Garhwal (Hindi: गढ़वाल) is one of two major regions in Uttarakhand. Garhwal is the more easily accessible northern and western part of Uttarakhand and borders China.
- 2 Badrinath — temple of Vishnu is the most important of the four sites in India's Char Dham pilgrimage
- 4 Chamba — a small town with natural beauty
- 5 Dehradun — nestled between the Himalayan foothills and the Shivliks, Dehradun is the capital of Uttrakhand and its largest city
- 6 Devprayag
- 7 Dhanaulti — a small town (hill station), Dhanaulti has became a popular getaway
- 9 Ghangaria — starting point for the trek to the Valley of Flowers National Park and to the Sikh pilgrim centre of Hemkund
- 14 Lansdowne — a small hill station described by some as the gates to the heavenly abode (Himalayas)
- 15 Mussoorie — famous hill station near Dehradun known for its scenic beauty and as a holiday resort
- 16 Rishikesh — the Char Dham Yatra (Four Shrines Sacred Journey) ideally begins from this beautiful location
- 19 Uttarkashi — 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
- 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 bugyal 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)
- 5 Harsil — a village located on the banks of Bhagirathi River. It is a resting place for pilgrims visiting Char dham
- 6 Lacchiwala — among its attractions are: the Laxman Siddh Temple, Rajaji National Park and Forest Reserve
- 7 Brahmatal Lake — according to Hindu belief, Lord Brahma (the Creator) meditated beside this lake, which has become a good trekking spot
- 8 Nanda Devi National Park — a UNESCO World Heritage site featuring the highest mountain entirely located in India
- 9 Sahsastradhara — you should visit the springs and caves at this popular tourist site in Dehradun
- 10 Valley of Flowers National Park — famous for its outstanding natural beauty, endangered animals and endemic alpine flowers
- 11 Devprayag — picturesque town where Bhagirathi and Alaknanda rivers meet and take the name Ganga
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.
Museums and other places of interest.
- Forest Research Institute - One of the oldest institutes in India, FRI is located in Dehradun Spread over a campus of 450 hectares, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Tribal Heritage Museum - A private museum in Munsiyari showcasing the tribal heritage of the Bhotiya community.
- 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.
- 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.
- Nanda Devi Institute of Adventure Sports and Outdoor Education - Certified by the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering , the Nanda Devi Institute of Adventure Sports is the first private institute in India that offers courses in basic mountaineering, search & rescue along with training in community based disaster response and bird watching. The main campus of the institute is at Kuflon, Uttarkashi with its branch at village Lata, Nanda Devi National Park.
To get to Garhwal, one can easily get a bus from I.S.B.T Kashmeri 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).
Terrain vehicle and taxis are the best mode of transportation 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. Below are but a few of them!
- 1 Bhulla Lake, Located in Lansdowne.
- 2 Bhuri Singh Museum, Located in Chamba.
- 3 Camty fall (Kempty Falls), Dehradun-mussorie road teen pani.
- 4 Chandi Devi Mandir, Located in Haridwar.
- 5 Chaurasi mandir (Temple complex), Located in Bharmour.
- Dodital Lake in Uttarkashi
- 6 Kalatop Khajjiar Wildlife Sanctuary, Located in Chamba.
- 7 Kanvashram temple, Located in Kotdwar.
- 8 Mahabgarh Mahadev, Located in nearby Kotdwar.
- 9 Mansa Devi, Located in Haridwar.
- Nanda DeviNational Park in Chamoli
- 10 Rajaji National Park, Rajaji National Park lies between Haridwar and Rishikesh.
- 11 Sidhbali temple, Located in Kotdwar.
- 12 St. Mary's Church, Located in Lansdowne.
Visit the various Cities and Other destinations to become familiar with what Garhwal has to offer the traveller!
- 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.
- Nanda Devi National Park Six days Interpretative Trek. Day 1: Arrival and overnight in Lata village. Day 2: Visit summer Lata village and trek 3.5 km to Kanook camp. Day 3: Trek 3 km to Lata Kharak, post lunch hike to Saini Kharak and return to Lata Kharak for overnight stay. Day 4: Trek to Tolma village via Jhindidhar at 13,700 feet and trek down to Tolma village. Home stay at Tolma. Day 5: Post breakfast trek to Suraithota road head and return drive to village Lata. Overnight in village lodge Devangan at Lata. Day 6: Post breakfast departure.
- 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
Take woolen clothes with you as many hilly places are always cool. Traditional Garhwali knitted clothes are also for sale in most towns.
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.
G.M.V.N guest houses are situated in nearly every town of the region. Most towns along the main pilgrimage contain at least a few hotels.
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.