15 Offbeat Places in Uttarakhand – Safe & Easy to Reach

by Vargis.Khan

For someone visiting the hills for the first time, any of the popular tourist destinations like Shimla, Mussorie, or Manali may sound good enough. But for people who visit the Himalayas on a regular basis, these places have long lost their charm. If you too are planning a vacation and looking for a not so crowded destination, below is a list of 10 offbeat places in Uttarakhand that you may consider.

What is an “offbeat place”? Well, the definition can actually be different. Some people would consider it a less crowded tourist spot while a lot will define it as a remote unexplored area. In this article, however, I am listing places that are a bit of both. Places that are not so remote that you cannot plan a family outing and places not so well known as well that there will be a huge tourist crowd there.

Offbeat Places in Uttarakhand

Before you decide to visit an offbeat place though, you really should think about what exactly you were looking for from your trip. Tourism in Uttarakhand is divided between Kumaon and Garhwal and they are numerous lesser-known places that you can pick in both regions. These are destinations that are amazingly scenic and never crowded.

But because of this very same reason, they are also not that developed yet. When you talk about offbeat places in Uttarakhand, you are really thinking about a place that has nothing to offer except for its natural beauty, views, and plenty of peace.

Well, that actually is my reason to visit an unexplored place anyway but you may want to look at the group you were traveling with and get everyone’s buy-in on that.

With that being said, here is a list of top offbeat places in Uttarakhand that you can consider for your next vacation. I have written separate articles about some of these places that I will provide a link to. On those posts, you can find more details like how to reach, what to see, and where to stay.

Kanatal

I visited Kanatal for the first time a few years ago and I liked it so much that it immediately topped my list of weekend getaways. I live in Delhi and this place was perfect for a 2 to 3 days trip. The natural beauty around here is like nowhere else. It is a very small village, barely 15-20 houses and a few hotels. The weather is always cold and the place remains tucked up in the clouds.

If driving from Dehradun, Kanatal is about 40 kilometers from Mussoorie and if approaching from Rishikesh, it is about 16 kilometers from Chamba. It is at a height of 2,590 meters and remains buried completely under snow during winter.

  • Best time to Visit – April to June, September, and early October
  • Nearest Railway Station: Rishikesh, 78 km or Dehradun, 76 km
  • Nearest Airport: Dehradun, 75 km
  • Time Recommended: 2 to 4 days from Delhi

Things to do in Kanatal

There is not really much to do around here except for spending time in the tranquility of the place. You can also take a drive towards the nearby and equally beautiful village of Dhanaulti. A little further ahead of Dhanaulti is the famous tourist town of Mussoorie and its primary attraction, Kempty Falls.

Accommodation and Food Options

There are a few hotels and cottages where you can stay in Kanatal. The hotels here can be a little expensive. If you were not able to find within budget, take a drive towards Dhanaulti and you will come across several other small hotels on the way.

offbeat places in uttarakhand

Khirsu

Located about 50 kilometers from Srinagar (the one in Uttarakhand, not J&K) and about 20 kilometers from Pauri is a small and unknown village of Khirsu. It is at a height of about 1700 meters and surrounded by dense forests and apple orchards. The entire setting of the village, the trees, the clouds, the cold weather is such that it will immediately remind you of some Bollywood suspense thriller.

If away from civilization, away from all the traffic noises, away from the regular rushed life is what you seek than Khirsu is a perfect place to go to. Trust me, this place is like a hidden gem of Uttarakhand that offers abundant opportunities to spend some good time with your family or friends.

What to see in Khirsu

There is a park located in Khirsu by the name of “Van Manoranjan Kendra”. It is located near the rest house, at the foot of a mountain. The park is very much in its natural form with very little artificial alterations and is a pleasant walk.

Furkunda viewpoint and Chaukhambha viewpoint are two spots to get some mesmerizing views of the hills and the valleys around. Ask any of the locals in the village and they will point you in the right direction. The temple at Ulkha Giri too has some stunning views around it.

Some of the other tourist places in Khirsu are the ancient temples build in the Srinagar – Pauri – Khirsu – Lansdowne area. A few known ones are of Ghandiyal Devta, Jwalpa Devi, Deval Garh, Dhari Devi, and Ulka Garhi. Another temple that you will come to on the way is the shrine of Kalpa Devi. For more details, please take a look at How to Plan a Trip to Khirsu.

Accommodation and Food Options

There are a few hotels in Khirsu that you can stay at. The best of them all is the GMVN Tourist Rest House. It has panoramic Himalayan views on clear days and rooms are comfortable enough as well. The food here will be prepared only on demand but I will recommend eating at any of the restaurants in the village instead. You will have greater choices there, better tasting food, and will cost you less. For booking the GMVN guest house, you can do it online from the Official GMVN Page.

