Day 1 - 10 Jun 2018
Content: It was my unplanned trip to the lofty hills of Mussoorie. I decided to spend a week in Uttarakhand which is nested in the Himalayas. I took a flight from Delhi to Dehradun. It was hardly a 1-hour journey to reached Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun. It was a nice airport and the staffs are very kind. I booked a cab from the airport to the hotel. Dehradun is the capital city of Uttarakhand. It is the gateway to nearby tourist destinations such as Mussoorie, Haridwar, Rishikesh, etc. The popular Basmati rice is grown in abundance in this city and then exported to other parts of the country.
Content: I booked a room at Hotel Siddharth Residency. It was recommended by one of my friends. I checked in to the hotel to place my bag. The hotel was quite good and located near to the railway station. The room was good and clean. It was a budget hotel, enough for one night.
Content: I entered to the first destination on my list, Sahastradhara. It was the famous tourist stop in Uttarakhand which means 'thousand-fold spring'. As the name implies I expected thousands of streams from the mountains but it was a small pool of water arranged in the steps. It is believed that the water in the steam has medicinal values due to the presence of sulphur. Many shops are available to rent clothes to take dip. The beauty of the place attracts a lot of travellers.
Content: Next, I stooped at Robber’s Cave which was 30 minutes from Sahastradhara. It is locally known as Gucchu Pani. It is a river cave surrounded by mountains, hills, and forests. I walked through the narrow gorge with ankle-deep water. The water was so clean. I kept the shoe outside the cave and rented a slipper. There is a waterfall at the end of the cave where people take bath and enjoy the surroundings. There are many shops around the cave to eat and drink.
Content: Tapkeshwar Mahadev Temple is also known as Mahadev Temple. It is the popular holy place for Hindus. In the temple, I saw the Shivalinga was located within a natural cave. It is very different from other temples as from the roof natural water keeps dropping.
Content: My final destination of the day was Ghanta Ghar and Paltan Bazaar. I just wandered around the streets. It was a busiest circle in the city. Basically one could buy anything to everything from the market. I saw many people bargain for the commodities in the market. Ghanta Ghar is a Clock Tower which is the popular landmark in the Dehradun. It is the iconic building surrounded with many complexes and shops.
Content: I stopped at Lakshmi restaurant to take my dinner. It was the oldest restaurant in Dehradun located at the Paltan Bazaar. It was famous for South Indian dishes. It was a simple and crowded restaurant. I ordered a dosa, which was very crispy and tasty. They served dosa along with chutney and sambar. The filter coffee was amazing with the richness of coffee flavor and smell. Then I headed back to the hotel.
Day 2 - 11 Jun 2018
Content: After fresh up, I had breakfast at the hotel. They offered a bread sandwich and coffee at the room itself. With the help of a hotel representative, I decided to travel from Dehradun to Haridwar by train. The railway station was at the walk able distance. I checked out from the hotel and headed towards Dehradun railway station.
Day 2 - 11 Jun 2018
Content: I reached Haridwar railway station after a 1-hour journey from Dehradun. It was the best way to explore the natural beauty of the landscape. Haridwar was a holy city. It was the place where people from all over India go for pilgrimage and take a holy dip in the holy river Ganges. The foreigners are always attracted to the Haridwar due to the complex culture of India and various Hindu rituals.
Content: I took a room at the Hotel Aastha Palace. It was located very close to the railway station. I got an air-conditioned room with a comfortable bed. The room was quite good. The hot and cold running water was available at the hotel. I had a simple lunch from the hotel. Then I took a rest at the hotel for some time.
