Uttarakhand: An Ideal Travel Destination
Uttarakhand is famously known as the ‘Home of Gods’ because of the many sacred sites which are important to the Hindu faith. There are hundreds of mythological stories weaved around the land of Uttarakhand and how the Gods once walked the mountains of this land.
To revive the stories and the legends of these gods, the temples have been made to worship them. Uttarakhand is a majestic land with the picturesque background of the Himalayas. The state of Uttarakhand is next to the borders of Nepal and Tibet and it is divided into two major parts. The Northern part is known as Garhwal and the Southern part is known as Kumaon.
The land of Uttarakhand is blessed with beautiful valleys, mountains, and forests which make it an ideal destination for adventure tourism, trekking, and picnics. It is one of the best places to visit during the summers.
Ghastoli, Uttarakhand (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
Pilgrimage to Uttarakhand
The state of Uttarakhand in North India is a great travel destination known for its natural beauty, adventure sports, and religious tourism. Uttarakhand is a place of pilgrimage for thousands of people who visit the temples which are important to their Hindu faith. Some of these temples bring in pilgrims from all over the world.
Many tourists visit some of these temples every year to pay their respects to their deities. Although there are many Uttarakhand pilgrimage tour packages that you can book from your travel agent. But, keeping in mind the most important temples and relevant information regarding traveling to these sites can be helpful.
Religious tourism in the state of Uttarakhand is the main source of revenue because of the sheer number of domestic tourists visiting the state every year. A major percentage of the tourists visiting the temples of Uttarakhand are traveling with their families. You can expect kids and elderly people to travel along with the young adults to these pilgrimage sites.
We have prepared a list of the best temples to visit if you are traveling with your family. Some of the temples in the list include important religious sites which require a lot of trekking for several hours to reach the main temple. These sites might be difficult for elderly people to visit. However, there are people and small mules available to carry them to the main site.
Children on the other hand would require some added activities which they can enjoy along with the pilgrimage. Trekking alone is quite an adventure for the children but still, there are several other activities that children can enjoy near the temple sites. Considering all that, we have listed some of the best temples in Uttarakhand which you can visit with your family for a perfect family vacation.
10 Best Temples in Uttarakhand
1. Kedarnath Temple
Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
The most revered pilgrimage that the Hindus consider important for their spiritual development is the pilgrimage of 4 abodes also known as ‘Char Dhams’. These 4 sites in Uttarkhand are part of the most important pilgrimage that a devout Hindu can undertake.
The Kedarnath Temple is one of the 4 abodes which is also the most famous temple in Uttarakhand. Situated next to the beautiful river of Mandakini, the Kedarnath temple is known to be the highest ‘Jyotirlinga’ (Pillar of Cosmic Light) among the twelve Jyotirlingas.
The temple is known to be built around the 8th century CE and is believed to be over 1000 years old. It was built by the famous seer Guru Adi Shankaracharya. This historical temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is situated at a height of over 3500 meters.
Best time to visit: Months of May and October
Suggested Read: Top Temples in Himachal Pradesh
2. Badrinath Temple
Badrinath Temple, Uttarakhand (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
The Badrinath temple is part of the ‘Char Dham Yatra’ and is one of the most revered temples in Uttarakhand. Badrinath temple brings in hundreds of tourists and pilgrims every year. This temple destination is a must-have in any Uttarakhand pilgrimage tour packages.
Badrinath temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and it is located at the height of around 3300 meters. The temple is situated on the shores of the Alakhnanda river. One of the most defining features of this temple is the beautiful traditional Garhwali architecture based on wooden structures.
Best time to visit: May-June and September-October
Suggested Read: Chitkul-Old Mathi Temple
3. Tungnath Temple
Tungnath Temple, Uttarakhand (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
The Tungnath Temple is another famous temple in Uttarakhand known for being the highest temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This Shiva temple is situated on the Chandranath Parvat.
Visiting this temple with your family is usually possible if all the family members are in good health and can trek for several hours. The site of the temple offers some of the most breathtaking scenes you can see in Uttarakhand.
The Tungnath temple is situated at a height of over 3600 meters. This temple is known to be over 1000 years old.
Best time to visit: April-August and September-November
Suggested Read: Tara Devi Temple
4. Jhoola Devi Temple
Jhula Devi Temple, Ranikhet, Uttarakhand (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
The Jhoola Devi Temple is one of the most popular temples in the Ranikhet area of Uttarakhand. The beautiful temple is dedicated to the Goddess Durga with her shrine placed within the temple.
This temple is believed to be around 700 years old and the locals believed that they have seen the Goddess Durga in a swinging cradle also known as ‘Jhoola’. Hence the name ‘Jhoola Devi Temple’.
Pilgrims from all over India donate copper bells to this temple. The presence of many bells in the temple is one of the most unique features of this temple. A visit to this temple is a great addition to the existing Uttarakhand holiday package.
Best time to visit: April-June and September-October
Suggested Read: Pashupati Nath Temple
5. Jwalpa Devi Temple, Pauri
Jwalpa Devi Temple, Uttarakhand (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
This revered temple is located on the side of the Navalika River in the Pauri. Jwalpa Devi temple is one of the most visited sites among the Uttarakhand temples. This temple is known as one of the most important ‘Siddh Peethas’ and visiting this temple is considered a holy pilgrimage by the Hindus.
