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Garhwal (गढ़वाल Gaṛhvāl) is one of two major regions of Uttarakhand. Garhwal is the more easily accessible northern and western part of Uttarakhand and borders China.


Map of Garhwal

  • 1 Dehradun — the capital of Uttrakhand and its largest city, nestled between the Himalayan foothills and the Shivliks, including the popular and nearby Sahsastradhara (Thousandfold Spring) with springs and caves
  • 2 Auli — known for its ski resort
  • 3 Badrinath — temple of Vishnu is the most important of the four sites in India's Char Dham pilgrimage
  • 4 Chakrata — picturesque, less frequented hill station
  • 5 Chamba — a small town with natural beauty
  • 6 Devprayag – picturesque town where Bhagirathi and Alaknanda rivers meet and take the name Ganga
  • 7 Dhanaulti — a small town (hill station), Dhanaulti has became a popular getaway
  • 8 Gangotri — a place of pilgrimage at the headwaters of the mighty Ganges River
  • 9 Ghangaria — starting point for the treks to the Valley of Flowers (a UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its outstanding natural beauty, endangered animals and endemic alpine flowers) and Hemkunt the Sikh pilgrim centre, lake and Gurudwara
  • 10 Haridwar (Gateway to God) — an important Hindu holy place on the Ganges with Chandi Devi Mandir and Mansa Devi
  • 12 Kedarnath — temple of Shiva, one of the 4 Char Dham Hindu pilgrim centres in Uttarakhand, India.
  • 13 Kotdwar — several interesting temples including Kanvashram temple and Sidhbali temple, and Mahabgarh Mahadev nearby
  • 14 Lansdowne — a small hill station described by some as the gates to the heavenly abode (Himalayas) with the beautiful St. Mary's Church and Bhulla Lake
  • 15 Mussoorie — famous hill station near Dehradun known for its scenic beauty and as a holiday resort, with Kempty Falls nearby
  • 16 Rishikesh — the Char Dham Yatra (Four Shrines Sacred Journey) ideally begins from this beautiful location
  • 17 Roorkee (रुड़की Rūṛkī) — a small city divided by the Upper Ganges Canal and famous as a centre of learning
  • 18 Tehri — site of Devi koonjapuri temple and glaciers and opportunities for trekking
  • 19 Uttarkashi (उत्तरकाशी, Kashi of the north) — home to a number of ashrams and temples
  • 20 Vikasnagar — a great spot to visit with its beautiful places such as Dak Pather and Katta Pather
  • 21 Yamunotri — trek to the famous Yamunotri temple and enjoy the hot sulphur springs and view areas various waterfalls

Other destinations

Bedini Bugyal
Bedini Bugyal
  • 1 Bedni Bugyal — a beautiful Bugyal (alpine meadow or grassland) in the Chamoli District, providing breath taking views of Trishul & Nanada Devi peaks.
  • 2 Dayara Bugyal — a beautiful bugyalTemplate:Clarify in Uttarkashi District. A world class ski resort is coming there
  • 3 Gwaldam — a beautiful hill town in the Chamoli District, one can get close views of Trishul & Nanda Devi peaks, it's a base camp for Roopkund & Bedni Bugyal (meadows)
  • 4 Harsil — a village located on the banks of Bhagirathi River. It is a resting place for pilgrims visiting Char dham
  • 5 Lacchiwala — among its attractions are: the Laxman Siddh Temple, Rajaji National Park and Forest Reserve
  • 6 Brahmatal Lake — according to Hindu belief, Lord Brahma (the Creator) meditated beside this lake, which has become a good trekking spot
  • 7 Rajaji National Park – between Haridwar and Rishikesh
  • 8 Nanda Devi National Park — part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, featuring the highest mountain entirely in India



The name Garhwal has an unknown origin, but some believe that it's derived from 'Garhwala' (literally 'owner of forts'), possibly a reference to the first ruler of the Garhwal Kingdom, Ajay Pal.



Though the people living in cities and towns usually speak Hindi, outside of it Garhwal (a local dialect of Hindi) is much more common.

Get in


To get to Garhwal, one can easily get a bus from I.S.B.T Kashmiri Gate (Metro Station) in New Delhi to Kotdwar and Rishikesh.

  • Rishikesh is around 280 km from Delhi
  • Kotdwar is around 215 km from Delhi.

Dehradun is another useful entry point, with regular trains from New Delhi and shared taxis and buses available to several destinations within Garhwal.

Jolly Grant Airport (DED IATA).