If you did not get a room in the rest house, then there are a couple of other hotels as well that you can take a look at. Uttarakhand Forest Development Corporation also sets up Eco-Tourism Camps between March and October every year in Khirsu.

offbeat places in uttarakhand

Peora

One visit to Peora and you would have visited one of those fairy tale villages that you either heard of; or saw in Hollywood animated movies. This tiny hamlet is about 60 kilometers from Nainital and 22 kilometers from Almora. Do not however come here expecting to visit some tourist spots or a market.

There is absolutely nothing here except for a few houses of the villagers and this is what makes this place unique. It stands still in time and gives a perfect chance to spend some time close to mother nature.

This small village is at an elevation of 6,600 feet and provides a picture-perfect view of the Shivalik ranges of Kumaon. There are several trails here that are worth taking a walk. If you are into photography, Peoria will definitely be a place of interest to you.

  • Distance from Delhi: 350 Kms
  • Nearest Railway Station: Kathgodam at a distance of 78 km and Taxi thereafter
  • Nearest Airport: Pantnagar which is 110 km from Peora
  • Best time to visit: Mar, April, May, Jun, Sep, Oct

Things to do in Peora

  • Enjoy a 360-degree view of the Himalayan ranges.
  • Bird Watching
  • Nature Walks
  • You can buy some herbal products like a face pack, herbal spices, etc from a local herbal factory
  • Relax and Rejuvenate

Accommodation and Food Options

There are a few small guest houses in the village that you can stay at. In terms of food as well, you will be eating at your guest house only. Food served will be basic but delicious enough.

Also Read: How to Plan a Trip to Dhanaulti

Chopta

Chopta is a great place to visit if you have about 4-5 days in hand. Surrounded by the evergreen forests of Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary; it is one of the untouched beauties of Uttarakhand which offers not only a peaceful holiday but also a chance of some trekking adventure if you are up for it.

This small town serves as the base for trekking to Tungnath Temple, located at a trek distance of 3.5 kilometers from Chopta. Trekking for another 1.5 kilometers from Tungnath will take you to the top of Chandrashila peak at a height of 4,000 meters. Another great place to visit around Chopta is Deoria Taal where you can also camp for the night.

  • Best time to Visit: April to June, September
  • Nearest Railway Station: Rishikesh, 200 km away
  • Nearest Airport: Dehradun, 220 km away
  • Recommended Time: 4-6 Days from Delhi

What to see in Chopta

Chopta is really blessed with great natural beauty and there are several places that are worth a visit here. Below is a list.

  • Tungnath Temple
  • Deoria Tal
  • Chandrashila Peak Trek
  • Bisurital
  • Kanchula Korak Musk Deer Sanctuary
  • Ukhimath
  • Dugalbitta
  • Baniyakund
  • Kalpeswar Mandir
  • Rudranath Temple
  • Kedarnath Temple
  • Omkar Ratneshwar Mahadev

To read about these places in detail, please take a look at How to Plan a Trip to Chopta.

Accommodation and Food Options

Accommodation in Chopta is available in all forms. Depending on your preference, you can opt to stay at either a campsite, resort, or a cemented hotel. As you get closer to Chopta you will start noticing hotels, guest houses, and campsites around Dugalbitta and Baniya Kund.

The dhaba owners on the route also offer dormitory type accommodation; charging about Rs. 100 – 200 per bed. In terms of food, you can either eat at your hotel or the Dhabas. You will only find the normal north Indian food like Roti, Sabzi, Daal, Chawal, etc.

offbeat places in uttarakhand

Lohaghat

“If there is heaven on earth, it is in Kashmir”. These are the famous words of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. But did you know that an Englishman responded to these words saying that “Why to go to Kashmir? If there is heaven in the world, it’s in Lohaghat”.

These are the words of Mr. P Barron. He was a sugar trader and is best known for establishing Nainital in 1840 as a tourist resort.

Lohaghat is a great place to go to if you want to avoid crowded tourist places and would rather spend some time in peace.

It is a quiet little place located at a distance of 200 kilometers from Rampur and 62 kilometers from Pithoragarh. It is at an altitude of 1,754 meters (5,755 ft) and is also a center of historical and mythological importance.

About 7 kilometers ahead of Lohaghat is Abbott Mount, another pretty little hill station.

  • Best time to Visit: Throughout the Year
  • Nearest Railway Station: Tanakpur Railway station, 60 km
  • Nearest Airport: Pantnagar, 160 km
  • Time Recommended: 3 – 4 Days from Delhi

What to see in Lohaghat

Below is a list of places to visit in Lohaghat.

  • Abbott Mount
  • Lohaghat to Abbott Mount
  • Banasur Ka Kila
  • Mayawati Ashram
  • Pancheshwar Mahadev Temple

Accommodation and Food Options

There are plenty of hotels both in Lohaghat and Abbott Mount where you can stay. Just drive around the town, find a place per your liking, and check-in. You do not have to book in advance because it is never that crowded here anyway.

