Uttarakhand Travel Information

UTTARAKHAND  TRAVEL INFORMATION

GENERAL TRAVEL INFORMATION

INTRODUCTION 

Uttarakhand  formerly Uttaranchal, is a state in the northern part of India. It is often referred to as the Devbhumi (literally “Land of the Gods”) due to the many Hindu temples and pilgrimage centres found throughout the state. Uttarakhand is known for its natural beauty of the Himalayas, the Bhabar and the Terai. On 9 November 2000, this 27th state of the Republic of India was created from the Himalayan and adjoining northwestern districts of Uttar Pradesh. It borders Tibet on the north; the Mahakali Zone of the Far-Western Region, Nepal on the east; and the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh to the south and Himachal Pradesh to the west and Northwest as well as Haryana in the south western corner. The state is divided into two divisions, Garhwal and Kumaon, with a total of 13 districts. The interim capital of Uttarakhand is Dehradun, the largest city in the region, which is a railhead. The High Court of the state is in Nainital.

Uttarakhand’s name is derived from the Sanskrit words uttara meaning ‘north’, and khaṇḍa  meaning ‘land’, altogether simply meaning ‘Northen Land’. The name finds mention in early Hindu scriptures as the combined region of “Kedarkhand” (present day Garhwal) and “Manaskhand” (present day Kumaon). Uttarakhand was also the ancient Puranic  term for the central stretch of the Indian Himalayas.

A BRIEF HISTORY  Ancient rock paintings, rock shelters, paleolithic stone tools (hundreds of thousands of years old), and megaliths provide evidence that the mountains of the region have been inhabited since prehistoric times. There are also archaeological remains which show the existence of early Vedic (c. 1500 BCE) practices in the area. The Pauravas, Kushanas, Kunindas, Guptas, Gurjara-Pratihara, Katyuris, Raikas, Palas, Chands, Parmars or Panwars, Sikhs, and the British have ruled Uttarakhand in turns. The region was originally settled by Kol people, an aboriginal people of the Austro-Asiatic physical type who were later joined by the Indo-Aryan Khasas tribe that arrived from the northwest by the Vedic period (1700–1100 BCE). At that time, present-day Uttarakhand also served as a habitat for Rishis and Sadhus. It is believed that the sage Vyasa scripted the Hindu epic Mahabharata in the state. Among the first major dynasties of Garhwal and Kumaon were the Kunindas in the 2nd century BCE who practised an early form of Shaivism and traded salt with Western Tibet. It is evident from the Ashokanedict at Kalsi in Western Garhwal that Buddhism made inroads in this region. Folk shamanic practices deviating from Hindu orthodoxy also persisted here. However, Garhwal and Kumaon were restored to nominal Brahmanical rule due to the travails of Shankaracharya and the arrival of migrants from the plains. Between the 4th and 14th centuries, the Katyuri dynasty dominated lands of varying extent from the Katyur (modern day Baijnath) valley in Kumaon. The historically significant temples at Jageshwar are believed to have been built by the Katyuris and later remodelled by the Chands. Other peoples of the Tibeto-Burman group known as Kirata are thought to have settled in the northern highlands as well as in pockets throughout the region, and are believed to be ancestors of the modern day Bhotiya, Raji, Buksa, and Tharu people.