Get around


Terrain vehicle and taxis are the best modes of transport in Garhwal. Shared terrain vehicles and buses ply the major north-south routes during the day, connecting Dehradun, Rishikesh and Haridwar with most of the towns listed above. For towns that are not on the major north-south pilgrimage routes you may have to change vehicles multiple times - most drivers will be able to drop you at the right intersection and point you in the right direction to get where you need to go.

Garhwal has a good bus network for all of its important cities. There are 24-hour regular bus services for Dehradun, Roorkee, Rishikesh and Kotdwar.



Within the Garhwal region, there are many places to visit and enjoy. Visit the city articles to find more.

Museums and other places of interest.

  • Darwan Singh Museum – A war memorial and museum in Lansdowne established by Garhwal Rifles in the memory of Darwan Singh, the first Victoria Cross holder from the regiment during World War I.
  • Forest Research Institute – One of the oldest institutes in India, FRI is located in Dehradun Spread over a campus of 450 ha, the impressive brick structure build on colonial architecture houses the biggest botanical museum in India. The entry is open for general public with a nominal fee.
  • Interpretation Centre: Bio Cultural Diversity, Nanda Devi National Park – Based in village Lata, the gateway to the Nanda Devi National Park, the interpretation centre offers a detailed history of the region and biodiversity profile of the Nanda Devi National Park along with showcasing traditional artifacts and handicrafts. The centre also conducts outdoor interpretative trek to the Nanda Devi National Park.
  • Malsi Deer Park – Located on the Dehradun-Mussoorie highway, Malsi Deer Park is a small zoological garden and a favourite stopover for families with kids visiting the hill station of Mussoorie.
  • Nehru Institute of Mountaineering – Based in Uttarkashi, Nehru Institute of Mountaineering is a premier mountaineering institute in India. The institute offers courses in Basic/Advance mountaineering and mountain search & rescue. For general awareness the NIM has established a museum of mountaineering and souvenir shop with in its campus.
  • Regional Science Centre – Located with in the campus of Uttarakhand Council of Science and Technology at Suddhowala, the Regional Science Centre offers a science museum, planetarium and a 3D theater. The RSC is popular with educational tours.
  • Tribal Heritage Museum – A private museum in Munsiyari showcasing the tribal heritage of the Bhotiya community.



Take woolen clothes with you as many hilly places are always cool. Traditional Garhwali knitted clothes are also for sale in most towns.


  • Dodital Lake, Dodital – 5- to 7-day high altitude trek. Day 1. Arrival and Overnight at Kuflon Camping site in Assi Ganga Valley. Day 2. Drive 3 km to Sangamchatti and trek 8 km to Bebra Campsite. Day 3. Trek 14 km to Dodital (3024 meters). Day 4. Trek 6 km (one way) to Darwa Top (4200 meters) and return to Dodital. Day 5. Return trek of 14 km to Bebra. Day 6. Trek 8 km to Sangamchatti and return drive to Dehradun/Haridwar. Note: One can crossover to Hanumanchatti side on day 4 to camp at lower Seema. Next day, 6 km downward hike to Hanumanchatti road head in Yamnotri valley. For kids and senior citizens there is an option to camp midway at Manjhi between Bebra and Dodital.
  • Panch Kedar (पंचकेदार). This refers to five Hindu temples or holy places of the Shaivite sect dedicated to Shiva. The five temples are to be visited in strict order during a pilgrimage.
  • Roopkund – Six days Trek. Day 1. Arrival at Loharjung campsite. Day 2. Drive 8 km to Kooling and trek 4 km to village Dhidna. Homestay in Dhidna. Day 2. Trek to Bedni Bugyal via Tolpani and Aali Bugyal. Day 3. Trek to Baguabasa. Day 4. Attempt Roopkund and return to Pattar Nachouniya. Day 5 Trek to Village Wan via Bedni Bugyal and Gairoli Patal. If on time drive back to Loharjung or camp above village Wan. Day 6. Return drive.



There are numerous traditional dhabas available in Delhi-Rishikesh and Delhi-Kotdwar-Pauri route.



Though popular cold drinks are available in every nook and corner, one should search for traditional and tasty burans juice which is made up of burans, an indigenous plant known as the rhododendron in English.

Stay safe


G.M.V.N guest houses are in nearly every town of the region and often provide cheap dorms. Most towns along the main pilgrimage contain at least a few hotels.

Go next


One can get out from Kotdwar direct to Delhi following N.H 119 and from Rishikesh through Haridwar-Delhi highway. Trains run every day from Kotdwar and Rishikesh to Delhi.

This region travel guide to Garhwal is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!