Content: I was ready to pay a visit to Hari Ki Pauri in the evening. I got a Punjabi friend from the hotel with we headed towards Hari Ki Pauri. It was the major landmark and a famous ghat located on the banks of River Ganga in Haridwar. It is believed that Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu have visited the Brahmakund in Har ki Paudi in ancient times. It was the place where Ganga Aarti takes place and which is considered most sacred is known as Brahm Kund. Kumbh Mela is celebrated every twelve years in Haridwar when millions of people gathered from different parts of the world. Ganga Aarti is the river worshipping ceremony where the prayers are offered to the river Ganga. I could saw thousands of devotees and pilgrims assembled for Ganga Aarthi. During sunset, several lamps lit up. The lamps were waved in the prayer songs played in the background. The young or old everyone gathered here to witness this spiritual part. I was happy that I could click some amazing pictures.
Content: I walked into Big Ben Restaurant for dinner. They got an extensive menu. It is the favourite restaurant among locals. I had kadhai Panner and butte roti. It was a perfect combination. The kadhai Panner was rich in spices whereas the taste of butter dominated in the roti. After dinner, I returned to the room.
Day 3 - 12 Jun 2018
Content: My second day in Haridwar started with a lavish buffet breakfast arranged in the hotel. The buffet included both North Indian as well as South Indian foods with limited options. I enjoyed the food. They offered both tea and coffee. The breakfast was a perfect start to the day.
Content: This day was dedicated to temples of holy Haridwar. I started my drive from Mansa Devi Temple, Haridwar. The temple was located at the top of Bilwa Parvat on the Sivalik Hills. It was dedicated to the goddess Mansa Devi. The goddess is considered to be a form of shakti who emerged from the mind of Lord Shiva. There was a rope-way service from Haridwar. The temple crowed with local people. The journey to the top by the rope-way was mind-blowing.
Content: Maya Devi Temple was my next destination from Manasa Devi temple. Maya Devi Temple was located near Hari ki Pauri which is devoted to the goddess Maya. I experienced a very peaceful environment. Then I headed to a restaurant nearby for lunch.
Content: The Bharat Mata Mandir is also known as Mother India Temple. It was one of the most visited temples in Haridwar. The temple is dedicated to Bharat Mata a representation of India in the form of Mother Goddesses. The late Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi inaugurated the Bharat Mata Temple. The temple is a multi-story temple with eight floors with a specific theme. On the first floor, I saw a statue of Bharat Mata that is dedicated to Mother India. The second floor is named Shoor Mandir which is dedicated to celebrated Indian heroes. On the third floor, I saw statues of some admiring women from the history of India, and the floor is named Matru Mandir. On the fourth floor, Sant Mandir features great saints from different religions. The fifth floor is called Assembly Hall while the sixth floor is dedicated to Hindu Goddess Shakti. The seventh floor devoted to the incarnations of Lord Vishnu. When I reached the uppermost floor there was a shrine of Lord Shiva. It was the most admirable place.
Content: On the way back I stopped at Swami Vivekanand Park which is famous for the majestic gigantic idol of God Shiva. This huge idol catches the attraction of travellers passing through the bypass road. The park is a triangle in shape with a lush green garden. It is equipped with a massive statue of Swami Vivekananda. It was located very near to Hari Ki Pauri on the banks of river Ganga. I returned to hotel for dinner.
Day 4 - 13 Jun 2018
Content: After breakfast, checked out from the hotel and headed towards the Haridwar railway station. I took a train from the Haridwar to Rishikesh. It was an air-conditioned train with various classes of travel from Unreserved to 3AC.
Day 4 - 13 Jun 2018
Content: I reached Rishikesh after an hour's journey through a beautiful landscape. Rishikesh is the hub of adventures. I checked in to the Seventh Heaven Inn. It was located at Tapovan. It was a small hotel but the rooms are spacious. The staff behaved very kindly.
Content: My first destination at Rishikesh was Garud Chatti Waterfall Rishikesh. It was situated at Neelkanth road. It was a natural waterfall surrounded by hills. The view of the hills is amazing. I took a jeep from Lakshman Jhula. It was a small fall that was less crowded. I enjoyed the beauty of falls. It was a peaceful surrounding so perfectly suited for an evening walk.