By the medieval period, the region was consolidated under the Garhwal Kingdom in the west and the Kumaon Kingdom in the east. During this period, learning and new forms of painting (the Pahari school of art) developed. Modern-day Garhwal was likewise unified under the rule of Parmars who, along with many Brahmins and Rajputs, also arrived from the plains. In 1791 the expanding Gorkha Empire of Nepal overran Almora, the seat of the Kumaon Kingdom. In 1803 the Garhwal Kingdom also fell to the Gorkhas. With the conclusion of the Anglo-Nepalese War in 1816, the Garhwal Kingdom was re-established from a smaller region in Tehri, as the larger portion of Tehri, along with eastern Garhwal and Kumaon ceded to the British as part of the Treaty of Sugauli.
After India attained independence from the British, the Garhwal Kingdom was merged into the state of Uttar Pradesh, where Uttarakhand composed the Garhwal and Kumaon Divisions. Until 1998, Uttarakhand was the name most commonly used to refer to the region, as various political groups, including the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (Uttarakhand Revolutionary Party), began agitating for separate statehood under its banner. Although the erstwhile hill kingdoms of Garhwal and Kumaon were traditional rivals the inseparable and complementary nature of their geography, economy, culture, language, and traditions created strong bonds between the two regions. These bonds formed the basis of the new political identity of Uttarakhand, which gained significant momentum in 1994, when demand for separate statehood achieved almost unanimous acceptance among both the local populace and national political parties. The most notable incident during this period was the Rampur Tiraha firing case on the night of 1 October 1994, which led to a public uproar. On 24 September 1998, the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly and Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council passed the Uttar Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, which began the process of creating a new state. Two years later the Parliament of India passed the Uttar Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2000 and thus, on 9 November 2000, Uttarakhand became the 27th state of the Republic of India.

Uttarakhand is also well known for the mass agitation of the 1990s that led to the formation of the Chipko environmental movement and other social movements. Though primarily a livelihood movement rather than a forest conservation movement, it went on to become a rallying point for many future environmentalists, environmental protests, and movements the world over and created a precedent for non-violent protest. It stirred up the existing civil society in India, which began to address the issues of tribal and marginalized people. So much so that, a quarter of a century later, India Today mentioned the people behind the “forest satyagraha” of the Chipko movement as amongst “100 people who shaped India”.One of Chipko’s most salient features was the mass participation of female villagers. Both female and male activists played pivotal roles in the movement. Gaura Devi was the main activist who started this movement other participants wereChandi Prasad Bhatt, Sundarlal Bahuguna, and Ghanshyam Raturi, the popular Chipko poet.

LOCATION :

30° 19′ 48″ N, 78° 3′ 36″ E 30.33, 78.06

AREA:

53,483 km2(20,650 sq mi)

 

TEMPERATURE:

January is the coldest month, with daily high temperatures averaging below freezing in the north and near 70 °F (21 °C) in the southeast. In the north, July is the hottest month, with temperatures typically rising from the mid-40s F (about 7 °C) to about 70 °F daily. In the southeast, May is the warmest month, with daily temperatures normally reaching the low 100s F (about 38 °C) from a low around 80 °F (27 °C).

RAINFALL :

2073.3 mm.

BEST SEASON TO VISIT: Summer (March to June) when temperature never crossing 40°C and minimum is about 10°C. This is the best time for Uttarakhand sightseeing and enjoying adventure.

LANGUAGE SPOKEN: The Garhwali and Kumaoni, dialects of Central Pahari are spoken in Kumaon and Garhwal regions, respectively. Jaunsari and Bhoti languages are spoken by tribal communities in the west and north, respectively. The urban population, however, converses mostly in Hindi, which is an official language of the state. Uttarakhand is the only Indian state to give official language status to Sanskrit.

NEAREST RAILWAY STATION:

As over 86% of Uttarakhand’s terrain consists of hills, railway services are very limited in the state and are largely confined to the plains. In 2011, the total length of railway tracks was about 345 km. Rail, being the cheapest mode of transport, is most popular. The most important railway station in Kumaun Division of Uttarakhand is at Kathgodam, 35 kilometres away from Nainital. Kathgodam is the last terminus of the broad gauge line of North East Railways that connects Nainital with Delhi, Dehradun, and Howrah. Other notable railway stations are at Pantnagar, Lalkuan and Haldwani.

