal region and the starting point for the Char Dham pilgrimage (Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath). Rishikesh is an ideal location for not only the pilgrims but also for the adventure enthusiasts and meditation and yoga lovers.The town is also called the “Place of Sagas” and is 24 kms upstream from Haridwar. It is surrounded by magnificent hills on all the three sides. This esteemed location forms one of the holy cities in India. Rishikesh is a vegetarian town declared by law and a non-alcoholic town too. Rishikesh is the other name of Lord Vishnu. The meaning of the word is ‘Lord of the Senses’.

Places to see in Rishikesh: From Rishikesh you can go for sight seeing to places like:

Triveni Ghat:

The Triveni Ghat is a bathing Ghat where people take a dip in the holy water in the sacred Ganga River to wash the sins. It is believed that the three streams of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati are flowing together underground at this point. Pinda Shradha is also performed at Triveni Ghat.

Bharat Mandir 

This is the oldest temple of Rishikesh, located near the Jhanda Chowk. Rishi Rabhya did his penance at this holy spot and the place is devoted to Lord Vishnu. A spectacular sacred Shree Yanthra is placed at the inner canopy of the temple. Bharat Mandir celebrates colourful spring festival called ‘Basant Panchami’.

Rishikund

Rishikund literally means the sage’s pond. It is believed that the waters of the Yamuna drenched this pond on the request of Kubz saint. Shani mandir is also situated at Rishikund.

Laxman Jhula

Lakshman Jhula is the prime attraction of Rishikesh. This is 450 ft long hanging bridge on the river Ganga which was built in 1939. According to myths and legends Laksman, brother of Lord Rama crossed GangaRiver on a jute rope from this point. The 13 storied temple is located near Lakshman Jhula where the idols of several Gods and Goddesses are kept. The bridge gives a magnificent view of the Ganges, greeting you with the cool breeze from the river.

Ram Jhula

Ram Jhoola forms the connection between the Swargashram and Shivananda Ashram. There are a no. of ashrams located near Ram Jhoola. It is bigger than Laxman Jhula and is more beautiful.

Geeta Bhawan

Geeta Bhawan is one of the oldest temple complexes across the Laxman Jhula situated on the banks of sacred Ganges in Rishikesh. Gita Bhavan is dedicated as a Museum for puranic and mythological awareness for the common public. Building consists of a very large complex comprising discourse halls and over 1000 rooms available free of charge for the stay of devotees. For the convenience of the devotees, simple vegetarian food, kitchen and grocery items and Indian sweets are available at very moderate price.

Neelkanth Mahadev

The Neelkanth Mahadev temple is situated on the peak of the mountain beside the sacred Ganga River. According to myth this is the place where Lord Shiva drank the venom produced during ‘Sagar Manthan’ which turned his throat blue and was thus the place was named as Neelkanth. Neelkanth and Mahadev are names of Lord Shiva.

Tera Manzil Temple 

This is a famous temple in Rishikesh. It is also named as Trimbakeshwar Temple and this holy temple has 13 storeys with several idols of Hindu Gods and Goddesses in each storey.The temple is visible from Haridwar-Badrinath Highway.

Lakshman Temple

This is believed to be the place where Lakshman performed Tapa. As per the popular myth, Lord Rama along with his brother Lakshman made a swing bridge near this temple on their way to Himalayas. The main attraction in this temple is the Rishi Kund, where Lord Ram and Lakshman bathed in order to get rid of their sins of killing the demon Ravana.

Kunjapuri Devi Temple

Just 15 km away from Rishikesh, this temple is dedicated to one of the thirteen most important goddesses of Shivalik range. The temple is well-known among the travellers as it gives a beautiful view of the sunrise and the sunset from the greater Himalayan peaks.

Swargashram

This is one of the oldest ashrams in Rishikesh, and is founded Swami Vishudhanand was also known as the ‘Kali Kamli Wala’ (One with The Black Blanket). Today the Kali Kamliwala Kshetra is a mammoth organization embracing many activities.

Nearby attractions around Rishikesh: Rishikesh is also embellished by some nearby locations too. These include:

Phulchhatti

Only 10km from Lakshmanjhula Phulchhatti, is a secluded spot. A bend in the river offers a good spot for swimming, midst huge boulders that dominate the landscape.

Kaudiyala Rafters Camp 

Just 38 kms away, on the road to Badrinath shrine, in the midst of thickly wooded slopes at 480 metres, the Kaudiyala Rafters Camp has been promoted by GMVN for white-water rafting. Kaudiyala also offers some rock climbing sites.

Things to do in Rishikesh: Rishikesh offers a host of exciting and thrilling activities. Enjoy an adrenaline rush by river rafting down the Ganges. White water rafting is mainly something for which people come here for. Many camps dot the banks of the Ganga each offering you rafting as part of their package. In the evenings sit by a bonfire at your camp and watch the river gush by.This apart you can also enjoy rock climbing or bungee jumping from a height. In Rishikesh you can also enjoy practicing your yoga and meditation skills. Find peace and quiet in the tranquil surrounding of the many ashrams in Rishikesh.

Best time to visit Rishikesh:The best time to visit Rishikesh is between May and November

How to go ?

By Air

Nearest airport is Jollygrant which is 18 km away from Rishikesh and is situated in Dehradun. Jollygrant airport, Dehradun is connected to Delhi airport.

By Rail

Rishikesh railway station is linked to all cities in India.

By Road

Rishikesh is well connected to many cities in the region by buses. Private and public buses offer services from Rishikesh to Pauri (117 km), Haridwar, Dehradun and Kotdwar.

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Where to stay ?

Rishikesh offers a good variety of hotels suited to budget. Some options are:

Bharat Bhoomi (GMVN): +91-0135-2433002
HotelVasundharaPalace: 91+ 135 + 2442345 Website: www.hotelvasundharapalace.com
Hotel Ganga Kinare: +91 9015544000 Website: www.gangakinare.com
Hotel The Amaris: 1800-180-4162 (Toll Free) Website: www.theamaris.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Haridwar

Haridwar, Uttarakhand – This is a famous pilgrimage for Hindus, a haven for the nature lovers

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A haven for the nature lovers, Haridwar presents the true image of  Indian culture and civilization. Haridwar means ‘Gateway to Gods’. The devotees of Lord Shiva(Har) and followers of Lord Vishnu(Hari) pronounce this place Hardwar and Haridwar respectively. It marks the entrance to the Dev Bhoomi and Char Dham (Four main centres of pilgrimage in Uttarakhand) viz. Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. The pilgrims from all parts of India come to this pristine place and take a bath in the holy waters of River Ganga. It is the entry point of River Ganga from the mountains to the plain areas. The emerald forests and crystal clear water of river Ganges with mountains at the backdrop makes this sacred spot enormously beautiful.

Places to see in Haridwar: With extravagant natural beauty, this scenic location is gifted with some exclusive sight seeing spots. These include:

Har ki Pauri

Also called Brahmakund, this site is believed to be the place where divine nectar fell from the pitcher. This forms the chief attractions of Haridwar. This is the site for the famous Kumbh Mela which is celebrated in 12 years. Large number of devotees comes especially to Haridwar to take a holy dip in the Ganga River. At twilight, when evening aarti is performed the reflection of the golden diyas that keep floating on the river offers an enchanting view of the ghat to the visitors. This sacred Ghat was built by King Vikramaditya in memory of his brother Bhatrihari, who is said to have meditated on the banks of Ganga in Haridwar.

Chandi Devi Temple

Situated on the top of the Neel Parvat, Chandi Temple was built in 1929 by Suchat Singh, the King of Kashmir. The temple can be reached after a 3km trek from Chandi Ghat. The main statue of Chandi Devi Temple is said to be established by the Adi Shankaracharya in 8th century. Cable car has also been introduced upto Chandi Devi Temple.

Maya Devi Temple

According to the myth, it is here that the heart and navel of Goddess Sati fell when Lord Shiva was taking her corpse. Maya Devi Temple is regarded as one of the Siddhapeeth’s. This ancient temple is dedicated to Goddess Maya Devi, the Adhisthatri deity of Haridwar.

