Hi i am a traveler and want to visit Uttarakhand , can anyone suggest me the must visit places in Uttarakhand .
Hi i am a traveler and want to visit Uttarakhand , can anyone suggest me the must visit places in Uttarakhand .
Uttarakhand is one of the few states in India where almost every site is a tourist attraction. You need to be bit specific before planning your trip to this Himalayan states of India. Besides many honeymooners destinations on the foothills of Himalayas, there are number of trekking opportunities in high Himalayas as well. I am listing some of the destinations just for providing an overview..
Hrishikesh Temples, White water rafting, Rajaji National Park, Spiritual Ashrams and Yoga Classes.
Dehradun Capital city, Waterfalls, Jungles, Beautiful girls :D
Mussoorie Honeymoon destination, waterfalls, Vantage points
You can head further from Mussoorie towards Daunalti for getting into adventure activities and trekking.
Another popular trail is to follow river ganges till Gaumukh via Gangotri. If you are up for high altitude hiking then you can trek till Tapovan from Gaumukh. I will categorize Gaumukh in Must visit category.
Utttarakhand is also home of very popular Char Dham yatra covering Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. All of these destinations are in must visit category.
Nanda Devi National Park: Valley of flowers trek
Auli: Skiing resort
Hemukund Sahib: Highest gurudwara in the world.
Mana Village: The last village of India on this side and I recently read that international border is now connected with Mana village which passes by the highest motor able road of the world ( higher than khardungla in Ladakh).
Going towards Kumaun side of the state, you can visit Corbet national Park, Nainital, Almore, Ranikhet, Pithoragarh. There are many treks in this part of Himalayas. following the same road, you can enter nepal from Uttarakhand.
It is just a brief orientation of this incredible state of India.
Do let me know what exactly entices you, We will help you outlining an itinerary.
I am amazed by the knowledge you have about uttaranchal and the himalayas. Can you please help me out here with my trip to uttaranchal in january 2013?
I am planning a trip with my family around mid-January. We have about 6 nights and 7 days.
According to our plan, we were thinking of spending 3 nights at mussourie-dhanaulti-kanatal and 3 nights at nainital-almora-ranikhet-mukteshwar and then maybe corbett national park. We do not have a detailed chalked out itinerary yet. And I think maybe 6 nights is less for so many places. Ans since I am going with family I do not want it to be very hectic with traveling. So could you please help me deciding which amongst these places should I visit and which of them should I drop? We are really keen on experiencing snowfall if we are lucky enough and if not that atleast have a proper view of snow-clad peaks and regions. I would be really grateful if you could chalk out something for me with your experience.
I don't see any problem of spending 3 nights at mussourie-dhanaulti-kanata trip. Dhanaulti would be your best chance finding snow-fall in January...3 days are sufficient for this stretch... you will definitely see snow-clad mountains from Dhanaulti...
I am however not convinced with the idea of spending 3 nights in nainital-almora-ranikhet-mukteshwar stretch... It would not be possible in 3 days and I think you have not included the traveling time from Garhwal to Kumaun.... It will be at least 1 day of driving....
It is not recommended to club Garhwal and Kumaun for such a short trip.
After doing mussourie-dhanaulti-kanata, you can come down to Corbett and then visit Mukteshwar or Landsdown...
hi shreya ,
how are you? so whats your travel mode?? even we (myself and my wife) are planing for a bike trip in the same time for 9-10 days... so i thought even if you are travelling by bike we will join you guys...please let me know about your plans....
how are you? i am nijaguna from coorg (karnataka)...i was surfing for some information about Uttarakhand meanwhile i saw some thing from your side in a web page ...it was great ,,you have so much of knowledge ... can you help me ,, ime and my wife are planing a bike trip in the month of jan 2013,,,so please let me know is it a good time to travel and which are the places i can cover in 10 days and please give us some helpful tips...thank you
I am good.. Thanks... January is not a right time to do bike trip in Uttaranchal.. It will be very cold and foggy so i will not recommend you to drive bike on such precarious rods... Another major hitch is that you will not be able to make to most of the Uttaranchal due to heavy snow...
However if you are opting from biking then Uttaranchal is a nice place to visit during January... you need to get yourself prepared for cold weather... Temperature drops down to negative 5,6 in many towns...
10 days are good time so time is not a problem with your itinerary... you can start from Rishikesh... then head towards mussoorie if you like it. else you can start your journey from Kathgodam...you can visit Nainital, Raniketh, Gwaldam, Munsiyari, Chakori, Mukteshwar etc...
On the lighter note: I loved Coorg... Coffee plantation and monsoon are so enchanting....
Thank you for you early response, I am thinking to opt biking coz we are used to cold weather. So I request you to briefly plan my itinerary, and also suggest me till where I can get my bike in train from banglore.
Is there any option of getting self driven vehicle for hire, if so what would be the cost and is it safe.
Nice to here that you have traveled to coorg, so which part of coorg have you traveled...?
Looking forward for you reply...
I will recommend you to start from Kathgodam side so that you can cover more destinations.... you can get the trains till Kathgodam however direct train from Bangalore to Kathgodam would not be available... Better to get you bike via train rather than any other vehicle....
From Kathgodam you can start you trip visiting Nainital first...then heading upwards toward Raniketh...then further to Kausani...Visit Gwaldam and then proceed towards Munsiyari via Bageshwar... Later while descending, you can stop at Mukteshwar for a night... 10 days are sufficient to take this trip so you can spend days depending upon your liking towards the place...
Have not traveled coorg extensively...just been there for few days..
thanks for the information.
Hi Pawan. At the request of the owner of this site Mr.Vishnu Kumar, I would like to add my inputs to his for enabling u to chalk out an itinerary for visiting the state of Uttarkhand. Well, at the outset I shall inform u that Uttarkhand consists of two parts.....one being Garhwal Uttarkhand and the other being Kumaon Uttarkhand. I shall advise u to visit these separate parts of Uttarkhand in separate trips, either long or short,but do not try to combine the two unless u know the topography thoroughly. I shall start with Kumaon Uttarkhand first.
1.Catch the overnight Kathgodam Express train from Nizamuddin Railway Station,New Delhi and alight at Haldwani or Kathgodam.I think it drops u early in the morning at 7 or 8 a.m. From Kathgodam/Haldwani, u have ample shared-conveyance or else u can book a full Tata Sumo from there. Your first destination should b Kausani, a serene location where u can simply spend hours gazing at the Upper Himalayas and viewing the sunrise-sunset for which Kausani is well-known.U should book ur room at the govt.guest house at Kausani which, though not having the best of amenities, has a wonderful location enabling a complete view.I wouldn't advise u to go in for a private accommodation here. From Kathgodam, u may/may not get a direct conveyance upto Kausani and in that case u should take a cab upto Almora (readily available) and from Almora get a cab upto Kausani. U reach Kausani well into the evening and this should b ur first halt at least for 2 nights. So u have reached the farthest point on day one.
