Uttarkashi literally translates to ‘Kashi of North’. It is a town in Uttarkashi district of the north Indian state of Uttarakhand. The town is the district headquarters and is located on the banks of Bhagirathi River. It lies next to a hill named Varun Parvat, on confluence of two rivers Varuna and Asi. The town is a very popular pilgrimage destination and attracts devotees from all over the country. The name of the town bears resemblance with Kashi (Varanasi) as both these destinations are located on the banks of Ganges River.
The other similarities between these two cities are that Uttarkashi also has a ghat called Manikarnika Ghat, a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva called Kashi Vishvanath Temple.
Uttarkashi district has 6 tehsils namely, Badkot, Bhatwadi, Chinyali Sour, Dunda, Purola, Mori. The assembly constituencies in the district are – Purola (SC), Gangotri and Yamunotri.
Uttarkashi is famous for its picture perfect serene locales and the hub of adventure sports like trekking, river rafting, mountaineering etc. Nature walks and village walks are other activities that tourists can enjoy.
Geography and Climate of UttarkashiUttarkashi is located at 30.73°N 78.45°E and has an average elevation of 1165 m above sea level. Most of the region is hilly terrain. Various rivers flow in the district, Ganga (Bhagirathi) and Yamuna being the largest of them all. The origin of these two major rivers called Gaumukh and Yamunotri are also located in Uttarkashi district and are popular religious tourist attractions.
Given below is the location guide of Uttarkashi:
Summers in Uttarkashi are mild and moderate. The average maximum temperature is around 30 degree Celsius and the average minimum temperature is around 15 degree Celsius. Uttarkashi witnesses monsoons from July to September due to the south west monsoon. Following monsoons is the bone chilling winter season. It commences from mid October and continues till early March. The average maximum temperature during this season is 24 degree Celsius and the average minimum temperature is 0 degree Celsius. The best time to visit Uttarkashi is from March – June and September – November.
Demographics of UttarkashiAs per the 2001 population, Uttarkashi had a total population of 16, 220 out of which males constitute 47% and females constitute 43% of the population. The average literacy rate was 78% much higher than the national average of 59.5%. Male literacy rate in Uttarkashi was 83% while female literacy rate was 71%. 11% of the population was below the age of 6 years. A large section of the population in Uttarkashi is of Garhwali people. There is also a significant population of Bhotiya Jadh people as well as Punjabis and Kumaoni people.
Places of Interest in Uttarkashi
Located in the heart of the city is the famous Vishvanath Temple. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is very popular among locals. The shiv lingam 90 cm high and 60 cm wide is the main attraction of the temple.
It is one of the most popular temples in the town. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is situated in the Chowk area of Uttarkashi city.
Nehru Institute of MountaineeringFounded in 1965 at Uttarkashi, in memory of Jawaharlal Nehru is a mountaineering school in Uttarkashi. Recently the institute gained a lot of popularity as it was featured in a famous TV show on Star Plus. There are various basic and advanced mountaineering courses offered here.
Kuteti Devi TempleA very famous religious tourist attraction in the region is Kuteti Devi Temple. It is perched on Parvat hilltop on the banks of Bhagirathi River is located at a distance of 2 km from Uttarkashi. Legends say that the temple was established by Maharaja Kota’s daughter and son-in-law after they found three stones as the embodiment of Goddess Kuteti herself. The temple was built exactly on the site where the stones were found. Kuteti Devi is a form of Goddess Durga and the people of Kot Gram Khai in Uttarkashi worship Kuteti Devi as their main guardian deity.
Surya KundSurya Kund is a famous hot water spring and attracts many tourists and devotees. It is situated in Barkot near Uttarkashi. Devotees submerge potatoes and rice and they are cooked by the heat of the spring water. This is then served as prasadam.