In terms of food as well, there are several restaurants or small dhabas that you can eat at.

offbeat places in uttarakhand

Dharchula

You want to visit a town that is half in India and half in Nepal? Think no more and head straight to Dharchula. This village is located on the banks of Mahakali river which acts as a natural border between India and Nepal over a long stretch. This village is located on both sides of the river and a bridge connects both parts of the village. So half of Dharchula is Indian and the other half is Nepali.

It is just the geographical division though as there is literally no difference in culture and lifestyle of people. Dharchula derives its name from Hindi words “Dhar” which means mountain and “Chulha” which means stove because the valley in which it lies resembles a stove.

It is at an altitude of 915 meters and even though it does get a lot cold during winter, there isn’t any snowfall here. The town as well as the drive to it is quite scenic and it serves as the base for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra and Aadi Kailash Yatra.

  • Best time to visit: Throughout the Year except for the monsoon season
  • Nearest Airport: Pantnagar – 330 km away
  • Nearest Railway Station: Tanakpur Railway Station, 230 km away
  • Recommended Time: 5-6 days from Delhi

What to see in Dharchula

Below is a list of places that you can visit in Dharchula.

  • Adi Kailash
  • Narayan Ashram
  • Chirkila Dam
  • Kali River
  • Askot Sanctuary
  • Om Parvat
  • Jauljibi

Accommodation and Food Options

Being a small border village, there are several hotels in Dharchula that will fit every budget. For food as well, you can easily find small Dhabas to eat at. You can also cross the bridge, walk into Nepal, and eat there to try some Nepali dishes.

Askot

If Dharchula is a bit too populated for you then there is another small village on the way that you may visit. About 52 kilometers from Pithoragarh is Askot, also known as Askote at a height of 1,106 meters.

It was formerly a princely state of Uttarakhand and is now known for Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary. This sanctuary extends from an altitude of 600 meters to 6,905 meters at its highest elevation. Kali River separates this sanctuary from Tibet and flows down through the town of Askot.

The entire village is surrounded by dense forests of Pinus, Quercus, and Rhododendron trees. The sanctuary also offers great views of Himalayan peaks such as Najrikot, Panchuli, Chiplakot, and Naukana.

  • Best time to visit: Throughout the Year except for the monsoon season
  • Nearest Airport: Pantnagar – 290 km away
  • Nearest Railway Station: Tanakpur Railway Station, 197 km away
  • Recommended Time: 5-6 days from Delhi

What to see in Askot

The wildlife sanctuary in Askot will be its greatest attraction. Also known as Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary, it was set up in 1986 primarily with the object of conserving the musk deer and its habitat. Other animals that are found here are the Bengal tiger, Leopard, Himalayan jungle cat, civet, barking deer, serow, goral, and Himalayan brown bear. Numerous species of rare high altitude birds are also found in the sanctuary.

The name of Askot is derived from Assi-Kot, which literally means 80 forts, coming from the fact that it was the ancient Katyuri dynasty. The remains of the ancients forts are still visible.

Accommodation and Food Options

There are several hotels and resorts in the area that you can stay at. Restaurants and Dhabas are also available in plenty so food as well will not be a problem.

Chaukori

Chaukori is a small village located in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand. It is at a distance of about 86 kilometers from Pithoragarh. To get here, the best route would be to travel via Nainital and Almora. It is a small town consisting of about 250 houses and a few hotels but offers great views of towering snowy Himalayan peaks of Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot, and Panchhuli Group.

At a height of 2,010 meters, this place is covered with tea gardens all around. The sunrise/sunset views you will get from here are bound to take your breath away. It is a perfect place if you want to spend some time away in lush green hills; away from the crowd and in peace.

  • Best time to Visit: April to June, September, and early October
  • Nearest Railway Station: Kathgodam, 180 km
  • Nearest Airport: Pantnagar Airport, 205 km
  • Days Recommended: 4 Days from Delhi

What to see in Chaukori

If I am to give you an honest opinion, the only thing to see in Chaukori is its natural beauty and mountain peaks. In a place like this, you are better off just relaxing for a couple of days and enjoying the amazing views. Below is a list of places that can be termed as tourist attractions in Chaukori.

  • Amazing view of the Western Himalayan Range
  • Natural Beauty
  • Sunrise & Sunset View
  • Tea Gardens
  • Hanging Rocks
  • Kali Taal Waterfall / Tunkhola Waterfall
  • Dharamgarh
  • Tea Gardens in Berinag
  • Musk Deer Park
  • Patal Bhuvaneshwar
  • Other Ancient Temples

Accommodation and Food Options

The most preferred option of stay is the KMVN rest house. These are small cottage-like structures a little apart from each other (picture above). In my opinion, it offers the best views in the entire Chaukori. The rest house can be booked at the KMVN Online Portal.