Content: I stopped at the Little world cafe & restaurant for dinner. I ordered one of my favourite dishes, momos. The food was tasty but not up to expectation. The service was good. After dinner, I headed towards the hotel.
Day 5 - 14 Jun 2018
Content: After breakfast, I started my day from the hotel to Neelkanth Mahadev Temple. It took about 1 hour to reach the temple. It was a famous temple in Rishikesh. I reached the gate of the temple from where I brought the pooja kit and left my shoes there. I saw a queue inside the temple complex, however I got into the line. I completed my darshan after 3 hours. The temple has an impressive architecture with the walls caved by the entire history of the temple. I saw some devotees tie up a scared thread in a Peepal tree. There is a natural spring where some devotees took a holy bath.
Content: Then I planned to experience the adventurous activities in Rishikesh. Bungee Jumping was my first adventurous activity in my plan. After 1 hour of travel from the temple, I reached Jumping Heights. This is the top adventurous sport in Rishikesh. I was so thrilled to stand at a height equal to about 25 to 30 floored building. The wind was strong and the platform got vibrating. I walked towards the edge. That was the scariest time in my life. An instructor tied an elastic cord in my anklet and asked me to prepare myself to jump. I looked down into the water, I could saw rocks. The instructor started counting and asked me to jump. I jumped and accelerated at a dangerous pace. After 3 seconds they pulled me back. My sense also came back. It was an almost trilled lifetime experience I ever had.
Content: After lunch from a local restaurant, I headed towards Ram Jhula and Lakshman Jhula. Both are a famous landmark in the city. Ram Jhula is an iron suspension bridge over the holy river Ganga. I passed over the bridge by viewing the wild natural beauty of Rishikesh. The Lakshman Jhula is a hanging bridge across the river Ganga that connects two villages, Tapovan in the Tehri Garhwal district and Jonk in the Pauri Garhwal district. I enjoyed the natural beauty of the place.
Content: After wandering around the city I came back to the lodge for my dinner. The food was quite good. The butter masala was excellent in taste.
Day 6 - 15 Jun 2018
Content: After breakfast, I checked out from the hotel and headed towards another adventurous activity. This was my last day in Rishikesh.
Content: After breakfast, I headed towards the most thrilling part of my plan. Rishikesh is known for adventurous activities such as cliff jumping. It is just jumping down in the river from a particular height. It was an amazing experience. I can judge my physical as well as mental strength. In the beginning, I felt a little scary but after watching some people doing I got full confidence to take the challenge. They provided a helmet and life jacket with the help of a guide I climbed the cliff. From the top, he asked me to jump into the icy water from the mountain. It was a lifetime experience for me.
Content: On the way to Mussoorie, I stopped at Neer Garh waterfall. It is a beautiful two-tiered waterfall with two bathing pools. I reached a first-tier by car from there I walked towards the second one. On the way of the hike, there are many benches to take rest. It was the tallest fall in Rishikesh. I could saw a beautiful narrow stream of cool water cascading down a rocky terrain amid the dense green forest. It was a perfect place to get the most amazing pictures of nature.
Day 6 - 15 Jun 2018
Content: I started to drive to Guptkashi via Rudraprayag & Devprayag. En route, I could see the beautiful river Mandakini at Tilwara. The route was very beautiful and calm. Guptkashi is the perfect place to stay for the Kedarnath and Badrinath trip. I checked in to the tourist rest house located at the heart of the town. It featured a restaurant, a beautiful garden as well as a terrace. The rooms are with great views.
Day 7 - 16 Jun 2018
Content: I started early in the morning to Sitapur Helipad. It was located about 26 km ahead of Guptakashi. It took only 10 minutes in total to reach Kedarnath. It was the only comfortable way to reach Kedarnath. Sitapur is a beautiful village which is situated on the way to Kedarnath Dham of Uttarakhand. Sirsi, Phata, Augustmuni, etc are other locations of Uttarakhand that offer Helicopter services to Kedarnath.