Nachiketa TalThere is abundance of nature’s bliss and bounty in the mountains of Uttarkashi. Nachiketa Tal is a beautiful lake surrounded by lush green cover and a small temple on the banks. It is situated at a distance of 32 km from Uttarkashi and can be easily reached by public and private transport. The journey would lead you to Chaurangi Khal, from there a 3 km trek to reach the lake. The lake is named after Nachiketa, son of saint Uddalak who had given the lake its shape.
Experts believe that Dodital is the place where Lord Ganesha was born. This majestic lake situated amidst thick forest cover at an altitude of 3307 m above sea level is a delightful place to be. It is quaint and hidden away from the concrete world. The lake is home to endangered Himalayan Golden Trouts and many other species of fishes. One can reach Agoda from Uttarkashi via jeep or taxi and commence an 18km trek to reach the hidden gem, Dodital.
Dayara BugyalBugyal means ‘high altitude meadow’ in the local dialect. Situated at an altitude of 3048 m above sea level, it offers a splendid view of the mighty Himalayas. It is the perfect destination for trekking, photographers, nature lovers and solace seekers. There is also a small lake at Dayara Bugyal. Vehicles go up to Basru village, from where commences an 8km trek.
Maneri Dam13 km from Uttarkashi on Gangotri route is Maneri Dam. It is built on Bhaghirathi River and is a popular picnic spot for locals and travelers. The beautiful lake is the highlight of Maneri Dam.
Weekend Getaways from UttarkashiShort trips are a great way to recharge oneself and spend some quality time with loved ones. A destination that is in close proximity and is easily accessible would be perfect for a weekend getaway. If you are in the region and are planning a short trip or are looking for an ideal destination for a weekend getaway from Uttarkashi, consider the following options.
Gangotri TempleThe highest temple of Goddess Ganga and one of the four destinations in Char Dham Yatra, Gangotri is situated at 99.7 km from Uttarkashi via NH 108.
Yamunotri TempleDedicated to Goddess Yamuna, Yamunotri Temple is a famous religious tourist attraction. It is one of the four destinations of the Char Dham Yatra. It is located about 44.5 km from Uttarkashi and can be reached via NH 94 by your own vehicle, taxi or state run transport buses.
GangnaniKnown for its thermal springs, Gangnani is an ideal getaway destination. People take a dip in the natural springs before heading to Gangotri Temple. It is situated at a distance of 46 km from Uttarkashi.
New TehriNew Tehri is situated along Tehri Dam and is located at a distance of about 74 km from Uttarkashi. It is well connected to major towns and cities in the state like Dehradun, Pauri, Haridwar, Mussoorie etc.
ChambaIf you need solace and tranquility, Chamba is the place to be. Offering majestic view of Himalayas, Chamba is situated 85km from Uttarkashi.
Gaumukh GlacierThe source of Bhagirathi River and the second largest glacier of India after Siachen, Gaumukh Glacier is 135 km from Uttarkashi.
How to Reach UttarkashiBy Road
Uttarkashi is well connected via a road network to all major cities in the state and neighboring states. It is situated on NH 108 which reaches Gangotri. State run bus service is the bes way to reach Uttarkashi. One can also take taxis from New Delhi, Rishikesh, Chamba, Tehri and Dehradun.
The nearest railway station to Uttarkashi is Rishikesh, 143 km. Rishikesh is a major railway station in the region and one can easily reach Uttarkashi from the station via taxi or state transport bus service.
Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun is the nearest airport to Uttarkashi situated at a distance of 160km. Taxis are available from the airport to Uttarkashi.
Given below is the list of distances of some popular tourist destinations in the region from Uttarkashi.
- Uttarkashi to Gangotri - 98.2 km
- Uttarkashi to Landsdowne - 277 km
- Uttarkashi to Chakrata - 196 km
- Uttarkashi to Kotdwar - 208 km
- Uttarkashi to Chopta - 206 km
- Uttarkashi to Shimla - 294 km
- Uttarkashi to Auli - 309 km
Fact File of Uttarkashi
- District – Uttarkashi
- Altitude – 1165m
- Official Language – Hindi
- PIN Code - 249171
- STD Code – 01374
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