Other than the rest house, just take a walk around the village and you will find several other hotels, resorts, and homestay options. There are a couple of resorts located right inside a tea garden and are a good place to stay if the budget was not a problem.

If you were staying at the KMVN rest house, you should eat at their restaurant only. Other hotels too provide room service and have their own kitchen. Otherwise, there are a few small dhabas in the village where you can have a simple meal for a reasonable price.

For more details, please take a look at How to Plan a Trip to Chaukori.

chaukori

Munsiyari

A little ahead of Chakori is another beautiful place that you must explore while you were in Kumaon. It is the small village of Munsiyari, located at a distance of about 97 kilometers from Chaukori and 570 kilometers from Delhi. The drive can be a little along and I think that is one of the reasons why not many people visit here. But once you are in Munsiyari, you realize that every minute of the time you spent getting here was worth it.

Milam is best known for offering an astounding view of the Panchchuli peaks. The name Munsiyari literally translates as “Place with snow” due to which, it is often termed as “Little Kashmir”. It also serves as a base for trekking to Milam and Ralam Glaciers and Nanda Devi peak; and a center for skiing and other winter sports.

  • Best time to Visit: March to June, September, and October
  • Nearest Railway Station: Tanakpur, 273 km
  • Nearest Airport: Pantnagar, 336 km

What to see in Munsiyari

  • Panchchuli Peaks
  • Birthi Falls
  • Balanti Potato Farm
  • Maheshwari Kund
  • Thamri Kund
  • Khaliya Top
  • Nanda Devi Temple
  • Kalamuni Temple
  • Betulidhar

Accommodation and Food Options

Finding a hotel in Munsiyari will not be a challenge. There are several hotels right next to the bus stand itself. During the off-season, you can easily get a room anywhere between Rs. 500 to Rs. 1000, depending on your negotiation skills. In tourist season, expect this price to be around Rs. 1500 – Rs.2000.

There are no fancy restaurants in the village and the food you can get will be quite basic. You can either eat at your hotel or in any of the small Dhabas. For more details and a complete travel guide, please take a look at How to Plan a Trip to Munsiyari.

munsiyari

Landour

Surprisingly, considering the short distance that Landour is from Delhi, it is not really that known to many people. The total distance between Delhi and Landour is about 300 kilometers; which can easily be covered in 7 hours making it a perfect place for a quick weekend getaway. It is a silent Army cantonment which was established by the British and is home to the famous author, Ruskin Bond. The famous Nag Tibba trek too starts from here.

If you visit in January, there is a high chance that you will find snow in Landour itself. But if you did not, then take a drive towards Devalsari village. The trek to Nag Tibba starts from Devalsari and is a 13-kilometer moderate climb. Covering the entire trek in snow and reaching back to Devalsari may not be doable in one day. But walk until where you can, have fun in the snow, and come back before dark.

  • Best time to visit: February, April to June, September, and October
  • Nearest Airport: Dehradun, 38 km away
  • Nearest Railway Station: Dehradun, 38 km away
  • Recommended Time: 3-4 days from Delhi

What to see in Landour

All of the places that are known as tourist attractions of Mussoorie are also the attractions of Landour. Both towns are not far from each other. The difference however is that Mussoorie tends to get a little crowded whereas Landour is more of a peaceful little hamlet. Instead of staying at Mussoorie, you can look for a hotel in Landour and explore the place. For a complete list of places that you can visit in this region, please take a look at Places to visit in Mussoorie and Things to Do.

Accommodation and Food Options

Mussoorie is a major tourist destination in Uttarakhand and as such, there is no dearth of hotels in the area. You will There are a couple of hotels and cottages in Landour as well that you can stay at for a few days. In terms of food, there are a few small restaurants in the market where you can get something to eat.

Chakrata

I simply love Chakrata because of several things. First is that it is never too crowded here, just a handful of tourists. Second is that this place is an Army Cantonment which means well laid out roads and a clean town. The third is the location of the town which offers perfect sunrise views on one side and sunset views on the other.

If you are into photography, you must head to Chakrata to get those perfect dawn and dusk captures. In winter the entire place receives heavy snowfall but with drive-able roads because of Army presence.

  • Best time to visit: Throughout the Year
  • Nearest Airport: Dehradun, 88 km away
  • Nearest Railway Station: Dehradun, 88 km away
  • Recommended Time: 3-4 days from Delhi

What to see in Chakrata

Some of the places you can visit in Chakrata are Tiger Falls, Deoban, Ram Tal, Mundali, Chilmiri Neck, Thana Danda Peak, Budher Caves, Kimona Falls, Bairat Khai Pass, and Kanasar. The entire place is surrounded by dense forests and completely lost in the wilderness. I have talked in detail about all these places in another article, How to Plan a Trip to Chakrata that I will urge you to take a look at.