Mansa Devi Temple

The Mansa Devi temple rests on the top of the Bilwa Parwat and it is dedicated to Goddess Mansa Devi. The temple can be reached either by a ropeway that carries pilgrims to the temple or on foot. A statue of the Goddess here has three mouths and five arms, while the other one has eight arms. The temple affords bird’s eye view of Haridwar.

Sapta Rishi Ashram and Sapt Sarovar

This is believed the place of meditation  of the seven sages. Kashyapa, Vashisht, Atri, Vishwamitra, Jamadagi, Bharadwaja and Gautam were the seven rishis. Ganga split herself into seven streams to avoid any disturbance to their meditation.

Daksha Mahadev Temple

This ancient Daksha Mahadev Temple (Daksheswara Mahadev Temple) is located in the south Kankhal, a sacred town just 3km from Haridwar and has Lord Shiva as its residing deity. According to mythology, this temple is supposed to have been the site of a yagna conducted by Daksha.

Bhimgoda Tank

It is said that this tank was constructed by Bhima, one of the Pandava brother of the famous epic Mahabharata, while they were going to Himalayas through Haridwar.

Bharat Mata Mandir

5 km north of the center. Dedicated to Mother India, this is half temple, half nation building exercise, with seven floors stacked with deities, saints, and secular heroes of all Indian faiths.

Ma Anandamayee Ashram

Located at Kankhal, the samadhi of Shree Shree Ma Anandamayee (Anandamayi) is situated here and this is also the Head Office of the revered organisation.

Parad Shivling

Situated in Harihar Ashram, Kankhal. Parad Shivling (Mercury Shivling) weighing about 150 kg and Rudraksha tree are the main attractions here.

Ramanand Ashram 

Situated in shravan nath nagar of the town near railway station, this is the main ashram of Ramanand Sampraday in Haridwar. Mahant Bhagwan Das is the chief of this ashram.

Shantikunj

Shantikunj is the headquarter of famous spiritual and social organisation All World Gayatri Pariwar (AWGP) established by Pt Shriram Sharma Acharya. It is located at a distance of 6 Kilometers from Haridwar railway station towards Rishikesh/Dehradun on NH58. At the bank of the holy Ganges and between the Shivalik ranges of the Himalayas, its also a place of attraction for tourists as well as seekers of spiritual guidance.

Patanjali Yogpeeth (Trust)

Patanajli yogpeeth is situated on Haridwar – Delhi Highway. This is a yoga institution and research center of Swami Ramdev. Thousands of people come here for yoga and other purpose here. This is one of the best place in Haridwar to see

Sati Kund

Another well-known mythological heritage worth a visit is situated in the Kankhal. Legend has it that Sati immolated herself in this kund.

Rajaji National Park

The Park spans over an area of 820sqkms on the edge of the Doon Valley and is dotted with immense natural beauty. It is situated around 10kms from Haridwar. Rajaji National Park was established in 1996 and has over 23 species of mammals and 315 avifauna species. It is a safe haven for panther, bear, chital, elephant, tiger, sambar, wild boar, barking deer, python, monitor lizard etc. Elephant Safari is also available at Chilla and Dholkand.

Neelkanth Mahadev Temple

Thousands of devotees visit Neelkanth Mahadev every month throughout the year. It is situated on the summit of the mountain across the sacred Ganga River. According to mythology this is the place where Lord Shiva drank the venom produced during ‘Sagar Manthan’ which turned his throat blue and was thus the place was named as Neelkanth. Neelkanth and Mahadev are names of Lord Shiva. It is situated 66kms from Dehradun city.

Haridwar has several other beautifully made Ashrams and temples holding significance, such as Shanti Kunj, Jairam Ashram, Bhuma Niketan, Bharat Mata Mandir, Vaishnav Devi Temple, Radha Krishan temple, Shravan Nath Math, Pawan Dham, Doodhadari temple, Bilkeshwar Mahadev temple, Shahi Gurudwara, Parmarth Ashram, Prem Nagar Ashram, Ma Anand Mai Ashram etc. All of these places are worth seeing.

Nearby attractions around Haridwar: You can also make excursions to places like:

Piran Kailer

23 km from Haridwar towards its southern part on the outskirts of Roorkee town, Piran Kalier is a place that every tourist in Haridwar must visit. It is actually the ‘dargah’ of Hazrat Makhdum Allauddin Ali Ahamed ‘Sabir’. This place is famous for its sacred aura and mystical powers. It is visited with due regard by Hindus and Muslims alike. During the Rabeeull month of the Islamic calendar, Urs, a colorful festival, is celebrated here from the first day of sighting the moon to the sixteenth day.

Deoprayag 

Having a distance of 95 km approximately, from Haridwar, Deoprayag is the confluence point of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers, with a chain of vast tributaries, and forming Ganges. It is only from Deoprayag that the sacred river starts being called Ganga. At a height of 2700 feet above sea level, it is a sacred pilgrimage centre and is considered the second most divine confluence centre in India, next only to Prayag. One of the famous temples here is the Raghunath Temple, which is considered as one of the 108 most important temples in India.

Kanva Rishi Ashram

One of the popular excursions from Haridwar, the Kanva Rishi Ashram, is located at a distance of approximately 42 km. It is built on the banks of river Malini, on the way to Kotdwar. The path to this ashram is along a dense forest, providing an exciting experience for the adventure-lovers. This is a serene place, in the lap of nature, away from the hush-bush of cities.

Things to do in Haridwar: Do take a dip in the pure waters of river Ganga at Har Ki Pauri Ghat. Enjoy the tasty street food in Haridwar. This divine city is populated with temples worth a visit to pay homage. Be a part of the evening arti at Har ki Pauri. Shop the knick-knacks here including religious beads, prayer items, clothing, bangles, etc. You can be a part of the famous Kumbha Mela held once in 3 years, for a whole month from January to February.

Best time to visit Haridwar: Haridwar can be visited throughout the year. However the best time to visit Haridwar depends on your purpose to visit the place. A number of popular festivals like Ram Navami, Buddha Purnima and Karthika Purnima are held mostly in the months of March, April, May and November. The sacred Kumbha mela attracting thousands of devotees from all of India are held in every 3 years.

How to go ?

By Air

Nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is a domestic airport located at about just 20 km away from city center. Taxi cabs are available from airport to Haridwar city. The airport operates daily flights to Delhi. Nearest International airport is Delhi, which is about 200 km away. Delhi airport is well connected to most of the domestic airports and foreign airports.

By Train

Haridwar railway station is a major station well connected to all major cities in India. Tourists can take trains from Delhi (Dehradun Shatabdi), Kolkata (Doon Exp), Mumbai (Dehradun Exp) and Chennai (Ddn Mas Exp), Bhopal (Hw Ltt Ac Sf) along with various other cities in the country.

By Bus

Haridwar is well connected by tourist bus services and state owned bus services. All cities in and around Haridwar are connected by state buses. Many deluxe buses are available at a regular interval from Delhi to Haridwar. Buses are also available from Jaipur (Rs 300), Jodhpur (Rs 500), Dehradun (Rs 250), Shimla (Rs 1,000) and many other cities located close to it.

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Where to stay ?

Haridwar is a very popular tourist destination dotted with numerous hotels and resorts. Some options are:

Rahi Motel (GMVN): +91-0133-4226430, 4228686
Alpana Hotel: +91-0133-4226430, 4228686, 4224567 Website: www.alpanahotels.com
The Haveli Hari Ganga: +91-011- 4652 0000  Website: www.havelihariganga.com
Hotel Mansarover International:+91-01334-226501 , 266014 Website: www.hotelmansaroverinternational.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Chamba

Chamba, Himachal Pradesh – The land of Lord Shiva, this pristine village is blessed with alluring natural beauty

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The land of lord Shiva, Chamba is where you will find nature in its pristine forms. The place derives its name from its Princess Chamba. Though small in size, Chamba is a captivating tourist destination of Himachal Pradesh, renowned for its spell-binding natural beauty. The place, located in the midst of picturesque and lush valleys, and is visited by tourist throughout the year. This sub-Himalayan range of mountains, filled with diverse vegetation, makes the visitors fall in love with the place. Its pleasant climate adds to its popularity as a tourist destination in  India.