2.Next u may/may not make a day-trip or an overnight-trip to Gwaldam which is some 30-odd kms from Kausani.
3.From Gwaldam/Kausani (as u choose), ur next destination should b Ranikhet.A few buses are available from Kausani roundabout which leave in the morning for Ranikhet.Alternately, u may hire a cab for this trip again.
4.There isnt much to c in Ranikhet, except for the military cantonment area, the lofts snow-clad peaks and miscellaneous trips.U should have ur accommodation near the military cantonment area.
5.From Ranikhet, u should make Nainital ur next destination for which ample conveyance is available.There are a lot of budget hotels in Nainital near the Lake Naini.Spend 2-3 days seeing Nainital, use the ropeway to visit the higher altitudes and always cover urself up with enough woolens there as temperatures are much lower than in lower Nainital.
6.From Nainital (or from Bhowali which is about 15-20 kms from Nainital and is a junction point where jeeps,cabs etc are readily available), hire a cab upto Mukhteshwar and lodge at the govt.guest house in Mukhteshwar which again has a wonderful location, much much better than other surrounding locations where private guest houses are available.Lodging in Mukhteshwar will be expensive as this place is a hot-destination amongst the affluent circle.
7.From Mukhteshwar, ur next destination again should be Nainital.In other words, make Nainital a central point and make to-and-fro trips to Bhimtal,Naukuchiatal, Sattal and the other surrounding tals as much as ur pocket allows.
8.From Nainital, returning to Delhi is just a day-trip.
U should have a minimum of 10-12 days, if not more, for enjoying this trip.U needn't halt at Almora as there isn't much to c there.
Now for the Garhwal Uttaranchal trip.Basically, the four dhams----Gangotri, Jamunotri,Kedarnath and Badrinath----comprise Garhwal.But if u want to enjoy the Garhwal Himalayas,ideally u should make AT LEAST two different trips, if not more.
1.Take the overnight train from Old Delhi Railway Station (I forget the name, I think its the Dehradun Express) and alight at Dehradun junction early in the morning.Hire a cab from Dehradun upto Mussoorie, and by 10am, u r at ur hotel in Mussoorie.Spend a day or two at Mussoorie, though for me it wasn't the best of destinations.
2.Next day, u can either take the GMVN bus service for a sight-seeing trip to Tehri via Dhanaulti.U can also skip this and rather take a cab upto Dhanaulti and spend a night there.
3.If u r really crazy about visiting Jamnotri,u can hire a cab from Mussoorie upto Barkot/Jankichatti/Hanumanchatti and the following day, try out a trip to Jamnotri.I would rather skip this part.
4.Ideally, ur next destination should be Gangotri.Ur halt for the night should be at Uttarkashi, as its very difficult to make a same-day trip from Jamnotri to Gangotri.
5. From Uttarkashi, make an early start and enjoy the trip to Gangotri, with the Ganges on the one side and the lofty terrain on the other. This was easily the bestest road-journey we had in Uttaranchal.Halt for the night at Gangotri and visit the Gangotri Mandir.
6.Make an early start next morning with destination Gaumukh.U can walk the distance of 18 kms, but preferably ride a horse or take a palki as most of us would not find the high-altitude trek too comfortable mid-way when there are no options. U would reach Gaumukh by 4pm.Ur night halt should be at the govt guest house at Bhojbasa where only dormitory and tent facilities are available.Here at Bhojbasa, if u r the trekker-type, u can halt for 3-4 days and see the entire place to ur hearts content.The rising and the setting sun, glowing its rays on the numerous snow-clad peaks which reflect the rays as though a prism, are never-to-be-forgotten sites here.
7.After having enjoyed this segment, u trek down and back to the Gangotri guest house where u must arrange for ur round-two halt.In case u do not wish to halt at Gangotri now, u may change ur halt to Harshil which is just 10-15 kms away, but for doing this, u must have ur own private conveyance, or else must be willing to spend some extra bucks here.Harshil is a lovely location, with splendid views.
8.Ur next destination from Gangotri must be Kedarnath-----and this is a very very long trip. Again, preferably break journey at two places, first at Uttarkashi and then at Garhwal Srinagar/Karnaprayag/Rudraprayag. An attempt to make a direct one-day trip from Gangotri to Garhwal Srinagar/Karnaprayag/Rudraprayag could spoil ur journey as it would lead to a lot of exhaustion in a naked-peak and rocky journey.This part of the Himalayas is barren and hence leads to travel-sickness as there is very little to see here.
9.Make an early start from Srinagar/Rudraprayag/Karnaprayag (wherever u have halted for the night) with next destination as Kedarnath.The foothills of Kedarnath is known as Gaurikund and here the place is very dirty and the hotels here should not be used for overnight stay.Having made an early start and having taken a horse-ride/palki, u should be there in Kedarnath by evening.The trek to Kedarnath causes breathlessness to a lot of people, and those having asthmatic problems are advised not to make this trip. All others are advised to carry some asthmatic medication as a precaution. U should spend at leasr 3 nights at Kedarnath. It is truly Heaven on Earth.
10.While returning from Kedarnath, ur destination should again be Karnaprayag/ Srinagar/Rudraprayag, and if u r of the energetic type, u may try out Khirsu as ur next destination. Khirsu is a quiet resort, where u can spend a couple of nights to recoup ur breath.
11.From Khirsu via Pauri Garhwal, ur next destination is Haridwar/Rishikesh, where u can spend an evening at the Har Ki Pauri Ganga beach.
12. Catch a train next from Haridwar to Delhi.
For this trip, u should have an itinerary of at least 20 days, and anything less than this will be very hectic and not enjoyable. The Gaumukh-Gangotri-Kedarnath trip was my most difficult trip till date.
I haven't visited Badrinath as yet and hence I am not able to make a write-up on this trip. But from the information that I have, this trip would also be of at least 15 days duration is one wants to meaningfully enjoy the trip. The places to visit are Badrinath, Joshimath, Auli, Valley of Flowers, Ghanghara, Hemkund Sahib etc.
Other places to see in Uttarkhand are Corbett National Park, Lansdowne Military Cantonment and innumerable lesser-known spots in Kumaon Uttarkhand, all of which are essentially of weekend-trip type and cannot be combined with the aforesaid trips.
I hope readers would find my write-up useful for planning their vacation to the Himalayas.For any further help, readers may write to me at my e-mail address email@example.com and I would gladly help as best as possible.
Thanks again to Vishnu Kumar, the owner of this web-space, for having allowed me to post this write-up. Hope it shall be useful for many others to plan their vacation. A write-up of their own experience is also requested so that all readers like me can enhance their knowledge before making their next trip to Uttarkhand, thus making this space more informative.