Dehradun railway station is a railhead of the Northern Railways. Haridwar station is situated on the Delhi–Dehradun and Howrah–Dehradun railway lines. One of the main railheads of the Northern Railways, Haridwar Junction Railway Station is connected by metre gauge and broad gauge lines. Roorkee comes under Northern Railway region of Indian Railways on the mainPunjab – Mughal Sarai trunk route and is connected to major Indian cities. Other railheads are Rishikesh, Kotdwar and Ramnagar linked to Delhi by daily trains.

NEAREST AIRPORT: 

The air transport network in the state is gradually improving. Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, is the busiest airport in the state with six daily flights to Delhi Airport. Pantnagar Airport, located in Pantnagar of the Kumaon region have 1 daily air service to delhi and return too . There government is planning to develop Naini Saini Airport in Pithoragarh, Bharkot Airport in Chinyalisaur in Uttarkashi district and Gauchar Airport in Gauchar, Chamoli district. There are plans to launch helipad service in Pantnagar and Jolly Grant Airports and other important tourist destinations like Ghangaria and Hemkund Sahib.

CLOTHING REQUIRED: Light woollens and tropicals in summer  and heavy woolens in winter.
IMPORTANT ROADS:

Uttarakhand has 28,508 km of roads, of which 1,328 km are national highways and 1,543 km are state highways. The State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC), which has been reorganised in Uttarakhand as the Uttarakhand Transport Corporation, is a major constituent of the transport system in the state. The Corporation began to work on 31 October 2003 and provides services on interstate and nationalised routes. As of 2012, approximately 1000 buses are being plied by the “Uttarakhand Transport Corporation” on 35 nationalised routes along with many other non-nationalised routes. There are also private transport operators operating approximately 3000 buses on non-nationalised routes along with a few interstate routes in Uttarakhand and the neighbouring state of U.P. For travelling locally, the state, like most of the country, has auto rickshaws and cycle rickshaws. In addition, remote towns and villages in the hills are connected to important road junctions and bus routes by a vast network of crowded share jeeps.

 
 
PLACES OF INTEREST
Uttarakhand has many tourist spots due to its location in the Himalayas. There are many ancient temples, forest reserves, national parks, hill stations, and mountain peaks that draw large number of tourists. There are 44 nationally protected monuments in the state. Oak Grove School in the state is on the tentative list for World Heritage Sites. Two of the most holy rivers in Hinduism the Ganges and Yamuna, originate in Uttarakhand.

Uttarakhand has long been called “Land of the Gods” as the state has some of the holiest Hindu shrines, and for more than a thousand years, pilgrims have been visiting the region in the hopes of salvation and purification from sin. Gangotri and Yamunotri, the sources of the Ganges and Yamuna, dedicated to Ganga and Yamuna respectively, fall in the upper reaches of the state and together with Badrinath (dedicated to Vishnu) and Kedarnath (dedicated to Shiva) form the Chota Char Dham, one of Hinduism’s most spiritual and auspicious pilgrimage circuits. Haridwar, meaning “Gateway to the God”, is a prime Hindu destination. Haridwar hosts the Kumbha Mela every twelve years, in which millions of pilgrims take part from all parts of India and the world. Rishikesh near Haridwar is known as the preeminent yoga centre of India. The state has an abundance of temples and shrines, many dedicated to local deities or manifestations of Shiva and Durga, references to many of which can be found in Hindu scriptures and legends. Uttarakhand is, however, a place of pilgrimage not only for Hindus. Piran Kaliyar Sharif near Roorkee is a pilgrimage site to Muslims, Gurdwara Hemkund Sahib, nested in the Himalayas, is a prime pilgrimage centre for Sikhs. Tibetan Buddhism has also made itself felt with the reconstruction of Mindrolling Monastery and its Buddha Stupa, described as the world’s highest at Clement Town, Dehradun.