Places to see in Chamba: The sightseeing in Chamba include destinations like:

Chamunda Devi Temple

The ancient temple of Chamunda Mata is dedicated to Goddess Chamunda, one of the incarnations of Goddess Durga. Just behind the main temple, is a small shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. Chamunda Devi Temple situated on a hilltop and offers panoramic views of the entire Chamba, the mighty River Ravi as well as the surrounding villages and countryside.

Katasan Devi Temple

Katasan Devi Temple is situated near Baira Siul Project, approximately 30 km from Chamba valley. One of the main reasons for the popularity of the temple comprises of its calm, peaceful and serene locales that offer beautiful views of the valley.

Champavati Temple 

Champavati Temple, as the name suggests, is dedicated to Goddess Champavati, the patron deity of Chamba. It is said that the temple was constructed by the father of the Goddess, King Sahil Verman. Built as per the Shikhara style of architecture, it boasts of magnificent stone carvings and an amazing wheel roof.

Vajreshwari Temple

One of the most revered shrines in Chamba, Vajreshwari Temple is dedicated to Devi Vajreshwari, the Goddess of Lightening. It has also been built as per the Shikhara style of architecture. Since there are no historical records about the foundation of the temple, it is very difficult to ascertain the year of its construction. However, it is believed that Vajreshwari Temple is more than 1000 years old.

Chowgan

A sprawling grassland and boulevard in the heart of the city, Chowgan is the hub of local trade. It is also the starting point of the procession that forms a part of the Minjar Fair. Even the weeklong celebrations of the annual fair take place here only. During that time, the boulevard witnesses a host of cultural events, shows, programs and sport activities.

Bhuri Singh Museum

Bhuri Singh Museum was inaugurated on 14th September 1908, during the reign of Raja Bhuri Singh. Infact, the museum has been named after the king only. Situated close to Chaugan town of Chamba, it was initially started with the paintings donated by Raja Bhuri Singh.

Rang Mahal

Built by Raja Umed Singh in the mid-18th century, Rang Mahal is also known as the ‘Painted Palace’. It is situated at Chamba and was meant to serve as the residence of the royal women.

Things to do in Chamba: Sight seeing is the major activity in Chamba. If you visit in the month of July then Minjar Fair which is a famous carnival in Chamba is worth enjoying.

Best time to visit Chamba: The best time to visit Chamba is between April and October.

How to go ?

By Air

The closest airports both 245 kms away are Jammu and Amritsar from where buses, taxis and tourist vehicles are available.

By Rail

The nearest railhead at Pathankot is 120 kms away. From here again you can get taxis and buses up to Chamba.

By Road

Chamba is approximately 613 km from Delhi. From Delhi take NH 1 towards Jalandar via Ambala. Here turn off onto NH 1A towards Pathankot. Take the SH to Chamba via Banikhet.

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Where to stay ?

Here you will find ample accommodation options. Given below are some information.

The Iravati: +91-01899 – 222671, 9418122628
Hotel Aroma Palace: +91-1899-225577  Website: www.hotelaromapalacechamba.com
The Champak: +9101899- 222774

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Dharamshala

Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh – An internationally famed holy town with some mesmerizing scenic spots

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With the snow covered Dhauladhar ranges forming the background, Dharamshala is a magnificent hill station. This exotic hill station is hemmed with oak, pine and deodhar forests with a nearby snowline. Dharamsala is also the headquarter of the Kangra district. The numerous streams and the cool crispy air enhance the beauty. It is divided into two equal parts. The lower part comprises of civil offices and business establishments and also courts. Kotwali bazar and Upper Dharamshala consists of the places with names bearing witness to its history like McLeod Ganj and Forsythe Ganj. The place is also a temporary head-quarter of “His Holiness”, the Dalai Lama and is risen to the international holy fame “The Little Lhasa in India”.

Places to see in Dharamshala: At this sacred town there are various sight seeing locations that is worth a visit. These include:

Bhagsunag Falls

Just a little far from the town of Dharamshala, this smoky waterfall is worth a visit. An old temple is also located is the surrounding.

Dal lake

The Dal lake is another spectacular spot just 10kms from Dharamshala, dotted with Deodar and Fir trees.

McLeod Ganj

Named as little Lhasa, McLeod Ganj is famous for being the residence of His Holiness Dalai Lama rather than anything else. This is a little township having the groups of monasteries together with the Buddha Statues. It is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Dharamsala.

Jwalamukhi Temple

Just two hours from Dharamshala is the famous Jwalamukhi Temple, dedicated to the Goddess of Light. In the temple there is as such no idol to worship. A constantly burning blue flame, emanating from inside the rocks, is what is worshipped. This place is one of the 51 Sati piths.

St. John’sChurch

While driving from McLeod Ganj to Forsythe Ganj, St. John’sChurch comes in between. This church also houses the tomb of Lord Elgin one of the Viceroys of British India.

Chamunda Devi

15 km from Dharamshala is the famous temple of goddess Chamunda Devi (Chamunda Nandikeshwar Dham). At the back of the temple is a cave-like scoop where a stone “Lingam” under a boulder represents Nandikeshwar (Shiva). The temple complex is an enchanting spot with glorious view of Dhauladhar, the Baner Khad and Dadh. A vast running water pool houses the statues of Lord Shiva and Saraswati. A trek of about 16 km up in the Dhauladhar ranges is the ancient temple of Aadi Himani Chamunda.

Dharamkot

Situated on the crest of hill 11km from Dharamshala & 2 km from Mcleodganj, the village Dharamkot is a picnic spot affords a panoramic view of the Kangra valley, Pong Dam lake and Dhauladhar ranges. Dharamkot village is a good base for trekkers undertaking short & long treks.

Chintpurni Temple

This Shakti-temple is located on Dharamshala-Hoshiarpur road on  a ridge. Thousands of devotees visit this temple. In addition to many religious festivals, the main fair is held during the 10 days of “Shukalpaksh” in August. There is a Yatri Niwas which is managed by Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation.

Kunal Pathri

A level 3km walk from Kotwali Bazar leads upto the rock temple of the local goddess Durga. In the temple there is stone which remains always wet. According to local belief, the moment it starts drying, it rains. The road to Kunal Pathri passes through forests and tea gardens, occasionally allowing glimpses of wildlife ranging from rabbit to agile leopards.

Kareri Lake

Kareri Lake is situated northwest of McLeodganj and is at the foot of the Minkiani Pass. This pass is one of the 14 passes in the Dhauladhar Range in the Western Himalayas. Apart from the lake’s natural beauty, the trek itself goes through beautiful forests, rural villages, and finishes at a remote temple on the banks of Kareri Lake. Kareri Lake is one of the popular locations among adventure enthusiasts.

Triund Hill

Triund Hill is located at a height of about 2842 meters above sea level and with a distance of about 9 km from McLeodganj and 17km from Dharamsala. Located in the foothills of Dhauladhar Himalayan ranges, the hill is now a very popular trekking trail and is a major attraction for hikers. The scenic beauty and the panoramic view of the Valley and Dhauldhar range is breathtaking.

Nearby places to visit from Dharamshala: Dharamshala is also a good base to visit some nearby destinations like:

Kangra

Just 17 km from Dharamshala, the Kangra valley is one of the most picturesque valleys of lower Himalayas. The valley, sheltered by the sublime Dhauladhar range, is green and luxuriant. It provides a tremendous contrast in nature of places to be visited. Dharamshala is full of Buddhist air whereas ancient Hindu Temples like Bajreshwari Devi, Chamunda Devi, Baijnath Shiv temple and Jwala Devi ji dot the country side.