Thanks you very much Nag..... Like always, you have astounded me with your knowledge about Himalays.. Specially Himalays in Uttaranch... Your post will certainly going to serve as an essential reference while marking your journey to Uttaranchal... I will also be traveling to Kumaon region of Uttaranchal the way you have mentioned... and you are right that one needs at least 10 days for this trip...
Travelers: There is no need to book an expensive tour with 20 other people... Read this post... Ask questions...Hit the incredible destinations of Himalayas all alone...
Nag: Thanks once again...
hii...can you tell me about the best and safe hotel in sringar garhwal...plss rly as soon as possible...
No idea on hotels in Srinagar Garwal.. There must be government guest houses and GHNP hotel. Those are better options.
There are some hostel by Youth Hostel Association of India you can visit there sites and book it from there
yhai.org hostels are very clean and sufficient facilities and Most IMP CHEAP too
thanks for taking time for such a nice and elaborate guide Nag.
My father is planning to visit Puri-Kolkutta-Sikkim-Nepal-Gorakhpur-Varanasi
in 1-17 April. Can U help any contact no of local cheap nice cab driver cum Guide
Further we 20 member are planning to Yamonotry-Uttarkashi-Gangotri-Kedarnath. Can U guide for nice cab driver and for accomodation at all above places
I had been generally doing budget traveling so never hired a private taxi... I can not provide you the numbers of any tour agency or driver but i can certainly help you with the tips of finding those or dealing with them... you have outlined a quite high level of your itinerary and its not recommended to hire a private taxi for entire journey... If you can give me more details like what all places your father is planning to visit in Sikkim and Nepal, I may be able to help you in much better way...
For the Uttranchal trip, the best deal on private cabs, taxi can be gotten at Hrisikesh or Dehradun... Before hiring a taxi, i will recommend you to define the entire itinerary like how many days you are to spend at each of the destination...what all places/sites you will be visiting so that you can get an estimate on total number of Km you are going to traverse... for a group of 20, i think you will need 2 Tempo travelers at least (or one big bus)... while making your booking, make sure that agency knows about all the places you have shortlisted because not everyone dare to ply on those bumpy roads specially with a bigger vehicle....
Ketan, nice to c u post ur requirement here.Well, I do not think I can be of much help to u regarding ur requirement of a nice cab driver or a local cheap nice cab driver lol,unless u define precisely what u mean by the words nice,local,cheap lol. Well, to the best of my knowledge, u can find a driver of ur choice anywhere and that depends on how much u r willing to shell out lol.
As regards ur query on accommodation in Yamunotri-Uttarkashi-Gangotri-Kedarnath, I would explain as follows:
1.In case u wish to visit Yamunotri, u are advised to spend the preceding night at Janki Chatti (at the base of Yamunotri) where all private accommodation available is the cheap type for which u may/may not make prior arrangements.I had lodged at the GMVN (Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd.) tourist rest house at Janki Chatti which is costly and bookings are generally not made available by the GMVN authorities as they book them for their package tours only.U can also lodge at Hanumanchatti or else at Barkot where plentiful accommodation is available, but u need to make an early start next morning so that u r able to reach Yamunotri in time.I believe there r some accommodations available near the Yamunotri shrine, and probably some other informed person would be kind enough to post the names and the contact nos.,e-mail addresses etc. of those places of stay.
However,there is very little to c at Yamunotri and u r better off in skipping this segment of ur trip.
2.Uttarkashi is essentially a transit point and away from the high altitudes.The weather here is warmer than elsewhere.There are enough accommodation available here for a one-night stay and u may not bother about any prior bookings.Else, the GMVN tourist rest house is also easily available in case u want to pre-book the same.
3.At Gangotri, apart from the two GMVN guest houses available, there is plentiful cheap accommodation available also, for which u may/may not do ur pre-bookings.The GMVN tourist rest houses here are expensive and must necessarily be pre-booked in time, as they are invariable unavailable after a few days from the date when bookings open.
4.The Gangotri-Kedarnath trip that u wish to proceed on must be broken into three parts for the sake of comfort.After starting from Gangotri on ur way to Kedarnath, ur next halt must be at Uttarkashi again where private accommodation of all types is randomly available.After spending the night at Uttarkashi, u should make a very early start and then halt for the next night at either Srinagar or Rudraprayag or Karnaprayag which are just a few kilometres away from one another and accommodation of all sorts are available and need not be pre-booked.However, the GMVN choice is always there and GMVN accommodation at these places is generally readily available, but a bit costly vis-a-vis private accommodation for no rhyme or reason.U r advised not to halt for the night at Gaurikund at the base of Kedarnath as the place is very filthy and not worth a night's rest.
5.At Kedarnath,GMVN accommodation is available which must necessarily be pre-booked well in advance subject to availability.Else, u have to try out private tour operators for accommodation at Kedarnath which shall be very costly and scarce.In case u r unable to pre-arrange any accommodation at Kedarnath, dormitory facility is available near the Kedarnath shrine.In that case, its better u lodge at Gaurikund the previous night so that u r able to make an early morning start for Kedarnath, so that the option of returning from Kedarnath the same day is available to u.However, in this case the Kedarnath trip will not be as enjoyable as otherwise.
For private accommodation at all the above places,u can search google for these places first and then search for the hotels available, and u can surely come up with some names and options on the web-page.
Hope the above information is useful for readers.
As per our talk, can you recommend any nice accommodations in Gangotri? Thank you!
Hi Nag.. Needs your expert inputs on the query from Alka... From my visit, I can not recollect the name of the hotel and their numbers... There were many hotels offering basic accommodation with Western Type of Toilet.... Can you suggest the high-end options available in Gangtori.... If you can drop their numbers, it would be a great help....
Welcome Alka and hello Vishnu.As regards Alka's query, yes I think I know some of the accommodations available at Gangotri and elsewhere in Uttaranchal and Himachal.However, the government guest houses of the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd.(GMVN) in Garhwal Uttaranchal and the Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd.(KMVN) in Kumaon Uttaranchal are the nice ones, especially so if u have ur family with u,though a bit costly.I had booked my accommodation in the GMVN guest house at Gangotri. However, I do remember having collected the visiting cards of a few budget hotels at the various tourist destinations that I visited then,but seems I have misplaced them for now lol.In case I find them,I shall let u know.But such information can only be shared with a select few via e-mail and cannot be shared in a blog-space for common viewing,this my opinion, coz in that case I may find that I myself am not getting a room as too many people have come to know of the lodge lol.For readers in general,I can only advise that the government guest house choice is always there, though a bit expensive, but very safe.For those travelling alone or in an all-male group,there is always something available at some price and they may not book in advance at all.For those travelling with their families, the government accommodation is there for safety and comfort and they should pay a premium for that, which I too did when I travelled with my family.And,as I said, u must do ur homework and make use of ur trip and keep the visiting cards of a few hotels of ur choice for direct booking for ur next visit (u get good discounts then as the hotel manager does not have to give a commission to the agent).I hope this answers the query.I'm always there to help.Readers,kindly reciprocate.My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
And Vishnu,whenever u plan ur next visit to Himachal or Uttaranchal,do send a mail across to me so that I can pass on privately all the relevant information in my possession to u regarding budget hotels,hotel bookings via phone or e-mail, itinerary etc.for a pleasant and affordable trip for u.