Some of the most famous hill stations in India are in Uttarakhand. Mussoorie, Nainital, Dhanaulti, Lansdowne, Pauri, Sattal, Almora, Kausani, Bhimtal, and Ranikhet are some popular hill stations in Uttarakhand. The state has 12 National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries which cover 13.8 percent of the total area of the state. They are located at different altitudes varying from 800 to 5400 metres. The oldest national park on the Indian sub-continent, Jim Corbett National Park, is a major tourist attraction. The park is famous for its varied wildlife and Project Tiger run by the Government of India. Rajaji National Park is famous for its elephants. In addition, the state boasts Valley of Flowers National Park and Nanda Devi National Park in Chamoli District, which together are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Vasudhara Falls, near Badrinath is a waterfall with a height of 122 metres (400 ft) set in a backdrop of snow-clad mountains. The state has always been a destination for mountaineering, hiking, and rock climbing in India. A recent development in adventure tourism in the region has been whitewater rafting in Rishikesh. Due to its proximity to the Himalaya ranges, the place is full of hills and mountains and is suitable for trekking, climbing, skiing, camping, rock climbing, and paragliding. Roopkund is a popular trekking site, famous for the mysterious skeletons found in a lake, which was featured by National Geographic Channel in a documentary. The trek to Roopkund passes through the beautiful meadows of Bugyal.

Char Dham

Uttarakhand is famous for Char Dham Yatra, which literally meaning ‘journey to four centres’. These four religious centres in Uttarakhand are represented by Badrinath (dedicated to Lord Vishnu), Kedarnath(dedicated to Lord Shiva), Gangotri (the holy origin of river Ganga)and Yamunotri (the holy origin of river Yamuna).

The Char Dham Yatra begins around the first to second week of May every year. These dates are announced in the national media. The base for the yatra is generally the Rishikesh town which has all the amenities available for pilgrims and tourists alike. 

Badrinath

Badrinath is the abode of Lord Vishnu, who is called ‘Badri Vishal’, Badri the Big One. Legend has it that Badrinath was in fact the abode of Lord Shiva, who used to reside there with His consort Mother Parvati. Lord Vishu happened to like the place and wished to reside there permanently, so He took the form of an infant and started crying inconsolably. Mother Parvati’s heart melted and she picked up the infant Vishu and started cradling Him. The crying of the infant, however, disturbed the meditation of Lord Shiva and unable to bear the crying He left for higher reaches of the Himalayas and made Kedarnath His home. Once Lord Shiva left Mother Parvati too followed, which gave an opportunity to Lord Vishnu to take His original form and remain at Badrinath forever. The priests of Badrinath are from the southernmost part of India, i.e. Kerala. This is according to the rules laid down by Adi Sankara. Badrinath remains out of bounds for pilgrims for 6 months a year, from October to May.

Kedarnath 

Kedarnath is the abode of Lord Shiva. Kedarnath is one of the 12 Jyotirlingams of India and the only one in the Uttarakhand. While there is a motorable road to Badrinath, Kedarnath could only be reached by foot. The 14 km trek begins from Gaurikund. After the 2013 Himalayan floods, the trek currently is of more than 18 km due to washing away of trekking paths.

Gangotri

Gangotri is the origin of the holy river Ganga. River Ganga is revered as a mother throughout India. According to the Hindu philosophy, a place considered extremely holy if a river running through it flows in the northern direction. Gangotri is a place which is not only the origin of Ganga but also where Ganga flows in a northerly direction, hence the name ‘Gangotri’. The river Ganga flows out from the melting Gangotri glacier, which is at a distance of around 18 km from the Gangotri town. Close to the temple is Bhagirath Shila, which according to the Hindu philosophy is the place where Bhagirath did penance for 5500 years to seek the blessings of Mother Ganga and requested her to descend to the Earth from her heavenly abode to cleanse the sins of his ancestors.

Yamunotri

Yamunotri is the origin of the holy river Yamuna. A temple dedicated to the holy river Yamuna is situated at the place. The actual origin of the river is the Yamunotri glacier further up into the Himalayas where very few pilgrims go due to the difficulty it entails.