Day 7 - 16 Jun 2018
Content: Kedarnath is one of the holy places and the most sacred pilgrimages of Lord Shiva. It is situated in the Rudraprayag district of Garhwal region in Uttarakhand. From Gaurikund further, I trek along with some pilgrims and tourists to Kedarnath. The Kedarnath trek is very popular among travelers. It is an 18 km trek that starts from Gaurikund. I passed through Rambara Bridge to reach Jungle Chatti. Then walked about 4 km to reach Bheembali. On the way to Kedarnath temple, I passed through Linchauli and Kedarnath Base Camp. The main temple was located against the backdrop of the majestic Kedarnath range. The administration provided several facilities included medical and first aid facilities and tea stalls and resting sheds are also available on the route. The trekking was allowed only between 04:00 AM to 01:30 PM. The temple was made with chunks of stones interlocked with iron clamps. I saw the statue of Nandi just outside the main entrance. After offering my prayers at the temple of Kedarnath, I walked behind to look at the big boulder, the savior of the main shrine. Adi Shankaracharya Samadhi Mandir was located just behind the Kedarnath Temple. After spending nearly two hours near the temple, I commenced the return journey to Gaurikund.
Day 7 - 16 Jun 2018
Content: I returned to GMVN Guptkashi and had dinner from a local restaurant.
Day 8 - 17 Jun 2018
Content: I set this day for the Badrinath visit. The morning after breakfast, checked out from the hotel and drive to Badrinath. It is one of the 'Ancient Four Dhams' and the most celebrated pilgrimage spots of the country.
Day 8 - 17 Jun 2018
Content: Badrinath is the place where both mystery and mythology interweave in Uttarakhand. The Badrinath temple is standing majestically on the banks of the holy river Alaknanda. Joshimath acts like the main gateway for many places in that part of Uttarakhand. The Badrinath is approx 45 km from the town of Joshimath. I took a room at a 3-star hotel which is located in Joshimath town, Valley of Flowers.
Content: By evening, I went for a walk through the sleepy town of Joshimath. It is a fairly large town that can be considered as the base station to visit many attractions in this area. Narshimha Temple is the perfect spot where I could view the picturesque town. I saw the Kalpavriksha tree which is believed to be the oldest tree in India. I returned to the hotel after dinner from a small street shop.
Day 9 - 18 Jun 2018
Content: I decided to cover the major attractions in Badrinath in a single day. I started off from the hotel early in the morning and reached the Jeep stand to catch a shared Jeep for Badrinath. It was located on the upper market road in Joshimath. The climate was comfortable and pleasant as the jeep passed through Govindghat. It is the base station for Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib Trek. I could see a large number of Sikh devotees on the sides of the road. I reached Badrinath which is situated in the lap of the Nar-Narayan mountain range. I proceeded towards the main temple, the streets of Badrinath was full of shops selling religious offerings, idols, photographs, etc. From Alaknanda River, I walked through a bridge supported on the iron pillar that leads to the temple area.
Content: I stopped at the most famous spot in the journey. There is a hot water pool on the right side, Tapta Kund located just after the bridge. It lies between the Badrinath temple and the Alaknanda River. According to mythology, it is originated from Kapala of Shiva, so that the water of Tapta Kund is hotter. The people believed that the water in the pond has medicinal properties that help to cure people from skin diseases and other ailments. So taking a holy dip in the water, before entering the temple will purify a person and make him get rid of his sins. It was crowded with several numbers of devotees. There is a separate enclosure for the ladies.
Content: After a holy dip, I walked ahead to the main temple. The temple was seated in the backdrop of the Neelkanth mountain peak. The temple is divided into three parts- the ‘Garbha Griha', the ‘Darshan Mandap’, and the ‘Sabha Mandap’. The holy shrine is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the Hindu devotees believe that visiting this temple will wash away their sins and help them attain moksha. The temple was crowded with travelers from different parts of the world. There are many options for seeing the idol of Lord Badrinarayan inside the temple. A token system is in place at the temple to maintain the crowd. The main idol was accompanied by Narayana on the right side and Kubera, the god of wealth on the left side while Garuda is kneeling in front. Special pujas should be booked in advance. After visiting the temple of Lord Badrinath, I went to Mana Village.