Readers, do share ur information in this blog.We can surely make this space useful for a select group of friends who love to travel.
At the specific request of Vishnu, the owner of this blog-space, via a private e-mail sent by him to me, I would like to clarify for the benefit of Alka and such other readers/tourists/pilgrims that,to the best of my knowledge, Gangotri being a pilgrimage destination and not a tourist hot-spot, it does not have any so-to-speak budget hotel of 1 or 2-star rating also, and apart from the GMVN government guest house,which is really good under the circumstances, most of the accommodation available there are of the average type meant for use by pilgrims en-mass and not tourists.Most of the pilgrims visiting Gangotri for pilgrimage are the bagpack-class who generally take the package tours conducted by the GMVN and private agencies.A place of pilgrimage is expected to be worse-off vis-a-vis tourist spots in terms of amenities etc., so too with Gangotri and the other three dhams. Besides, due to high altitude of the place and large part of the year being snow-covered and uninhabitable, no developer/investor shall go out of his way and spend money on a budget-class or higher class accommodation for tourists/pilgrims due to costs and difficulties (of terrain)involved,low return on investments,few months of business per year,risk from damage due to winds,avalanches, excessive snowfall etc.So whenever you and me plan to visit Gangotri or the other three dhams (Yamunotri,Kedarnath and Badrinath),we must keep it in our minds that we have undertaken a pilgrimage-tour in search of God and Heaven and not a tourist-trip and we must be prepared to slog it out if needed, which u will need to, make no mistake.Otherwise u r better off visiting tourist hot-spots like Nainital,Mussoorie,Shimla etc.
In case u r the tourist-type and not the pilgrim-type and are unable to book an accommodation at the GMVN TRH (Tourist Rest House) in Gangotri, my personal opinion would be for u to book the accommodation at GMVN lodge at Harshil which is a little way off from Gangotri.However, the flip side of this would be that private transport from Harshil to Gangotri and back will be very very very costly and largely unavailable, and u must be in a group so that transport does not pinch ur pockets here.But ur stay here would be much much better than elsewhere in the vicinity.However, a trip to Gaumukh with ur base at Harshil would be largely ill-advised and not really possible.For a trek to Gaumukh, u must have a room booked at Gangotri the previous night so that u are able to make a 5am or 6am start from Gangotri for covering the 18 km mountain-trek to Gaumukh, so as to enable u to reach Gaumukh by late evening.
Hope this post clears the apprehensions that Vishnu had expressed in his private mail to me,and clarifies further on my previous post.However,by way of further clarification in the matter,I must disclose that I have never visited Harshil as yet and much of what I have mentioned here-in-before is based on personal research and information collected from sources, and things may have changed for the better today.
Uttarakhand has many things to do. You will get lots of place to visit and enjoy your vacation but it depends on what type of fun you want. If you are adventure traveler and love to water rafting then I will suggest to Hrishikesh.
we Wud be visiting Garhwal during 2013 March end with husband. Kindly suggest/approve the foll itenery.
Reach Delhi from Mumbai via flight. Take 4041 Mussorie Exp. Dep.22.15 arrive Mussorie at 5.45 a.m.
1. Take a taxi for Dhanaulti - 23 km. from Mussorie. Stay for TWO DAYS at GMVN.
Visit Eco Park, Kanata, Surkunda Devi.
2. Proceed to Rishikesh. Stay for 2 days at GMVN.
Visit Lakhsman Jhula, Ram Jhula, Neelkanth, Shivpuri.
3. Proceed to Devprayag. Stay for 2 days.
Visit Raghunathji temple, Darshrathshila, Chandrabadani Temple, Kyunkaleshwar
Mahadev temple, Suspension bridge.
4. Proceed to Lansdowns. Stay at GMVN. Stay for 2 days.
Visit Tip-N-Top, Karnav Ashram, Jwalpa Devi, Tarkeshwar Mahadev, Darwan Singh
Museum, Bhulla Lake, St.Mary's Church, St.John's Church.
5. Proceed to Khirsu. Stay GMVN for 2 days.
Visit Laxmi Narayan Temple, Kandolia Shiva Temple, Siddhavbali temple, Durga devi
Next day visit Pauri - Kyunkaleshwar temple, Kandoliya Temple, Chaukhamba
viewpoint, Jwalpa devi temple and RETURN BACK TO KHIRSU.
6. Return to Kotdwar. Take train for Delhi. Delhi to Mumbai by Air.
Sir, kindly give your valuable suggestions. Also suggest if Chopta can be inserted in between or is it not feasable.
I would also like to know if Rishikesh camp besides Ganga is possible ?
Awaiting your suggestions.
Ma'am, I must confess that I am not too conversant with all the places that u have mentioned in ur mail, and can only give u my suggestions, rather that vet ur itinerary in which matter I do not think I am too competent in this case. Anyway......
1.First, I would advise u to postpone ur trip by two months from March 2013 to May 2013. From mid-May to mid-June, I think this is the right time to visit Garhwal Himalayas.
2. Second, u need to check up the Railway timetable for the Mussoorie Express. I think u have done that already, so by 5.45 am u r at Mussoorie.
3.Right u r.Dhanaulti is just about an hour or so from Mussoorie.Its good that u keep ur first night halt at Dhanaulti which is more of a peaceful place than a tourist hotspot.U can relax among the woods there.I visited Dhanaulti via a day-trip from Mussoorie and I did like the place for its peace and serenity.I had kept my night's halt at Mussoorie, but ideally I wouldn't recommend that to u. Night life in Mussoorie is nothing as compared to Shimla or even Nainital, and the Mall at Mussoorie is not the cleanliest of places too.
4.Next halt for u is at Rishikesh.Well good.However we didnt visit Rishikesh in our trip.Its totally ur choice, but from my view I wouldnt recommend a halt at Rishikesh.
5.U want to halt at Devprayag, although its one of the lesser-known destinations of Garhwal. From my viewpoint, I wouldn't recommend that to u, as there are far better destinations in Garhwal.
6.I haven't visited Lansdowne, but I really long to go there at least once.From the literature that I have read, Lansdowne is an army headquarter, and the place is neat and clean.I would recommend a halt at Lansdowne as per ur time-table.
