12 Scenic and Offbeat Places in Uttarakhand

by Vargis.Khan

Offbeat Place is probably is one of the most frequent questions asked by anyone planning a trip to Himalayas. For someone visiting the hills for the first time; maybe any of the popular tourist destinations like Shimla, Mussorie or Manali may sound good enough; but for people who visit Himalayas on a regular basis; people who would even use a weekend for a quick trip; these places have long lost their charm. If you too are planning a trip and looking for a “not so crowded” destination, below is a list of 10 offbeat places in Uttarakhand that you may consider.

offbeat places in uttarakhand

Offbeat Places in Uttarakhand

What is an “offbeat place”? Well the definition can actually be different. Some people would consider it as 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.

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 provide picture perfect view of Shivalik ranges of Kumaon. There are several trails here that are worth taking a walk. If you are into photography, Peora will definitely be a place of interest to you.

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. Weather is always cold and the place remain tucked up in the clouds. There is not really much to do around here except for spending time in 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. 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.

Also Read: How to Plan a Trip to Dhanaulti

Dharchula

You want to visit a town that is half in India and half 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.

Also Read: How to Plan a Trip to Auli

Abbott Mount

Would you like to visit a quiet little hill staion with a hint of supernatural to it? Head straight to Abbott mount. This tiny hamlet was named after John Arnold Abbott, an English businessman who bought some tea gardens here and intended to make it as an English settlement. As per the legend, in one of the Bungalows here, a Doctor by the name of Morrison performed some dreadful experiments on the locals in 1920s. Spirits of his victim patients are still believed to haunt “Mukti Kothri”, one of the rooms of the old Bungalow.

Haunting however is not all that you should go looking for in Abbott Mount. This peaceful village offers great views of enchanting snow clad Himalayan peaks and away from the noisy city life; the atmosphere here is quite calm and pleasant. There are never a lot of tourists here and perfect if you are looking for a less crowded place.

Another tourist attraction here is the old cricket pitch which is famed to be the second highest in the world after the one in Chail.

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 offers abundant opportunities to spend some good time with your family or friends.

offbeat places in uttarakhand

Offbeat Places in Uttarakhand

Some of the known tourist destinations like Lansdowne, Dhanaulti, Munsiyari are nearby so you can also include this Khirsu with your itinerary to visit any of these places.

Also Read: How to Plan a Trip to Khirsu

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.

Also Read: How to Plan a Trip to Chopta

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.

Landour

Surprisingly, considering the short distance that Landour is at from Delhi, it is not really that known to many people. 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 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 however 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 snow and come back before dark.

Also Read: How to Plan a Trip to Munsiyari

Chaukori

Chaukori is a small village located in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand. It is at a distance of about 86 kilometers from Pithoragarh and to get here; best route would be 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; and the sunrise/sunset views you will get from here are bound to take your breath away. Perfect if you want to spend some time away in lush green hills; away from the crowd and in peace.

offbeat places in uttarakhand

Offbeat Places in Uttarakhand

Chakrata

I simple love Chakrata because of several things I love. 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. Third is the location of the town which offers perfect sunrise views on one side and sunset views on 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.

Some other tourists attractions here are Tiger Falls, Deoban and Lakshmandal, an ancient Hindu temple complex. The entire place is surrounded by dense forests and completely lost in wilderness.

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 beleived to have been recorded in this area. 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 however you may find a bit of tourists here as a lot of people head to Pangot from Nainital.

Also Read: How to Plan a Trip to Pangot

Mori

Would you like to drive to a quiet place, away from civilization and add a bit of adventure to it? Mori is a perfect little village that offers adventurous rafting in along with the peace and calm of the natural beauty around. It is located about a 100 kilometers from Chakrata and about 30 kilometers from Tiuni. The village is located on the bank of TOns river which is a major tributary of Yamuna.

Offbeat Places in Uttarakhand

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, Kasauni, 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 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 comments section below and I will be glad to answer.

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37 comments

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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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.

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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.

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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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