Uttarakhand Stories

15 Historical Places in Uttarakhand to Visit this Year

by Pragati Chauhan
Dec 22, 2016

The Himalayan beauty, Uttarakhand has always been the honeypot for the adventure addicts and nature worshippers, who like to explore its lesser known and remote locations. But do you know that Uttarakhand also boasts a rich history? and has been the refuge for Kols in the 2nd century B.C. Celebrated as the ‘Land of Gods’, Uttarakhand has been a famous meditational ground for many great sages and hermits who attained enlightenment here. It was also a trading hub as many merchants used to trade salt with Tibet. Chand and Katyuri, the two cardinal dynasties of that period contributed immensely to the history of Uttarakhand. The state also takes great pride in housing several eminent Hindu and Sikh shrines in India. And till date many are aloof with the fact that there are places in Uttarakhand where the Kauravas are worshipped and polyandry is practiced.

1. Dwarahat, Almora district

The celestial hamlet of Dwarahat located about 34 km from Ranikhet is a small town that was once the seat of Katyuri Kingdom. Dwarahat literally suggests the ‘Way to Heaven’ and is famous for its ancient temples which have an influence of Gurjari School of Art. The history buffs can visit the town and witness the 55 remarkable temples that have been standing tall since ages. The credit for the architectural grandeur of these temples goes to the Katyuri Dynasty who ruled over Kumaon for a significant period of time.

How to reach Dwarahat:

The travellers can board a train to Kathgodam about 88 km from Dwarahat and then hire a taxi or take a bus to Dwarahat.

15 Historic and Less Frequented Places in Uttarakhand

Dwarahat Temples Src

2. Chaukhutia, Almora district-

Famously known as Rangilo Gewar, the tiny hamlet of Chaukhutia rose to fame during the rule of Katyuri Dynasty. This quintessential town is a perfect place for witnessing the rich history of Uttarakhand. The tourists can admire the impressive architecture of the old forts and temples that were built during the Katyuri rule. Many religious accounts state that the Pandava brothers stayed here for a short span of time during their period of exile and the Pandukholi caves found in Chaukhutia were built by them, which is a must visit site.

How to reach Chaukhutia:

The travellers can board a train to Kathgodam and further hire a taxi to reach Chaukhutia.

3. Lohaghat, Champawat district-

Idyllically situated on the banks of Lohawati River in the Champawat district of Uttarakhand, the sleepy town of Lohaghat reckoned for its century old temples is a must visit place for all the history lovers. This ancient city has noted several historic events in the bygone era and each has been marked by the construction of monumental temples that represent a particular era. An epitome of beauty, Lohaghat is besieged by the carpet of rosy rhododendrons in the summer season and is an ideal place for the weekenders. You can also visit the local attractions like Abbott Mount, Mayawati Ashram, Jhuma Devi, Advaita Ashram to explore Lohaghat.

How to reach Lohaghat:

Take a bus to Tanakpur and then hire a cab or a bus to reach Lohaghat. If you want a smooth and hassle free journey then you can book a direct cab to Lohaghat.

15 Historic and Less Frequented Places in Uttarakhand

Jhuma Devi Temple Src

4. Ghuddauda, Almora district-

Now fathomed but once popular among British personnel, Ghuddauda in Almora district used to host horse races during the British Raj. Ghuddauda made waves for the pompous horse races that used to take place during the British era. These races were so unique in nature that the winner actually got a chance to select his desired prize.

How to reach Ghuddauda:

Since Ghuddauda is nestled in Almora district, you can take the direct bus from Delhi to Almora and then hire a jeep or taxi to reach Ghuddauda.

15 Historic and Less Frequented Places in Uttarakhand

Rare Photo of Almora Src

5. Badharangadi, Chamoli district:

The historical town of Badharangadi located at a favourable distance of 6 km from Gwaldam is known for its remnants of a fort which was a majestic structure once. The town is dedicated to Goddess Durga and is a spiritual center in Uttarakhand as well. If you are a person who likes to explore new destinations then Badharangadi is a perfect destination for you.

How to reach Badharangadi:

The best way to approach Badharangadi is to take a direct cab. Bageshwar situated at a distance of 45 km from Gwaldam is the nearest settlement to Badharangadi. The travellers can take the direct bus to Bageshwar and then board another for Gwaldam.