Content: After lunch, I headed to Vasundhara falls. The trek to Vasudhara Falls started from Mana Village and the end place called Bhim Pul. It is the last village of India on the Rishikesh Badrinath National Highway. The vehicles are not allowed to enter the village. On the way, I saw one interesting thing is that some shops advertise themselves as the last shops in India. The views along the way were very amazing and beautiful. It took 2 to 3 hours to complete the entire trek. The view of waterfalls was amazing and mind-blowing. I enjoyed the water falling from such a great height. The beautiful landscape and snow-covered mountains added to the glory of the falls. Along the sides of the road, I could saw many ladies busy weaving woolen carpets and sweaters. I returned to the parking area and hired my jeep to Guptkashi.
Day 9 - 18 Jun 2018
Content: I took a car from Guptkashi to Mussoorie, The Queen of Hills. It took about 3 hours to reach Mussoorie. It is a beautiful hill station located in the Dehradun district of Uttarakhand. I planned to spend 1 day in Mussoorie. That was not enough to cover all attractions but I planned to enjoy the beauty of lofty hills. This hill station is always crowded with people all around the world. I headed towards the hotel which was booked on the internet.
Content: I decide to spend the last days in a luxurious hotel. I checked in to the Royal Orchid Fort Residency located at the Mall Road, Mussoorie. It was a 5-star hotel with great rooms. The rooms are with great views of mountains. It was the perfect place to enjoy solitude. The dining area was equipped with North Indian cuisine enhanced with flavors of China and some other selected foods from all over the world. There is a smoking area within the property.
Day 10 - 19 Jun 2018
Content: After breakfast, my only day in Mussoorie started. I rented out a car so that I could easily visit all the major attractions around.
Content: My first destination was Kempty Fall which was the most popular spot. It was one of the beautiful falls in India. There are two main falls in Kempty, the lower one is quite popular and attractive. I could climb up to saw the origin of the falls. It was a great place to click photos. There are some shops around have some delectable snack to eat. I enjoyed the natural beauty in the lush greenery.
Content: I reached my next destination after half an hour's drive. Lal Tibba is the highest point in Mussorie. It was a great spot to view the splendid beauty of the landscape. It was located at the Landour area in Deport Hill. I could get a close view of Badrinath and Kedarnath hills through the kaleidoscope installed at the top of the hill. I roamed around the place for some time to breathe natural air.
Content: Company Garden was my next spot which is 3 km from Mussoorie city. It is also known as Company Bagh. I paved a quick visit that displayed many varieties of plants and flowers. There was a telescope through which I could view the nearby mountain ranges. I had lunch from a small nearby restaurant.
Content: Camel’s Back Road is a popular destination to view both sunrise and sunset. The pure air and cool breeze throughout the day gave special energy to roam around. It was a road that stretched over a length of 3 KM from the Library Point and goes up to Kulri Bazaar. The way provided beautiful scenery.
Content: My next stop was Mussoorie Lake, to enjoy the serene setting and calm nature. This spot added more charm to my trip. I took some relaxed time on the banks of the lake. There are many visitors both locals as well as travellers. I took a small boat drive through the calm water.
Content: The last destination was Mall Road. It was a very famous place for shopping. I too did some shopping for my dear ones. It was the busiest part where local people gathered to exchange friendly conversations and enjoy evening time. Along with some tourists from other parts I spend some time sitting and chatting on an age-old bench. I bought some significant items from the market. The woollen garments and wooden items are common. I enjoyed street foods from Mall Road. The Aloo ke Gutke is a popular dish in Mussoorie. It was a mildly spicy dish. After checked out the hotel and took a car to Dehradun. After 1 and a half hours journey I reached Dehradun airport. I took an early morning flight to Delhi.