7.Next halt as per ur itinerary is at Khirsu. I strongly recommend it, though I couldn't make it to Khirsu during my trip for reasons of paucity of time. From the literature that I have read, I understand that Khirsu is a serene and lesser-known hot-spot in the Garhwal. However, I wouldn't recommend Pauri to u.Pauri Garhwal is just off Khirsu, but Pauri is more of a residential area, with nothing of note to see. The temperature in Pauri Garhwal is also a bit on the higher side. I would strongly recommend to to delete Pauri Garhwal from ur itinerary.Now for visiting places like Khirsu and Lansdowne, u must make prior arrangements of hiring a cab, which could be more that costly, particularly for the Khirsu trip as Khirsu is a pure tourist destination with select tourists going there for spending their weekends.
8.Next is Kotdwar, and then Delhi and finally back to Mumbai.
9.I have no idea as to where Chopta is, and from all that I know it isn't a known destination for tourists. Hence, u may delete Chopta from ur itinerary.Better still, u rather collect more information about Chopta from people who have visited the place, as I am not the competent person to advise u on this.
10.As I haven't visited Rishikesh, I do not think I am the right person to reply ur query on Rishikesh camp beside the Ganges.
I think I have replied ur queries to the best possible extent, for enabling u to proceed on drawing ur itinerary and choosing ur destinations. Now let me add a para or two on what I think u should be looking for in Garhwal Himalayas.
Ma'am, Garhwal Himalayas is known for its higher ranges, largely speaking the source of the River Ganga, i.e., Gaumukh and Gangotri temple. Any Garhwal itinerary must therefore include trips to Gangotri/Gaumukh. Garhwal Himalayas is largely known for the char-dham yatra,viz. Gangotri-Yamunotri-Kedarnath-Badrinath. From the itinerary that u have e-mailed me, I think u r looking for a casual trip to the lower Himalayas and,in my opinion, after having spent so much money coming all the way from Mumbai, u would have missed out on what people from across nations come to see here, i.e., the Upper Himalayas. In my opinion, u must include a trip to Gangotri in ur itinerary, and if u r the younger sort and able to grind the hard way up 18 kilometres upto Gaumukh, then u ought to see the Gaumukh glacier from where the Ganga commences its journey. Also, ur effort in coming from Mumbai should not be wasted and u should visit Kedarnath also.As such, I would advise u to think about altering ur itinerary in the following manner.
1.First night u stay at Dhanaulti and explore the place and its surroundings.I think two days and one night is enough at Dhanaulti.
2.Second night,u stay at Mussoorie and explore the surrounding places.Go and see the Kempty Falls for sure.Rather, starting from Dhanaulti in the morning, itss better that u visit Kempty Falls first and then reach Musoorie where u spend the second night there.
3.Third night (may be a fourth night also if u so choose), u stay either at Rishikesh else at Haridwar. Try and visit Lakshman Jhoola in Rishikesh and for sure see the evening arati at Har-ki-Pauri beach in Haridwar.The evening arati there is marvellous and worth a visit for sure, as it brings in a feeling of devotion to Maa Ganga. There isn't anything to see and enjoy at Rishikesh and Haridwar both apart from the above, and u can just see the various temples here and there, which I think is not the purpose of a visit to the Garhwal Himalayas.
4.Fifth night (may be a sixth night also), u should spend at Khirsu. There is a direct road from Haridwar/Rishikesh upto Pauri, and an early morning start should enable u to reach Pauri by afternoon.There isn't anything to see at Pauri Garhwal as this is a purely residential area.Change from Pauri and reach Khirsu which is about an-hour-and-a-half from Pauri.
5.An early morning start from Khirsu shall take u to the foothills of Kedarnath by early afternoon. U have a wide range of places to choose from for a night's halt. U can opt to halt for the night (seventh night)at Garhwal Srinagar or at Rudraprayag or at Karnaprayag, which r the better places.
6.An early morning start will enable u to reach Gaurikund at 9 am (Gaurikund is at the base of Kedarnath). Its just a half-hour journey from Garhwal Srinagar/Rudraprayag/Karnaprayag to Gaurikund.Its a long trek thereafter (u can use palki or horseback too) and by evening u would have seen the wonderful-wonderful peaks of the Upper Himalayas on ur way upto Kedarnath.Its a once-in-a lifetime experience here.Spend the eight and ninth nights at Kedarnath).
7.On ur return from Kedarnath, ur next halt should ideally be at Garhwal Srinagar again (transit point---tenth night).
8.A very early morning start from Garhwal Srinagar (pre-book ur taxi for a 6am start) would take u upto Uttarkashi by late evening, where u should halt for the eleventh night. This trip from Garhwal Srinagar upto Uttarkashi will be very exhaustive. Uttarkashi is just a transit point for reaching Gangotri, and there is little to see here.
9.An early morning start from Uttarkashi will take u to Gangotri by mid-afternoon/early-evening. Halt for the twelfth night at Gangotri.There is a lot to see at Gangotri. An early morning start next day will take u to Gaumukh by evening after another 18 km trek (or on horseback or palki).U can spend the 13th and 14th nights near gaumukh at a place called Bhojbasa where the GMVN has dormitory accommodations only. Its a once-in-a-lifetime experience here in Gaumukh as u see the source of the River Ganga and the various lofty snowclad peaks out here, with the morning sun throwing its golden light on the lofty peaks.Tented accommodation of the GMVN is also available at , subject to weather conditions.The trek from Gangotri to Gaumukh is flooded with huge waterfalls, lofty snowclad peaks, wooden clamps to walk upon as u cross small stretches of water on foot, ably assisted by ur guide-cum-tangawalla or fellow-trekkers-----and its an absolutely unforgettable experience out here.
10.A 1pm start from Gaumukh on foot will take u back to Gangotri by evening and u can spend the next night here again.
11.An early morning start from Gangotri takes u back to Uttarkashi by late afternoon, and u can halt here for the night once more, as u make ur return to Delhi.
12.From Uttarkashi, plentiful transport is available that takes u back to Haridwar by evening, where u spend the next night.
13.Catch a train to Delhi from Haridwar, and u r back in Delhi from where u catch ur flight to Mumbai.
I have tried to cover as many places as possible in this itineraty, and have left out many of the places that u have chosen in ur itinerary for the reason that they are not the places a tourist treats as hot-spots while on a trip to the Garhwal Himalayas.The trip will be very exhaustive and u must be mentally and physically prepared to take up such exhaustion, and an excellent diet for a full month before the trip would help. I remember before me and my wife took up this tour, we used to have plentiful of milk, complan, horlicks, fruits and what-not so that we remain fit, but inspite of our best efforts, both me and my wife did not remain in the best of health during the course of the trip.Carry adequate medicines with u, and if on a trip to Kedarnath, u must carry inhalers with u irrespective of whether or not u have asthmatic problems, as oxygen is on the lesser side on the way to Kedarnath due to the altitude there and u may have breathing problems.