6. Narendra Nagar, Tehri Garhwal district-

This noteworthy town of the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand was once a part of the Tehri Riyasat and was ruled by the Shah rulers for quite a long time. Named after the Maharaja Narendra Shah of the Shah Dynasty, Narendra Nagar town boasts several old buildings that are still used as a hospital and secretariat. Maharaja Narendra Shah who was lured by the empyrean beauty of this place shifted his capital to this beautiful town in 1919. Apart from the old relics, the other highlight of this town is the Narendra Nagar Palace which is now home to the luxury spa destination, Ananda in the Himalayas. The palace hasn’t lost its royal charm as one can see the old artifacts and the gateway, showcasing the two cannons dating back to the time of World War I. One should also look forward to the sunset which looks absolutely mesmerizing from here.

How to reach Narendra Nagar:

Located at a favourable distance of 16 km from the holy city of Rishikesh, Narendra Nagar is well connected by roads. One can easily get direct buses to Narendra Nagara from Delhi, Rishikesh, and Tehri.

15 Historic and Less Frequented Places in Uttarakhand

Narendra Nagar Palace Src

7. Kalsi, Dehradun district-

The famed town of Kalsi known for housing the 10 feet tall and 8 feet wide Ashoka Pillar Rock Edict is located about 5 km from Dakpathar in Dehradun district. Many researchers flock to Kalsi to see the Ashoka Pillar Rock Edict that dates back to 450 BC. This pillar is considered to be the symbol of a prosperous era during the Ashokan rule. The tinsel town of Kalsi is snuggled on the banks of river Yamuna and unfurls attractions like Asan Barrage, Sahastra Dhara and Paonta Sahib that are located in its vicinity.

How to reach Kalsi:

Kalsi is only 43 km from Dehradun. Many state-run buses and private buses/cabs for Kalsi are available from Dehradun. The travellers can take a bus or train to Dehradun and further hire a cab or bus to Kalsi.

15 Historic and Less Frequented Places in Uttarakhand

Ashoka Rock Edit in Kalsi Src

8. Tons Valley, Jaunsar-Bawar region-

The inhabitants of Tons valley consider themselves to be the descendants of Pandavas and Kauravas and this culturally ambiguous valley is famous for practicing polyandry. The locals worship Kauravas as gods and there is also a temple dedicated to Duryodhana. One can see numerous ancient wooden temples established in the region, having pent roofs lined with slates. Duryodhan temple is the most historic and iconic temple of this region.

How to reach Tons Valley:

Tons Valley can be easily reached by taking a private cab or taxi from Dehradun.

15 Historic and Less Frequented Places in Uttarakhand

Duryodhana Temple, Tons Valley Src

9. Dehradun-

The glorious Doon Valley is celebrated for its highly revered institutions that the British left behind. It is one of the charming places to visit if you want to dig into the history of Garhwal. Being the capital city of Uttarakhand, this treasured city offers a glimpse of the different periods and their influence on the modern day city. Founded by Guru Ram Rai in the 18th century, Dehradun houses the Guru Ram Rai Darbar, a Gurudwara built in 1699 by Raja Fateh Shah which is an important building that marks the history of Dehradun. Other important historical landmarks of the city such as Clock Tower and the Forest Research Institute are also noteworthy sites.

How to reach Dehradun:

Dehradun can be approached easily from any part of the country as the city possesses a great network of roads. Also, direct bus service is available from ISBT Kashmiri Gate, Delhi to Dehradun.

15 Historic and Less Frequented Places in Uttarakhand

Photo by Ishant Prasad

15 Historic and Less Frequented Places in Uttarakhand

Guru Ram Rai Darbar Src

15 Historic and Less Frequented Places in Uttarakhand

The Miniature Paintings in Guru Ram Rai Darbar Src

10. Mussoorie, Dehradun district-

Formerly developed as a shooting lodge by Captain Young and Mr. Shore, the Superintendent of Revenues, Mussoorie soon became a hotspot for the British officials and gained massive popularity. Since many British officials used to visit this place frequently, the construction of new buildings, resorts, and holiday homes grew by leaps and bounds. The hill station still has its colonial period bungalows that will take you for a walk down the memory lane. Some of the must visit tourist spots of Mussoorie are Sir George Everest House, Gun Hill Point, Lal Tibba, Christ Church, Union Church etc.

How to reach Mussoorie:

Direct buses to Mussoorie are available from Delhi and other major cities of North India. The hill station can be easily approached from Dehradun which is the nearest railhead to Mussoorie. From Dehradun, you take a bus or cab to reach Mussoorie.

15 Historic and Less Frequented Places in Uttarakhand

Christ Church in Mussoorie Src

11. Nainital-

‘The City of Lakes’ Nainital has always been a lovers paradise that proudly showcases its sapphire-like lakes, the colonial style houses that are now converted into government offices. One can see the legendary Jim Corbett’s residence, Governor’s House having a striking resemblance to the Buckingham Palace (England), India’s first Methodist Church and several other small and big colonial structures.