Accommodation and Food Options

There are plenty of hotels in Chakrata that you can stay at. These range between Rs. 1000 – Rs. 2500 or even more. Camping too is an option but only in areas around Budher Caves, Thana Danda Peak, and Mundali.

The town has a few restaurants where you can get local cuisine, North and South Indian dishes, and some popular Chinese food like noodles and momos. There is also a Punjabi Dhaba in the market that offers good and reasonably priced food. I mostly ate there because the food at the hotel was very costly.

For some local snacks, you can try the Army Canteen located inside a huge Army gate as you climb down the stairs from the main market. Try Nepali roti in this canteen, it’s good.

chakrata

Harsil

Harsil is a small village, located on the banks of the Bhagirathi River and at an altitude of 9,005 ft (2,745 meters). Surrounded by a dense forest of Deodar, Pine, and Oak trees, it is a perfect place for someone wanting to get away from the crowd and spend a little time in peace. The village is also a cantonment area.

It is in fact ironic in the way that Harsil is located on a road that receives thousands of tourists and pilgrims each year. But everyone seems to be in a rush to get to Gangotri and Harsil remains goes unnoticed. It is never crowded and there are rarely any tourists around. But on the other hand, it is very well connected by a good motorable road, receives a good mobile network and can be easily reached.

  • Best time to Visit: April to June, September, and October
  • Nearest Railway Station: Dehradun, 217 km
  • Nearest Airport: Dehradun Jolly Grant Airport, 232 km
  • Recommended Time: 4-5 Days from Delhi

What to see in Harsil

Harsil is really just a small village and there is not much to see around here. Wilson Cottage and Mandakini Falls are probably its only two tourist attractions. Other than this, the only thing to do is to sit by the river, go for nature walks, slow down life for a few days, and rejuvenate yourself.

Gangotri, Dharali, Mukhba, Gangnani, and Nelong Valley are some of the places that you can see around Harsil. If you were into trekking, you can use Harsil to explore Sattaal Trek and Kyarkoti Lake. For more details, please take a look at How to Plan a Trip to Harsil.

Accommodation and Food Options

Harsil has a few basic budget guesthouses that you can stay at.  It is more of an offbeat destination so there are no luxury hotels here. But the guest houses available will be very comfortable even with limited facilities.

There is also a GMVN guesthouse set up by the government. There are a few small dhabas in the village that you can eat at. Nothing fancy though, just basic north Indian food and some Garhwali dishes.

harsilImage Credit: Vishwajeet

Pangot

Pangot is a small village located at a height of 6,300 feet and about 18 kilometers from Nainital. If you have any interest in bird watching, then Pangot is the place you need to be at. Around 580 bird species are believed to have been recorded in this area. It is one of those offbeat places in Uttarakhand that are very easy to reach considering that it is also very close to a major tourist destination, Nainital.

The numerous perennial & seasonal creeks are home to a variety of flora and fauna including leopards, yellow-throated Himalayan martens, Himalayan palm civets, Ghorals, barking deer, and sambhar. The drive to Pangot from Nainital too is quite scenic. While Nainital gets a little crowded, you will not find many tourists in Pangot which makes it a perfect place if you want to avoid the crowd.

  • Best time to Visit: April to June, September, and October
  • Nearest Railway Station: Kathgodam, 50 km away
  • Nearest Airport: Pantnagar,90 km away
  • Recommended Time: 3-4 Days from Delhi

What to see in Pangot

Pangot is best known for its birds. Other than the wildlife, the natural beauty of Pangot is its prime attraction.  To be honest, you come to a place like Pangot to just soak in the peace and to relax. Spend a few days here and you will feel like you have recharged yourself. There is also a small waterfall in Pangot that you can visit.

If, however, you do want some sightseeing as a part of your trip then the town of Nainital is only an hour away. There is a long list of places that you can visit that I have covered in a different article Places to Visit in Nainital & Things to Do that I will urge you to read.

Accommodation and Food Options

Pangot is really more of a camping site than a hotel stay. There are a whole bunch of cottages, tents, and resorts here. Jungle Lore Birding Lodge is probably the oldest and most famous one. They have a set of five cottages and swiss tents. There is a hotel called Janardan Resort where a friend of mine stayed for Rs. 1000 per day. It was very basic though. The Nest Cottages is another good choice but a very expensive one. Nature drops and The Cocoon Camps are two other good campsites.