Trilokpur

It is situated at a distance of 41 kms from Dharamshala and can be approached by road the natural cave temple of Trilokpur contains a stalactite and stalagamite is dedicated to Shiva. High on the ridge of the cave are ruins of a palace and baradari (audience hall) of Lehna Singh Majitha, Governor of Kangra hills during the Sikh rule.

Things to do at Dharamshala: Dharamshala offers some interesting activities for the tourists with trekking, rock climbing and also angling. The 20 km stretch of the river Beas between Nadaun and Pong Dam offers ample opportunities in angling for Mahaseer. For shopping the local handicrafts make a visit to the Kotwali Bazar. The Tibetan handicrafts and carpets are available at Mcleodganj.

Best time to visit Dharamshala: The ideal time to visit here is from January to June and September to December.

How to go ?

By Air

Gaggal airport (also known as Dharamsala airport) in Kangra valley is the nearest airport. The airport is 15 km away from Dharamsala. This airport connects domestic flights to Delhi. International travellers have to connect through Delhi Airport, which is about 520 km away from Dharamsala. DelhiAirport is connected to all major cities in India and abroad.

By Train

Nearest railway station is Kangra Mandir at a distance of 22 km from Dharamsala. All trains won’t stop here. The major rail junction is Pathankot, which is about 85 km away from Dharamsala. Pathakot is well connected to all major cities in India.

By Road

Regular bus services are available in Dharamsala connecting the nearby cities. Direct private luxury buses are available from Delhi (520 km). The private cars are also available on hire from here.

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Where to stay ?

The location comprises of a good number of decent accommodation facilities suited to budget. Some options are:

The Dhauladhar (HPTDC): +91-01892- 224926, 224927
The Kashmir House (HPTDC): +9101892 – 222977
The Club House (HPTDC): +9101892- 220834
The Bhagsu (HPTDC): +9101892-221091

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Sarahan

Sarahan, Himachal Pradesh – Famous for Bhimakali temple, a place of pilgrimage, a heaven for nature lovers

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Just halfway up a high mountain side with flowering pine trees and stately Oaks Sarahan is a God’s grace. The town is known as the gateway of Kinnaur. Here dozens of small streams rush past. The fields and orchards that surround the small villages with their slate roofed houses, compose pictures of pastoral perfection. Above Sarahan,  many deodar trees rides the slopes and higher still, encircling the Bashal peak, are trees of smooth birch and variety of wild flowers and rare medicinal herbs. This sparsely populated tract is steeped in ancient legends and here is the famous Bhimakali temple regarded as one of the 51 sacred Shaktipeeths. The temple’s unusual architecture and wealth of carvings have made it a glittering example of what is  called the Indo-Tibetan style. Deep down flows the river Sutlej and across lies the snow-clad Shrikhand peak. Saharan is the base for numerous treks and is the gateway to Kinnaur. It is a place of pilgrimage, a heaven for nature lovers and the temple complex attracts a variety of admirers.

Places to see at Sarahan: Sarahan is a good base to explore the places like:

Bhimakali Temple Complex 

This historical temple is a multi storied structured building, a fusion of Hindu and Buddhist architecture. The tall tower like structure and unusual roof of the temple dominate the complex. The centuries old temple is now locked and in the newly built temple, the goddess Bhimakali is portrayed as a maiden and as a woman. This temple complex includes other temples such as Narsingh shrine of Bhairon and Lord Raghunath.

Bird Park

Near the temple complex is a pheasant breeding centre. It also houses the State bird Monal which is of a great attraction.

Bhaba Valley 

50 km from Sarahan, a beautiful valley along Bhaba river. Link road to valley originates at Wangtu. It has a beautiful landscape, reservoir lake, alpine meadows and is best famous for trek route to Pin Valley in Spiti.

Things to do at Sarahan: Sarahan is abase for numerous treks. It is a place of pilgrimage, a heaven for nature lovers. You may just sit idle in your hotel’s balcony and take the pleasure of the excellent beauty of the place.

Best time to visit Sarahan: The ideal season to visit Sarahan and its adjoining areas is between April and June.

How to go ?

From Shimla, Sarahan is at a distance of 175-kms. So after reaching Shimla one has to then take a bus or a private taxi to go to Sarahan.

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Where to stay ?

The place has adequate accommodation facility. Some options are:

The Shrikhand (HPTDC): +91-01782 – 274234
Hotel Snowview :+91-0177-2802676, 77  Website: www.shyamalahotels.com
Green Hotels & Resorts: +91- 9817072147, 9816710301 Website: www.greenhotelsarahan.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Rampur

Rampur, Himachal Pradesh – This small town with its prehistoric heritage is famous for the Lavi fair, the biggest fair in North India

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One of the biggest commercial centres of Himachal Pradesh, Rampur is located at a distance of 135 km from Shimla. It was once the capital of the princely State of Bushahar. Rampur lies on the bank of river Sutlej. The town was once a major center on the old trade route to Kinnaur, Tibet, Ladakh and China. Lavi Fair, which is supposed to be one of the biggest fairs of North India, is the main attraction of Rampur. This fair is held every year during the second week of November. The fair is quite popular among the people in Shimla and is held for three days. The fair is abuzz with life and activities as it is a major crowd puller. The fair is commercial in nature as tradesmen and craftsmen come from all over Shimla to buy, sell and exchange articles like dry fruits, shawls, blankets, crop produce, handicraft items, fruits, etc. Some people even trade in livestock like sheep, goats, cows and horses.

Places to see at Rampur: At Rampur, you can go for sight seeing to places like:

Rampur Town (924m) 

This historic town is an abode of many sight-seeing places. Its old Hindu and Buddhist shrines include the Ragunath Temple, the Ayodhya Temple, the Narsingh Temple and the Dumgir Budh Temple which has a large prayer wheel and holds important scriptures. With an interesting colonial and traditional style, the Padam Palace is one of Rampur’s major attractions.

Dutt Nagar (970m)

This ancient village on the left bank of Sutlej is named from the ancient temple of god Dattreya.

Nirath (950m)

18 km, famous for ancient and unique Sun Temple built in nagara style is one of the two temples in India dedicated to Lord Suryanarayan.

Nearby attractions from Rampur: Being a getaway spot itself, Rampur also has nearby attractions apart from the sight seeing spots. These include:

Chanshal pass

Chanshal pass is located at Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh. Also known as Chanshal valley, Chanshal Pass links Dodra Kwar and Rohru (Chirgaon). The Pass rests on the Chanshal Peak , the highest peak in the Shimla district. Chanshal pass open from May to October and it is covered with snow for the rest of the year. Chanshal pass  is beautiful as one get views of hills covered with snow. It is a very good place to hang out if one enjoy adventures and ready to invest time in travelling to see the beauty.

Khadrala

Khadrala is a small hill station just few km from Rampur. It is an awesome place to stay if you are going on a vacation to Shimla. Beautiful amenities and surroundings make it a heaven.

Things to do in Rampur: It is among the best shopping hubs of Himachal Pradesh and one can get just about any exotic item over here. You can pick up handicraft items like wooden carvings and clay sculptures. The most popular items are the handspun woolen shawls and rugs that are warm even in the coldest weather.

Best time to visit Rampur: March to June and September to November is the ideal time to visit Rampur.

How to go ?

Daily one bus leave for Rampur from Manali. You can also hire private cars from Manali or Kullu to reach Rampur.

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Where to stay ?

Rampur has plenty of accommodation options. Some are:

The Bushehar Regency (HPTDC) : +91-01782 – 234103
The Little Chef: +91-01782-233944  Website: www.thelittlecheframpur.com
Hotel River Rock: +91-94180-33251 Website: www.hotelriverrock.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Old Goa

Old Goa – Once the capital of Goa, this heritage spot strongly reflects the glorious Portuguese era and architectural history

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Old Goa was a thriving city even before the Portuguese arrived in 1510. The place was the capital of the Bahmani Sultan Adil Shah. After the Portuguese conquest, Old Goa became a bustling metro.  The place glittered with glamour at that time. As its reputation grew, the sparkling city attracted visitors from all over Europe. The city also grew rapidly in size and splendour. It was in the 18th century that the outbreaks of the epidemic plague led to its abandonment. The remains of the city is declared by the UNESCO as the World Heritage Site. It is approximately 10 kilometres east of the state capital Panjim.