How to reach Nainital:

The lake city can be easily approachable as direct buses are available from Delhi to Nainital. One can also board a train till Kathogodam and then hire a cab/bus to reach Nainital.

15 Historic and Less Frequented Places in Uttarakhand

Governor House in Nainital Src

12. Kausani, Bageshwar district-

Kausani also known as “Switzerland of India” is a solitary hill station where the deep thinkers, nature lovers and socially exhausted people can find inner peace and feel ecstatic while enlightening themselves about the history of the place. There’s a lot to do in Kausani as the travellers can visit the Anashakti Ashram, where Gandhiji stayed during his visit in Kausani in 1929. It is said that during his stay in Kausani, Mahatma Gandhiji penned Gita-Anashakti Yoga by being inspired by the beauty of this town.

How to reach Kausani:

Kausani can be reached by taking a direct bus from Delhi. The travellers can also board a train till Kathgodam and further take a cab/bus to Kausani.

15 Historic and Less Frequented Places in Uttarakhand

Anashakti Ashram in Kausani Src

15 Historic and Less Frequented Places in Uttarakhand

Inside Anashakti Ashram Src

13. Binsar, Almora district-

Often regarded as the home to the paradise birds, Binsar is a comely town nestled in the Almora district of Uttarakhand. Once ruled by the rulers of Chand Dynasty (6th to 7th century), Binsar has always been the favourite holiday destination in Kumaon for the British during the colonial rule. One can still see the architectural splendour of several regal estates like Mary Budden and Grand Oak that have been converted into resorts now.

How to reach Binsar:

The magical town of Binsar can be reached easily as there are several buses available from Delhi and other major cities of Uttarakhand. If you are planning to carry forward your journey by train then you can take a cab from Kathgodam Railway Station.

15 Historic and Less Frequented Places in Uttarakhand

Mary Budden Estate Src

15 Historic and Less Frequented Places in Uttarakhand

Mary Budden Estate Src

15 Historic and Less Frequented Places in Uttarakhand

Mary Budden Estate in winters Src

15 Historic and Less Frequented Places in Uttarakhand

Bineshwar Mahadev Temple Src

14. Srinagar, Pauri Garhwal-

Bedecked on the banks of pristine Alaknanda River, Srinagar is the largest town in the Garhwal hills. This historic town came into limelight after becoming the capital of Garhwal Kingdom. The town boasts of its numerous Hindu temples and monuments. One can see the architectural marvel of several ancient temples like Kamleshwar Temple, Keshorai Math, Vishnu Mohini Temple, Kilkileshwar Temple etc.

How to reach:

Take a direct bus from Delhi that passes through Haridwar and Rishikesh. Alternatively, you can also catch a bus for Srinagar from Haridwar which is at a distance of approximately 100 km.

15 Historic and Less Frequented Places in Uttarakhand

A view of Srinagar Src

15. Bageshwar, Bageshwar district-

The bijou city of Bageshwar has many legends and myths associated with it. In the ancient religious texts of Skand Purana, Bageshwar is said to be the place where many great sages meditated and worshipped Lord Shiva. There are many ancient temples in the city, among which the Bagnath temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is a cardinal Hindu site. It was here that Lord Shiva appeared in front of great sage Markandey in his lion avatar. Here the visitors can go for temple hopping to Ram Ghat temple, Agnikund temple, Nileshwar temple, Kukuda Mai temple, Shitla Devi temple, Trijugi Narayan temple, Hanuman temple, Nileshwar Dham, Swarg Ashram, Ramji temple, Jwala Devi temple, Bhileshwar Dham, Suraj Kund, Gopeshwar Dham, Golu temple, Baijnath, Shri Haru Temple and Gauri Udiyar that narrates a rich religious history about this sacred place of Uttarakhand.

How to reach Bageshwar:

There are direct buses running from Delhi to Bageshwar. You can also board a train to Kathgodam and further hire a bus/cab to reach Bageshwar.

15 Historic and Less Frequented Places in Uttarakhand

Baghnath Temple in Bageshwar Src

15 Historic and Less Frequented Places in Uttarakhand

Effigy of Lord Shiva in his lion avatar Src

Pragati Chauhan

Pragati Chauhan

A writer by profession, thinker by choice and a nature lover since birth. I have always loved expressing myself through words, I believe words have a certain kind of melody which can be understood by anybody.

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4 Responses

Pragati Chauhan Says

Thank you so much :) happy reading!

Neeraj Bisht Says

Nice article.editor is really good with words.
Keep it up high

Pragati Chauhan Says

Good to know that :) happy reading!

Himanshu Bisht Says

Dwarahat my hometown sometimes i missed it.