Rishikesh

Rishikesh has been a magnet for spiritual seekers since late 60’s when The Beatles rocked up Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram. Known as the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’ because of the large number of ashrams teaching meditation and yoga. The northern part of the main town is the hotspot for all the action where the Ganges forested hills form a conducive environment for all the meditation. The evening aarti also draws a lot of crowd.

Haridwar

Haridwar is an important city in the religious architecture of the country. The large number of people gathering on the bathing ghats on the holy ganges river give the place a chaotic feel. There are a number of Hindu temples, ashrams and dharamshalas (pilgrims’ rest houses) in the city. The city also serves as the entry point to the nearby Rajaji National Park.

Panch Kedar

Panch Kedar refers to five Hindu temples or holy places of the Shaivite sect dedicated to god Shiva. They are located in the Garhwal Himalayan region in Uttarakhand, India. They are the subject of many legends that directly link their creation to Pandavas, the heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata.

The five temples designated in the strict pecking order to be followed for pilgrimage for worship are the Kedarnath at an altitude of 3,583 m (11,755 ft), the Tungnath (3,680 m or 12,070 ft), Rudranath  (2,286 m or 7,500 ft), Madhyamaheshwar  or Madmaheshwar (3,490 m or 11,450 ft) and Kalpeshwar (2,200 m or 7,200 ft). The Kedarnath is the main temple, which is part of the four famous Chota Char Dhams (literally ‘the small four abodes/seats’) or pilgrimage centers of the Garhwal Himalayas; the other three dhams are the Badrinath, Yamunotri and Gangotri. Kedarnath is also one of the twelve Jyotirlingas.

The Garhwal region is also called the Kedar-Khanda after Kedar — the local name for Lord Shiva. The region abounds in emblems and aniconic forms of Shiva sect of Lord Shiva, much more than the Vaishnava sect. The western part of this region in particular, which constitutes half of Chamoli district being known as Kedar-Kshetra or Kedar mandala, encompasses in its ambit all the five temples constituting the Panch Kedar.

Panch Prayag

Panch Prayag is an expression in Hindu religious ethos, specifically used to connote the five sacred river confluences in the Garhwal Himalayas in the state of Uttarakhand, India. The five prayags – prayag meaning “confluence” in Sanskrit – also termed as “Prayag pentad”, namely the five river confluences, are Vishnu Prayag, Nand Prayag, Karn prayag, Rudra Prayag and Dev Prayag, in the descending flow sequence of their occurrence.

Vishnu Prayag

The Alaknanda River, which originates in the eastern slopes of glacier fields of Chaukhamba, is joined by the Saraswathi River near Mana (that originates on the south from the international border), and then flows in front of the Badrinath temple, one of the most revered Hindu shrines. It then meets the Dhauli Ganges River, whose origin is from the Niti Pass, after traveling a distance of 25 km (15.5 mi) from its source to form the Vishnu Prayag . This stretch of the Alaknanda River is called the Vishnu Ganges. Legend narrates the worship offered by sage Narada to god Vishnu at this confluence. An octagonal shaped temple – located near the confluence – dated to 1889, is credited to Maharani of Indore – Ahalyabai. Though originally built to install a Shiva linga, it now houses a Vishnu image. A stairway from this temple leads to the Vishnu kund (kund means pool of water or lake) at the confluence, which is seen in a tranquil state.

Nanda Prayag

Nand Prayag is the second prayag in the cascade sequence of the confluences where the Nandakini River joins the main Alaknanda River. According to one tale, a noble King Nanda performed Yagnya (fire-sacrifice) and sought blessings of God. Hence, the confluence is named after him. The other version of the legend states that the confluence derives its name from the Yadava king Nanda, the foster-father of god Krishna. According to the legend, Vishnu granted a boon of the birth of a son to Nanda and his wife Yashoda and also the same boon to Devaki, wife of Vasudeva. Placed in a dilemma, since both were his disciples, he ensured that Krishna, an incarnation of Vishnu, was born to Devaki and Vasudeva but was fostered by Yashoda and Nanda. There is temple for Gopal, a form of Krishna, here. The legends also narrate that sage Kanva did penance here and also that wedding of King Dushyanta and Shakuntala took place at this venue.