Anyway, I've tried to give u the best itinerary and destinations u should visit on ur trip to the Garhwal Himalayas.All the best.
Thanks Nag for stepping in and provide your extremely useful inputs...
Anu: let me reply in reverse with my experience....
* Camping on the bank of river Ganges: There are plenty of camping sites near Hrishikesh (20-30 km away) on the way to Nand Prayag... Most of these sites are famous for white water rafting but they also offer tents for over night stay... these tents are pitched in the sand on the bank of Ganges... After reaching Hrishikesh, you can easily find one...
Rest everything is well covered by Nag... let me know if you have more questions..
This is my first trip to Uttarakhand or any major trip for that matter.
Im planning to leave from Mumbai with 3 friends on the 6th of June and would like to know how feasible this itinerary can be,
6th June - Leave Mumbai
7th June - Reach Delhi and Leave for Chopta
8th June - Reach Chopta and trek to Tungnath and Deori Tal
9th June - Leave for Joshimath and trek to Ghangarli
10th June - Explore Valley Of Flowers
11th June - Travel to Rishikesh
12th June - Bungee jumping and maybe river rafting in Rishikesh
13th June - Jim Corbett Safari
14th June - FREE
15th June - FREE
16th June - FREE
17th June - Reach Delhi by Evening to board Train for Mumbai
I would like to know in which of the above locations I should spend more time or I will require more time.
Fill in the FREE blanks.
Also If there are any other locations on this track I should explore.
Mainly looking for Adventure along with The omnipresent scenic beauty of Uttarakhand.
Why are you descending back so early from Joshimath.... There are plenty of treks around...
I will recommend you to spend more time at Joshimath... Visit Auli... Visit Mana Village (Last village of India on this side)... You can also visit picturesque lake of Hem Kund Shahib and Badrinath....
June is certainly not the good time to visit Corbett National Park... Park will be getting closed in some days (31st June) and Monsoon is not a good time to sight wild life in any national park of the country....
If you are interested in foot hills then there are plenty of options such as Mussoorie, Dhaunlati, Kasauni, Mukteshwar, Nainital, Ranikhet, Landsdowne.... I am not recommending you anything from the planes of India because its really hot these days...
Try to spend more time on the higher ranges of Himalayas near Joshimath....
You can also include Gaumukh trek though it would be bit hectic....
let us know what you think about recommendation..
Thanks Vishnu...Have a few more doubts before i leave....
I had allotted the last 3 days for Gaumukh ...do you think it will be too hectic ?
If yes , then i would add those extra days at chandrashila trek and at joshimath as you suggested.
Also I would like to know if it will be worth going to Valley Of Flowers at this time of the year ?? or will it just be a grassland ?
I would then rather do the Gaumukh-Tapovan trek.
I am not a professional trekker but neither do I want a 'plain walking and looking at scenic beauty' trek.
Any suggestions for Something in between ??
Gaumukh can be done in 3 days (excluding journey time)... but Tapovan is a bit complicated one... you will need trekking accessories, guide and porter.... Typical itinerary for Gaumukh/Tapovan is as follows...
* Start early from Gangotri.. Stay overnight atv Bhojwasa...
* Start trekking further to Gaumukh....visit Gaumukh and recede back to Gangotri same day... or keep trekking further to Tapovan... Pitch in your tents at Tapovan...
* Recede back from Tapovan... Overnight stay at Bhojwasa....
* Descend back to Gangotri.....
It is not rhododendron season so you won't find flowering scrubs at Valley of flowers but its an awe-inspiring landscape... you would love trek there in the midst of high Himalayas.... try to Visit Mana Village near Joshimath... I have heard really good things about that place...
Trekking at High Himalayas is not simple plain walking... It's a challenge to endurance as well... Thin air is a major challenge (Specially if you planning Tapovan).... I will still recommend you to remain on the higher side if you really want to enjoy Himalayas...
-- Valley of flowers
-- Chandrashila trek
-- Mana Village
-- Hem Kund Shahib
-- Gaumukh Tapovan (If time permits)
Hi Vishnu, i need some advice's and maybe suggestion. plz help me out with this.. i am planning a trek with some friends (we are all in-experienced in trekking) to Gaumukh in 1st week of Nov 2012. so help me out with the Do's & Dont's.. can we go further to tapabon at that time (nov)? can we get trek permit from kolkata (from where we belong), help me out with the Harshil location i mean hows the place, is there any cheap accommodation, how to go etc, ahh ya almost forgot, tell me about bhujbasa, is there any cheap accommodation? and also let me know about what should we bring with us etc.
NB- sorry if i made some idiotic queries, its our first time, so a bit confused
Hi Raj... Here is the appropriate thread for trekkers to Gaumukh/ Tapovan...
November is not the right time to visit Gaumukh... I think trek gets close in the end of October and you won't be getting permit for Gaumukh...
There are basic accommodation options at Harshil... It's a very small village on the bank of river Ganges.. There are some temples...
Ashram at Bhojwasa is the only accommodation option near Gaumukh... you can get blankets, tents at Bhojwasa...
As mentioned earlier, November is not the right time...
Hi Vishnu,I am planning to visit the Chaar Dhaam in Uttranchal with my mom & dag(Aged 65 Years) from 24 June 2012.I will be having taxi.
Please let me know is the Date is correct with respect weather/rain(monsoon).
I would be their till 05 july 2012 for the Chaar Dhaam Yatra.
Please give me suggestion with the tour detail day wise so that i can enjoy at the fullest seeing himalaya's serene beauty(no trekking).
Please prepare the plan for Night Halts where hotels are gettable & surroundings have serene beauty.
I think June-July is the perfect time for doing Char Dham yatra... It is monsoon season so you may expect rain during this time of the year.... Getting accommodation is not a problem at most of the key places in Uttaranchal... State Government Guest houses are best located in terms of the view they offer.... Hotels are avaiable at Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath and Kedatnath... en route you may be staying at Uttarkashi (for gangotri) and Joshimath ( for Badrinath)..
You won't have to trek as all of these places are well connected with motorable roads..