Places to see in Old Goa: The sight seeing destinations of Old Goa consists of mainly Churches, chapels, and cathedrals that are an architectural delight and are considered as the largest in Asia. These include:

Chapel of St Cajetan

In 1510, the Portuguese mariner Alfonso de Albuquerque conquered Goa. The event was commemorated with the building of the Arch of the Viceroys near the Chapel of St Cajetan, which was modelled on St Peter’s basilica in Rome. This architectural style which is a reminiscent of Lisbon, gives Old Goa a grand, Portuguese feel. Today, the Procession of All Saints on the fifth Monday in Lent is the only such procession besides the one in Rome.

Se Cathedral

Lying south west of St Cajetan’s this church is larger than any church in Portugal and is the largest church in Asia. It has 14 altars, an 80m long aisle, and five bells including the Golden Bell, said to be one of the best in the world. The church is dedicated to St. Catharine.

Church of St. Francis of Assisi

Apart from the portrait of Jesus and St. Francis there are also portraits of Peter and Paul. The Archaeological Museum and Portrait Gallery function in an abandoned convent in the compound. The portrait gallery is decorated with the pictures of Portuguese rulers. The museum is open daily except Friday, from 10am to 5 pm.

Basilica of Bom Jesus

Close to the convent of St Francis, the late 16th century Basilica of Bom Jesus with its richly covered altars is famous throughout the Catholic world. This cathedral is the venue for a pilgrimage for both Christians and Hindus who come to pay homage to the embalmed mortal remains of Goa’s most famous saint, St. Francis Xavier, enshrined in a silver casket since 1553.

Convent of St. Monica

St. Monica Church rests upon the Holy Hill or the Monte Santo of Old Goa, opposite to the ruins of St. Augustine Church. It houses a huge Nunnery and is Goa’s only convent for nuns. It was given the status of a Church only in 1968, although built in 1606. The Museum of Christian Art is just adjacent to it and contains a collection of icons and artefacts used in rituals in religious ceremonies. Most of the sculptures and paintings were actually done by local Hindu artists.

Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount

The Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount is situated on top of the hill behind the St. Cajetan Church. The chapel was built in 1510 by Alfonso de Albuquerque after his victory over the Goan Muslim ruler Yusuf Shah and was renovated in 2001. The Chapel is brightly white washed and is bypassed by many tourists. The structure faces west which provides beautiful views from Divar and Chorao islands, the Mandovi River and the surrounding forested hills, especially during sunset. It also offers the overview of Old Goa where in 1510 Sultan Adil Shah’s placed his artillery to defend the city from the Portuguese assault.

St Augustine tower

The St Augustine tower in Old Goa is one of the most spectacular of monument. This highly visible landmark, a 46m-high tower served as a dome and formed part of the front of a magnificent Church. On entering the church, the visitor would have a glimpse of the grand re table of the high altar, with its large gilt tabernacle sheltered within an arch, through a screen of arched piers. Vestiges of most of these piers were visible until recently; they supported a spacious choir which could have accommodated a large number of Augustinian monks. The Tower and Church were built in 1602 by the Augustinian friars who arrived in Goa in 1587. The church fell into neglect and the vault collapsed in 1842. The church’s demise began with the collapse of this vault. The body of the church was soon destroyed, but the facade remained intact. The tower’s huge bell was moved in 1871 to the Church of our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Panjim, where it remains and can be seen and heard today. In 1931, the facade and half the tower fell down, followed by more sections in 1938 leaving only half the tower that is seen and visited by thousands of tourists today. This remnant, the renowned St. Augustine’s tower is all that remains of what was once one of the largest buildings in Goa — The Augustinian Monastery.

Nearby attractions of Old Goa: Being a very small state, Goa has no such excursion spots. One part is Old Goa and the other is “Nova Goa” or New Goa. Here you can easily visit any destination from any place and the distance covered and time taken is not much.

Things to do in Old Goa: Sightseeing in Old Goa is all about visiting its various churches, chapels, and cathedrals that are an architectural delight and are considered as the largest in Asia.

Best time to visit Old Goa: The best time to visit Old Goa is between late October and early April. However the place has a maritime climate which makes it accessible almost the entire year.

How to go ?

By Air

Goa has an international airport at Dabolim, 29 km from the capital, Panaji. The regular domestic connections are from Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kochi and Chennai. From the airport to your hotel or to any of the towns, you can hire a cab or a metered taxi. Passengers travelling from Kolkata have to halt at Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport, Mumbai as there are no direct flights available from Kolkata to Goa.

By Train

The two main railway stations are Margao (Madgaon) and Vasco da Gama. The major connections are to Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Rajkot and Thiruvananthapuram. From other places in the north, east and southeast you can travel to Londa Junction and then transfer to a connecting train to Margao/Vasco da Gama.

By Road

Old Goa is 9 km from Panaji; the capital city is linked by road to Mumbai, Bangalore, Belgaum,  Kolhapur, Pune , Mysore and many other cities of the neighbouring states. Goa also has three national highways- NH – 4A, NH -17 and NH -17A. Buses run frequently from Panaji’s Kadamba bus terminal to various locations of Old Goa. One can also hire auto rickshaws and taxis, which are costlier but more convenient.

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Where to stay ?

There are a large no. of accommodation options in Old Goa. These are:

Bambolim Beach Resort: +91-0832- 2458242, 2458247  Website: www.bambolimbeachresort.com
Old Goa Residency: +91-0832-2285327, 2285013
Ginger Hotel:  +91-0 832- 664 3333  Website: www.gingerhotels.com
Hotel Ameya: +91-0832 -222 6133

Travel Tips: It is best to visit the place on foot, since there is so much of history to seep in. Local guides, some approved by the tourism department of Goa, are available.

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Somnath-Temple

Somnath, Gujarat – One of the very ancient temples of India and stands as a famous landmark in the Indian history

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Somnath Temple is one of the very ancient temples of India located in Gujarat and stands as a famous landmark in the Indian history. Somnath Temple is located about 79 kilometers from Junagadh in the Prabhas Kshetra near Veraval and the most legendary temples of the western coast of India. Somnath Temple is the ideal sacred place of the Hindus that survived the ravages of time. Study of history reveals that the Somnath Temple was invaded by the different conquerors who came to India whereby some looted its wealth and others destroyed some parts of it. Many legends are attached to the Somnath Temple regarding its origin and existence.

The other names of this famous Somnath Temple are Deo Pattan, Prabhas Pattan, or Somnath Pattan. In the past, the Somnath Temple was known as the treasure trove of wealth and goodies, that were looted away by Muslim rulers. The Somnath Temple is an ideal example of the ancient Indian temple architecture. The Somnath Temple is home to one of the twelve ‘Jyotirlingas’, which is considered to be the most sacred lingas in the Hindu pantheon.

It was believed that the Somnath Temple or Somnath Pattan was popular even in the ancient times. Revenues were collected from 10,000 villages to maintain the Somnath Temple. The temple was visited by the people from all parts of the country even in the ancient times.

The Somnath Temple is known as the eternal shrine whose glory and fame are legendary. It is believed that Somraj, the moon god, built the Somnath Temple or the Somnath Pattan out of gold. It was rebuilt by Ravana in silver. Again Lord Krishna, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu built it in wood. Further in the 10th century it was rebuilt in stone by King Bhimdev Solanki.