Karna Prayag

Karn Prayag  is the location where Alaknanda River is joined by the Pindar River that originates from the Pindar glacier, below the Nanda Devi hill range. The epic Mahabharata legend narrates that Karna did penance here and earned the protective gear of Kavacha (armour) and Kundala (ear rings) from his father, the Sun god, which gave him indestructible powers. The name of the confluence is thus derived from the name of Karna. There is reference to this site in Meghaduta, a Sanskrit lyrical poetic drama written by the legendary poet Kalidasa, which attributes that Satopanth and Bhagirath glaciers joined here to form the Pindar River. Another classic work by the same author called the Abhijnana-shakuntala also mentions that Shakuntala and king Dushyanta’s romantic daliance occurred here. It is also mentioned that Swami Vivekananda mediatated here for eighteen days.

The stone seat where Karna did penance is also seen here. A temple built in recent times to commemorate Karna has the deity of goddess Uma Devi (daughter of the Himalayas) here. The stone temple was rebuilt by guru Adi Shankaracharya. In the sanctum, the images of goddesss Parvati, her consort Shiva and her elepahant-headed son Ganesha are installed, next to that of Uma Devi, apart from Karna’s image. A steep row of steps from the temple along a spur leads to the confluence point. And, down these steps, small shrines of Shiva and the Binayak Shila(the Ganesha stone) – that is believed to provide protection from danger – are located. Once in 12 years, a procession of the image of Uma Devi is taken round a few villages in the sub-divisional town of Karnaprayag.

Rudra Prayag

At Rudra Prayag  the Alaknanda meets the Mandakini River. The confluence is named after god Shiva, who is also known as Rudra.  According to a widely narrated legend, Shiva performed the Tandava here, Tandava is a vigorous dance that is the source of the cycle of creation, preservation and dissolution. Shiva also played his favourite musical instrument the Rudra veena here. By playing the Veena, he enticed god Vishnu to his presence and converted him to water.

Another legend narrates that sage Narada had become conceited by his Veena playing skills. The gods requested Krishna in order to set things right. Krishna told Narada that Shiva and his consort Parvati were impressed by his musical talent. Narada was taken in by the praise and immediately set out to meet Shiva in the Himalayas. On the way at Rudra Prayag, he met several beautiful damsels called raginis (musical notes) who were disfigured and the reason for such disfigurement was squarely attributed to Narada playing his Veena. Hearing this, Narada felt humbled and surrendered before Shiva and decided to devote himself to learning music as disciple of Shiva.

According to another legend, the consort of Shiva – Sati was reborn as Parvati as the daughter of Himalaya, after she self-immolated herself in protest of the insult of Shiva. In spite of Himalaya’s protests, Parvati performed rigorous penance to get the boon of becoming Shiva’s wife in the new birth too.

Temples dedicated to Rudranath (Shiva) and goddess Chamunda are located here.

Dev Prayag

Dev Prayag  is the confluence of the two holy rivers, the Bhagirathi – the chief stream of the Ganges and the Alaknanda. It is the first prayag on the way to Badrinath. Beyond this confluence, the river is known as Ganges. The holiness of this place is considered equal to the famous Triveni sangam confluence at Allahabad where the Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati rivers merge.