I've just returned from a trip of Uttarkhand (both Garhwal and Kumaon sides). We started-off from the Garhwal side and took a Dehradun-bound AC bus from Anand Vihar to start with, which dropped us at Nepali Farm (mid-way between Haridwar and Rishikesh), from which point we changed autos and checked in at our hotel in Rishikesh. In the evening, we visited Ram Jhoola in Rishikesh (no time for Lakshman Jhoola) and were back in our GMVN TRH for the night. We checked out early next morning and took a Pauri-bound bus at 6 am from the Rishikesh bus-stand which took us via Devprayag to Pauri Garhwal, from where we took a service jeep upto Khirsu where we stayed put for two nights at the GMVN TRH. Khirsu is a quiet hamlet, and apart from the GNVN TRH, there was no other meaningful accommodation (private or otherwise), nor any hotels for dinner.So we had to rely on the in-house restaurant of the GMVN for our meals. The weather in Khirsu was salubrious, and in rained during the second evening of our stay. There are a few surrounding walks in Khirsu, especially into the village area, and along the main road which is covered by pines, pines and pines. After a two-night stay in Khirsu, we checked out early morning and took a 6am service jeep bound for Garhwal Srinagar and twas a joy ride as just a handful of passengers boarded the jeep at that hour. From Garhwal Srinagar, we took a direct bus to Gwaldam which was our next halt. In hindsight, we could have taken service jeeps from Garhwal Srinagar to Rudraprayag and then from Rudraprayag to Karnaprayag which would have made our journey to Gwaldam less taxing, but the spur-of-the-moment decision was to board the Gwaldam-bound direct bus. By mid-afternoon, we checked-in at the Gwaldam GMVN TRH. The GMVN TRH here was lousy. There were a handful of other private hotels, none of which were of the type to write home about. There was no running water in the taps and we had to make-do with buckets. The entire evening there was a blackout all through Gwaldam, and we were told that it was caused by the rains.However, we were told that there was a perennial electricity-problem in Gwaldam.The GMVN guys sparing used the generator, and more often we had the candles burning in our room.Neither were there any eateries around in the area, so we had to rely completely on the in-house stuff of the GMVN TRH which was just ordinary. The evening in Gwaldam witnessed heavy thunder-showers, and suddenly from the balcony of our room on the first floor, we noticed the clouds descend down to our feet and move rapidly onwards.Twas really an experience we'll remember for a long time. Due to the sudden change in weather conditions and the fear of getting stuck in landslides if the weather remained that way for a few days (as is the usual case), we made an early exit out of Gwaldam and boarded a 6 am Haldwani-bound bus from the Gwaldam bus-stand which took us through the dense pine forests surrounding Gwaldam via Garud via Baijnath via Kausani via Someshwar via Almora and then to Bhowali (near Nainital). Initially the journey was picturesque and soothing with pine trees all around, but as we entered the plains of Almora and surroundings, the journey became testing lol. Having alighted at Bhowali, we shared a service jeep from Bhowali to Nainital and checked it at a Government Guest House there, where I had some contacts. It was our fourth or fifth visit to Nainital and we just roamed around the Mall and spent the night thus. Next morning, we shared an Alto with two more people and spent the whole day at Mukhteshwar which is some 50 kms from Nainital, and is a very very secluded and picturesque place.Having returned to our Hotel by 7pm, we freshened ourselves, had our dinner and then boarded the 11 pm AC bus bound for Delhi, and were back at our home by around 9am.
The biggest disappointment of this trip was that, due to the ravaging forest-fires throughout the state, visibility of the snow-clad peaks both from Khirsu as well as from Gwaldam (which are both famous for their breath-taking views of the Himalayan range) was very poor and we just saw the haze.From my interactions with other tourists, the same was at all other tourist destinations of Uttaranchal this year. Hence, I wouldn't advise you to visit Uttaranchal now, and its only after the monsoon rains that visibility of the Himalayas should improve somewhat in the state.
I have now covered almost the whole of Uttaranchal, and have seen places like Mussoorie,Dehradun, Dhanaulti, Pauri, Khirsu,Srinagar,Uttarkashi,Gangotri,Gaumukh,Uttarkashi,Jankichatti,Gaurikund,Kedarnath,Rudraprayag,
Karnaprayag,Gwaldam,Kausani,Ranikhet,Nainital,Mukhteshwar etc.Next targets are the Chopta-Tungnath area,
the Chakrata-Arakot-Har ki Dun belt, the Munsiyari-Chaukori area and the Badrinath-Mana-Joshimath-Auli-Valley of Flowers-Ghangria-Hemkund Saheb belt, apart from a few isolated spots like Corbett, Lansdowne,Gopeshwar etc.
My next outing-plan is during the second week of August, probably somewhere in Himachal like the Dalhousie-Khajjiar belt (coz visibility of snow-clad peaks in Uttaranchal is poor nowadays),.
Be well. Bbye and tc.
I had talked a few months back about my Char Dham trip starting Sept 9th from Delhi for 14 days. Gaumukh is part of our trip. I heard that due to a part of the glacier breaking off the route to Gaumukh has been closed. Is this true. Please let me know if you have any information on this.
One of my friend has recently been to Gaumukh (15 days back) and He has not find any problem to make it all the way till Gaumukh... However Landslides are quite common in this part of Himalayas specially during Monsoon season, so one can not guarantee anything... I do not think that route is closed permanently... You might have heard some road blockage which is quite common at this time of the year...
In my personal opinion, You will not find landslides in the month of September... Forest Department is still issuing permits for Gaumukh so I believe it is open for tourists...
Call this number of Uttarkashi forest dept 01374223693 (Office is open 10 AM to 5 PM IST).... They will provide you the latest information about Gaumukh trek...
My wife and I will be travelling to Uttarkhand in Mid August.Delhi - Haridwar-Rishikesh-Valley of flowers - rishikesh. This is currently taking us 6 days. I have another 4 days before I need to get back to Delhi. Need advice on what we can do in these 4 days.
Typical attractions for this part of Garwar Himalayas are Badrinath- Mana- Joshimath- Auli- Valley of Flowers-Ghangharia- Hemkund Saheb....
After reaching Joshimath, you can include destinations as per your time available.... 10 days can be easily consumed in this part of Himalayas.... After Valley of Flowers, Mana village (Last village of India) is a must visit attraction... Badrinath, Auli, Hemkund Saheb are trekking destinations so will take more days...
let me know if you need more help planning your trip to this part of Himalayas..
Rakesh, mid-August is not the best time to visit the Valley of Flowers.......you'd be disappointed as the flowering season wouldn't have begun. Besides, August is not the best of months to travel around in Garhwal Uttaranchal which is prone to severe landslides during July-August and your itinerary as well as your budget could go for a toss, besides the fact that you could be stranded mid-way if the roads get blocked. The Valley of Flowers area and the entire approach upto Joshimath/Badrinath is very much landslide prone. Hence, I'd advise you to postpone your trip by a month or more.
Assuming that you shall rely on public transport, your rough itinerary could be as follows:
Day 1: Halt at Rishikesh. See Ram Jhoola/Lakshman Jhoola.
Day 2: Early morning start from Rishikesh with target destination as Karnaprayag. Overnight stay at Karnaprayag. Other options of overnight halt are also there like Rudraprayag or Nandprayag and a few others.
Day 3: Early morning start from Karnaprayag with target destination Badrinath. Overnight halt at Badrinath.