All of the campsites and resorts have their own dine-in restaurants or room service. Their final prices are actually inclusive of both meals and lodging. Other than this, there are a few small dhabas as well where you can eat. For more details, please take a look at How to Plan a Trip to Pangot.

pangot

Manila

No, we are not talking about Manila in the Philippines and I did not misspell Manali either. There is a place called Manila in Uttarakhand, located about 80 kilometers from Ranikhet. It is on the same belt that a few other places like Chaukori, Munsiyari, and Kausani are. It is a small village that is best known for its natural beauty and the confluence of three rivers Ramganga, Gagas, and Norara.

  • Distance from Delhi: 440 kilometers
  • Best time to Visit: March to June, September, and November
  • Nearest Railway Station: Kathgodam, 145 km
  • Nearest Airport: Pantnagar Airport, 170 km away

Things to do in Manila

Nature walks is the best thing to do in Manila. Just relax and walk around while enjoying the natural beauty of the place. Sunset and Sunrise views from the village are awesome and you will really enjoy that. If you are into photography, you will really have your fun. You can also visit the confluence of Ramganga, Gagas, and Norara rivers.

Accommodation and Food Options

There is a KMVN rest house in Manila where most of the tourists stay. It is a good place with decent clean rooms and will not even cost you must. Other than the rest house, there is also the option of homestay that you can opt for.

There are a couple of dhabas in the village that you can eat. There is a dhaba near the rest house as well where most of the tourists staying there eat. If you were staying at a homestay, then you will eat with your host only.

binsar

Binsar

Last entry in our list of Offbeat places in Uttarakhand is of Binsar. When we say Binsar, we are talking about two places. One is the small village of Binsar and the other is the Binsar Wildlife sanctuary. Both the places are located in the same region though, right next to each other.

Binsar is now just a tiny village, one of many in Uttarakhand. But in ancient times, this place was the summer capital of the Chand Kings, who ruled over Kumaon from the 11th to 18th centuries AD.

The place is within a stone’s throw from the town of Almora but it never gets crowded. The weather remains pleasant throughout the year with a chance of snowfall in the winter season.

  • Best time to Visit: Throughout the year
  • Nearest Railway Station: Kathgodam, 119 km
  • Nearest Airport: Pantnagar, 150 km
  • Time Recommended: 4 Days from Delhi

What to see in Binsar

Below is a list of places that you should see while visiting Binsar

  • Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary – A dense forest spread over an area of 46 km2 and home to several rare trees, birds, reptiles, and mammals
  • Wildlife Sanctuary Museum – A small museum inside the sanctuary where you can also buy some souvenirs
  • The Views: Amazing views all around
  • Zero Point: A vantage point that offers a 360-degree view of the valley
  • Pariyadeva Pashan: Another vantage point that is also an archaeological site
  • Bineshwar Mahadev Temple: An ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva
  • Gairar Golu Devta Temple: Another old temple dedicated to Golu Devta
  • Kasar Devi Temple: Located on the way between Almora to Binsar
  • Crank’s Ridge / Hippie Hill: Best known for the Hippie culture. A favorite place among Israelis.

Accommodation and Food Options

KMVN rest house inside the wildlife sanctuary will be the best place to stay at. It is a good place that is also reasonably priced and can also be booked at the KMVN Online portal.

There are a lot of other hotels in this area so if not KMVN, you can opt for another per your liking. Kasar Devi village or Papar Saili is a preferred place among backpackers, hippies, and Israelis. So for budget accommodation, you can look for accommodation here.

If the budget was not an issue, you can also choose to stay in a resort that are in plenty around here. Mohan’s Binsar Retreat resort and Club Mahindra resort come highly recommended. For more details, please take a look at How to Plan a Trip to Binsar.

binsar

Offbeat Places in Uttarakhand – Conclusion

These are just some of the numerous places in Uttarakhand that you can visit. A few other names that come to mind are Lohaghat, Ranikhet, Kausani, Binsar, Mana, Munsiyari, Mandal. Khati Village, Gangolihat, Dudhatoli, Didihat, and Jeolikote. If you have been to an offbeat place in Uttarakhand that is not listed here but is worth a visit, please do suggest the name in the comments below.

I hope the information above regarding offbeat places in Uttarakhand was helpful. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask at our Community Forum or in the comments section below and I will be glad to answer.

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44 comments

Priyanka Shivan June 11, 2021 - 8:45 am

hi , have you charted out any road trip map for the places mentioned above

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Nikita Singh February 2, 2021 - 6:55 am

Absolutely amazing! Very well written and informative.

You’ve missed out Mukteshwar. That’s another place with amazing views of Trishul, Nanda Devi and Panchachuli peaks. It’s a quiet place with a lot of walking trails around. You may want to add the name.

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Mukul goel April 11, 2021 - 10:37 am

Good work

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Vargis.Khan April 11, 2021 - 4:15 pm

Thank you !!!

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Rajkumar sangwan May 22, 2021 - 10:45 am

Muketshwar is amazing place

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Vargis.Khan June 7, 2021 - 2:01 am

I agree Rajkumar Bhai !!!