Places to see at Somnath: The site serves as a base for a number of religious places. These include:

Somnath Temple 

The first among the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of the god Shiva, the Somnath Temple is located in the western coast of Gujarat. The temple stands at the shore of the Arabian ocean on the western corner of Indian subcontinent in Gujarat State. This is one of the oldest hindu pilgrimage and finds its reference in the ancient texts like Skandpuran, Shreemad Bhagavat, Shivpuran etc. The  shore  temple of Somnath is  believed  to  have  been  built  in  4  phases-in  gold  by  Lord Soma,  in  silver  by  Ravi,  in wood  by  lord  Krishna  and  in  stone  by  King Bhimadeva. The temple has to withstand the six-repeated attacks by the Muslim invaders. The very existence of this temple is symbol of reconstructive spirit and cultural unity of our society.The seventh existing temple is built in the Kailas Mahameru Prasad style. The Iron man of India Sardar Shri Vallabhbhai Patel is the pioneer of the existing temple. The temple consists of Garbhgruh, Sabhamandap and Nrityamandap with a 150 feet high Shikhar. The Kalash at the top of the Shikhar weighs 10 tons and the Dhwajdand is 27 feet tall and 1 foot in circumference.

Rudresvara Temple

Rudreshvara Temple is a ruined temple located near the Somnath temple. This temple dates from the same time as the SomnathTemple and was laid out in a similar fashion. The sculptures on the walls and doorways give an indication of what the SomnathTemple was like.

Prabas Pata Museum

The Prabas Pata Museum is strikingly laid out in courtyard centered rooms and contains interesting remains of the previous temples, with lots of beautiful fragments, including an elaborate 11th century ceiling.

Bhalka Tirth

Bhalka Tirth is situated halfway between the Veraval and Somnath. At this place, the Lord Krishna was mistaken for a deer and wounded by an arrow. The legendary spot is at the confluence of the three rivers. This place is entered through the small Sangam (confluence gate), known as the Nana. North of this sacred spot is the Suraj Mandir or Sun Temple. This ancient temple was destroyed by the Mahmud of Ghazni. The temple, with a lane of lions with elephant trunks, probably dates from the same time as the Somnath temple.

Treeveni Sangam Snanghat

The holy confluence of three river Hiran, Kapila and Saraswati and their sangam with ocean is very sacred moksha tirtha for Hindus. The bathing facilities are being renovated by Shree Somnath Trust with the assistance of State Government in the fond memory of Shree Morarjibhai Desai, the Ex-Prime Minister and Chairman of Shree Somnath Trust.

Nearby attractions from Somnath: From here you can make excursions to places like:

Shardapith Math

Located within the premises of the Dwarka Temple, Sharda Matha or Peetha (religious seat) is the first amongst the four cardinal mathas. It is also known as the Kalika Matha, and as per the tradition initiated by Adi Shankara, is in charge of the Sama Veda. The wall paintings illustrate incidents from the life of Shankaracharya, while carvings on the inner surface of the dome depict Shiva in various stances. It has the temples of Shardamba and Chandramaulishwer Mahadev nearby. The Matha also runs an educational society, an arts college and a Sanskrit Academy which prepares scholars for doctorates in Sanskrit and Indology.

Hinglaj mataji Mandir

Hinglaj mataji mandir is situated in Hinglajpura village. nearest Mehsana district,Gujarat. This Teerath is famous and old in human history. The devotees from all part of the world used to come for Hinglaj Mataji, even the Hindu’s Ram Avatar.Great Saint Guru Gorakh Nath,  Great Saint Guru Nanak Sahib, Dada Mekhan, Avtar of Laxman, and other great Saints, Rishes and Hindu scholars paid visits to Hinglaj Teerath Hinglajpura. People that experience possessions by the goddess Hinglaj maa are said to sprinkle vermilion (red powder) from their hands. That is believed to be the miracle of Maa Hinglaj. They say that she cures all diseases and relieves the distressed. Hinglaj Mataji, is not very well known of or herd about because of her temple being situated in Hinglajpura, mehsana, gujarat. she has helped many devotees overcome challenges and follow the path of righteousness. There are many myths of Hinglaj Mataji; however one seems most interesting to her personality. it is beautiful temple, nearest my village gambhu, also maguna, motap,   bodla, devinapura, laljinagar, deloli etc.

Lord Krishna charan Paduka

Shri Somnath is Harihar teerth. On one side there’s Shiv Jyotirlinga, and on the other side, just some distance away there’s a place from where Shri Krishna commenced his journey to Golokdham( a place of Shri Krishna’s disappearance, or a place from where Shri Krishna took departure). Shri Krishna’s disappearance took place on the bank of river Hiran in Somnath on Chitra Sud Ekam day in 3102 B.C. Shri Krishna’s Mandir and Charan Paduka(foot print) is even today present at this place. Shri Balramji also converted into Shesh Naag with Shri Krishna at this place only. There’s Dauji ni gufa(cave) and symbol of Shesh Naag present at this place. A day of Shri Krishn’a departer to Golok Dham journey will be marked on Chaitra Sud Ekam ( 4th March) this year.

Sun Temple

The Sun Temple, Modhera is located at Modhera in Gujarat. It is a temple dedicated to the Hindu Sun-God, Surya and situated on the bank of the river Pushpavati. It was built in 1026 AD by King Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty. In the present times, prayers are not offered in this temple. The Sun temple is of unique architectural style and comprises of three separate, axially aligned and integrated elements: Surya Kund, Sabha Mandap and Guda Mandap.

Things to do at Somnath: In this holy land you will enjoy a feeling of ecstasy as if you are nearer to God. Pay homage to the different temples here.

Best time to visit Somnath: The best time for visiting the place is from October to March.

How to go ?

By Air

Nearest airport to Somnath is Koshed (55 km) and Diu (90 km), but this airport is connected to Mumbai only. Taxi fare from Diu to Somnath is about Rs 2000. International travelers have to get connecting flights from Ahmedabad or Mumbai international airport, which is at a distance of 400 km and 887 km respectively from Somnath. Both Ahmedabad and Mumbai are well linked with all major cities in India and many cities in abroad.

By Train

Veraval in Konkan line is the nearest railhead, which is only just 5 km away and is connect to cities like Mumbai (Vrl Bct Pass Ex), Ahmedabad (Somnath Express) and Vadodra (Mum Rajdhani). Direct trains are not available from Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore. You have to Ahmedabad first and then board Somnath Express from there.

By Road

State transport buses and private luxury coaches connect Somnath to various cities in Gujarat and outside.

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Where to stay ?

 The accommodation facilities here are adequate. Some options are:

Hotel Shiv Sadan: +91-02876-245185,  6210000  Website: www.hotelinsomnath.blogspot.in
Hotel Shri Hari : +91-02876 – 232155  Website: www.hotelshreeharisomnath.com
Hotel Ambar, “The Comfort Hotel”: + 91-0 2876- 231358  Website: www.hotelambar.in

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Dwarka

Dwarka, Gujarat – The land of Lord Krishna, famous for the Dwarkadish temple

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An important Hindu pilgrimage city Dwarka, is also known as the Kingdom of Lord Krishna. Being one of the four major pilgrim places for Hindus, the city is a part of the “Char Dham” Yatra. Many tourists and devotees visit this city throughout the year.

Places to See in Dwarka: The city of Dwarka is famous mainly for its temples as the place is of mythological significance. Some of the popular tourist attractions in Dwarka are:

Somnath Temple

The Somnath Temple represents one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva and refers to the protector of Moon God. The temple is situated in Prabhas Kshetra near Veraval. The temple has been destroyed and reconstructed six times and thus, it is known as ‘The Shrine Eternal’.

Dwarka Light House

Dwarka Lighthouse is located at Rupen Creek. In 1866, the 18 m tall square tower was constructed at this site, along with an installation of an oil wick lamp. The present day tower is around 43 metres high and was built between 1960 and 1962. The lighthouse was inaugurated on July 15, 1962. From the lighthouse, people can see the panoramic views and lovely sunsets. The place is open to tourists in the evening from 4:30 pm to 6 pm and the admission fee is free.

Dwarkadish Temple

The Dwarkadish Temple which is also known as the Jagat Temple was built in the 16th century. The original temple was constructed by King Vajranabha, the great grandson of Lord Krishna. The five storied temple is constructed using sand and limestone with a 70.5 metres high spire and has a platform area of 1800 sq. ft. The temple comprises of a shrine and has a temple dome with a 24 m long multi-colored flag, with symbols of sun and moon.