The confluence of the Bhagirathi, which flows in rapids with strong currents meets a much calmer river in the Alaknanda and this has been vividly described by the British captain Raper as:

Main hill stations in Uttarakhand
* Aboott Mount * Dhanaulti * Nainital
* Chopta * Kausani * Ramgarh
* Chakrata * Lansdowne * Ranikhet
* Chamba * Mussoorie * Sattal
* Champawat * Mukteshwar * Tehri Garhwal
 
 THINGS TO DO IN HIMACHAL PRADESH
 Treks  
 Tours  
 Sking  
Mountain Biking
Rock Climbing   
Rafting   
Nature Study Camp   
 Adventure Camp  
Camping  
Pilgrimage  
DO’S and DON’TS
DO’S 
Always travel with a guide where it necessary.  
Respect our local culture and use taking permission for restricted places before taking photographs.  
Dress modestly. Be aware of the customs and manners and culture of the local people.  
follow designated route and trails.  
It is customary to leave a donation at a monastery and to circle shrines in clockwise direction.  
Avoid littering and deposit garbage at designated places.  
Keep all pollutants away from streams and lakes.  
learn local culture and spread it.  
   
 

DON’TS
Don’t spit in a religious area   
Don’t pluck plants or flowers.  
Don’t smoke, drink alcohol or talk loudly near sacred places.  
Don’t buy endangered species or antiques.  
Don’t disturb wildlife or its habitat.  
Don’t make any type of bad comments about religion, and politics.
 HOW TO REACH UTTARAKHAND
Uttarakhand is a state in North Indian region of Himalayas. The state is popularly known as Devbhumi (land of Gods) due to the presence of numerous Hindu pilgrimage sites. As a result, religious tourism forms a major portion of the tourism in the state

 

Nearest Airport:

The air transport network in the state is gradually improving. Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, is the busiest airport in the state with six daily flights to Delhi Airport. Pantnagar Airport, located in Pantnagar of the Kumaon region have 1 daily air service to delhi and return too . There government is planning to develop Naini Saini Airport in Pithoragarh, Bharkot Airport in Chinyalisaur in Uttarkashi district and Gauchar Airport in Gauchar, Chamoli district. There are plans to launch helipad service in Pantnagar and Jolly Grant Airports and other important tourist destinations like Ghangaria and Hemkund Sahib.

Nearest Railway’s Station:

As over 86% of Uttarakhand’s terrain consists of hills, railway services are very limited in the state and are largely confined to the plains. In 2011, the total length of railway tracks was about 345 km. Rail, being the cheapest mode of transport, is most popular. The most important railway station in Kumaun Division of Uttarakhand is at Kathgodam, 35 kilometres away from Nainital. Kathgodam is the last terminus of the broad gauge line of North East Railways that connects Nainital with Delhi, Dehradun, and Howrah. Other notable railway stations are at Pantnagar, Lalkuan and Haldwani.

Dehradun railway station is a railhead of the Northern Railways. Haridwar station is situated on the Delhi–Dehradun and Howrah–Dehradun railway lines. One of the main railheads of the Northern Railways, Haridwar Junction Railway Station is connected by metre gauge and broad gauge lines. Roorkee comes under Northern Railway region of Indian Railways on the mainPunjab – Mughal Sarai trunk route and is connected to major Indian cities. Other railheads are Rishikesh, Kotdwar and Ramnagar linked to Delhi by daily trains.

Road

Uttarakhand has 28,508 km of roads, of which 1,328 km are national highways and 1,543 km are state highways. The State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC), which has been reorganised in Uttarakhand as the Uttarakhand Transport Corporation, is a major constituent of the transport system in the state. The Corporation began to work on 31 October 2003 and provides services on interstate and nationalised routes. As of 2012, approximately 1000 buses are being plied by the “Uttarakhand Transport Corporation” on 35 nationalised routes along with many other non-nationalised routes. There are also private transport operators operating approximately 3000 buses on non-nationalised routes along with a few interstate routes in Uttarakhand and the neighbouring state of U.P. For travelling locally, the state, like most of the country, has auto rickshaws and cycle rickshaws. In addition, remote towns and villages in the hills are connected to important road junctions and bus routes by a vast network of crowded share jeeps.