Day 4: Badrinath and surroundings. Visit Mana Village, which is the last village on the Indian side.
Day 5: Overnight halt at Joshimath.Visit Auli by roapway/car during the day and return to Joshimath.
Day 6: Early morning check-out from Joshimath with target destination Ghangharia.Then start your trek to Valley of Flowers during the day and return to Ghangharia for overnight halt.
Day 7: Trek to Hemkund Saheb and return for overnight stay at Ghangharia.
Day 8: Ghangharia to Joshimath again. Visit Auli again,else take rest.
Day 9: Early morning check-out from Joshimath and next halt ideally would be Khirsu. Reach Garhwal Srinagar first, and then change transport for Pauri or Khirsu. Alternately, you may choose to halt at Pauri or Srinagar or Rudraprayag also.
Day 10: Check-out from Khirsu/Pauri/Srinagar/Rudraprayag (wherever you are) with destination as Haridwar. Night halt at Haridwar. See the evening 5.30 pm Ganga Arati at the har ki Pauri ghat in Haridwar which is just celestial.
Day 11:Catch your train to Delhi.
You may delete certain segments of this itinerary as per your convenience keeping in view the time available with you and the places which you may wish to give a pass.
Thanks Nag for joining in and providing your expert input in drafting a meticulous itinerary for Rakesh... Spot in... In fact its going to be a great help for Badrinath- Mana- Joshimath- Auli- Valley of Flowers- Ghangharia- Hemkund Saheb segment...
Hi Vishnu and Nag,
your responses are so well-tuned to the needs of people asking for suggestions.
i would like to visit with my partner Uttaranchal for a week or two in the first or second weeks of December.
Suggest me a single or a few closely connected places close to Dehradun (or anywhere in Uttaranchal) where one can spend a very peaceful time immersing oneself in nature, and if feasible (in this season) in local culture or visiting temples etc. We are true budget travellers. So we are looking for no-frills but neat cosy place/s to stay.
i trust you can help!
There are so many trails in Uttaranchal ideal for laid-back vacations you are looking for but december is certainly not the right time to visit high ranges of Uttaranchal. Foothills of Uttaranchal (mussoorie, Landsdone, Mukteshwar, Nainital) are ideal to visit during december but gets touristy with truck loads of vacationers from Delhi and Suburbs..
Considering budget traveling and number of days you are planning, I would suggest you to try Debal, Gwaldam, Kausani side of Uttaranchal. Munsiyari is another major town i would like to recommend for your laid-back vacations.
All of these villages are not very known in tourist circle hence do not get crowded however these towns will be very cold (can expect negative temperature in the night) during December. These towns also offer a lot for your independent walking and planning your own treks. These towns are not blessed with over whelming tourist facilities but you will definitely find budget accommodation.
There is a lot on the Garhwal side of Uttaranchal as well which you can try such as all the prayags on the road to Joshimath or visiting Uttarkashi which is a spectacular town on the bank of Ganges.
let me know your take on these destinations.We will certainly help you outlining your itinerary.
Thanks a ton for the detailed reply, did not expect any one would take so much trouble to reply. Post your reply checked some of the queries and Gangotri came up as a must visit. From Joshimat after Valley of Flowers, how should I proceed to Gangotri? Will I get buses ? and how long would you estimate it would take. Do advice if possible.
Also how do I get back to Delhi ?
Here is the route from Joshimath to Gangotri... I am not very sure whether one can get public transport on that route.. You will not get a direct bus/jeep so you need to change at many place... I do not think it can be done in a single day using public transport...
Joshimath >> Karnaprayag >> Rudraprayag >> Tehri (Either via Srinagar or Ghansali) >> Uttarkashi >> Gangotri...
After visiting Gangotri/Gaumukh.. you can return back to Uttarkashi and get a bus back to Hrisikesh...
There are two routes from Joshimath towards Gangotri.
The first is via Pipalkoti-Chamoli-Chopta-Ukhimath-Augustmuni-Rudraprayag-Srinagar-Maletha-Kandikhal-Tehri-Uttarkashi-Bhatwari-Gangnani-Harshil-Dharali-Gangotri.
The second is via Pipalkoti-Chamoli-Nandprayag-Karnaprayag-Rudraprayag-.Srinagar-Maletha-Kandikhal-Tehri-Uttarkashi-Bhatwari-Gangnani-Harshil-Dharali-Gangotri.
Never ever try to do this journey from Joshimath to Gangotri at a stretch. In one word, its impossible. After your night stay at Joshimath, your next halt must be at Srinagar/Rudraprayag or some other smaller/lesser-known in-between halts in Tehri Garhwal like Kaman etc.. Then you should proceed with your journey next day and next halt has to be Uttarkashi. Third day you should do the Uttarkashi-Gangotri stretch. This itself would be strenuous.
Its almost next to impossible to combine Gangotri with Badrinath if you do not have your own transport.Even with your own transport, its very very strenuous and the thrill of the journey may be lost.
Still, if u want to, then I'd advise you to go to Gangotri first and then to Badrinath by following the below-mentioned itinerary:
Day 0: Halt at Rishikesh and not Haridwar.
Day 1: Early morning 4.30 am start from Rishikesh with target destination Uttarkashi. U'll get both buses as well as service jeeps (shared jeeps) for this journey. Buses from Rishikesh bus stand and SUV's from the Natraj Chawk area. Overnight halt at Uttarkashi.
Day 2: Early morning 8 am check-out from Uttarkashi with target destination Gangotri.U'll get buses, shared SUV's as well as shared cabs (Alto etc.) provided you are able to co-ordinate with others for sharing a private cab. On the way, you can halt at Harshil or Dharali and proceed to Gangotri the next day. But no public transport facilities from Harshil or Dharali to Gangotri, mind u.
Day 3-6: Stay at Gangotri and do the Gaumukh trek, if possible. If doing the Gaumukh trek, ur stay extends by 1-2 days. Permits need to be gotten for the trek in advance.
Day 7: Early morning check-out from Gangotri with target destination as Uttarkashi. Overnight halt at Uttarkashi.
Day 8: Early-morning check-out from Uttarkashi with target destination Rudraprayag. Overnight halt at Rudraprayag. Alternately, u can also halt at Srinagar/Karnaprayag. Halting at one of these places on this day is a must because the route after this upto Badrinath is one-way and this stretch of the journey must be commenced early morning next day to avoid getting trapped in one-way-traffic-jams.
Day 9: Early-morning 5 am check-out with target destination Badrinath.
The rest of the itinerary would be as per my previous post.
From this, you can well understand that combining Gangotri with Badrinath is very very difficult and strenuous and ur programme must then be for a minimum of 15 days. Its better that u combine Kedarnath with Badrinath and see Gangotri-Gaumukh separately. Even combining Gangotri with Kedarnath will be very very strenuous.