Nageshwara Jyotirlinga Temple

The Nageshwara Jyotirlinga Temple is also known as the Nagnath temple and is situated in the outskirts of Dwarka. It’s a famous Lord Shiva Shrine in India and one of the 12 Jyotirlingas mentioned in the Shiva Purana. The lingam enshrined in the temple is of Nageshwara Mahadev, who symbolizes protection from all kinds of poison. The main highlight is the giant statue of Nageshwara Mahadev Shiva Lingam. The temple is unique as the Shiva Lingam faces south and the Gomugam faces east. The Shivaratri festival is celebrated at this temple in grand style at this temple and is attended by thousands of devotees.

Rukshamanee Mandir

The Rukshamanee Mandir is dedicated to Devi Rukmani, the wife of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna had 16,108 wives and Devi Rukmani was his favourite. The temple walls features a variety of paintings from the 12th century. The paintings capture the time spent by Devi Rukmani and Lord Krishna. A marble deity of Devi Rukmani, with four hands or ‘Chaturbhuja’ is placed in the temple. These hands clasp Shanka, Chakra, Gada and Padma, symbolizing her as the reincarnation of Goddess Maha Lakshmi.

Beyt Dwarka

The Beyt Dwarka is an island located around 30 km from the main town of Dwarka. The temple was built by Sri Vallabhacharya and is over 500 years old. The island is enclosed by a few temples, white sand beach and coral reefs. The key temple at the island is of Lord Krishna, which is said to be placed at a site which was once the residence of Lord Krishna and His family. There are addition temples on this island. The street which leads to these temples remain crowded with vendors selling idols, local crafts, etc. The beach is also popular among tourists for its marine life, water sports, sea excursions, camping and picnics.

Gomati Sangam Ghat

The Gomati Sangam Ghat is a sacred place where the river Gomati flows. The ghat can be reached from the Swarga Dwar of the Dwarkadish Temple by climbing down 56 steps. There are more than 12 ghats on the river Gomati and the point where the river meets the ocean is known as the Gomati Sangam. It is considered sacred to take bath at this point. The Ghat has many temples and smaller shrines of Lord Krishna and his friend Sudama. The temples can be reached by hiring a boat.

Gita Mandir

The Gita Mandir temple was built in 1970 by the industrialist family of Birla. The temple is built using marble and protects the values and teachings of ‘Bhagavad Gita’, the religious book of Hindus. The temple walls are carved with hymns from Bhagavad Gita and the temple ceiling is designed in a special way so that every voice in the hall is echoed.

Nearby attractions from Dwarka: Dwarka is a good base to make excursions to a number of places like:

Nageshwar Jyotirlinga

Legend has it that a devotee of Lord Shiva by name Supriya, was attacked by a demon called Daaruka, while in a boat and that the demon imprisoned him along with several others at his capital forest called Daarukaavana, where he resided with his wife Daaruki. Lord Shiva came in the form of a Jyotirlinga and vanquished the demon with the Paasupata   Astra. The Sivalinga is facing south like Mahakaaleshwar Ujjain, with the Gaumukh facing East. There is a legend for this position. Another specialty of this linga is that unlike the other Shivalingas, which are made of black stone and look like a neat circular pillar rounded off at the top, this one is made of a stone known popularly as Dwaraka Shila, which has small chakras on it. The shape of the linga is more or less like a Oval Three mukhi Rudraksha. The place is 20 km from Dwarka.

Okha

Okha is a small port at the head of the Gulf of Kutchand is about 30 kms north of Dwaraka. The island nearby is connected with the legend of Vishnu slaying the demon.

Things to do in Dwarka: Paying homage to the Dwarkadwish temple is the prime activity here.  Besides the Dwarka is the land of Lord Krishna in this serene land just close your eyes and forget about all the problems and think of Lord Krishna.

Best time to visit Dwarka: The best time to visit Dwarka is during the months from October to June.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest airport is located at Ahmedabad which is about 216 kms from Dwaraka and well connected to all major cities in India.

By Rail

Dwarka railway station in the Ahmedabad – Okha rail route is connected to other major railway stations. Tourists can take trains from Ahmedabad (Gorakhpur Exp), Delhi (Uttaranchal Exp), Mumbai (Saurashtra Mail), Kolkata (Okha Howrah Exp) and Bangalore (Vivek Express).

By Road

Dwaraka is easily connected with various cities of Gujarat. It is about 216 kms from Ahmedabad and 798 kms from Mumbai via Ahmedabad.

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Where to stay ?

Dwarka has a wide range of accommodation facility. Some options are:

Toran Tourist Bungalow (TCGL): +91-02892 -234013
Hotel Dwarka Residency:+91- 02892- 235033
Hotel City Palace:  +91-0287-6231451 Website: www.hotelcitypalacedwarka.com
Hotel Nand Nandan: +91-02892 – 235040 Website: www.hotelnandnandan.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Kunkeshwar

Kunkeshwar, Maharashtra – About 580 km from Mumbai the place has breath taking natural beauty

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Kunakeshwar is a quaint and small sea-side pilgrimage centre in Devgad taluka of Sindhudurga district in Maharashtra. About 6-7 kms from the taluka headquarter, the site has not only extravagant scenic beauty, but also the ancient temple of Shiva or Ishwara. It is famous for the best quality Hapus(Alphonso) Mango. These mangoes are exported to various parts of Mumbai and even in other parts of Maharashtra.

Places to see at Kunkeshwar: Kunkeshwar offers quite a lot of tourist attractions. These include:

Vijaydurg Fort

Vijaydurg or Viziadrug, this is the oldest fort on the Sindhudurg coast, and was constructed during the regime of Raja Bhoja II of the Shilahar dynasty (construction period 1193-1205). It was earlier known as “Gheria”, as it is situated close to the village of “Girye”. After Shivaji captured this fort from Adil Shah he renamed it as “Vijay Durg” as the then Hindu solar year’s name was “Vijay” (Victory).

Kunkeshwar Temple

Kunkeshwar Temple is an ancient Shiva Temple. This beautiful temple near beach has excellent architectural work reminding us of South Indian style of temple architecture. This temple is well known as the Kashi of South Konkan. Every year a huge celebration takes place on the occasion of Mahashivratri, accompanied by huge crowds.

Kunkeshwar Beach

The mesmerizing beach located across the temple on one side of the hill gives a tranquil effect on the mind. Swimming in the clear water freshens the mind and if you are lucky ones you can get a rare view of dolphins diving in the deep sea from a distance. Greenery of coconut and mango trees surrounding one side of the beach adds to the beauty and makes the whole experience of every visitor a memorable one.

Devgad Beach

Just 16km from Kunkeshwar this mesmerizing sea beach will greet you with enchanting music of the sea waves waves rushing up to the shore and the cool and soothing breeze. For hours, watch the Arabian Sea spread till the horizon and listen to the enchanting music of the A lazy stroll on the unpolluted supple sandy beach is a wonderful experience.

Vimleshwar Shiva Temple

 The Vimleshwar Shiva temple is dedicated to Lord Vimleshwar, a form of Shiva.

Nearby attractions from Kunkeshwar: Ambolgad is a coastal Hamlet 61 kms from Kunkeshwar and  renowned for its Fort and stunning Views of the Arabian Sea

Best time to visit Kunkeshwar: The best time to visit Kunkeshwar is from Cctober to May.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest airport to Kunkeshwar is Dabolim in Goa, 160 km away.

By Train

The nearest railway station is Kankavli, 47 km away. Kankavli is connected to Mumbai by the Konkan Kanya Express, Shatabdi and Mandovi. It is connected to Delhi by the Mangala Express. Coming from any other cities, it is preferable for you to reach Mumbai first. From here Kunkeshwar is 580 km. You can hire a car from here to reach Kunkeshwar.