People and the locals still believe that all their wishes can come true if they visit the temple with a pure mind and heart. The temple is dedicated to ‘Jwalpa Devi’ who is one of the Goddess forms worshipped in Hinduism. If you are traveling with your family, the visit to this temple is a great family-friendly destination. The whole family can enjoy the beautiful sights around Garhwal.
Best time to visit: May-October (Journey is hard but possible during winter & monsoons)
Suggested Read: Jakhu Temple
6. Kainchi Dham Temple
Kainchi Dham, Uttarakhand (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
This is probably the most underrated temple in Uttarakhand. However, this temple has gained international popularity due to the renowned saint Neem Karoli Baba. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu deity Hanuman and is a place of pilgrimage in Uttarakhand.
Neem Karoli Baba was a known saint revered by the famous spiritual teacher Ram Das, The bhajan singer Krishna Das, and the famous Steve Jobs. This temple is considered one of the most sacred Uttarakhand temples. You can witness great faith among the pilgrims visiting this temple every year.
Best time to visit: Summer months
Suggested Read: Bhimakali Temple: Sarahan
7. Gangotri Dham
Gangotri Dham, Uttarakhand (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
The third most important site in the ‘Char Dham’ pilgrimage is the visit to one of the most popular temples called ‘The Gangotri Temple'. This temple is situated at an altitude of 3100 meters and is believed to be a source of the Ganges river.
If you are traveling with your family you can enjoy some of the most beautiful views of the mountains with rich abundant forests. The Gangotri temple has one of the most important shrines which are important to the Hindu pilgrims. This shrine is dedicated to Goddess Ganga who is also revered in the form of the Ganges river.
Uttarakhand tour packages offered by the travel agencies always include this temple in their ‘Char Dham Yatra’ tours. Every year, this place attracts thousands of devotees from all over the world.
Best time to visit: April-June and September-October
Suggested Read: Hidimba Devi Temple
8. Yamunotri Dham
Yamunotri Temple, Uttarakhand (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
The fourth destination of the famous ‘Char Dham’ pilgrimage is the Yamunotri Dham. This site is considered to be the source of the famous Yamuna River and is one of the most important Uttarakhand temples.
Situated at a height of over 3200 meters, this temple is close to the border of China. The temple is located in the district of Uttarkashi and is surrounded by the beautiful Himalayan range. The area around the temple has a quality of serenity and calm which relaxes the mind and heart of the pilgrims who visit this place.
As a family, trekking to this sacred site is a great activity to engage in. Children and truly enjoy the weather, surrounding, and trekking part of the journey. There are many nearby attractions such as Saptrishi Kund and Hanumanchatti peak.
Best time to visit: April to mid-June and October to mid-November
Suggested Read: 10 Best Must Visit Destination in India
9. Baleshwar Temple
Baleshwar Temple, Uttarakhand (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
This historical temple in Uttarakhand is famous for its stone carvings and its beautiful stone architecture. It is truly a magnificent architectural marvel to at least see once in your lifetime.
This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is known to be built around the 10th century AD. The temple was believed to be built by the kings of the Chand Dynasty. This temple in Uttarakhand has been listed as a National Heritage Monument by the Indian government and is being maintained and preserved by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI).
The Baleshwar temple compound also includes two other temples dedicated to ‘Champawati Durga’ and ‘Ratneshwar’. This temple site brings in hundreds of devotees from all over India during Maha Shivaratri.
Best time to visit: January-June and October-December
Suggested Read: Best Places to visit in Himachal Pradesh
10. Chandi Devi Temple
Chandi Devi Temple, Haridwar, Uttarakhand (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
This temple is one of the most popular temples in Uttarakhand. This temple is dedicated to Goddess Chandi who is believed to be the fulfiller of wishes. People in thousands dedicate some time of the year to journey to this temple every year.
This temple is located in Haridwar, this is the most visited temple in Uttarakhand and the country as well. Situated in Haridwar this temple is also considered to be a historical temple in Uttarakhand. The temple was built by the King of Kashmir, Suchat Sing in 1929.
Inside the temple, there is the main idol of Goddess Chandi which was believed to be installed by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th Century. This temple is also popularly known as Neel Parval Teerth. During the Hindu calendar days of Navaratri and Chandi Chudas, pilgrims visit this temple for conducting traditional rituals.
Best time to visit: Throughout the year.
Suggested Read: Kinnaur ' The Land of Gods'
Visiting temples in India is usually done for spiritual rejuvenation, religious tradition, or pilgrimage. However, when traveling with a family to these sacred sites, many nearby attractions are often overlooked. Especially, if you are traveling with children, trekking and sightseeing are somewhat good to keep the children entertained. However, sometimes it might feel that children might need a little bit extra.
One of the best ways to solve this problem is to book any of the popular Uttarakhand tour packages and get them customized to your needs. If you are more interested in visiting a temple then a customized Uttarakhand holiday package can add some tourist activities around the area of the temple you are visiting. This can truly help you keep the family vacation interesting for your children as well.
Also, it is always better to prepare oneself physically before taking a journey. Considering the recent wave of Covid-19 infections, it is important to maintain social distancing and protect yourself as much as possible. Make sure you plan and pack accordingly especially for trekking. You might need some good trekking shoes to keep your journey comfortable and less tiring for your feet.
The second wave of Covid has passed and these summer months are open for a family-friendly vacation that you have been wanting to experience. It is a great time to have a safe trip with your family after months of lockdown restrictions that have caused anxiety for a lot of people.