Gaumukh Trek from Gangotri - A Complete Travel Guide - Vargis Khan July 4, 2020 - 7:37 pm

[…] Also Read: 12 Scenic and Offbeat Places in Uttarakhand […]

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d suribabu April 26, 2020 - 5:46 am

happy to find a web site i like the most. me and my wife are like backpack tourists and visited most of the tourist places in india. i know the list never ends and with your info i wist to start once again. we visited all of south india before 1990.then i have records of other state tours. in 1994 Aurangabad,shirdi and nasik. 1996 pachmadi,jabalpur,khajraho, orcha . 1997 omkareswar,mandu,shivpuri and gwalior. 1998 reshikesh,kedar,gangotri,yamunotri,mussori,narkanda,dhanolti and dehradun.1999 mahabaleswar and panchgani. 2001 lucknow,ninetal,ranikhet,kausani,berinag,patalbhuvaneswar and almora. 2002 belgaum,amboli,vengurla,konkan rail jurney to roha, murud janjeera.2003 agra,sitalkhet,jageswar,lohaghat,champavat,abbatmount,pithorghad,munsiari,gwaldom,badri,rishikesh and haridwar.2004 to shimla for snowfall. 2004 amrutsar,dalhousi,kajjiyar,chamba,dharmasala,manali,sarahan,kalpa,chitkul,sangla,narkanda,shimla,kasouli,chandighar and delhi.2005 kursiang,mirik,dargiling and kalingpang. 2006 dwaraka,junaghad,somnath,palitana,patan,modhera,bhuj,narayan sarowar,saputara and silvasa.2007 gowahati,bomdila,tawang,zero,itanagar,kohima ,imphal shillong etc. 2009 gangtok,yamathang,north sikkim and peeling, 2009 jammu, srinagar, gulmarg,pahagav,sonamarh. 2010 srinagar,kargil,panikar,padum,nubra,pamyangsto,keylong,kaza,kalpa delhi. this how we travelled. now again ur inspiring us to start all over again

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Poulami Sarkar April 4, 2020 - 8:13 am

Hey vergis.. Thanks for the amazing blog. It will be helpful if u add some staying options in the above said places.

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Shraddha Forest December 5, 2019 - 2:06 pm

Hi Vargis,
I would like to draw your attention to Shitlakhet in Almora district.This place is just 30 kilometers away from city and rapidly gaining popularity amongst nature lovers.You will be surprised to know that two properties located in Shitlakhet, have been highly appreciated and rated by guests.
Thanks

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Vargis.Khan December 5, 2019 - 3:57 pm

Thank you for adding the details.

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Anuj Gautam June 16, 2019 - 2:18 am

You should add niti valley in this article, I’ve been there it’s pure beauty

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Vargis.Khan June 17, 2019 - 1:42 pm

Thanks Anuj. Can you write 3-4 few lines about Niti Valley and I will add it. I have never been there.

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Sanjay Vajpeyee April 3, 2019 - 9:31 am

We (husband & wife – both senior citizen) intend to visit Khirsu during mid April, please guide us how to plan the tour from Udaipur (Rajasthan) and what to see & how to manage stay.

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yojana March 11, 2019 - 11:31 am

Hi a great list of offbeat places . I am looking at travelling to Dehradun in April from Mumbai . Have 5 days and unable to decide what to cover . Any reccos pls.

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Vargis.Khan March 11, 2019 - 4:09 pm

You can go towards Chopta and Deoria Tal and include Auli as well.

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" अतीक " February 22, 2019 - 8:45 am

Hey am planning 2nd of week april somewhere in uttrakhand for 7 days. Any suggestions ? Am looking for someplace quite, less crowded and a bit cool.

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Vargis.Khan February 22, 2019 - 1:07 pm

How are you traveling? By your own vehicle?

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Manish Kamble September 16, 2018 - 4:19 pm

Hello Vergis,
I am planning to visit peora in October.
Can you please suggest me some affordable accommodations in the village as I will be travelling solo and will be staying there around a week.
Thank you.

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Machu September 24, 2018 - 4:04 pm

Hi chanced upon your lovely write up .Woukd like you to visit us … not too far from Peora and a little place called Mauna and our cottage there is machuscottage
We are also on the web as machuscottage.com and are as quiet if not more so than Peora

Thanks you can get in touch with us at
machuscottage.com

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Vargis.Khan September 24, 2018 - 5:10 pm

Hello – Can you please leave me your number? I was planning to come that way next month and would love to stay at your place.

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Vargis.Khan September 24, 2018 - 5:11 pm

And after staying at your property, I can also post a review here on my blog if you would wish me to.

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Mohammad Anas January 6, 2021 - 7:26 pm

Hope we could plan a trip together.