By Road

The Maharashtra State Public Transport buses connect Kunkeshwar to nearby cities like Belgaon, Panaji, Pune and Mumbai.

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Where to stay ?

Kunkeshwar has very limited accommodation options. One option is:

Savli Resort: +91-02364-248614

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Harihareshwar

Harihareshwar, Maharashtra – A few kilometers from Mumbai, this pristine coastal town is famous for the Trimurti Temple

Only three hours from Mumbai, lies the town of Harihareshwar, in the southern Raigad district of Konkan (South Kashi). It is a coastal town. Harihareshwar is home to a 16th century Shiva temple in which the presiding deities are the Trimuti: Brahma, Visnu and Mahesh, with Devi Parvati. The Trimurti are represented here in linga form, or “triple linga”. According to the popular legend once Devi Savitri requested Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva to create a piece of land, without the help of Lord Brahma. The two Lords then stood themselves on a spot thus creating two mountains. This is how the place of Harihareshwar came into existence. Harihareshwar, located 175 kms. from Pune, was a prominent site during the reign of the Peshwas, and Hari Hareshwar was the family deity of the Peshwas, thus giving it a place of importance in Maratha history. The place has recently regained popularity as a destination for tourists and pilgrims, who come to see this ocean-side temple, which sits on a hill known as Harihar, or Pushpadri.

Places to see at Harihareshwar: The sight seeing destinations includes:

Harihareshwar Beach

The main attraction in Harihareshwar is the Harihareshwar beach. The beach is extremely good for an elegant stay enjoying the natural beauty in a happy vacation holidays. Soft clean sands and soothe breeze make this beach in the lap of Arabian Sea a much sought place in Harihareshwar. The beach is unpolluted and mostly unspoiled.

Ganesh Gully

Ganesh gully as the name suggest is a culvert which is very narrow of about 3 feet wide in between two hard Rocky Mountains. It is believed that at the end of the culvert, there is a holy place, a place where Lord Ganesh Idol is sitting. This niche is about 30 feet under water and it is assumed that during the tidal periods one can observe the Ganesh idol placed perfectly at the niche.

Kalbhairav Temple (ShivaTemple)

Kalbhairav Temple in Harihareshwar is one of the ancient renowned temples in Maharashtra. The main deity enshrines the temple is Lord Shiva. Kalabhairava, a lord of all manthrasastras, is also placed as one of the idols. Legends associated with the temple say that Lord Shiva created Kalabhairava and blessed him with all manthras. The architectural style of the temple is attractive. Temple Yogeshwari known as Dakshin Kashi is located in the premises. In most of the special occasions like Mahashivarathri, one can view long queues for Darshan. Cool breeze from the Harihareshwar beach makes the temple premises a nice place to relax as well.

Temple Pradakshina

Parikrama around the Harihareshwar temple is considered a sacred duty by devotees visiting the holy site. The walk encircles around the temple and traverses alongside its four attendant hills. The temple is located at the top of a hill, and the parikrama path descends right down to the Arabian Sea, traversing the rocky shore at places. As you enter the pradakshina area, there is a Gayatri Tirth on the right side. Some 70 steps cut into the laterite rock lead down to the shore, below. Walking down the section of the hill known as Vishnugiri, one comes to the Shuklateertha, which is nearby a number of other teerthas (ponds) that are named in the Puranas. These include Gayatri, Shool, Chakra, Naag, Gautam, Kamandalu, Kaamdhenu, Gauri and Pandavteertha. Pandav Teertha is where the Pandavas performed the Pind Daan rite in honour of their father. Thousands of devotees come to this place each year to offer Pind Daan to their departed family members. The parikrama path first goes around the temple, then climbs the hill directly behind it, proceeding down to the sea, along the shoreline, then back up to the temple. The pathway winds up and down some 200 feet. The waves have cut small caves and niches into the rocks here. At one such cove, sweet water flows back out of one of the crevices each night. Just above this spot, there is a natural ‘Aum’ formed in the rock. There are many beautifully carved sculptures carved into the rock along the route, and in one of the ancient caves resides a Shivaling.

Nearby attractions from Harihareshwara: There are number of locations around Harihareshwara. These include:

Bagmandala

Bagmandala is a lovely small village a few miles away from the holy city of Harihareshwar. This is the place where the Peshwa (Prime Minister) of the MarathaKingdom lived for many years. Bagmandala carries the legacy of Peshawa in a Peshwa Smarak as well as in an ancient fort named as Bankot fort. The prime attraction of the Bagmandala is the jungle jetty (sea harbor in the forest). This small port ferries the local people across the Bagmandala creek. Those who like for a ferry travel can cross over Bankot fort and enter the nearby Ratnagiri fort.

Velas beach

Ever wondered how it would be to watch turtles hatch on a beach and make their way into a sea. Nature enthusiasts can actually experience a ‘National-Geographic moment’ on the Velas beach at Mandangad taluk in Ratnagiri district, where the Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra, an NGO engaged in conservation of marine turtles, have counted 21 nests. It takes 30 min to reach Velas beach from Harihareshwara.

Bankot Fort

Further ahead, a short walk and one reaches the Bankot fort. Bankot fort now doesn’t have any source of potable water and it is best to carry your stock of water on visit. There is a well trodden cart track leading to the Bankot fort from the village within 30 minutes. Near the entrance there is a GajananTemple and a dry well. Bankot is a square shaped fort. On the sides of Bankot fort, there is a dry moat (Revni) dug out in the Jambha stone. Jambha stone is peculiar type of stone adorning a purple shade and peculiarly it is incapable of storing water as the water invariable percolates through it owing to its much porous nature. The main entrance (Mahadarwaja) of the fort is north-facing with a well sculpted arch and carvings.  Watch guards dug out (Devdya) align on both sides of the Mahadarwaja with some pits being dug out in the right Devdi. On the left, there are steps leading towards Nagarkhana while there is an underground storey and a tunnel on the right. A Maruti idol in the centre stands deserted now. On the west, there is a small entrance (Darwaja) leading to a Bastion on the exterior of the fortifications. A deep well (now dry and filled) occupied the centre of this bastion earlier and the adjacent water tanks too are dry and obsolete now. One can leave the Buruj via a small exit that leads to the surrounding moat and a beautiful “Revni” lying nearby.

Diveagar

Located at a distance of 35km this nearby town shot to fame when an ancient half statue of Ganpati made of gold and some ornaments were found in a farm. The Shekhadi Road leading to Diveagar is a very pleasant drive as the road is parallel to the coastline and you can see many breathtaking views along the entire stretch of the road.

Things to do in Harihareshwar: Take a stroll along the mesmerizing beach. Make a visit to Velas beach to catch a live look of the turtle hatching egg. This place is ideal for the shutterbugs. Here the unperturbed beaches and the serene sound of the waves will greet to warmly. The picturesque location is ideal for taking snaps. The revered Kalbhairava Temple is also a must visit to pay homage to the “Trimuti”(Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva).

Best time to visit Harihareshwar: Best season to visit Harihareshwar is October to March.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest airport to Harihareshwar is Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport which is located at a distance of 220 km from Harihareshwar. This airport in Mumbai is well connected to all the major cities in India and abroad. You can hire a cab or private cars from here to reach Harihareshwar.

By Train

Nearest railhead is Mangaon, which is 57 km away from Harihareshwar and this railway station in Konkan rail is well connected to Pune and Mumbai, which is connected with all major cities in India by railways.

By Road

Harihareshwar is well connected to all the major cities and towns from State and local bus services. Tourists from can get taxis and cabs to reach the place comfortably. Mahabaleshwar (130km), Mumbai (188km) and Pune (208km) can be reached from Harihareshwar comfortably.

Where to stay ?

This pristine location has a number of accommodation facilities. Some options are:

Holiday Resort ( MTDC): +91-02147-226036
Gokul Paryatak Nivas: +91- 02147-226439  Website: www.harihareshwargokul.com
Om Shree Hotel: +91-02147 -226013  Website: www.harihareshwaromshree.in

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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