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Chakshu Dutta May 26, 2018 - 5:25 am

Hello Vargis,

Sure, shall suggest them this place. I am not a traveller, but how about Dharamshala and Mcleodganj. Is that area feasible during July month.

Thanks

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Chakshu Dutta May 24, 2018 - 5:45 pm

Hello Vargis ,

That’s a wonderful blog.

I need your help. A known family friends, who have been away from country since past 16 years want to spend 7-9 days in Uttarakand. They would be visiting India by mid July and would straight head for a quite picturesque holiday.

The couple aged 57 & 52 with 2 sons aged 17 &14 would want to visit 2-3 places with less of driving around.

Please advise a suitable trail. I would much appreciate your help.

Many thanks
Capt. C. Dutta

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Vargis.Khan May 24, 2018 - 8:41 pm

Hello Capt. Dutta – July is the time of monsoon and you may face a bit of trouble traveling in Uttarakhand. It is more prone to landslides than Himachal. If you want quite for 7-9 days, why not head towards Kinnaur valley in Himachal?

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Nahid Akhtar May 21, 2018 - 9:14 am

Assalaam Alekum Varghis bhai, I m from Saharanpur and often go to Mussoorie on my Bajaj avenger , just wanted to explore more remote or isolated spots near mussorrie, dhanaulti is in my next trip . Pls suggest few more that can be done in a single day trip
Cheers !!
9760473855

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Vargis.Khan May 21, 2018 - 2:55 pm

Walaikum As-salam Nahid Bhai – There really is not much to do on Mussorie – Dhanaulti – Chamba circuit except for enjoy the natural beauty of the place. There is a temple in Dhanaulti called Pariyon ka Mandir, about 2 hours of trekking through the jungle if you want to go there.

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Nahid Akhtar May 23, 2018 - 4:59 pm

Thanks varghis saheb, I will try your opinion !! Cheers

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Vargis.Khan May 23, 2018 - 5:04 pm

You are welcome !!!

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Rishabh March 27, 2018 - 1:56 pm

Hi Varghis Bhai. Amazing blog you’ve got here. Ever traveled alone on a motorcycle? I am planning to do so and I am a bit nervous. Any tips?

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Vargis.Khan March 27, 2018 - 2:34 pm

Hi Rishabh Bhai – I am not really a big fan of solo trips; a bit dull for me to just be all by myself so have never done it. Where are you planning to go?

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Rishabh March 27, 2018 - 3:00 pm

Kanatal-Dhanaulti-Mussoorie and back to Delhi

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Vargis.Khan March 27, 2018 - 3:59 pm

That is quite easy really and one of my favorites. I must have done it at least 10 times over weekends. Go easy and you will enjoy to fullest. Reach Rishikesh, then climb up to Chamba, Kanatal, Dhanaulti, Mussorie, climb down to Dehradun and return to Delhi taking the chhutmalpur route.

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Rishabh March 28, 2018 - 2:54 am

Thanks. Have you been to Umlingla? You live in Delhi, right? We can go on a ride together sometime.

Vargis.Khan March 28, 2018 - 5:16 pm

Nahi I have not been to Umling La yet. I am planning for this year though, sometime in October though.

Ashok Negi November 7, 2017 - 12:51 pm

Hi Vargis,

Very nice article, but this list will not be complete without including Mukteshwar, one of the best offbeat destination of Uttarakhand.

Thanks

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Vargis.Khan November 19, 2017 - 10:52 pm

Ashok Bhai -You are absolutely right. Mukteshwar is definitely one of the best places to visit in Uttarakhand.

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Ashok Negi December 11, 2017 - 12:46 pm

Thanks Vargis Bhai. So you are planning to visit the heaven of Mukteshwar 🙂

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Vargis.Khan December 18, 2017 - 3:35 pm

I definitely will Ashok Bhai. When did you go there last? Any tips on what all should I cover at Mukteshwar?

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Kavita Satam October 6, 2017 - 4:54 pm

Hi Vargis, we did Ladakh road trip in our vehicle this year, and we are planning road trip either in Uttarakhand or Lahul-Spiti next year (July/Aug/Sep) from Mumbai in our vehicle. Which is the best time to drive in the Uttarakhand? How frequent are the landslides in Uttarakhand as compare to Ladakh? I did a trek 8 years back in Uttarakhand and almost everyday came across landslides and we were told that the mountains are very fragile in the area.
Thanks

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Vargis.Khan October 7, 2017 - 10:43 pm

Hello Kavita – Avoid the months of late July and August, that is the time when you will come across the landslides at most. Go in September, less chance of landslides and plenty of greenery around. If you want to go early than May or June will be good too but there won’t be that much of green around.

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Kavita Satam October 8, 2017 - 9:43 am

Thanks a lot Vargis !!!

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Vargis.Khan October 8, 2017 - 8:49 pm

You are welcome !!!

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